It’s amazing how much we’ve come to rely on t’interweb in our household.
Mrs Sane phoned me at work yesterday to say she couldn’t get on the internet so I popped home at lunchtime to see what the problem was. I checked the modem status page and it said the ADSL link was down so I phoned Sky Broadband up to report the fault.
The flunky on the phone insisted on me powering off the modem and powering it back on again for the 5th time on the basis that it was on her list as the next thing to do. She then asked me to check the wire from the micro filter to the modem was in securely so I unplugged it and … the phone went dead. Which shouldn’t happen.
The phone would only work again if I unplugged the micro filter and plugged the phone directly into the phone socket so I called back and told them it looked like the micro filter was faulty. So, after work, I went to PC World and bought a spangly new micro filter that had been reduced from £20 to £15 and got the manager to give me a 10% discount because the packaging had been opened. This micro filter isn’t your normal dangling bit of wire from the socket, it sits flush to the socket, has two phone sockets as well as the modem socket and it has a surge protector so it should be reliable (it also has a couple of blue LED status lights that flash when it’s connected which is a nice touch).
Anyway, I plugged in the new micro filter and got the same problem with the phone. Unplugging the wire from teh modem to the micro filter gave me the phone line back. Unplugging and plugging it back in to the modem a few times cured that problem so it evidently wasn’t the micro filter that was at fault but still no internet.
Another phone call to Sky Broadband and after a lesson in teaching my granny how to suck eggs, I was transferred to the department that deals with technical problems for people who have Sky phone lines. Half an hour on hold listening to the same 3 minute loop of terrible hold music and an irritating Scottish voice inviting me to take up all the wonderful services that I already have and I eventually got through to someone who told me that they will check the line to make sure there isn’t a problem with it before they start looking at whether it’s the router that’s at fault. Fine by me as it’s quite likely to be a line fault but not fine is the warning that it can take up to 48 hours to diagnose a problem with the line so we could be without internet access for over 2 days.
I did pop on the internet a couple of times by hooking up my mobile phone to my laptop but as well as being unbelievably slow (we’ve been spoilt with 20mbit broadband that’s capable enough to handle 2 laptops and a desktop connected to the internet at the same time without any drop-off in speed) it was eating through my 500mb monthly data allowance like nobody’s business. So I’m reduced to retrieving my emails and checking Twitter on my mobile phone while Mrs Sane can’t do her online banking or online bill payments which needs to be done around about now.
Cheap, fast broadband has made life so much more convenient but at the cost of making living without it so much more inconvenient.