Wednesday, 22 August 2018 10:40

NBN Co answer to HFC problem: repeat fix that failed Featured

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NBN Co answer to HFC problem: repeat fix that failed Pixabay

NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, apparently believes that repeating something will result in a different outcome. Nothing else can account for the fact that the company this week decided to again replace equipment at the premises of a resident in South Australia for the second time, in the hope that it would solve the problems on his NBN HFC connection.

Chris R. (as he prefers to be known), a resident of the suburb of Paralowie, has been having issues with his HFC connection for a long time. For nearly two months, he has been trying to work out, along with his retail service provider, why his HFC NBN connection only provides slow and unstable speeds.

He told iTWire he had experienced similar speeds no matter whether it was day or night. On 29 June he switched ISPs, from Telstra to Aussie Broadband "in the hopes the issue was related to not enough CVC by the old RSP on my POI (point-of-interconnect)".

But things did not improve as he expected and from early July he started creating automated speed tests (sample seen below) to a number of different servers throughout the day.

iTWire contacted NBN Co on 14 August for its take on the issue. A spokesperson said: "After extensive testing — which included the replacement of equipment — NBN Co could find no fault in its network to explain the issues being experienced by this end-user. Our Service Assurance team was able to confirm dataflow and that the network is operating as designed.

"It is important for consumers to understand that the speed and reliability issues can be due to a number of factors that are outside of NBN Co's control, such as the quality of the modem and router in the home, how much bandwidth the service provider has purchased, their network design and even how much bandwidth they purchased in overseas cables to access content from abroad."

sa hfc

But this week, NBN Co sent out a support technician who did exactly what had been done before: replace the network termination device and the connectors in the pit and in Chris's house. This is the third time that NBN Co staff have been out to his house: the NTD was replaced once before, and the connectors too.

Chris says Aussie Broadband had told him that this visit would result in the replacement of all the cabling from his house to the pit. But despite NBN Co sending out level 1 support, this was not done.

"Aussie Broadband have been incredibly understanding of my issue and are trying everything within their power to locate the source of the slowdowns with a lot of different troubleshooting, with my case even making its way up to Aussie Broadband’s NOC​ (network operations centre)​," he said.

Any further testing on his part would involve spending $300 (which is NBN’s connection fee) to buy a second connection, in order to test if the AVC (virtual connection that NBN uses) is sufficient.

Else, he says, he would have to cancel the current service, wait for the AVC to be removed and then re-order a new service.

The second option would result in him having no Internet for as long as it took for the AVC to "vanish" from NBN’s systems.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came 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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