CHOICE membership

The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints



Most online gaming is optimised to use the least amount of data possible, caveat to this can be the original download of files to install the game. Games use small packets mostly in UDP format to utilise the high resolution textures etc stored on the home computer or console (not sent over the internet) and send the relevant data about movement etc back. Small data usage is necessary to get the speed (Frames per Second) that users want with the least amount of lag possible.

But if you (NBNCo) have a failing experience you supply ie the NBN you (NBNCo) pick the easy target ie gamers (because they seem to always be playing with all those high resolution graphics which some people incorrectly think are being sent over the net) to blame for your (NBNCo) failure to provide a fit for purpose service.

As in the charts above as an example to watch one Netflix HD stream Movie takes about 5 to 9 GB of download in around 2 hours (that is between 2,500 MB to 4,500 MB per hour), so if you watch 2 or 3 movies this easily surpasses 10 GB and more likely 15 GB at least of data downloaded. No gamer would accept this amount of download traffic and would not expect anything remotely like a playable game, in fact they would firstly not play the game and secondly they would openly disparage the game makers from here till kingdom come.

But if NBNCo then admitted it was movie watching that was degrading performance and people streaming their daily and nightly fixes of news, current affairs, entertainment and other assorted non gaming tasks, most people would say but that’s what we pay for and would complain bitterly causing endless woe and embarassment for Malcolm Turnbull, his Government, his MTM NBN, and the NBNCo. All of this contrary to their hopes of re-election, voter satisfaction and demands for compensation.


Hi Grahroll,

Totally agree as an avid gamer I disagree with Mr Morrow, a portion of our traffic is UDP so we don’t care if we lose a pack or two.

If and when the NNBN does come my way I’ll use Aussie BroadBand. I’ve been reviewing them for a while and like how they operate and how they structure their network and publish there POI statics.



Bill’s boys at it again. I thought that the NNBN was to enable Australians to do better, get a side gig, work smarter, just don’t strive for the best of breed.

I’m a realist and I know fibre is not an option for me but seriously, just stomping on people who are pushing the boundary is not the right attitude, encouragement is what is required here and a can-do attitude which seems to be lost on the NNBN.


The WA Government has submitted a paper to the inquiry about the NBN rollout ( which argues for the speed standard to be upgraded from the current “is no longer considered Very Fast Broadband” 25 Mbps to the faster 100 Mbps and the definition of that “very fast broadband should be reviewed every 3 to 5 years to update it as needed” saying

"NBN Go s Statement of Expectations for the definition of very fast broadband be reviewed to specify that the Commonwealth and the NBN Co recognise that 25 Mbps is no longer considered Very fast broadband ; and that NBN Co adopt up to 100 Mbps as a minimum requirement for this definition; and

NBN Co s Statement of Expectations for the definition of very fast broadband should be revised, if necessary, every 3-5 years to cater for future changes to technology and demand."

"it does not allow for future expected demand growth, with global competition constantly increasing and technology developments constantly improving service standards. For example, ultrafast broadband (100 megabits per second (Mbps) to 1 gigabits per second (Gbps) is already being widely-deployed in other advanced economies around the globe.

As at April 2018, Australia is currently ranked 56th overall in average Internet speeds. There is little doubt that regional speeds taken separately would perform even less on a global comparison, however, there is no specific index that measures regional speeds."

CVC also gets a bashing in the paper with the WA Govt calling for it’s removal and another way of pricing that encourages 100% utilisation of the available bandwith and infrastructure:

“NBN Co adopt a restructured wholesale pricing model that eliminates the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) and the usage constraints that it imposes with its costs. A new model should focus on an approach that motivates the uptake of the highest achievable network speeds for all and permits near 100 percent network utilisation.”

I recommend that the submission be read by all who even have a small interest. While the paper concentrates on WA and it’s issues with the current NBN (as it should from a State perspective), the recommendations made and the issues they are addressing are Australian wide and do not just encompass the Rural and Remote areas. The calls for the removal of any further FTTN and replacing all with FTTP and FTTC has echoed much of what has been listed on this forum, The need to reduce the heavier reliance on Satellite and improve the Fixed Wireless services is among other points addressed.

