Why your NBN speeds may not live up to claim

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - An­thony Klan

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

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