Fast internet beats refunds, if only we could get it

Border residents are hopeful other internet providers will follow the lead of Telstra after it announced refunds for 42,000 customers who have not received the speeds promised on the NBN.

Baranduda’s Lyle Boyd has never reached the 100mbps speed he pays for but as he’s not with Telstra, he has no option for compensation. 

“In mid-February I was getting 65mbps but as more and more people sign on, it’s down to barely 50mbps,” he said. 

“I’m glad they’re finally waking up to the realisation they’re not going to reach the speed needed. They have to replace it with fibre to the house to get the speed they said they’d be able to.”

Telstra recently told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 9000 of the customers on its 100/40 Mbps deal – or 100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload – and 50/20 plan could not receive those speeds.

The ACCC's investigation found many more customers were affected by limitations on fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) or fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) connections, meaning some weren't even getting the maximum speed offered on a lower-speed deal.

Mr Boyd said a refund would be nice, but he would rather the promised speed.

“I mainly hope the roll out to the node process stops as soon as possible, revert back to the fibre to the house and be done with it,” Mr Boyd said. “Every day that we keep going with it, the more money is being wasted.

“The speed drops dramatically especially on the weekends when the children are at home or other houses are streaming or using the internet.”

The ACCC said the problem was with retailers not purchasing enough capacity off NBN, not the technology itself.

The watchdog said it would be writing to other providers and monitoring cases where a speed can technically be delivered, but internet service providers have not bought enough capacity from NBN Co to provide advertised services.

Albury’s Vanessa Stelfox has an online business selling gifts for men and man cave accessories. 

She is still in the installation phase but said the speeds she was receiving were not acceptable and she wanted to warn others that if they had a choice, to stay far away from NBN.

When her system was working she was lucky to receive download speeds of between 10mbps and 2mbps, and her upload speeds don’t register, she said.