NBN has turned into a costly horror story

By Leith van Onselen

When the National Broadband Network (NBN) arrived in my area in late 2016, residents were greeted with a barrage of junk mail advertisements from all manner of internet service providers offering competitively priced internet at fast speeds.

At the time, I was under contract with Telstra, so I did not consider moving from Bigpond cable to the NBN. And thank goodness I didn’t. Since the NBN arrived, I have heard numerous horror stories from neighbours, acquaintances and friends who have suffered from connection problems with the NBN, dropouts, painfully slow speeds, and even some cases of households being stranded without internet access for weeks on end.

It got so bad that Telstra told me to stick with its existing service until the NBN’s problems are fixed. That was around six months ago, and I am still waiting.

The horror stories relating to the NBN are obviously wide-spread, given complaints relating to the NBN have jumped 200% according to the Ombudsman’s latest six monthly report.

And a new survey has revealed that one-third of NBN users wish it had never arrived because their original service was better. From The Australian:

A survey of 958 Australians on the NBN found 34 per cent would revert to their pre-NBN service if they had the option, with the leading reason being their previous connection was faster or more reliable.

Other reasons cited were the previous service was better value overall, or cheaper.

The research, conducted by finder.com.au found, Victorians were the most likely to want to switch back to a non-NBN connection with 40 per cent wanting to switch back, followed by New South Wales at 38 per cent and Queensland residents at 30 per cent.

The Australian reported last month more than 480 of NBN Co’s staff are on $200,000-plus salaries, and 120 earn more than $300,000, as complaints about the network surge…

Last year, Optus CEO Allen Lew warned that mobile technologies may advance to the point where many Australians will feel that they do not need to have home-based telecommunications access, like the NBN. According to Lew, around 25% of households already do not have the sort of fixed-line access that would allow them to use the NBN, and other consumers may be of the view that the NBN does not provide them with sufficiently improved service to justify the extra cost of using it.

One wonders whether the $50 billion NBN will ever live up to expectations, and whether it will end up becoming another expensive stranded asset that is superseded by a superior technology, such as mobile broadband.

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Comments

  1. StomperMEMBER

    At some point this monstrosity will need to be impaired in the Govt books.
    How will that look on the LNPs watch?

      • Your wrong there smithy, it is the greens who are to blame for the state of the NBN.

      • Example footsore…

        I know of more than a few cases where there is only one construction mob in a region, which means government is forced to pay their quote + variances. In one particular case the said person had just finished a T1 accreditation which enabled them to qualify for the bid, no others in that entire region. So what did they do, they took the proceeds and bought out every other trade with links to the project and also a few other sectors.

        Its sort a like the Japanese problem where north and south were administrated differently, got so bad the government had to step in and take it over. Now it functions much better.

        You know it helps to put down the wonky ideological crap and actually look at what works and what doesn’t without starting from a contrived starting point. You know like monetarists et al…..

  2. If they did it right from the start like it was supposed to be, and fibre all the way, there is no way wireless would outdo fibre. Thanks Malcolm, you f*cktard.

    • Exactly. Politics has been a major reason for cost/quality issues.
      Fortunately I have an NBN service on an inherited network (Optus) so speeds are great and only had a couple of dropout issues. Much better than ADSL2.

    • Can I ask a silly question, like how are you presently accessing this web site.?
      I’d bet London to a brick that it involves WiFi or some other wireless end point technology. (3G/4G).
      Whatever throughput ./ latency WiFi achieves within your home is as least theoretically possible outside your home as well by using some form of carrier managed RF end point coupled with Pico Cells.
      At least that’s pretty much the situation in any of our capital cities.
      It is far less clear that wireless technology can address the needs of extraurban and rural / regional users but it is clear that wireless is the only cost effective technology to even attempt to deploy in these areas.

      • Yes, I use wifi in my house. that serves ME, not 5000 other people. Do you not understand congestion when we are talking about RF? There is only so much bandwidth that you have to share with everybody else. What is the point of asking me about using wifi in my house?

      • Do you have any idea how silly your statement is from a technical perspective?
        Do you honestly believe that “your wireless” spectrum is somehow different form your neighbors wireless spectrum? obeys different laws of physics (my house my rules kinda thing)
        I hate to be the one to tell you but there is only one RF spectrum and we all share it.
        Some parts of the spectrum are more useful indoors (60GhZ for instance) whereas other parts of the spectrum are more useful for longer distance comms (such as the 100Mhz to 400Mhz bands).
        Some parts of the spectrum are reserved for important functions such as air traffic control and Defense while others are by convention used for Satellite comms and globally everyone tries to respect these conventions to keep this shared resource useful.
        In the end Your WiFi, uses just a small slice of the available spectrum and can even be programmed to communicate/cooperate with your neighbors WiFi so that all the systems users can maximize the utility of this shared RF resource.

