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The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints



I emailed my ISP, ANT, yesterday morning using my phone as a hotspot (Optus mobile data), due to the NBN satellite being down again, since 6pm the day before. No direct response, but shortly afterwards I received this notification:

28/2/2017 9:55am
You have received a new notification!

We can confirm that there has been an Australia-wide NBN LTSS Sky Muster network outage that commenced 27/02/2017. All Sky Muster services NATIONWIDE were unable to connect to the internet (with the outage also affecting VoIP services connected via Sky Muster). We are currently awaiting advice from NBN Co. due to the cause and resolution. It appears majority of the services are being restored this morning. In the meantime if you are still not connected, please refrain from calling the switch as lines are currently congested, perform a powercycle on your NBN modem, this means actually removing the power cable from the NBN modem and leaving it out for at least 30 minutes

30 mins to power cycle, and you have to unplug it, not just turn it off … what strange nonsense is this?

I find that turning the power point off for 10 or 15 sec, not unplugging it, works just fine.


There is actually a method to their madness in the “removing power cable”. Most modems have a power switch, as do power points. The Help desks have learnt that the seriously non-technical cannot always be relied on to discriminate when told to switch it off. They don’t understand what removing power does so the customer is not always inclined to get it right. “Turning it off is turning it off” as far as they understand.

Rather than trying to specify the power point switch they have found it a more reliable message to “remove the power cable from the modem”. Furthermore, the power point might be behind a sofa :smiley:

(I understand your pain!)


The NBN modem doesn’t appear to have a swiitch on it, and we have it hidden behind the TV so as not to flood the house with the bright blue ring light all night, although I’ve recently taken to turning it off when we go to bed to save our battery energy.

A while back after some other network outage issue they told me that people were able to get back on after unplugging it and waiting 10 mins, then plug in again, and you needed to do that 3 times! It’s just nonsense, any capacitors are not going to take that long to discharge, and 3 times, well who knows what they think that does… I suspect it is more a case of distracting people with unnecessary time consuming procedures so they don’t notice that the network is still down!


The current connection records can be capacitor power backed up so the 30 minutes is probably enough time to ensure the cap has drained fully and the previous “current” records are wiped.


Signed up for Optus NBN in a fairly recent HFC enabled area back on the 20th Feb, order tracking page updated the next day to say modem was ready to be dispatched. Given a window for NBN techs to come between around 11-2 on March 1st. Text message received on 23rd Feb said 1pm-5pm install window. Call received later said morning install 8-11.

NBNCo came in the morning, were perfectly reasonable as they fiddled with the old Foxtel cables trying to get sync, changing a few connections in the pit outside and in the grey Foxtel box on the side of the house. Took a picture of Arris syncing and left.

Modem still hadn’t been sent as of NBNCo appointment, called Optus after installers left, said they would “email” someone to have a modem sent out. Order tracking says a modem was sent today, but I don’t know where it’s coming from, nor do I have a way of checking (consignment number, carrier, etc.).

Just disappointed with the whole process, really.


My HFC ‘termination device’ failed after 3 weeks - pity it took iiNet another three weeks after that to ask the NBN to check the line and then another 2 weeks for NBNCo to schedule an appointment (which they did keep by the way_.


I received an email in June from NBN stating that as my address was now ready I should apply to be connected with an ISP. I did just that and have been told now to wait for them to contact me as there is still work being done on the wiring in the street. Depending who you talk to, the hold up is in getting the fibre to a node close enough, or they could be replacing some of the old copper wiring. In other words, it is NOT READY 3 months later. NBN website still says our address is ready! Since when did “READY” mean “NOT QUITE READY”?


Any question about NBN being ready is problematic, and then combining that with false advertising complicates the issue. The service is know as Fraudnet. If you work from that name, anything else is rhetorical. My current cable connection runs at 117Mb, NBN can only deliver 25Mb for the same price. Only in Australia can we stuff up so bad. And yes it is false and misleading advertising.


I had an NBN Utility box and coaxial cable installed at my house on Friday 9th September 2016; I’ve used a naked ADSL2+ connection for years but NBN in its wisdom decided that my suburb (Unley, SA) will use HFC because of the early take-up of pay TV services in the area many years ago and the abundance of coax cable strung from the local telephone poles.

I visited my ISP (Internode) to initiate the switch from ADSL2+ to HFC connection (and to purchase of an HFC-compliant router), only to learn that my ISP is not yet able to deliver services over HFC. “Might be days … or weeks … or months …” according to the ISP company representative.

I presume my house is now listed by NBN as having NBN services available. That does not mean I can access NBN services.


nbn™(the company behind which our government hides) is guilty of government propaganda. The government needed positive spin before the recent election; nbn™ provided some.

The three-year plan lists my home as served by nbn™ fixed wireless since October of last year. I’ve had a temporary LTSS (Long-Term Satellite Service - temporary long-term; how’s that for spin?) installed because fixed wireless won’t actually become available until after the existing satellite reaches end-of-life next year.

