Why your NBN speeds may not live up to claim
NONE of the nation’s major telcos will guarantee customers will experience super-fast internet under the National Broadband Network, or even that they will deliver the same speed packages being sold to them by the agency in charge of the $49 billion project.
NBN Co, a wholesaler, sells a range of monthly connection packages to the telcos of 12 megabits per second, 25Mbps, and super-fast connections of 50Mbps and 100Mbps.
The telcos are also required to buy from NBN Co costly “bandwidth” to ensure those speeds can be achieved at peak times, such as after 5pm weekdays, when many people are using the internet at the same time.
Telstra, Optus, TPG and Dodo are all unable to guarantee that customers who sign up for a certain NBN speed tier will actually achieve those speeds, particularly during peak times. The failure of tel- cos to buy adequate bandwidth has led to people even on the highest 100Mbps connections achieving peak time speeds of as low as just 1Mbps.
While it continues to spruik NBN packages of 12, 25, 50 and 100Mbps, Optus told The Australian it did not “make speed guarantees” and that those speed levels were “not indicative” of the speeds customers would consistently experience.
“Speed tiers indicate the maximum upload and download speed that a service is provisioned at,” an Optus spokesman said. “The speed in each tier is not indicative of the speed that customers will experience at all times.”
Telstra’s Steve Carey said “maximum speeds referenced” were “not guaranteed” by the telco, which services about half of all existing NBN customers:
Until recently, most telcos had been widely advertising “up to” speeds of 12, 25, 50 and 100Mbps.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has announced a crackdown on the practice following revelations many users were achieving peak speed at just a fraction of that advertised.
Telstra said it had dropped “up to” speeds and was now referring to its top three NBN packages as “fast, very fast, and super fast”.
An Optus spokesman said the telco was awaiting ACCC guidelines before changing tack.
Sydney’s Jaime Ruggier, who works as an IT professional for a children’s hospital and separately as a consultant, said the NBN was riddled with connection problems and slow speeds, but that the problems lay with the telcos not buying enough bandwidth, not with NBN Co or the type of technology delivered.
“The problems is the (telcos) just can’t keep up in congested times,” Mr Ruggier said.
TPG chief operating officer Craig Levy said the group was unable to guarantee customers would consistently achieve 100Mbps from its top package.
Rolling out the NBN