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NBN has abandoned Canberra

By Kim Fischer - 24 January 2017 52

National Broadband Network

The Christmas and New Year break has long been a preferred time of year for government agencies to deliver unpopular news. However, NBN Co has taken this practice one step further than usual.

Knowing that an update for the rollout plan on the National Broadband Network could be delayed no further, NBN Co quietly removed the plan altogether from its website just before Christmas. Its new “interactive search tool” makes it much harder to compare the old rollout schedule with the new one.

Once you manually collate the dates, the truth is damning: Nearly all of the ACT has been pushed to the very back of the NBN’s revised rollout schedule.

  • See ACT NBN Co Rollout Delays broken down by suburb here.

When meeting residents during the ACT election campaign last year, it would be no exaggeration to say that access to the NBN was one of the top issues raised with me.

Just 14 months ago, NBN Co was predicting that 18 of Belconnen’s 25 suburbs would have commenced NBN construction by now. Instead, all residents of Belconnen will now have to wait until at least June 2019 to receive access. Weston Creek has also been moved to the very back of the pack, as have as over half of the suburbs of Woden Valley and central Canberra.

Tuggeranong has been finally given a scheduled date for NBN availability, but this is the same “magical” date of June 2019 that fully half of all Canberra suburbs have been assigned.

Given that NBN Co had connected less than 50% of Canberra’s promised suburbs by the end of 2016, healthy scepticism about the these forecast dates seems wise. Indeed, based on current delays and rescheduling of dates the rollout of the NBN in the ACT isn’t likely to be completed until 2025.

Residents in Dunlop remain stuck on the decade-old ADSL technology. No telecommunications company is going to invest in improving fixed-line connectivity when the NBN is continually “about to be installed” everywhere.

The Federal Government’s complete lack of interest in prioritising robust broadband for its largely Canberra-based public servants is baffling. Recent studies show that the productivity benefits of telecommuting to an organisation can be worth up to 20% of an employee’s wages due to lower absenteeism, higher morale, more hours worked, improved access to highly qualified parents needing more workplace flexibility, and more productive hours worked due to fewer office distractions. But a prerequisite for effective teleworking is access to fast and reliable broadband services.

Delivering the NBN earlier in Canberra would unlock productivity benefits and cost savings, but unfortunately the Federal Government doesn’t appear to recognise the financial benefits of that outcome.

What’s Your opinion?


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52 Responses to
NBN has abandoned Canberra
1
Holden Caulfield 9:05 am
24 Jan 17
#

“The Federal Government’s complete lack of interest in prioritising robust broadband for its largely Canberra-based public servants is baffling.”

Not when you consider that Canberra-based voters have a complete lack of interest in voting for the Coalition (in the lower house, at least).

2
dungfungus 10:23 am
24 Jan 17
#

“Delivering the NBN earlier in Canberra would unlock productivity benefits and cost savings”

In what way?

3
Rollersk8r 10:26 am
24 Jan 17
#

I noticed a change to the rollout schedule a long time ago – perhaps 12 months. My suburb (McKellar) went from “late 2017” to simply “in planning”. In other words – years away.

To make matters worse we moved from Giralang, where we had a VDSL connection via the old TransACT network. VDSL wasn’t perfect but we did get a maximum speed of around 30mpbs.

Now we’re back to 2mpbs on ASDL. I’m able to get significantly better internet access on 4G mobile broadband (5mbps) although it’s prohibitively expensive as a permanent replacement for the ADSL.

It’is very unfortunate that in the year 2017 – in the capital city of Australia – many of us will be still be waiting years before we can make full use of all the online and streaming services offered these days.

4
bruce_lord 10:59 am
24 Jan 17
#

I knew Tuggeranong had terrible internet (amongst the slowest in the entire country) but I couldn’t believe the article in last Saturdays canberra times where some areas can’t even get Dial up access. I know the hills and valleys make mobile, radio and TV reception bad, but no dial up or adsl!!!!!!!

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/there-are-third-world-countries-with-better-internet-tuggeranong-residents-in-theodore-fed-up-with-waiting-for-nbn-20170120-gtv8ho.html

5
dungfungus 11:51 am
24 Jan 17
#

Have you complained to your local MLA about it?

6
funbutalsoserious 12:08 pm
24 Jan 17
#

I am one of the lucky ones that has an old TransACT VDSL Internet connection with healthy speeds but I have noticed this dragging of the heels on the NBN rollout.
Interesting that they have chosen to push the roll-out back yet again and have done it through stealth of changing their website over the Christmas period.

Turnbull as the ex-Communications Minister that presided over the scope change of this NBN project from the Gillard/Rudd Government to Abbott should be ashamed of this ongoing saga – but then again it has been shown how good he is as the PM ;).

