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January 30, 2007

The Joys of going Broadband

A couple of weeks ago Mausi was approached by her telephone company offering her to join the broadband community at reasonable conditions. Mausi thought 'Why not?' and tried to phone the service hotline of her company to confirm the offer. On the first two attempts the computer who answered her call gave her a choice of four subjects to choose between, then asked for her telephone number and said it would connect her with a living person from the service desk. Only, the computer must have pushed the wrong button for twice Mausi ended up in silent cyberspace. On her next attempt Mausi took a more devious approach. When the computer asked her again to make her choice between the four subjects Mausi mumbled. After telling her twice that it didn't understand her the computer gave up and directly connected Mausi to a very helpful young lady at the service center.

Bingo! Mausi placed her order and eagerly awaited the postman next day. He brought her a 'splitter' to be installed into the telephone line to pick up the broadband signal. Child's play, Mausi thought, connected the first telephone socket to the splitter and the splitter to the router. And then waited for the system to sort itself out. Nothing happened - the router didn't pick up the broadband signal. Okay. Mausi thought she'd better ask around her colleagues first next morning. Quite a few had joined the broadband community lately.

The next day Mausi learnt she had to connect the splitter as close to the point where the telephone cable entered the house as possible, pick up the broadband signal there and then try to coax it from there to a more convenient spot in the house. It turned out to be a most entertaining evening with two people lying flat on their bellies in front of the main telephone cable trying to wedge that d*** splitter into the proper place and an attentive cat that went outside when she couldn't hide her grin anymore. At one point even the telephone wouldn't work anymore, let alone the broadband signal. Several hours later the router was still silent but at least the telephone worked again.

Always good advice to take one step at a time. Next day Mausi took the router to a neighbour who was already a member of the broadband community and satisfied herself that at least the router worked as it should. So there was nothing for it but to admit temporary defeat and call the support hotline of the telephone company to find out where the broadband signal went. The technician arrived the next morning and proved to be quite helpful. The splitter had to be connected to the red and the blue instead of the red and black cable. As a result the broadband signal was at least picked up by the router. Magic!

But he also had a bit of bad news for Mausi. The telephone cables installed inside the house are of inferior quality. They are alright for the telephone signal but the broadband signal cannot travel through them. As they have been built fixedly into the walls they cannot be changed now. Bother! So the router has to stay downstairs and Mausi has to set up a Wireless Lan to make the computers work. Yesterday evening Mausi made the WLan work with Windows and now faces the task of doing the same under Linux. The fun will last a few more days, no doubt.

Posted by Mausi at January 30, 2007 09:25 PM

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