The NBN is coming, but what are we getting?


NBN 4NBN Update: 04 May 2016:

Bianca and Jake from Telstra Salamander were guest speakers at our April TRRA Meeting, and a very informative discussion was held, with quite a few old ‘TRRA Techies’ turning up that we had not seen for a while, to ask questions and give their views on the imminent  NBN roll-out on the Tomaree Peninsula.

The big news on the night was that the roll-out date had been moved forward a month and the NBN would be going live on 27 May 2016. There are a number of nodes (green boxes) popping up around the streets now so we will soon be able to get connected. Your mailboxes and emails will soon be swamped with offers from the major ISP’s (internet service providers) as well as all the Federal election material, and most of it will be just as confusing!

The NBN Co. is rolling out the optical fiber cables for the Federal Government, but the providers such as Telstra, iiNet and TPG and many more will soon be offering connection plans to customers. They will arrange your connection through the NBN Company. Just like a mobile phone plan there will be infinite variations and some care and a bit of research and comparison will be very important. As you will see there have been major problems in Newcastle and surrounds (click on the ‘Herald’ links below) with this ‘fiber to the node’ technology and if you are getting a reasonable service currently it may be wise to wait until the dust settles a bit before jumping into a 2 year contract bundle.

You cannot avoid this indefinitely, as we were told that once the NBN goes live in your area you only have 18 months to get connected, because it will eventually require a special NBN modem for your landline phone, even if you do not need an internet connection, and you will obviously have to replace your current ADSL2 modem if you do. You can only have one connection and modem, if you have multiple phone connections in your house you will have to make do with a base station plugged into the modem and rely on RF radio connections to your other landline phones.

NBN 1A lot of really interesting points came out in the discussion, for instance: what happens when there is a power cut during an extended event like the ‘Super Storm’ last April? Some streets were without power for up to 9 days. The old underground Landlines used to work provided there was power on the exchanges, but the nodes now provide the power to the system and they are dependent on local power in each street. The original ‘fiber to the premises’ model from the previous Government had a battery backup box where it terminated at each premises. Mobile phone towers are just as susceptible to storm damage as power lines so this may be a problem in major emergencies.

A lot of discussion ensued about the merits of the Holden Kingswood Copper wire version of the NBN adopted by the current Government, which was supposed to be sooner and cheaper, versus the ‘fiber to the premises’ Rolls Royce version, which it seems would not have been much more expensive or later, but would possibly been a lot faster, more reliable and would not require replacement in a few years.

It is easy to get excited about being amongst the first people in Australia to get connected to this ‘fiber to the node’ technology, but serious doubts are being expressed about its capabilities and some experts are calling for the roll-out to be stopped before any more money is wasted on a dud system. We can only hope that as early adopters here, we don’t end up stuck with something that others avoid by being a little bit later getting it……

Newcastle Herald 04 May 2016: High number of Hunter complaints to ombudsman in wake of NBN rollout problems 

NBN 4Original Post, 12  April 2016

Lets hope that we don’t have the problems that they seem to be having in Newcastle this week. If you have already been connected or have NBN or broadband  issues, please share them in the Comments box at the bottom of this post and discuss them with our Guest Speaker, The Telstra NBN Manager at our April TRRA General Meeting: HERE

Newcastle Herald 11 April 2016: Hunter’s National Broadband Network in crisis as consumers are plagued by delays and speed issues

Newcastle Herald 11 April 2016: 

Our own Nigel is on the Board of  The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and has provided this link to:  Top tips for Phones and Internet

If one of boxes these has appeared near your place you may be able to access the NBN soon.  This is a ‘Node,’ for the ‘fiber to the node (FTTN) connection from a main Optical Fiber Cable to the existing copper phone lines along your street and into your house.


This entry was posted in 2016, ANNOUNCEMENTS, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, TRRA MEDIA & NEWS and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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