Bear in mind that our government would really rather not be bothered. Despite the lessons of history, they firmly believe that the private sector (The Market) will provide all that’s necessary. I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re deliberately sabotaging the NBN (which is really little more than a project to repair harm done by privatising our telecommunications network), so their mates in the private sector can buy it below cost and reap obscene profits until such time as we need a new project to repair the damage and the cycle repeats.


When we moved to an NBN “ready” area, our house wasn’t actually connected and we weren’t allowed to use the old copper wires even though they still produced a dial tone, so we had 2 months with no home phone or internet until NBN Co finally hooked us up.


I guess that points the finger at nbn. I’m still trying to figure out if it is the tardiness of our provider causing us to be still waiting 4 months now or if in fact these things just take lots of time!? The term “ready” has certainly taken on new meaning!


Our main problem was that we have an extended driveway and the only way to get the fibre optic cable connected to the house from the pit across the road from us was to use overhead cables. Apparently the two poles that run up our driveway are owned by Telstra and NBN Co didn’t have permission to use them. Even after Telstra put in the work order for the house to be connected by them, we still had to wait for the correct red tape to be processed before the Telstra owned poles, on our own private property, could be used by NBN Co.


(An update on 9 February 2017)

Was advised that NBN installer would arrive "between 1pm and 5pm) on Wednesday 11 January. Which two did. We discussed where the cable modem should go for my HFC connection, and agreed a location. They were here for about 30 minutes, and the cable modem (Arris CM820) was installed in the requested location. Cable drawing was done well (a simple task in my house), but the coax face-plate was not fixed properly to the gyprock wall (as I discovered later). But all in all, the work was done quickly and the result pretty much what I asked for.

On Friday 13th January I phoned Internode (my ISP); we talked through connection processes. I connected the cable modem to the Huawei HG659 router by a long ethernet UTP cable, and we brought the system to life without too many miss-steps.

I had to retire my Fritz!box 7270 modem / router, and miss the fact that it included a DECT controller which was much less cantankerous than the old Panasonic system I had to bring back to life after five years’ retirement.

But by and large the NBN establishment worked well.

I chose a low data volume, high speed package for my use - “NBN HFC Gold 100” (100 GB per month, up to 50 Mbps down, 20 Mbps up). Measurements to date show consistently a ping time of about 8ms, and transfer speeds of 47 Mbps down, 19 Mbps up. There is little variation through the day.Of course those speeds are only to local servers. One-off tests to London showed {343 ms, 4.8 Mbps, 1.68 Mbps}, and to Los Angeles showed {178 ms, 2.0 Mbps, 4.9 Mbps} respectively. As my aim in choosing a speed package was to make cloud transfers in a reasonable time, these international results are a reminder that we should not set our hopes too high.

I’m aware I’m a relatively early adopter in my street (and the area covered by the old pay-TV cable taken over by NBN). The test will be to see how these speeds suffer when more HFC NBN users come on board.


After a public consultation, it looks like the ACCC is ready to weigh in on confusing broadband claims.


NBN claim that wireless NBN is available to my rural location.Because connection requires line of sight access the reality is that myself and many others in my area do not in fact have the NBN available but I would bet that the propaganda counts every property in this area as having NBN available.
In order to obtain the satellite NBN connection the customer is required to get have the signal check failed twice. Thus the consumer has to sign up with a provider again with all the rigmarole and supply of a router all over again.


A timely report


Hi Peter, with regards to your Fritz!Box, did you try connecting it to the Huawei router ? The relevant section in the Fritz!Box manual should be titled Configuring Internet Access for a Connection to an Existing Network, or something like that.

I note this as I use a Fritz!Box 7490, and I sincerely hope to keep using it after we connect to the NBN. It will then only be doing duty as a router and DECT base station - but it’s great at those functions.

Regards, Scott


Apologies for the delay in replying, Scott. I had a few urgent things that got in the way.
I’ve had a good look through the 7270 and 7490 User Guides. There are quite a few things the 7490 can do that the 7270 can’t, and I think being used as a downstream router is one of them. Certainly there are quite clear descriptions of how to do this in the 7490 Guide, and no reference at all in the 7270. At present I cannot even talk to the 7270 … it seem unable to deal with a world which does not contain an ADSL2+ line, and won’t talk to me while that is missing.
So my next plan is to see if AVM offers a standard DECT base station, and how much it costs.
I’ll let you know if I learn how to do magic things with the 7270. Would you please reply if and when you are able to incorporate your 7490 into the Huawei LAN? Good luck and with best wishes, … Peter Watt


Hi Peter,

apologies ! I was looking at the user manual for the 7170, and I assumed that the 7270 should offer at least the same functionality. Sorry to hear that it does not. I’m also sorry to say that AVM don’t make a standalone DECT base station. They do make a DECT repeater, but that only works with an existing Fritz!Box.

It’s likely to be some time before we get access to the NBN, but I can confirm that I have used our 7490 as a router only, connected to the internet via a Netgear modem/router. I even had it connected to a 7390 at one stage ( long fault diagnosis call to our ISP that was trying to put the blame on our hardware rather than Telstra’s ).

Best regards, Scott.