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Broken link

I did a little work yesterday morning before having to go out. A couple of hours later I’m back and find no broadband Internet on my desktop. Nor on the Surface Pro. Nor on the mobile when it was connected to my Wi-Fi. I rebooted the modem/router.

Lucky I had that 25GB of data on my phone now. I used it as a Wi-Fi access point for the Surface Pro. I googled the website to troubleshoot my broadband connection and followed its steps. Everything was fine, except that the line quality was so-so. Then it wanted to reboot my modem. I’d already done that, but sure, why not? I was interested to see if Telstra really could remotely reboot my modem. It didn’t work, of course. It wasn’t until a couple of steps later that it actually asked what kind of modem I had.

I chose “other”, then selected “D-Link” from the list. At which point it advised that it could talk through the steps for a Telstra modem, so I could try to follow those. But I should look in my modem manual. Fair enough. Telstra can’t support all equipment.

But it did also say: “Only modems that have been tested and approved by Telstra may be used. See the full list of Certified modems.” That got me wondering. Is the D-Link Cobra Telstra-certified? I clicked that link and was taken to not to any list of modems, but to an answer to the question: “Do I need a technician to set up my broadband?”


I still don’t know if the Cobra is Telstra approved.

Finding the right number

While I was out an email had come in from “tbb-oot”. Apparently that’s Telstra Business. The heading was “Telstra Business Broadband BizEssentials Order Completion”.

Pennies started to drop. Could it be that my broadband had also gone from personal to business? Could Telstra have changed my user ID and password?

I should have realised something was up with that too. A few days before that troubling letter about my mobile plan, a parcel arrived at home. It turned out to be a new Telstra -branded modem router. With a 4GX stick to get me going while waiting for connection. Later that day an SMS from Telstra: my equipment has been despatched.

So I searched my email for Telstra emails in the past few weeks, looking for one that might give me new information. Nup, nothing there. But how about that BizEssentials email? It has some kind of account ID. Indeed, it gave an account number, and something called an “FNN”. And it said I could log into my account with those “and this initial password”. That was followed by a blank line. Then paragraphs of instructions on how to change that password. That is, the password that wasn’t there.


I fortified myself with another cup of coffee and looked for a telephone number to call. Well, the one mentioned in that email seemed pretty clear: “If you have any questions about this order or delivery of your new modem (if ordered), please contact us on 132 253.”


Wrong number

I called. I selected option 5, tech support. Then a robot answered, asked me to identify the line with the problem and asked me to say what the problem was.

And then announced that it was sending a troubleshooting link to my mobile phone via SMS, and was hanging up!