Choices on moving from ADSL to NBN

Hello. I’m currently still on lousy ADSL2, & mid-year is my cut-off for lousy NBN. As my home/area is one of the millions only getting execrable fraudband FTTN, & as there’s so many complaints about crap NBN reliability & performance, i previously chose not to rush into the changeover. However now the time draws nearer so i’ve been doing my research.

Two RSPs previously unheard of by me, but whose 50/20 Mbps plans look potentially attractive, are MATE Communicate & Barefoot Telecom. From my research i was shocked to discover they’re actually not two independent competing players at all, but instead are actually just the same mob. They both have ABN 33 165 670 413, & both have PO Box 7273 Wetherill Park NSW 2164. With the ABN i viewed details at , & from thence , from which i learned the supposed real address [ie, not merely the PO Box] is 97 Neville St Smithfield NSW 2164. I looked this up here,+Smithfield+NSW+2164/@-33.8539678,150.9297255,3a,75y,188h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sPZlVUx2nKRn-3--7c9d8XQ!2e0!!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x6b1297b5ebf7349b:0xd37ed4b01b85ab1c!8m2!3d-33.8544991!4d150.9296211 & was shocked to discover it’s just a private residential address. I was expecting some business park address with a warehouse or similar housing myriad servers.

Questions from this cynic:

  1. Should i be suspicious / alarmed that this mob pretends to be two unrelated companies, on their respective websites, when that is plainly untrue?
  2. Is that dishonest / illegal / false advertising?
  3. Should i be suspicious / alarmed that this mob apparently hosts their supposed NBN services from a residential house?
  4. Am i completely misunderstanding this whole arrangement & in fact there’s nothing to see here, move along…?



The relationship of the two has been asked since 2016. They are the same ownership competing with themselves. They are not alone in that as most internet companies have multiple brands. Dodo-Primus, Telstra-Belong, TPG-iinet-internode-etc.

Re the formal address, you will find most of the companies formal addresses are not their facilities. Whether they be a PO Box, an executive suite, or a residence, they serve the same purpose.


I have looked for information for you but I honestly can’t say if they will be good for you or not. I also add that I do not use them or have any financial or other beneficial arrangement with them.

  1. & 2.) In as much Belong is an arm of Telstra as an example is it deceptive that Barefoot and Mate are linked to one another? I would say not but others may disagree.

They have been operating for at least a couple of years with date of registration of Barefoot being 2015 & MATE 2013 and on Whirlpool forums seem to be thought of mostly positively by their users, though most I could find relate to around 2016. They have 4.4 stars out of 5 on productreview I have not checked whether the reviews are legit or not, or whether the review site is good or bad. I suggest you do check up though.

3.) They are a private company so may have a company address that is a private residence.

They don’t appear to be and are unlikely to be hosting from the address and from what I can find out the Vocus group supplies/hosts their NBN connectivity. Engin another part of the Vocus group supplies the VOIP package.

4.) It is perfectly ok and a good idea to check out a business to whom you are going to send your money for a service, to ensure they are good or bad. If you choose to use them and they fail or pass please let us know on here so others can be helped/advised.

Finally there are a lot of NBN RSPs out there, some of whom I had never heard of before (which includes these two businesses). The list is long but maybe a good starting point to look at alternatives.


Thank you both. I might be doing them, & hence me, a disservice but i just don’t feel comfy about them. I’m much more thinking positively about Aussie Broadband; despite the unfortunate name [conjures images of tattooed bogans draped in flags], i seem to be reading largely good things about them.


Oh I’m never going to get that image out of my head… priceless :smiley:


iiNet was started in a garage at a private address. Many have said they were great until TPG bought them.


This arvo i took the plunge with Aussie Broadband… & am thus just getting the final tat now, after which i’ll begin on the mandatory beer intoxication phase. :wink:

ABB Activation is scheduled for 15/3… whilst that’s not a problem for me, i was mildly surprised that it’s a bit further into the future than i might have surmised from the “customer quotes” bannering across the website. One such alleged that s/he:

[I reckon Chis must live under a desk in the ABB office].

I’ve gone for their 500GB pm $75 pm 50/20 Mbps plan with BYO modem, & no phone needed.

According to my nearest fraudband disaster box um i mean Node Cabinet is 699m away, with its playmate Node Pillar 24m from that. Said map estimates possible 34 - 59 Mbps down & 14 - 24 Mbps up. Naturally i shall believe it when i see it.

