Wednesday 21 September 2011

‘Internet, Internet, wherefore art thou, Internet?’

When I got up this morning, the Internet connection to my house was ‘down’. I checked that it was not any of the connections inside the house (we have both a wireless and cable network inside the house, the latter using the internal ring main power supply via special plugs that connect our computers and Internet modem data cables directly to the electrical ring main). The problem seems to be somewhere between my house and the local Internet junction box or between the junction box and the ISP.

This problem occurs every so often, usually after bad weather … and it seems to have been raining most of the night so that is probably the cause. I don’t know why the weather should affect our Internet access … but it does … and it may – in part – be due to constant battle the ISP’s engineers seem to wage with one or two local youths who like to ‘decorate’ the junction boxes with their ‘tags’. For some reason this sometimes involves opening up the junction box to expose the connections to the elements … with the end result that the Internet access in the local area is interrupted until the engineers can repair the damage.

It is interesting to note that one of the ways the ISP says that you can inform them that the Internet service they supply is not working is to send them an email.

I wonder how they expect you to do that?

Service was finally restored just before 9.00am this morning … which is how I managed to upload this blog entry!


  1. Hmmm, although I am halfway around the world from you (well, only 8 time zones, but we needn't be picky), our internet service has been dreadfully slow all day.

    I mean minutes to follow a simple link . . . and we are supposedly on a "high speed" cable service . . . of course they promised at the end of last year that if you phoned their service number you would be talking to someone within "six minutes". When I finally got through a few weeks ago at 4:15 in the morning after an hour and ten minute wait, the service technician confessed that the average wait time was between 3 and 4 HOURS during the day/evening and about two hours late at night.

    Oh yes, he was unable to help me insisting that the their technicians do NOT ever enter your home to set up the cable connection and modem . . . which, of course, they do in fact have to do.

    What can we do? . . . *sigh*

    -- Jeff

  2. Bluebear Jeff,

    Welcome to the Information Age ... with an age being how long it will take to get connected!

    All the best,


  3. Bob, I fear you may be showing your generation. Of course you text or email the ISP from your cell phone!

    I spent 25 years supporting "Information Technology" as a generalist and interpretor (between techies and the people who use the machines). Its easy to forget that there has to be an actual, physical path of wires, microwaves, routers, switches etc etc from me to you for the little electronic packets to travel from me to you like magic. Anytime I stop to think about it at all, I'm amazed that it ever works.

    Doesn't stop me from getting annoyed just a little when the little,lights on my cable modem stop flickering!

  4. Ross Mac,

    The problem I have with emailing or texting from my iPhone is that the 3G network where I live is even less reliable than the Internet connection!

    The Internet is a marvellous thing .. and is now central to so much of what we do. What is not marvellous are the idiots who think that it is 'fun' to damage the equipment the Internet needs in order to operate.

    All the best,


  5. Bob,
    A true story from my days in the classroom.

    The SENCO is addressing the Director of Studies who is also responsible for IT in the school.

    SENCO: Anna, I need to tell you that I can't access my school email.

    DoS [probably thinking about her ongoing affair with the Principal]: Oh, yes... send me an email.

    SENCO: But my email isn't working!

    DoS: So follow school policy and send me an email.

    SENCO [through clenched teeth, restraining herself] MY EMAIL ISN'T WORKING!!

    Ah, happy days at the chalkface! Do I miss it?..... No - only the money and use of the Xerox machine/printer.



    intenet access isn't working in the

  6. Arthur1815,

    This sounds so familiar!

    Oh for the days when we talked to each other.

    All the best,


    PS. I did see one email that was sent to the Head of IT Support in one institution. It said something along the following lines:

    'Please do not read this email. Fold it neatly into a long thin cylinder and insert it in your rectum. That way the message will get through to your brain much faster.

    PS. My computer is still not working despite me having asked you to fix it every day this week.

    Thank you.

  7. Once upon a time I did local IT support in a particular huge company.

    Regularly "some people" would decide their phone was not working and that it needed fixing (or plugging back in...). They would always call us directly to have us do this, despite the procedure being to email helpdesk and helpdesk passing the issues on with correct prioritisation etc.

    Knowing how lazy the people in question were it was a simple matter to walk into the server room and unplug their network connection before they had a chance to do so, resulting in a few minutes of peace.

  8. Arquinsiel,

    In my time I have been called down from teaching a class of thirty students to 'sort out' a senior manager's computer. When I got there I switched the power socket - which was in full view of the senior manager - into the 'on' position (it had been switched off by the cleaner) and walked out ... and heard the senior manager say, as I left, 'Well I could have done that!'. I bit back the reply that was forming on my lips - 'Well why the f**k didn't you?' - and went back to my class.

    All the best,


  9. Upon seeing the first episode of the IT Crowd that I happened to notice on TV I immediately passed up sex to say "this is what happens in work every day".

    There's a reason we computer nerds love that show.

  10. Arquinsiel,

    My wife cannot stand 'The IT Crowd' but I love it! I worked with these guys ... or people very like them; perhaps I was even one of them!

    All the best,



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