Getting rid of that ticking

| October 13, 2001 | 0 Comments

By Joanne Marshall

A bad rural internet connection is like a deadly disease – you hope you don’t get it and that if you do that there’ll be a cure for it.

Unfortunately for rural people with a bad connection the only thing on offer is a small non-waterproof sticky plaster.

This half-pie solution is being offered by the government who has stated that it’s going to do something about the poor internet service in rural areas.

But instead of making sure the phone lines and exchanges are up to scratch they’re going to go all-out to stop electric fences interfering with internet services.

Last year’s Ministerial Inquiry into Telecommunications found that the speed and reach of dial-up Internet service in rural areas was being significantly limited by electric fence interference.

Since then a working group has found that a well-designed and maintained electric fence was not likely to interfere significantly with a working dial-up Internet service connection. However, many electric fences near telecommunications cables were not properly installed or maintained.

To address this the working group has come up with a plan of action which it will review in 18 months, before which time it plans to:

Prepare guidelines on electric fence design and operational standards, mount a public awareness and education campaign on installing and maintaining electric fences near telephone cables and make available guidelines on preferred modems.

Long-term readers might recall I wrote an article about the troubles I had with my internet connection. I would be disconnected from the internet after only a few seconds… it was impossible to do anything.

The Telecom repairmen were often called out but not one of them was able to make a difference. Most of them blamed the troubles on electric fences (you can often hear up to five fences on the line).

The solution came with a lightning strike – it killed my modem and forced me to buy an external model.

That external modem has worked like a charm and I am now very rarely disconnected.

Just think. If you could combine the amount of money Telecom spent on advertising its teleconferencing services with the money the Government has spent reviewing telecommunications you’d probably have enough to fix up a few lines and exchanges or increase satellite coverage.

Category: General

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