For the last year and half I’ve been connecting to the internet via a wireless service provided by a local firm Torque Internet (recently taken over by Callidus Telecom). While the service has its ups and downs (the downs sometimes lasting 2 or 3 days at a time!) it’s a huge improvement on my previous ISDN based service (which was both expensive and slow – not as slow as dial-up admittedly).
Due to the unreliability of the service I still maintain my ISDN line and I revert back to it at least once a month; I find if the network goes down on a Friday afternoon it will not be fixed until Monday morning. Here in Eadestown we really could do with a more reliable broadband service but of course other than the afore mentioned ISDN and various Satellite based services (don’t go there – ask any rural school!!) the choices are limited as the local exchange is not ADSL enabled and the mobile phone companies have not yet rolled out 3G in the area. But hey, there’s light at the end of the tunnel as Eircom (the former state monopoly and now privately owned near-monopoly telecoms’ provider) has announced the enabling of a further 319 – mainly rural – exchanges over the next two years and Rathmore, Co. Kildare is on the list. Yipee….
Of late the service from Callidus has been much more reliable, even to the extent that when the Grange Hill relay went down on the Friday afternoon before a long-weekend, it was back up and working by Saturday morning, in the past we would have waited until the following Tuesday afternoon for the service to be restored.
UPDATE: Jan 2008
I spoke too soon, since last summer the Omnitel (I know, another name change) service in Eadestown has taken a turn for the worst. Not only have we had 3 major outages last year (one lasting more than a week), the new year looks like continuing the trend (down since last Wednesday, now Monday 14th). Also, the 172.19.20.1 transmitter (aka Fr. Ryan’s) is either massively over-subscribed or faulty (high latency >500ms, lots of timeouts at peak times), I’m going with over-subscribed. At this sort of latency, satellite is starting to look like a viable alternative.
As I tend to get hits on this post during such downtimes driven by Google searches on either Omnitel, Callidus or Torque, here’s their support telephone number: (01) 8263546.
Update: Sunday Feb 02 2009
Gone again, four days and counting, this time the Grange Hill node was knocked out of action by last Wednesday nights storm. No point ringing as the help line (3) no longer answers, I managed to get some information by dialing 4 for accounts, but by Friday afternoon that and the free phone sales number were ringing out! What a shower, I suppose they could be gone out of business but I suspect they had simply all gone home or gone down the pub. Thankfully I still have my ISDN line.