      • Do you not understand congestion when we are talking about RF?
        Umm yeah I think I have a fair idea of the limits of wireless communications systems, not bragging, but I’d say that my knowledge of such matters is a little above the average.

      • Here we go again Timmeh….

        The main fault is all these mobs including Telstra have used capital for overcapacity for other reasons and now its hitting the wall.

      • StephenMEMBER

        Your post doesn’t make sense. Wireless can’t replace even most fixed line – the reason 4G works so well right now is because literally 97% (and I mean literally, last time the ABS stats came out it was about 97.3% down from 97.7% or there abouts the year before) of the data transferred in Australia is over fixed line. Over time, wireless might go from the 2.7 odd percent to maybe 5 to 10%, but if we tried to do much more than that we would immediately run out of spectrum in anywhere decently populated (even with 5G and millimetre wave – the problems are limitations due to physics, not technology).

        WiFi gets around this by being weak enough that we can reuse the same 100 MHz of spectrum over and over again because it doesn’t extend outside your house too far!

        Small cell wireless tries to do the same kind of thing, but runs into either needing fibre backhaul to every station (may as well just roll out FTTP), or latency and throughput problems with mesh networking.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        A couple of questions –

        Do you know what the current number of connections per cell the 4G system supports? It would be interesting to see some load data on this.

        Also, has anyone trialled wireless broadcast of popular streams? Just thinking of things like GoT or even QnA. You could probably fit the stream on something like a Digital Radio channel. Everyone watches that stuff at the same time, so there isn’t much point in unique transmissions. In a way, the internet model is not really a good fit for mass streaming of popular content. As was pointed out the other day, streaming and low latency gaming do not mix well on a network.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Come on mate, you know better than that. You can’t possibly be comparing a household WAP connected to a hardline to a neighbourhood (or wider) scale cell tower ?

      • Small cell wireless tries to do the same kind of thing, but runs into either needing fibre backhaul to every station (may as well just roll out FTTP), or latency and throughput problems with mesh networking.

        Exactly small cell wireless require dedicated high bandwidth backhaul which are best done with some form of Fiber or optical free space links in combination with wireless mesh end point structures.
        The NBN was a huge missed opportunity for Australia to really develop these concepts and profit from their widespread deployment…but that opportunity has been lost and all that remains is an overpriced shite version of the original NBN idea. ..Frankly .I’d much rather have had a ubiquitous 10Mbps per user wireless anywhere anytime system… then the current abortion that we call NBN.

      • Sorry I don’t know exactly how many users a typical 4G tower can support.
        As for Gaming vs Streaming they are very different network loads.
        Gaming really needs a fixed slot Time diversion multiplexed carrier to function ideally otherwise it requires massive excesses of system bandwidth so that single Milliesecond packet jitter requirements are maintained.
        If you mix gaming to streaming you get the worst of both worlds so in many ways it would be better to devolve WiFi and 4G into a content delivery streaming pipe and a separate fixed time slot comms pipe for all other data. Some wireless systems have QoS (Quality of Service) settings that enable network managers to synthesis just this sort of gaming and streaming data separation a lot of people try to dedicate the WiFi A band (5Ghz) to just video and other similar data streaming applications.

      • Sorry I don’t know exactly how many users a typical 4G tower can support.
        As for Gaming vs Streaming they are very different network loads.
        Gaming really needs a fixed slot Time diversion multiplexed carrier to function ideally otherwise it requires massive excesses of system bandwidth so that single Milliesecond packet jitter requirements are maintained.
        If you mix gaming to streaming you get the worst of both worlds so in many ways it would be better to devolve WiFi and 4G into a content delivery streaming pipe and a separate fixed time slot comms pipe for all other data. Some wireless systems have QoS (Quality of Service) settings that enable network managers to synthesis just this sort of gaming and streaming data separation a lot of people try to dedicate the WiFi A band (5Ghz) to just video and other similar data streaming applications.

      • Fisho, you have it totally arse-backwards.

        Fixed wireless will actually perform much better in the rural areas compared to the cities, because the problem with wireless is that it doesn’t scale well with the number of users connected to a single node.

        You say everyone is using Wifi in their home, well duh. But how does that Wifi get its connection to the web? And how many users do you have on that Wifi at a time? How many other interfering networks are in your area?

        You can try moving that Wifi point out of your home and at the start of the last mile, but you’re going to get very inconsistent connection speed (compared to fibre optic) if you’re in an urban area. And if you’re in an urban area, why not just go fibre to the premises? Where the FTTP economics really fall over is in rural areas.

        The main problem with the NBN was that it has devolved into pork barrelling, the design has never been based on the best technical solution for the mix of rural and urban users that Australia has.

