CHOICE membership

Telstra speedboost

Setting aside all the pros and cons with Telstra, I have just has my broadband transferred from ADSL (4 Mbps … I know!) to cable (about 36Mbps). One of the options with Telstra is a $20 fee for a superboost which will increase the download to “up to 100Mbps”. Before I decide, I was wondering whether anyone had taken the superboost option and, if so, did you get to the 100 Mbps?

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I am not on NBN so I can’t talk from experience. Having said that, cable definitely has the ability to achieve the 100 Mbps. This however most importantly will be impacted by how many people share your cable connection and this is not a one area fits all scenario. From Optus’s site regarding cable:

“Cable networks work by grouping customers into areas known as “nodes”. The customers within these nodes share one pipe for all their internet data.
Cable customers can experience slower speeds in peak times. Imagine turning all your water taps on at once - your water pressure is going to be lower. It can be a bit like that sometimes.”

and

“Congestion Prioritisation
If there is a lot of “traffic” (i.e. lots of people downloading stuff at the one time) your internet speed at home can be impacted, much like congestion on a busy road.
We’re constantly building more “lanes” (i.e. bandwidth) into all our networks to deliver a better experience in those peak times.
We also prioritise some content over others - such as VoIP (voice over internet protocol) voice calls - to make sure the important stuff goes first. You can liken this to a bus lane on a freeway.”

So you may spend your extra $20 and have a great service, you could spend it and have a better service, and finally you may end up with only a slight improvement over what you have now. Work out when you use your internet the most and whether many around you will be doing the same, what you are trying to do with that speed (Also from Optus “Pull VS Push We can only “pull” the data to you as fast as the server on the other end can “push” it! So if you’re downloading from, for example, a peer-to-peer server which is congested, or has only a small upload capacity, it’s not going to be quick!”) and how many people in your area are using or will be taking up the Cable plans.

Also keep a log of your speeds that you get and that should reflect if you are suffering congestion at the moment or not. You may find your 36 Mbps is really adequate for your needs or you may need the higher speed, you may find that when you want the speed the most that you are sharing with everyone else who want the speed and as more join the cable this may degrade your experience for which you pay the extra $20.

There are some technologies that are being looked at that may boost those speeds in the future but they are not yet here “on the ground”. You can always “opt in” in the future if you find your need for speed has increased or if the newer tech has been implemented.

I hope this helps you work out your needs in this regard.

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Thanks @grahroll for your lengthy and helpful response - I think I’ll take out the superboost for a month. Spend the $20 and see if the performance is that much better.

Other thought is going from 4 tp 30+ Mbs is a substantial leap and do you really need 100Mbs?

Maybe start with 30Mbs and if not satisfactory or finding excess2buffering/lags, take the superboost option.

We think the same way on this @phb - am going to give the speedboost a try during the school then likely revert to the 36Mbps.

Hi @GeorgePerry

I think that if you read the fine print, you will see that the “up to…” speed is merely a claimed target, and as @grahroll so eloquently pointed out, it is not necessarily the speed you will actually achieve at any time. All they are saying this is the maximum speed the connection is capable of. [It is as trustworthy as the claimed fuel consumption on VWs.]

I would add to @grahroll’s information that the speeds also drop off as the node becomes more populated. If it is a newer node it may not be fully populated, and down the track there will be a significant drop off in speed.

I agree with @phb; test out what you current speeds are first, otherwise how will you know when you pay your $20 whether you actually getting faster speeds or not? This is just upsizing your meal, when a smaller meal is more than adequate.

Hiya GeorgePerry

I am living in a metro area and am on the NBN with Telstra.
I tested my speed before paying for the $20 speed boost.

After maintaining the contract for three months and testing my speed every week, I found it was not substantially worth the money.

Yes, the speed did increase, but only by a small margin, and not worth the money for my increased speed, which was only slight and certainly not noticeable at my end.

Best of luck with your computer speed increasing, I hope you receive more benefit from the boost than I did.
Cheers Natalie :slight_smile:

Thanks @njfking - I reckon that’s what will happen with me - the speed will be better but not enough to justify the cost on an ongoing basis, particularly as @phb said, the increase from ~4Mbps to ~36Mbps has already been a big leap. Will leave it for a month when school holidays finish up then go back to the 36Mbps - still pretty good. Thanks Natalie!

