Broadband Internet Provider Review

While it is important to have the data on the technical performance of the various NBN speed/volume packages by different providers, an aspect that seems to have been overlooked is what is needed and hence are clients using the appropriate package. I wonder if the data collected can help answer the questions related to that.

What am I referring too?

The analogy I use is motoring, ie, different vehicle capabilities and the roads they are able to use those capabilities.

It seems these reviews deal with the aspect of are the different roads living up to their standard, eg, does the data indicate they have enough lanes to meet the volume claimed, and are the roads themselves capable of vehicles motoring at their respective speed limits. Eg 4 lane motorway with max speed of 110kph, vs city centre residential 50kph on single lanes, etc.

The question not asked/answered relate to the vehicle used. If one buys a Ferrari and is driven predominantly at 110 on motorway, rather than a motor scooter with a maximum speed of 80kph while carrying a single passenger, the Ferrari user is getting value for money, the scooter is not; on the other hand if the car salesman sold the Ferrari to an elderly person who only drives to friends close by on single lane 50kph street raise serious questions. In these situation, a consumer association would have to ask how such a poor choice of vehicle was made based on the salesman’s persuasion.

I’m saying this because the sales promotion for NBN is all about encouraging increasing numbers to buy faster and greater volume plans based on very sketchy data.

I suspect many clients would in practice find that a 25/5 package would fully meet their usage, ie, many times faster and better than ADSL. Hence, is the promoted service fit for purpose, and good value.

4 Likes

Retailers buy capacity from NBN. They then sell packages to consumers using that capacity. What is easier? Lots of small users on esentially ADSL replacement they have to attract or a fewer nunber who can be persuaded to buy higher packages?

1 Like

You are spot on, retailers use sales staff to flog their capacity to anyone they can, whether they need it or not. That isn’t my point.

It is dead easy to buy a car you don’t need from a persuasive salesman. The same is true of NBN. This is a consumer association, not a retail lobbyist group. It needs to support consumers to get what they need, that is my objective, what is your contribution to that objective?

2 Likes

When I was compelled to transfer from ADSL to NBN, I went to my long-term provider and asked for like for like. I knew that the speed on my dedicated ADSL+ of say 7Mbps, and monthly usage of say 500MB was ample.
That is what I got, and was less than what I had been paying, since Telstra were now out of the picture.
Now, you do not actually buy anything from NBN. You as a consumer do not deal with them.

2 Likes

It sounds like you are one of the lucky ones, as well as informed about your own ADSL, and now NBN, service, but I doubt that is the norm.

When I switched, my ISP didn’t even have the lowest speed package, they were trying to flog me the fastest they could; I switched to Aussie, have never looked back, their value is great and their proactive support has been a breathe of fresh air.

3 Likes

It is likely that some consumers think faster is better, and like your car analogy, they can’t use or don’t benefit from the additional speed.

Streaming video at HD, one would need a lot of devices streaming at the same time to justify a faster tier speed (about 5 devices at 25Mbps, 10 at 50Mbps or 20 at 100Mbps).

If one say has multiple UHD devices such as TVs, and only streams UHD content to those devices that can display/utilise the higher resolution (which needs about 25Mbps), then there could be an argument that higher speeds are warranted. I am not sure how much content is UHD or whether the benefits over HD are an argument for higher speed tier. We are happy with HD and don’t think the quality benefit of UHD is worth it…we only have one set of eyes and HD is good for our own eyes.

The other point is many households buy higher speeds thinking it is better…and possibly aren’t using the full capacity of the speed (paying for speed not used) and possibly a lower tier would suffice. Possibly one should initially get a lower speed tier, see if it meets one’s needs and if it doesn’t, then think about moving to the next higher tier.

If one runs a home business that needs speed (uploading data or backing up to a cloud large files), then this can warrant higher speeds than a similar non-business orientated household.

But, like cars, many buy cars which have a higher top speed because they can…not because they need it or can ever use it.

6 Likes

Great reply.
It this type of thinking, together with so many who are not knowledgeable and hence easily taken in, that I had in mind. But, advisory bodies and consumer groups haven’t taken this aspect into account, and I think there are benefits in so doing.

2 Likes

Another question to consider is whether the NBN is as cheap as or more expensive than the old ADSL2 services they replaced?

