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ACCC Advises On NBN Refunds

An article regarding the ACCC advising that some 90,000 NBN customers are entitled to refunds due to RSP’s selling plans with unachievable speeds.

Hop on the bandwagon if you are one of them.

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I believe you can only get a refund if you change to a lower speed plan or move to another RSP, presumably also a lower speed plan. At least that was the case for us. We didn’t bother to do anything because our FTTN connection speed in just under the 50Mb plan we are on. There was no point in dropping down to a 25/12 plan when we can get 46Mb download and 18Mb upload speeds.
I chose the 50Mb plan myself as well - our RSP didn’t try to sell us a 100Mb plan for example.
There may be many others in the same case as us who chose to do nothing for similar reasons.

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Also, our modem says we can get 125Mbps yet on our 50Mbps plan we only ever get around 47/18. Not I suspect due to any failure of the line, but rather due to max speed shaping by the RSP to make sure we’re not going faster than the speed we’ve purchased (speeds are too exactly and steadily under for actual line quality )

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There are also the not available to be used parts of your data plan. Yes they provide 50 Mbps but some of this is taken up by data that is needed to keep the line active, for error correction and similar. While it isn’t a great deal, for most this will mean some loss will be apparent.

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What are my rights with respect to Internet Service Providers? I signed up to TPG’s NBN 50 plan months ago. Recently I checked my speed: 3 Mbps. You read right: THREE.
A day later it was 12. Remember I signed for 50 Mbps.
I called TPG and they “ran tests”, asked me to check the speed again and it was 50. How 'bout that?
An hour later it fell to 30 and is parked at the speed.

I reminded them today of an email they sent two weeks ago advising I am now receiving 200 Mbps. Now that is funny!
As I talked to TPG, I tested the speed: 20.1 Mbps, a tenth of what they claim I am receiving.
My question: can I get a refund for the many months I have been paying for NBN 50 and getting closer to 3 Mbps than 50 Mbps?

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For clarity, did you test from a PC directly connected to your router by Ethernet, or was it a device (and what kind) connected by WiFi? If the latter your speed may fluctuate wildly depending on:

  • WiFi Signal quality
  • Performance of your device
  • Numbers of concurrent user devices that are active on your WiFi if more than 1
  • Whether there are neighbouring WiFi access points that are active (interference)

Assuming the answer is Ethernet the ACCC provided guidance a year+ ago.

So I have moved your post into the existing topic with the ACCC advice referenced. The NBN link is not precisely germane to your problem but probably close enough to be useful.

You can also search the Community for NBN issues using the Community search function. You will get many hits.

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Thanks for that. I will look into it. Am I to understand that the refund is to be backdated to when I was sold the NBN 50 plan? And is it for the whole amount I paid?

You asked: For clarity, did you test from a PC directly connected to your router by Ethernet, or was it a device (and what kind) connected by WiFi? If the latter your speed may fluctuate wildly depending on:

  • WiFi Signal quality*
  • Performance of your device*
  • Numbers of concurrent user devices that are active on your WiFi if more than 1*
  • Whether there are neighbouring WiFi access points that are active (interference)*

Note: (a) I use a Macbook Pro not a PC
(b) The Macbook has USB-C ports and no ethernet connection
© TPG asked me to move the laptop from where it is usually located and test its
speed when I am no more than one metre from the modem. This is what I do,
consistently.

Also, an iPad may be connected to the same WiFi, at times. At other times it is just one laptop connected.

The hypothetical example at the end of the ACCC page suggests it can be a negotiation of numerous remedies.

In your situation it could be less than straight forward since

so it seems possible they could provide it but for whatever reason you are not ‘seeing’ it. I note NBN sells NBN12 and NBN25 at fairly modest ‘discounts’ to NBN50 so ask for what you want including the why. If you have a speedtest account you also should have a history of actual performance as evidence of what they are (or are not) delivering. If you have not made an account at speedtest it might be a good time to do so, and start accumulating speed history.

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@Jon01
What connection type do you have?

Some connections are better than others eg if Fixed Wireless then these speeds could be expected. Fixed Wireless is now sold only on a basis of best effort.

If FTTN or FTTC these speeds may be an indicator of copper line issues, this may be something TPG can test again for you. Water in the pits can interfere and noise filters at the providers end can help fix some issues. Modems will negotiate a speed that creates a stable connection and over time can decease the speeds you achieve. Restarting a Modem can reset this but if the problem hasn’t been fixed speeds will degrade again. This can be fast or slow on how fast it degrades and is based on the line quality.

