Oh let me tell you a tale of woe…

(alternate title “One day my children will think of this as “The Dark Times”)

In December last year I moved house. I went from a very small house in one of the older areas of Canberra… known as “Old Bruce”, to one of the very new ones… Crace. One of the good points (well we thought) was that being one of the brand spanking new areas…we would have NBN. The National Broadband Network has been plagued with issues and has been one of the more politicised infrastructure projects in recent times. Everyone agreed that what we had wasn’t going to last or make the grade for the future, but nobody agreed how the changes should happen. But this is not a blog post about policy or politics (well it could be argued that it is), but for the moment this is all about me and my experiences of trying to get the internet connected.

Because moving house is something I have done once or twice before (read: lots), organising things to be connected and disconnected is something that I don’t find particularity challenging – you call the company, explain what you want and then hey presto… the magic works and you have phone, electricity and all the other things you need to operate in this world.

This time… not so much.

On December 10th 2014 I placed the order to have the NBN connected. The previous tenants had the internet, it would all be fine (I was assured by my would-be internet provider… Optus). It was a simple process requiring two appointments; the first by NBNCo, the second by Optus. Much to my annoyance the first appointment was going to be on January 9th about three weeks after we moved in… preparations were made, offline play organized for the Christmas period… it would be “fun” I assured the Offspring… just like the olden days (insert tales of “when I was your age”).

It wasn’t.

There was no appointment on January 9th. Well there was… I was home, but they didn’t show. Apparently that wasn’t their fault… because there was a need to do some “Network Augmentation” (please note that this phrase has caused a great many giggles… does this mean that my Internet is having a boob job?).

Come February 5th, I called NBNco and asked them what the issue was, I was getting nowhere with Optus, as they couldn’t tell me when I was going to be connected, or what the problem was. NBNCo told me that the people that lived in the house before me had put an NBN order in and that had to be resolved (or cancelled) in order to be able to connect my service. This proved to be wrong.

And then started the NBNCo/Optus blame game.

I will give NBNCo one thing; they kept telling me that Optus was the one that should be following this up… this is completely right. But in all of this, I have had to be my own advocate, so I have called them myself.

Come a week later, both the Optus and NBNCo were telling the same story, that there needed to be “Network Augmentation”, and then a new date was decided on… January 2020.

Now there are some people in this world that no internet until 2020 would be perfectly okay… but this is a house of “Power Users”… so not cool. Both of the Offspring are currently enrolled in online learning (really hard without the internet), my housemate has a photography business (really hard to run without reliable internet), and I am about to start my PhD (again… really hard without the internet).

The new resolution date of 2020 is not acceptable in any way shape or form. Keeping in mind that by virtue of this being an NBN only area, I have no home phone (which generally wouldn’t bother me, but if I had a home phone it would mean that I would also have copper wire and at the very least I could then have ADSL2).

So where are we now?

I have been calling Optus regularly pushing for updates to when they are going to connect. I have been calling NBNCo to see what the progress is on their side.

As of today (20/02/2015), the second date that NBNCo was to have completed the Network Augmentation by has come and gone. I have contacted them and they told me that they hadn’t done the work, but they also told me that there hasn’t been any pushing on my behalf by Optus that this issue be resolved on my behalf.

And here is the really frustrating bit… the people that were in the house before us had the internet connected… on TransACT. One of the good things about the move was getting to chat with the people that lived here before us – we know things about the house, that they had internet was one of the things we know.

But right at this moment I am currently on hold… I don’t think my time is valuable to them, they have already hung up on me once today… even if it was by accident… it isn’t like they don’t have my number.


*before you say that I should put in a complaint (I have)

**and yes there is the ombudsman, but as part of the complaining to them part you need to provide a complaint number… which Optus have never provided me with (otherwise I would have used it by now).