NBN Speeds Are In The Toilet (And Customers Are Pissed)

NBN Speeds Are In The Toilet (And Customers Are Pissed)

The latest complaints report from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has revealed NBN customers are among the least satisfied internet users in Australia. A whopping 13,406 NBN-related complaints were made to the TIO in the last financial year, an increase of more than 100 per cent compared to the year before.

The number of complaints was also five times higher than non-NBN services such as ADSL2. That ACCC NBN performance monitor report can’t come soon enough.

NBN users aren’t happy about the quality of their internet – and they want the TIO to know all about it. The latest figures from the telco ombudsman has shown a marked increase in NBN-related complaints, which accounted for 11.9 per cent of all complaints received in financial year 2016-2017. (By contrast, the total was 5.4 per cent the year before.) Faults and connections were the two main issues in complaints about services delivered over the NBN.

The higher number of complaints can be partly attributed to a higher take up by customers. Indeed, when the increased number of active services are taken into account, the percentage of complaints has actually dropped, if NBN Co’s figures can be believed.

With that said, there are still many customers with legitimate grievances against the network relating to confusing adverts, connectivity snafus and generally shoddy service. Recent problems to plague the NBN include Telstra selling speeds it couldn’t provide, Optus unceremoniously cutting customers off its network, a constantly changing rollout map and increased NBN congestion.

Customers are also annoyed by the lack of transparency when it comes to how real-world internet speeds are advertised by retail service providers (RSPs). According to a recent ACCC survey, approximately 80 per cent of fixed broadband consumers are confused by the jargon around speeds offered by RSPs such as Telstra, TPG and Optus.

In related news, the ACCC has launched a NBN Performance Monitoring Program with the aim of taking unscrupulous telcos to task. You can find out how to join the program here.

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[Via SMH]


  • I have nbn HFC coming to my area in Jan-Mar 2018 and to be honest I really don’t want to change if the network is going to be unstable and the plan more expensive… I have a garbage 700mb/s dld and 0.4 mb/s up at the moment with my adsl, but it is reasonably stable at least (and if only all my trace route wasn’t going from QLD to NSW and back to QLD that’d be great).

    • I’m in QLD too. I was with TPG for my adsl, paying $49/mth for 500gb, and getting around 14Mbps down. I went with MyRepublic for my HFC connection. $59/mth, unlimited 100/40. Had a few teething issues initially (see my post below) but they’ve been rock solid the last few months. When you take in to consideration that I was also paying Telstra $25/mth for my landline, it works out cheaper!

      • It grinds my gears when people ignore that $25/month for the landline. Good to see someone reference it.

        MyRepublic is launching 1 Gbps here soon, so when I can I’ll be considering them as an option. Hopefully by then the cost will have dropped from $130/month.

        • hahah yeah I think it’s important to weigh up ALL the costs. Though that may not apply to some people. If you have Naked DSL, you wouldn’t be paying that extra chunk, or possibly not as much, as I think some ISP’s only charge like $10 for the “naked” line.
          I was initially a bit bummed that it would be $10 more a month than what I was paying, but then when I realized I could can Telstra, I was overjoyed! Saving $15/mth to get 10x faster internet with unlimited data = WIN! 😀

    • Oh, I should add though, that like you, my connection gets routed through NSW too though. Not that it’s a huge issue really for me though. I still get kick ass speeds. And if I connect to my VPN providers Sydney server, I get a whopping 133Mbps! :0

      • Thanks for your reply. I’m with TPG and I decided not to change ISP until NBN came around my area. It is good to know that HFC can be stable. If I change I’m planing to change to internode/iinet for my NBN as I think they do have routers in QLD (currently my latency goes from 30ms to 80+ms when reaching routers in nsw…).

        • No problem. I can’t really say if the HFC performance/stability is the same with other ISP’s, but my experience has been good so far.
          And if it’s latency you’re concerned about, I am on the cheaper plan with MyRepublic (uses DHCP.) Apparently you can pay $10 more per month, and get a “gamer” connection, which gives you a static IP and lower latency connection. I may give it a try at some point, but I haven’t been doing a whole lot of online gaming this year. Recently I’ve been playing a bit of quake champions, and my ping is usually about 20ms, or in busy times, can be up to 60-70. The server for quake is based in Sydney too though, so that probably helps a bit.
          It’s also possible that MyRepublic will have QLD hubs at some point. (They may do already for all I know.) I just know that when I first signed up, speedtest detected my connection as being in Sydney.

