CHOICE membership

The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints



Another one for the think tank! Are some existing ADSL service customers now being hit with a hidden NBN cost?

Once the NBN has access to an exchange and starts to connect customers I’m guessing that most exchanges start taking all their back haul via the new NBN backbone.

For a period (from at least 18mths up to 36mths) an exchange will be providing data to NBN customers who were recently enabled for service and connected. There will be some customers who could be on the NBN but are waiting out the 18 months to change over.

There may also be some customers who are still on ADSL because the NBN has not got to their house yet, or like many others are waiting for the Fixed wireless of HFC to get sorted.

Now for just the group not able to connect to the NBN. It is assumed their data may be coming down the NBN backbone. Are the ISP’s involved being made to pay CVC rates for the data that they are using for ADSL customers who cannot yet connect to the NBN?

If so it would seem more than a little unreasonable that your ISP has to pay CVC for a non NBN customer who cannot access the service. One way for an ISP to limit the added financial impact is to shape services on the ADSL customers. I understood the basis of the CVC charge was primarily to recover the cost of the rollout from the exchange to the customer, and not for the work on the back haul network?

The observation I can have:
In our townhouse in Bris-vegas our service appears to be subject to shaping at peak evening times. The modem link speed is changing from >12Mb/s to often less than 2Mb/s. Sometimes it comes good the next day. Sometimes per our friendly ISP staff’s advice we need to disconnect for a little bit and restart the connection. And like a magic it is all fast again. After several calls to our ISP since December - and some very round about responses including reference to the updated Customer Service Guarantee it seems something is not as it used to be.


That’s an interesting thought, and one that might deserve a fair bit more attention.

It may be revealing that Uncle Rupe’s strands began sustained attacks on the NBN from virtually the moment it was announced. In fact they’ve been vehement almost to the point of being neurotic about it.

Apparently giving users ability to freely source content from round the world was A Very Bad Thing.


Rupes + madmonk + trumble … we never had a chance.


From a Tweet about the copper NBN and a comparison to Singapore Fibre network…This image is powerful in it’s statement re cost and speed…30 odd Singapore dollars a month for 500 Mbps. Via Singtel our Optus no less.


Because there is a greater reliance on Fixed Wireless under the MTM is it any surprise it is blowing out the cost of supplying it in the rural and less urban areas, many of which under Rudd’s plan could and should have been FTTP.

See this story at:

I add that what Malcolm Turnbull promised was labelled by many expert specialists in the area of communications, and has turned sadly very accurately out to be, the worst possible idea. Malcolm told us it would be cheaper and faster, the experts told us it would be dearer and longer…who was right the experts of course but everyone who believed a “ex” Banker got rorted, sounds just like the revelations out of the Banking RC.


Why do city customers get NBN Satellite connections? Because it’s too hard or too costly for the NBN to want to try and give them another service. Nothing quite like the Malcon Turnbull Mess (MTM) NBN:

Other news about the fairness and the relevance of the NBN installations:

This is not what we should have. It is an affront to all Australians when we could have had a more equititable and better system Australia wide and it could have been owned by all Australians through our Government.


Yes, but… the unpleasant, frustrating-as-hell dumb reality is that as i wrote somewhere recently, Strayans largely deserve to be affronted. madmonk & trumble told us they were going to root [technical term] the nbn if they got in, sufficient numbers of electoral clowns voted for them anyway, & voila they rooted the nbn.

And to think that some mean people say that pollies don’t keep their word.


I feel a little sad Steffie,

It is easy to evoke emotions and direct blame. No doubt your targets have a hand in our current dilemma.

Mr Abbott and Turnbull aren’t the cause of our problems, nor the Aussie public at large who no doubt would say in mass they do think about their political choices. I’d suggest the cause of our problem is more fundamental. The NBN is just another symptom of the problem.

We may be a democracy in that we can all vote (age permitting) and hold differing views or positions. We are less of a democracy in that many of the decisions made on our behalf by our governments are not universally popular. Some decisions according to opinion polls often have the support of many fewer than half of us.

We can’t change our past and history. There is no point in complaining about it. Perhaps we all need more understanding of it.

One take on our poitical system - It is what it is because it made sense to those empowered by late nineteenth century British Politics. Even the so called father of federation Sir Herny Parkes as the Colonial Secretary to NSW was in part doing the bidding of the then government of GB in encouraging a more independent future for the colonies. He was instructed to pursue Federation. It was a future where the Australian Colonies would stop calling on GB for financial support but also one where we toed the line for GB and retained business connections to its favour. It was not then a universal desire of all in the Australian Colonies to go free lance! And it was also subject to the sanction of the then parliament of GB that we should do everything to fit into its vision.

We subsequently inherited a system that while far reaching in formulation as a “Commonwealth” adopted much that was not so good. This included the basis for the “White Australia Policy” and the disempowerment of anyone not of European descent.