ABB told me this, in response to my query:


Re Phil Britt Managing Director, Aussie Broadband Pty Ltd post 3/11/16 in Whirlpool forum that they were “building backhaul to all 121 nbn POIs in Australia” … did this finish? What is current status? What are my implications?

A [my best interpretation of what i think i was told]:

Yes that project finished ok. They maintain an 80% network capacity limit on total customers, to ensure they won’t create the otherwise commonplace problem of peak-hour throttling due to over-subscription-induced bottlenecks.

I must say that the series of useful SMSs & emails that have followed my online signup have been helpful & are thus an encouraging sign. Time will tell…

I just wish there was some technological way that all the idiots who voted for the liebs, & thus consigned us to copper misery, would be the only ones stuck with fraudband, Oh well.


Good luck. Please let us know how it progresses. :slight_smile:


POI & Backhaul

Without this backhaul from every POI, Aussie could not connect clients Australia wide. If they chose for example to only supply Brisbane they would only pay for the connection for the relevent POIs that support Brisbane and then would connect backhaul from those.

So the implications are if they have completed it, is as I mentioned above they can provide services Australia wide.

The 80% network capacity limit on total customers I am not really sure what they are trying to say. More important is the amount of CVC they purchase to cover the bandwidth their clients are going to use, this is what largely determines peak hour bottlenecks. An example of what they may be trying to say is they have purchased enough CVC for 100 clients but only allow 80 clients to be signed up (80%) then the question really should be how much CVC have they purchased for each of those 80 clients (whats the average CVC they bought per client).

If they are referring to their backhaul they might limit the number of clients so that the backhaul is not overwhelmed by the amount of data flowing between the POI and their Infrastructure during peak times??? Then it begs the question what sort of backhaul capacity did they build into their system.

Activation is different to connection. Activation is the process ABB do to authorise you on their infrastructure after you have been connected. Think of activating your mobile service how you have to get authorised before you can start calling even though your phone can find the mobile service (connection).

Connection is more the physical process though it can be software or a mix of both that joins your house to the NBN circuitry so you can then use the network.

So Chris is saying they were able, once connected, to ring ABB and have their service activated in 75 minutes. The connection may have taken weeks to occur before this activation phase.

The node distance to your premises is likely going to be the defining factor of what speeds you achieve (also the state of the copper between your house and the node) and will definitely not be the distance between the node and pillar.

If the copper distance to your house is about 700 m (it may be a lot more) and is in good condition you may expect around 60 - 80 Mpbs down and about 20 - 30 Mbps up max. Measuring the distance from your house by streets may be a slightly more accurate measurement of copper distance but some have been 500 m from a node but copper distance has been around 1000 m. and if the copper is poor you will see less speed again.

FTTN changeovers/connections are perhaps one of the simpler transitions. They shouldn’t need to visit your house generally, most of the connection phase will involve changing the copper connection at the pillar so that it connects to the VDSL modem in the cabinet. Then you may need to ring ABB and get them to activate your connection.


I am sufficiently cynical that i remain pessimistic of a happy NBN outcome, til & unless i have sustainable self-experiential proof otherwise.


You should try Satellite NBN - 30,000km to the Satellite (60,000km round trip - try that for latency!) With 170MB per month - but 140MB only usable between 1am and 6am. So 30MB usable. Then we had the “Fair Use” policy which restricted that, so that students on Distance Education could get their half hour video lesson. Our service goes out when it rains or is heavily overcast, so it is recommended we keep our copper line. It crackles like crazy and could only handle 0.01Mb/s on ADSL. Telstra would not allow us ADSL because of the poor quality. The box caused us problems which we reported again and again, but there has to be 3 major documented & verifiable outages before it can be reported. Took us about 3 months, but a technician finally replaced the box. All good, but the rain in the last week caused many outages, usually only minutes to an hour, but right when you want to look at the radar.

We pay $45/month and have to pay $30 rent on our landline. Last I looked, all the Satellite ISP’s had the same deal.

I am jealous - provided you can get that speed and allowed to use all that data.


Internode shared a room out the back of a real estate agent when they first got going …


I chose Barefoot Telecom as my ISP, when I decided to connect to NBN, 15 months ago (fixed wireless - all that is available in this area): it is an Australian company with NO offshore support: a huge plus for me, after being given the Telstra runaround for far too long.
The only support I have needed was with setup: I had someone talk me through every step, very patiently! I have unlimited data, although I use very little, and have the option with my router, of connecting to VOIP.
So Barefoot Telecom is real, and is genuinely Australian - and I don’t care where the business is based, so long as they continue to provide good, personalised service!