      • “The main problem with the NBN was that it has devolved into pork barrelling, the design has never been based on the best technical solution for the mix of rural and urban users that Australia has.”
        Nice summary. Spot on.

  3. I am fibre to my computer desk actually – not that it makes a whole lot of difference.
    The NBN was a completely fatuous idea from the start. If you want fibre to the home you need to completely re-design the infrastructure of our cities and towns. The stupidity of the urban sprawl should have been sorted first. High-density housing (high rise apartments) with good separation between them is the way to go (a couple of km separation). Each train stop has many people entering and exiting at each stop. None of the silly almost-empty bus idea.

    Anyways !!

      • There is no alternative actually and it makes economic sense to transition sooner rather than later. It is just the realities of the number of humans and the long-term costs of energy etc.
        I am quite with you though. I would prefer it to be me by myself in Tasmania but it aint feasible.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        There is no alternative actually and it makes economic sense to transition sooner rather than later. It is just the realities of the number of humans and the long-term costs of energy etc.

        Don’t be ridiculous.

        Every family in Australia living in a house on a 1/4 acre block adds up to an area equivalent to about 1/8th of Tasmania. Put those houses in a decent climate zone, with a reasonably efficient design, nice big rainwater tanks, solar panels and batteries, and they’d be close to energy and water neutral (if not positive).

        Residential is a fractional percentage of resource use.

    • You are a complete fool. FTTP has been rolled out OS, to great success. And certainly did not take a complete fascistic bull-dozing of cities for it to be accomplished.

      What I suggest is your main issue is that the original Labor idea would have been to best course of action, and the current Liberal destroyed white elephant is what should not have been done. That would involve you admitting that one side of politics got it catastrophically wrong, your side, and we can’t have that now, can we?

      Also buy a membership you stinge.

      • Labor’s original plan had a lot of room for improvement.

        The whole custom made 4-port NTU and the enforced battery backup for everyone unnecessarily inflated the per-home install cost in my opinion. The 121-points of interconnect made backhaul for small ISPs really expensive (which got us to this CPC mess we are in today).

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      So we’ve managed to roll out power, telecoms, water, sewerage and roads to all those homes, but fibre is just too complicated ?

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        I think that your view is quite city-centric. The NBN covers a lot of different situations, not just the leafy well organised suburbs.

        For example, if you are in a rural town or outlying property 10km from the town, FTTP is ridiculous. 100 acre properties scattered all over the place is not the same as a Sydney suburb. A working phone tower would be much more useful. They can’t spend $100k on a phone tower, so how could they put in FTTP?

        For new apartment buildings, fibre installed from day 1 makes good sense. Probably each apartment could do with its own mini exchange as well.

        Old suburbs often have crumbling old blocks of flats – drive up Victoria Rd in Sydney West and you will see lots of them. FTTP would be very difficult, and a great waste because most of these old wrecks are due for demolition in the next 5 years or so. In those cases, it makes sense to get the fibre to a node and just use the decaying old copper wires into the slums until they get bulldozed or fall over.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        LOL. Inner-city suburbs of capital cities aren’t even getting FTTP. Let alone outer suburbs. Let alone major regional cities and towns.

        Indeed, apparently in some cases existing HFC or copper is being replaced with NEW copper !

        Let’s keep that in perspective before leaping immediately to strawmen corner cases about remote rural properties and condemned buildings.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        LOL. Inner-city suburbs of capital cities aren’t even getting FTTP. Let alone outer suburbs. Let alone major regional cities and towns.

        Indeed, apparently in some cases existing HFC or copper is being replaced with NEW copper !

        Let’s keep that in perspective before leaping immediately to strawmen corner cases about remote rural properties and condemned buildings.

        I have no idea what your point is. You did get to mention strawpersons again, which does seem to be an obsession with you. Whenever NBN comes up there are always people who are outraged that we didn’t get blanket FTTP. Rarely does anybody mention the NBN shortcomings for people in the bush. People in the unproductive cities can only get 10Mbits – tragedy! If NBN provided useful reliable network access to regional Australia, it would be conducive to decentralisation.

        Lets face it, since we have destroyed most of our productivity, faster internet in the cities was mostly about replacing FTA television and putting a toll on it. With the advances in computer chips and HW codecs, the need for hi bandwidth internet for the unwashed was actually minimised. Probably the media providers don’t care much anymore, since 10Mbits on copper is adequate for Netflix and friends. Mostly courtesy of the ARM SoC which was a spinoff of the mobile phone industry.

        As for “corner cases about remote rural properties and condemned buildings”. Have you ever been to Sydney drsmithy? Far from being “corner case condemned buildings”, the old dumps are all over the place. Tens of thousands of them. Sure, they might be pulled down in 5 years, or they might be there in 20. I can’t see the point in spending too much on fancy connections to these crumbly old rat traps. As long as they can get reliable fibre to a node on the street, then even rat chewed old copper pairs can punch through 10 – 20 Mbits to the slums in questions.

