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The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints



Or you are in a part of you house which is in a blind spot for mobile signals and can’t move to where signal exists.


Here we generally need to go outside if we want clear phone conversation without dropouts- same if I am using my phone as a hotspot when I have no NBN- the phone goes out on the veranda with power supply attached.
It never used to be this bad, but things went downhill after Optus did some sort of tower upgrade a bit over 18 months ago.


More Skymuster issues… just received from my ISP:

Skymuster issue

NBN is aware of an incident impacting customers nationwide causing connections to intermittently fail.
Customers turning on their modems may be able to connect for brief periods of 10 - 20 minutes before being disconnected.

Latest update: NBN is currently undertaking restoration activities.


A couple of articles that might be of interest.

But there’s no demand. :thinking:

They have a plan:


Great one David4. Fact over fiction is always sobering.
The second news item is of interest in many ways.
It sounds great but offers little in substance or commitments from the NBN Co.

I read as follows (with my good eye):

Firstly that if you are a FTN customer what you have (maximum speed available) is for the foreseeable future all you are going to get. The majority of all fixed line customers are in this situation!

Second the suggestion of the ability to provide future speed upgrades to FTTB/P and HFC by relatively straight forward hardware technology replacement is no surprise. Practically these are also the customers already getting the best NBN speed outcomes plus a lucky few on FTTN who are very close to a node. So no need to do more for them, but we could?

Third point for fixed wireless customers many of whom are still waiting for the towers to materialise and can’t know how good or bad it may actually turn out. NBN Co could do 5G or more 4G or may be just nothing more than currently planned. What caught my attention most is the last part of the following assessment by ITnews.
quote- “Finally, on the fixed wireless front, the immediate options to increase capacity are 4G radio access network capacity expansions, as well as upgrades to microwave or fibre backhaul that service LTE sites.”

As many of the current planned FW towers use capacity limited microwave backhaul is the NBN finally admitting to having got this decision wrong! I hope so. That does not infer it is going to remedy it though?

Fourth point. A third satellite. Wow, what a great option. There is mild surprise (sarcasim of the NBN) no one else ever thought of this despite a more than 50% increase in customers to cover and uptake rate of 2 to 3 times the plan. We could actually need another 6 satellites at this rate to deliver the originally planned standard of service? Would this also make it the Number 1 satellite to ground non military data network in the world? Great PR if it is?

It’s therefore no surprise the NBN Co recently suggested it would need more money to finish the job. The only suspense for me now is how much more, how soon, and how do you dress this up to look good? True to the insight provided by “Utopia” on the ABC and by borrowing a little of Telstra think do your relabel the NBN at the same time. My dumbest idea would be to call it “NBN+” or “Next-NBN” bringing to you an even faster and better NBN than ever!

It will be great if the NBN Co continues to provide ongoing traffic usage data in a consistent and meaningful format. Will data consumption grow exponentially? It has for everything else IT related. Cloud storage, client server applications and TV/streaming. Then there are 3d holographic Skype sessions anyone? Well for 20% of the population this might be possible.


ABS figures suggest that it will.


Only one NBN connection allowed per property. I guess this applies to houses, but what about rural blocks? Oh that’s right; they don’t get NBN via cable.


That would be every second rural acreage in my district! Some even have two totally independent full size dwellings with independent families! Some have an on site but separated business.

Does this also apply to Fixed Wireless and Skymuster?
Guess they will all have to sit outside together and share the one tele/streaming service?

It was not a problem in the old days I paid Telstra to run a second line into my house at the time for the home office. It came with ISDN data or a separate internet service as needed. Would the NBN say no if you asked for a second service for your business or as a Sole Trader? Perhps you can convince the NBN you are a MDU. FTB for everyone!


lol, I paid Telstra for a 2nd line for internet, it was 14.4kbps on a good day! Somewhat less when you count the dropouts.

ROTFL, I cant even do Skype talk via NBN satellite and have removed Skype from my computer. Speech was usually very distorted and delayed, making it a PITA to use… so I’ve stopped using it.


@Gordon - thanks for the reminder there is always a worse place to be.

