Level 1: Cadet

Cable Broadband Content Being Filtered

Hi there, thought I'd give the crowd support a go before lodging a complaint to the Telecommunication ombudsman.


Have a cable 200GB plan which was working fine until approximately 1 month ago when I exceeded my monthly usage limit when buying a new laptop and then restoring my online backups....  The speed cut was actually a complete cut of service for me, no dial up modem speeds, there was simply a 404 on every page I browsed forcing me to pay for 25GB of 4G on my mobile phone plan tethered so I could continue to work.  When I simply asked if I could buy more data Telstra said sure but it wouldn't take effect until the following month.  To add further salt to the wounds they sent me an email the day after my service was blocked saying they were upgrading me to 500GB for free so the usage in my account showed I still had 300GB to use!


After the service was unblocked in the following month (many reboots later to get the shaping off), there have been consistent issues with access to various services.  Of note most problems are Apple device related.


I can browse the web and receive email on my devices (iPhone 6 and iPad) ABC iView loads but is unable to play video just rendering a black screen unless I fail over to 4G or run up a VPN to get outside Telstra's network.  Apple's store will not allow app downloads again unless I'm on 4G or pull up a VPN outside Telstra.


The VPN is running it tunnel over the Telstra service so I can only assume the issue I am seeing is Telstra Service related or Telstra Netgear moden related for which they own the firmware updates (or rather complete lack thereof).


The Ombudsman statement is to do with the fact Telstra's support line advised me there was nothing wrong with my account (it is always paid on time), there was nothing they could do about the malfunctioing service unless I paid them monthly for retained "premium support".  I refuse to pay for an ISP to rectify their own issue, very simply they are not providing the services they are charging for....  I'm an IT specialist and have been in the industry for 20+ years so I really don't need their premium offering.


Is anyone else encountering this sort of issue with their services?  Regards Perko.

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Level 23: Superhero

Re: Cable Broadband Content Being Filtered

Hi Perko_Adl and welcome to Crowd Support.

Can you please provide some more detail on what you are experiencing?

URL/website you are trying to visit.
What happens that makes you think it's being filtered?
Any error messages you are seeing.
If you've found a solution then don't forget to mark that post accordingly.
If you think I've been of assistance to you please remember to let me know by clicking on the LIKE button.

Please note: I am not a Telstra employee and any posts or opinions are entirely my own and don't reflect any official company position.
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Cable Broadband Content Being Filtered

The thing that is confusing me from the outset is that you say that you were getting no connection,  but were receiving 404 errors (which are the server at the other end saying it couldn't find the requested resource). This means that the connection was present,  but the server couldn't find what you were looking for.


Have you checked with the providers of the services that you are having problems with to see if they have any suggestions about what might be going wrong?  If it has happened to other people,  they may have a suggestion on what needs to be fixed. Sometimes just clearing cookies from your system can fix a raft of problems.


Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Cable Broadband Content Being Filtered





Level 1: Cadet

Re: Cable Broadband Content Being Filtered

Hi Kalak


Yes happy to explain further the symptoms I'm seeing.


On Apple IOS Devices (2x separate iPhones, 1x Ipad);

  • IOS app store will show updates on device, try to download any update and after a period some seconds the downloading icon fails and turns back to the update button.
  • IOS abc iview, can load on demand programs within the app but as soon as play is selected simply get a blank black screen and no video delivery.
  • Ebay.com.au mobile in safari "Can't open the page as too many redirects occurred".

Windows 8 laptop, Server 2008 Enterprise VM, Windows 7 VM, (consistent on IE and chrome browsers);

  • Ebay.com.au can't logon.  Can browse the web but try to bid on an item or access account and the logon screen (with correct username and password) simply returns to a cleared logon form with no error messages.
  • Tonight tried to logon to crowd support and received an internal server error again seemingly with a heap of redirects happening in the SSO component of the logon.
  • Various other websites logon dialogue issues or page display fails seemingly where there are SSO junctions between platforms.

Observations and other troubleshooting performed;

  • Troubleshooting, I have established a client SSL VPN terminating outside Telstra's network and all of the above symptoms simply go away, everything works.  This is true of both the Wintel platforms and IOS (I've VPN'd them all..).
  • Troubleshooting, I have a Cisco wireless mesh from 2 AP's in the house, to rule those out I have tried UTP hardwired and also powered them off and re-enabled the Telstra Netgear Modem wireless with the Windows 8 Laptop.  All of thses steps resulted in the same symptoms/behaviour as above.
  • Observation, ABC iView works fine on a windows browser.
  • Observation, the IOS ebay application works fine, I assume the logon process is different somehow.
  • Observation, I run 2 different AV products so would hope if there was a compromise on all of my devices that one of them would have detected something.  I've performed full scans on all the wintel platforms.

