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The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints



This can be said of any RSP (Retail Service Provider or in old terms your ISP/Telco) as they all have a formal and contractual relationship with the NBN Co and we as customers do not.

Thus if you for example sign up for a new NBN plan with TPG, they will contact the NBN Co to have put in place the necessary pieces to allow the connection from your house through the NBN network to the TPG infrastructure. If you had a legacy system previous to the request that system will be disconnected and you will be “churned” to the NBN. The NBN Co after 18 months of availability in an area will inform your ISP/RSP/Telco that they are disconnecting the old infrastructure and then they will disconnect that old system regardless of your circumstances because that disconnection timeframe is the law for NBN Co.

If the NBN Co fail to connect you in the required connection timeframe they are allowed (I think it is 28 days) then your RSP is entitled to receive payments as a penalty from NBN Co but you as the customer are not generally entitled unless your RSP is also a Customer Service Guarantee (CSG) signatory and a Universal Service Obligation (USO) provider, the only one of these currently is Telstra. So as it is Telstra you are with you will likely receive a CSG payment if you meet the criteria which includes timeframe requirements.

I am not supporting Telstra here I am just explaining that Telstra may not be the culprit for your disconnection at all and had no ability to halt that disconnection. They may have sought to change you over and in that case it may be partly their fault. This will be looked at by the TIO and if Telstra was at fault they will be dealt with hopefully and if not and it was just the 18 month disconnection you probably won’t get much satisfaction at all, perhaps n apologetic letter but not much else.

@TheBBG The delay caused by the HFC issues resets the clock for the 18 month timetable for the areas affected and so the start date will be modified as each period elapses without change. Well that’s the theory anyway but is certainly something you can argue with them about.


I wonder too?
Our local exchange is now changing customers onto the NBN, mostly FTTN services. Our proposed FW is still in planning, no tower and a Q4 2019 build completion. All of 2020 and beyond to swap over. In the mean time we will still be on ADSL2.

Hopefully they do not turn us off end of 2019 too. The NBN should not per current rules. It remains a contradiction that ADSL2 is incompatible with the NBN VDSL if we will remain on our old connections for up to a further 18 months, possibly into 2021 even?


If you happen to be on a circuit that’s also serving FTTN (or FTTC), then they will. The only telecommunications guarantees involve voice services. We have no “right” to data services.


As you are getting FW (Fixed Wireless) than you certainly can retain your copper line telephone. Because this will still be in place the ADSL connection will not be terminated as the hardware for that is either in a DSLAM (which they will need to maintain for the telephones) or at the actual exchange (again they will need to maintain some of that hardware).

What @n3m0 says is correct for FTTN pillars but you will not be on a FTTN pillar and DA (Distribution Areas) can have a mix of services including FTTP, FTTN, FW etc depending on their population distribution make up. All this though is the theory but actual outcomes vary due to sub contracting of work. If however they do disconnect you, you will have grounds to seek repair or a replacement service eg Mobile Wireless Internet until they fix the issue (this I can say from actual experience helping my mother and a friend both resolve incorrect service cancellation on FW).


Perhaps I should have been a bit more precise. If a circuit serves FttP or FttC, then it’s incompatible with ADSL. In those cases, data services are provided via wireless or satellite and the line downgraded to voice-only. There’s an example of that here:


Oh I agree if the line to the house is on a run with FTTN and only rarely will it be FTTC affected as most of that run is fibre and only short runs of copper as each in ground unit or pole mounted unit supports about 3 houses in total and must be powered from the houses and it will never be with FTTP as that suffers no interference from copper cross talk and FTTP does not use VDSL and uses a separate circuit.

The person who is describing their dilemma are in an uncommon situation. They are probably too far from the pillar for decent FTTN (ie the standard 25/5) so will be given Sat instead but the wire still travels back to the pillar that it shares with FTTN. FW will cover an area and support more than just a couple of houses (if the number is too low they don’t get FW they get Sat instead) and the copper circuit for them tends to be supported by it’s own pillar and possibly a DSLAM, but as in the example it could happen but I would think only very rarely.

This is why I think the Labor plan was superior in many ways. It kept the FW and Sat connections to the smallest number possible and the rest would have been serviced by fibre. Even towns or places that had enough density of around 1,000 would have received fibre. The network of fibre as costs came down would have eventually reached out to almost the entire population.

FTTN was and is a terrible solution because of run distances Vs speeds achievable, ongoing maintenance costs and power outages. Even the touted cost savings are in fact not real once the additional ongoing costs are factored in. FTTC is a better outcome as the runs of copper are very short and the rest is fibre, speeds can be much better for each connected premises/household but still power outages could be a bane to emergency communications.

As has been said many times we need politicians and voters to “bite the bullet”, face the costs, and provide the network we need rather than the network that costs the least in dollars initially but has the greatest costs in every other metric including ongoing dollar cost.


It will be reassuring to know that if we do get disconnected next year before the NBN has put FW in place for our area we will not be the first with this experience. Hopefully the NBN will have learnt to avoid this mistake by then?

