I like to think it was the valiant efforts of the helpful young man (hym) on the TelstraClear Helpdesk that did actually lead to my Internet connection (and TV) being restored on Tuesday, rather than on Thursday as I was expecting.
Helpful young man: thank you!
After lightning blew out both TV and Internet on Sunday night, a technician was ‘scheduled’ for Tuesday morning. When he didn’t arrive I called the helpdesk only to learn that no such appointment existed. Thursday was the earliest a technician could get me back online. And no, there was no way to squeeze in a visit to me before then.
After making a special trip to town to grab emails and send a message warning some regular correspondents that I’d be offline, I came home to two answerphone messages: one saying the technician who had been theoretically scheduled (or not) for the morning was running late and could still come if I rang a certain number; the other from hym saying that he’d managed to line up a technician for tomorrow, maybe even today, after all.
Of course, I rang the special number. A technician arrived within the hour. He measured signals and determined that the ‘isolator’ was no longer functioning. Apparently the isolator is pretty much like a fuse, designed to sacrifice itself to lightning and the like in order to save the expensive equipment. In this instance it had performed its job admirably.
The technician changed the isolator, tested to be sure that things were working correctly and headed off to his next job. All up, it was about a 15 minute visit. Internet restored. TV restored.
This whole thing made me realise a few things:
- Losing TV isn’t a big deal. There are only a couple of programmes I watch in a week. Most of my viewing these days is video podcasts, prior recordings, or DVDs.
- Losing Internet is a huge deal. The nature of my work (mainly writing on and about the Internet) means that about 98% of my work requires an Internet connection. Without it I can draft a few articles in very rough, sort out my invoices, and read software manuals. I can’t research, check facts or find out what’s going on that I should know about. What would I do without permanent broadband?
- Losing the Internet means losing access to podcast versions of radio programmes. I listen to more NZ National Radio now than I have for years, because I can pick the topics that interest me and listen at the times that suit me. And because the podcasts expire very quickly from the Radio NZ server, even a couple of days offline can mean I miss programmes I actually want to hear.
- I’m very lucky to live in a time and place that gives me 24 hour a day high-speed Internet access.