News

NBN and service providers pass on blame

by
December 01, 2017

NBN: THE GOOD, THE BAD AN THE CONFUSING

An engineer at one of the country’s top universities says Greater Shepparton NBN customers are facing the same issues users Australia-wide are experiencing.

Mark Gregory, an associate professor in network engineering at RMIT University, said consumers had been caught between the NBN and providers, as both passed on the blame for technological issues.

Prof Gregory said two main drivers had contributed to the problems, including registered providers not buying enough capacity, and the ‘‘obsolete’’ use of fibre-to-the-node, meaning people had been unable to reach the speeds expected.

He said with more consumers using streaming services and many relying on the service for business, the poor internet speeds and drop-outs in connection could be infuriating.

‘‘It’s not acceptable, given the experts have been saying that this would occur since the plan was announced in 2013, and it highlights the problem with the current government,’’ Prof Gregory said.

‘‘They weren’t prepared to listen to the local experts, and criticism of the NBN will reach a crescendo unless it acts to fix what has become an unsightly mess.’’

CUSTOMERS SOLD A PUP

Issues around the NBN have plagued households and businesses across the country.

What services do we have in Greater Shepparton?

The service has been connected for more than a year and much of Greater Shepparton has been connected by the fibre-to-the-home, which promised a super-fast connection via a fibre optic straight to the home.

Areas just out of town were connected to fibre-to-the-node, which still relies on a technically inferior copper connection from the home to a nearby node.

Rural or remote areas have been given the option of connecting through the fixed-line wireless or via the Sky Muster satellite.

Why is this technology meant to be superior?

Historically, internet speeds for Australia were determined by what suburb you lived in and how far away you lived from the Telstra exchange. The NBN is using new technology in fibre optics in order to offer higher and more consistent speeds.

But reports of ongoing delays, mixed quality and poor final speeds have made it difficult for the NBN to reach its full potential. Confusing plans paired with outdated technology have caused issues for consumers, sold fast NBN plans and supplied with hardware that could never reach promised speeds.

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