It is my pleasure George!

That is what I love about the Choice Forum, you can ask questions or offer suggestions, and it gives the consumer the
ability to gather up all of the available information and then make up their own mind.

Happy to help.

Cheers Natalie :slight_smile:

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Hello, GeorgePerry. Like you I have been forced by NBN to go from ADSL (Naked, ~14Mbps down, 0.9 Mbps up) to HFC, as my suburb took up cable TV many years ago. This is in Unley, an inner suburb of Adelaide.

My niece in Greenwich, Sydney, has been on Optus fibre for many years, and is not yet on NBN. She sees something like 10 Mbps down, .7 Mbps up in the morning, but this degrades to about 1 Mbps down, virtually nothing up, by the evening, with a step function decrease when children come home from school and another when parents return from work. A case of chronic under-investment in infrastructure in the suburb. Why would Optus invest when they knew they had to pass the mess on to NBN?

I was connected to NBN a couple of weeks ago. I have stayed with Internode, and chose the “gold” service (up to 50 Mbps down, 20 Mbps up). Installation provided few problems, though I’m having to get used to dealing with a pretty brain-dead Huawei HG659 router with none of the excellent diagnostics of my old Fritz!box 7270 ADSL router.

Performance to date has been consistently >47.5 Mbps down, > 19 Mbps up, ping times <10ms, without significant variation throughout the day. Which sounds excellent.

However, before I crack open some champagne … I’m very aware that there are many more clients in my suburb who are in the process of being connected. The bandwidth will be shared. Whether the HFC infrastructure is adequate will be revealed over time.

I am keeping careful data on measured speeds by time-of-day and day-of week. This will become a useful set of data as the number of measurements builds up. I would be happy to share them, when they are worth looking at.

With best wishes,

… Peter Watt, Unley SA 5061

Hi @peterjvwatt, thanks for your input. We’re still waiting for NBN where I live (and likely be some time) so my move from ADSL to cable was by choice. After a week, we’re still getting 36/1 so consistency has been good. I think cable around where I live is still a secret, which I’m happy to keep to maintain my speed. Be interested to see if your speed remains consistent. GP

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Oops … my mistake - I just assumed you were forced by NBN into an HFC connection. “Telstra speedboost” should have been a clear enough indication.

I note your 36/1 figures, which are very asymmetric. The ADSL ratios are usually up to about 20:1; NBN ratios are 2.5:1, which are much more sensible given the increasing use of cloud computing and the (often forgotten) need to get data back to the cloud.

Good luck with keeping your suburb’s HFC systems secret! I won’t tell a soul. :slight_smile: … PW

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I’ve done the Speed boost & I’ve gone from 14Mbps on ADSL to a massive 22Mbps… Damn I’m impressed… NOT !!! Bloody waste of money as it still takes forever to buffer anything & browsing the internet doesn’t really show any signs of being faster… Not impressed at all.

First I apologise for my previous lengthy post, it is my habit unfortunately but it is hard to cover some topics without going into detail.

Under the Multi Technology Mix (MTM) I think you will find if your area is served by Cable it will remain Cable. Overseas they have achieved 1 Gbps speeds but that is unlikely here at the moment as we have not upgraded the infrastructure to support the new technologies though NBN Co is having to do that in the HFC release areas.

For a good article about the Redcliffe Qld release and hopes for the future have a look at this:

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I have add the extra boost with Telstra for a few years now, and I consistently get over 100Mbps on the iPad and iPhone, the Mac is even consistently at 110 to 120Mbps. I also have an Apple time capsule, when linked to the Telstar router increases the speed again, obviously it has some smarts in it that does this. On my wireless connection I can connect to the Telstra wireless, or through the Apple time capsule. I have attached a screen shot from the iPad you will see the faster speeds at my home which you can tell by the Ping speeds.

Hope this helps.

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Wow, @ghotchi1, that’s a great result. I hope I can match that!

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I live in Wynn Vale. I get 110 Mbps consistently with the boost option.

Nice @stephen_scott51 - is that with NBN?

I pay for the Speed Boost and I constantly get downloads at around 100 - 105M. Uploads are around 2 - 2.5M. I have never had any terrible drops in speed and have had the service for over 10 months now. I personally think it is worth the extra.

Thanks @andre_wilson - and that’s with NBN or cable? Assume not ADSL … GP