Home Telecoms & NBN Many premises cannot even attain minimum NBN speeds: claim
Many premises cannot even attain minimum NBN speeds: claim Featured

The Australian Labor Party has questioned whether the government has referred the problem of some NBN users being unable to obtain the maximum possible speeds currently available from retain service providers — 100/40Mbps — to the competition watchdog or not.

Three in four premises served by the fibre-to-the-node technology — the technology which will be provided to most residents — will be unable to attain the top speeds, it emerged recently.

Labor's Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said this meant that about 6.8 million Australians would be using technology by the time the rollout was completed.

"Beyond maximum speeds, the NBN Co has also revealed that 6% of premises already connected over copper are unable to achieve even the minimum speed of 25Mbps," she said.

"This figure suggests that over the course of the rollout up to 210,000 premises may not be able to achieve minimum speeds until either expiration of the 18-month migration window, remediation, or potentially replacement of their copper line."

Rowland said that when the government was asked what residents who were in this group could do to have their problems investigated, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield replied: "That’s an area where we expect the ACCC to investigate. I have written to the ACCC asking them to investigate such cases."

But when the ACCC was later questioned by the Senate Economics Committee, it denied that the government had made any such request, adding that in any case it was not responsible for investigating such complaints.

Rowland said, "the all-too-familiar vacuum of accountability, process and oversight under (Prime Minister) Malcolm Turnbull has created conditions where consumers unable to achieve 25Mbps are left stranded and face an excruciating and often uncertain process to get their copper line fixed.

"It's bad enough (that) three in four premises can't achieve top speeds over copper, but it’s simply unacceptable that there are many who can’t even receive minimum speeds once they are connected.

"Malcolm Turnbull cannot keep kicking his copper can down the road. He needs to step up and take responsibility for his NBN mess."


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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