@n3m0, appreciate the feedback. We have the slightly different situation that our local exchange will have all it’s nearby customers on one of the solutions, either FTTN or some FTTC. The 18 month change over period for them runs out at the end of 2019.

However for the rest of us on ADSL from the same exchange getting FW or worse and further than approx 1km from exchange the NBN solution of FW is still in planning stage. It is unlikely to be ready before the NBN turns every body else off. As @grahroll indicated the NBN is going to have to keep our ADSL available long after they have turned it off to all the near customers.

Assuming we (those on FW) also get 18 months to switch, it makes a bit of a joke of not providing the option for some of us to remain on ADSL2 if we choose. The other locals on FTTN will have their VDSL handicapped for up to 3 years per your comment that the NBN will not be able to turn up the power on the NBN FTTN services until all ADSL is turned off.

Th NBN and local Federal (LNP) member are currently very quiet on what the future holds. I have a fear that Skymuster will be offered potentially 150 new customers, of whom less than half currently have internet access anyway. The direction will remain unclear until after the Federal election. Some time prior I also sort a reply for the Federal Shadow Minister for communications seeking some better understanding of where things might go, however the silence from that side of the house has also been deafening.

p.s. I’ve previously exchanged other posts concerning the options including Technology Upgrade and simply moving to use 4G mobile data, which currently provides a faster service than our ADSL2+.


I’ve seen it come up surprisingly often. Apparently, if there’s VDSL (FttN/C) in a cable bundle then crosstalk issues preclude ADSL on other conductors within that bundle. I’ve heard of similar issues between separate cables within a duct, but haven’t confirmed it.


If you pass any electrical signal/power through a cable the charge causes fluctuations in the field around that cable. That is why shielding is used to reduce this when interference needs to be minimised to the least it can be. So cables passing one another in a duct could have some affect but most do have shielding to some level. There are other ways of reducing this impact eg twisted pairs where the copper wire pairs are twisted in a known twist ratio to reduce interference and allow greater transmission range as opposed to Untwisted Pairs which you will normally see as UTP on cables that do not use twisting, some pairs are shielded as a pair rather than as a bundle of several pairs.

Crosstalk doesn’t really preclude VDSL it just means the maximum speed is reduced when sharing a pillar with ADSL. That is why when an area is changing over from ADSL to FTTN they reduce the maximum VDSL speed so that the crosstalk has the least impact they can tolerate. Once an area is at the cutoff date they stop the ADSL feeds and they can boost the VDSL speeds…this isn’t really a great deal but can make a difference for those further away on marginal speeds.

FTTC has fibre to the Distribution Point Unit (DPU), which only services about 3 houses each, that is in a pit close to your home. This fibre even if travelling through the same conduit as a copper cable will not be affected by the interference generated as the light is unaffected. The DPU converts the light into electrical pulses to your house and the return pulses are converted to light to transmit it back to the POI (Point of Interconnect) (this is the point where the NBN connects into your RSP’s network). In this regard due to the very small runs of copper involved Crosstalk is almost of nil impact. The reason NBN Co do not then run the fibre the rest of the way to your house is because they say the greatest cost is from the pit to your premises and not the long street runs of fibre.


The pillar isn’t the issue. It’s runs of conductor in close proximity, bundled within cables or (reportedly) in ducting. If data rates are reduced, then the installation won’t meet performance standards. That pretty well meets my definition of “preclude”.


A post was split to a new topic: Windows Update Problems


We recently had an outage with our NBN service so I called Internode.

The person said they had no known problems in our area and our service was showing as OK.

I looked below our office desk only to see the cable from the wall socket to the router was cut in half.

Gotta love puppies.


The major parties have in fact been working together to ‘close the door’ behind them; seeking to leave us with no other options! The Senate ameliorates this somewhat, but still gets referred to as ‘unrepresentative swill’ for its efforts to moderate government attacks on what democracy we do have. The major parties are affronted at the idea that a senator could be elected on just a fraction of the vote, due to preferences. Instead they should be looking at why that person got the votes, and why they are losing them!

I think you mean minor issues. As of today Labor is supporting ‘small to medium-sized business’ tax cuts, neither has a policy to address wage shrinkage in absolute terms (and in general both see it as some sort of ‘positive’), nobody wants to debate Australia’s place in the world and whether old alliances should be changed, and as for the economic dogma we have to swallow (such as goes with business tax cuts/trickle-down economics) - neither party is prepared to challenge the reality that Midnight Oil and others sang about in the 1980s. Neither political party dares alienate the rich, or the business classes. Instead they wage their battles over piddly affairs that could better be managed by bureaucrats.

The NBN is just one of those government programs that annoys the private sector - it treads on toes. Thus, it was treated as ‘major policy’, and one party set out to destroy it on behalf of their sponsors.

Well he can’t possibly blame the real culprit: a network that was designed and built for the twentieth century and cannot cope with the video traffic that everyone knew would be a big part of the early twenty-first century.

We have an NBN designed for yesterday - not tomorrow or the future. I wonder if Malcolm still has shares in private ISPs?

If there is an emergency, and the power goes out, then the mobile cell towers will also die.