7
Chris Mordd Richards 12:12 pm
24 Jan 17
#

I am absolutely livid reading this, and bloody well done for bringing this to our attention Kim, that’s some solid detective work m8!

I am very familiar with the old rollout schedule for the ACT, have perused it dozens of times the past few years, sometimes to show ppl parts of ACT are only place still in all of Aus (except about 4 new greenfields sites interstate) that is still slated to get Fibre to the Home instead of Fibre to the Street or Node.

As such, I am quite familiar with the now old scheduled dates for pretty much all of Canberra, and I can confirm that data on the old dates matches what I remember, and the new dates listed for all the suburbs makes my blood boil reading it.

My suburb was already near the very end of the list, and I put up with a 500KBps down and 40KBps up max speed atm on ADSL due to my apartment blocks old wiring that constantly gets water into the copper and slows the speed right down. Now I see I am waiting an additional 12 months more on top of that. It’s now a race between ACT Housing and NBN Co – will Housing knock down my block before the NBN arrives, their schedule has recently been delayed 1-2 years as well, or will NBN Co connect me and then 6 months later I will get moved out and the block will be knocked down, and probably require reconnection at additional cost again when they rebuild then.

This whole thing is a joke, it’s pretty damn obvious that once again, the ACT is the least important place in Australia for our Federal Government. Sure Parliament House has nice fast NBN already, what about the rest of us? Give us the NBN Labor promised which would have been 80-90% complete by now if they had been allowed to go ahead when they wanted to.

So p#ssed off right now, I pay the same for 500KBps down as someone in South Korea pays for 100GBps down – what a bloody joke!!!

8
K_c24 1:40 pm
24 Jan 17
#

There’s a simple solution to this; move to QTown! My FTTP connection is fantastic.

9
mikal 3:28 pm
24 Jan 17
#

Don’t forget that Zed is on the NBN Senate committee. He’s done a stellar job representing his constituents there.

10
bruce_lord 3:56 pm
24 Jan 17
#

I knew Tuggeranong had terrible internet (amongst the slowest in the entire country) but I couldn’t believe the article in last Saturdays canberra times where some areas can’t even get Dial up access. I know the hills and valleys make mobile, radio and TV reception bad, but no dial up or adsl!!!!!!!

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/there-are-third-world-countries-with-better-internet-tuggeranong-residents-in-theodore-fed-up-with-waiting-for-nbn-20170120-gtv8ho.html

11
Chris Mordd Richards 4:22 pm
24 Jan 17
#

K_c24 said :

There’s a simple solution to this; move to QTown! My FTTP connection is fantastic.

They keep changing their preferred acronyms so much it almost makes my head spin!

Originally it was FTTH – Fibre to the House. Now they are using FTTP – Fibre to the Premises instead of FTTH, and FTTB – Fibre to the Building (eg. appt complex) which is basically the same as FTTP except the existing internal wiring from the “comms room” is used for the last short distance. At one stage we also had FTTN – Fibre to the Node, which then used the existing copper to connect to your house. We also had FTTD – Fibre to the Driveway (closer than FTTN but same principle) which used the existing copper for the last few metres, comparable to the current FTTB but for a single stand alone house.

To be fair: FTTP, FTTN and FTTB are the current preferred industry terms, but all the terms listed above have been officially used at various times by NBN and announced by Government Ministers in press conferences too. I know what the terms mean and I still get confused at this point, I feel sorry for the average joe who has no idea and doesn’t want to know either what FTTX anything is anyway!

12
Garfield 6:20 pm
24 Jan 17
#

Chris Mordd Richards said :

I am absolutely livid reading this, and bloody well done for bringing this to our attention Kim, that’s some solid detective work m8!

I am very familiar with the old rollout schedule for the ACT, have perused it dozens of times the past few years, sometimes to show ppl parts of ACT are only place still in all of Aus (except about 4 new greenfields sites interstate) that is still slated to get Fibre to the Home instead of Fibre to the Street or Node.

As such, I am quite familiar with the now old scheduled dates for pretty much all of Canberra, and I can confirm that data on the old dates matches what I remember, and the new dates listed for all the suburbs makes my blood boil reading it.

My suburb was already near the very end of the list, and I put up with a 500KBps down and 40KBps up max speed atm on ADSL due to my apartment blocks old wiring that constantly gets water into the copper and slows the speed right down. Now I see I am waiting an additional 12 months more on top of that. It’s now a race between ACT Housing and NBN Co – will Housing knock down my block before the NBN arrives, their schedule has recently been delayed 1-2 years as well, or will NBN Co connect me and then 6 months later I will get moved out and the block will be knocked down, and probably require reconnection at additional cost again when they rebuild then.