  • I’m personally satisfied with my NBN connection. I had a few delays in getting it connected, and have previously had issues with a few frequent drop outs, but that seems to have settled over the past few months. Speed wise though, I’ve been getting solid speeds the whole time. Avg of 97down and 38 up.
    I can totally understand people bitching about the advertising from ISP’s though.
    Pretty much every NBN ad I’ve seen apart from maybe, Belong, don’t even mention speed at all.
    TPG in particular comes to mind cos there was a big billboard not far from my house, proudly advertising unlimited NBN for $59 a month. Only, when you go to their website, after digging around a bit, you find out it’s only for a 12/1 connection!

    • My biggest gripe is that I managed to get on TPG for 100/40 when it first came to my area last year for $60 per month. I’ve moved house since and had to disconnect as the new place was not NBN ready. Now when I go to sign up again, they’ve jacked the price massively for the same service.

      • damn :\ That blows! When I first got notified about it being available in my area, TPG sent me a letter notifying me, and had the $59 deal on there, which I thought wasn’t too bad, but then when I went to their website, found out it was only for 12/1. Dunno how long ago you got your 100/40 from them, but I got my NBN connected in like Feb/March, so perhaps I missed the good price offer from them. Had it been for 100/40, I probably would have stuck with them, cos I’d used them for my adsl for over a decade, and never had a single issue with them.

    • TPG has started sending me emails about NBN coming to my area in Sydney, but I only have 2 choices- 1. Sign up to an 18 month contract for the same deal I’m getting now (speed only 12Mbs), or 2. Pay an extra $99 for the modem, with no contract. I don’t want a contract because I may have to move house.

      Either way, it is going to cost me more money! It’s a bad choice, so I’m going to have to look for another ISP.

      • There are a few around that offer no contract, but generally they’ll hit you for more cash each month. From memory, MyRepublic had one option where you could go for a no contract option for an extra $10/mth, but I think they at least sent you the modem for free.

  • NBN Co more or less admits that FTTN was a massive stuff-up as it is now rolling out more and more FTTC (fibre to the curb) to get closer to the original FTTP intention.

    FTTC is expanding at such a rate that currently one million homes will connected this way as FTTN becomes more and more discredited and marginalised.

    It’s a pity that political ideology and gamesmanship saw an inferior system triumph over the vastly superior FTTP.

    • Indeed. As much as fibre would have been nice, I can’t tell you how damn happy I was when I found out I was at least getting HFC instead of FTTN!

    • I wish it was true. The majority of my suburb has been changed from Optus HFC to FTTC, my estate which didn’t have HFC, is still getting FTTN, even after there is a wait before they start the rollout.

      How about they just bin all future FTTN installations and move to FTTC for all the FTTN flagged installations!

      • Probably for the best that they ditched the Optus HFC. That network was utter shite. My friend (who also works for Optus) had their 100mbit cable, and he lives about 1km from the Rochedale hub/exchange. Between the hours of like 5pm-1am, he would be lucky to get 5k/sec downloads cos it was so over utilized.

  • Im still getting FTTN beginning of 2019, but over here in WA, a large chunk of the surrounding area was just moved from FTTC BACK TO FTTN and pushed back to 2020

  • It’s not just the speeds that have us “Pissed” but the extreme exspense of it all too. Ever since Turnbull decided to use it as a scapegoat for his political games, when he was Communications Minister Transforming it into the “National Fraudband Network” (He was dirty that high-speed internet was Labors idea, and hacked, and slashed it at every turn, just for spite).

    The system is a complete joke and, sorry to say we are the punchline!

    • If the LNP left the NBN alone, it would have been faster, cheaper and rolled out nation-wide years ago.

      Instead it is slower, way more expensive and more than half the country is STILL WAITING FOR IT!

      So if Abbott hadn’t rigged the election (how else would that backward, misogynistic scumbag ever win?!) , we as a nation would all be basking in the FTTP glow, instead of the absolute expensive mess we are stuck with now! (at least for those that even have NBN yet).

