Personal Blog

Re: Backup Internet

Being a web developer who works at home, would you believe that I survived working for more than one year with just one internet connection? It was just fine until issues arise from my main internet provider. Today, I couldn’t imagine myself working without backup internet, nor I would be able to sleep at night thinking about the risk.


This is supposed to be a rant post about my internet provider, but it has been two months since the incident happened and I don’t have enough emotions to project, so I’d just set the tone down and talk about the lesson learned during the incident.

Having just one internet connection while working at home is reckless! Anything can happen and you can lose your job when things go worst with your client.

My main internet connection is just the old P999 plan for PLDT Home Ultera (wireless broadband) which now only costs P699 and they haven’t migrated me to the new plan and I’m still paying the price for less speed and bandwidth. Sorry about the mini-rant but I don’t care anymore since I’ll be moving on to a better setup in few months. I don’t want to be migrated since that would mean resetting my contract for another 2 years.

For 3Mpbs with 3GB a month, I survived working at home as a web developer and I’m still able to watch my favorite TV shows in the US (don’t ask me how) without my internet provider complaining about the excess bandwidth. The old policy was to provide 3Mbps for up to 1GB daily then reduce the speed to maximum of 1Mbps or less when I consumed the 1GB limit. It works and I can just consume more than 1GB daily without problems.

There are incidents where the internet connection won’t work for 5 ours or even 12-24 hours and I just can get away with that. I just have to tell my employer that I have internet connection problems and that I won’t be able to work. Communication is the key. However, if this happened in a consecutive 4 days, that’s a different story. You will surely be at risk of losing your employer’s confidence and even losing your job.

ISP Policy Changed

Last September, 2016, PLDT Home Ultera called me to inform me if I would like to switch the daily limit to monthly limit so that the connection won’t drop if I exceed the daily limit and will only drop after the 30GB is exhausted. I’m assuming that they will just implement the same policy as before where they would just drop the connection to
a slower speed, I agree to migrate. It could be partly my fault since I didn’t ask enough while the sales rep is still at it.

After the migration, I still do my old habit of watching TV series and watching YouTube and Twitch streams from the Dota 2 tournaments. However, two weeks after the billing cycle, my internet connection stops working. It turns out that I consumed the whole 30GB in just two weeks! What make things worst is that they actually cut off the connection until the next billing cycle (which is still two weeks to go) or if I purchase an additional bandwidth like 1GB, 2GB, etc.

I feel tricked and betrayed!

Poor customer who pays more for less and when you exceed the limit, you have to pay even more. I’m not able to purchase additional bandwidth due to the stupid configuration for old customers. They seem to care more for new customers than the old one. Maybe they think: “Hey they are already stuck with us, so we don’t care much on them. Let’s just take more customers and take more Fish Mooney!

Wow, that’s not a mini-rant anymore but I have to stop right here.

Backup Internet

After several back and forth calls, I gave up and just find another way. My co-worker happens to know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows another guy that can provide me a 3G/4G/LTE kit which can actually provide a good signal and is prepaid!

My co-worker happens to use the same connection so it was not hard for me to get the kit and buy some SIM cards and stuff. We use the SmartBro starter kit SIM (available on your favorite store nationwide) and the so-called SURFMAX 85 where you can have 800MB daily for two days for only P85. So if I still have my old connection, I can have 1GB plus 800MB daily which is not bad at all.

The kit arrived on the weekend and by that time, I already lost a good four days worth of work. I immediately installed the SIM and the outdoor antenna. There are issues with the signal initially but I’m able to fix it. It uses the mobile phone’s LTE signal range which is the same as the regular phone uses, which means, it is vulnerable to bad weather and stuff like that. My crappy Ultera is not that vulnerable since it is using a higher bandwidth (or maybe lower, not sure).

So far, my backup internet becomes my main internet connection. The old crappy Ultera continues to decline and I just can’t understand why it is slow at times. My backup internet can even hit 15-20Mbps speed when there is a good signal. On regular days, it can reach same speed as what the crappy Ultera promises 3Mbps (which it can’t actually provide nowadays probably due to overselling).

By the way, Smart is a subsidiary of PLDT, so, go figure!

Long term plan

Both my main internet and backup internet are still crappy. My plan is to move to the province and have a real internet connection via DSL with a telephone line and of course, there will be a backup internet. Our place in the province seems to be a territory of another competing provider but I can still have at least two providers for my internet. PLDT is out but if they can penetrate the territory, why not? They still offers a good service for DSL and even Fiber connection. Just don’t trust the wireless services since it is not that reliable.

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