The Australian newspaper reported in January 2008 that Telstra (the main Australian phone provider) fixed and/or waterproofed telephone cables with plastic bags (see link above).
That might explain why my ADSL 2+ connection to my local exchange 1,200 m away usually ran at about 1.2 Mb instead of the expected 18 Mb. It also might explain why it acted as a rain detector - every time it rained the connection dropped every few minutes, and I was lucky if I got 256 Kb. I used to be assigned a new IP address every hour or so on sunny days, and dozens of times per day if it rained.
My ISP was stuck in the hands of Telstra, who said it had checked the line and found no fault. After several episodes of Telstra saying that it was all good, I cancelled my otherwise excellent Internode account, and am now in the clutches of Optus Cable, which works flawlessly...
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