Author Topic: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)  (Read 8933 times)

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Offline Halcyon

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The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« on: August 06, 2017, 08:33:18 am »


I'm so glad that end users are starting to jump up and down about this and making as much noise as possible about the ridiculous choices the Australian government has made in relation to telecommunication infrastructure in this country. If the National Broadband Network (NBN) was a private organisations, their executives and shareholders would have been shown the door a long time ago.

I've posted about my experiences with the NBN here but I'll outline it again in this thread. It's been exactly a year since I had the NBN installed and I'm still having daily drop-outs. I must have spent 10+ days off work for techs to chase their tails (that's if they showed up at all), countless hours on the phone to my provider, spent hours writing e-mails to everyone I can think of, complained to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and have even been interviewed live on radio 2GB in Sydney. Yet, I'm still stuck with a maximum attainable line sync of 30Mbps down and 10Mbps up.

But get this, NBN Co. seem to think that the ageing, brittle, corroded copper lines is good enough in this day and age. Between me and the node (where it then turns into fibre), I have about 800 metres of copper line. If it were in good condition, I should be able to reliably attain at least double the line sync I'm getting now. But no, I'm stuck in shitty Fibre to the Node technology which is up and down like a yo-yo. NBN Co. seem to think that that as long as the end user can attain a minimum sync speed of 12Mbps down and 1Mbps up in a 24-hour period, that's "good enough" not to be classified as a fault (regardless of what speed tier you are willing to pay for).

I don't know why these clowns insist on continuing their roll-out when so many areas in Australia have sub-standard, poor quality and unreliable FTTN connections. They need to be focussing on getting this stuff right before they even think about laying more cable in new areas.

Bill Morrow (the CEO of NBN) is a complete an utter arse hat. He seems to think that the crap his company is dishing out will satisfy Australians. He has also been in the media blaming the resellers (telcos) for the issues and basically prentending there isn't a problem. He was quoted not long ago saying:

“The reason I am confident is because this thing is selling like hot cakes,” he said.
“Demand is greater than we had ever anticipated and the No 1 question is when are we getting the NBN.”


Yes, no shit Sherlock! Because as soon as an area gets the NBN, it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to order anything else. ADSL, ISDN etc... don't exist any more. You either connect to the NBN or you rely on your mobile phone.

You only have to take one look at NBN Co's own Facebook page to see customers aren't happy. Almost every comment spanning YEARS is negative.

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Offline grumpydoc

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 08:44:51 am »
It sounds as though you are having a frustrating time.

But there is one thing that struck me in your description - 30Mbps down and 10Mbps up is pretty much what you'd expect for VDSL at 800m from the cabinet. I'm 5-600m away and get 40Mbps down, on the low side but as ADSL in the neighbourhood was dire (1.5-2Mbps) I think there has been quite high VDSL take up, so above average cross-talk.

Speeds start to fall sharply after 350-400m or so as you can see from this graph.

 

Online bd139

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 08:50:36 am »
Oh to be so lucky.

I live in the middle of a really expensive generally well equipped part of London UK but we can't get fibre in the tiny little pocket I live (cabinet has been stuck just before taking orders for 3 years) in so I'm stuck with 12 down and 1.2 up ADSL2. Virgin, not that I want them, don't supply to our street. And once every 12 months without fail, bird shit eats the line to the distribution box on the pole causing two days of downtime at least. Every time it rains the cables from the pole to the local cabinet get soaked and this drops down to about 5 down and 0.5 up.

And to add insult to this, I can get 25 mbits down and 18 mbits up on my phone handset BUT I transfer about 200 gig a month as I work from home so I can't afford to pay that out every month from any provider.

 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 08:53:14 am »
It sounds as though you are having a frustrating time.

But there is one thing that struck me in your description - 30Mbps down and 10Mbps up is pretty much what you'd expect for VDSL at 800m from the cabinet. I'm 5-600m away and get 40Mbps down, on the low side but as ADSL in the neighbourhood was dire (1.5-2Mbps) I think there has been quite high VDSL take up, so above average cross-talk.

Speeds start to fall sharply after 350-400m or so as you can see from this graph.



Frustrating doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling.

Attainable line speeds will depend on the thickness of the cabling as well which various depending on where you are. Gnif on this forum has FTTN and a cable length of several hundred metres from memory and archives almost 100 Mbps. (Gnif, care to elaborate/correct me if I'm wrong).

60 Mbps down @ 800 metres is not outside the realm of possibility.

I wouldn't care so much if the thing was reliable and didn't drop out randomly.

Maybe since I'm only getting 30% of my rated speed tier, I should only have to pay 30% of my bill until NBN Co. pull their finger out.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 08:56:48 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline ludzinc

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 09:38:57 am »
Quick question. You willing to pony up for a fibre to your place?