Most browsing seems to work fine, all my other applications and services running over the connection are seemingly working well (such as remote CDP backup or Remote desktop services to my lab for instance). 


I'm a bit suspicious that my Netgear cable modem might be compromised somehow so will factory reset that tonight and see if the symptoms persist after a complete re configuration. I'd been trying not to do that as it is tedious to reconfigure. I usually keep my firewall equipment up to date firmware wise but haven't found that Telstra maintain their distro for these cable modems.  If there was a more enterprise hardware option I would be happy to procure it.


Regards Perko.

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Cable Broadband Content Being Filtered

The only time that I have had these exact same problems, is when I am working through my corporate system.  I am lead to believe by our IT people that it is due to the configuration of the firewall.


Using the exact same computer, hooked up to my ADSL Connection in the unit that I stay at, the problems don't exist.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Cable Broadband Content Being Filtered

Ok so where to start here.....


I have my cable service sorted out again now, I will adlib a little so please bear with me.  Firstly thanks so much to the people who responded here, ultimately it was out of any of our control unfortunately.


After several service desk calls and about 2.5 months of service disruption a Telstra tech came to site tested his modem and account then deemed the service to premises was fine.  He left a new refurb cable modem wrapped in box for me to install when I got home (wife stayed off for 1/2 a day to meet him).  This visit saw my partial service now rendered completely inoperable as the new modem was unable to register and seemingly also bumped the original .  Now old and new modem's both failed to pass traffic at all although the modems both configured WAN IP addresses but couldn't ping forward to the Telstra DNS servers.


12 phone calls to the Philippino help desk got pretty much nowhere.  They sent me a 4G modem for free to provide some service while they mucked around as the outage had passed 10 days (the modem ended up charged on my bill, phone call 14 to resolve).  Finally in absolute desperation I found an Australian number to call through to as the offshore call centre refused to transfer me local back to Australia (including for me to complain to Telstra's TIO independent complains area).  It would appear to me that when you call the same call centre you are complaining about and receive the same level of service and answers on escalation that Telstra has failed completely as an Australian company. 


Michael in the Adelaide complaints office was sensational, he advised there was not a great deal he could do as all level 2 and 3 support was completely outsourced offshore to the Philippines (at $15 per day...) aside from the guys that bring the cable modems out to houses, there are no local support resources for Bigpond which is certainly not what they advertise on the wrapper being a true blue dinky di Aussie company we can all be proud to give our money to.


Michael found the wrong MAC address assigned to my account and resolved it on the spot, he also returned a phone call 90minutes later before ending shift to see if his troubleshooting had any benefit (big tick).  When he found that the service was still down he looked up the internal email address of the tech who was assigned to the case (and I assume had been sitting on the ticket for more than a week) and sent him a direct email suggesting the problem from our conversations.  Didn't hear anything more post this call about 7:30 Friday evening but 7am Saturday morning the service was back alive and has been perfect ever since.


During the phone call with Michael, he mentioned that there was an account change at the start of March which was the last time I called the Phillipines due to my account being past its download limit.  On that call they told me I couldn't buy more data to unblock the complete denial of service (not throttling) then they finally agreed to unblock the service since it was showing 300GB still left from the bonus data that Telstra had offered to all accounts that month.  They performed some magic in the background (screwed the service) and from that time forward I have been trying to get resolution.


My Lesson - Don't waste time dealing with the Philippines, they are worse than useless (read complete muppets here) and wasted 6-8 hours of my time over a 3 week complete outage and a 3 month service disruption.  My mobile bill alone was more than 200 minutes outbound with them and I ended up loosing a full day of contract billing at $900 so I could troubleshoot with them at their request.  3rd level support never called on that day despite 3 calls to the level 1 service desk to try remind them.  They also tried to sell me a new cable modem for $249 which was charged if I fixed the problem myself or free if I had their repair guy come to site, no brainer on that one.


Hope the NBN arrives here soon so I never have to be a Telstra Bigpond customer again.  The most disgusting service experience in my 25 something years of adult life..... 


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