      • I dont believe that installation would of been faster under labour, but it definately would not have been slower than its now and would still be cheaper and of course way better. And yes i am still waiting for work to even begin on my street to receive FTTN. According to my local Telstra rep when i sign ed up for the NBN back at the start of the year, it was to go live on january 13th 2017, then it was pushed back to Febuary 10th, then in middle of march i call from local telstra rep telling me that he had not forgotten about me and that the problem was on NBNco side. According to my local telstra rep, NBNco had no fucking idea about how great the demand for the NBN was in my town.

        • Telstra and NBNco love to pass the buck.

          After I got switched to FTTN in 2016, I got bad speeds, horrific ping and my speedtest and check on whatsmyip both said I was in Darwin, when I am in Adelaide. I could not play online gaming because of excessive rubberbanding, and telstra said it was NBNco’s fault and could not assist. NBNco said it was Telstra’s fault and could not assist.

          My money is on Telstra being at fault, as they are so dodgey. They charge like wounded bulls for the least reliable service with 24/7 outages galore.

          It took a few months before the issue resolved itself. Telstra are as usefull as tits on a bull, and a Royal Commission into the dodgey dealings of Telstra is required!

          • Did anyone ever work with you to conduct Trace Routes? One of them was routing you all over the country side – and conducting these sorts of test would have been the first step in isolating exactly who was mucking you about.

          • I’ll need to rembember that one, thanks!

            When I was listed as being in Gunn N.T. people in my house using my WiFi were in Alice Springs! This was ridiculous! I was in Adelaide SA and so was my friend connected to my guest WiFi, on her phone in my residence!

  • FTTP (Canberra since late 2012)

    Personally, I have never experienced any dilemmas concerning speed or connectivity.

    Nighthawk X10 achieves a throughput of 94.6 Mbps down, and 37.3 Mbps up – To most wireless devices.
    Telstra plan 100/40 – $150.00 per month.

    Battlefield 1 – 1ms ping (Xbox)
    The only gripe I have with Telstra is that they don’t release SIP details for VoIP connections, therefore you still have to utilise their router in order to maintain an active phone line; that is unless you are inclined to pay their exorbitant fees to have one of their technicians patch it through the ntd. In a world where 90% of people use their mobiles, I decided against it.
    In a way, their modem acts as a switch now.

  • My area just got connected to FTTN. Most are transitioning over all at once. I’m getting 30/20 (sync speed). And as it turns out even slower during peak times. In fact slower than my old ADSL connection ever was.

    So now I’m jumping through hoops I got stuck doing this – https://iihelp.iinet.net.au/NBN_Fibre_Required_Speed_Troubleshooting – all weekend. I’m now waiting on iiNet and NBNCo to review the data to determine if there is anything that can be done about the sync speed and the peak dips in speed.

    I’m betting I’m stuck below 30Mb/sec permanently but I certainly won’t be accepting the dips during peak times. 1Mb/Sec is not acceptable.

  • Avoid the larger telcos at all costs as you’ll be almost guaranteed congestion during peak times and regular dropouts.

    Infinity Telco are offering unlimited data, no setup fees, no lock in contracts and 24/7 Aussie support for $79 per month for 100/40 speeds. They use Vocus as their wholesale provider who are rated the best in the country and they closely manage their bandwidth to ensure everyone has a fast and stable connection.

  • Stay away from Optus at all costs. They have massively oversubscribed their network. I was paying for an ‘up to’ 100Mbit connection (FTTP) and getting 5Mbit during peak times, which was pretty much every night between 6-10pm and on weekends.

    When I asked Optus about it they straight up admitted my area was congested and they didn’t have any CVC upgrades planned. Put in my complaint to the TIO and left them immediately.

  • I find its getting better at the POI

    however I have had a few conversations with the elder’ people around town and they are flatout refusing to get NBN

    and that is a problem…. a failed problem that is also dangerous

  • Do all the people who are contemplating the change realise that after 18 months of the go live date the old copper network will be shut down and your service will be lost? So if you want fixed broadband it’s not a matter of if but when you change to NBN.

  • YES, and every building which has FTTN will be connected to FTTP, Fibre To The Premises, eventually = maybe!

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