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The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints



A colleague ordered NBN a couple of weeks ago (FTTN) - it was commissioned within a week and worked, fast and (so far) reliable …

Yeah I know …


Lucky your colleague isn’t on Sky Muster!

Here is the latest info regarding slow speeds, from my ISP’s “helpdesk” page:

The NBN Sky Muster Satellite Service as of late has been heavily congested throughout most of the day and night. For most people, this is something that requires alot of perserverance.

As per NBN guidelines, in order to lodge a fault regarding slow speeds a series of tests are required to be completed by the end user (customer).

3 x Speed Tests to the NBN MyConnection Test at 3 different periods of a single day (morning, afternoon, night)
3 x Speed Tests to OZ Speed Test as 3 different periods of a single day (morning, afternoon, night)
1 x 100 Ping Test to
1 x 100 Ping Test to
1 x Traceroute Test to
MUST be cabled directly into the Satellite modem (excluding any wireless routers)

We understand that these times are tedious to meet, ideally you should be able to do the periodical tests before work in the morning, after working in the evening, and before bedtime.

After all that you have to email them the results. What a PITA!

I discovered the above when checking why ~6GB of data usage had been added to my account in 3 hours last night, when we had very little activity going on, only my wife updating a web page and my computer off some of the time, and reading emails the rest.
I’m not sure our connection is fast enough to download that sort of volume of data in 3 hours!


If you have a Back to Base Alarm system and don’t want to or cannot afford to update it this article from PC Authority may be useful:
"NBN and Alarms

We recently wrote about the issues faced by a reader with connecting his “call to base” alarm system to the NBN. Fred contacted us to tell us how he solved this problem with his system. As he was able to connect his analogue phone to his NBN modem, he could see why the same wouldn’t work with alarm system.

Fred purchased a two-way splitter, plugged it into the Telstra modem, and terminated the alarm line so he could plug it into the splitter.

He completed a live test with the security company - the alarm was activated by intrusion and it registered at the security monitor.

Despite getting no help from the security company, who wanted to sell him a newer system, he found a technician who changed the wiring from the alarm so it would work."


Update Sept 6 NBN tech arrives in AM rather than appointment 13:00-17:00, “Was just in area thought to see if you were home, think this will be short”. So in he comes checks signal strength talks with Melbourne, sounded like maybe the MAC address had an erroneous “alpha” instead of “eight”. More chatter then 4 steady lights on NTD. On goes modem, internet checks out. We are finally on the great broadband highway to the future after 7 months and 5-6 visits to connect HFC using the existing internal and external cabling. We are on 12 Mbps download and it checks in at about 11 via the home wifi.


When I am unfortunate enough to get HFC there are a few problems to highlight.

My old copper is all underground. No external wires or boxes unless you find my wires in the Telstra pit. Eg, nobody could reasonably find or cut the line. It comes up underneath my house, requiring a break-in to reach. When the NBN comes it will morph to a very visible box on the outside walls that is Very Easy to disrupt, like everyone else’s box.

While there are different kinds of alarms common commercial ones put the alarm serially in ‘front of the phones’. When the auto dialer fires it disconnects the phone side otherwise a knowledgable burgler could break in, lift a phone off the cradle and introduce white noise to interfere with the autodialer. A splitter suggests the auto dialer and phone are now in parallel so a knowledgable burgler could disrupt the autodialer. Of course with NBN the clever burgler could punt the premises did not have a wireless back to base and just rip the external box off the wall, disabling the reporting system. Of course the local siren would sound but depending on the neighbourhood they are rarely reported except as a nuisance if they do not turn themselves off in due course. They could attract someone to have a look see, but.

If the alarm is for show, no worries. If it is meant to function reliably for what it is and has to communicate with, the autodialer requires absolute priority over a phone. Noting the advice is for those uninterested or unable to upgrade, if it is meant to be a reasonably secure alarm in the NBN world it needs a wireless dialer.

The good news is that most burglers are not the brightest, so the above is probably theoretical in practice.


“The good news is that most burglers are not the brightest, so the above is probably theoretical in practice.”

Thank goodness for that. Heaven forfend it should be improbably practical in theory. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Some new articles on the NBN, what it promises, what really happens and a new tool they are going to use to diagnose faults in your home.

In home wiring fault detection:

NBN Furphies or statistics:


As it said in one of the articles: if we had decent speeds in the first place, these things wouldn’t be an issue.


Yourlifestyle has a new article on the Federal Govt Committee report on the NBN (it isn’t a good report result):

The home page for the report is here:

and for a PDF of the report here is the link:


I so hope they listen…

Oi… a pig just flew by!