        Believe me, if you live in Sydney, then 10Mbits is not your biggest problem.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I can’t help it if you have a habit of making stuff up.

        I thought my point was pretty obvious: if we’ve managed to attach existing telecoms, electricity, water mains, sewerage and roads to all these dwellings, then running fibre as well (or to replace the existing telecoms) should not present great difficulty. Yet according to the poster I responded to, it’s such a logistical nightmare it would actually be preferable to “fix” urban sprawl first.

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        “attach existing telecoms, electricity, water mains, sewerage and roads to all these dwellings, then running fibre as well (or to replace the existing telecoms) should not present great difficulty”

        You are looking at 100 years of infrastructure layers. Back then, all those things had over 50 years of service ahead of them. The old slums in Sydney are not going to last that long, so digging under the foundations to put in fibre is silly.

        It is you who makes stuff up. Come to Sydney and have a look.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Yes. That’s the point. Why can we not do something today we could do a century ago ?

        What percentage of all the dwellings in Sydney do you think will be demolished in the next few decades ? How would that diminish the value of the fibre running down the street outside, even if they are ?

    • kiwikarynMEMBER

      NZ has fibre to the home without having to redesign anything. Works perfectly for me – average speed is 93 Mbps and dropouts are very rare (and is usually the result of a major fault in the upstream network).
      I am in a rural town, population 30,000, 300km from the nearest major city, and we still have fibre to the home. Stop making excuses for poor policy.

  4. The ALP wanted fixed wireless in rural areas too – I wonder how many houses they wanted per NBN tower?

    I have long said that they should have built a fibre to the streetlight network in urban areas. There are about 4 houses per streetlight and even if there are 4 people per house, that is 16 people per antenna but much less during the day when some people are not at home.

    https://www.lifewire.com/how-fast-is-a-wifi-network-816543

    There is also new tech such as light-fi or LiFi:

    https://www.sciencealert.com/li-fi-tested-in-the-real-world-for-the-first-time-is-100-times-faster-than-wi-fi

    With tiny backyards and houses being so close together, light-fi can work well – just have to figure out where to put the lights.

  5. GeordieMEMBER

    I’ve recently been done over by NBN Co, as they indirectly screwed over my ISP Internode during a service relocation where NBN or 3rd party fixed wireless were my only two options. Not wanting to part ways with Internode, whom I have found excellent to deal with over the past 10 or so years, I took on a mid-range plan with them. Five weeks of prep resulted in a nameless, explainable delay following the move for which has only just been sorted.

    Speeds are half of what they should be, with upload faster than download at times. NBN Co is current looking into the problem to see if I can actually get what I pay for, being 833 m from the dreaded Node. All for an extra $15 per month compared to my previous 15 Mbps ADSL2+ coonnection.

    FTTP should be been the only NBN service rolled out, period. Leave wireless for devices and tasks that require it. Given M1 can provide me with 5 Gbps fibre broadband for $129 per month, you can take your angelic 5G with it’s theoretical 1 – 10 Gbps maximum speeds and stick it where it belongs. (Remembering, of course, that a fibre connection has a theoretical speed in excess of 1 Pbps)

    • So much +1.

      Went from a house with FTTP into one with FTTN. Max attainable is 45mbps down. I’m 600m from the node and can walk into the Perth CBD. I don’t even want to know what a quote would be for the Technology Choice Program. It’s an easy way to piss away $660 for something that my tax has already paid for for others.

      Malcom Turnbull’s Mess. Gotta love it.

      “5G” ain’t the savior people think. (And what’s the backbone of 5G…that’s right kids, it’s FIBRE!)

  6. “Last year, Optus CEO Allen Lew warned that mobile technologies may advance to the point where many Australians will feel that they do not need to have home-based telecommunications access, like the NBN. According to Lew, around 25% of households already do not have the sort of fixed-line access that would allow them to use the NBN, and other consumers may be of the view that the NBN does not provide them with sufficiently improved service to justify the extra cost of using it.”

    What about the backhaul required to support all of those wireless towers…?

    • Trunk lines wouldn’t be required in every street, so yes still required but less footprint.

      • For 5G they would be, you’d need fibre in every street and a transmitter on every light pole. At the frequencies it is proposed to operate, you’d need at 5G “tower” every couple of hundred meters, and hope you have no leafy trees or water droplets to attenuate the signal between you and it.

