Byte Me Article 192 – NBN still MIA in Central Qld

NBN Still MIA in Central Queensland

The NBN has been in the news again but what is actually happening?  Well since the last federal election in Central Queensland not much is happening at all.  Around Rockhampton, Gladstone & Emerald we have a spattering of fibre optic services that (eventually) become available in new estates.  We also have some pink areas around the map of Rockhampton that are offering NBN wireless – but overall nothing much has changed & even 20 years ago the new estates would have been connected to a land line much faster! 

We also see many of the Telco’s and even some of the communications shops around the area selling devices and phone systems on the merit that they are ‘NBN ready’ – my suggestion is to treat this with a grain of salt.  We may not see proper fixed line NBN solutions (fibre optic) in existing commercial and residential areas for 3 to 5 years – or even much longer!  Can some of us trade in our federally funded roof insulation for a faster reliable Internet?

Well now that I have both government parties off side I also need to talk about Internet plans, new PC’s and going over monthly download quotas.  We are still seeing lots of customers on old Internet plans that have since been superseded with cheaper plans that offer more speed or greater download quotas.  If you haven’t checked on or changed your Internet plan in the last 2 years then chances are that you are in this group of over-payers.

2014-09-20 Byte Me Article 192 - Internet Quotas

You can often use the web to simply log into your Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) web site using a provided username and password (often the same as your email details) and compare your existing plan to their latest offerings.  Upgrading can be as simple as putting a tick in a box and clicking on the ‘apply’ button.

Also keep in mind that if your existing plan has a small monthly quota such as less than 5GB then the purchase of a new computer and the associated downloads to keep it patched and up-to-date can sometimes absorb all of your monthly quota.  Such is the case with the upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 which requires around 3GB of download by itself.

We recently had a customer take a new PC home and connect it to their existing rural satellite plan.  This plan had worked fine for their previous 8 year old Windows XP computer but brought them to grief with going well over their monthly quota and racking up an $800 excess use charge.  They had not been notified of the excess use until the monthly bill turned up.

It is hard to effectively run a modern PC without a good Internet connection but once again prior planning and investigation is needed.  Excess usage charges were certainly invented by the Telco’s to further line their own pockets as the extra downloads are sometimes charged at 20 times the normal price per Meg of downloads within the plan.  Yes – how would you feel about paying around $30 per litre on an extra tank of fuel without any warning? 

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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