The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints

Interesting read @BrendanMays.

In Australia it would require a well funded body willing to reach out to customers and do significant research on what was promised vs what is actually being delivered. Do you know of a body who might be willing to do that? (Nudge, nudge, :wink:, :wink:. Say no more.)

I’m not sure what percentage of users provide their own modems here in Oz, but most people I know didn’t buy the modem their ISP’s offered for sale when purchasing their package.

At the same time. I suspect that there would be similar findings here with the major carriage providers (who lease off bandwidth to the other ISPs) if just measuring promised speeds vs delivered speeds to the premises.


It’s definitely an issue for CHOICE to watch :wink:

It looks like the ACCC is ready to weigh in on on this issue after a public consultation and widespread confusion about broadband claims.


NBN failure in Alice Springs over the weekend, all customers for just over 24 hours. A single outage (northbound fibre) dropped the whole town off, and possibly others. Based on maps I’ve seen, backhaul paths go north and south with an eastern path through Queensland, so it’s not clear how anything less than local cuts north and south of the town would result in complete isolation. Based on the lack of information available and the scant weasel-words from NBNCo with an explanation that doesn’t fully stack up and conflicts with rumours currently circulating it seems there is more to the story. Luckily there are still many on POTS, but imagine if this happens when everything is NBN reliant …

Internode’s outage advisory:

Some NBN customers in Alice Springs and surrounding suburbs may be disconnected and be unable to reconnect to the Internet. Affected customers will be unable to browse the Internet or check emails.
Please note that affected Nodephone customers will be unable to place or receive calls.
A fault has been lodged with our network partner for further investigation.
Update 12/02 23:00:
Our Network partner confirmed that a Fibre cut in the area affected aggregate services. Fibre fault has been rectified and services are now online

From local ABC Facebook page:

Statement from NBN Co regarding the Alice Springs outage affecting 4,500 customers.
Media Statement
12 February 2017
Alice Springs notification of outage
The nbn network suffered an outage in Alice Springs last night and technicians are currently working to restore services as soon as possible.
It was an unusual timing of two simultaneous faults that caused the outage – one due to heavy rain in northern Western Australia, and the other because of a line error north of Alice Springs.
Technical experts have been deployed to both sites and we are hopeful of restoring services later today.
We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused those connected to nbn’s fixed line service in Alice.
Jill Bottrall
Corporate Affairs Manager NBN SA/NT

Apparently the cut in Western Australia was in Ravensthorpe, which doesn’t seem very ‘northern’ (it’s near Esperance).

Hardly a high availability network … if it were just Internet I’d not be too concerned, but when it’s soon to be all things comms its more than a little worrying.

Edited to add: interesting to see the NBNco Facebook page … lots of customer comments …

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I think I will investigate moving to New Zealand!

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: NBN Praise when praise is due!

I emailed my ISP, ANT, yesterday morning using my phone as a hotspot (Optus mobile data), due to the NBN satellite being down again, since 6pm the day before. No direct response, but shortly afterwards I received this notification:

28/2/2017 9:55am
You have received a new notification!

We can confirm that there has been an Australia-wide NBN LTSS Sky Muster network outage that commenced 27/02/2017. All Sky Muster services NATIONWIDE were unable to connect to the internet (with the outage also affecting VoIP services connected via Sky Muster). We are currently awaiting advice from NBN Co. due to the cause and resolution. It appears majority of the services are being restored this morning. In the meantime if you are still not connected, please refrain from calling the switch as lines are currently congested, perform a powercycle on your NBN modem, this means actually removing the power cable from the NBN modem and leaving it out for at least 30 minutes

30 mins to power cycle, and you have to unplug it, not just turn it off … what strange nonsense is this?

I find that turning the power point off for 10 or 15 sec, not unplugging it, works just fine.

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There is actually a method to their madness in the “removing power cable”. Most modems have a power switch, as do power points. The Help desks have learnt that the seriously non-technical cannot always be relied on to discriminate when told to switch it off. They don’t understand what removing power does so the customer is not always inclined to get it right. “Turning it off is turning it off” as far as they understand.

Rather than trying to specify the power point switch they have found it a more reliable message to “remove the power cable from the modem”. Furthermore, the power point might be behind a sofa :smiley:

(I understand your pain!)

The NBN modem doesn’t appear to have a swiitch on it, and we have it hidden behind the TV so as not to flood the house with the bright blue ring light all night, although I’ve recently taken to turning it off when we go to bed to save our battery energy.

A while back after some other network outage issue they told me that people were able to get back on after unplugging it and waiting 10 mins, then plug in again, and you needed to do that 3 times! It’s just nonsense, any capacitors are not going to take that long to discharge, and 3 times, well who knows what they think that does… I suspect it is more a case of distracting people with unnecessary time consuming procedures so they don’t notice that the network is still down!

The current connection records can be capacitor power backed up so the 30 minutes is probably enough time to ensure the cap has drained fully and the previous “current” records are wiped.

Signed up for Optus NBN in a fairly recent HFC enabled area back on the 20th Feb, order tracking page updated the next day to say modem was ready to be dispatched. Given a window for NBN techs to come between around 11-2 on March 1st. Text message received on 23rd Feb said 1pm-5pm install window. Call received later said morning install 8-11.