Thing that frustrates me immensely with the FTTH plan is the cost. FTTN is a less superior solution, no question, but is much more affordable and much easier (quicker) to roll out.

If we had to wait for FTTH everywhere, just about everyone will have to wait.....

None of my comments should be taken as defence of the NBN in any way - like all things government and beauratic the left hand has no idea what the right is doing.

Make we wonder how long until the NBN is overtaken by Wireless services anyway (which FTTN helps enable?).
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2017, 09:44:02 am »
Attainable line speeds will depend on the thickness of the cabling as well which various depending on where you are. Gnif on this forum has FTTN and a cable length of several hundred metres from memory and archives almost 100 Mbps. (Gnif, care to elaborate/correct me if I'm wrong).
Yes, it will depend on thickness, condition, material used (copper vs aluminium), target signal to noise margins, crosstalk, technology (g.imp etc) - a whole host of things.

Quote
60 Mbps down @ 800 metres is not outside the realm of possibility.
In practice I think that it is.

Maybe with pristine 0.6mm copper and a single subscriber on the cabinet but even then I doubt you'd get 60Mbps at 800m

Also, is the 800m copper distance or "as the crow flies"?

Quote
I wouldn't care so much if the thing was reliable and didn't drop out randomly.

I think this is the real issue for you.

Quote
Maybe since I'm only getting 30% of my rated speed tier, I should only have to pay 30% of my bill until NBN Co. pull their finger out.
We still get a lot of people in the UK who don't understand that xDSL speeds are limited by line length and other factors and just because you are being sold an "up to 80Mbps" service doesn't mean that you will get 80Mbps or that you are somehow being cheated if it is less. The advertising standards people have got themselves in a complete tizz about this.

That said if there is a choice between, say 40/10 and 80/20 in your location it seems unwise to pay for the faster service as your local loop will not support the speeds.

Personally - and I suspect that you will agree - I think fibre to the premises can't start wide deployment at realistic prices soon enough (I can have FTTP if I am prepared to shell out £1000's for the install and £100's per month rental) and the speed should be "what it says on the tin", no more and no less.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 09:50:47 am »
Quick question. You willing to pony up for a fibre to your place?

Thing that frustrates me immensely with the FTTH plan is the cost. FTTN is a less superior solution, no question, but is much more affordable and much easier (quicker) to roll out.

Yep, absolutely! If the price was reasonable. I'd even be willing to shell out a few thousand dollars. But before I even get a quote, they charge you something like $600. If you don't accept the quote, you lose that money. It's just not worth the risk seeing as many quotes are coming back well in excess of $10,000.


I see NBN Co. technicians here almost weekly and no doubt they are chasing faults caused by open circuits. Then at least once a year, something gets hit by lightning so they need to undertake costly repairs (last December, lightning took out a whole 100-pair cable for weeks).

Sure, FTTN rollout is quicker, but it's more costly in the long run. If NBN Co. come up with a plan to upgrade all existing FTTN areas to FTTC/FTTH within a certain time frame, then fine, at least they are thinking ahead. But sadly, I don't think this is the case at all.

For me, it's a catch-22. I should be getting faster speeds and better reliability, but I'm not because the copper is in bad condition. They won't replace it (either with fresh copper or fibre) because it's too costly, but they will send out a technician each time just to tell me something I already know. In order for them to fix the drop-outs, they need to replace the cable, which in turn will increase the speed.

They have already scrapped FTTN in many areas, including around where I live that don't have NBN yet, they have changed it to FTTC which is an infinitely better solution. What does that tell us? That experts and tech-savvy community were right after all? I suspect so.

Hell, all they have to do us survey the local area and ask residents how many people are willing to pay for FTTH then work out what the cost would be to each person (plus a little from the government). Even if you get 20% of people saying 'yes' it'll probably be what I would call "reasonable". I view FTTH as an investment and the government should too. Already real estate websites are starting to allow potential renters and buyers to filter results based on just that.

It will take many years to replace the copper that's in the ground now in this country, but once they have glass down, they are set for another 100... 200 years???
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 12:06:49 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline gnif

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 10:20:28 am »
I was really looking forward to FTTP in my area especially since we are prone to blackouts due to the amount of trees in the area that end up creating shorts. I run enterprise grade UPS equipment, servers, etc... but that didn't matter, a power outage meant the internet would drop, the DSLAM is not battery backed. FTTP would have fixed this, but nooooo, we had to get crummy FTTN.

Thankfully with FTTN I am getting the 100/40 and the nodes are battery backed so blackouts don't take me offline anymore. I am yet to experience any period where I do not get the rated speeds, and I am paying less then I was for ADSL. ($80/m for unlimited 8Mbit vs $60 for unlimited 100mbit...)

