- Telstra to publish NBN speed data in the wake of NBN Co being criticised for leaving consumers in the dark
- By Nick Whigham
- Contributed by: Johnsie ( 3 articles in 2017 )
Telstra has announced it will publish NBN performance data to help consumers know what to expect.
AUSTRALIANS keen to connect to the NBN are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of information about the speed and performance they can expect from the national broadband network.
In a bid to provide greater transparency and stop customers being misled about the speeds they can expect, Telstra has announced it will publish NBN performance information over the coming months.
Telstra CEO Andy Penn joined the chorus of critics over the weekend saying there was undoubtedly confusion about what customers can expect when connecting to the nationwide network.
“Not all experiences are the same, not all NBN services are the same,” Mr Penn told News Corp.
“The industry should be publishing the speeds that they are delivering across the various technologies and we’ll be absolutely preparing ourselves to be able to do that. What’s critical is that the industry comes along on that journey so there’s no game-playing.”
Beginning in April, Telstra will publish information showing the average NBN performance in peak times and by midyear the telco will produce information about what consumers can expect based on their residency and the type of NBN connection they have, the company said.
The announcement will no doubt be welcomed by Aussie consumers and comes just weeks after the NBN removed information from its website informing Australians which type of NBN connection they could expect to receive given their place of residence.
“Once again the Turnbull Government has shown absolute contempt for Australian consumers seeking information about the NBN,” Labor’s Mark Dreyfus said at the time.
“Does the Turnbull Government really believe Australians don’t care what technology they will be connected with? That quality of broadband is just an afterthought for Australians buying a house or choosing a place to rent?”
There are lots of things that determine the performance of your NBN connection, namely the type of connection — whether that be full fibre-to-the-home, a mixture of fibre and copper, fixed wireless or satellite technology.
But there are other factors too that can lead to poor performance, such as the amount of CVC (Connectivity Virtual Circuit) a retail service provider buys from NBN Co.
The CVC is effectively a fee internet service providers pay to offload traffic from the NBN network onto their own. Much has been made about the structural costs involved in this process but at times NBN Co. can be wrongly blamed for poor performance when ISPs skimp on costs.
Hume Federal Liberal MP Angus Taylor (right) inspects a node in Holdsworth Drive, in Narellan Vale, with NBN crews to view the progress.
The NBN’s decision to withhold information about the type of connection customers can expect and the company’s ongoing refusal say whether those with a fixed line ADSL connection can expect the same type of connection from the NBN (as opposed to be serviced by satellite) has drawn criticism from consumer advocates.
Speaking to News Corp, Internet Australia CEO Laurie Patton lamented the position of Aussie internet customers and praised Telstra for trying to bolster transparency in the market.
“The biggest problem is service providers can’t even tell you what the speed will be until they connect you up,” he said.
Mr Patton has been an unwavering critic of the multi-technology mix pursued by the Coalition government and has repeatedly called for a return to a full fibre network.
“(Confusion around speeds) wouldn’t be a problem if it was fibre-to-the-home because the options would be very fast or very, very fast, but now it’s not clear,” he said.
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network CEO Teresa Corbin has previously called broadband speed claims “often confusing or misleading for consumers”.
Meanwhile in July last year the ACCC issued a discussion paper seeking views on how consumer information about broadband speed and performance can be improved.
“We want everyone to have a great experience on the NBN network and selecting a suitable broadband package is a key component to ensure consumers get the best service possible,” an NBN spokesperson told news.com.au.
“In October 2016, we released new educational content to inform consumers about how to select the best speed tier based on how much data their household uses.
“It’s important to remember nbn is a wholesaler of internet services, and offers a range of wholesale speeds to retail phone and internet providers. Retail service providers then offer plans to consumers based on these NBN wholesale speeds.”