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Thursday, August 09, 2007
Not a clear and direct way to get wired

It was quite a tedious matter to get internet connectivity in our new premises which was in itself quite amazing when you consider we are staying (yet again) literally right next to the company campus.

First, there was that weird arrangement that our landlord suggested. A sharing of the cable TV and broadband connection. I don't really mind the TV sharing, but being paranoid by nature and practice, i don't want to share a connection without any control, which i won't if i went with that arrangement since the main connection is in the other renter's premises.

Ian, my new colleague, recommended one day that i might want to consider Verizon's fiber optics connection. When i first checked it, it wasn't available for my area, so that's a no-go.

He then suggested Clearwire, which is a wireless broadband service. So i signed up for it, and waited a few days for the router/receiver to arrive.

As we use our internet connections to do regular Skype-sessions with our families and friends, and Live Messenger to view the three babies, not having any connectivity was a really big pain. And so when we received the router, i went to set it up straightaway!

Alas! Even though there was a transmitting station about 1/2 mile away from our area, i wasn't getting any signals at all! Decided not to try anymore and arranged for a return, which Clearwire was very gracious in granting without any hassle.

The other option left was Verizon DSL. Signed up for that, and waited for yet another week for the "service ready date", which gave me an amazing look at how bad the outsourced support is in Verizon.

Did the same old routine, in setting up and getting no DSL signal. When i first called their support line, i got a lady with an Indian accent but she was trying hard to hide that accent. I went through the basic support Q&A, and she said that my connection wasn't ready yet, even though i received a phone call 3 hours earlier saying it was, and emails that confirmed that too. She advised me to wait another TWO days and then call the helpline if necessary then.

I then asked if there's any way i can request for a support technician to come to my house and check the connection, and what are the charges for such a request. She actually said that arranging for that would be a  SALES call, and i should call the sales hotline number instead.

I was pretty pissed by her replies and I murmured that it's time for me to cancel this too, and SUDDENLY, a guy with an obvious american accent jumped into the phone conversation and started questioning the Indian lady, as to why she didn't follow the standard process about the "symptoms" that i informed her about.

She was surprised (and boy so was I!), and stuttered for at least 5 minutes before she recomposed herself and told me she would want to restart that process with me!

After midway through that process, she "determined" (Hahahaha) that it was an issue with the DSL line that was set up for me, and she will arrange for a technician to visit the very next day.

She then transferred me to yet another support person, and from the low quality of that line, i guessed my initial call was VOIP-ed into India, and she VOIP-ed it back to a on-site office based in Redmond! You can imagine how bad the voice quality would be when the voice streams were compressed multiple times.

I eventually set up the visit, and the support technician that came the next day was excellent. A total contrast to the Indian lady that was just trying to push the customers away. The guy told me that my area just got the fiber optics connection set up and i can actually upgrade to that! ARRGH!!! That was just 5 days after i registered for the DSL line.

We'll probably use the DSL connection for a month or two before deciding whether we'll upgrade or not.

We finally were online and almost immediately i found that we couldn't use our usual apps like Skype nor Live Messenger the way that we used to do on Comcast Broadband.

After tons of fiddling with the DSL modem, i found that it was also a router, with an overzealous firewall setting. Tons of port forwarding need to be made and we were fine for a few days.

Then i started to reconnect my wireless router back into the home network (of PC/laptop, cellphone, Wii, PSP (since when? hehe), and DS).

That brought yet another round of fiddling and forum surfing to find the proper inner/outer DMZ settings and dual port forwarding settings. I wouldn't want to do that again anytime soon, but now, everything is working fine.

Just the right moment for me to get the Wii system update!

posted by Jonathan at 12:13 AM | Permalink |


At 8:10 PM, Blogger Ed, Edd & Eddy !!!

I understand your pain man. I was hooking up my iMac, phone, PSP together and I spend a full weekend fiddling with DSL modem. I didn't want to go anywhere the modem settings again after that.