As has been said many times on this site about CVC and the NBN, that enough CVC is not being purchased, now has a news article outlining the problem. It also notes the issue of the copper segment of the NBN. To read it go to:

What Malcolm and mates determined we needed is shown to be ludicrous and laughable.

**Poll** - How do you use the NBN?

With due respect when did Turnbull and mates ever care what we needed or what made or makes sense, common or otherwise? They appear to have cared about all aspects of minimising NBN costs and maximising NBNCo income, cash flow, and P/L as a source of more government income. They have turned what should be a bit of critical national infrastructure into just another capitalistic business where they hold monopolistic reigns.

Routine LNP decision making seems similar to Donald Trump’s in that once their support base salutes reality no longer matters; they will double down to make their alternate reality mainstream and enough will buy into it.

The individual comments on NBN seem to be less hostile/fewer problems and focused on cost and performance while the suitability for purpose, eg FTTx, is less in the headlines. The powers that be have skilfully (in their minds) put the price/performance problem onto the RSPs. Fortunately Choice and some of the media are not walking away from the underlying issues including RSP having all the risk for CVCs.

I suspect the CVC concept was thought to emulate a physical commodity market, such as oil futures, but one can store a commodity such as oil over peaks and troughs but not electricity or communications capacities. Therein lies a first level fail of the financial model.


I would suggest it was more about making them look good (look how much cheaper we can do it using our mates) and making the Labour Party look bad (look at how expensive their solution was going to be).

I don’t think that the LNP did any due diligence on their proposal, nor did they heed the warnings of the plethora of industry experts who said the LNP’s proposed model could not work anywhere as well as claimed.

But they did get to pat themselves on the back for saving money during the ‘financial crisis’ they claimed we were having.


@TheBBG & @meltam

In my estimation Malcolm Turnbull & the LNP team are almost all looking out for number 1 and the result is this country suffers. We have, unfortunately, a political system that is favouring 3 big parties & what we get out of this is legislation based on party lines rather than on what our nation really needs. I also don’t think this was ever what our Constitution writers had aimed for.

Do I think they, the LNP, “cared” for what we got? No not in the least! Do I think they determined it was what we should have? Yes, but it was a choice I don’t think they wanted to make, I feel they wanted to remain with the old system. I think it was forced on them as we, the rest of the population, wanted an “NBN” but we were conned into a belief that this “cheaper” version was somehow better for us regardless of the expert opinions out there of the faults in the MTM mix.

We are so ingrained to think with our pockets first, rather than listen to expert advice, that we vote/decide on an action then regret for decades the choices. We only see that buying the “cheapest” leads to poor outcomes after we have committed to the cost and cannot reverse it, particularly when it comes to national priorities/infrastructure. Then we spend untold amounts of time and money repairing the damage done by the cheap choices. If we had “bitten the bullet” in the first place on many of these decisions and gone with best choice then much of the after spend would have been avoided/saved.

This shambolic to and fro because of this party politicking is only to the detriment of our country and lifestyle and only pays dividends to the political system and their friends. For the ordinary Australian it is becoming extremely costly both in freedoms and pocket.

The costs to the consumer of the NBN were designed, even under the ALP plan, to be commercial so that the NBN could eventually be sold and become a privately run entity. CVC, AVC, POI all have recurring costs for the RSPs that they have to recover from their customers as well as their own internal costs. This combined with their primary imperative to pay the best dividend to their shareholders means that the customer suffers. The RSPs buy the least amount of CVC they can get away with, as it really is the only flexible cost they pay to the NBN Co. We, the consumers, then complain about the speeds/service we receive.

The Government then berate the RSPs for their poor service and involve the ACCC to somehow fix this underlying issue that was and is caused by the decision to make this an eventual financial pot of gold for the Government. We can either have a system where all Taxpayers bear a reasonable portion of the costs and own the infrastructure thus reducing the resulting costs to the RSPs and enabling the Government to control the consumer cost and service or we have a privately owned system that charges what the market will bear and where money will determine the service we get.


Totally agree.

I have said it else were in this community, but I will reiterate my belief. I hold that there are certain core requirements that should always belong to the sovereign nation as a whole.

These are the utilities (like water, electricity, gas, etc); health; education; policing; transport infrastructure and management, border protection (not Turnbull’s model per se, but coast guarding, biosecurity, customs, immigration, etc), defence; communications, etc.

Selling off/giving away any of these is an abandonment of responsibility that will inevitably cost the taxpayers in the long run.