I shudder at the cost of battery maintenance let alone the cost of maintaining all that "cheaper" obsolete VDSL equipment.
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2017, 10:26:34 am »
Thankfully with FTTN I am getting the 100/40 and the nodes are battery backed so blackouts don't take me offline anymore. I am yet to experience any period where I do not get the rated speeds, and I am paying less then I was for ADSL. ($80/m for unlimited 8Mbit vs $60 for unlimited 100mbit...)

Meanwhile I live about 10 kilometres away, am with the same provider/plan as Gnif, similar cable length, part of the same NBN roll-out and I get 30% of the performance he does (with the added "bonus" of dropped connections).

My next door neighbour isn't as lucky as I am. With ADSL2 he was getting about 30Kbps down. Now on NBN he can manage a few Mbps -- Great Australian NBN success story  :-+
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 10:29:09 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 10:32:13 am »
I get fairly decent broadband where I live. I'm in the capital district, NY area and we have full fiber to your house everywhere. We get 90/90 symmetrical. I do experience drop outs because many of my application are stream based, so the network disconnects long enough to destroy any connection. I play a lot of video games, and it's annoying being disconnected every hour or two.

Besides that, the service is cheap, easy, and I have a decent home network infrastructure, even if it is a bit complicated.
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Offline GabYoung92

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2017, 10:47:58 am »
I've got an electronics shop in Bundall, QLD (Gold Coast) and I had a DSL service setup there

At best I would get 4/0.9Mbps with frequent drop outs and a bill for $115 a month.  This was because of the crappy lines and a 3002m (as the crow flies) cable length from the exchange.
The DSL service also had a phone line linked to it.   Almost every phone call would drop out randomly and the internet would drop out when I needed it the most.

Can't get NBN as its not ready in the area.  So I did the next best thing and got fixed wireless from a company called Wires Broadband (they seem to only offer wireless....) Not a single drop out yet! bloody awesome! So now I get 20/2Mbps and a bill half the original price!

I'm loving the letters I get in the mail about the NBN being available in the area in Apr-Jun 2018* with FTTN planned... Unless the lines are replaces I think I'll be staying with wireless.
 

Offline gnif

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 10:53:47 am »
Just ran a test, getting close to the advertised speeds, likely getting closer as there is some other things currently consuming some bandwidth also.
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Offline brucehoult

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2017, 11:01:57 am »
New Zealand has done fibre to the home and it's worked out quite well, and on time and on budget.

http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/why-new-zealand-outplayed-australia-on-the-nbn-20170803-gxos77

When I was still in NZ I was a bit angry that (apparently) because my area had existing cable TV (I had 130/10 internet for a number of years) we were bypassed by the initial round of the UFB rollout, in favour of the poor bastards who could only get ADSL2.

Now I'm living in a 16 story apartment building in Moscow and there are numerous competing internet companies, each of which have their own fibre or ethernet cable strung to the top of a nearby building, in a web of aerial cables that appears to span the city. I have unlimited 100/100 for about US$10/month. I could have 300/300 for less than three times the price, but I can't see the point, though I wouldn't notice the expense.

https://www.wifire.ru/wifirehome

I've seen someone add a new cable, firing an arrow trailing a thread across the gap. I suspect they use the cheapest and most streamlined planing & approvals process imaginable.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 12:05:39 pm by brucehoult »
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2017, 11:09:27 am »
Just ran a test, getting close to the advertised speeds, likely getting closer as there is some other things currently consuming some bandwidth also.
Do you know how far you are from the access node?

If you are more than 300m at those speeds you are doing well.
 

Offline Don Hills

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2017, 11:42:10 am »
... When I was still in NZ I was a bit angry that (apparently) because my area had existing cable TV (I had 130/10 internet for a number of years) we were bypassed by the initial found of the UFB rollout, in favour of the poor bastards who could only get ADSL2. ...

I'm also a longtime cable subscriber in Wellington. The cable company have caught up now. I have 1G / 100 for a few dollars more than I was paying for 50/10.
 

Offline Towger

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2017, 12:12:48 pm »
I think part of your problem is 'they don't want' you to have faster broadband, probably due to the limited bandwidth in/out of the country.  I stayed a Melbourne (Brunswick) about a year ago and the house had FTTH and from memory was only 50~60Mb download speed.

In Dublin I can get FTTN at 100mb, they are rolling out FTTH outside cities and actively offering 1000Mb.  Looking at their (eir's the ex-state provider) website you would think 1000mb is available to everyone!  I just checked their current pricing and they now offer only two speeds of 'up to' 150Mb for €70 and 1000Mb for €90 a month, including phone. (Other companies resell the same service for a lower price.) 

