If you’re not already aware, The National Broadband Network, a system designed to bring Australia’s internet up to speed with the rest of the world allowing hitherto unseen speeds and capabilities, will let you know when you’re premises are ready to connect via the post.
Oh, infamous network that we turmoil in, surely there’s a better way – a faster way – to get information from your HQ to prospective users?
Yes, we can register for email updates… but what about when this system doesn’t work for users, such as @vealmince – who encountered issues registering his address for email updates on when his service would be ready. When he tried to register his email, the website wouldn’t allow him to do so and then NBN Co directed him to the rollout map. He wasn’t impressed when they told him to wait for notification via the post.
Via … post? So you're the company delivering Australia's broadband infrastructure and you can't make an email form work?
— Josh Mehlman (@vealmince) May 23, 2018
These stories are everywhere, and it seems slightly bizarre that bringing us into the 21st century of connection and communication still requires that we send letters via post. I’m not denying it makes sense – sending a letter to the premises should ensure that the homeowner knows NBN is ready for service, and it prevents misuse of the registration system, too.
If you’re not aware, once NBN access is available to you, you have 18 months to switch to the new network. This is when NBN Co sends a direct mail out to you, explaining all the necessary measures you will need to take to switch over.
An NBN spokesperson made it clear that this process is in place “to ensure no one is left without a connection who doesn’t want one”. They also send up to five reminder letters in the 18-month window and “material via registered post to residential premises that have not yet connected five weeks prior to the disconnection date.”
A pretty comprehensive system to ensure that no one gets left behind, as it were.
It’s still a jarring juxtaposition for a network that’s meant to improve communication to use a method that’s slightly backward.
Of course, with letters, you have to print and physically send them out, typically taking a couple of days to get from one location to the next. What happens when plans change – like they often do – with the NBN? What happens when the HFC roll out is stunted? Another letter gets sent out. There are stories on Twitter, Reddit and Australian forums that show how error-prone and susceptible to scams this process might be.
And hey! Are they using recycled paper? What about the trees, man?
Ah, the good old days. If you want an update, just wait by the letterbox. We shall wait for news from the New World and when we can join them in 2018.
Lifehacker strongly recommends you register your address for email updates if you’re waiting for the NBN, which you can do here. It was successful for my address when I attempted this morning. Not only will it be a much faster way to get information on the NBN, you’ll get updates on any service availability much sooner and for much cheaper.
I feel like I’ve heard that slogan somewhere before.