ASIDE: This is not a paid advertisement, despite it reading as such. Having something go well for me is a big thing you see!

After several weeks of disastrous encounters with phone companies (Telstra and Virgin Mobile, I'm looking at you guys!) something has finally gone well: I'm typing this post from our newly established Internode ADSL connection!

FreeBSD sees, for the first time in a while!

Internode (Wikipedia link) is a local, Adelaide based internet service provider that, unlike other ISPs in Australia I've had experience with, have two very important things going for them: their heads are screwed on and their arses aren't on fire! We went from applying for a connection from scratch, to having a modem and working connection in less 4 days.

Monday, 11th August
Registered online for ADSL2+ broadband plan
Tuesday, 12th August
Recieved SMS saying that our local phone exchange isn’t ADSL2+ ready and that they can’t connect us (Telstra’s fault, not theirs). Went online and changed the plan to ADSL 8Mb/s
Thursday, 14th August
Recieved SMS saying we were all connected and ready to go. Went into the city and picked up the modem, went back home and went to :-)

Internode logo thingy What blew me away even more than their timeliness (is that a word?) was their customer support. When we registered online, I chose the option to pick up the modem from their office in the CBD instead of waiting for a courier delivery. Getting the train into the city from Mawson Lakes only takes 20 minutes or so, and I figured I might as well save the $15 and grab a bite to eat. What, I'm not allowed to eat? I'm only human.

When I arrived in the city, I went to their office to get the connection finalised and collect the modem:

Walked into building. Told receptionist what I was there for. Was directed to a counter. Noticed all their computers were aluminium iMacs and their chairs were bright orange… very important!
Was told that my credit card worked and that the new connection was successful. Was told to wait while their technician configured the new modem. Was asked if I wanted to pay for the modem with the same credit card they had on file. Naaaaaaaaaah worries.
Walked out of customer service centre with modem and activated account.

Compared to Netspace that sent Kevin Tan and I a faulty modem back in 2005 and took a whopping two months to get connected as a result, and TPG Australia that took over three weeks, this was fantastic! Virgin Mobile Broadbandget a clue!

ASIDE: If you didn’t read my adventure with Virgin Mobile’s Wireless Broadband service, they wouldn’t let me register before I provided an Australian bank statement as "capacity to pay". My Singaporean bank accounts and credit cards were useless despite them meeting the minimum requirements and then some. Fine with me, I took my business elsewhere!

Internode House on Grenfell St, from Google Maps street view
Internode House on Grenfell St, from Google Maps street view

As a free and open source software advocate (no, me, really?) what really impresses me about Internode is that they're also an officially licenced mirror of SourceForge, meaning when I download software I'm getting it from a server that's geographically next door, and doesn't count towards the monthly quota. They also have another comprehensive local software mirror that includes amongst other software… FreeBSD ISO images :-).

Unfortunately as I elaborated in a previous post, our local telephone exchange's DSLAM isn't ADSL2+ ready, meaning we're stuck with 8Mb/s 40GiB-limit plan until at least the end of the year. Telstra trying to get to me again it seems… what an oven of stupid grilled cheese sandwiches.

ASIDE: What’s the collective term for grilled cheese sandwiches? Chuck Peddle?