Would somebody PLEASE run the jumpers?

June 1st, 2007 at 6:10 pm by james

I finally buckled and ordered a DSL service last week. Yes, it’s obscenely, absurdly overpriced (about 30 times what we’re used to paying if you take bandwidth into account), but it still promises the best quality of service where we live and at the end of the day service is what we need. MGW has been online about three times since February. I’m surprised I’m not buried at the bottom of the garden for having procrastinated this long.

When I ordered I was told it would take about two weeks to activate. Imagine my joy then when I got voicemail a couple of days later to tell me the line was active! I spent a good part of the evening setting up my routers and then tracing back all our telephone wiring to rule out any on-premises cause of interference when the thing wouldn’t sync. I rang them up and was told the line had been activated, perhaps I should log a line fault. I rang the line fault guys who ran an actual check and confirmed that the line had not been activated at the exchange at all. I agreed to wait.

This afternoon I got back from a few days in Jo’burg fully expecting to see lights on the router and when there weren’t I called up for a progress update:
“Ummm … yes, we’re still waiting for someone to run the jumpers in the exchange.”
“Doesn’t that cause terrible trauma to their knees?”
[silence] “Would you hold sir while I put your request through?”
“Of course.”
[more silence] “Thanks for holding sir, can I confirm your number …”
“It’s just I would have thought they’d specialise as either runners or jumpers. Perhaps the confusion you’re experiencing in getting the service live has to do with division of labour rather than your inability to balance the supply and demand sides of your business in any sort of economically effective way. While we’re doing requests, could I add one for your market share projection once metropolitan-area wireless networks have been rolled out?”
“Sir, someone will contact you when the jumpers have been run.”

Last time I saw jumpers being used on anything other than a car battery was in highschool physics class – I can only imagine what the exchange looks like. A friend of mine once had a networks manager who used to carry a Stanley knife around with him and if he found messy rack wiring would just slice through it all and make his guys start again. I would have fired him but I’m guessing the local exchange could use some of that sort of discipline.

4 Responses to “Would somebody PLEASE run the jumpers?”

  1. Ben Says:

    My money’s on the runners

  2. Steve Daugird Says:

    Calling the line fault guys on your mobile phone and trying to get a laugh out of them might be another successful strategy for your table for one time.

  3. peter Says:

    You know, if you don’t have to work from an office anymore, the wireless networks have stronger coverage in the smaller towns – for example in Jo’burg they apparently boot you off the network after a short whie so that others can log on, whereas in little East London we get HPDSA continuously except in lightning storms. Telkom lines in lightning storms end up on the ground anyway…



  4. james Says:

    I’ve found coverage in Jo’burg pretty good and in Cape Town pretty poor. HSDPA for work and DSL for play.

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