Author Archives: Jeremy

New Network Extension

Our network is growing!

Bringing the Internet to those without it is something we love to do here at Ace Internet Services, and with our brand new picocell deployed, we’re able to do just that! This fully solar powered site is capable of supplying connectivity to all the rural homes within line-of-sight.

Welcome to reliable and fast Internet access!

IMG_1302

Virus e-mail alert: ‘Infringement notice’

Customers are being targeted by a scam e-mail that purports to be an infringement notice for a traffic offence.

This e-mail is fake, and clicking links in the e-mail can cause serious harm to your data and your computer, including having all your data irretrievably encrypted and held to ransom.

Customers are advised to remember the following:

  • You will never receive a traffic infringement notice via e-mail
  • Government agencies will never ask you to view an invoice or message by clicking a link in an e-mail
  • Check the authenticity of the e-mail before clicking any links or going through any process
  • If you have even the slightest doubt, do not proceed. Err on the side of caution.

The scam e-mail may look similar to this (although it could look different):

Scam e-mail

 

Do not click any links within the e-mail. Doing so may take you to a fake website set up to look like the NSW Office of State Revenue (or other government website):

Fake website

Do not enter any details within the form. Doing so may download a virus rather like the following:

Virus download

Opening the virus will result in all your data being irretrievably encrypted and held to ransom. IT professionals cannot retrieve your data.

At the time customers started receiving these scams, the virus was not detected by the majority of anti-virus software. Therefore your common sense is also an important form of protection!

It is simply impossible to block with 100% accuracy all possible forms of spam and scams that come through e-mail, even with spam and virus filtering. This scam in particular is highly targeted, and the scammers appear to be more than one step ahead of the authorities. Customers are advised to remain vigilant and exercise extreme cynicism.

The Office of State Revenue has published a notice about the scam.

We are IPv6–enabled

Did you know the Internet is transitioning to IPv6? Ace already has you covered.

I was just reading the article entitled Australian telcos remain holdouts on IPv6 in which it was stated that only Internode and AARNet were the only Australian ISPs measured as being IPv6–enabled.

I’m not sure exactly what measurements were used to come to that conclusion (maybe they only measure the big fellas?), but I thought this would be a good opportunity to say that Ace is IPv6–enabled too!

By default, all new ADSL and AirStream connections are IPv6–enabled. You don’t need to click any buttons or check any boxes. We just enable it.

Existing customers also have the option of upgrading to IPv6 at no extra cost (although doing so may require you to purchase a new router should your old one not support IPv6 — for more information, contact support).

In addition, our web hosting, cloud hosting (including VPN access), and spam filtering services are fully IPv6–enabled.

Unfortunately due to limitations of our upstream providers, VoIP and NBN services are not IPv6–enabled yet, but we are continually pushing for this on behalf of our customers.

Sadly many ISPs, hosting providers, and IT support firms are uninterested in supporting IPv6, not necessarily denying that it is a good idea, but at the same not actually getting up and doing it.

For an ISP to support IPv6 is beneficial to everyone — themselves, their customers, and other ISPs. I firmly believe that supporting IPv6 is absolutely necessary to being a ‘good citizen’ on the Internet, and I would absolutely encourage our customers and other ISPs to consider supporting it too.

Not supporting IPv6 will further divide the gap between the “haves” and “have nots”. With inaction, the “have nots” will increase. Only with action, will there be “haves”.

For further reading on IPv6, we recommend the World IPv6 Launch website, or to test whether you have IPv6 access, we recommend Test Your IPv6.

Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t afford to give up IPv4.

You don’t have to. Being IPv6–enabled doesn’t stop your existing IPv4 connection from working. This is called being dual-stack — both work at the same time.

I’m concerned about security and privacy.

The routers we supply by default include an IPv6 firewall. And all modern operating systems ship with IPv6 firewall and privacy modes switched on by default.

What if I don’t support IPv6? My concrete bunker is built strong, so I should be right.