Our current electoral system was deliberately designed to return only first and second place to represent us. We don’t have any true form of proportional representation. It is the two parties in our two party preferred system who hold all the cards if this is to ever change? The LNP response to the recent recommendations for more inclusive recognition of the earlier Australians suggests any change at all to our political values or system that affects the status quo will be summarily dismissed. Unless some may argue we can limit it to only two parties and remove all minor parties from the senate.

Both major parties differentiate on major issues whether by solution ( the better NBN solution) or need (Not for Profit Industry Super funds vs Only for Profit Super Funds). This often leaves no room for consensus. They can also exclude solutions due to the extreme opposites of position each adopts.

There is enough evidence through the consumer actions of Choice members of how difficult it is to change our lot for aspects of our lives as consumers that typically don’t even rate on the agenda at election time. Both the major parties it could be argued avoid consensus and choose to deflect/ignore non core issues.

Unfortunately in the 2016 election typically 1 in 4 Australians didn’t vote for either major party in the House of Reps. Only 2 in 5 really wanted a Liberal/National Government. Slightly less desired the ALP. As you noted our current NBN solution has been determined to the benefit of those most likely to vote for the LNP.

Ultimately the NBN will get a score. If you live in a marginal electorate you may do better.

Ultimately the NBN will be sold off. There will be winners and loosers.

Rather than fix the NBN my guess is our political system will reject more public investment. If you want good NBN then Aussies will simply sell up and move! How do I know this to be reliable! One of my local real estate professionals told me that having good NBN or no NBN will not affect property prices! And we all know how reliable real estate sales staff are?

On average 4 out of 10 Australians will agree the NBN we have is better than the one we didn’t get. Not enough (9 out of ten experts) to sell toothpaste or hair product - but just enough to get re-elected?

I’d hope that nine out of ten Choice members agreeing still has the power to influence some of the NBN outcomes.


Sure, our electoral system is not perfect… very far from, some might opine. I am completely unwilling however to let noble theoretical political what-ifs obfuscate, much less excuse some recent political realities. That statement covers a plethora of contemporary political & social ills, but i shall limit here to simply the nbn. IMO no Aus citizen who is already on nbn, & is amongst the cohort unhappy with its performance & reliability [sic], & who voted for the libs & nats, has a single strand of credibility in so-whinging. To repeat myself;

We would not have this present substandard mess if either of the following was true:

  1. Abbot & Turnbull were not so vacuous, self-serving, malfeasant & myopic
  2. Voters had not voted for these galahs

Slightly OT, but your:

…encapsulates a major gross contemporary ill… the total lie that nation-building capital investment infrastructure belongs in private not public hands. Having worked in both governmental & private industry, i rile every time i hear this stupid mythology peddled. At least public entities have a chance of being forward-looking & striving for the greater public good. Conversely private enterprise [of a magnitude for buying public infrastructure assets, i mean] looks as far as the next AGM, & doing what it can to avoid shareholder revolts… public good gets nary a look-in.


I agree with not selling the NBN off. No long argument from me. But once done it will be impossible to undo. The next federal parliament will have that decision to make.

Perhaps the NBN was doomed regardless of who kicked it off. The solutions of both the ALP and current government lacked complete reasoning and pragmatism. One offered caviar on a Pal budget, the other cod liver oil for less than the cost of the bottle it came in.

There is no nobility to be had in politics. The party decides. It’s never for the leader to decide. Captain’s calls are soon followed by downfall is a valuable recent lesson for all in any party politic. If it wasn’t Abbott and it wasn’t Turnbull because they saw the light then it would have been Bishop or Dutton or whoever the LNP chose on the day.

The root cause of what we now have for the NBN is perhaps due more to the failure of our political system to hold anyone to account until after the damage has been done. If there should be a personal target it’s the back benchers in marginal seats who need to feel the pain.

Choice is doing a great job in highlighting concerns and giving feedback on actual NBN performance. There remains hope.


I suggest it is more honest to admit one offered caviar at a near realistic although low estimate while the other offered and is delivering dog food at even higher costs. The former was fit for purpose for the most part, the latter is not fit for purpose for the most part.


Correct on both counts! And the other point is we were told a dogfood MTM would also be delivered faster, whereas it will finish up taking significantly longer. This is partly due to foreseeable problems, and partly because Malcolm Turnbull halted NBN for a couple of years while everything got changed over to build his MTM.


What must also be taken into account is that everyone who had some expertise in this area said FTTP costs while initially high would fall as the work progressed. Some of this was the learning of efficiencies that reduced cost and time spent, it is a learning curve that improves as more work is done. This is the experience of the World in regard to fibre rollout, the time and thus cost needed has dramatically fallen from it’s once heady heights. The other main reason is as more take up Optic Fibre across the world the costs of material typically fall, again this has been the observed outcome. When Fibre was not mainstream, components were specialised production and as such made at a premium cost point now it has become more mainstream the processes themselves become more efficient, more common and as such less costly.