Beware of these 2 companies. My father was with Barefoot, and restored a crashplan backup (560gb). They sent him an email the following day saaying they were shaping his account to 256kbps for the rest of the month because he downloaded more than 50gb/day over a 3 day period, and that if he did it again they’d terminate the account.

Complained to the ACCC and got a full refund. I would avoid these compained that pretend to be unlimited but aren’t.


Can I just digress and explain the situation in Dicky Beach, Queensland. A long time ago I asked Tony Abbott about his British citizenship and copped half a dozen death threats for my troubles and when I contacted the then Minister for Communications Mr Turnbull asking about NBN I was told my suburb would be last in the country to get NBN. Seems everyone got upset with me asking about citizenship so the whole suburb suffers.

We suffered right up until a local company was set up, they had heard nothing of citizenships but offered copper free, cable free, NBN free and Telstra free internet with speeds up to 100Mbps. The company is trying to get bigger speeds but Telstra is upset about someone daring to give people real internet without them being more than a bulk supplier to the company.

Flash Fibres is the mob and they unfortunately just exist on the Sunshine Coast. If internet is crap in your area ask around to see if someone will start up something similar. The internet arrives via a small aerial on my roof and my smile is very very broad. Gave up the Telstra landline because we dont need ADSL anymore. No need to wait and hope for NBN getting here before we all die. Internet is here, is fast and is now.


I thank Malcolm Turncoat every day for knowingly destroying the NBN because it came from the other side of the House. Here is a man who made millions on his OzEmail play screaming from the opposition benches about the waste of money that was the Labor NBN.
As Communications Minister under Tony Abbott he crowed that the British solution of using a hybrid copper and the existing cable tv would save billions and see the NBN rolled out in no time.
Where was Malcolm when BT finally announced that after spending a good deal of money and that they were going to do fibre to the home, which is what they have in Korea, NZ, Singapore and increasingly everywhere, but not here. Not being a man who is ever wrong he can’t man up and do the right thing.
When you see the pathetic internet we have and for those who have FTTP and the price of it compared to any useful service.
When Labor introduced the NBN we were 38th in the world rankings for speed and connectivity. With Malcolm driving we are close to the wrong end of the top 100 and disappearing fast.
Thanks Malcolm, for nothing. He might yet see the disadvantage of his multimillion Point Piper address as insurance companies assessing the risks refuse to insure for damage from the sea.


Hi Steffi

Doubt it matters much. I have been with Mate since Oct on NBN plan.Service has been great and it is only on month to month arrangement anyway so I can escape any time. My understanding is that whatever speed plan you are on (25/50/100?) it will be the same performance regardless of which ISP you use.This is for FTTN anyway as the same node and same wires are used regardless of provider.

Hope it works well for you



I’ve used Barefoot in two properties now and cannot rate them highly enough. Excellent service, all Aussie, easy to communicate with, excellent call back response. Recommended to many friends.


Four days til Activation Day, & certainly nobody could accuse AB of not keeping new customers [victims?] informed, given the volume of emails & SMSs. I’m ensuring that i have [/or will have] completed the foreseeable e-commerce [eg, House Contents insurance renewal (with associated survey of all the insurance bastards oops i mean companies to pick the least-ripoffie one)] that fall due for several days after AD, given i pessimistically expect the possibility of a traumatic changeover with delays & dropouts if not maybe even downtime. Hope i can post back here late next week with mea culpa that all my negativity was misplaced…


I’m now officially a new fraudband trapee. My results are distinctly better than my now ex-ADSL2 of 37 ms ping with ~7/0.6, but nevertheless distinctly crappier than my Plan’s notional 50/20.

Here’s what my reconfigured modem now shows for its synch:

Here’s what i get via Ookla:

  1. On VPN [Melbourne server] ~23/8 [& 15 ms ping]

  2. Naked on RSP [Sydney server] ~24/8 & 14 ms

I interpret this data to mean that ABB are achieving close to the available synchronisation speeds, but that said synchs are woefully below my Plan… ie, fickung Abbott & Turnbull’s FTTN fraudband is shit.

Over the coming weeks i’ll monitor performance at varying times of day & night. If it stays consistent with these data of today, i’ll probably then look at tapering down my ABB plan closer to 25/5 to save a few dollars… but that will only further embitter me against these idiot Liebs & Nuts [which is saying something, given my longterm metaphorical pH is already 12+].