You may not notice obvious problems in the immediate future, however IPv4 connectivity will gradually get worse, and IPv6 connectivity will gradually get better. A few years from now, being IPv6–enabled will be a clear improvement.

But IPv6 tunnels make things slower, right?

We don’t use tunnels. Our network is 100% IPv6–enabled end-to-end, and performance is identical to IPv4. Tunnels are soooo last-decade.

I heard that IPv6 stains washing and eats babies. What gives?

There are a lot of conspiracy and FUD stories (fear, uncertainty, doubt) published about IPv6, mostly involving some kind of security concern.

Security is not a state of being, but rather a process. If you take security into consideration while you’re deploying IPv6, then you can address said concerns.

What are the technical details?

A static /56 prefix is allocated by default (which gives you 256 × /64 prefixes to use). DHCPv6-PD is used, but corporate customers may request a Framed-IPv6-Route instead.

HHERN customers are eligible to receive a /48 prefix.

Unfortunately due to technical limitations we are not able to provide a Framed-IPv6-Prefix via Router Advertisement. In future this will change, but in practice we have not found this to be a problem so far as the routers we deploy (NetComm, Cisco, and MikroTik) all work fine with this setup.

So will you guys be doing CGNAT?

(Explanation: CGNAT means not having a public IPv4 address on your router.)

Not in the immediate future, but it may have to happen one day. This is a problem that all ISPs will eventually face. CGNAT will be ugly, and you are best avoiding it by using IPv6 as much as possible.

I want to be IPv6–enabled. Can you help?

Yes! AirStream and ADSL customers, please contact support and we will let you know what needs to be done.

Corporate customers, contact us and we will go over your infrastructure requirements and plan out a transition for you.

Gingenbullen now active

We have now activated our first Gingenbullen service.First Gingenbullen service

As per usual, the system is performing up to speed:

Gingenbullen speed test

If you live near Mt Gingenbullen and want to improve your Internet service, now is the time to get in touch. Head over to our AirStream page and lodge an enquiry!

Gingenbullen getting closer

Good news for those hanging out for our Gingenbullen service.

We now have an estimated completion date of May 31st. As I write this, we have a team of people working tirelessly to meet this date.

All sections of the tower have now been completed, after having been fabricated and then shipped off to be galvanised in Sydney.

Here is a quick picture of the mid-section, which will house three sectors.

IMG_0762

And here is the very top of the tower at the Ace workshop, which currently has four sectors installed at the apex:

IMG_0766

Pre-deployment testing is in progress. We are aiming to deploy the tower in just one day, which is why it’s important to make sure all systems work before we deploy it.

We’re moving to Floria

That’s actually Floria, Bowral. As nice as Floria, Crete sounds, fortunately we are just moving down the road.

Our new address is Shop 4, 3 Victoria Street, Bowral. It’s in the new Bowral Apartments complex on the corner of Victoria Street and Mittagong Road, and our office is on the south-western corner, facing the main road.

Floria location

Tuesday the 22nd of April is our scheduled move date, and we are aiming to be fully operational by Monday the 28th of April. Hope to see you in the new office!

Gingenbullen tower approved

On the 21st of Feburary, we had our development application (DA) approved by the Wingecarribee Shire Council for our portable tower system to be installed at Mt Gingenbullen.

This tower will service the surrounding areas, enabling AirStream — high-speed fixed wireless broadband access — in many parts of Moss Vale, Sutton Forest, Medway, and more.

After that good news, the manufacturing of our new tower has begun, using as many local suppliers and manufacturers as possible. Don’t tell anyone, but here is a top secret sneak preview fresh out of JCA Steel Fabrication in Mittagong:

Gingenbullen sneak preview

We expect this manufacturing process to take 4–6 weeks to complete. A final construction certificate from the council is also required. Once both of these are complete, we will be able to commence construction on Mt Gingenbullen.

We’ll be posting photos and updates on our blog along the way. Stay tuned!

Welcome to our blog

Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

— Oscar Wilde

Fortunately for you, we won’t be talking much about the weather in here. In our blog, we hope to communicate with you — our customers — about all news from Ace that’s relevant to you.