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The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints



27th of Novermber 2017:

“Mr Morrow said it wanted to improve those connections first, and then upgrade the remaining HFC infrastructure, before continuing the rest of the rollout.”

We just received notification that this is being pushed through. Perhaps the sub-contractors haven’t received the news that the rollout was to be put on hold?

It would be a miracle if they have completed all the upgrades and resolved all the problems with the existing connections in the intervening month.

I hope that they aren’t just continuing to install the same substandard infrastructure that cause problems.

This is tantamount to a manufacturer continuing to produce know faulty goods that do not work as claimed. Where is the ACCC? Shouldn’t they be safeguarding Australian consumers and stopping the HCF rollout in particular until NBN Co sort all the problems out?


If your connection was planned/committed to before the 9th of December the connection will still go ahead despite the freeze. That was the cutoff date and many RSPs advised NBN Co of clients to be connected, before the cutoff date to avoid the freeze for their clients. As to the substandard, well it depends on the area but yes it is the same issue laden connection you will get, but hopefully with an improved outcome as they should be installing newer equipment with the newer connections.


Thanks grahol for you advise on complaint escalation. My NBN connection was scheduled for November 30th 2017. So I hope this will have an impact when I place the complaint.



@draughtrider :smile: Sacha Baron Cohen, a classic


Telstra sold me a mobile repeater because the Telstra 3G service where I live is not great, and I had documented repeated call failures to them (even though I am only a short distance from a Telstra mobile phone tower, with no large buildings in between).
It is a Cel-Fi PRO Indoor Smart Signal Booster for 3G, 4G and 4G LTE networks that has been rebadged by Telstra as “Telstra Mobile Smart Antenna 4G”
The paperwork that came with it shows that the Australian distributor is Powertec Telecommunications Pty Ltd in Southport, Qld.
It consists of two units both of which require mains power - both need to be indoors in a dry, cool, well ventilated area.
Uplink power consumption is 30 watts, idle power consumption is <20 watts.
Operating temperature 0 to 40 degrees Celsius.

You put the network unit (NU) somewhere the Telstra signal is “good” and then you put the coverage unit (CU) somewhere in the house where you would like mobile phones to work reliably. There is a minimum distance that you need between the two units or else the repeater service does not work. Distance between the two units is all important for determining the coverage you get as greater distance means the increased signal strength coming from the CU (15 metres apart means the CU will serve a 30 metre radius approximately).
The coverage unit is said to be able to provide coverage to up to 1200 square metres of indoor space - so it is really designed for much larger buildings than my single level domestic home with 160 square metres of indoor space.
You configure the network unit using the Cel-Fi WAVE app on your smart phone (get close to the NU and start a BlueTooth session with it to do this).
Because mobile phones use more energy in poor signal areas, using a signal booster is said to extend mobile battery life.
If necessary an external antenna can be plugged into the network unit (not necessary in my case).


NBN contractors showed up in our street this morning.

In December, we received an information pack, explaining that we would receive HFC connection, sometime before June 2018, and the connection would be made above-ground, from the existing pole-mounted infrastructure, to the fascia of our house or to a riser pole on the roof.

One of the contractors knocked on the door this morning to advise that they were going to run a new cable through the existing conduit leading under our house. My wife has checked with the contractor, and yes, it is coaxial that they are running underground. It seems the entire street is being done this way.

Has anyone else experienced this ? It’s the first I’ve heard of HFC being distributed underground rather than using an above-ground connection ( except in a limited number of special cases ).


Yes in the Wider Springfield area Qld, Forest Lake and similar all the Cables (including power) are underground. Thus HFC is delivered (if used) by underground conduit. I hastened to add most are not HFC connections but rather FTTN or FTTP.


Thanks @grahroll, that makes sense where the cables are already underground, but in our area ( 95% are houses constructed in the 1930s ) both electricity and HFC cables are on the old timber poles. The only cables underground are Telstra’s copper phone lines.

I wonder if any of the supporting HFC equipment is being relocated underground… :thinking:

Curiouser and curiouser. I’ve sent a query via NBN’s online form.

Update: they have run coaxial through the conduit and thus into the crawlspace under our house. THEN, they have brought it through the double-brick wall to the outside of the house.


I am awaiting a similar fate. The story they told me is they will tap into the conduit where it gets to the outside wall. I wonder if a few $$ might entice the workmen to put the box under my house where the copper comes out of the ground? It would save time and a few holes in the brickwork as well as being more secure. But alas I can hear the bleating they need unfettered access for maintenance, so I am realistic.

Have you considered invoicing NBNCo for the use of your underfloor area for their cable routing?


I suspect that bringing the cable to the outside wall is their way of gaining access to the cable at the very last point before I do. Quite ridiculous given that it’s less than 10m to the pit at the other end of the conduit, and they could access it there just as easily… ( More easily if I were to install a gate and a dog or wolverine )

If nothing else, the information pack we received about HFC is wrong. It states that the connection will always be overhead unless there is an issue with doing that. Perhaps they will at some point explain what the issue was/is…


I got the same pack. Since we have zero poles I contacted them and explained if they really wanted to do overhead in this estate they needed to get some budgies who could go 24 x 7 to keep the cable off the ground :smiley:

A few weeks later a supervisor came unannounced and understood the problem very quickly.

I have not been into pets for yonks, but a wolverine… hmmmm.


I think they have had too many pole incidents eg Car Crashes and going below ground is safer and less prone to damage (some reports I am seeing are saying this is part of the HFC fixes being rolled out because of damage to the infrastructure).


Government’s opinion seems clear. We are nothing but a bunch of whingers who do not appreciate their good work, spoken to us from a disciplined deaf ear and stone head. Government’s solution is transparency so those affected (most of us) can gleefully watch their 3rd world NBN performance on a dashboard and revel in what they have.


What can be written about the debacle sans accountability? It starts at the top with the major shareholder, the government, and works its way down.


They are having different problems in UK.


This was in 2016 already on the boards in Singapore:

On the 10 Gbps plan they are seeing around 2.5 to 5.5 Gbps downloading in peak periods.


A copy of an email I received from Mr Albanese


Good morning -

Last night I spoke in Parliament to report the results of my NBN survey.

Just 11 per cent of people who currently have the NBN are happy with the service.

Watch the video of my speech on Facebook here and SHARE to send Malcolm Turnbull a message to fix his NBN mess.

Special thanks to Fergus, Alyssa, Brett, Sharon and Tina for their comments, which featured in my speech.

Yours sincerely,

Anthony Albanese MP
Federal Member for Grayndler

PS - If you don’t use Facebook, you can also watch my speech to Parliament on YouTube here."


“Singtel Optus Pty Limited is the second largest telecommunications company in Australia. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel since 2001” (Wikipedia)

So why aren’t they talking about bringing the 10Gbps residential fibre service here? (edit: place tongue in cheek icon here if you can find one) :money_mouth_face:


Return on investment I’d reckon - Singapore is number 3 in the world population density of nearly 7800 people per square kilometre, we are near the end of the list at 3 people per square kilometre. Companies just run into trouble when the advertise wonderful things that just can’t be delivered cost effectively to in the middle of nowhere places like Warburton/etc … much easier in high density markets.