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Ask RiotACT: NBN recommendations?

By Youstolemyusername - 18 March 2017 5

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Hi RiotACT Readers,

Just the other day Hubby and I got all hooked up to the NBN through iiNet. Within 12 hours Hubby was thoroughly disappointed. Not only is it been slow, there have been a few times where we have had no connection at all. Luckily, we opted for no contract, so I’m looking for recommendations.

We’re in Queanbeyan, just off Canberra Ave so we have ideal wiring. We went with iiNet because I had read some recommendations and one of the reviews and compare sites recommended them to Hubby. We went for mid speed because of the kids, and I consider unlimited internet and phone to be important.

Oh, and another query; with all the speeds being “up to” how can you be sure that up to 100 mb/s will actually run faster then up to 25 mb/s?

What’s Your opinion?


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5 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: NBN recommendations?
1
JC 6:43 pm
18 Mar 17
#

To answer your question maybe best to explain how NBN works.

Firstly being in QBN you have fibre to the house, which is good and IMO the only REAL NBN being offered. But sadly now not being rolled out to existing suburbs (with a few minor exceptions).

So your fibre goes to the street into what is called a multiport. The multiport is a passive splitter that allows you and up t0 12 (but normally around 4) other uses to share the same fibre back to the exchange, which in NBN talk is called a fibre area node (FAN). Now should point out as the sharing of the fibre is entirely passive and the different services use different frequencies, this sharing doesn’t limit your speed and in any way.

At the FAN your fibre goes into the hardware that converts your light back into data. It then marks who your service provider is, then combines this data with everyone else and sends it off to another location that NBN call the point of interconnect.

The purpose of the point of interconnect is it is the place where NBN hands over your data to your own service provider, this is to minimise the number of locations where service providers have to have lines to.

Now to recover money NBN charges your service provider a fee for the pipe into the FAN to the POI called the CVC charge (Connectivity virtual circuit). The price NBN charges is $15.75 per mb/s per month.

So what happens is your service provider needs to buy enough CVC bandwidth from NBN to service their customers. Now lets say you have purchased a 100mb/s from your service provider, for them to 100% guarantee you will get 100mb/s 24/7 they would need to charge you $1575 per month, plus their own costs and profit. Not going to happen is it? Which is lucky because for home use few if anyone uses 100% of their bandwidth 24×7. So service providers use this to allow them to buy less bandwidth off NBN than is needed to provide a 100% guaranteed service to all customers.

End result though is if they haven’t purchased enough bandwidth thenNBN will start dropping packets if the CVC is exceeded, which will be seen by the user as a drop in speed.

And in your case for iiNET to be slow they must not be buying enough CVC. So first thing would be to complain to them and ask if they have backhaul congestion and if they do tell them to fix it, or leave.

Oh and it is for this reason why companies sell their plans as up to, and not absolute speeds. 100mb/s guranteed would cost you thousands per month.

As for which service provider to use, that is quite a hard question, because it can and will vary.

Oh and for fraudband (aka fibre to the node) which NBN is now rolling out, it works in much the same way. Though the main difference is as the connection to the node is copper and it uses a VDSL modem, the access speed (the speed from node to modem) will vary based in distance. This coupled with the CVC issue could me slow speeds, as many FTTN locations are finding. In fibre to the home model, the speed from the fan to the modem (NTD in NBN talk) is always the same.

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2
K_c24 9:54 am
19 Mar 17
#

I was with IINET in QBN East until we moved away and never had an issue. We had the 100mps plan and it was fantastic. As for your question about knowing if you get the speed you paid for, we never got less than 50mps (at the time they were offering 12/25/50/100mps plans) – the speed would generally drop in the evenings but it wasn’t noticeable, I just like speed checking – so my assumption is you get the speed between what you pay for and the speed below this. You mention that you also have kids – I wonder if you might have too many devices connected to the wifi and it’s resulting in network lag within your house? You need to get a grasp on what your kids are actually using the internet for – is there a lot of video streaming or torrenting going on (if you download too many torrents in one go it will grind your internet to a screeching halt – also letting them seed and not clearing the list will do the same. Excessive gaming will also be problematic – I’m just throwing out typical teen internet usage examples here). You should consider getting any permanent devices (PCs/smart TVs etc) hard wired (or use a powerline setup – can buy from JB hi-fi) to the router and using wifi only for your portable devices. I recommend checking these issues out first before changing providers, lest you have the same issues with the new provider. Maybe get a networking professional to have a look at your setup – you might need some range extenders if your house is particularly large/has solid brick walls/double storey). Also, IINET have fantastic customer service that is based mostly in Perth, they do callbacks so you don’t wait on hold and they are very committed to providing good service. Something to consider before moving to another provider.

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3
K_c24 10:00 am
19 Mar 17
#

I might add, if you don’t think your kids are doing these things BC they didn’t before with your old connection, you need to keep in mind that unlimited, decent speed internet opens up a WHOLE new world of online options and opportunities for content delivery. I went crazy stupid the first few weeks of having NBN, purely to see how much and how quickly I could access stuff. Just keep it in mind.

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4
JC 12:43 pm
19 Mar 17
#

K_c24 said :

I was with IINET in QBN East until we moved away and never had an issue. We had the 100mps plan and it was fantastic. As for your question about knowing if you get the speed you paid for, we never got less than 50mps (at the time they were offering 12/25/50/100mps plans) – the speed would generally drop in the evenings but it wasn’t noticeable, I just like speed checking – so my assumption is you get the speed between what you pay for and the speed below this.

As mentioned above when your provider exceeds what they have pruchased off NBN in terms of CVC NBN will start dropping packets, which in turn means your devices will throttle back. For the most part you are right that if you have a higher speed service your throughput (what many see as speed) drop will be proportionate. Eg someone with 100mb/s might drop to 10mb/s, someone with 50mb/s might drop to 5mb/s.

You are also right that it could be local network issues at home, though for me I would place money on CVC issues. Many RSP’s are experiancing CVC congestion as more and more people come onto NBN, simply because they are not buying more CVC off NBN to cater for the new users.

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5
harley 10:22 am
21 Mar 17
#

iiNet have gone to the dogs since TPG took over. I took on a Transact VDSL connection not long after iiNet bought them out. 90mbps sync, 40-50mbps downloads from US based servers, which is pretty good.

Since the integration with TPG my US speeds have dropped to between 1mpbs to 5mbps. If I run a speed test to Sydney I get a 70mbps down/15mbps up but if I test to San Francisco or Los Angeles it’s 3mbps down/15mbps up. If I use a a VPN with an Aussie endpoint I can get that up to about 10mbps, but I’m not sure if there’s other limits on the VPN…

So it’s not localised to my node or to the ACT backhaul. It’s TPG sucking.

I recommend www. whirlpool.net.au for constructive discussion on alternative NBN providers. I’m stuck on a single provider till at least next year. After that, bye bye TPG.

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