NBN Co may be the owner of your issue, RSPs have little control over the fixing of line issues beyond reporting them.

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I don’t have a speed test account. So far I ran tests on speedtest.net and saved the screenshots showing the speed.

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As I understand, and I could be wrong, FTTC, FTTP, and HFC do not require a separate modem to the NBN box installed in a home. As I have a separate modem I conclude that I have FTTN. I am not sure how to verify this however.

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As a general statement the ‘NBN box installed in a home’ is a modem fronting your router. FTTN uses the modem in the VDSL capable router.

Fixed Wireless, Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) all have an nbn™ installed device that is ‘the modem’.

FTTN normally uses an integrated modem router. Thus you probably do not have FTTN.

If you put your address in this NBN ‘tool’ it will tell you the technology.

https://www.nbnco.com.au/connect-home-or-business/check-your-address

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As @PhilT wrote there are multiple types of modems, each different for all the various connection ways.

FTTC and FTTN both transmit the data across the old style copper wire in your house. FTTC gets greater speeds than FTTN because the copper distance to the pit device (a Distribution Point Unit (DPU)) is very short (ranges to about 70 m but most are shorter). The copper connects to the DPU which is connected to fibre. FTTC uses a different transmission technique to FTTN. So for FTTC and FTTN you plug a cable between the modem/NTD and a socket in the wall. The socket in the wall in the case of FTTN is the NTD (Network Termination Device) so you can supply your own modem/modem router and install it yourself or use the RSP’s provided combined modem-router.

The DPU for FTTC can support multiple households so may have 3, 6 or some number around that of households connected. For FTTC the NTD device in your house connects to the nbn™ by a telephone socket and connects to your house modem by an Ethernet cable, it also requires a power supply connection to power the device and the device in the pit as Fibre does not carry power and so cannot run the device in the pit. You may be able to install the NTD yourself. Then you can plug your Computer or a Router into the NTD.

HFC has coaxial between the HFC modem and the fitting in the wall. The modem in this case is the NTD and is considered nbn™ equipment so can only be fitted by an approved nbn™ installer/service provider. They are not supposed to be installed by the nbn™ client/householder. You can then plug a computer or a router into the NTD.

Wireless has a modem that plugs into a wall socket that then connects to the dish on the roof. The modem in this case is also the NTD. It can only be installed by an approved nbn™ installer not the householder. You can plug a computer directly into the NTD or you can plug a router in.

Satellite has a modem that also finally connects to the Sat dish on the roof. Again the modem is the NTD. The NTD can only be installed by an approved nbn™ installer not the householder. You can plug a Computer directly into the NTD or use a router.

FTTP has a device fitted to the wall and is where the fibre is connected. This is both a modem and a NTD. The box on the outside wall is just a junction box. The NTD again can only be installed by an approved nbn™ installer not the householder. A computer or a router can be plugged in to the NTD.

Most use Routers/modem-routers after the NTD as it gives more connections and most routers/modem-routers supply WiFi as well. None of the NTDs supply WiFi connections in a house.

The problem for Coax, or Copper is that the copper in the cable degrades over time, and often where the copper connects to the main cables is subject to weather eg water in pits, cracked insulation. The problem for Fixed Wireless is often too many connections sharing the Tower and leaves, rain etc can interfere with signal transmission. Satellite is greatly affected by Cloud and rain.

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Thanks for the link. You were correct. I don’t have FTTN. I can confirm I have HFC.

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Thanks for the feedback. I checked and can advise I have HFC.

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The problem may then be that the connection either at the house or the connection at the cable that runs past your house is open to weather and so may end up being a noisy line, it could also be a bad connect at either connection point. That’s not to say you may just have a bad deal with TPG but this is the more unlikely issue. Cable easily supports up to at least 400 Mbps but here we are artificially limited currently to a maximum of 100 Mbps. Speed drops that consistently occur are more often hardware ones either cables or devices eg a faulty router or NTD.

Interesting. So how can it be explained that after I complained to TPG about a speed of 3 Mbps, I received 17 Mbps. And a day later, after I complained about 17 Mbps, I had a speed of 60 Mbps. All speed changes were orchestrated while I was conversing on the phone with TPG. It seems to me that TPG knows what speed I can get, but it’s cheaper for them not to give it to me, even though I am paying. Let’s not forget that their NBN 50 means “on average” I would get that speed, so if I get 16 Mbps today, according to TPG I should get 84 Mbps at another time, averaging of 16+84 being 50. No?

Correction: 50 Mbps not 60 as I wrote.