  7. What is the technology type to your area.
    The intial roll in Perth from what i can see which was before LNP Tony the idiot and Malcom the moron destroyed it was all FTTP. And they rolled it out in the affluent areas first hoping to get a bonus rapid uptake. But the affluent areas are inhabited by fosilised pensioners and baby boomers who use a telephone service and maybe some internet thingy tv show. The usage of th best internet availble in the country is by a generation who dont care to use it.
    Meanwhile along comes dumb and dummber introduces FTTN and then all the problems start. Its just insane they switched to FTTN. just insane. Everyone i know who has copper wire to a node in excess of 20 meters has problems. In one area they dug up the entire street and replace 2km of copper wire with new copper wire because it was so bad. What kind of stupidity is this.
    Given all the problems that exist with FTTN there is still another year of contracted rollouts occuring in Perth with this technology into some of the oldest suburbs in the city where the orignal copper still exists installed 30-40 years ago.
    As an indication ADSL 2 speeds in these suburbs max out at about 4000kbs connections.
    A very limited number of suburbs in perth are getting fiber to the kerb. Yet another hybrid tech. Who knows what problems are going to occur with that. But fiber to the kerb installs here are at least 1 year away before they start and only going to a small area becasue the FEDS dont care about WA and wont fund anymore. In theory fiber to the kerb should give you reliable 100mbits but who knows. If labor would commit to reverting the entire thing to FTTH even if it cost 100 billion dollars i would vote for them and they can take as much chinese bribe money as they like.

    • Negative gearing handouts costs $10 billion per year – if the Greens abolished it, that would mean $200 billion over 20 years for FTTH and high speed rail. But no, the braindead Greens decided to keep giving handouts to the richest 1%.

      • “the braindead Greens decided to keep giving handouts to the richest 1%.”

        How so?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        How so?

        In Jacob’s world the Greens run the country and their policy to get rid of negative gearing doesn’t exist.

      • Jason, the Greens refused to touch negative gearing handouts – which I think are predominately given to the richest 40%. And not building high speed rail saved no money – the money just got wasted on 12 submarines instead.

        Why did they form government with the ALP?

      • Actually Jacob that is entirely incorrect. The Greens want a totally draconian NG regime, far harsher than what the ALP are proposing.

      • The Greens want to phase out negative gearing, which is far too generous as far as I’m concerned. If an “investor” is so thick that they deliberately buy an asset knowing it’ll generate an income loss, let them reap what they sew. Then they can rock up at BBQs and tell everyone how farking smart they are.

    • Correct. Exchange to the node has been reasonably well maintained, node to premises not so. Fibre to the node will not fix thing.

  8. No wireless can never replace fixed line. This is nonsense peddled by people who lack any technical knowhow. Basic physics dictates that wireless is a shared medium while fixed connections offer individual connections and potentially aggregates thereof. Before somebody goes and conpares compares 5G (next gen wireless) to current gen fixed line speeds keep in mind that next gen fiber optic networks will offer in excess of 40 gbps and that fixed line services can always be upgraded by aggregating links, for example gigabit ethernet is actually 4 x 250 mbit links aggregated over a CAT5E cable containing 4 twosted pairs. You cannot just create wireless spectrum out of thin air!

  9. Could I ask a general question?

    I’m in Melbourne. I haven’t switched to NBN.

    My current provider, iinet, is charging me $69.95 a month for DSL (they call it “Naked DSL”). Not sure what the data usage limit is, because whatever it is, it’s enough. The internet service is reasonably good. Customer service is poor, as expected in Australia.

    Should I switch to something else?

      • Yes, it’s unlimited.
        I just checked and it looks like I use between about 10-25 GB per month.

    • iiNet are utterly shit and have been since TPG took them over. Before that they were excellent.

      From what I understand, the best ISP for NBN is Australian Broadband – and that comes from a person at the NBN.

      • RussellMEMBER

        You could go on a 4G, 30 Gig a month connection. I use a Telstra 4G on a 2 year plan. Costs me $45 per month. Where I live, I get around 40 MBPs download and 35 upload. You will get much faster than I in Melbourne. I know since the wireless dongle (A Netgear Nighthawk which is valued at $300 comes free with the 2 year plan) gets over 80 MBPs download and 50 upload when I take the dongle when I travel to Melbourne. I have found it very reliable apart fro the other day when I was in Sydney and the 4G network was down.

    • I had ADSL in Melbourne inner west (Maidstone) but it was horrendously slow (3/0.5 Mb) so I cancelled it and switched to Optus wireless broadband (https://www.optus.com.au/shop/broadband/home-wireless-broadband). They software cap the speeds at 12/1 Mb. Monthly bandwidth cap is 200 GB which is plenty (lots of YouTube streaming for my kids, the occasional HD movie for me and the missus). Overall I’m very happy with the service.

    • My appalling experiences with iinet over the last few years have left me speechless with rage and frustration on EVERY SINGLE OCCASION. They are a foul organisation that should curl up and due like a cockroach sprayed with mortein.