@BrendanMays, @ScottOKeefe & @AlanKirkland
Perhaps the submission should be studied by Choice’s Consumer representative partner in Telecommunications ACCAN and if possible use it to strengthen their calls for a better NBN by working with the WA Government and also getting all the other States (Qld, Vic, NSW, SA, NT, Tas) Ministers and relevant State Government bodies to work in unison to achieve these goals. The Rural and Regional nature of the inquiry is an obvious barrier to getting these recommendations to cover Urban areas but with some of the issues being ones without these “border” limitations the outcomes if successfully won would also bring the Urban improvements in as well.

I think @gordon would be impressed with the WA view of the Satellite rollout and performance and their desire to open up competition to third parties who wish to use Fibre and Fixed Wireless in the regional and remote areas.


They were handpicked and appointed with a priority list including a need to make fibre (FTTP) literally unaffordable. Not only do they charge a fortune just for giving a quote for an FTTP service, but the cost of upgrading to that service is so high as to be unaffordable.

Then Bill’s boys can all say in unison “But look, there’s just no demand for fibre!”



The close corollary of that is when residents fortunate to be connected physically with FTTP but who opt for buying **<*100/40 on price grounds alone, then get logically- /politically-abused as somehow not wanting 100/40. It drives me bonkers when i hear morrow & liebs/nuts wield this disingenuous argument. Make the price reasonable & i’d expect most of those to whom FTTP is available would happily buy the top tier. Of course, of course, of course, the whole other argument rages anon about the miserably small proportion of premises even physically connected to FTTP… Fraudband & its proponents+acolytes simply suck.

* & not predicated on a financial model of mandating nbn as a profit-centre, but instead as a national investment. The opportunities lost by the current neocon thinking are sickening. Had we been getting 100/40, or Gigabit, nationally, just pause to contemplate how genuinely transformative that would have been. Quite apart from digital equity for existing citizens not living in cities especially SydMelb, future urban densification demands could be avoided or at least delayed for decades. People [many, not all, but many more than viable now] could migrate out of the major cities to regional & rural locales, yet still eWork for current employers or eWork for themselves with national & global customers.

Pressure would be massively relieved on urban road & rail infrastructure. Conversion of suburban low & medium density residential to medium & high density could be forestalled. National transport [private & public] fuel consumption could be slashed [with concomitant benefit to our national carbon footprint, & potentially road fatalities & injuries]. Vast swathes of citizens could live where they want rather than where they need, yet still thrive via eWork, eHealth, eLearning etc.

For all of these potential opportunities we now have only despair not hope, given fraudband & crap neocon myopia.


I believe blivit is an appropriate term.


Bare with me. This could get quite long and is the abridged version. Bare in mind this happened over just 48 hours.

As a quick explainer, my mum has a landline with Telstra. I have a Belong internet service on the same line. It works out for both of us because mum needs quarterly bills, and Telstra internet is too expensive for me to afford. Telstra recommended Belong to me after I ended my service with them because of cost (Belong is owned by Telstra, so will only connect using a Telstra landline).

Last month Telstra rang my mum to tell her NBN was available and needed to make appointments to change the landline over to NBN. Mum isn’t tech savvy at all and has a few health issues, so she passed the phone on to me. They told me they needed to get the appointments done because the copper network will be switched off and they didn’t know when, and appointments for the switch need to be made months in advance. I felt pressured so told them had to think about it.

They called back 23 May and got my mum to make me an authority on her account so I could deal with it. I told them felt was pressured and they said you should never feel that way at all. I explained how we had a set up and was told I could keep my current ISP, provided the modem was NBN compatible and mum her current line on Telstra. They would come out and switch the line to NBN 1 August and bring out a modem for the landline 6 August and install it. They said the billing cycle would change because it’s a new service. I said mum wouldn’t want that because it currently dovetails with her electricity bill the way it is. So they made a note to try and keep it the same. Was told there was a 10 day cooling off period and they would send the paper work out in the mail. Spoiler Alert: we still haven’t got it.

On Wednesday I woke up to find the internet wasn’t working. Re-cycled the modem and still nothing. All the lights were green on the modem so called Belong. Spoke to a brilliant person there who was a bit confused because my modem wasn’t showing on their end and we still had a dial tone on the phone. It was escalated up to her manager who said the ADSL connection was gone and it had been switched to NBN. I explained the previous interaction with Telstra. She told me to contact Telstra and since I no longer had an ADSL service available did I want to cancel the Belong service. I said I would wait to see what Telstra said.

