[nSLUG] Bell Aliant FibreOP and Linux router

Daniel AJ Sokolov daniel at falco.ca
Tue Oct 15 22:21:18 ADT 2013

On 16.10.2013 02:05, D G Teed wrote:
> Was it enough for you to switch?

Absolutely, yes.

> If so, was there someone at Eastlink
> available to talk about BGP?  It doesn't sound like you are talking about
> residential service.

It is residential service only. I haven't experienced malfunctions like 
the Bell issue with Eastlink yet, so I don't know how they would react.

However, the few issues I have had, I have always met friendly and 
knowledgeable Eastlink support staff. They are not shocked when I say 
I'm using Linux. Actually, they seem to be happy because they can ask me 
to enter stuff on the command line to help them debug from my side.

I have had issued with Eastlink as well, but far less than with Bell Aliant.

1.) Eastlink claimed "we do not block any ports", but I caught them. 
They block outgoing SMTP. First level kept lying (wasting more of my 
time on senseless debugging efforts), but second level admitted it. 
Solution: Use a different port.

2.) The Eastlink-DNS is uselessly slow with my linux-systems. There is 
some kind of timeout - every DNS-request takes a good second to get 
resolved. I dont know why, and even with the help of Eastlink support we 
were not able to figure it out. Solution: I switched to a different DNS.

Furthermore, I've had billing issues with Bell Aliant, and they were 
stubborn. Any administrative question with Eastlink, has, so far, been 
resolved to my satisfaction.

On top of that, Eastlink staff has managed to find solutions outside the 
ordinary. Once I was moving within the building and I had booked an 
appointment with an Eastlink-guy for a few days later. But on the day of 
moving I happened to meet an Eastlink-guy in the building - I accosted 
him and he switched me over right away. Wonderful!

Another time when moving I had a lag of a month - moving out in month A, 
and moving in in month C. Inbetween no service for a month. I didn't 
want to cancel my contract, hand in the router-modem, then sign a new 
contract and get a new router-modem, because I have a number of network 
settings I don't want to put in again. (Yeah, my fault, I should have 
documented them.)

It was a challenge for the Eastlink callcentre, but a workaround was 
found. Result: Happy customer who grudginly accepts price increases 
every other year or so (this year they also promised to double my speed 
and still give me unlimited data - we'll have to seethe real life 
experience of that).

Daniel AJ

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