STILL SLOW: The rollout of the NBN hasn't run smoothly and some customers are not getting what they paid for.
STILL SLOW: The rollout of the NBN hasn't run smoothly and some customers are not getting what they paid for. NBN Co

Heavy price for CQ/Rocky's 'dud' NBN

BYTE ME, By Bruce Kerr

I WAS principally going to write this week's article as a review of the currently available internet connections, but I have largely covered this material in previous articles and we also have this information available via our www.kerr website.

Today I would rather talk about our NBN challenges.

Last week I wrote about a friend's experience with transitioning from a failing ADSL 2+ connection to one of the latest NBN fixed wireless connections.

They signed up to an Optus plan that was purported to offer download speeds of up to 50Mbits.

However, in reality this is not close to the case.

The maximum speed recorded since the connection went in two weeks ago was 21Mbits at about 4am.

The speed quickly lowers to around 10Mbits by 8am and stays at that level all day until after 10pm, at which point it will slowly climb to a normal maximum of 18Mbits at 4am.

I don't know how useful a fast internet speed is to most people when it occurs at 4am, but I can take a guess at suggesting - not much use at all.

So, what is happening here?

Is the antenna on the roof miraculously growing larger at night and shrinking during the day? Certainly not.

Is the router more powerful at night? No!

Is the distance between the user's house and the tower (only 450m) shrinking at night? Hardly!

So why the speed differences of between 8.5Mbits and 21Mbits that they have seen?

I can only suggest the uplink or backhaul link between the tower and its next upstream point (possible the local telephone exchange) is limited in bandwidth.

This tower and this link are both owned by NBN Co and a portion of the bandwidth is sold to ISPs such as (in this case) Optus.

So, is Optus not paying enough?

The answer will not be easy to find because Optus will never admit to being such a cheapskate and none of us are able to talk directly to NBN Co.

So here we have an Australian enterprise (NBN Co) that is indirectly offering us a service and we can't even talk to them!

Who paid for NBN Co in the first place? Yes - we all did, and we still do!

Has our NBN hit all its initial targets? Absolutely not.

While the FTTN service at our shop consistently gives us around 96Mbits of the 100Mbits we pay for, some customers, particularly on NBN fixed wireless, get less than 5Mbits of the 25Mbits they pay for.

So, who can we hold responsible?

Well, it's too late to hold NBN chief executice Terry Morrow to account for some ofthese missed targets.

He has taken his $3 million to $3.7 million per year salary package - paid by the Aussie taxpayer - and resigned.

He has most likely gone back to the US as a very wealthy individual - happy to put Australia's internet connection woes well behind him.

It leads me to question who set his salary, why it was so much and why was there no accountability? Could we not have given him a lousy half a million a year and made the rest of the salary contingent on hitting certain goals?

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave St or on 49222400.