TPG, NBN Slow Speed Offer

I have been a happy TPG customer for many years now on an unlimited ADSL2 internet plan and have been getting consistent download speeds (according to OOKLA speed test site) of between 15Mbps to 25Mbps over this time. This plan has cost me $59 a month for a few years now. As I said I have been happy with the consistency of service and speed over this time.

I have recently been notified by TPG that the NBN will soon be available to me. I got excited knowing that for most of the journey my data will be now sent over the new, modern fibre optic network, with the last part from the node over the existing copper network. I was excited until I read their offered NBN deals.

Their new, modern NBN unlimited $59 plan only offers a speed of 10.6Mbps. This is a slower speed than which I’m currently receiving by ADSL2 !!!

I find this hard to understand as we as taxpayers have spent billions on this project.

Anyone else see a problem?


Indeed there is a problem, and it lurks in Canberra


… if it ‘lurked’, the situation would be easier to understand, but the problem in Canberra is loud and noisy and seemingly unaware of any problems and immune to any accountability …


The Australian Parliament House is fibre connected, and the Ministers’ offices and homes are provided with with the best available equipment and connections by their Departments. If there is a problem, their Department’s IT areas deal with it. Consequently they never have to experience the problems that mere mortals have to endure.

As discussed previously in these threads, accountability is achieved by how constituents vote. Maybe when enough people realise that they have been duped by the LNP’s NBN hyperbole, some may vote differently, but by then it may be toooooo late and the damage done.


politicians … the best connected yet the most disconnected …


I think my main dilemma is more to do with pricing and technical issues.

Why is the speed offered by TPG - NBN lower than what I currently receive over copper only ADSL2 for the same price?

I am confused because the $billions spent upgrading the network only guarantee me lower speeds.

Why did we bother with the NBN at all if there is no benefit? !!!


The original NBN was FTTP that had many benefits. One Malcolm Turnbull and his party under Tony Abbott attacked it mercilessly. The people of Australia elected the current government who changed it from FTTP to the fabled ‘multi-mix’ of technologies and here we are with an unfit for purpose outcome.

It was a partisan effort to destabilise a government, and what I fear a tactic that will remain part of the politics of Australia, at least with one of the major parties if not eventually all.


It was a case of ‘never mind the quality, look at the price’.

The LNP’s blind belief that private industry can do it better if you let them get on with it, ignored the need for future-proof ‘universal as possible’ solution with technical standardization (Fibre To The Premises).

Based purely on cost considerations, they ran screaming from the proposed end-to-end FTTP model to a hotch-potch of technologies with built-in time-bomb bottlenecks.

Unfortunately, although almost all IT pundits forecast the LNPs proposal as doomed to be a failure, the broader public believed the LNP’s claim that they could provide the same quality for less money.

We have since found out that it will actually cost more than Labor’s FTTP proposal, and much of the current NBN will need to be replaced in under 10 years. And don’t forget, it doesn’t work during a power outage unless you have battery backup. But hey, the LNP won’t be responsible for it by then will they? So it won’t be their fault.

If you want someone to blame, look for the people who voted for the politicians who supported this shemozzle.

In the meantime we have to put up with outdated sub-optimal technology. But don’t worry… private industry will develop a solution you can buy to get back up to the speeds you used to have.


This is exactly what happened, those who voted for the Liberals only have themselves to blame…


Not quite, and going back to the complaint about pricing/speedon the original post… there is bipartisan support for the speed tier pricing scheme used by nbn. As a result, most connecting to the nbn select the service by price and not by speed…resulting in most connections around ADSL2+ speeds (or slower as @Gandoes outlined for the same $$$).

The speed tier pricing is part of the problem and if flat out speeds (maximum achievable speed for the type of connection/technology) were adopted universally for similar cost to ASDL2+ or other pre-nbn connections, then I am sure most of the dissatisfaction with/criticism of the nbn would disappear.

It could also be argued that many adopt the low speed tier as one has been happy with ADSL2+ speeds. Something not considered when the tier system was adopted as one could assume nbn co thought there would be mass movement to higher speed connections.

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The answer lies in what it costs to provide that NBN connection to you. The Federal Government always wanted the NBN Co. to be a commercial operation, it had to be profitable, and both Labor and LNP wanted this.

The ADSL connection is fairly cheap to run from an ISP (RSP in NBN speak) point of view as it is a very mature tech and initial costs have long been paid. NBN on the other hand has very new implementation costs and the on-going fee structure reflects this.

For a list of what an RSP must pay the NBN Co. for each connection visit the NBN Wiki thread here:

Some of these costs are one offs then others are on-going monthly costs. Recently CVC costs have again dropped but they are the biggest on-going cost an RSP has to pay. When the connection is made by the new NBN to users, the user is helping pay off that infrastructure cost. This means that the expense is high currently and will remain so for some great while to come (until at least those implementation costs have been recouped by NBN Co.).

There is an emerging argument that NBN Co. should not be a commercial operation and rather should be run as an essential Govt service and have it’s implementation costs paid out of General Revenue and not recovered by having consumers pay for the use (they will of course pay but it will be a hidden cost in taxes). If this approach was taken many of the on-going costs could be even further substantially reduced leading to a lower per user payment.

As others have answered it is the MTM NBN which has led to many issues. The copper your ADSL relies on in many instances will still be relied on for the final part of the connections to premises. This copper is aging and failing so will be a further expense to remedy sooner or later. The MTM part of the NBN creates complexity because of the various tech used to attain it. This complexity increases service/maintenance costs as specialist people have to be retained for each variance of NBN connection. These are costs that RSPs must reimburse the NBN Co. for and if they have to reimburse then the end user has to reimburse the RSPs.

