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Wireless broadband? Not by a long shot…

A while back, I got one of the new “wireless broadband” modems from 3. I can’t say I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with it, because for the most part, it’s done what I expected of it – access to the net from herself’s place without having to go through some crowd like ripwave. And for the past week, I’ve been away in the UK and it functioned well there as well.

Right up to last Thursday that is, at which point I badly needed email to send press releases back home and net connectivity to send photos but the modem was having none of it. I thought it was something to do with my setup, but between aonach and tom raferty’s blog, I’m getting the impression that these kind of glitches are nothing unknown. In fact one of the people working with 3 has confirmed the gmail thing is a known bug.

Harumph. Not what I expected at all, that. I mean, I wasn’t expecting youtube or to be able to do video conferencing or to download Good Eats by bittorrent or even to play quake 3 over the thing, but email is rather basic, y’know. Yeesh. Next time I’ll have linux properly configured (the modem works very well on linux by the way) and just stick to using mutt for sending stuff; but that still means I can’t receive emails. Which really, when you think about it, isn’t acceptable. I mean, email is pretty much the primary thing for most people who use this sort of thing, and google mail is one of the most popular solutions for email these days (it’s not the 900lb gorilla that Outlook is, at least not yet, but it’s still up there). If nothing else but gmail worked, I’d probably feel less annoyed by this glitch.

Still though. For what it does it’s not bad. When it works. And if you don’t expect it to do what it says on the box, but instead have more realistic expectations (mind you, you need to either have some sort of technical knowledge about mobile technologies and their current limitations, or a typical amount of cynicism about companies and advertising, to know that the advertising isn’t realistic).

Can’t say I’d recommend it over a wired solution, and herself’s new place (and mine) will be getting that wired solution on day one, but I’ll probably be keeping the 3 modem (assuming there’s no nasty surprises in the bill when you don’t use the thing) for things like accessing the net at competitions in the field and the like. But lads, for the sake of small fluffy animals, fix that gmail problem? Quickly?


  1. Who in turn work for 3, according to yourself Bernard!

    Aug 14th, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Tom,

    (I work for one of the companies who is building the 3 Ireland ISP to speed things up :])

  2. This system is a joke: I have it about two months now and it has been getting progressively worse. I can only assume more people are signing up for it so the shareout is becoming smaller.I use it under Ubuntu, OSX and Win XP and there is no difference. I had one of their techies ring me back and “talk” me through msconfig settings, uninstalling programmes and rubbish like that. Eventually he agreed that the real problem is that the contention ratio is far too high. Mine has never connected or worked under 3G either in Carlow, where I live, or in Dublin. Speeds vary between 600Bps to 60kBps. Yet, they continue to advertise it and no one has bothered to point out their lies to them.
    I’m giving them one more month, by which time it should have ceased to function. Then to the small claims court to see if I can recoup the price of the modem. Caveat emptor.

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