What a surprise (not!)


Well if you saw the 4 Corners report on the NBN (transcript here, you would have seen many of the complaints about the NBN have been raised here on this topic. The current minister is saying it is/will be fit for purpose. I don’t think that it is or that it will be. The seeming indifference to the problems is earth shatteringly bad.

But to further reinforce the problems that using older tech, the NBN reliance on Wifi in larger areas than originally anticipated under Rudd’s plan, and the need for having a mobile phone in emergencies the story about the US wildfires should be raising great concern of all users of the current MTM NBN, paticularly of those not on Fibre to the Premises.

In particular I found these interesting comments (bold highlights are added by me)

"For example, when the slow moving Hurricane Harvey inundated the Houston metropolitan area with more than 50 inches of rain, but only 5 percent of Houston’s cell sites went out, according to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.

During a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. on Oct. 10, Pai said that the difference was that cellular operators in Houston had replaced most of their copper infrastructure with fiber, which was much less susceptible to damage from flooding."


“Unfortunately, many people out of hearing of those sirens never received evacuation orders or phone calls because the cellular networks in the devastated areas were already out of commission.”

The full article, which I think, will prove interesting reading and certainly adds an overdue warning can be found here:


I do not remember him stating what that purpose was, other than destroying yet another ALP initiative just because they could.


What I understood from the 4Corners report was that the LNP’s purpose in ‘fit for purpose’ was to roll out the NBN faster and cheaper than Labour. (Aren’t we good for saving all that money!) Except that it is costing more, and it’s not rolling out faster.

I did notice that while Bill Morrow wouldn’t say that fibre would have been better, he did admit that the wide mix of technologies certainly made it much more complex and created more issues for NBN Co. which will take longer to resolve.

He also admitted that the hybrid solution will date quickly and need updating, but it meant that it could be rolled out faster.

Where did the imperative for speed not of the broadband, but for the installation originate. The Turnbull Broadband Alternative (TBA / or To Be Announced) it will cost much much more in the long run, and in the meantime inferior quality for users not on FTTP.

Why not make calculations on a whole of life cost, rather than a cost to 2020? I also wonder why all the industry pundits who predicted the problems we are now facing were ignored?

I’m sure Mr Murdoch and Foxtel will be very happy that due to the slow download speeds of the TBA, Netflix etc won’t be sucking the life out of their subscription business.

I also wonder why when it comes to mining the LNP include the $ value of business and jobs flowing on from a project, yet they didn’t seem to account for the business and jobs that would have come if we had gigabit speed fibre.

I can not help but conclude the LNP wants to keep us as a backward country reliant on mining, rather than being an innovative technology developer.


It was also only meant to be 25/5 Mbps per the MTM NBN guidelines (which it will largely succeed in supplying), not the 100 Mbps as envisaged by Rudd & Co under the mainly FTTP program. And don’t forget as our then PM Abbott said Malcolm Turnbull invented the Internet in Australia (I choked as I wrote that piece of … in this reply).

See this tweet for a 15 sec capture of Mr Abbott saying that famous line

Of course, the Rudd FTTP is/was easily upgradeable to much higher speeds but 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) was not really seen as needed then, but they saw the future need and knew it was the only right answer, but now it is really becoming the norm for countries that embrace the internet for all it’s possibilities. Whereas our LNP Govt see us as a second or more likely third rate connected society, well they must do to lumber us with the Elephant we have now!

Some criticize that the Rudd plan was penned on a piece of paper but just because it was quickly jotted doesn’t alter that the idea was sound.

@TheBBG Hi Phil my concern in the reply further up, regarding the fires mainly centred on the oft repeated refrain “that in case of emergencies to have a charged mobile on hand” in that it is largely rendered useless by large scale disasters such as fires, cyclones and floods that destroy that tower type infrastructure that Wifi Internet and mobile coverage rely on. Fibre for the most part is extremely resilient in these events even more so than copper, particularly if water is involved. I have to say the LNP’s view is of an abysmally backward mentality or a situation of “I’m ok Jack so it isn’t my problem” way of thinking.

Also just as an interesting bit, Mr Morrow said yes it could be tens of thousands to do the Tech Switch…well so far for one punter who is switching from Wifi to Fibre that cost is quoted by NBN at $218,000 in Shaw which is just outside Townsville.

And this tidbit "So wait, FTTP Brownfields cost for NBN is $4405, and FTTP Brownfields cost for Chorus (NZ) is $2698?

Clearly Chorus know a thing or two about laying fibre that NBN doesn’t!"