Internet and Time Wasted


Three Weeks of Internet Frustration

Network SwitchThat’s my lot these past three weeks; the net has been bad. Latency rate high, intermittent connections, slow, frustrating. And of course work is piling up.  These past weeks have been a battle – even writing a post for this blog has been a trial of persistence. Even the WordPress auto-save function has been affected.

Maybe it’s over; Yesterday was not to bad, today I haven’t been disconnected once, yet!

A Nationwide Concern

It’s not only me – South African internet has been bad everywhere. And of course the people managing the service causing the bottleneck are saying nothing. What I have been able to deduce using the internet tools available, is the Telkom ADSL network has been the cause. At some point 99% of all local internet traffic is carried by Telkom for part of the route. The ADSL routers have been dropping up to 100% of data packets, a fact I mentioned a week ago in an article on graphicline.co.za (Telkom Internet Routing Causing Problems).

This coupled with ongoing latency problems and weather related issues (at least for some of us) has made using the net a struggle. Trying to write a blog post has been challenging, attending to some of the pressing issues with customer sites has been nearly impossible in some cases (e.g. one of the client sites needs the database optimised  – not  a procedure I want to start if there is a possibility of being off-line for several hours or longer; something goes wrong and the client’s site could be down for hours until the database can be restored…

Add Weather Related Local HSPA Technical Problems

The weather in my locale is well into the thunderstorm season. My office is near the edge of the coverage footprint for the service in use and gets affected by heavy rain absorbing RF signals (I really should get a modem with a high gain directional antenna). Lately there has been another problem – the cell tower equipment is getting overloaded by the high positive ion level – causing the receiver front end AGC to reduce gain – Radio Hams will know what I am talking about – they see the effect of high levels of atmospheric static noise on their ‘S’ meters.

3g tower antennasComing as I do with a technical background in RF communication technology, I am certain this could easily (if expensively) be fixed at the tower end with a few interdigital filters or (even cavity filters), DC grounded antennas and better front-end transistors with higher dynamic ranges  – I dealt with enough VHF/UHF repeater and base station installations having similar problems during my 20+ years in the industry.

Usually the cure for static and/or RF overload is simple and quick – as long as the tech knows what to do, and that of course is the real problem here – atrocious pay and other uniquely local factors mean a shortage of suitable technical workers. This should of course have been a considering given to the installation by the engineers before the system was even built… but then the good local RF engineers are doing what I am – working in other industries where there is more reward.

me on google plus+Mike Otgaar

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About Mike

Web Developer and Techno-geek Saltwater fishing nut Blogger

Posted on February 21, 2012, in 3G, ADSL, Connectivity, Internet, TECHNOLOGY and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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