The antenna has been a constant problem for nearly 3 months as the Smart Bro wireless transceiver simply didn’t send or receive. The issue being after climbing on the roof myself I was finding that there was only a small gap between trees for which the antenna was able to get a signal from. This resulted in any wind, rain or something else that could disturb the connection pretty much losing the internet constantly. For us it meant I couldn’t work online and what should take 5 minutes such as a blog post ended up taking 3 – 4 hours trying to get a connection long enough to upload. Email wouldn’t open and things like Skype just wouldn’t connect.
Now the issue I have is that Filipinos have a term called “going Kano” which is in relation to the bad tempered foreigner getting mad at them and yelling demanding they sort something out. Being well aware of the real problem with the antenna and it not being software or router related which the call centre will always go for first as the easy option, it did take a bit of selective wording to simply say “either come out and fix it or we will just cancel it, you’ve had months of testing and every other excuse of dragging it out. 2 days to fix it or the contract is terminated due to Smart being unable to fufil its part of the contract”.
This resulted in engineers arriving this morning as well as moving the antenna to a completely different location. The antenna is difficult to see in the photo because its around 40ft in the air on top of the water tower to guarantee an uninterrupted line of sight connection. Took them 20 minutes and the problem was solved. The other side of this being the speed of the connection as its a common complain online that Smart Bro connections are very slow. Doing a ping check when they align the transceiver originally seen a ping of around 260 – 280 which is terrible! Now though its 62 – 65 which is pretty good considering the location. If your getting a smart bro connection watch over this ping test to Manila as it helps workout if your connection is not only quick but stable, just watch over their shoulder.
Now the issue when the engineers turned up was I am sure they were hoping they could mess around with the PC get a connection and then just say its fixed. Which is where the going Kano came in but more of being stern rather than getting annoyed. Simply “if your going to just mess around with the settings on the PC you might as well climb up on the roof now and take the antenna with you”. Which had the right affect in that they talked to my wife quietly and just got on with the job they were supposed to be doing. You see this was the second visit by them the first one they just rebooted the antenna and it was faulty again within no time. Today its already been up for 6 hours and I have had a constant download of Ubuntu (for a school project I am working on) as well as email, you tube, Facebook and the blog going and no problems. Does make you wonder why they didn’t do as they were asked on the first visit.