Wednesday, April 15, 2020

How to Avoid Financial Loss Caused by Broadband Illegal Taps?


Broadband illegal taps financial loss

With financial management in mind, I managed to avoid a financial loss. It is because of my awareness and adherence to the management of money that I thwart the impending scenario.

Do you know that illegal tapping on broadband happens? If you experience intermittent signals on your broadband, one of the reasons is that someone has tapped on your line.

All of our home utilities cost us money. Back in the day, people were contented with only water, electricity, and cable TV running in their households.

Today, cable television services are bundled with broadband internet connections to complete the basic utility supplies of our homes.


Broadband illegal taps

Unlike electricity, a broadband connection gets badly affected by illegal tapping or intercepted by other households without us knowing it.

Once the broadband gets slower from its normal speed, our productivity suffers, and we lose money. It is our financial standing that suffers. This is more so if we use our broadband in income-generating profession online.

So, if you're holding to your financial management to inherently establish your future money-wise, you need to make sure that no other individuals use your wifi connection without your knowledge.

Broadband internet subscription & financial management


how to manage your finance

When you pay a monthly subscription for your broadband, it saves you money compares to buying in prepaid.

Why? If you compute your daily usage and do some math like dividing your monthly subscription to the number of days in a month, you easily figure out that it's way too low than paying prepaid packages from telecom networks.

For example, in my case, I only pay Php 999.00 for my broadband. Divide that to 30 to get the conservative daily cost I spend, and you get Php 33.00 a day. That's the daily cost of my internet utility — Php 33 for 24 hours.

It gives boosts to my financial planning and management of my expenses because, hey, when you go outside and rent a computer in an internet cafe, usually it would cost you Php 40 per HOUR, right?

That is why broadband is green in my financial management book. Meaning, it is excellent as far as the cost is concerned.

Broadband internet is a high-speed internet connection


Broadband internet helps save money because it is high-speed.

But there are factors in broadband connections that affect your productivity, hence, slows down your financial planning. One of them is illegal tapping on broadband cable lines.

When in the middle of online activity and your connection suddenly drops, calling your provider is inevitable.

But if all parameters are looking good and remote checking and monitoring from your provider technical support render your connection is normal, it raises a red flag.

Where, the heck, is the glitch coming from? How would you protect yourself from financial losses caused by illegal tapping on broadband?

My story — protecting my finance against broadband illegal taps

Disgruntled customer


Save money by not being a disgruntled customer.

Like most broadband subscribers, I have had bad experiences in my broadband connection. That said, I know when a slow connection is caused by a valid vector.

I've been on the phone countless times talking to customer support personnel of this supposedly exceptional cable TV broadband provider. And so when I am told that a “plant trouble” has occurred that caused my broadband to get slow, I know that it is indeed a legitimate reason from the company.

I let that one pass because like Meralco or Manila Water, interruptions happen except they are rare in water and power companies mentioned.

Nowadays, to say that I experience intermittent connection and hours of very slow connection “3-times a week” is an understatement.

Illegal tapping

I knew it. My instinct was telling me that somewhere along the line, an unscrupulous individual was intercepting my connection.


Illegal Tapping broadband over power lines

How could the broadband that operates in normal parameters transmit a very slow signal at night while during the daytime its browsing is in lightning speed?

All 4-lights in the modem flickered normally, and as technical support remotely reset and accessed the modem, they declared that my connection should be in normal speed.

And that's when the technical support told me that their engineers had found pricks in the exposed portion of the broadband cable.

Our area is not yet encrypted according to her and cables can be easily tapped to intercept broadband connection in areas where connections are not yet encrypted. One needs only to jab the cable line, and with a special apparatus, the connection is intercepted that in turn redirected to another house nearby.

Prevalent until today

The pricks found in the outside cable line of my broadband connection were discovered in 2018.

With the completion of encrypting all cables and broadband connections nationwide, I expected that I would never experience the slow or intermittent signal at normal parameters again.

As it is, the problem persists. That makes me scratch my head at the very least. If our area by now has already undergone encryption, then another culprit has emerged.

Perhaps the perpetrators have used another one of the bad tricks that they have up their sleeves.

What to do?


What to do to save money?

Do you also experience this bad service form your broadband provider? I mean — It is their (provider) responsibility to ensure that no one tinkers illegally on their cable, right?

If you do experience this predicament in your broadband, we are in the same boat.

Here are the best things that you can do, considering that you have financial management in place or watching your expenses to save money.

  1. Bombard the customer support hotline of your provider with complaints. They will not take appropriate action unless they are hammered. They will just do what they do best — keep on sending untrained contractors to your home only for you to be aghast again because the next day your broadband is dying again.
  2. When calling, you must be in control and know your right as their subscriber. You must be the one to drive them on what to do, and that is to dig deep and send engineers that will inspect your connection right from your house down to the outside line and up to pole where it is connected.
  3. And if they didn't find anything unusual between your house and the pole, demand to the customer support to inspect the whole lines from your house to the plant. You know why? Because all cables down to the plant are exposed and can be tampered with. Next headline explains why.

Why tampering with broadband cable connection becomes easy?


