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Telstra/Bigpond in Canberra?

By SomethingSomethingRubenstein - 12 March 2013 4

Wonder if any ‘Acters can help/advise …

I have BigPond internet, which gives me a download speed of around 3.3 Mbps … on ADSL2+. It hasn’t bothered me too much until recently, as I’m definitely a light user, but when I decided a bit of catch-up TV might be nice it didn’t handle that too well at all!

I complained to Telstra, who advised me they only guarantee 1.5 Mbps, but I managed to get a tech to come around. A depressing sequence of missed appointments ensued – all par for the course according to others I’ve spoken to – and eventually the tech measured 9Mbps at the street corner, 7Mbps at the pole, meaning a whopping loss of 3.7 Mbps in my phone line to the house.

Now, my line’s buried, possibly because there’s no pole at my back fence – perhaps the then-neighbours wouldn’t give consent for a line to cross their garden, I don’t know. I asked Telstra to replace the line with an aerial one like nearly everyone else’s (having obtained my neighbour’s consent),as the existing one’s obviously cactus, but see above … 1.5 Mbps.

Anyone got any ideas for taking it further with Telstra? The rule seems fairly straightforward, and I doubt the dreaded Ombudsman would care.

I’ve been thinking of TransAct VDSL – they’d provide me with a new line as part of my “free” installation, but does anyone have any experiences with this that I should know about? I’m in Curtin if that makes any difference.

What’s Your opinion?


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4 Responses to
Telstra/Bigpond in Canberra?
thatsnotme 9:24 pm 12 Mar 13

SomethingSomethingRubenstein said :

Thanks! I’m not surprised to hear praise for iiNet Naked DSL, as that’s consistent with what others have told me.

I’m just wondering whether, when using a line that leaks 3.7Mbps from pole to PC, iiNet’s speeds can possibly be any better. Their sales people claim that the servers they have at Deakin exchange are more powerful than BigPond’s but I have no idea how to a) verify that and b) whether the increased power will fare any better along what’s obviously a useless line.

Any ideas?

I feel for you. I went through almost two years of crap to get a somewhat reliable ADSL connection, and for much of the time it was like banging my head against a brick wall. I’m with Internode, but at the end of the day my connection was serviced with Telstra copper lines, and regardless of which ISP you’re with, that’s the reality of it. Internode couldn’t send their own techs out to look at the copper connections – only Telstra can do that, so the ISP has their hands tied a lot of the time.

The only suggestion I have, and I’m not sure if it’s relevant to your situation, is to progress based not on download speeds, but connection reliability. I had to go down that path at one stage, when the tech Internode provided was able to measure connection speeds above that 1.5Mbps threshold at a site visit. Although my connection was within their limits, my connection stability was very poor (I was lucky to be connected for more than two hours between disconnects – and if there was a flash of lightning 10km away, my line would drop) so that was what the job was escalated on the basis of. So even though your speed is considered ok by Telstra, perhaps you have other avenues you could go down.

I don’t like your chances though. The NBN rollout has begun in Canberra, and we’re supposed to be done within the next few years. Telstra will be doing everything within their power to avoid the expense of servicing their copper network.

SomethingSomethingRu 6:00 pm 12 Mar 13

Thanks! I’m not surprised to hear praise for iiNet Naked DSL, as that’s consistent with what others have told me.

I’m just wondering whether, when using a line that leaks 3.7Mbps from pole to PC, iiNet’s speeds can possibly be any better. Their sales people claim that the servers they have at Deakin exchange are more powerful than BigPond’s but I have no idea how to a) verify that and b) whether the increased power will fare any better along what’s obviously a useless line.

Any ideas?

echoztrip 12:23 pm 12 Mar 13

I work in IT and have to field these kinds of issues on a regular basis from clients, family and friends.

Simon Hackett’s blog post from a few years ago summarises the amount of variables there are with ADSL quite well. http://blog.internode.on.net/2009/11/29/optimising-adsl2-service-performance/

First thing I recommend people to do (especially residential) is to get a central filter installed. I know that Ecowise (http://www.ecowise-services.com.au/) do this (including parts) for about $150. That solves most issues (at least in your house).

If that doesn’t help, then you’re stuck. As you said, Telstra can’t promise speeds more than 1.5mbit, but if you can prove there is voice issues on the line they will log a line fault to investigate.

http://www.adsl2exchanges.com.au is another place you can use to get very rough ‘as the crow flies’ estimates on what speeds you should be expecting.

Good luck, but that’s just life with ADSL … (and as mentioned by Stinger, TransACT isn’t much better but hopefully since iiNet bought them out we should see some improvements soon. One rumour I hear is they are replacing all old VDSL equipment with VDSL2 soon).

Stinger 11:26 am 12 Mar 13

I hear your dilemma, but I would avoid Transact as they charge like a wounded bull! If you are going to switch providers, go to iiNet Naked DSL. Speeds are pretty quick, you won’t be charged line rental, as the line is technically inactive, saving you $30/month. You still have a phone, but because it will be VoIP, the calls local and national are free, to mobiles and 13 numbers is cheep. We pay maybe $10 per year on the phone bill…

BTW, I don’t work for iiNet, I’ve been with them for years and never had a service issue. They even provide you in the online toolbox, a log of your service calls, who took the call, and what they did about it. You can track who’s doing what about your issues.

Hope this helps….

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