      I had to get the ombudsman involved just to get them to stop double billing me after I renewed my plan. Half a day off work waiting for a tech who never showed. Two months to get the NBN connected because “someone”…not me…had cancelled my order. Etc etc…

      This is how bad they are…

      They are Worse Than Telstra!

      There. I said it. Sounds impossible, I know, but it’s true.

      • It’s not actually iinet, it’s TPG group that are at fault. TPG bought out a whole heap of small ISP’s (westnet, iinet, internode etc) and the result is they have all gone to the dogs because they are just TPG in different coloured pajamas.

    • If you use so little data (and have no requirement for extremely low latency/jitter) than it’s a no-brainier Go Wireless, if for no other reason than that you get to take it with you where ever you go. these days I’m not just talking about annual vacation, I’m talking about ubiquitous access to the Internet when you’re in the car, when you’re at the airport, when you’re at a hotel, or just waiting around. Yesterday I made a very large purchase from a very small rock outcrop on a relatively remote section of the NSW made possible by wireless Internet coverage.

  10. drsmithyMEMBER

    It would be interesting to know which technologies were involved with those 34% of people.

    Anecdotally, the only systemic problems I have heard about were when people have been changing technologies as part of their NBN switch – eg: from DSL to Cable, or vice versa.

    Personally, my own switch from ADSL to VDSL/FTTN at our old house about 8 months ago was flawless, and the FTTN was over 10x faster than my old ADSL (and could be even faster – the modem synced at ~140Mb though the service capped out at 100Mb).

    Since we’ve moved, I’ve had to go with Telstra Cable, but the NBN flyers have just been pushed out around the neighbourhood in the last week or two. I’ll probably take the plunge ASAP when it goes live since I want the higher upload speeds (and I can tether the house off my work phone if anything goes wrong).

  11. I have long said that they should have built a fibre to the streetlight network in urban areas.
    Sounds very sensible. There is no good reason why that could not be tried out immediately. If it works well, then do more of it.

  12. A survey of 958 Australians on the NBN found 34 per cent would revert to their pre-NBN service if they had the option, with the leading reason being their previous connection was faster or more reliable.

    This is so utterly shocking in a country where everyone was already on a s**t connection. Wow.

    I cannot see how this country is ever going to drag itself from the swamp it is in.

    a superior technology, such as mobile broadband.

    Leith, you really need to stop uttering these lies. Mobile broadband will never, ever be superior to a properly installed fibre connection.

    One single strand of fibre can transport the entirety of the internet’s current throughput. Mobile cannot and will never.

    If you don’t understand the technology, refrain from statements like these.

    The NBN was SABOTAGED. Plain and simple. The Australian public is spending $50bln on a political play, an ideology based dickjousting match.

    • ADSL2+ is faster than 12/1 HFC NBN. To boot, the HFC gets congested at 6pm.

      The shocking thing is the fact that Aussies voted for slow internet in 2016!

      Apartment blocks in South Korea used fibre to the basement in 2004 or so.

      What do you have to say about Light-Fi?

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      $50 billion in to the NBN big black hole and another $50+ billion for another big black hole called new submarines coming to you in the late 2020s at the earliest. And how’s that other potential big black hole called the (inferior) Joint Strike Fighter coming along?

      • True. True. JSF is working fine for Israel and is integrated with USA military systems. Australia should just buy subs from Japan or USA. On the other hand. Maybe that sub money is not all going into subs? Maybe into other weapons systems? Who knows?

  13. My ADLS2+ is horrendous. Phone line probably the same age as Alexander Bell… I’ll take anything that’s better.

  14. HadronCollision

    LTE 50/20 here, love it.
    Soon to be 100/40. $69/m 500GB data whenever I please.

    Looks like NBN was reverse metro pork barrelling for the regions

    The irony.

  15. sydboy007MEMBER

    As someone who has to support customers on the mixed technology network it has become increasingly clear there’s something wrong.

    The problem is the various access technologies make it extremely difficult to troubleshoot. Common symptoms but differing access technologies.

    I’m currently seeing a spike in stability faults for customers on FTTN. My suspicion is something has changed on the NBN side like a firmware upgrade on some nodes, or on their core network. No easy way to prove it though.

    Factor in lacking the time and resources to really dig around to see if the problem could be on my side of the fence, and I get why so many are disappointed with the network.

    NBN definitely needs to get an attitude change though. Prob the only company that gives Telstra a run for its money in terms of poor customer service.

    • GeordieMEMBER

      If you work for an ISP and have to deal with this clusterfunk on a daily basis you have my heart felt sympathies!