Illegal tapping of broadband over power lines

Irritated and annoyed by these seemingly vicious cycles of everyday necessity to be connected, I decided to investigate how hardwired broadband is distributed to subscribers.

And to whom would I talk to detect vital information but a very credible person? A front liner of my own broadband provider.

I will not mention his name here as I haven't said the name of my provider so that I can't be accused of maligning a private entity.

But below are blocks of information that he gave to me over our phone conversations that accentuate the fact that indeed (hardwired) broadband can be exposed to tapping, intercepting, clamping, etc. According to him:

Broadband is distributed through 3-stages

Plant

It is where broadband providers stored their main supply of broadband that they bought from other countries intended for distribution to a large area of Metro Manila.

My broadband provider is one of the top corporations in the Philippines. So, I was a bit stunned when I learned they don't develop their broadband. It's like — “Really, they import their broadband?”

Whether it is the primary reason for the high cost of broadband in the Philippines or not is a different story.

Main amplifier

It is the second channel through which the main broadband cable passes from the plant.

The main amplifier supplies broadband connection to a small community like a barangay or two depending on the size or the number of households in the jurisdiction. It is similar to a soft drink dealer that supplies a certain area.

The main amplifier could be located next to your house, a few blocks away or farther.

Distribution pole

It is the target distribution point of cable in the main amplifier in your area. It is where the hardwired-cable that runs to you home and into your modem directly connected. It is located just across your street or next to your house.

Once a signal problem occurs, the engineering team would do their work in the upper part of the post they termed “top-off” to find where the problem is originating.

But that's after a contractor team have checked your inside connection for possible modem issues and found out that there is no problem inside your house.

History of tapping recorded in cable lines


Save money by avoiding illegal taps on your broadband connection wires and cables.

The relevance of knowing the layout of broadband connection from the source (plant) to the target (cable pole) that somehow flanked the immediate storage (main amplifier) is found on the fact that the 3-sections of cable are exposed to tampering.

As a matter of fact, it's no other than the costumer service officer from whom I got these large chunks of information that revealed, “Yes sir, we have cases of illegal tapping on our records.” I asked him why they are not doing something about it.

The customer service officer just apologized and said that the company has people that are ready to fix all signal problems but that they can't guard their cable lines against — unscrupulous — members of society.

More proofs of illegal tapping

From the team of engineers

In one of the countless times that my broadband signal died during nighttime, a team of engineers from my provider looked into what they called “top-off” area of the distribution pole.

It happened last year. They had found out that another line tapped to my own line. It was relayed to me by a customer support call agent in details. I became so inquisitive that very moment and I was told the line illegally tapped was of course removed.

But I remember that the agent added that the engineering team would return for further isolation as it was already dark when the repair was done. My fault was I didn't follow through.

From solution put in place

I am inquisitive but in situations wherein I solve problems. My inquisitiveness is put to use in this particular situation and necessity. As I am able to concatenate the findings, assessments, and scheduled fixes to conclude anew that my connection is prone to illegal tapping.

As another call support agent put it in another occasion that I lost signal, “Isolation might bring to the surface illegal tapping of your line by some individuals with no conscience.” “Engineers will isolate your connection from the plant to the main amplifier to plush them out. Then from the amplifier to the top-off.”

He further explained that their engineers would check the signal of each house in our area. If all signs delineate that indeed it is only my house which is dropping signal at nighttime, they will trawl the whole 3-sections of entire connection all the way up to the plant, for tampering.

These along with the pricks found are enough to conclude that indeed illegal tappings in broadband cables are being perpetrated.

Continuing saga


Live on and save money for your future.

The revelations made by my provider's customer service call front liners reconfirmed my hunch and established the fact that broadband providers in this country don't take illegal tapping cases seriously and that they don't have countermeasures to thwart these bad elements.

It seems apparent the bosses even reprimand them to keep mum the next time around that a subscriber talks about it.

Just a week after my informative conversation with the honest customer service officer, I called again because the signal problem reoccurred for the nth time.

I asserted that they send an engineer to inspect my line for illegal tapping again. This time, the person on the other line was so defensive and insisted that their line is secured and tapping is impossible.

A crystal clear delineation of the situation coming from a credibly and eloquently speaking front liner suddenly becomes implausible for an otherwise inarticulate sounding fellow support-personnel.

And it stays, for as long as I don't know. I will just do my part — make sure that I don't pay charges that I don't get to use.

Final thoughts

Being a proactive subscriber and always be-in-the-know protects you from losing money unfairly. If you've been doing financial management down the road, it is natural for you to safeguard your financial standing to a similar situation as mentioned in this guide.

In any system, there is a flow, in any behemoth corporation there is negligence, and in any contractual-arrangement, there is greediness. By knowing how a system works, you know how you're going to take back any amount of money that wrongly charged to you.

Are you satisfied with your broadband provider? What do you say about their service? Is it okay, excellent, or poor? Let's hear your broadband experience in the comment's section below.

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Vernie Mallorca is an entrepreneur and blogger with years of experience in selling to institutional accounts. He gradually shifted to blogging when he found out that it is his calling to write timely and helpful articles online that can help others to save money, make money, and secure their future by handling their income smartly. In this blog, he shares both managing your finances, however small it is and valuable information on running a small business.

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