Moving to Orcon LLU - bumpy ride so far

As some may have noticed, this blog has been up and down like a
yo-yo for the last two weeks.

The issues are caused by the fact that I host it off the home
office connection - which by and large has been solid as a rock for
the last 2 years, considering the amount of traffic the site gets
is fairly minimal.

I opted to be one of the first guinea pigs to try the LLU (Local
Loop Unbundled) offering from Orcon on the home office - alas it
has not been a pain-free experience.  I think google analytics
tells the story best:

The connection got switched to LLU on around the 21st / 22nd of
September - at which point my connection became a bit erratic -
then it started working well enough - before going wonky again, and
then completely falling over altogether on the following Saturday -
at that point there was no sync.

Around Wednesday sync was restored, then Auth as well on thursday
(so 5 days without any access) - the connection was looking ok at
that point, but then a day or so later I started noticing that it
was disconnecting every 5 to 10 minutes, then taking another 20 or
so seconds to re-establish the connection, that's still happening
as we speak - though they helpdesk has now raised the priority of
the ticket to urgent in the hope that it might be resolved

So far I've been a pretty disappointed with the alacrity of Orcons
resolution process and the lack of direct contact that can be made
with the LLU team.  Normally with Orcon issues get logged with
the help desk, a ticket is raised, and after a couple of days you
end up dealing directly with corporate support (i.e. people who
know what's wrong) - this process works well, and seems to filter
out those people who actually have problems related to their own
hardware or lack of knowledge.

Not so with LLU, you raise a ticket, but the LLU team can't be
contacted directly, and as happened with me - I had no connectivity
for 5 days, and also nothing done about the issue, it just sat in
the queue - and the helpdesk did not seem to know any more about
the issue then I did - I end up feeling bad having to pester the
helpdesk every day to find out the progress on the issue - and they
keep feeding me the same line of "the LLU tech will call you once
the issue has started being worked on / resolved, I'm sure they'll
do a card reset 1am tomorrow" - So far nobody from Orcon has ever
called me (and I'm not actually sure they ever did do a card reset,
but I suspect that's probably not the issue either).

Now I'm not blogging this out of Venom - I mean all said 'n done I
am guinea pigging the service to some extent and I know if I'd just
stuck with my previous telecom/Orcon mix none of this would have
happened - and the @Orcon folks on twitter have offered to help
push the ticket through quicker which was nice (incidentally ISP
available on twitter == good) - but still I just hope the issue
resolution process becomes a little more robust, and I thought this
might be interesting to anyone else out there considering jumping
on the LLU band wagon.

So my peeves so far are:

  1. Orcon don't actually seem to be doing any follow-up - I had
    to do all the calling (and sitting in the queue) incidentally,
    3pm is the perfect time to call their helpdesk, it's never

  2. The LLU team can't be contacted - that bugs me - pestering
    the help desk is counter-productive for days on end, when the
    issue is sitting with the LLU team.  Being able to check the
    ticket status (with notes etc.) on-line would be have been nice
    as well (and saved some phone calls).

  3. The helpdesk doesn't seem to even know when the LLU team will
    look at an issue.  I got the distinct feeling the help desk
    guys knew as little as I did.

  4. No weekend support - I lost connectivity early Saturday, but
    the LLU team doesn't work on the weekend (or so the helpdesk told
    me) - this sucks - telecom have engineers working weekends,
    especially as Orcon are responsible for phone issues as well, I
    could end up with no internet or voice for an entire weekend -
    something I've always found Telecom very quick to respond
    to.  I would hope this only applies to home customers!

Hopefully these (and the technical issues I'm having) are all
just teething problems and will go away as the LLU roll out
continues - in the mean time forgive this blog for being partially
unavailable, and my apathy in not bothering to move the site to
dedicated hosting (which I do plan to do sometime this year,
probably along with a change in blogging software - but I'm too
busy with other things at the moment).
Written on October 6, 2008