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The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints



Great site @meltam, especially the comments. The initial look with the orange spots suggests it was a satire, but alas does appear to represent how unreliable it is.

Any service can fail, but failing to repair and restore it timely as evidenced in the many comments is beyond apology. I have thought government and NBNCo had no choice but to soldier on to complete the rollout as it is but I have evolved to thinking the best way forward is a hard stop, regroup, and reversion to the original ALP model of FTTP. The cost would probably be staggering, but the costs of the debacle under way will assuredly be many times that before it is over.


:+1: That was ever my point of view.

From what I understand, the long term (whole of life) costs of converting existing hybrid technologies and forward only using FTTP will be lower than progressing with the current hybrid solution.

This still leaves non capital city residents with low speed access. To address this, Government should invest in Australian R&D to develop technologies that would bring non city speeds up to a par with the what they have in the capitals.


A large portion of the regional areas and rural are serviced by copper that is on its last legs anyway.

For many nearer to the exchanges or in small satellite groupings it should be both practical and economical to simply take out the copper in a single planned change over and replace it for all with a fibre based solution. Rather that than attempting to replace on bit of failed copper with another one bit at a time, or upgrading one customer ata time to a long single fibre cable!

For those more isolated from the network, technology has moved on from 2007 enough to provide better solutions. The alternatives now available would be an interesting topic on it’s own if you can stay away from the rear view mirror of lamenting what we have now. Even offloading as many customers from the FW and Skymuster networks by using a better solution would make a significant difference to how effective these two services perform.

There is merit in suggesting a pause and re-evaluation.


Now you won’t have to wait for the NBN.

And they promise not to spy on you.


Looks like Google have been “out Googled” if the Chinese Company completes the plan?

Re data security, who do you think is more likely to leak data or be hacked, Google, US Government or China?
Wikileaks holds the answer to the first two.

Is it a real threat to the Skymuster service? I think @Fred123 is teasing us here?

If you use Skymuster as an example with less than 100,000 customers across two satellites, the Chinese company can cover 27M customers with Skymuster equalling performance. Race out now if you dare. True with newer tech perhaps the network will offer two to four times the performance? It’s actual objective and best fit is offering service to remoter locations that have little prospect of internet otherwise?

Well if you exclude the cost of the ground station you will need to put in at your own expense. Although for remote communities, without the NBN Co setting the agenda, a single shared service through a high bandwidth connection is also an option.

Will the Company from China also provide a paid commercial access option for remote business in competition to existing satellite services? It is hard to suggest it will not.

In this way the system may become a true NBN competitor.
If so:
How will P Dutton respond to Aussies connecting to the service and circumventing meta data collection and encryption back door requirements?
Will these satellites be declared pirates? Akin to the radio stations that ran in the UK decades past to circumvent the UK Govt restrictions on broadcasting.

Will the Company from China put in place a complaints handling and customer service centre with English speaking staff?
How will Australian Consumer Law apply, although if it is only ever a free service, does that matter?


Below is a Facebook post from Stephen Andrew MP for Mirani in the Queensland firegrounds. It raises questions for me is how robust the (non underground) NBN is.

If the power’s on, the house hasn’t burned down and the smoke isn’t too think, then satellite will presumably work. For fixed wireless; if the power’s on, the house hasn’t burned down, the local tower is operational and (unless it’s one of the estimated 20% that have fibre backhaul) all of the other towers in the backhaul chain are operational, then it should work. :thinking: Right?

Which begs the question, if telecommunications are down, then how are we supposed to contact Telstra to take advantage of their offer?

This Morning I learnt that residents in the Pioneer Valley, Finch Hatton, Eungella and Dalrymple areas were without telecommunications leaving them unable to make any phonecalls and especially calls to Triple Zero (000) after some discussions Telstra has released a statement stating those areas affected as above inclusive of residents where fires are also playing havoc in Deepwater can now take advantage of the relief package on offer as below, it is of the utmost importance for residents to be able to make calls in emergency situations such as the ones faced today.

Telstra’s relief packages can include the following.
Short term measures (for Telstra customers who have a short term impact – temporary evacuation of premises or temporary fault):
 Free use of Telstra public payphones in the affected area
 Free use of Telstra Air payphone hotspots in the affected area
 Free call diversion from an affected fixed home or business phone service to another fixed or mobile service of the customer’s choice, regardless of the carrier
 Customers who use the free call diversion to divert their affected fixed home or business phone to their Telstra mobile service, can also make local and STD® calls on their mobile at fixed line rates, in accordance with their selected plan (limited to one designated Telstra mobile per affected household or business).
The above offers are applicable until any network damage in the area is repaired, or while customers remain evacuated, for a maximum period of three months from the date of the fire.
Affected Telstra mobile customers who do not have a Telstra home phone can receive a one-off credit to the value of $100 inc. GST (limited to one mobile phone per Telstra mobile account).