    • My NBN night speeds have recently just crashed in the last week…45mbps during the day and 1-2mbps at night… used to be quite good…. 😟

  16. kiwikarynMEMBER

    The NBN is stacked with ex-Telstra managers who were purged in the middle management Telstra cost cutting drive. They were on salaries in excess of $200k due to having been at Telstra for 20 odd years, not because they were exceptionally talented or qualified. Unfortunately, the “old” Telstra mentality went with over with them, so if you hark back about 25 years you’ll understand how the NBN is being run.
    Secondly, from the time of Sol, Telstra believed that the copper network would be made redundant. It didnt occur to them that the Govt would do something as stupid as FttC. So they ran it down, spent no money on maintaining it, and did terribly dodgy things like long copper runs in new estates (too far from an exchange to get good DSL speeds). They thought they were going to be handed a big cheque by the Govt and the copper would be retired, so no point in wasting money on it, let alone gold plating it. So now you have the NBN trying to impose new technology on a network that had been allowed to go to ruin, and wondering why things are not working. Telstra of course is laughing hysterically, because they know the maintenance contract on that copper is going to be a huge income earner for them. What you might have saved in fibre installation costs, you are going to spend 10 times over in maintenance costs. #suckers

  17. To anyone pinning your hopes on 5G and the likes: good luck.

    Here’s some simple maths for you.

    A tower with 200 end users (which is what the NBN wireless part is said to have)
    With a 1gbit link per cell

    Can offer a 5mbit connection to all of those customers simultaneously.

    That’s not enough for Netflix on the theoretical rainy day when everyone is home.

    Wireless performance RELIES on a much lower number of people USING it at any one moment than are CONNECTED to it.

    • ResearchtimeMEMBER

      Complete and utter bollocks. Have a look around you… that is pure ignorance. Do you have a smart phone? Are there not millions of other people in your vicinity with smart phones? And a host of commercial mobile applications besides????

      • DarkMatterMEMBER

        Wireless systems (including phones) rely on intermittent bursty use, and overlapping cells. Talk and text is very low bandwidth.

        That is not the internet model. Consider GoT streaming in the evening. About 1Mbit/sec, maybe 200k viewers. Do the calculations and explain how that would work. If the wireless model included broadcast mode, then maybe you could get around that, but it is hard to see how streaming would not saturate the limited bandwidth.

        Hybrid asymmetric systems with wireless + LIFI download might be good future solution.

      • Lol

        Guess I tell my boss I’m replaceable by a guy on the net who calls bollocks.

        How long have you worked in the business?

      • Pure ignorance… from a guy with no technical background who pins his entire expertise one what some bloke (with who knows what motives) told him at a BBQ.

      • Certainly not an area in which I would claim to have any particular knowledge. I don’t see any evidence though that this experiment represents any kind of game changer overall. Does the fact that they sent a transmission 100 times faster – I’ll assume that was under ideal test conditions since it doesn’t say otherwise – refute any of the points that others have raised here repeatedly about wireless vs fibre? From what I can gather, terahertz radiation appears to be even poorer at penetrating solid objects, signal degrades rapidly over relatively short distance and what you will get will further depend upon the number of people using it – just like today’s wireless.

        A technician I had a conversation with said he could see things like 5G and other wireless advances coming into their own in particular situations – very high-density open areas such as sports stadiums etc – but until the laws of physics as we know them are overcome, optic fibre is far and away the best choice for a national communications network and that arguments of wireless rendering fibre obsolete is still the stuff of Star Trek.

        The problems with the NBN are simple – it was DELIBERATELY SABOTAGED. They don’t even try to hide it – “destroy the NBN” was the phrase that monkey publicly used. What should have been merely the logical next step in communication – as logical as moving from telegraph to telephone – has been very deliberately made so bad that nearly anything is preferable.

        The question of how anyone could have been so monumentally stupid as to deliberately hobble basic progress to the point where we are now vying with sub-Saharan Africa in this field (so I read at least) can I think be answered by blind ideology – the belief only free markets can effectively deliver anything worthwhile.

      • ResearchtimeMEMBER

        Jason – that is from guys who can raise billions, who have their entire careers in IT and telecommunications, who at a call can talk to some of the biggest guys globally, and call in some of the worlds best experts… some BBQ!!!

        Did you note the point where I said they actually bid to supply the NBN contract???? And went public when rejected!! And their reasons proven to be true (in time).

        You and myne are out of your depth… your collective calls over the years have proved to be increasingly false. Despite you rubbishing what I said over time, I haven’t changed my tune!

        You don’t even know what others have done in other countries and have the same results… yet we thought it would be different here???

        The NBN should have never been built. The total cost was always going to result in a massive bill to the eventual user, literally a break-even of hundreds of dollars a month, to supply a fictional demand! There was never that level of demand for the NBN, ever. Nor an economic case… its the equivalent of building bridges to no where…

        In the meantime, very soon, everything will go wireless. Everything!

        The NBN should have never been built!!!

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Jason – that is from guys who can raise billions, who have their entire careers in IT and telecommunications, who at a call can talk to some of the biggest guys globally, and call in some of the worlds best experts… some BBQ!!!

