Get up to speed on NBN roll­out

The NBN will af­fect us all, so users need to know how to get the most of it for the best cost, writes

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

THE Na­tional Broad­band Net­work roll­out is in full swing, and house­holds are be­ing urged to try be­fore they buy into a long- term con­tract.

About 140,000 NBN ser­vices are be­com­ing avail­able each week, with about 60,000 peo­ple sign­ing up weekly as the roll­out ap­proaches its half­way mark.

How­ever, con­fu­sion about the NBN is wide­spread and

An­thony Keane

there have been com­plaints by some about slow speeds.

Re­search by iS­elect has found more than six million house­hold de­ci­sion- mak­ers are not up to speed about the NBN, and spokes­woman Laura Crow­den said this must be ad­dressed be­cause switch­ing would even­tu­ally be manda­tory.

“Af­ter a house­hold is no­ti­fied it can switch to the NBN, they have 18 months to move their ser­vices to the new net­work,” she said.

Ms Crow­den said 40 per cent of NBN users sur­veyed by iS­elect did not know what speed they were on.

The NBN has four speed tiers: nbn12, which is sim­i­lar to cur­rent ADSL2 ser­vices, nbn25, nbn50 and the fastest, nbn100, which suits multi- de­vice house­holds want­ing to down­load and stream loads of data at the same time.

Speeds of 25Mbps ( megabits per sec­ond) – on nbn25 – or above are con­sid­ered su­per­fast broad­band speeds.

The costs of nbn12 is sim­i­lar to cur­rent broad­band costs, and the prices for the three lev­els of su­per­fast NBN rise about $ 10 a month with each speed tier. The best deals are gen­er­ally avail­able to early adopters.

Ms Crow­den said the nbn25 and nbn50 plans would be suf­fi­cient for most house­holds.

“What will frus­trate you more – an ex­tra $ 10 a month or your Net­flix not work­ing?” she said.

Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­par­i­son web­site WhistleOut’s Joseph Han­lon said the net­work was get­ting some bad word of mouth from peo­ple who signed up to fast plans but were not get­ting the speeds they ex­pected.

Speeds can be af­fected by such fac­tors as a home’s dis­tance from an NBN node and a ser­vice provider’s equip­ment.

Mr Han­lon said pro­mo­tions such as amaysim’s re­cent free one- month trial were a good idea. “It gives you a chance to dip your toe in. If you are not happy with the ser­vice, you have the con­fi­dence to go to a dif­fer­ent provider. There’s stacks of smaller guys,” he said.

Mr Han­lon said peo­ple should con­sider start­ing with a slower speed and then per­haps step­ping up. “There’s no point pay­ing for 100 if your home only gets 50.”

NBN spokesman Craig Jost said the net­work should be three- quar­ters built by mid2018 and com­pete by 2020.

He said 85 per cent of peo­ple were happy with their ser­vice.

“Your ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing the speeds actually achieved, is de­ter­mined by your ser­vice provider and the plan you choose, and de­pends on the tech­nol­ogy over which ser­vices are de­liv­ered to your premises and some fac­tors out­side our con­trol, like equip­ment qual­ity and soft­ware,” he said.

EX­TRA HELP­ING: Keen diner Dagny Rocha uses the Liven app. Pic­ture: DAVID SWIFT

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