Every little bit helps.

There may be a better time to ask the question?

Cyclones also have similar impacts on all communications that can last for very long periods of time due to power infrastructure damage.

The district and many others will still be in emergency response mode, which strains all systems. we have family and close friends in several of the fire declared areas. From experience living in the north of Qld it is the mobile phone network that needs to stay active. It also needs the least user resources to maintain in an emergency.

There may be other lessons to be learnt. Another time?


My guess is this is the time to ask the Australian Government the questions as they haven’t been paying attention to them. Why are they forcing people onto the NBN and removing connection to the more reliable copper lines (yes these can go down in storm conditions but often still work unlike power lines) when there isn’t reliable mobile reception in some areas. Mobile reception is reduced by smoke and in some situations storm conditions too. Overload of the mobile network was also apparently an issue in the Black Saturday fire conditions in Victoria. And when mobile towers burn down mobile reception can disappear. For some of us who are unlikely to get better internet from NBN (too far from the node) we will have a lesser service, most seriously after 5 hours and the node battery runs out no telecommunications during major storm and bushfire when we most need emergency communication if power outage occurs.


I tend to agree.

Fixed wireless uses similar frequencies, so I guess the same would be true there.

Any system can overload. Rural mobile is generally less well-resourced, which makes it more vulnerable.

I wonder what power backup is provided in NBN fixed wireless.

A couple of years back, power went out in my (rural) area for the better part of a day. Within two hours, the mobile network went down. The battery backup had run out.


What is key to understanding the events that have affected any of the communications issues in the Bush fire affected areas of Queensland?

While it might be convenient to point a finger at the NBN it might also appear to others as simple opportunism and speculation.

I’ll wait until the emergiencies are over and we have both the facts and some more considered information to hand.

P.s. I take the Telstra offer as something constructive. So far we still have comms to Baffle Creek and Agnes. The fire event in the Pioneer Valley has gone through thick rain forest, which is unprecedented. I’ll be watching the news.


“point a finger”? :thinking::expressionless: Paranoia aside, there might be lessons to be learnt and parallels to be drawn. “others” might be offended at what looks like an attempt to silence discussion.


Is Alphabet proposing to cover Australia with its Loon balloons? That would certainly be faster than satellite - although I see it may interfere with the Square Kilometre Array.


The proposal is to provide free Internet. As someone once pointed out:
If you’re not paying for the service, then you’re the product.
This is true of the likes of Facebook and Google. What sort of privacy invasions could we expect from “free” Internet?

So the Chinese are out-Googling Google in that they’re providing something that could yield a great deal of data about users.


VPN and several browser privacy plugins.


I know of no VPN that isn’t vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. The usual problem is getting into a position to become the mitm. The network operator is already in that position.

The Chinese have shown considerable will and substantial skill. Nobody they decide to target is invulnerable. The Great Firewall shows that they can automate practically anything - including perhaps mitm.


You are correct - all VPNs are subject to MITM, as are all websites. So - do you roll out your own cables, or try to find a VPN that can be trusted somewhat more than your ISP? That One Privacy Guy may be able to help with the latter task, but don’t forget to change your default DNS server as well given the amount of metadata that this can leak.

Nothing you do online can be considered truly secure. Nothing you do on a digital device can be considered truly secure unless you designed and built it from the CPU and motherboard on up to the operating system and software. The best any average user can do is make things more difficult for people who want to collect our private data - whether that is the Chinese government, the US government, or for that matter the Australian government.


It comes down to a question of trust. How much do you trust the one who is providing, free of charge, something that costs a great deal? How much do you trust a government with a history of surveillance and control?


Nothing you do can be considered truly secure, period. Online or otherwise. The likelihood and/or speed of your perceived security being trashed with or without your knowledge is a fairly simple combination of how interesting/useful you are and how well resourced the actor is who finds you interesting/useful. Security, like privacy, is really just an antiquated concept …


The subject is broad and multi-faceted, with intertwined issues. In addition to concerns involving individuals, there are questions about what someone in a gatekeeper role (like the Chinese government, in their role as operators of ‘free’ satellite Internet) could deduce from mining the mass of data passing through their gateway servers.

Cambridge Analytica and apparent interference in US politics demonstrate how individuals can be influenced to sway populations. It’s dangerous enough when done by the likes of Facebook and Google. When governments get in on the act, Orwell starts looking prescient.

Getting back on topic:


Yes it is broad and multi-faceted. You still have nothing truly secure.