Australian Government and the Internet: Internet speeds slowed after NBN ‘blackmail’

Australian Government and the Internet: Internet speeds slowed after NBN ‘blackmail’, by Anthony Klan.

Consumers are having their internet speeds slashed under the $40 billion-plus National Broadband Network as Telstra and Optus are forced to withdraw their direct services from areas covered by the rollout.

Telstra and Optus operate hybrid fibre coaxial networks which deliver speeds of up to 140 megabits per second, but under Rudd government legislation they must withdraw from offering those services within 18 months of the NBN being made available in an area.

However, in many cases NBN connections are delivering just a fraction of the speeds promised and consumers are being forced from reliable, fast connect­ions on to slower, less stable NBN services.

Nino Iaccarino, of Ferny Grove in Brisbane, had a Telstra HFC 30Mbps plan that consistently deliv­ered the promised speed. “I was on Telstra cable and I never had a problem with my download speeds — it was a solid 30Mbps all the time,” he said yesterday.

However, on switching to the NBN, with the service provided by MyRepublic, paying for a package spruiking download speeds of 100Mbps, his internet speeds have dropped to as low as 1.41Mbps. …

Turning off existing services that are faster than NBN, by law:

Telstra and Optus cannot use the HFC networks directly within 18 months of NBN connect­ions passing through an area. That means customers are forced off their Telstra and Optus HFC networks and required to sign up with the NBN over the same networks.

NBN Co provides the service wholesale, with more than 140 retailer­s selling NBN internet packages to customers. As reported by The Australian this week, congestion issues, exacer­bated by a failure of some retailers to buy adequate band­width from NBN Co, has meant some users getting speeds at a fraction of what they pay for.

A customer paying Telstra for a package spruiking download speeds of 100Mbps has had speeds at peak times of just 0.2Mbps.