Contacted Telstra using the number on the latest landline bill. They said there was no NBN and the order was scheduled for change over on 1 August. He ended up putting me thru to the Telstra ADSL team. They said it wasn’t connected to the NBN, and got me to make a call on the landline and called me on it to see if it still worked, It did so they said that still on the copper and the net should work and told me to contact Belong.

I rang Belong and spoke to another wonderful person. She checked everything and came to the same conclusion, that the line had been connected to NBN that day. Think the term used was the line was jacked to NBN. She gave me a LOC code and suggested I ring NBN to confirm it had been switched over. So I rang NBN and they confirmed that the order for Telstra had been completed that day. They had no record of a 1 August date. They told me to ring Telstra and also asked if I wanted to cancel the Belong service. I said I would wait to see what Telstra said.

So requested a call back from the person I had previously spoken to at Telstra. Someone else rang about 15 minutes later meaning I had to repeat everything. they said the net should be working coz wasn’t switched over, even tho I told them NBN had told me it had. I told them at the time of the initial call with Telstra in May that there was no way I could afford Telstra Internet. So I asked how much their NBN plans were. That meant the ADSL team member I had spoken to had to transfer me to the NBN sales department.

When speaking to them they told me the prices and I said couldn’t afford them. So they said they could speak to some kind of special deals team. He came back and said that because there is an outstanding order the special deals team couldnt actually offer me anything unless that order was cancelled but an offer would be about $10 off per month because I have a Telstra post-paid mobile. By this time I needed to go start work, and because the landline is my mums would need to discuss it with her first when I finished work.

After i got home, i dont finish work til mid-evening, and explained what had happened to mum it was late. Tried the call back link on the email the sales team member sent. When tried that I got a message saying it was after hours. So tried Telstra Live 24x7 chat on my mobile. They said the phone line was on copper and there was no reason why the line shouldnt have ADSL services running thru it. I gave them the LOC number and they asked who gave me the LOC number. I said Belong. They said they could’t access the LOC number coz of privacy coz it came from Belong and to call Belong.

So i called Belong. Explained the situation. Again. This person went thru tests again and said modem wasnt showing up at their end. got me to do a hard reset. Still nothing, so she escalated it to tech. The next morning i realised that i wasn’t given a modem login or password after the hard reset, so rang them again.

The guy I spoke to was quite good, gave me the login and pw, butmodem still wasnt showing up. He put me on hold and spoke to Telstra techs. the techs told him they could send someone out to check the line but they would probably say that it was coz it was connected to the NBN and asked if i wanted them to come out. He said that the LOC numbers can be accessed by any ISP using the NBN portal and the LOC stays with each street address when it’s connected to the NBN. He asked if I wanted to cancel the Belong service. I said I would wait to see what Telstra said. I told him I would try Telstra again to cancel the order first.

Used the call back link to the guy in sales and had to explain it to him again. Told him wanted to cancel the order. While he had me on hold I had a call from Belong. Explained i was on the phone to Telstra and they said they would speak to me later. When got back to the guy from Telstra told him Belong had called and he asked what they said. I pretty much said nothing new.He went ahead and cancelled the order and put me thru to another department in Telstra to talk about cancelling the order. She said it would take 24-48 hours for the cancellation to go theu, and then i could contact them about the special deal. While this was happening on the phone I got 2 txts from Belong saying they were sending a tech out this morning to check the line.

I tried a couple of other ISPs to see what they were offering, one had great customer service on the phone, the other had bad phone service but great social media team service. While at work had a missed call from Telstra about cancelling the order. They left a voicemail saying if had questions call them. Got home and saw from work and saw the internet light had turned red and the DSL light was off.

Tried calling Telstra backon the number in the voicemail and it was out of hours. Tweeted the Telstra SM team asking if i DM’d the order number could they let me know anything. They told me that could only be done thru Telstra 24x7 chat.

The tech arrived this morning earlier than stated. He asked questions about which service etc. He said Telstra had sent him out not Belong. Long story short, he plugged it back into ADSL. Both myself and the tech were very confused as to what was happening. he had to speak to 3 different people in 3 different departments and was raising his voice at both us and Telstra. Told me it was now an authentication issue with the modem now it was back on ADSL and call Belong. So now the authentication issue is resolved, been plugged back into ADSL and now have my internet back.

