Res­i­dents re­port NBN woes

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Tari Jef­fers

BUSI­NESSES and res­i­dents across the re­gion are be­ing left without in­ter­net for up to nine weeks as they try to con­nect to the fi­bre-tothe-node NBN ser­vice.

On­go­ing is­sues for peo­ple with or con­nect­ing to the NBN in­clude a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with providers and slow speeds due to ser­vice con­ges­tion.

Man­jimup Econ­omy Auto Parts co-owner So­nia Porter has been in a nine-week bat­tle with her provider to get NBN switched on af­ter her ADSL con­nec­tion was mis­tak­enly switched off, de­spite the fact she had can­celled the or­der due to the 10 days it took to com­plete her home con­nec­tion.

“We told them we’d ring when we were ready to go ahead with NBN at work be­cause we can’t be without phone or in­ter­net,” she said.

Since ADSL was switched off on March 23, the busi­ness has run off a pre-paid de­vice for in­ter­net and the EFTPOS ma­chine.

“It has cer­tainly im­pacted on our busi­ness pro­duc­tiv­ity, es­pe­cially when our com­put­ers freeze and I’m spend­ing hours on the phone while my hus­band is man­ning the shop alone,” Mrs Porter said.

Man­jimup res­i­dent Sue McSharer also re­ported a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion from her provider, to the point where she swapped providers and got NBN three weeks af­ter ADSL was switched off.

“I felt like I’d come to a stand­still and busi­ness-wise it was ter­ri­ble be­cause I had to do ev­ery­thing via my phone screen,” she said.

Si­mon Short­house, a com­puter ser­vices spe­cial­ist in the re­gion, said he was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing con­ges­tion caused by lots of peo­ple us­ing the in­ter­net at the same time, which meant he had to go into work as early as 3am to have re­li­able in­ter­net.

Tel­stra area gen­eral man­ager Boyd Brown said fac­tors that could af­fect peo­ple’s NBN speeds in­cluded qual­ity of modems, the home Wi-Fi set up and con­ges­tion in the con­tent they were try­ing to down­load.

Mr Short­house urged res­i­dents to do re­search be­fore com­mit­ting to NBN, which in­cluded talk­ing to friends about their own NBN ex­pe­ri­ences.

“On switch over date, make sure there is no mo­dem con­nected to the line oth­er­wise the port could be locked,” Mr Short­house said.

“Use a mo­dem your provider sup­plies or if you’ve bought your own, check it’s com­pat­i­ble with NBN.”

NBN Co WA cor­po­rate af­fairs man­ager Ebony Aitken said cus­tomers with is­sues should first con­tact their provider and if it could not be re­solved, the provider would con­tact NBN Co.

“We’ve up­dated our web­site to pro­vide new in­for­ma­tion on the steps to con­nect to the NBN network based on the tech­nol­ogy be­ing in­stalled at the home or busi­ness and re­duce the con­fu­sion re­gard­ing the dif­fer­ent roles NBN and re­tail­ers play in build­ing and de­liv­er­ing ser­vices,” she said.

Mr Short­house and Ms Aitken also ex­plained some med­i­cal alarms, auto-di­allers and emer­gency call but­tons may not be com­pat­i­ble with NBN, so it was im­por­tant to con­tact the alert the provider and NBN.

Peo­ple can call O’Con­nor MHR Rick Wil­son’s of­fice on 9842 2777 if their NBN speeds are not what was promised.

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