        I’ve asked this at least half a dozen times, and never gotten an answer, but what the heck.

        Who are they ?

      • ResearchtimeMEMBER

        Look it up – BTW – I meant to say, original bid was $800m (not the $200m, don’t know where that came from) – My bad.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I’ve tried to look it up before. Nothing to be found that matches your description.

  18. ResearchtimeMEMBER

    Its not $50bn cost!! – the oft quoted number!!! TLS gets $3-4bn pa for 30 years!!! That is a cost too, despite the fact it goes to existing shareholders…

    • ResearchtimeMEMBER

      And lets be brutally honest, there was an official proposal to give 90% of the original NBN coverage (which has never happened) wireless for $200m. Even if that turned out to be (lets say) $800m, who cares???? It would have been up and running in a year, and could be continually upgraded… to the point where new technologies suggest wireless speeds 300x what they are currently, are merely a decade away.

      And lets me even more brutally honest, this was a vanity project, known to be under costed, because similar things have happened in the UK, where you get NBN speeds to the station at the end of the street, the copper to the house.

      It was a Rudd the Dud job. An arrogant SoB who didn’t care about economics, practicalities, or even demand. A shocking waste of public funds with no real tangible benefit.

      And please stop quoting $50bn… that number is woefully short of the real cost. We blew the entire mining boom and then some, on something that is technologically obsolete. And was known to probably be be so, at the time of its commission… and the faux surprise and shock at its uselessness, and allocation of blame, unwarranted. It should have never been built. That is the real truth.

      It should have never been built…

      • Research the “bandwidth” and other limitations of wireless RT and stop posting on topics you clearly have no clue about.

  19. India, Nepal, Bangladesh, China (rural), Indonesia all have good quality fast mobile internet. This is not just the big cities but rural & remote country & islands.

    Prices ? A tiny fraction of here.
    $3 for 20 Gib plus free international is common.
    No one is paying $40 or more a month.
    $2 to $3 a month for quite fast mobile internet with 20 GB data plus rollover of unused credit !! (Remote country area in India).

    We are just getting ripped off here by a government & cartel of providers absolutely screwing Australians in communications access. Networks aren’t labor based services, mostly some engineering and support labor costs are routinely offshored anyway. It’s just theft.

    And the 2.3 million temporary residents including the fake 621,0000 international students aren’t coming here because we have more advanced technology communications.
    They can all do the 8 year old English course or the 24 year old Vocational course, or the Uni 101 how to cheat in Accounting – online, FOR FREE, at home in third world slum.

    Why are they coming to Australia then ?
    Not for the education or access to it..

  20. TOTALLY INCOMPETENT. I had to switch from Optus to NBN. I knew something wasn’t right when I was sent 2 identical modems… Got connected. Speed dropped by 50% . I still had to deal with NBN through Optus – NBN will not talk to you. Oh, and Optus can no longer tell you your on peak/off peak usage split.

    And now the killer – a council contractor accidentaly knocked down the cable from our house to a Stobie pole opposite. It took nearly 5 WEEKS to get the f**kwits to spend 5 minutes reconnecting it. This is suburban Brisbane we’re talking. They then did so, leaving the cable 1 meter below its previous (too low) height above the street. I won’t go into the rest. It leaves you totally mind-boggled by their technical and administrative incompetence. I have NEVER experienced such a bunch of completely f**kwitted MORONS in my life before.
    Rant over – I think. I’m just off to get the tranquilizers….

  21. Leith, I advise you to stick to your area of expertise and if you want to post on technology issues please at least critically analyse your sources and look for confirmation from technically competent parties before repeating them.

      • It’s actually a little depressing to think you believe what you write sometimes RT. Even a basic understanding of bandwidth implications could dismantle everything have served up in this topic.

  22. FTTP was a great idea – I’m on it for two years now; getting > 90 Mbps and it’s absolutely great. So in summary:
    – using only FTTP for everyone in the fixed-line footprint would have been cheaper than the current mess we’re in (NZ did it the right way)
    – obviously when you were living near an Exchange with a fast ADSL2+ connection, NBN is not really that much of progress thanks to the FTTN copper mess.
    – wireless (how fast it ever will be) will always suffer from (local mast) congestion issues relative to the FTTP config. Of course NBN (CVC) and ISP level congestion can still occur in both scenarios.

    FTTP everywhere was sabotaged by the Coalition because:
    – it was a Labour idea; so that had to be against it
    – it would destroy Foxtel/Austels PayTV monopoly

    Now the only thing AU has to do is fix it by getting asap as close as possible to the FTTP config with all newbuilts or FTTC everwhere else. Of course if you’re you’re on Fixed Wireless or Satellite you will still never have the equivalent of FTTP or FTTC but that’s simply the tyranny of the distance – live with it.

    Case closed.