Telstra Countrywide General Manager Chris Taylor has confirmed his attendance at the Gungahlin Community Council meeting on 14 July to respond to widespread community disgust with years of inadequate broadband services in our area.
We are aware that other areas around Canberra are suffering similar problems, so all are welcome to attend and put your concerns or questions directly to the guy most likely to be able to do something about it.
As was stated on the Dunlop broadband thread, some people are suddenly getting better speeds in the last week or two, due to RIM upgrades happening finally. A week ago my own 8Mb service jumped up from evening speeds of 0.5Mb to 5-6Mb. But it really is a lucky dip which RIM you are on it seems.
Telstra Countrywide’s Chris Taylor rang me this week to see if my service had improved. So he is clearly watching it closely in the lead-up to him attending the meeting.
While I’m grateful for improvements to my own service, I’m also concerned for everyone else on other RIMs. I was also disgusted to find these words on the Telstra Wholesale website:
“the expected date when DSLAM will undergo a software upgrade that will allow removal of shaping from 8Mb/s DSL-L2IG Services.”
This is admission (confirmed by Mr Taylor) that Telstra deliberately ‘shaped’ our 8Mb services without telling us during high congestion periods – i.e. when we all want to use them, but while still charging us full rate for a service standard they could not deliver.
I told him I feel that warrants a refund for everyone so affected. He told me he could consider that on a case-by-case basis, but that sounded to me like ‘we’ll consider refunds for people who arc up’. I told him that I believe case by case was not good enough and that they should admit to charging full price for a service they could not deliver and therefore give everyone a pro rata refund. I said ‘shaping for exceeding one’s download limit is something inside our control as users and something we accept, but shaping because Telstra can’t plan adequately to handle projected growth is not our problem as customers and is outside our control.”
He said affected people should have been advised by email of the shaping – we weren’t – at least I wasn’t. He said he’d check that out. I await his reply. But irrespective of notice, it is something I will continue to push on behalf of everyone, and something I’d suggest people raise at the meeting.
As a comparison, I think this would be like Sanitarium using a shortage in wheat to mean that their Weet Bix boxes are only half full, but the price will remain the same.
I should note also that we all pay the same amount for that 8Mbps service as someone in Sydney pays for a 20Mbps ADSL2+ service – another sore point.
Mr Taylor’s appearance at our meeting was triggered by a complaint from him about the accuracy of claims made by campaigner for better ACT broadband service Russ Gillon in an article in Gungahlin News. Mr Taylor wrote that he was “bemused” at the claims made, so we invited him to come to our meeting to explain where it was that we’ve all got it wrong…It’s a credit to him that he accepted the invite.
As usual, our meeting is at the Palmerston Community Centre (behind the shops) from 7.30pm. Please let everyone know so there is a strong turn-out and a very clear message for Telstra.