I only say this because there is a reasonable possibility the NBN will “upgrade - tongue in cheek” some of my neighbours and I from ADSL to Skymuster. Hopefully the rest of the community where I now live will stop fighting over Fixed Wireless tower locations and I will know for sure. In the end the NBN will play the trump - Federal Communications Legislation card and bypass local planning. But first NBN Co needs to go thru due process with council etc!

Yet another NBN Co short coming in planning and execution. It is reasonable to guess that several years prior the NBN had us down for a fibre/fixed line solution. We may now be victims of the NBN Co cost saving exercise that uses the original nearby Fixed Wireless towers to back fill around smaller communities and save the costs of adding extra nodes.

Asa consequence the less optimum the tower locations the poorer the coverage for FW and the greater the number who will be pushed out to Skymuster! Currently progress on approved towers has pushed possible connection out to 2020. At least NBN Co is deferring expenditure on these towers. So we will feel better until then. After that my 14mb/s ADSL2+ service (recently slowed to 6mb/s because I suspect it shares ducts and copper with NBN FTN) will cease for ever!

The unfortunate outcome remains the more the NBN Co avoids maximising the fibre/fixed line footprint the more it relies on the FW and Satellite solutions. This makes it even worse for those customers who genuinely will only ever have access via these options. These are also the most expensive to upgrade. And as you can relate Satellite does not work for many of the core services the internet can provide due to latency and drop outs.

Telstra and the government invested heavily in bringing phone services to many remote areas, typically via microwave. It remains a puzzle why an upgrade to this pathway was not considered a better option for most. Better than putting all remote and many rural customers on satellite. The NBN is relying on modern microwave equipment to interconnect many of its FW towers to the NBN.

I am no doubt lacking in knowledge, experience and political nous to understand the finer points of the logic!


Back in the late 1990s I was in discussion with a group in the US regarding setting up a remotely controlled telescope here, but it required fast internet connection. The ancient Copper here, extending over 12km from the exchange with plenty of corroded joints along the way, had no chance of being called “fast”, so I enquired wtih Telstra about a microwave link. It would have cost me $13000 per month!! :astonished:


You could have installed your own point to point microwave for about one or two month’s rent, no?


Now that’s the Telstra we all know and love?

It’s frustrating to see examples like this. Optical Fibre was already the go to more than 20 years past. Microwave and high speed directional wireless were also options. The true costs of providing these are well known in the industry and much less than others would have us accept. For the regional and rural areas outside the limits of the urban maze it is is also disappointing that individuals can’t readily implement the solutions best for each user more directly.
As an interim some of us may be able to ignore the NBN. For plan B - the low cost of a long ladder enables one to sit on the roof and use Optus 4G LTE for data for a bit less than $13k per month has appeal. Or wireless modem with an external aerial jack.

The options may be limited if you are in a Telstra only area. More so if the local tower is connected thru the NBN fibre network, giving the NBN’s future owner (assuming the backbone is not split off) a conflicted interest in the outcome.


This has been addressed previously.

According to an NBN spokesman, about 80% of fixed wireless towers rely on microwave backhaul. NBN’s network design rules can lead to “up to” 2640 premises sharing “up to” 900 Mb/s of bandwidth. Cheap, perhaps. Effective? :thinking: With places like Adelaide already looking toward ten gigabit services, our NBN is seriously deficient.


Which “our NBN” might this be?

No doubt the 10%+ on Skymuster and fixed wireless, and those hapless customers (another 10% at a guess) on the longer runs of the FTTN. In my head there are two NBN’s although none in our parliament have said so.

I’m expectant that the future holds only good news about the NBN. It will of course have a small asterisk to exclude those on the downside of the digital divide. NBN Co already has a history of using phrases such as “90% of fixed line customers” when saying how great a job it has done. And swiftly moving on without a word on the rest!

The technical insight on FW is disturbing if that is what the future holds! Still better than satellite - just?


“The planned maximum number of connected premises in a sector has typically been 110 premises but is now moving towards 56 premises in each sector, driving the need for additional sectors to support capacity demand (this may vary depending on the exact positions and radio conditions of the served premises),” the document says.

