Call to Tesltra to Invest in Gungahlin.

By 14 October, 2009 28

This is part of a greater post made at actbroadband.net and is an update on the post I made here on the 29th September.

I call on Chris Taylor, General Manager of Telstra Country Wide in the ACT to invest in Gungahlin for the benefit of its residents. An upgrade to telecommunications services are required desperately. Residents of Gungahlin are not willing to wait up to eight years for the NBN to fix the issue.

I want to let Gungahlin residents and Internode representatives know that I will continue to raise support tickets around the poor Internet performance in Gungahlin. Even though Internode have taken measures to remind me that updates will be provided each month it does not mean I will wait quietly.

I also want to highlight that Internode is still referring to the congestion issue as a “Fault.” I assume that the Wholesale Provider (Telstra Country Wide) has used the term “fault” as part of its current report everything – do nothing strategy with ISPs.

This goes against the General Manager of Telstra Country Wide, ACT – Chris Taylor who has publicly announced that “This is not a fault.” I have included the full quote below.

“The [congestion]issue will be around cost. This is not a fault. It is actually a case of, there are more users than the infrastructure or transmission will allow.”

Chris Taylor – ABC Radio 666 interview 30th September 2009.

There it is, from the horses mouth no less. Gungahlin is not worth spending the money on to provide adequate service.

As the ADSL infrastructure (75 CMUXs) were installed less than 5 years ago, and in many cases only within the last 2 years, it would appear that Gungahlin has NEVER been an area Telstra Country Wide has deemed worthy of investment.

Might I remind you Chris Taylor, Telstra own and manage the infrastructure causing the congestion issue. Your assertion that the public Internet is to blame is just not correct in this case. To quote your own words:

“That’s a standard thing with the public Internet.”

Chris Taylor – ABC Radio 666 interview 30th September 2009.

The reality is different to your statement in my particular case. If the congestion I experience is due to the public Internet everyone would be affected equally.

People in Hackett using the same ISP are routed to the same Point of Presence (POP) as I am. Therefore access the public Internet from the same point as I do.

Why are they not affected?

They are not, the question was rhetorical. The issue is occurring between the residence and the Point Of Presence. The only difference between Hackett and Palmerston when accessing the Internet is the Telstra managed “last mile” infrastructure.

I can prove the congestion occurs between my house and the Internode Point of Presence in the ACT. This is prior to being “on the Internet.” The congestion occurs on the infrastructure Telstra Country Wide owns and resells for a fee. A fee that is passed on to me as a consumer.

I can demonstrate over three months where this has occurred. I have published reports at http://www.actbroadband.net/the-reports/ that show the congestion exists before traffic arrives at Internode infrastructure which is prior to hitting the public Internet.

Users like myself pay for the privilege to use this infrastructure. Regardless of wholesale or direct sales the issue is still Telstra’s responsibility to address.

I urge Telstra to find the money. Telstra must have had a number of opportunities to request budget to address this issue in the last 9 months. Please do not let another opportunity go by without addressing our concerns.

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28 Responses to Call to Tesltra to Invest in Gungahlin.
#1
sexynotsmart8:21 pm, 14 Oct 09

Why single out Telstra? They have fulfilled the Universal Service Obligation. Other market participants could deliver for Gungahlin.

Internode could build their own network. They have done exactly that in other parts of the country.

I think you should also address your challenge to:

Liz Cornelissen, Internode
Paul O’Sullivan, Optus/Singtel
David Tudehope, Macquarie Telecom
Peggy Miller, PacStar
John MacKay, Transact
Paul Broad, AAPT
Russell Hewitt, Vodafone

#2
bd849:05 pm, 14 Oct 09

There’s not much that Internode can do about it, Telstra are renowned for sitting on their asses all day and will do absolutely nothing to help other ISPs. It took a letter in the CT to get the broadband coverage for my exchange to be expanded with the addition of simple piece of equipment that would have cost Telstra very little after annoying them for months. It took them less than two weeks to magically fix the issue.

However, Gungahlin is a different story. They have known about their stuff up in their infrastructure since they installed it and obviously don’t want to admit it or do much to fix it. From memory the campaign to get them to fix it has been going for many years, with only minimal success.

#3
georgesgenitals10:44 pm, 14 Oct 09

My network isn’t fast enough ans therefore it’s up to a private company to fix that up for me.

Um, ok…

#4
dvaey10:52 pm, 14 Oct 09

From OP: I want to let Gungahlin residents and Internode representatives know that I will continue to raise support tickets around the poor Internet performance in Gungahlin. Even though Internode have taken measures to remind me that updates will be provided each month it does not mean I will wait quietly.

