Wednesday, 19 July 2017 05:48

NBN problems will get worse as rollout proceeds: Patton


Internet Australia executive director Laurie Patton says unless there is a quick turnaround in thinking, the problems experienced by people who are switching to the NBN will get worse as the rollout proceeds.

Patton, who has been a constant critic of the multi-technology mix that the Coalition Government has opted for, told the radio station 2GB on Tuesday that the NBN Co was trying to use aging copper wires which did not deliver the speeds that people wanted now or in the future.

He spoke to host Ben Fordham on a day when a report in The Australian claimed that NBN costs were behind the slow speeds that consumers are experiencing.

"Most of the work, the bulk of the work they've done has been in regional areas and they haven't tried to roll out into the more aging parts of the Telstra network," Patton said.

"So I think over the next six to 12 months we're going to find even more people, as they're forced to move to the NBN, being really unhappy."

He said the key issue was the CVC pricing, "the wholesale pricing mechanism that NBN Co is using discourages their resellers, the RSPs, from actually passing on high speeds".

"So we've got two things coming together and colliding to create a nightmare – and people who are currently using ADSL2 are routinely telling us that they move to the NBN and find that their speeds are either the same or slower, and of course it's costing them the same amount of money."

The NBN Co has come in for plenty of criticism over its attempts to justify the rollout.

Patton said there would be light at the end of the tunnel only when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "acknowledges that he took advice from a group of people who were flawed in their thinking, and he's got an NBN management that's determined to try to justify what they're doing - and until someone says, hey, stop this, it's ridiculous, let's rethink this".

He said he had raised the issue with Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. "It's time Australia said, hang on a sec, do we want to be part of the 21st century digitally-enabled world or not? And if we do we need to do something about it."

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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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