This whole thing is a joke, it’s pretty damn obvious that once again, the ACT is the least important place in Australia for our Federal Government. Sure Parliament House has nice fast NBN already, what about the rest of us? Give us the NBN Labor promised which would have been 80-90% complete by now if they had been allowed to go ahead when they wanted to.

So p#ssed off right now, I pay the same for 500KBps down as someone in South Korea pays for 100GBps down – what a bloody joke!!!

I know you’re a Greens members and so therefore anything the Coalition does is automatically the worst thing in the world, but I’d be interested to hear why you think Labor’s NBN would have been 80-90% complete by now.

In the first 27 months of full scale construction, starting August 2011, the NBN passed 236,000 premises, there having been around 119,000 passed in the earlier trial stages over roughly 2 years. In the next 20 months to June 2015 they added 655,000 premises and in the 12 after that another 1,880,000.

That means under Labor the NBN passed around 4,958 premises per month in the trial stages, increasing to 8,770 once full scale construction started. In the period that the Coalition took over and changed the product mix, supposedly creating massive delays, the NBN added 32,750 per month and in the 2016 financial year the rate increased to 156,666 per month. I don’t know how fast it would have progressed had Labor been re-elected in 2013, but the rate of connection and rate of increase was very slow their last 2 years, and nowhere near the exponential rate of increase that subsequently happened under the Coalition.

I’m not going to defend NBN Co leaving much of Canberra until the very end as everything I’ve heard has suggested we have some very slow connection speeds, but I will point out that until this update my suburb, along with almost all of Tuggeranong, was not even on the construction schedule. From that point of view this is an improvement for both myself and most Tuggeranong residents.

Considering Kim Fischer was a Labor candidate for the ACT election maybe she could make some enquiries and tell us why the Rudd-Gillard governments didn’t prioritise constructing the NBN in Canberra given the massive productivity gains that she claims would have accrued to the public service? A lot of the article smacks of partisan politics rather than objective journalism. I’ll suggest that the ACT is the least important place in Australia for the Federal Government regardless of which party holds power, and that’s because both lower house seats are safe Labor. If ACT voters shook things up by electing someone who wasn’t Labor every now and then I reckon we’d get a lot more consideration from both sides of federal politics.

13
dungfungus 6:28 pm
24 Jan 17
#

Chris Mordd Richards said :

I am absolutely livid reading this, and bloody well done for bringing this to our attention Kim, that’s some solid detective work m8!

I am very familiar with the old rollout schedule for the ACT, have perused it dozens of times the past few years, sometimes to show ppl parts of ACT are only place still in all of Aus (except about 4 new greenfields sites interstate) that is still slated to get Fibre to the Home instead of Fibre to the Street or Node.

As such, I am quite familiar with the now old scheduled dates for pretty much all of Canberra, and I can confirm that data on the old dates matches what I remember, and the new dates listed for all the suburbs makes my blood boil reading it.

My suburb was already near the very end of the list, and I put up with a 500KBps down and 40KBps up max speed atm on ADSL due to my apartment blocks old wiring that constantly gets water into the copper and slows the speed right down. Now I see I am waiting an additional 12 months more on top of that. It’s now a race between ACT Housing and NBN Co – will Housing knock down my block before the NBN arrives, their schedule has recently been delayed 1-2 years as well, or will NBN Co connect me and then 6 months later I will get moved out and the block will be knocked down, and probably require reconnection at additional cost again when they rebuild then.

This whole thing is a joke, it’s pretty damn obvious that once again, the ACT is the least important place in Australia for our Federal Government. Sure Parliament House has nice fast NBN already, what about the rest of us? Give us the NBN Labor promised which would have been 80-90% complete by now if they had been allowed to go ahead when they wanted to.

So p#ssed off right now, I pay the same for 500KBps down as someone in South Korea pays for 100GBps down – what a bloody joke!!!

We can’t have everything.

Trams are what we chose and trams (with wi-fi) are what we will get.

I don’t recall anyone demanding our local Labor/Green government give us our own super-fast broadband.

I suppose that’s because very few people in Canberra want to use 100 GBps.

14
Anthony David 8:17 pm
24 Jan 17
#

Just this morning I drove past the Melba exchange and there was a fellow with an NBN van feeding two thick blue (fibre) cables into the pit. The NBN site says that Jan-Jun 2018 is our rollout date. The whole NBN mess is comical. My son in Spain just signed up for a cheap plan: 50Mb synchronous for, I think, 20Euro. He was paying 30Euro for a 300Mb synchronous plan at the previous city.

15
Frustrated 8:37 pm
24 Jan 17
#

Kambah is still listed for this year, I hope its the whole suburb, and not just the Northern section.

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