So, in other words, youve contacted them, theyve said they will contact you back when things are fixed, but you still bug their support people? What do you think Internode techs will be able to do? Other than not be able to help other customers as efficiently, because theyre busy dealing with all your support tickets.

I think everyone in the IT industry in the region knows of the issues with Gungahlin internet, and while I applaud your making the issue known in the media, its a bit harsh to say be blaming or criticizing one or two individuals for a multi-billion dollar companies actions. If you were around 10-15 years ago when ADSL first came on the scene, youd know that there have always been issues with the technology.

We live in an established area of Kambah, near shops and a school but are unable to get ADSL due to the distance to the exchange. Telstra said if we pushed theyd give it to us, but they wouldnt guarantee the line quality. It looks like maybe this wasnt explained to Gungahlin residents, or else maybe theyre simply crying poor about things the rest of the city has been dealing with since before your suburb was even developed.

#5
pmm1:43 am, 15 Oct 09

While I applaud you for standing up for this, I wonder how worthwhile the argument/ your effort is given the future rollout of the NBN?

#6
Gungahlin Al6:22 am, 15 Oct 09

bd84 said :

Gungahlin is a different story. They have known about their stuff up in their infrastructure since they installed it and obviously don’t want to admit it or do much to fix it. From memory the campaign to get them to fix it has been going for many years, with only minimal success.

Reality is simple: if they fix it up, then they have to share it with the other operators, so they won’t. They’d rather inconvenience everyone – even their own clients – than share (even though said sharing would bring in more network use fees for them).

“The [congestion]issue will be around cost. This is not a fault. It is actually a case of, there are more users than the infrastructure or transmission will allow.”

Ha! Reminds me of a Department head we had back in Qld who when questioned about whether there had been a delay on a major contract said “there has not so much been a delay, as a realignment of the contractor’s delivery schedule.”

More users than the infrastructure will allow is a fault – not with the actual items installed, but with the brain of the idiot who didn’t know to put more of them in. And with the idiot who refuses to fix it.

Sooner they carve Telstra up the better, then they can re-nationalise the network infrastructure bit, which clearly should not have been sold in the first place. Stupid Howard. Stick that up your “legacy wars”.

#7
JC7:12 am, 15 Oct 09

sexynotsmart said :

Why single out Telstra? They have fulfilled the Universal Service Obligation. Other market participants could deliver for Gungahlin.

Internode could build their own network. They have done exactly that in other parts of the country.

I think you should also address your challenge to:

Liz Cornelissen, Internode
Paul O’Sullivan, Optus/Singtel
David Tudehope, Macquarie Telecom
Peggy Miller, PacStar
John MacKay, Transact
Paul Broad, AAPT
Russell Hewitt, Vodafone

That’s not entirely right. Other ISP’s will put their ADSL gear inside a central Telstra exchange then connect back to their own network. But the problem with Gungahlin and other newish suburbs is Telstra do not wire the customers phones back to a central exchange as they did in older suburbs, instead they wire to a small exchange/multiplexer in the street called a RIM.

This kind of line cannot be used to provide ADSL as the ADSL signals cannot pass through the RIM. So to get ADSL to RIM customers you need to take the ADSL gear to the street.

Now imagine if every ISP decided to put their gear in the street. How many street cabinets do you think there will be? Multiply this by the number or RIMS and we are talking a serious amount of cabinets and serious cost.

#8
steveu7:48 am, 15 Oct 09

Personally I would suggest that you collaborate with people in other areas of Canberra who have similar problems, and combine your efforts to address the internet issues in the ACT as a whole – rather than focusing on one area. You have set up a great website there, with great metrics, perhaps call for people in other regions of Canberra to provide information of issues as well, and take a whole-of-canberra approach. An area covering 350K voters as opposed to 35K may have more influence? You would also get more help with your work as well.
Cheers
Steve

#9
DarkLadyWolfMother8:43 am, 15 Oct 09

I’m glad to see that you’re raising the profile of this issue, and making sure it’s not lost. I’m not so sure that harassing Internode is going to achieve anything. Telstra is the problem here and are the ones that need the constant attention/pressure put on them.

#10
grundy9:26 am, 15 Oct 09

I suspect the NBN will give Tesltra an excuse to ignore these requests.
They probably figure it will all be replaced soon, so why roll out new copper/exchanges now and waste the money?

