We’re sure you’ve heard the horror stories in the news by now, like “He worked for NBN and struggled to get high-speed internet. So what hope do we have?” (ABC), “Fixed wireless NBN congestion like surfing the web in Turkey circa 2012, new figures show” (ABC), and “Got slow NBN? Ask for a refund, consumer watchdog says” (The Sydney Morning Herald).
In fact, the last article highlights this particular alarming statement:
“Eight service providers – including Telstra, Optus and TPG – admitted they most likely made false or misleading representations about connection speeds that certain NBN customers could experience. The retailers had been selling plans with maximum speeds when in reality, due to technological limitations, consumers simply could not get those speeds.”
Customers on the ground are complaining too. We’ve handpicked a few gripes from one of our favourite Aussie ISP forums, Whirlpool:
“Signed up recently to FlipTV NBN. For the first 2 weeks, speeds were fine and as expected. Now for the past 48 hours my connection is virtually unusable. Web pages time out or cannot connect… I just ran multiple speed tests over the last few hours. My speeds are abysmal. I have never had it this bad connected to the NBN. Download: 1.38 Mbps, Upload: 0.8 Mbps.” – FlipTV NBN – Terrible Speeds – Unusable for web’
“On 24 December I was connected to the NBN with Telstra from ADSL2 with Telstra. The problem I have is that the download speed is slow. About 12.9 Mbps download and 2.05 Mbps upload. Telstra have said that I should be getting about 25 Mbps download. Today they started talking about compensation for the slow speed. Am still getting this slow speed, which they have said is due to a NBN issue.” – Slow speeds with NBN – Compensation
No wonder consumers and businesses are gun shy about making the switch to NBN
NBN, like all other forms of internet technology before it, can prove to be an unusable nightmare if you don’t step into the space with eyes wide open. And yes, if you randomly pick a cheap NBN package, you could easily wind up with slower internet than you have right now.
What you need to know about NBN speeds ahead of time
It’s best not to choose resellers
Even though all ISPs are technically NBN resellers (they bought the lines from the NBNCo), the four major names in the NBN game are Telstra, Optus, TPG, and Vocus Communications. Other ISP companies purchase NBN “space” from these resellers. That’s why it’s best to use these companies for your internet; they’ve purchased straight from the source. That FlipTV NBN connection mentioned up top? They’re a reseller, and while they offer cheap unlimited deals, their backbone provider will prioritise their own connections, and services like this can be known to overload their networks with customers which greatly reduces speeds.
Be aware of tiered standard speeds
Not all NBN packages are made equal. Providers like Telstra offer tiered speed packages. For instance, for residential customers they currently offer NBN Tier 25 (20Mbps standard evening speeds), NBN Tier 50 (40Mbps standard evening speed), and NBN Tier 100 (80 Mbps standard evening speed). You need to remember these are standard speeds and will differ.
Technology, distance from the node, and what your neighbours are doing matters
There are other things that can affect NBN speed. The technology used to connect your property to the nearest NBN node matters. Is it fibre (faster)? Is it ADSL lines? The distance to the node matters too, as strength (speed) attenuates over distance, and even more so with some technologies. Also, the provider/s your neighbours use, and their internet usage can slow your service.
NBN for businesses
NBN providers are generally more helpful with businesses looking to find the best plan and service to get you the best speeds in your location, than they are with individual residential customers. However, they are still trying to sell you their service. They aren’t going to recommend a competitor, even if that competitor has better options for you.
So, if you’re a business looking for NBN, you’ll still have to shop around and make your own evaluations. Alternatively, if that sounds like too much work, or that it may be too confusing, you can get an expert evaluation of the best pick of the bunch – that’s where we can help out.
A word about compensation for slow NBN speeds
When NBN providers aren’t living up to (anywhere near) their promises, customers can take their gripes as high as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, after first trying to remedy the issue with their provider. When you aren’t getting what you’ve been promised, you may be entitled to compensation, via refunds, changes of plan, or breaking of contract.
The best way to avoid an NBN nightmare
As a business, your internet connection is your lifeblood. Rolling over to the NBN then having to scramble with 4G connections from mobile devices because it’s not up to task, while being on the phone for hours to your NBN provider, is the stuff of nightmares.
You can avoid the risk of this happening by partnering with A1 Technologies to assess your needs and seek out the best, most reliable NBN service (or other internet technology!) for your business. We know internet – let us handle those tricky details and configurations while you just sit back and enjoy fast, uninterrupted service. If that sounds good, contact us today!
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