Globe DSL Woes and ümobile 3G

11:12 pm PHT

There’s nothing like the loss of Internet connection to confirm that you’re an Internet addict.

My story begins when our Globe DSL connection at home would not connect last Wednesday night. The diagnostics tab of the router’s software indicated that the problem was at Globe’s end and not in the local network. This has happened a few times in the past and the problem often clears up overnight. Well, the problem did not resolve itself the next morning and so I called the 24-hour hotline to check on our billing account since we recently paid an overdue bill and I thought that the payment did not reflect yet within Globe since we paid through a payment partner.

Well, the billing records as stated by the automated hotline service was not updated and only reflected the May billing. Thinking that we were disconnected, we called customer service later in the day to request for a reactivation. Apparently, we weren’t disconnected at all but that our account was undergoing a “migration” to a new server or base station. The conspiracy theorist in me thought that “migration” is just their way of saying “reconnection” but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt since my father spotted some Globelines people doing infrastructure work in my village. The “migration” would take 3–5 working days and that’s agony! I’m also miffed that we were not given any advanced notice about the supposed migration.

The loss of Internet at home brought me to bring out my largely unused ümobile LG KU380 cellphone that I won at the launch party last May. (That reminds me: I still have to write about that party!) I intended the phone to be a backup messaging device and it turns out that it has become a backup Internet device instead. I don’t know why (maybe because they still don’t have running ads yet) but the free monthly load apparently doesn’t get used up so I basically have a free unlimited Internet account.  :-D

I installed the LG PC Suite in my laptop and connected the phone to it. I got stuck with configuring the Internet settings but then I figured out by researching on the Net (using the phone itself) that the call number is *99# (this is apparently the universal mobile number to access the GSM network layer on any phone) and that the APN is “umobile” (taken from the phone’s settings). I was pleasantly surprised and giddy to find that it worked! One of the first things I did is to test the connection speed using result. Download: 359 kbps, upload: 57 kbps, ping: 446 ms.

The speed is slower that what I’m used to, and the network latency is a bitch, but it’s really better than nothing. I’ve been able to Plurk, check out feeds in Google Reader, check my Gmail, and blog for a bit. ümobile is piggybacking on Smart’s 3G network and this is my first experience with surfing using 3G. The experience is less than optimal because I’m getting really intermittent connection and it’s really frustrating! Oh well, I’m coping, but I have definitely cut back my Internet tasks to the bare essentials.

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