Byte Me Article 288 – NBN Highs & Lows

CQ’s Internet Service is Now a Bit Sporadic

Unless you live in a cupboard you will be aware of the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout happening in Rockhampton.  This is a nationwide scheme and is only costing the Australian taxpayer a measly $30 Billion and is supplying fibre optic cables from our telephone exchanges to ‘nodes’ located throughout the suburbs.

In existing urban areas with existing copper phone lines these existing lines will still be used to carry communications from these new nodes the rest of the distance to houses and other buildings.  This is called Fibre to the Node (FTTN).  Any new developments will not have any copper lines run but rather fibre optic cables all the way to the end point – Fibre to the Premise (FTTP).

In theory FTTN should cost less to rollout however this technology is still dependent upon the copper being in good condition.  In many places this copper has been in the ground for one or two decades and this is already well past its use by date.  Now keep in mind that I am not knocking the fact that we will still see speed increases however I am suggesting that we will not see reliability increases.

Rural customers will get served up a helping of NBN via NBN satellite and NBN fixed wireless – which should both be far better solutions than the existing respective technologies.  Overall this is a massive National communication upgrade and it will not come without some trials and tribulations.

What we are already finding is that with all of the activity in the telephone pits around Rockhampton our existing Internet connections are often going faulty for a period of time.  This is because many of the copper joins are already very fragile and simply disturbing or moving them can create a fault.  This will continue until the rollout is finished in Rockhampton.

Unfortunately these Internet service disruptions can last one to 10 hours and it is often the catalyst for people thinking that they must have a router or computer problem themselves and going on a personal witch hunt.  Again – this further exacerbates the original problem and can cost extra downtime and expense.

If your Internet connection suddenly stops working and you have not been tampering with anything then don’t start – but rather play a waiting game and be willing to wait until the next morning.  Alternatively if you wish to call Telstra to check if they have done anything you will be greeted with either dishonesty (deny all policy) or a total lack of knowing what is actually happening with your connection.

The next thing to look out for is when you apply for an NBN connection it may trigger Telstra to remove your existing ADSL connection – even up to two weeks before your NBN connection can be setup.  We have already struck too many people that have experienced this and there is absolutely nothing that can be done to get their old connection back to fill the time gap.

On a more positive note we have already helped many customers transition across to the NBN and every speed test that we have done with this new technology has been brilliant.  Customers on the 50/20 plan are actually getting around 47Mbit downloads and 16Mbit uploads and the same sort of ratios are true of the 100/40 plans.

Also for a number of businesses that are not within the NBN rollout area we have already setup microwave links from premises that are in an NBN area with results that are near perfect. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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