#11
OzPhoenix10:35 am, 15 Oct 09

Ummm, am I missing the bit where the TIO has been contacted? Isn’t this the kind of thing they’re meant to deal with?

http://www.tio.com.au/

#12
ACT_Broadband2:19 pm, 15 Oct 09

OzPhoenix said :

Ummm, am I missing the bit where the TIO has been contacted? Isn’t this the kind of thing they’re meant to deal with?

http://www.tio.com.au/

I refer you to the TIO site, specifically http://www.tio.com.au/policies/Internet/Internet%20speed.htm where they state in the last paragraph.

“The TIO’s jurisdiction does not extend to directing a provider to upgrade infrastructure or make other commercial decisions that would increase the speed of an internet service. Rather, in such circumstances we would consider it fair and reasonable for the consumer to be restored to the position that existed before they applied for a service.”

If I was to be restored to the position that existed before I applied for a service then I would have no service at all. I am very well aware of what the TIO can do for me in this instance.

The issue here is that due to the deployment of RIM/CMUX technology there is no other hard wired alternative. The only other option is via a more expensive wireless solution.

@Steveu – I am one guy doing this in my spare time. I will try to make this a wider issue, people in North Lyneham and Dunlop have contacted me already. I welcome anyone affected to contact me with their issues… the more the better.

#13
crabb4:08 pm, 15 Oct 09

Apropos of perhaps this issue, or perhaps some temporary/recent problem, has anyone else in Gungahlin been experiencing woeful ADSL speeds (i.e slower than dial-up)since approx last Friday?

#14
OzPhoenix4:17 pm, 15 Oct 09

@ACT_Broadband: Ahhhh, that page makes for a very interesting read. It actually changes the way I look at this issue. I actually agree with the TIO’s recommendation of possible options on that page.

#15
Anna Key8:56 pm, 15 Oct 09

I call on Chris Taylor, General Manager of Telstra Country Wide in the ACT to invest in Gungahlin for the benefit of its residents. An upgrade to telecommunications services are required desperately. Residents of Gungahlin are not willing to wait up to eight years for the NBN to fix the issue.

I thought Telstra are required to act to benefit their shareholders, not a bunch of people who feel hard done by.

#16
Gungahlin Al9:37 pm, 15 Oct 09

Anna Key said :

I call on Chris Taylor, General Manager of Telstra Country Wide in the ACT to invest in Gungahlin for the benefit of its residents. An upgrade to telecommunications services are required desperately. Residents of Gungahlin are not willing to wait up to eight years for the NBN to fix the issue.

I thought Telstra are required to act to benefit their shareholders, not a bunch of people who feel hard done by.

By hard done by, you mean taxpayers of Australia whose $$$ helped build Telstra in the first place? Well how dare we…

And there’s the problem with the stupid Liberals selling of critical public infrastructure. And Labor’s as bad. Water, sewerage, electricity, telecommunications, health, insurance, banking. All critical aspects of society that governments should maintain a part in to keep those critical services honest. All of them sold out by governments, and all of them hurting communities around Australia as a result of the governments withdrawing from them.

#17
Anna Key10:14 pm, 15 Oct 09

How is the community hurting? Because your broadband is a bit slow? If it was profitable, someone would do it. Why do the rest of us need to subsidise it?

#18
caf8:32 am, 16 Oct 09

By hard done by, you mean taxpayers of Australia whose $$$ helped build Telstra in the first place? Well how dare we…

The taxpayers of Australia got their “$$$” back, with a considerable capital gain, when their elected representatives of the time sold the company. In fact they did quite well out of the deal, considering that the T2 tranche were sold at $7.40/share. At that point, we lost any financial or moral claim on the company. That’s what selling it *means*.

#19
Gungahlin Al9:49 am, 16 Oct 09

Anna Key said :

How is the community hurting? Because your broadband is a bit slow? If it was profitable, someone would do it. Why do the rest of us need to subsidise it?

Because big chunks of our wonderful Nation’s Capital can’t even get broadband.

It’s easy to sit back espousing the wonders of the free market and the mythical ‘invisible hand’ when you are fortunate enough to have BB where you are.

But my comment on hurting communities was about more than BB.

Community groups and the general volunteer movement, plus community events all over the nation, were massively damaged after insurance costs went through the roof. Would not have happened had the various governments maintained their interests in insurance companies.

The challenges of addressing greenhouse would have been far simpler if all the energy supply networks were public. Now it is near impossible to decouple energy firms from the need to actually sell more power rather than less. So now we have the stupidity of ACTEWAGL newsletters full of A/C sales deals, and one lousy page down the back about how to reduce consumption.

CBA was sold, and the moderating influence on the rest of the banking sector was lost. Fees skyrocketed, cards rates followed, staying up even though we have record low rates on the cash market.

You can’t say all these things are not hurting Australians. And none could have happened the way they have, if the government assets hadn’t been sold off.

And Caf: we may have got a small one-off income from the sale, but clearly we’ve been paying for that ever since. The loss of annual revenue from the dividend. The $40+ billion that now has to go into the NBN.

#20
dvaey11:27 am, 16 Oct 09

Gungahlin Al said :

Because big chunks of our wonderful Nation’s Capital can’t even get broadband.

Last time I checked, Gungahlin is pretty much covered by wireless broadband and longreach broadband services. Also, have you tried looking into the broadband guarantee? The federal government will subsidise the cost of installing a high speed connection, whether it has to be by satellite or other means, if you live in an area that has no broadband coverage.

It’s easy to sit back espousing the wonders of the free market and the mythical ‘invisible hand’ when you are fortunate enough to have BB where you are.

I have had wireless broadband for the last 4 years, so yes I have broadband where I am, whether thats in Tuggeranong, Gungahlin or even down the South Coast.

And Caf: we may have got a small one-off income from the sale, but clearly we’ve been paying for that ever since. The loss of annual revenue from the dividend. The $40+ billion that now has to go into the NBN.

The money that came from the sale would have had to come from somewhere. Would you have rathered tax increases or something? Also, if the government still owned Telstra, would the cost of the NBN be any different? Would they have bothered putting it up for tender, or would they have just coughed up whatever monetary amount was asked for from Telstra?

#21
caf12:40 pm, 16 Oct 09

Gungahlin Al: You can certainly disagree with whether Telstra should have been sold, but the fact remains that it was sold, and with that sale vanished the moral authority to treat it as a public service. It is a bit like the mouse in the trap, who now decides he doesn’t want the cheese anymore.

#22
jas0nt5:34 am, 20 Nov 09

Quoting Anna Key:
‘ How is the community hurting? Because your broadband is a bit slow? If it was profitable, someone would do it. Why do the rest of us need to subsidise it?’

1. Would you not agree with me when I say broadband (and a working broadband service, might I add) is quickly being a necessary utility (if it isn’t alreadt) in today’s world? Tell a business that they cannot have broadband and their operation and hence profits would be severely impeded. Tell a prospective homeowner that they cannot have broadband in a house they are looking at buying, and chances are they will probably look elsewhere. It is quite clear to me you do either 1) Do not appreciate just how vital a broadband service is, or 2) have never experienced a crippled broadband service w

2. If you bothered reading Russel’s post, you would appreciate that it is not “a bit slow” (by any definition), but rather, “unusable”. Any individual with a degree of technical proficiency will realise the results as posted on Russel’s website is indicative of an unusable internet service.

3. You seem to suggest that any entity can just dig a hole into the ground to install their own cables, or go repairing another entity’s existing infrastructure. As an example, let’s say there were (God forbid) problems with the town’s water supply. Do you think Jim’s Water Supply can just dig a trench in the ground and install their own pipes and hook it up to ACTEW’s Water network? Simple logic would suggest, “no”. The same can be said for the broadband infrastructure. There is only one entity that can fix this and this is Telstra. So no, it’s not a matter of “if it’s profitable”. Nothing can be further from the truth.

#23
Gungahlin Al9:30 am, 20 Nov 09

caf said :

Gungahlin Al: You can certainly disagree with whether Telstra should have been sold, but the fact remains that it was sold, and with that sale vanished the moral authority to treat it as a public service. It is a bit like the mouse in the trap, who now decides he doesn’t want the cheese anymore.

Of course (except that your analogy falls over because this mouse didn’t wnat the cheese in the first place :) ).

But there are national problems that are resulting from Telstra havign the control it does over the network, while profiting from those decisions s a provider to boot. That’s where national interest anti-competition issues come in and why the move to force a split will correct this. Although were I despot, the network would be re-nationalised. So would energy generation to decouple it from the profit making imperative, but that’s another story…

#24
Nick Sundance10:49 am, 20 Nov 09

When I moved to Canberra just over 4 years ago, I did a little thing called research. A rapid scan of allhomes found me regions of Canberra that were in my price bracket, namely Gungahlin, Dunlop, Charnwood and Kambah southwards to the border.

Quickly I decided I didn’t want to live southside, so I then researched the areas that were available to me – and in short order Gungahlin was discounted due to its poor internet connectivity, and latter Charnwood for the stigma attached to the suburb name*.

