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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Puncture!

I don't get punctures. Or at least, that's what I used to say. But I'm going to have to say "I rarely get punctures".

I got one yesterday. I didn't find out about it until today; it was a very slow puncture, which is good, because it didn't affect my day out. I looked at the inner tube; a thorn had got past all my defences and gone deep enough into the inner tube to cause a slow leak.

Yesterday, I went down some *very* rough tracks, overgrown with brambles and other spiky plants. I'm guessing that's how the puncture happened. I've replace the inner tube, pumped it up again, and it seems fine.

Replaced rather than patched ... these inner tubes cost about £1.50, and it's more cost-effective for me to replace rather than patch, because I'm not very good at patching, and previous attempts have usually failed.

I also got a puncture in my telecoms. I have a leased-line, with a 2 mbit capacity, because you can't get fibre where I am, and I need upstream as well as downstream capacity. I noticed it at about noon, just a few minutes after it started. I quickly narrowed the issue down to a telecoms problem, and phoned Daisy, my supplier.

The tech there suggested that I switch off my router, wait ten minutes, then switch it on again. I cannot imagine any problem that this would fix, but I did it anyway, and guess what? It didn't fix it. And then Daisy discovered that it's a line problem, and Vodafone are working hard on it because it's affecting lots of people.

So here I am, seven hours later, still without my main line, using one of my DSL lines as a temporary measure. I think that's more than my SLA (service level agreement) allows, so when this is all fixed, I'm going to ask for compensation. I expect they'll do something like a one month discount.

By coincidence, BT phoned me, to upsell something to me. I told the salesman that I might be interested in fiber broadband. I told him what I currently have; that 2 mbit leased line and three ADSLs (I use those for backup).

He suggested something interesting. I think my 2 mbit is actually over a 10 mbit line; that would allow me to upgrade from 2 to 10 without anything needing to be installed, they'd just flick a switch. So it boils dow to the cost of bandwidth, and that's a lot less than it used to be. I know this, because so many ISPs are now offering "Really Truly Honestly unlimited broadband", which is different from the old "unlimited broadband up to a limit that we're not going to tell you until you reach it". So if they can offer that on consumer-grade ADSLs, the bandwidth must be really cheap. And maybe they can do me a really good deal on my leased line. That would mean that I could dispense with two of my DSLs, saving me a bit. Even better, of course, would be if they could undercut Daisy's price for 2 mbit. But I told him that, because of the hassle of changing, it would have to be a *much* better deal, not a slightly better deal.

He tried the old salesman's trick of asking me for a target price, but I told him, go as low as you can, and then I'll decide. And what I'll probably do with his "as low as possible" quote, is haggle him down a bit.

And then decide.

Update: 19:45, I have connectivity!

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