Cries of help as the NBN rollout rolls on
WE are getting lots of cries for help with the implementation of the NBN. Unfortunately from what we are seeing the effective rollout of this service upgrade varies considerably from customer to customer.
There are some NBN techs and third party ISP techs who don't have a clue and this often leaves customers without an Internet connection for anything from two days to two weeks.
The upgrade to NBN for fibre to the node customers (FTTN) is the disconnection of any existing analogue phone connection plus the removal of the existing ADSL service to go to just the one DSL service for both phone and Internet. The above still uses the last 50 to 500 metres of copper line that runs through the ground from your premise to the nearest NBN node.
NBN Co are supplying fibre optic from these nodes to your local telephone exchange as well as the steel cabinets which constitute a node. Once this facility is in place you get notified and then it is up to you to get your existing ISP or a new one to effect the new connection. Basically your ISP contacts NBN to send a tech out to transfer you from one technology to the other.
This is where things can get sticky.
There are cases where the NBN link has not yet been activated and strangely enough this often does not get noticed until they go to use it.
In some of these cases the end user gets their existing phone and Internet cut with no replacement service for possibly two weeks.
This is not a great solution for anyone in today's Internet dependant world and especially if you are trying to run a business.
To add to the confusion, if you have a specialised Internet setup such as a VPN between business branches then there can also be confusion as to which modem is suitable. We had a customer this week with all of the above going wrong and it was not a good week for them.
They had organised for an NBN service to replace their existing ADSL, however when the first NBN tech came on site he said that they had a specialised Internet setup and would need their own modem. He then disconnected their existing service and then found that the new service was not active. They were left with no Internet and with uncertain time frames as to when they would be connected again.
They called their ISP and threatened to go to the Telecommunications Ombudsman (TCO) - which got their old service connected for just one afternoon. The second NBN tech arrived the next day to tell them that they could use the supplied modem but said that the new service was still not active and it could be a week.
Another phone call to their ISP with a threat to talk to the TCO had their ISP saying that they were currently in a cue and that a call to the TCO would put everything on hold and send them to the back of the cue. I am thinking that the word 'blackmail' is pretty apt in this instance. Since the need for an Internet service was paramount they decided to back down and wait, however this is a pretty sad state of affairs.
We are about to go through this process ourselves; from four ADSL connections to two NBN connections and I can promise you that we will do this one connection at a time and hopefully not end up dead in the water for any length of time. I will keep you posted.
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