Also as many of us have written about previously the fixes that had to be made to make a much more complicated MTM network work somewhat effectively are very high cost in both time and money, as experts warned. This MTM also applies a much higher ongoing cost of maintenance than a mostly FTTP network would have. Then there will be the future remediation costs of the copper network that are not that far away being no more than, but probably far less than 10 years away (generations away as far as the political life-cycle is concerned though).

As the rest of the Fibre World advances to 10 GbE networks (and faster), and that is a lot of the World, we are left with a 25 Mbps standard that in but a very short few years will be seen like 9600 baud modems are now ie museum pieces as historical curiosity value only.

The bi-polar political behaviour evident in the MTM decision serves nought but the politicians who bathe in it’s glow. Thinking about nation building and the national infrastructure needed to make that occur came a very poor somewhere else in the list of political gamesmanship. What we need to be doing is being in the rush to overtake and be in the forefront rather than the rush to catch up.

This delay was not a halt. While I agree that much time was wasted by the decision changes, important work had to be completed re the NBN Backbone (Interconnect) and this was also much of the delay during Rudd’s & Gillard’s time in office and what Abbott and Turnbull used to their advantage (knowing that once the Backbone had been completed, the pace of residential work would increase). Without that Interconnect NBN residential connection was like putting plumbing into a house but there being no water connection to supply it.


Who are they kidding, somebody put a stop to this continued stupidity that is our broadband network leadership!


I still don’t have the NBN its been postponed for another twelve months.


NBN’s chief is grossly ignorant or misinformed if they think on line gamers lust after Fixed Wireless NBN. The ‘latency’ literally kills the FPS experience. That’s techie for “oh no! I just got killed again in the game because the other guys can move before I even saw them coming”.

Congestion on the NBN FW network is the failure of the NBN Co to adequately and properly assess the intended customers needs and to design accordingly. To deliver speed the NBN needs to have the technology for delivery to each user and also the capacity to deliver this to all users. This was the commitment the NBN Co gave to all of us, even satellite users.

It’s impossible to accept recent excuses from NBN Co about greater than planned uptake. When NBN Co and the government tell everyone that you must connect to the NBN or loose your phone and internet there can only be one outcome!

I still fear what will happen when “Free to Air” TV becomes on line only? With Wireless, one channel only per household on crappy low quality full HD. The family down the road on fibre will be able to have two or more 4K programs playing while updating their cloud storage and video calling gran in full HD - no lag?

Prediction: We are being warmed up for a total rewrite of the Fixed Wireless NBN outcomes. This may well include splitting fixed wireless and satellite from the Fixed Line NBN. Once the NBN Co determines the need for a tower in an area the NBN Co will as it committed to previously use this to reduce the number of fixed lines connections in that footprint to save expenditure. This also puts more customers on a tower increasing the return per tower if the NBN Co does not need to deliver on the 25MB/s minimum speed guarantee for all.


NBNCO is also constrained by the MTM NBN rules set by Malcolm Turnbull & Tony Abbott. They are now made to use inferior connections in more places than was ever envisaged under the Rudd Plan. If you pile more people onto very limited bandwidth carriers eg Fixed Wireless then you cut their individual bandwidth savagely. It’s like trying to put four or more 250 ml bottles into one 250 ml container, it just doesn’t fit so in Wireless it means the amount allowed is reduced for each user so that all can be fitted in, this is congestion and this is what is happening.

It doesn’t matter if it is gamers, business or residential you can’t put more through the Wireless pipe than the pipe can carry. What the NBNCo want is seemingly just a few text files, a bit of email, and maybe some Web browsing to be done by Wireless consumers so that they can fit more users into that squeezed capacity without everyone complaining they can’t get things done ie they want consumers to reduce their consumption rather than increase it. This is what is unrealistic as more people want to stream Netfix, Stan and similar online content, people do want to game, people do want to teleconference, Skype, Tweet, Instagram and so on with all of it requiring more and more bandwidth to do it all.

The same can be said for Satellite but in reality their situation is far worse than even wireless, as Satellite suffers huge lag (the time it takes between sending a signal to the time it is received at the other end) > 500 milliseconds for every connection, which makes phone conversations, teleconferencing, pretty much any realistically live interaction useless or nearly so and all of this with a severely constrained usage limit and bandwidth limit.

This is why the Wireless and Satellite technologies had a relatively small part to play in the original NBN plan. While small it was very important to have them where Optic Fibre was very difficult to supply in the initial rollout of the Rudd NBN and allowed people who had never had this speed of, or even had, connectivity to the internet to have reasonable connections. In the future those connected this way would have been upgraded as costs and ways of getting fibre laid improved. This was not seen as the outcome under the MTM NBN.


Also worth a read on the failure of NBN Wireless and Satellite connections that could see people losing services. ACCAN raises the issues of this failure.


This says it all, seriously Morrow needs to do some fact-checking.


ABC is ~300MB/hr which our satellite connection often can’t quite manage! The increased CVC purchased by our ISP a month or so ago made SBS OnDemand ok for a while, but it is back to the annoying hanging at ad breaks, requiring several reloads again now. We’d have no chance with any of the other streaming services.