back to article nbn™ scoreboard: our new way to look at Australia's national broadband network

nbn™, the organisation building and operating Australia's national broadband network, is the subject of endless controversy. So The Register has decided to try to assess it in a new way, with a scoreboard of the metrics that nbn™ offers in its results presentations, compared to those in its 2018-2021 corporate plan (PDF). The …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge

    NBN cabinet installed in next street to us!

    I suspect it's empty, but WHOOOOO it sure looks nice and shiny.

    1. Mi Tasol

      Re: NBN cabinet installed in next street to us!

      Take some strong sedatives.

      The wireless tower 700m from me was put up late October one year and activated 11 1/2 months later.

    2. Carl D

      Re: NBN cabinet installed in next street to us!

      >> NBN cabinet installed in next street to us! I suspect it's empty, but WHOOOOO it sure looks nice and shiny.<<

      FTTN cabinet? Just wait until it gets covered in graffiti like a lot of the ones I've seen lately.

      They've been like that for several months now so it doesn't look like nbn are in a rush to do anything about it.

  2. rtb61

    HFC Horrible Fucking Crap

    So they spent billions buying the HFC apparently without ever checking it out and PS your pricing model is bullshit it's like comparing an brand new car to a decades old car, electronics have a life.

    So comparing a $4,000 brand new connection to a decades old connection costing $2,400 and rapidly rising is a major business lie. Properly amortise the age of HFC and repair and maintenance required when most of the equipment is over a decade old, that $2,400 should be timed by about 3 thank you very much. Most of the HFC is degraded, they are now spending billions repairing and replacing it, and mind you they were going to dump it in the shit state to Australians. In my already supposedly connectible HFC location, they will be spending 6 months fixing it, SIX MONTHS, do you know how much that costs, $2,400 yep uh huh, plus 6 months of contractor labour with overtime.

    Overtime is definitely occurring because those NBN dickheads have taken out my ADSL connection repeatedly on weekends, breaking it Saturday morning and fixing it Sunday evening, again and again and again it is getting ridiculous. HFC the biggest fraud in Australian history.

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: HFC Horrible Fucking Crap

      Part of the HFC debacle was allowing foxtel and Telstra to keep all the good frequencies while nbn got stuck at the noisy end of the spectrum. Add negotiating skill to the nbn co's list of credits.

      1. andro

        Re: HFC Horrible Fucking Crap

        Interesting you say that. I stopped following the nbn mostly due to rage quit but have been thinking the solid 45mbit im getting out of my 25mbit docsis 3 telstra cable was a sign that when the politics of wholesale pricing is fixed the nbn hfc stood a good chance of working well.

        I do like the numbers reporting but a deeper analysis doesnt hurt either.

  3. mathew42

    CVC is NBN revenue solution

    The CVC discounts associated with 50/20Mbps plans should see that change significantly. Still nowhere near the 1Gbps that Labor promised. Interestingly some RSPs are dropping 100Mbps speeds.

    The majority on 50Mbps or slower will suit LNP fine as most FTTN will support this.

    However that doesn't solve NBNCo's revenue problem. CVC and quotas was Labor's answer to that, because as more people streamed video at increasingly higher qualities and more frequently, data usage would grow naturally and along with it revenue.

  4. Colin Tree

    score 66/100 ---> 12/100

    Love the Corporate Plan-2018-2021 cover picture, woman working with medical imaging in the bush

    I'm paying for 50 Mbs, getting 30 Mbs --> 6 Mbs

    My customer experience = mediocre to fail

    They've given us a placebo, under-provisioning puts less strain on the network while taking more money, the masses are happy with their (not perfect) streaming 'Happy Days'. How many people are continuously logging their internet performance and would know just how bad it gets ?

    If they made a proper network, gave everyone top speed and charged a flat $40, everyone would connect, they'd make friends and money at the same time. That would rise with inflation to what they were expecting. But no, the fat cats had to fuck with it.

    1. mathew42

      Re: score 66/100 ---> 12/100

      $40/month won't cover the costs. Average revenue per user (ARPU) has to be higher than $100 to cover costs.