After this think it is highly likely will switch to the 1st different ISP i contacted yesterday. Mum wants a landline when we switch to NBN and Belong only have data NBN plans.


Welcome back online, your story is very frustrating.

I am yet to be connected to the NBN…only had the external NBN connection point installed 2 weeks ago and looks like we can’t move to the NBN until later in the year when most of the suburb is done. As we are the sort of people that if something could go wrong, it usually does, I was interested to read your experience.

As I think the old copper line/ASDL2 and NBN are separate communication systems, I expect that the old land line should be able to stay connected until the NBN is fully functional…maybe the only issue may be porting the number across at the last minute?

One thing I will be doing now is to ensure that land line is not disconnected until the NBN is connected and proven to be fully operational.

I wonder if this is a standard approach when migrating to the ‘compulsory’ NBN. If it is would be good to know and if not, if other have been successful in making similar requests.



This is a situation no one I’ve spoken to at both telcos have ever experienced before. With us it was a case of the phone line working but not the net, because the NBN order came from Telstra not Belong.

IIRC the way it’s spose to work is if its fttn in a neighbourhood it takes 6 months after the node is installed before the NBN can be connected to your house. Our node was built the end of last year and NBN was able to be connected end of April, early May and is fully functional now. Theres a co-existence period of about 18 months once the NBN goes active in an area, then the copper network is turned off after that time.

Also speaking to NBN Co during all of that too-ing and fro-ing theres only one port available for each address in the node, which means both phone and NBN broadband have to be with the same provider. SO Telstra was incorrect to say we could keep both services with both providers.

Telstra told me it would be possible to port the landline number to Belong put would take them some effort on their part, but Belong doesn’t have landline services on NBN so the offer was a bit redundant. I have spoken to both TPG and iiNet and they both say it is possible to port our landline number, but it’s not possible for every landline. Depends on certain issues.


I am not sure what type of connection you are getting, but if Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) they need to fit both external and internal hardware for you to be able to connect and the copper could still be in place for the phone until they remove the copper connection at the pillar, a similar story will exist with HFC. So you may have been switched over internet wise but still needed hardware installed at your house (if this is the case what a dreadfully shonky install they did or rather lack of install). Make a complaint to the TIO and ACMA about your experience.

If FTTN or FTTC then if they connected your internet your phone would have ceased to work, I am thus assuming you are not getting either of those. This ceasing to work would have occurred because they would have disconnected the copper to the exchange at the pillar and reconnected your copper to either the Node with FTTN or to the DPu (a little box in a pit not far from your home) with FTTC which then run as Fibre to the Point of Interconnect (likely your exchange).

If you want to remain with Belong and also have a “landline” then you can buy a VOIP package from any VOIP provider such as Engin, Telstra, Exetel, Ace Communications, TPG, Optus and the list goes on :-). You plug your phone line into the advised Uni V port on the internal FTTP hardware, or if it is HFC you will need to plug into the modem they supply for HFC. This may require some rewiring of your telephone sockets in your house. You are better to only have one connection point connected in your house and have any others disconnected from the circuit.


It’s an FTTN connection. The landline was working. Telstra was switching the phone service to NBN, but told me I would be able to keep the internet connection on the same line.

That’s why Telstra was saying that it hadn’t been connected to NBN yet. But Belong said it was connected because the NBN portal said it was, and NBN Co said it was connected. Belong even rang Telstra Tech department and they told them it was connected to NBN, put all the customer service people at Telstra were saying it wasn’t. We’ve pretty much decided to just get an NBN bundle with another ISP now lol. But somehow the Telstra tech plugged us back into ADSL so the net is back.

NBN Co also told me that being FTTN there is only one port available so having both the Telstra and Belong services on the same line wasn’t possible.


That’s mostly rubbish they have told you. Yes you can have a phone and internet package with a single RSP, or you can have a pure data package eg Belong and then buy a separate VOIP package from say Engin. Typically most RSP bundle the phone (VOIP) and data package together and don’t sell just data plans. There is no real landline anymore except if you get Fixed Wireless or Satellite where you can still retain your copper phone line after getting the NBN connected.