On ADSL whether one was 2km from the exchange or 6km the cost was the same. The first would have delivered better than 12 Mbps speeds the second 2-3Mbps. Our experience of one conversion to NBN HFC has been a $10pm increase in cost for the same basic service speed. That is a negative outcome, especially since the data is also limited on the most basic plans.

The tiers in the packages offered are designed to maximise value by bundling phone (VOIP) with higher data allowances. Extra speed connection speed is simply a bonus. 12Mbps NBN with 500GB data is $60 round numbers. $70 delivers unlimited data at twice the speed. ADSL packages used to start at $30pm naked or $45pm with phone etc.

For those older Aussies who used zero data the outcome of forced transition to the NBN was a similar increase in cost of $10pm for the lowest cost (not necessarily best value) fixed line phone service.

The reality is the NBN is a more expensive service to deliver than what it replaced. The government requirement includes the NBN operate as a profit maker. Consequently the investment in the NBN requires a minimum charge on customers greater than the service it replaced. And that is for a less than equal level or quality of service across the NBN for all Australians.

3 Likes

Not to mention that now there’s no landline to fall back on either when the power’s out. In FNQ, when we’ve had big blows in the past, and the mobile towers are out, if you still had a landline at least you could still check on family, etc.

3 Likes

Depending on the type of connection, it is possible to get a battery backup NBN phone line…but, it has drawbacks. The battery needs replacing ever few years at around $25+ each replacement.

Battery backup is recommended for dwellings which may have some sort of medical monitoring devices or for other life saving purposes.

2 Likes

As we regularly experience down Eltham way having one’s own battery backup is irrelevant when the NBN side doesn’t have their own :frowning:

It is not always straight forward what infrastructure the NBN does (and commonly does not) have.

2 Likes

The comment was made in relation to one losing power.

If the NBN side of things are out for some reason, agree that any battery backup won’t be of assistance…no different to a old technology telephone exchange or mobile tower experiencing an outage - the old copper landline/mobile won’t work.

2 Likes

They usually had functional backups. The NBN does not, at least not everywhere if anywhere.

1 Like

I don’t know if this is the case…and someone within the industry would need to be able to comment whether this is the case. As the NBN often uses existing exchanges for their infrastructure, I wonder why past backup systems have been removed/disconnected when they could have potentially met the needs of the NBN. Don’t seem to make sense.

For non-exchange based connections such as FTTN, it is worth noting that FTTN green boxes have backup batteries for local power outages.

1 Like

We had an all day outage a few weeks ago. It happens. By 2PM the NBN advice was they finally discovered a localised power failure affecting their equipment. I then did a quick scan of outages and found it was a SCHEDULED all day power out for maintenance. The NBN may not have been advised, nor could they discover it themselves, but they went down within minutes of the SCHEDULED power down and returned to service shortly after the SCHEDULED end of the maintenance. The maintenance outage only affected a 100 or so premises and the vast majority served by that NBN ‘pit’ never lost power.

The RSP (AussieBB) was oblivious since they relied on NBN for information. A formal complaint got lodged through AussieBB as it affected their ability to advise and support their own customers in a factual manner.

We could go on about this and that, but other than identifying how fragile it seems to be as well as arguably unfit for purpose, we might leave it having noted backup issues?

2 Likes

@PhilT and @phb as moderators, you ought to know better. You are both getting to an in-depth conversation that has got off topic.

In the opening discussion, is the focus a question on internet service providers upselling plans that provide no real benefit to unwitting NBN customers. Perhaps those less familiar with technology?

Are there specific examples we can share?

This appears a different question to the previous?
The topic title might benefit from an update.

1 Like

A fairly wide topic such as this one should allow a discussion of other features providers can supply and I see no reason they should not be mentioned.
Ability for the customer premises equipment to work in the event of a power failure as was the case at least for voice communications with the Telstra twisted pair copper all the back to the exchange and the powered lines that worked the handsets.
Automatic switching to the mobile cell network in the event of an NBN failure?

Other than the numerous other topics currently open that look at those other aspects?

When there are no emergency communications

Communications Solutions for Emergency and Disaster Events

NBN battery cost - #10 by PhilT

🌐 Best internet provider

NBN installation and the elderly - #18 by grahroll

There are many more.
This new topic appears to be asking some new questions. The IT press have previously raised various concerns about the NBN wholesale pricing strategy and ongoing complaints from the RSP’s concerning the cost of each tier.

2 Likes

And that is a different topic again to the original posters issue. Specifically, upselling users to faster speed than they actually need.