Do it yourself to cut the cost of installing ADSL

by Sarah Stokely
From The Weekend Australian, 4 December 2004 (Special Report: Broadband)

If you know how to install software or devices on your computer, you’re probably skilled enough to save some money by installing ADSL yourself. You can save anything from $110 to $159 on the set-up fee by buying a self-installation kit at a computer store or through your ISP.

Most ISPs offer a self-install ADSL service and several have pre-Christmas offers which waive the connection fee or offer a free modem if you sign up for a minimum service contract. But the biggest cost will be the monthly service fee, so don’t choose a package based on installation costs alone. You may also wish to consider wireless broadband, as it is becoming available in many capital cities.

Assuming ADSL is available to your phone line (your ISP will check), it should take less than half an hour for you to install the ADSL modem and get broadband running. But don’t expect to buy the kit and be online the same day – you will have a waiting period of between four and 10 days from the time you sign up to the time that your ADSL service is activated.

Prior to installation, check that your computer has an Ethernet card/socket, or a USB port if you are buying a USB modem. Both are standard in newer computers. You will also need a double adaptor for your phone socket – one line will connect to your phone as normal; the other will connect to your ADSL modem, via a standard phone cable which you will also need to supply.

Once you have all the equipment ready, follow the instructions provided by your ISP. The self-install kit should include a line filter, which plugs into the phone line to maintain sound quality. You can accommodate up to three phones or faxes, but will need extra line filters for each.

Then install the software drivers for the modem on to your computer – these should be on the installation CD. Finally, you will need to connect the modem and configure it by entering your username and password. The configuration step can be made simpler by purchasing a modem pre-configured for your chosen ISP.

If you strike technical problems during installation you will be able to get phone support from your ISP, but if you need a technician to come to your house to fix a self-install job, you will be charged a callout fee.

5 Comments

  1. greylock Said,

    February 24, 2005 @ 2:12 pm

    Woah. Newscorp *paid* a freelancer for that?
    Wait….

    half an hour for you to install the ADSL modem Bollocks, IME.

    You negelected to mention the need for a line splitter properly in my (LIMITED) experience. Can you really “accommodate up to three phones or faxes” with a single splitter?

    It may just be my sucky broadband experience, but that’s all fluff.

    GAR!

    // dial-up hell

  2. sarah Said,

    February 24, 2005 @ 2:18 pm

    Woah. Newscorp *paid* a freelancer for that?

    What you mean?

    half an hour for you to install the ADSL modem Bollocks, IME.

    I’ve done installs in less than half an hour. Some take more. Some take less.

    You negelected to mention the need for a line splitter properly in my (LIMITED) experience. Can you really “accommodate up to three phones or faxes” with a single splitter?

    No I didn’t, it says you need a separate line splitter for each.

  3. greylock Said,

    February 24, 2005 @ 2:32 pm

    I’ll admit, I’m bitter about ADSL.

    What you mean?
    Based on everything else, this is the kind of piece I’d expect from a staff reporter, knocked out in half-an-hour.

    Mostly, I’m just pissed about the whole BB thing, and my lack of it.

    I’ve done installs in less than half an hour. Some take more. Some take less.
    I’ve been treated badly within ADSL. I find quips that make ADSL seem simple are fundamentally factless. IME.

    No I didn’t, it says you need a separate line splitter for each.
    Ah, yes, you did. My bad.

  4. stopndrop Said,

    February 24, 2005 @ 7:45 pm

    In my experience most setups are pretty easy nowadays if you buy a standard install kit. It’s just the line provisioning crap and the problems that occur when things go wrong that the intense frustration sets in.

    In such a tight space there isn’t much detail that can be gone into, and with every ADSL offering slightly different a basic overview like that is probably the best option.

    Just my 2c

  5. greylock Said,

    February 25, 2005 @ 2:01 am

    I took my angry pills last night. (Sorry sez)

    I am still bothered by the fact that folks in the country (you know, those people who get 14% more voting power than me, and who are always complaining about being second class citizens) can get broadband, and I – who live 7km from the city centre, and within spitting distance of two exchanges, cannot get broadband at this time.

    I’m also annoyed at my former BB provider (westnet) who provided me with a complete lack of instructions when I did set it up (and, I’ll tell you the netcomm instructions were pretty bloody crappy too – I blame them for the fact the hub I got at Christmas STILL isn’t working).

    And, at another level, I’m annoyed with the media’s bloody cost cutting, which sees stuff like that farmed out to freelancers when it could so obviously be written in house.

    Mostly, I’m just angry.