VOIP phone services use the internet, software, and your data allowance to create a virtual voice connection. So Telstra could have supplied you a phone service over the Belong Data service ie a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service but it certainly would have required your phone being plugged into the modem (it may have required another device before that to ensure the software was in place to use the Telstra VOIP service). To see as an example the Engin VOIP only plans go to These require a VOIP box to connect to the VOIP service via your Broadband and to see an example

If you had been connected to FTTN then the usual process for phones is they have to roll the old service over to the VOIP service and you have to plug your phone into the modem to actually be able to phone out. Being able to pick the phone up and phone out without being plugged into the modem after the switch to NBN on FTTN is impossible. If the phone was working contrary to this scenario you were not connected to the FTTN circuit, it was not possible. Some modems do not require another device for the phone to be plugged into as they already have VOIP adapters built into them and only then require the VOIP settings to be input into the modem to enable voice communications.

If they then reconnected (if you had actually been moved to FTTN) you to ADSL this would have required them to go to the node and disconnect the copper line to your house and reconnect it to the copper line to the exchange at the pillar. Under the current legislation this is not permitted. Once you are disconnected from the old copper circuit they are not permitted to reconnect you. Part of the current review into the NBN has recommended the legislation be amended to allow it but this has not occurred to my knowledge yet.

So that is why I suggest you make a complaint to both the TIO and the ACMA about the installation failure.


Yesterday we received an email from Telstra to let us know that NBN Co will be doing some maintenance on the NBN in our area, so we can expect no Internet services from 11pm monday night until 6am the next morning. This wasn’t something we ever had before the NBN existed. So it doesn’t really bother us, but what about people who have back to base alarm systems or emergency medical systems in place that require a phone line to be functional, in our case the phones won’t work unless the NBN is connected and working.


The NBN compromises alarm systems. To maintain integrity and reliability they need to be modified to use wireless monitoring, the good old ‘fully charged mobile’ concept so popular with NBN. Same for emergency medical. Our mobile services never go down or become inoperative/overloaded either, right?


Re the NBNCo admonishment to keep a fully charged mobile for ‘emergencies’, it looks like one also needs to have SIMs on two of Telstra and Optus and Vodaphone networks. (Wireless back to base alarms systems monitoring systems often offer that feature!) What are the odds NBN/RSP, and both of the wireless networks being down concurrently, and your battery flat? (/sight sarcasm).


I’d say 100%! I had no NBN for over 6 hours from sometime between 2 and 3am, plus ‘no service’ from Optus from when I first tried around 8am until about 10am on Monday. When I was with Telstra, it was always very intermittent. The total lack of any connectivity isn’t all that uncommon a situation here out in the sticks, although it doesn’t usually last so long.


My 80 yo mum hasn’t had a reliable service for over a year. Two complaints to the ombudsman nothing has changed, when u complain the service works for 4-6 weeks then back to dropouts that last from from 5 minutes to 3 hours. Nothing from Optus other than promises and many SMS’s after complaints saying the issue is fixed - over 1 year on nothing is fixed. There is nowhere to go to get this fixed - my mum is out of reach when the phone is down - She can’t use a mobile (we’ve tried to teach her but she just can’t work it out). We’ve given up and are just waiting for 5G - people tell us this removes the need to use the NBN.


If you mum is using the internet any mobile service data plan that works in her area can replace the NBN (at a cost). If she is dependent on a traditional landline the ‘new world order’ will be an internet VOIP phone or a mobile. You indicated she could not learn to use a mobile so that leaves VOIP. VOIP requires internet service that can be provided over NBN, 3G, 4G, or when it comes, 5G (or 6G as technology evolves). As we know, mobile service can be sporadic in many areas and we have black spots even in metro areas.

FWIW you can be assured mobile data will have higher costs than NBN plans and using it for phone service will require an ‘always on’ data connection.

VOIP will drop out any time the internet drops out. regardless of what technology you have (NBN, 3G, 4G, 5G). Back to the NBNCo’s admonishment to have a fully charged mobile for ‘emergencies’ such as needing to make a call. That mobile will be on 3G/4G/5G so it is a catch 22 in many ways.


A post made by @BrendanMays regarding a phone that whilst using the mobile network looks and acts like an old style phone that may be of interest and help to you:

The monthly cost is $55 and the set up fee is $99. It is a leased service so your mother would never own the phone but as it is nothing more than a base station and a cordless phone handset (with largish digits on it) it should be simple for her to use.