      You could drop the AVC to $20, remove the speed tiers and restore CVC to $20 for 1Mbps and significantly more people would connect. Budget RSPs offering unlimited data plans would still be crap, but premium RSPs would offer world class performance.

  5. Michael Hoffmann

    Effing Nimbys...

    They could add several 10s of thousands in our regional area if 3 or 4 nimbys weren't up in arms about the FW towers. The usual suspects, from "ruin my view" (of dry brushland?) to "gives me brain cancer".

  6. GrumpyKiwi

    From my experience to date there are only two speeds available from the NBN:

    1: Really f***ing slow; or

    2: Barely tolerable

    Both of which are vastly overpriced for what they deliver.

    1. bd1235

      You can add a third speed

      3 Exactly what was sold to me.

      Yes, there are some nbn services that work OK. I have fttp connected at 25/5 mbps and I get that speed most of the time. I did get a 3 month free trial of 100/40. It speed tested OK but it was no benefit to me so I reverted to 25/5.

      On the fibre, I have two phone channels which are unused and 4 data channels. That is, I can have four simultaneous internet services from different suppliers. When changing service providers it allows you to get the new connection working before cancelling the old.

    2. acjh58

      Slow Broadband

      Any idea why it's so slow? It is certainly not the access technology (last mile) and im fascinated to understand why

  7. Mi Tasol

    What customer experience improvements? What fault detection.

    "The company also said customer experience improvements have seen it make "improvements to home and business installations, new fault detection and resolution processes, "


    Just before xmas our part of the Wide Bay and Burnett had a total failure of the NBN network on Wednesday night and was not fixed until 5am Monday. All the troubleshooting and repairs were carried out by a competitor (think Tells Extreme Lies....). They took 26 hours from when they say the outage started (8am Thursday) to identify the source of the problem and then did not have the spare part. I work in Papua New Guinea where the local ISPs have built in test equipment. PNG may be 100 years behind socially but it is way in front of Australia in internet tech because if an ISP had a four day outage they would wake up finding they had no customers. Competition keeps them on their toes. A public service monopoly has no competition and no incentive to perform.

    Below is an actual nbn email from 2018-01-05 18:42 PM. Before you read it imagine that you are a business that depends on the nbn for your phones,eftpos and/or orders. This outage is the first day after a long weekend when everyone has come in to town to restock and you are effectively closed. They could have scheduled this for a weekend or outside business hours to minimise disruptions but being a public service monopoly nbn do not.

    nbn = no bloody nous or nothing but nitwits, or to quote channel 9, nightmare bloody network

    "Dear Customer,

    nbn co has advised us that it will be carrying out a Planned Change Activity on its network during the change window shown below. Your service and others on the nbn network are expected to be interrupted during the change window.


    Reference: CRQ000001655332

    Type: Normal


    Start: Tue 30 Jan 2018, 07:00 am AEDT AEST/ADST

    End: Fri 02 Feb 2018, 08:00 pm AEDT AEST/ADST

    Duration: 3 days 13 hours


    Interruption 1: 600 min

    Interruption 2: 0 min

    Interruption 3: 0 min

    Interruption 4: 0 min

    Interruption 5: 0 min

    nbn co has advised us that this is important network maintenance and it apologises for any inconvenience this may cause you.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Have a fast fiber connection, ping speeds are always good, but down loads (from fast servers) are slower than recorded adsl , go figger.

    went on the fastest plan from (always your equipment, tells lies) and even the ping speeds didn't change, tells lies service desk comment " oh you will never get that speed over nbn"

  9. OffBeatMammal
    Thumb Down

    Even though I'm renting, I would buy a 100/40 connection in a heartbeat, in fact I'd probably pay a couple of grand to have them bring Fiber or even HFC to the house. The seriously crappy ADSL2+ experience is beyond frustrating... but... right now we're still pending surveys to tell us when our neighbourhood might get a plan. It's a joke

  10. OutThere

    nbn FttP WORKS. I am located in a remote, regional town where we have nbn FttP provided by a first-class REIGIONAL ISP.