There is a benefit but it is very much lost in the chaos MTM has unleashed on us. This is why we should as a population be pushing hard for the FTTP outcome (and there will be additional costs to implement this now). FTTP for the vast majority will provide a much more resilient, robust, and cost effective way of connecting our nation. There will be some small percentage because of placement who will still require Satellite and Fixed Wifi for some time to come but they will at least enjoy connectivity that was previously impossible for them to achieve (long term they to will be FTTP).


Thank you all for your opinions on my dilemma.

I feel the best option for my family is to stay with our existing ADSL2+ connection for the whole 18 months grace period and hope that within that time the we find an ISP that offers a higher speed than 10Mbps (what TPG offer) for the same price we are currently paying.

I still don’t fully understand the technical reasons why we as consumers aren’t being offered much greater speeds than ADSL2 given the huge fibre infrastructure upgrade currently underway.


Higher speeds are available but they will cost you more, TPG don’t want to offer packages that are more expensive than their existing ADSL 2+ plans so they present slower speed packages. Their 50Mbps plans are $69/month. You are doing well to get those speeds on ADSL 2+, in my case the ADSL speeds dropped noticeably once the NBN rollout started in my area, I’m not sure if it was a coincidence or an encouragement to move to NBN. Our ADSL 2+ speeds were in the 10-12Mbps range but dropped to 4-8 Mbps once the NBN rollout commenced.

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Well if on FTTN the average user can get about 50 Mbps Down and 20 to 30 Mbps upload. This of course will cost a bit more than a standard ADSL contract. The sweet spot for FTTN speed tiers for RSPs is the 25/5 Mbps as most FTTN connections can achieve this speed and they don’t get slammed for not providing the speed the consumer paid for. So what you typically find is they sell you the 25/5 plan and once you have it they say you can ask them for a speed upgrade (this is so they can see if your line will support the higher speeds).

Technically in the case of FTTN it is the distance from the node to your premises that determines the speeds achievable because this part uses copper which has a much higher degradation of signal (called attenuation) the further the signal travels than a fibre connection does (fibre has very low attenuation rates). The poorer the copper connection the faster this decay in signal occurs. For a read about attenuation see

I also add that the average ADSL2 rates that most get are around 5 Mbps with perhaps 700 Kbps uploads. ADSL is lower at around 1.5 Mbps down. With the NBN you also get a much better upload experience. Your current 15 to 25 Mbps is a much better experience than most get.

If using Fixed Wifi this speed is again influenced by attenuation, distance is the main factor here but rain or other obstructions like foliage also affects it. Satellite is very much affected by cloud cover, solar radiation and Line of Sight. HFC is a better transport medium than FTTN and thus greater speeds can be expected. FTTC (Fibre to the Curb) offers better speeds than FTTN as the length of copper to your premises is reduced typically from 100s of metres to perhaps 70 or less metres of copper and this can support up to at this stage around 1 Gbps download.

Finding an ISP (RSP in NBN speak) who will offer a lesser cost connection for a greater speed is currently impossible. The NBN Co legislation sets the price tiers for speed tiers so that competition across providers is more about the added perks they offer eg Foxtel. You get some small variance but nothing huge. You may find a provider who will supply a pure data connection for less but if you want a phone as well you will need to pay for a VOIP package on top. Perhaps in 18 mths prices will again have been adjusted downwards but this will be reflected across all RSPs.

I looked up ADSL2 data rates for Sydney, 30% or less of ADSL2 Customers achieve 15 Mbps or greater download speeds. 50% achieve 9 Mbps or less. You are in the top 30 percentile group if living in Sydney and thus it is not a good reflection of most users outcomes who would then be much better off on the NBN (even with it’s issues). Considering the much poorer situation other areas have with lack of exchanges this disparity would be much more evident.

Your choice to stay with ADSL2 is a good one considering the choices you currently have regarding pricing.


Thank-you. I appreciate your research immensely.

I should have stated from the start I live in a suburb of Perth, WA called Scarborough.

Thanks Again


Whether Perth, Brisbane or other Capital cities the distribution of speeds across ADSL2 connections would be very similar to the Sydney data. Most have well develop exchange placements and so I would suggest you would still be in the upper 30 percentile group or better for speeds. Newer satellite suburbs (pre NBN and fibre) probably have poorer ADSL2 outcomes as many would be serviced from exchanges in older suburbs and so have limited ports for connection and greater run distances of copper.

At one stage Telstra started a rollout of what were termed TopHats that allowed these more poorly serviced areas to get better ADSL2 connections, this rollout died on the announcement of the Labor planned NBN as copper became almost irrelevant in that scenario. Scarborough did receive some of these TopHats (DSLAMS mounted on Cabinets) and that is perhaps why your ADSL2 connection is very good, particularly if you live in the area closer to Hale Road…


Can someone tell me why we are being forced to convert to NBN? Why can’t I continue to use my Optus cable service which I’m happy with 80% of the time?

We are going from a free market position where we can choose our technology to a state run monopoly.

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Contact your local MP and the Minister for Communications, Mitch Fifield. It is a political thing.

If you had a good well priced fit-for-purpose monopoly high performance network would economic ideology be front in your mind, or is it because Australia has essentially been dudded with a high priced not-fit-for-purpose project that some consider a monopolistic fiasco, and that is the real problem?


Yep the latter.

But the fact that we have no choice (pun intended) and by a government that benotes itself on being pro free market and competition.

What happens to the old cable infrastructure?


It is upgraded to HFC, and yes it is an upgrade. The Optus Cable network is generally in very poor condition and when HFC was rolled out in Redcliffe Qld they had to spend huge amounts to rectify the problems, this is partly why they are trying to move away from HFC.

Not everyone has to move to NBN, companies such as Telstra, TPG and others are still running their own networks see the following links: