Monday, 25 February 2008

Broadband for your parents

Dad finally took the plunge a few weeks ago and signed up with Adam Internet to get ADSL2+. They've had dialup for years, and I think Mum will really appreciate the extra speed as she does a lot of family history searches online. I would have recommended Internode (which is who I use), but Adam's cheaper plans couldn't be argued with.

Provisioning only took a few days, and fortunately for them I had a spare Netgear DG834Gv2 modem that they could use. I'd bought it a few years ago to help out my brother-inlaw connect two machines in his house wirelessly (it was configured as an access point, as they had problems getting the individual wireless cards to talk to each other directly). When my brother-inlaw got broadband he got his own modem, so I got mine back.

The new connection came up fine, but only at 3Mbit which was a lot slower than I was expecting (they're only about 2.2km from the exchange). They also noticed their voice calls were a bit noisier.

So Saturday I spend most of the day crawling around inside their ceiling installing a new Cat5 cable (from MIMP) to run from an Advanced Circuits 921E2+ central splitter (from MATS Systems - I bought a C10100E from them, but Mark says the 921E2+ is even better) out to the back room where the modem and computer are.

The trickiest thing (apart from all the physical gymnastics of navigating 195cm/6' 5" body a around the ceiling space) was pulling the cable down the gyprock wall cavity. After several failed attempts trying to drop a weighted string down, we realised there was enough slack in the existing phone cable that we could use that to pull a string back up the wall, then pull the Cat5 cable back down again.

The good news is that their speed as jumped up to 8Mbit! I'll have to check to see if they think the voice quality has improved at all.

We noticed that the little junction box (official name "Network Termination Device") mounted on the fascia is missing its cover (possibly broken when some maintenance was done to the electricity wire not so long ago). I suspect if Telstra repaired or replaced this, it could bump them up a bit higher still.

No comments: