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sbiddle
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  #2803232 29-Oct-2021 08:20
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For those who somehow think the power industry is so much better I find it quite remarkable that in this day in age that a large section of the Bay of Plenty (Opotiki + many surrounding areas) will be having a 11hr power cut from 0730 - 1830 on a Sunday in November.

 

Yes they are giving people advance notice, but to have no power for such a long period across such a large area is a shock to many people there.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 

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quickymart
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  #2803234 29-Oct-2021 08:22
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Would even 0.01% of the customer base want this service though? I would be surprised if it was that many. It seems about 4 people on this thread here would like it, but that's 4 out of how many millions of other users? Would those 4 be prepared to pay more every month to receive these notifications? Better still, why don't they band together to setup an RSP that sends notifications for every single piece of planned/unplanned work, and then they can see how much money they make every month?

 

Also - something I missed in @jmosen's earlier comments - I don't agree this is an "industry wide issue" - did the TDR tell you that?


Linux
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  #2803285 29-Oct-2021 08:25
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quickymart:

 

Also - something I missed in @jmosen's earlier comments - I don't agree this is an "industry wide issue" - did the TDR tell you that?

 

 

@quickymart Correct bringing the TDR into this is wasting time




atomeara
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  #2803560 29-Oct-2021 13:24
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BarTender:

 

I think this thread is hilarious. If anyone expects notifications on a best efforts broadband service they are dreaming.

 

If you want notification as broadband is important to your business, then pay for a business grade or managed broadband service which would typically include mobile backup.

 

But don't expect that at a residential home broadband service price. As the residential broadband market in NZ is very competitive where the margins are extremely thin.

 

Spark wholesale offer broadband connections too, I recommend you ask them for prices 🤣 https://www.sparkwholesale.co.nz/content/dam/sparkwholesale/productprofiles/InternetServicesProductProfile.pdf

 

Involving the TDR or ComCom is just wasting everyone's time.

 

 

 

 

Spark don't do this for enterprise WAN connections either.

 

We have just done a 70 site WAN rollout with Spark for a customer, and there were a bunch of urban sites like Grey Lynn where Spark could not offer 4G backup as the cell site was on stop sell.

 

The Spark broadband helpdesk don't even know when there are planned or unplanned events, meaning when people ring up they get the run around, that wastes both the customers and Sparks own time.

 

I am not sure proactive notifications for all customers would be a good idea but having an opt in system via a customer portal (such as the Sprark portal) would be easy to do and likely reduce a bunch of helpdesk calls / social media posts / online chat message and also results in improved customer experience. 


atomeara
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  #2803561 29-Oct-2021 13:25
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sbiddle:

 

For those who somehow think the power industry is so much better I find it quite remarkable that in this day in age that a large section of the Bay of Plenty (Opotiki + many surrounding areas) will be having a 11hr power cut from 0730 - 1830 on a Sunday in November.

 

Yes they are giving people advance notice, but to have no power for such a long period across such a large area is a shock to many people there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opotiki  is also all fed from a single fibre cable out of Whakatane

 

There is fibre to Gisborne but the way the Chorus network is setup Opotiki only goes back to Whakatane - at this stage


atomeara
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  #2803562 29-Oct-2021 13:28
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MadEngineer: ^ Lemme guess, that one above for the 29th was for north-western Auckland but was then cancelled two weeks after the notification date?

Curiously, it looks like the outages screenshotted for 7/11 are notified as being on the 8th for us.

Edit: notice for that outage came through now.

 

 

 

They do have a habit of cancelling and updating them semi often which can be annoying.

 

Some of that was due to the Auckland Lockdown situation which I can't really blame on cancelling.

 

 


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  #2803751 29-Oct-2021 15:32
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atomeara: I am not sure proactive notifications for all customers would be a good idea but having an opt in system via a customer portal (such as the Sprark portal) would be easy to do and likely reduce a bunch of helpdesk calls / social media posts / online chat message and also results in improved customer experience.

 

Granted I haven't worked at Spark for a few years now.. but I had an audible chuckle in the office when I read this. 

 

When I worked on the broadband authentication stack and was doing upgrades I kept an eye on social media at 1am when I was involved in the BNG software updates which impacted every Spark Retail customer as the BNG themselves were being rebooted causing both Broadband and UFB Voice service to be impacted for around 20 mins while it rebooted and sessions reestablished. I also kept a fairly close eye on social media (Twitter, FB and here). During the few weeks of upgrades going on as they didn't upgrade more than one BNG at a time but did a few in a night, and at the time Spark had over 600k customers. I think I saw a total of 4 complaints of folks saying "Broadband is down, when is it coming back.... oh it's back now".

 

The fact you say it would be easy to do completely disregards the multiple layers upon layers of complexity involved in service monitoring where some services are in the ISPs control with equipment they manage and have monitoring on others outside the ISPs control such as handovers from the LFCs that other than link availability there is was questionable visibility from the LFCs were up to.

 

The worst thing is publishing inaccurate or outdated information, as then even more confusion is created.

 

 

 

And still doesn't answer my core question around.. If Broadband service is important then pay for business grade connection, or a DIY backup router solution but none of that should be expected on a best efforts service.





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Bung
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  #2803774 29-Oct-2021 16:38
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BarTender: I think I saw a total of 4 complaints of folks saying "Broadband is down, when is it coming back.... oh it's back now".



There may have been a sharp rise in page views of various outage pages all showing nothing. In normal life I avoid FB and twitter so don't think of them as the place to go for network down answers.

  #2803784 29-Oct-2021 17:14
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atomeara:

 

Spark don't do this for enterprise WAN connections either.

 

The Spark broadband helpdesk don't even know when there are planned or unplanned events, meaning when people ring up they get the run around, that wastes both the customers and Sparks own time.

 

I am not sure proactive notifications for all customers would be a good idea but having an opt in system via a customer portal (such as the Spark portal) would be easy to do and likely reduce a bunch of helpdesk calls / social media posts / online chat message and also results in improved customer experience.

 

Vodafone used to forward these Chorus notices to us when I was in paid employment (up till 3 years ago).
We'd have between half a dozen and a dozen tabled at most weekly Change Control Board (CCB) meetings.

 

About 25% were incomprehensible - "upgrade cct ABCD12345678 at Mayoral Drive"  doesn't actually tell you which bits of your network might drop off - but it was a useful service.

 

 

 

 


MadEngineer
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  #2803841 29-Oct-2021 19:45
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They still do, but they change them to their red theme and refer to the Chorus outage as a third party.  For us at least they also provide the exact address of ours that will be affected.





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  #2803876 29-Oct-2021 20:56
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I am a bit surprised at the comments from those in the industry. About the only thing I agree them is that it is not worth doing proactive notifications.

 

I have more empathy for the consumers in this thread. I don't think it is too much to ask that planned maintenance is at the very least listed somewhere as a public notice (e.g. www.chorus.co.nz/planned-outages) so people can easily refer to it. It is clear that Chorus do log this information so there is no reason why they can't automatically generate, daily, a simple list of outages times and impacted areas for today/tomorrow only.

 

That could mean impacted customers could easily check the day's planned outages and go 'Aha I see my area is listed as planned maintenance, we are within the time window for this work and it should be finished in half an hour, I'll get a cup of coffee and wait this out and only contact my RSP if it's still not working in an hour's time'.

 

Many other service industries (ranging from Internet-related industries like my VPS, back up services, etc to other industries like banking, electric, water etc) manage to do something more or less along those lines. Why should LFCs/RSPs be any different? I don't pay for a business grade electric connection but I still get access to information about planned electric outages which has been helpful to me in the past.

 

My view is that consumer connections should be provided with basic outage information at a central location they can visit themselves if needed (i.e. a 'pull' model that is cheap and easy to automate). Business consumers can benefit from 'curated' information being pushed to them directly (i.e. a 'push' model that takes more effort on the RSP's part, compensated for by the increased fees).

 

I get the impression tho from comments that the expectation on the RSPs end is more like of a 'radio silence' model for consumers -- using phrases like 'best effort' (which is in itself ironic).


quickymart
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  #2803981 29-Oct-2021 23:24
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As mentioned previously though, it would either be (a) too confusing as there would be so much going on it would almost impossible to map, (b) planned work (not outages - totally different) may be listed and completed but end up having no impact to end users whatsoever, confusing customers even further and (c) some people would happily call up their RSP and demand a full month's refund for losing 5 minutes of service total in the entire month.

 

I'm sure there are other reasons not to do it, but those are three that come to mind.

 

Expanding on (c), as I say I worked for Spark and Telstra Clear and (certainly at the latter) people would call up every month and expect to get their entire month's usage free, even though their internet was down for all of 20 minutes or some other very short internal. Some would even get into screaming matches on the phone as they felt it was "unfair" when told no - not realising the connection is "best effort" and not guaranteed...but they thought their $80 a month connection was a top-end, full premium-grade service with guaranteed SLA's and uptime, and blah blah blah...they would argue until they were blue in the face that they should get a credit.

 

If you think that sort of thing never happens, trust me, it does. Regularly.


BarTender
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  #2804733 31-Oct-2021 16:57
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Breaking down a few things 

 

@KiwiSurfer: I don't think it is too much to ask that planned maintenance is at the very least listed somewhere as a public notice (e.g. www.chorus.co.nz/planned-outages) so people can easily refer to it. It is clear that Chorus do log this information so there is no reason why they can't automatically generate, daily, a simple list of outages times and impacted areas for today/tomorrow only.

 

If Chorus (and the 4 other LFCs too being Northpower, UFF, Unison and Enable) did that then fine. But it would then be the responsibility of the customer to get that information rather than relying on the RSP.

 

 Many other service industries (ranging from Internet-related industries like my VPS, back up services, etc to other industries like banking, electric, water etc) manage to do something more or less along those lines. Why should LFCs/RSPs be any different? I don't pay for a business grade electric connection but I still get access to information about planned electric outages which has been helpful to me in the past.

 

My view is that consumer connections should be provided with basic outage information at a central location they can visit themselves if needed (i.e. a 'pull' model that is cheap and easy to automate). Business consumers can benefit from 'curated' information being pushed to them directly (i.e. a 'push' model that takes more effort on the RSP's part, compensated for by the increased fees).

 

But all those industries are providing a service that they completely control the whole stack or have visibility across it. The LFC <-> RSP relationship means that RSPs to some degree have no real-time or notified visibility into a customers connection other than it being up / down. 

 

I get the impression tho from comments that the expectation on the RSPs end is more like of a 'radio silence' model for consumers -- using phrases like 'best effort' (which is in itself ironic).

 

"Best Efforts" IS the technical and industry term for the connection retail customers are paying for, there are no Service Level Agreements other than the agreed speed as part of the Crown Fibre Holdings agreements that the LFCs have signed up to. The only guaranteed speed is the 2.5Mbit reserved for VoIP traffic even for a 1GB connection. That is why RSPs/ISPs all say "Up to xx" as a speed as there are so may factors that can influence the speed.

 

I know I sound snarky when posting this but I am trying to be realistic with in my view unrealistic expectations for an ISP to be able to provide accurate and up to date information on individual broadband connections on a service that can go down at any point.

 

I also agree with @quickymart that receiving calls from customers expecting a free months credit when there was a planned or unplanned outage is extremely frequent, including when the fault was caused by the customer themselves (poor WiFi coverage, bad wiring for DSL)





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quickymart
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  #2804747 31-Oct-2021 17:46
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I'm still waiting for @jmosen to return and tell us what the Commerce Commission told him, I got the impression the TDR couldn't (or were unable to) assist him with his issue. Is there going to be an update?


  #2804782 31-Oct-2021 18:26
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BarTender:

 

If Chorus (and the 4 other LFCs too being Northpower, UFF, Unison and Enable) did that then fine. But it would then be the responsibility of the customer to get that information rather than relying on the RSP.

 

Indeed. What you suggest is in line with other industries e.g. power. As a customer of a power retailer (i.e. Contact in our case), it is my responsibility to check our local lines company (i.e. Vector) website for info on power outages. Makes sense for LFC planned works to be published (like how lines companies do so with power outages). All that is needed is for RSPs to explain to customers that faults may be on either the RSP or LFC network. RSPs can communicate to customers that they can check both RSP and LFC websites for information on the status of either networks. This could be as simple as adding the necessary information and links to the RSP status page so people can find the info they need in the event of a outage.

 

"Best Efforts" IS the technical and industry term for the connection retail customers are paying for, there are no Service Level Agreements other than the agreed speed as part of the Crown Fibre Holdings agreements that the LFCs have signed up to. The only guaranteed speed is the 2.5Mbit reserved for VoIP traffic even for a 1GB connection. That is why RSPs/ISPs all say "Up to xx" as a speed as there are so may factors that can influence the speed.

 

I'm aware of that. I just find it interesting that this term has found its way into a discussion about RSPs/LFCs disclosing planned works. 'Best Effort' is a term usually used to describe the service itself. This thread is less about the technical delivery of the service (which I agree 100% is 'Best Effort' -- please know I do not dispute this at all) and more about the customer service aspects. Expanding the scope of the concept of 'Best Effort' to include communications about planned works and faults I think is not helpful.


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