I don’t know whether they’re still around, but once upon a time there were enthusiast groups that would provide Internet to their members for next-to-nothing. Of course, this was in the days of 28.8Kbps, so things have likely changed a little.

That’s our money being wasted! If your suggestion is correct, this is something that should see certain politicians and their advisers jailed.

I was in the Optus shop today looking at mobile phones, and something else caught my eye. They are selling 4G home modems, that will provide all your home network traffic using the 4G network. The speed would beat my current ADSL2+ quite handily, but I am allegedly getting the NBN in mid-2019 so it is not worth changing over right now.


It is so! Although you could also have gone to Telstra. Being Telstra they call theirs 4GX. (This thread does not need another 100 pages exploring the meaning of the X. It is marketing more than any unknown quantity. Both are valid responses around here.)

Perhaps like me you are over the NBN for lots of reasons and are seriously attracted to an alternative. Although it appears that may have been part of the plan post 2013?

The option for some may be a congested NBN FW solution. It’s possible to relieve this by ignoring the NBN and going to a soon to be congested mobile 4G service at some cost, or pay the NBN lots to upgrade to fibre. Either way the NBN as has been pointed out here in previous posts wins. It already has it’s average $4,000+ to keep for each customer that chooses not to connect. And perhaps in a rural area like us the mobile Telco data is going to the NBN anyway?

Objectively in an average+ service location in Urban Brisbane our Telstra
mobile data modem easily sustains 30-50Mbs. It is not so great at home in the Mountains, falling back to 3G, but still beats our ADSL2+.

At home we get a better Optus signal than Telstra. And it works fine too on 3G, with a weak 4G signal reported. Optus though prefers to try and connect using the 4G service even though it is weaker than the 3G signal.

We have found there is already some security in having mobile data for when the power goes out, for weather updates, Energex etc. On a clear sky night we can see the stars and the fast moving steady glint of satellites, and wonder what could have been. The future beckons.


We have a 3G ipad on the Optus network in suburban Melbourne. Even with a few bars it is often unusable because of the backend servers being over taxed or just slow, or perhaps affected by the actual signal quality hiding behind those bars. Our mobiles (3G and 4G) are also on the Optus network and we pay more attention to the signal levels since they are in our faces more than the iPad, and they show variable from no service to 4 of 5 bars as we walk about the house or even sit in one place.

A few years ago we had Telstra SIMs and it was not so different. Now we pay less for the similarly poor service.

That was one of the earlier expectations for us. We found it to be as much of a punt as anything. It reveals most of our ‘connected world’ remains marketing not reality, individual case dependent.


Reality accepted. At a guess the local population here has been slow to pick up and consume what mobile data we have available.

The area in Brisbane we use has had reasonable cable or ADSL based services. The mobile data network in the past seemed to struggle in peak hour when I was on the bus each morning. Mobile cells recently seem to have grown in the area faster than the slash pines at home. This may explain the good fortune for now.

We still travel often in Qld and NSW and experience the wide variation of service quality in different locations. How any of us might manage without the NBN and which alternatives are effective for consumers in the near future might be a topic on it’s own. Some of the towns on the way and highway towers certainly appear to have limited backhaul capacity.

It would revealing to see a national map of NBN performance by service area, or street? And overlay that with mobile coverage with data backhaul capacity or cell capacity indicated per tower. All commercial in confidence no doubt, but a stupid excuse for what are effectively non-competitive monopolies. The Oztowers web site has been useful in keeping up with local changes.

I think I also need to find a tongue in cheek or bemused look emoji for those special occasions?:thinking:


This is an excuse for keeping the shareholders (taxpayers) entirely in the dark about how poorly our money has been spent. The entire NBN debacle has been kept hidden from view as much as possible, to keep us from seeing what a mess it has become!

Perhaps there will be a Royal Commission into this mess one day - it certainly needs one, but I can’t see it happening because it would make politicians accountable.


Of course.
Turnbull butchered it and this government has already spent more than the original estimate and blames Labor. Same deal as the national debt where the media was all over Rudd but fails to report that Labor left a debt of $148 billion and the coalition has now run this up to $600 billion with no Budget emergency anymore. Now we can also afford tax cuts for rich Australians.
The system is corrupt right to its very core with wealthy businessmen and media barons defrauding the nation and saying nothing.
Accountable is not a word which applies to the current government. Only Labor governments need to be accountable.


This sort of information must (not should) be made publicly available. Where vital national infrastructure is involved, the very concept of “commercial in confidence” borders on treason. In our case, by pandering to it, our government betrays the people.

The NBN is part of our telecommunications infrastructure. I’ve heard it referred to as a project to repair some of the harm done by privatisation. We need a Royal Commission onto telecommunications, not just the NBN.

The butchery really began with Paul Keating. He started the privatisation of telecommunications. John Howard took it to an extreme by bundling the infrastructure with the last tranche of Telstra.

Liberal donors have profited handsomely.

A case on Facebook that’s probably part NBN and part Telstra:


Given that the NBN was originally supposed to close the digital divide, this is telling: