Restoring Internet Connections

speedtest recordThe powerful typhoon “Kiko” (International code name: Morakot) hit the Philippines last week, killed a dozen people and affected over 70,000 persons before proceeding to Taiwan. As a country that gets hit by more than 20 typhoons every year, this kind of disaster seems not affecting us so much anymore. However, when seabed movements near Taiwan area believed to be caused by the typhoon damaged seven (7) undersea cables linking Asian nations and disrupted Internet and telephone services, web forums frequented by café owners became very busy with posts complaining about Request Time Outs (RTOs) and slow browsing of the Internet the whole of Thursday, August 13, 2009.

Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom operates four (4) of the damaged cables between Taiwan and the Philippines. The company said service has been slow since the typhoon hit Taiwan last weekend but voice calls and Internet data traffic will be fully restored Friday, August 14, 2009. Meanwhile, PLDT and Globe Telecom said their international call and broadband services have suffered partial disruptions since Wednesday because of damaged undersea cables. The two companies said the disruption to communications had been contained as Internet traffic and voice calls were rerouted to other cable networks.

The image shown on this blog is an actual measurement of my Internet connection speed as I write this article. The measured download speed of 0.54 Mb/s (540 Kbps), upload bandwidth of 0.05 Mb/s (50Kbps) and ping of 237 ms approximate the advertised speeds of my Internet subscription plan. My yesterday’s connection was really a problem with speed test results of only 50 Kbps download, 5 Kbps upload and 700+ ms ping.

There is no official announcement from my service provider if Internet connections to their subscribers are already fully restored.  I would not notice it anyway because my Internet connection would be down every now and then even without such undersea cable problem. No week will pass without me calling my ISP’s customer help desk to report service interruption.

While we are on this topic of restoring Internet connections, can I ask you how your ISP’s customer helpdesk handle your complaints? Do they also ask you to check your inside cable connections everytime you call even if you already tell them that your modem’s data light is off which means the problem is on their side? Do they also ask you to install a diagnostic software that always say there is something wrong with your local area network even if it is very obvious that the trouble is on their network?

I will be honest and say that restoring my Internet connections when it gets kaput is always an irritant for me. Whenever I get disconnected (modem’s data light is out) and it does not get back after 5 minutes, I have to call my ISPs customer helpdesk who will insist on going through their delaying tactic of having me check my cable network inside.

It is worse now because they require that I run their diagnostic software which always report that there is trouble with my local area network. It is only after such delaying tactic is done that I will be told that they will make a ticket so that a technical person would be dispatched to look at the problem which they always say may take 48 to 72 hours to correct. Can you imagine the agony of waiting for 3 days to get connected again? Pity the people who live in a third world country.

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