“The maximum bandwidth planned for the microwave hub site back to a FAN [fibre access node] site has been 900Mbps, but is now moving to 4Gbps to support capacity growth, allowing for the aggregation of up to eight eNodeBs [base stations/towers], with a maximum of 2,640 end users.”

Something doesn’t quite add up:
8 eNodeBs (towers) per FAN;
3 sectors per eNodeB;
56 premises per sector;
= a maximum of 2,640 premises? :thinking:

The original (2007) design rules reportedly had 60 premises per sector. Apparently, Turnbull upped that to 110. Problem is, that was more than ten years ago. ABS figures show demand for data rising, pretty much exponentially, since then. Is 56 premises per sector low enough to meet current demand, let alone likely future needs?

I’ve read elsewhere that the technology employed by NBN limits each sector to about 150 Mb/s.
4 Gb/s divided by eight towers = half a gigabyte per tower;
Half a gigabyte divided by three sectors = 0.166666666666667 Gb/s. Slightly less than 167 Mb/s. Close enough to 150.
All that means the 4 Gb/s of backhaul maxes out the capacity of the towers. Increasing end-user capacity from here will require upgrading the technology at each tower.

Of course, pretty-much halving the number of users per tower will need an increase in the number of towers to handle the same number of users. We’re getting to the stage that they’ll be building almost enough towers to make 5G work! :wink:


I have a very similar problem I actually live 4.5km from my nearest hub/node in Castle Hill NSW. I have had internet speed problems for 20+ years, which Has been regularly communicated to my ISP. Two years ago, approximately, I was unable to connect to my local Castle Hill node. Optus Now appear to let my system search for the most convenient connection. Blacktown, 10 km is the usual selection but I am regularly connected to variety of mode more than 25 km away. Just For the fun of it, during a very bad connection run, I selected Singapore for my Internet connection. Needless to say it was slightly better than connecting to Blacktown only kilometres away.

I understand that I am only on a 10mbps Download plan, finding 3mbps Download to be an average. However, having been a former IT professional, I have a requirement for reasonable upload speeds. Currently 0.9 to 1.5 to be my regular upload speed, Severely limiting my ability to send files of less than 1 MB and impossible to send larger files.School holidays tend to be the worst possible time to access Internet, regularly failing to even connect to a node.

It appears to me, that the NBN has been produced for the use of trivial purposes, like operating game files, the latest movies and junk. Companies are now tending to demand the use of Internet, Which, the connectivity Problems I am experiencing, Make extremely difficult. NBN is already floored, current policy being, run optical to Street junction boxes and let the old copper wire stay in place. Because there is a need for commercial organisations to use Internet for Practical purposes, I believe priority should be given to genuine data requirements.

The final insult to the consumer is the Apparent lack of management accountability to the consumer. The appearance of the companies to the consumer, is that either you deal with people with heavy accents, Thousands of kilometres away, or consumer is simply ignored, whilst their management hides behind the wall conveniently presented by the call centre. Is almost impossible to speak to a responsible manager even when the problem is clearly out of control.


The 150 Mbps per connected premises is both upload and download so in a typical NBN plan will get about 2/3 of that as download and 1/3 as upload with some loss for overheads. A very poor outcome per connected premises.


Less revealing for what is says than what it doesn’t say and how it says what it does. I strongly doubt that their 23.59TB/m residential customer was solely streaming video. I also doubt that they were on a 100/40Mbps FttN plan. Some cherries have been picked, methinks.


We certainly are big users in our house and get into TBytes of data a month but not in the 23 TB range of that business/individual/house. But we do not pull and push our data 24/7 either. Roughly 45 TB (both upload and download combined) could be reached in a 30 day month if run 24/7 with perfect 100/40 speeds ie no drops, no go slows, no congestion. If only counting downloads it is about 32.4 TB but still to achieve the amount of data of that user they must be shifting some huge quantity of data almost an average of 13 hours of everyday…residential home business? pirate server? US Library of Congress relocated to Australia? Huge HD Video Consumer who somehow avoids fair use policies?