I note this because what I am trying to imply is that what you want in a household should never be confined to 4 walls and north facing windows, and that a gamut of factors are involved, but by using this knowledge to my advantage, I selected a house that is fit-for-purpose for myself and my family.

I consider this issue as strikingly similar to people who move in next to airports, and then complain about aircraft noise.

It was not until I reached this tertiary layer of examination, that I was in a position to select a house – and what I consider stable albeit basic advice for any person seeking to purchase a property.

In short; the reason why Gungahlin residents have bad internet is not Telstra’s fault, its because when residents elected to purchase their houses they did not consider their requirement for high-speed internet an important enough factor. Even in todays financial climate, the only thing holding Gungahlin residents from higher speed internet is their reluctance to move to an area that already has it.

*This didn’t necessarily stop me from continuing to look in these suburbs, however the suitability of the home was immediately in question before I even inspected the property – as the case may have been, I may have found a property that was suitable for other reasons that would have outweighed its respective concern.

#25
SolarPowered3:31 pm, 20 Nov 09

Nick Sundance, your misunderstanding of the problem is breathtaking. And your suggested remedy – move house – even more so.

#26
ACT_Broadband6:22 pm, 20 Nov 09

Thanks Nick for bumping this post back into the realms of public discussion again.

I will have to say that if you were so into research you might have taken time to look at my site and the full context.

Part of what I am doing is adding to the ease at which that research can be done. People contact me everyday about it. A guy from Nowra asked me about moving to Gungahlin based on the details on the site. The average Joe would ask their ISP or even Telstra if Broadband is available. They of course would tell you “of course sir, it works great sir.” My site gives a perspective not influenced by profits.

ADSL is available….you can get a service but it doesn’t work. They don’t tell you that when you sign up. Everyone is happy to take our money.

If you had continued your research into the issue you will find any number of examples of Telstra promising to fix the issue and never doing anything about it.

Thursday, 31st August 1995 Radio National Interview with Anthony Goonan – “Telstra is spending between $20-30 million in Gungahlin” it never happened.

“Gungahlin residents are still frustrated by poor access to broadband Internet services, despite the opening of a new telephone exchange three months ago.”
“Gungahlin locals frustrated over broadband” Posted ABC News Sun Aug 15, 2004

Telstra promised that the new exchange would fix all Gungahlin’s problems.

How does this all this affect the business community in Gungahlin?

Canberra Times article ‘ACTTAB Promise Broken: Liberals’ (15th February 2002), Gary Humphries stated:
“…it was almost impossible for ACTTAB to be moved to Gungahlin due to costs, particularly the installation of new communications lines/systems.”

Telstra has had a number of half-baked attempts to silence the area with promises which have never delivered. I am happy for all the Telstra shareholders to comment on why their investment needs to fix the problems. This is only as long as they’re fine investing in a company that can not deliver working products.

Feel free to invest in a company that has wasted thousands of dollars on many failed attempts of delivering Broadband for residents and businesses. If it was done right the first time…well everyone would have been happy, including your dividends.

#27
ACT_Broadband6:34 pm, 20 Nov 09

Nick Sundance said :

In short; the reason why Gungahlin residents have bad internet is not Telstra’s fault, its because when residents elected to purchase their houses they did not consider their requirement for high-speed internet an important enough factor. Even in todays financial climate, the only thing holding Gungahlin residents from higher speed internet is their reluctance to move to an area that already has it.

I just checked the ACT government websites. I can’t seem to find the zoning category “Residential – Low Telecommunications services area”

Shall I send you the real estate agents fees, stamp duty and other costs of moving house to an area that meets your approval?

#28
MrPC7:38 pm, 20 Nov 09

Availability of Non-Telstra broadband has been the #1 consideration in every rental place I have moved to since 2003!

In 2003 I moved to Brunswick after confirming that Alphalink Wireless was an option. Once iiNet put their DSLAM in the Brunswick exchange, I moved back to their service.

In 2005 I moved to St Kilda Junction after confirming that there was a cable run of about 1.2km from the Windsor Exchange, with an iiDSLAM

In 2007 I moved to Moonee Ponds when an affordable flat became available that was about 200 metres from the Ascot Exchange (iiDSLAM) and about 300 metres away from my then employer.

In 2008 I moved to Sydney for family reasons. The share house I moved to already had ADSL2+ connected through TPG

In 2009 I moved three times for various reasons, when I moved to Canberra in two share houses then when I moved to Queanbeyan. I did my research and stayed well clear of Gunghalin, and I continue to advise the same of others.

Queanbeyan’s Broadband is substantially better, and the rent is affordable too. What more do I really need?

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