We also have cable (DOCSIS 3.0), which is now owned by Virgin Media...  I have their slowest option which is 240/24MB for €50 and their higher package is 360/36Mb of €60 per month inc Phone.  They can offer 1000Mb+, but is is not advertised.  The big difference between the FTTC (VDSL) and DOCSIS is that you (generally) always get the advertised speeds with DOCSIS, none of this 'up to' rubbish depending on the length and quality of the copper pair.  In the states they complain about about cable internet, but I suspect is backbone infrastructure problems.

So you see, we have much the same systems, but higher speeds at a lower cost.

 

Offline Fungus

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Offline brucehoult

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2017, 01:53:45 pm »


0ms ping?  :o

That's pretty good. I have 2 ms :-( And it doesn't meet the advertised 100 speed.

At least it's symmetrical.


 

Offline Brumby

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2017, 02:56:45 pm »
I'm on Optus cable and this is what it's like just now (Nearly 1am Sydney time)

This is what I am supposed to get for download.  Upload should be 2Mbps.


But at 4pm I wasn't able to get over 4.5Mbps download.  Upload was not worth mentioning.


Says a lot about congestion.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2017, 03:05:20 pm »
This is a workable speed for most of what I do, but I cringe at the thought of the NBN - unless they want to run FTTP to me.

Is it a dream - or is it a nightmare?  Do I dare to sleep - perchance to dream - only to wake up to the nightmare?
 

Offline nickdepinet

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2017, 09:27:41 pm »
Here in Seattle competition has worked out great for my building - FTTB gives me three options of 1G/1G for $80/month each w/no data caps. (I could have all three simultaneously if I wanted to pay for it). I get advertised speed too.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2017, 09:40:31 pm »
Here in the Netherlands, the rural area's don't have luxury either. Those that do have cable, may call themselves very lucky. The rest of the rural folk have to live with a whopping 4/0.25Meg adsl link.
They were very happen when they learned that Reggefiber was going to connect almost all of the country. But then Reggefiber was bought by KPN, a major ISP. And now all the fiber plans are off the table. KPN now has, as an offer of gratitude, disabled 4G data caps for "home" internet. But they forgot rural area's don't have 4G either.
Luckily the fiber contractor was already working in our town then they published they wouldn't continue.

We pay €100 for this, including two IPTV units, and the mandatory VOIP line. (data caps on fixed lines don't exists here)


Getting fiber to the home for all houses should be an economical goal, right?
 

Offline brucehoult

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2017, 09:59:05 pm »
We pay €100 for this, including two IPTV units, and the mandatory VOIP line. (data caps on fixed lines don't exists here)


That's pretty nice, except for the €100 when I'm paying a little less than €10 for about the same thing, elsewhere in Europe (technically .. not in the EU).
 

Offline Mike Warren

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2017, 11:54:13 pm »
My work has had NBN for about 18 months. We still regularly get our phones and Internet dropping out and we have to reset the router to get back online.

Every part of the system has been replaced, and at this point Telstra refuse to do any more about the problem, blaming it on NBN Co.

The failures have gradually become less frequent over time, but it can be very frustrating. Someone suddenly notices the phones haven't rung for the last hour so we check, and sure enough, the phones and Internet are out again.

I dread to think how much business the company has lost because of it. When the system is down, to anyone who rings in it just appears that we're not answering the phones. They don't get any indication there is a technical problem.

We have fibre into the building and are right next door to the main Cairns exchange. We get 100/40 in speed tests, but I have not noticed any significant improvement in actual web site loading times since we got NBN (Was ASDL 8/2.5) previously)
 

Offline ludzinc

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Re: The Insanity of Internet In Australia (NBN)
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2017, 01:14:16 am »
Quick question. You willing to pony up for a fibre to your place?

Thing that frustrates me immensely with the FTTH plan is the cost. FTTN is a less superior solution, no question, but is much more affordable and much easier (quicker) to roll out.

Yep, absolutely! If the price was reasonable. I'd even be willing to shell out a few thousand dollars. But before I even get a quote, they charge you something like $600. If you don't accept the quote, you lose that money. It's just not worth the risk seeing as many quotes are coming back well in excess of $10,000.
[snip]

And there's the rub.  With nearly 8 Million households in Oz, and if we were to call 'a few thousand' $2k, that's $16 BILLION for everyone to have a fibre connection.  That's why the government pony'd up $10B to buy the existing copper / co-ax network.

The result is faster rollout, and push back to consumer / providers to address the pain.  If your copper is shite, the provider will need to sort it.  If the district is sub standard there may be a driver for a roll out in your area. 

Or it may be a feeder to a wireless solution....

Just remember the original NBN plan was costed at $4.7B (http://www.smh.com.au/news/wireless--broadband/labors-47-billion-broadband-plan/2007/03/21/1174153131586.html) and is expected to finally cost x10 that amount. 

(https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/12/heres-how-much-the-nbn-is-really-costing-the-government/)
 


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