What it’s like moving ADSL2 in the third world, aka Australia

Apologies in advance that this post is in the first person, but I had to share my experience today, the same experience that meant I didn’t post as much as I usually would.

If you hadn’t gathered us much (and many TC readers didn’t over 12 mths) I’m not only Australian, but live in Australia. I’m originally from Sydney, but left when I was 21. I’ve lived in Queensland (sort of our Florida), Western Australia (nearly 10 years, sort of our Oregon) and now Victoria (sort of nothing like there, maybe NY but more cultured.)

We moved to Melbourne last year in the February. You move to a big city and the housing is more expensive, least it was when we moved, so we rented until now. The market peaked and dropped, and we tried to get back in. We ended up buying a 2bd town house in a suburb called Mont Albert. Not that far out, probably middle range, $560,000 AUD (about $420,000 USD). We’re just on the edge of the inner zone on transport, it helps.

Not that it helped with Internet access.

You can follow what I went through here.

So I try to transfer my ADSL2+ Naked connection (that is, over phone lines without a phone connection) to the new place today. In postcodes, we’re one up, 3126 to 3127, but a new phone exchange. Let me tell you straight up, it didn’t happen.

Unlike the United States where you could transfer to your same provider, there was nothing of the sort here. My ISP told me that it would be $450 AUD (about $300-$350 USD) to transfer, but I’d have to wait 10-20 days, and even then they could come back and say sorry, no room.

Epic fail. To put in context my current setup: I have a Naked connection, which means I have a normal phone number but pay nothing for it. I pay only for mobile or international calls.

The resolution was to put a landline in at the new place and when that’s done Friday to order a standard ADSL2+ plan on top of the phone, this despite me having a VOIP only phone for nearly 2 years. Again I simply don’t want to have a phone line, but I have no choice.

It’s scary that in 2009 it’s so hard for me, but I’m betting it’s hard elsewhere. Tech isn’t that hard, there’s only a lack of will and support to fix it.

Sadly welcome to Australia.