So, this week has been a week of internet dispair for me. Yes I admit it, the internet is addiction. Just like some people are addicted to meth or cocaine, I am an internet junkie. I can’t help myself–I gotta have it!
For the last two years or so, I have used Verizon MI-FI for my source of internet service. It has worked fine in most every place we have been with the exception of deep central Alabama, when we were volunteering for the Forest Service. Luckily, the Forest Service provided us with satellite internet so I could get my fix.
On Tuesday, my 4G LTE MI-FI device died. Just quit connecting to the internet. Yes, I KNOW I am lucky to even get a signal from Verizon at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. A lot of folks who live up here during the season can’t get a signal from their homes. But, I just happen to live in a place where I can get 4 bars. The signal comes from across the canyon–the tower is on the South Rim. I just got this 4G upgrade in February, and it worked so-so at the house. Once we got back to the canyon, though, it has worked just find. Until it died.
When I was sure that I was never going to get online again with that device, I called Verizon tech support, and they spent an hour and a half with me on the phone, doing this, then that, then something else, before the tech support person cried Uncle and declared the device dead. She said she would ship me a new one. I told her to go ahead and send it, but it takes a while to get to me here at the North Rim, even when they say two day delivery. It still isn’t here.
The next thing I tried was tethering the Droid to the computer. That worked great, but only one person could get online at a time, and that left Fabgrandpa without his morning news and websites that he reads, so that was unacceptable. He told me to order DSL from Qwest, not called Century Link. I dreaded making the call, because my last interaction with them was less than good. But we have to have internetz. We just do. So, I called.
The first representative I talked to could not find my address in the system. Without the address, they can not create a service order. I understand what she is up against, because I used to write service orders for BellSouth, many years ago in another life. But I gave her the only address I know up here, and she said it didn’t exist. I hung up frustrated. But, my friend Geogypsy
just had her internet service installed, so I called her to find out what to do. She gave me a special phone number and secret code, which when used, gets you a service representative that knows about the remote areas out here in northern Arizona.
The second phone call went very well, and a installation order was created, with a due date of April 27. The service technician came out on April 26 and told me the service should be working. But it wasn’t and I couldn’t call repair until after five o’clock on the due date.
This morning, I plugged in the router (which they insisted on calling a modem) and inserted the telephone line, and nothing. The DSL light was flashing green, and the Internet light was not lit up. I called repair service. After asking me several questions, they asked me if the modem was connected to the wall jack. Well, we don’t have a wall jack. We live in a travel trailer. To install a wall jack, we would have to cut a hole in the wall, which is not going to happen. And we have connected DSL directly to the outside telephone box in the past, several times, and it has always worked. I wound up calling the guy a pretty bad name and hanging up on him, because he kept telling me that because I connected the wire myself, they would have to send out a repair tech to “fix” it and charge me $85.
After I tried everything I knew how to do, I got in the truck and drove over to Geogyspy’s place look and see how her DSL service was connected in the box outside, because it just didn’t look right to me when I looked at how mine was connected. I went back home, got a short telephone wire, the router, and a drop cord, and took them outside. I plugged one end of the telephone cord into the outside box in the jack that the tech told me he had connected the DSL to, and one end into the back of the router. Nothing happened. Then I moved the telephone cord into the OTHER jack in the outside box, and the DSL light lit up and so did the internet light. The installation technician had told me the wrong jack!
So, since my extra long telephone cable only had loose wire on the outside end, and the correct jack in the outside box required a plug, I had to do a little splice work to make things work. I cut the short telephone cable off, leaving about 6 inches of cable with the plug. Then I had to strip the red and green wires, twist them to the red and green wires on the long cord, and then use electrical tape to tape the whole thing up. Finally, after about two and a half hours of working with it, I had my DSL service connected.
When I took the router back in the trailer and connected the telephone cable, the DSL light was lit green, but the internet light was still orange, which meant the internet was not working. One more phone call to Century Link, and everything is now working fine. CenturyLink should pay ME $85.