Cut cables in West Auckland: How am I going to survive for 4 days without my broadband?

, posted: 23-May-2010 07:18

I woke up yesterday, got out of bed and realized we were without power and water. I could not light the fire either as I had no matches.... It is going to be a one of those mornings...

Thats cool - I got contingencies in place: I turned on my backup power - and plugged my ADSL wireless router into it and turned on my laptop....  

But You guessed it: the internet was down too and so were the phone lines.

Soon the power came back on... The water started dribbling with lots of noise - and then fully back on [Must have had a frozen water main - it was a freezing cold night!] But still no phones or internet.

Rang Telecom using my mobile - the only Telecom number I knew by heart (0800 GetXtra) and spoke to a girl in their call centre on the other side of the planet who not only could not pronounce my name but refused to put me through to faults without asking me a dozen retarded questions....  Then she hung up on me.

On my second attempt, I eventually got through to a nice friendly person in Telecom faults. who told me I am one of large number of households that are affected by a cut cable.... and Telecom Technicians are working on it and that I am likely to be down without phone / broadband / alarm monitoring for another four days.... [It will be back on by Tuesday night I think she said]

But I work from home I said. And I am working right through this weekend on a cloud roll-out! How can I project manage it if no one can get hold of me?

She kindly offered to divert all my land calls to my Vodafone mobile at Telecom's expense.

She said she will get Telecom Broadband to call me. Not sure what they can offer. A temporary Telecom mobile connection? It is Sunday morning and I am still waiting....

I am not impacted too much - but I do feel sorry for my elderly neighbour who wears a panic pendent around her neck linked up to Telecom. What happens if she has a fall or something? Must go and visit her today to make sure she is OK.....

In the mean time, I thought I will try the tethering feature of my Vodafone account which I never had to use before:

It was amazingly easy to set up - Just plugged my mobile, selected a popup on my E72-1 to 'Connect my PC to Web', and a message box came up straight away on my PC asking me if I wanted to install 'the Nokia PC internet Access'. Within 30 seconds, I had the app installed and the tethering setup screen came up... And all I had to do was to press the Connect button - and it used my Nokia mobile VF-NZ connection setting I had on the phone to link up to the Internet. Very impressive!

Been online for an an hour so far. Did a Windows Update, synced my exchange folder with my Outlook, and caught up with the latest from the Herald site and Geekzone site.... did this blog post.... Used up and only used up 5MB so far!

Other related posts:
Thank you, Paper Plus Parnell - the most honest shop I know
After the Tornado: How did Telecom help (and not help) to get my Internet back
New iPhone announced - but Not for preorder in New Zealand until 28th October

Comment by Bung, on 23-May-2010 10:40

Is this the same fault as this? Mt Roskill Tues 18th. What's taking so long?Is there only 1 jointer left and he's now 80 years old?

Comment by kyhwana2, on 23-May-2010 18:10

Be careful with data on 3G and charges! Dont want a $3000 bill ;)

Comment by Steve Withers, on 23-May-2010 22:08


Similar things have happened to us over the past year or so. Our DSL has died at 1am Friday night / Saturday morning on two occasions and not been turned back on until Monday sometime during the day. In each case it was just someone maintenance gone wrong and our connection at the Birkdale Exchange (I'm told - taking this on faith) unplugged from the interface and then plugged back into the wrong port. I have no idea whether this is true or not, but that is what I was told on both occasions.

To provide a backup, I got a Broadband Pro SIM from Vodafone with a $79.95/month-by-month account for a 3GB plan...and another $10 if you go over 3GB which will cover you to 6GB. After that, it's 10 cents / MB or $100/GB.

This has covered us well in subsequent outages. I just put the Broadband pro SIM into a rooted Android phone and it becomes the WiFi AP for the whole least those in range (actually quite good).

As insurance goes, this may seem pricey....but it works and we haven't been off the Net since. Because it's a cell phone being the AP, we can even charge it via the car or a small solar trickle panel.


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BlueToothKiwi's profile

New Zealand

I am a project manager / consultant that specialises in implementing cloud computing and Customer Relationship Management Systems. I also develop applications and especially interested in Smart tablet interfaces and Clouds.

I live in Auckland with my partner and four children. For fun, I am into robotics - My children and I spend a lot of time building robots with LEGO MINDSTORMS. I am also one of the 30 people from around the world selected by LEGO as an MCP (Mindstorms Community Partner).

My other interests include mobile devices and mountain-biking.