So whats been happening lately? Well not too much guys and that is mostly down to Telstra and their glorious inability to add extra ports to an exchange in a growing suburb.
While planning the move to Toowoomba one of the decisions we made was to live close to my parents. Hopefully this would allow us to see them more but it would also allow us to help out around the house. Frankly, they aren’t getting any younger and there are things they can’t do anymore – like painting the outside of their house – that I do have the ability to help with.
We ended up finding a really lovely house in Wyreema (located here) about 16k’s from Toowoomba proper. They have their own ADSL 2+ enabled exchange and I know they get excellent speed having speedtested my fathers connection during visits. All in all it seemed like a great fresh start for my wife and I. I got a great Phone and Broadband package from iiNet connected no worries at all. Except that for the first time ever I was confronted with those words that no-one ever wants to hear.
“No spare ports in the exchange”.
I work in IT. I work in IT for a small business. The notion of their being such a thing as office hours is so laughable as to not really be all that funny. I require a solid internet connection to be able to perform most of the functions of my job which include performing remote maintenance outside of business hours. If I were in BrisVegas this wouldn’t be such a big deal. I’d simply sign up on iiNet’s fantastic 20GB a month 4G mobile broadband plan (available for around $80/moth) while I waited for a port to become available in my exchange. Heck I’d do that here too because the Optus 4g in town is fantastic.
You’ll notice that I phrased that last bit “in town”. I say in town when referring to anywhere in Toowoomba because as soon as you pass the sign saying “Welcome to Wyreema” you basically kiss access to any mobile phone network other than Telstra’s goodbye.
And therein – as they say – lies the rub.
If we lived in actual Toowoomba proper there’s a fairly good chance we could have had access to fibre internet. At the very least we would have had access to an exchange with more ports than Wyreema’s so we probably wouldn’t have had the issue with there being no ports available to us. If there was a delay it would have been easily rectifiable without it being necessary to pay $180 for a paltry 12GB of 3G data.
Yep. It’s 2014 and I have no other option but to pay $15 per Gigabyte of 3G mobile data because I can’t do my job without it. At least it’s tax deductible though.
I could understand probably understand Wyreema running out of ports in the exchange if it were a tiny little place with maybe 20 houses but its not. It has experienced some pretty major growth over the last few years and there are plans for more housing estates (we live in the newest one) to start going in soon. It’s just a shame that Telstra can’t be bothered to even pretend that they are keeping up with that growth.
Otherwise, I’m loving this city and I’m loving my work. The traffic is light, the weather is great and the people are (mostly) friendly. It’s just a shame that I might have to wait forever for internet that’s not a complete rort.