NBNCo came in the morning, were perfectly reasonable as they fiddled with the old Foxtel cables trying to get sync, changing a few connections in the pit outside and in the grey Foxtel box on the side of the house. Took a picture of Arris syncing and left.

Modem still hadn’t been sent as of NBNCo appointment, called Optus after installers left, said they would “email” someone to have a modem sent out. Order tracking says a modem was sent today, but I don’t know where it’s coming from, nor do I have a way of checking (consignment number, carrier, etc.).

Just disappointed with the whole process, really.

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My HFC ‘termination device’ failed after 3 weeks - pity it took iiNet another three weeks after that to ask the NBN to check the line and then another 2 weeks for NBNCo to schedule an appointment (which they did keep by the way_.

I received an email in June from NBN stating that as my address was now ready I should apply to be connected with an ISP. I did just that and have been told now to wait for them to contact me as there is still work being done on the wiring in the street. Depending who you talk to, the hold up is in getting the fibre to a node close enough, or they could be replacing some of the old copper wiring. In other words, it is NOT READY 3 months later. NBN website still says our address is ready! Since when did “READY” mean “NOT QUITE READY”?

Any question about NBN being ready is problematic, and then combining that with false advertising complicates the issue. The service is know as Fraudnet. If you work from that name, anything else is rhetorical. My current cable connection runs at 117Mb, NBN can only deliver 25Mb for the same price. Only in Australia can we stuff up so bad. And yes it is false and misleading advertising.


I had an NBN Utility box and coaxial cable installed at my house on Friday 9th September 2016; I’ve used a naked ADSL2+ connection for years but NBN in its wisdom decided that my suburb (Unley, SA) will use HFC because of the early take-up of pay TV services in the area many years ago and the abundance of coax cable strung from the local telephone poles.

I visited my ISP (Internode) to initiate the switch from ADSL2+ to HFC connection (and to purchase of an HFC-compliant router), only to learn that my ISP is not yet able to deliver services over HFC. “Might be days … or weeks … or months …” according to the ISP company representative.

I presume my house is now listed by NBN as having NBN services available. That does not mean I can access NBN services.

nbn™(the company behind which our government hides) is guilty of government propaganda. The government needed positive spin before the recent election; nbn™ provided some.

The three-year plan lists my home as served by nbn™ fixed wireless since October of last year. I’ve had a temporary LTSS (Long-Term Satellite Service - temporary long-term; how’s that for spin?) installed because fixed wireless won’t actually become available until after the existing satellite reaches end-of-life next year.

Bear in mind that our government would really rather not be bothered. Despite the lessons of history, they firmly believe that the private sector (The Market) will provide all that’s necessary. I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re deliberately sabotaging the NBN (which is really little more than a project to repair harm done by privatising our telecommunications network), so their mates in the private sector can buy it below cost and reap obscene profits until such time as we need a new project to repair the damage and the cycle repeats.


When we moved to an NBN “ready” area, our house wasn’t actually connected and we weren’t allowed to use the old copper wires even though they still produced a dial tone, so we had 2 months with no home phone or internet until NBN Co finally hooked us up.

I guess that points the finger at nbn. I’m still trying to figure out if it is the tardiness of our provider causing us to be still waiting 4 months now or if in fact these things just take lots of time!? The term “ready” has certainly taken on new meaning!

Our main problem was that we have an extended driveway and the only way to get the fibre optic cable connected to the house from the pit across the road from us was to use overhead cables. Apparently the two poles that run up our driveway are owned by Telstra and NBN Co didn’t have permission to use them. Even after Telstra put in the work order for the house to be connected by them, we still had to wait for the correct red tape to be processed before the Telstra owned poles, on our own private property, could be used by NBN Co.

(An update on 9 February 2017)

Was advised that NBN installer would arrive "between 1pm and 5pm) on Wednesday 11 January. Which two did. We discussed where the cable modem should go for my HFC connection, and agreed a location. They were here for about 30 minutes, and the cable modem (Arris CM820) was installed in the requested location. Cable drawing was done well (a simple task in my house), but the coax face-plate was not fixed properly to the gyprock wall (as I discovered later). But all in all, the work was done quickly and the result pretty much what I asked for.

On Friday 13th January I phoned Internode (my ISP); we talked through connection processes. I connected the cable modem to the Huawei HG659 router by a long ethernet UTP cable, and we brought the system to life without too many miss-steps.

I had to retire my Fritz!box 7270 modem / router, and miss the fact that it included a DECT controller which was much less cantankerous than the old Panasonic system I had to bring back to life after five years’ retirement.

But by and large the NBN establishment worked well.

I chose a low data volume, high speed package for my use - “NBN HFC Gold 100” (100 GB per month, up to 50 Mbps down, 20 Mbps up). Measurements to date show consistently a ping time of about 8ms, and transfer speeds of 47 Mbps down, 19 Mbps up. There is little variation through the day.Of course those speeds are only to local servers. One-off tests to London showed {343 ms, 4.8 Mbps, 1.68 Mbps}, and to Los Angeles showed {178 ms, 2.0 Mbps, 4.9 Mbps} respectively. As my aim in choosing a speed package was to make cloud transfers in a reasonable time, these international results are a reminder that we should not set our hopes too high.

I’m aware I’m a relatively early adopter in my street (and the area covered by the old pay-TV cable taken over by NBN). The test will be to see how these speeds suffer when more HFC NBN users come on board.