    For 2.5 years, there have been NO issues with nbn with speed, (100/40) variability (Speeds NEVER slow down) or reliability. (In 2.5 yrs, the only downtime I have been aware of occurred between midnight and 12:30 on one occasion.)

    nbn FttP WORKS and it works like it was designed to work. Shame about the rest of the network, but I can only say positive things about nbn's FttP and I use it regularly and it get hammered with all manner of high-bandwidth applications both at home and at work.

    Many things are wrong with the nbn, but whatever you can say about the rest of the network, the FttP model is delivering on what was promised back in 2012.

    1. mathew42

      Of course FTTP works, but you've placed too much emphasis on the technology and not the fact that you've chosen a first class regional ISP. Most people are choosing budget RSPs selling cheap unlimited data plans and experience crap performance even of FTTP..

  11. Francis Vaughan

    I would say that the NBN are in the mode of under-promising and getting ready for over-delivering right now. Looking at the current maps for in-build here in SA there are huge swaths of FTTC in build that are slated to start to be available in May - areas where there the ducts and pits are right now installed ready to go. Further massive amounts of FTTN slated for October - many places where there are already node boxes installed, ducted and powered, ready in the streets.

    I am suspicious that the NBN is managing expectations versus delivery in a way that will start to make them look really good in a politically useful time-frame. If a large fraction of the populace suddenly start getting FTTC with really good performance this year, much political capital will be made by all involved.

  12. aberglas

    How many premises got Better service?

    I.e. how many people did not already have passable broadband with ADSL or cable and would have been prepared to switch if they had not been forced to?

    People without any or very poor preexisting broadband. That is what counts.

    1. GrumpyKiwi

      Re: How many premises got Better service?

      Switched to NBN because I was forced to for one of our Canberra stores. Took forever to get up and running, the promised static IP turned out to be imaginative and the performance was pretty much identical to the Telstra ADSL 2+ running previously only with a marginally better upload speed.

      Related, I went to Telstra to get ADSL for a Pacific Fair store. Nope, no availability on the local loop for any new ADSL connections. NBN? Nope, not for several more years. Ended up with Optus 4G.

    2. Diogenes

      Re: How many premises got Better service?

      I did - I am on FTTN on the NSW Central Coast.

      I went from an ADSL2+ connection experience of anywhere from 5-12/1 (could attain 14 if the weather was perfect, when it rained I got 5) .

      With NBN I am on a 100/40 plan and connect at @ 68/36. At the time my ISP didn't offer a 50 plan. When the 'normal' service is closed down, I expect a boost in my speeds. The extra up speed is what it is doing for me, and I hardly notice OneDrive & GDrive doing their thing.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    But wait there's MORE

    Bill Morrow says NBN wants to purchase 5G mobile spread on sale soon, so those hoping to get 5G to bypass the NBN might have to fight thru NBN usage or cope with extra towers to do it.

    The joke is that it's all been planned for years and as it comes closer they all shuffle in their slippers to the ticket window and line up for the next part of the show.

    You just need do understand it's a saga, and hence will continue on and on.... until you fall deeply asleep.

    Dream of little elves fixing everything, I'm too tired to do that anymore.

  14. Nobeljnet

    Noted, but it would seem the ...

    ... Pommy gov is going for a minimum of 10 Mbps by 2020.

    Whereas, independent since the Australia Act(s) 1986, downunder is going for a minimum up to 25/ 5 Mbps (fixed satellite wireless) by 2020.

  15. rtb61

    2019 Maybe

    I had the horrible fucking crap network, for almost a month before it was decided it was a giant piece of shit and they had to spend, get this from September 2017 to April 2019, to fix, what the Australia government said was worth billions, hmm a year and a half to fix it minimum, wow it must be truly crap. They bought a POS that was going to be scrapped for billions and now have to spend billions more to rebuild it, after already having spent billions trying to patch it, this after trying to compare that decades old POS to a brand new network, claiming both are worth the same, just that the old one is cheaper, er now decades old crap is crap that needs to be replaced because tech have real hard life cycles, so many hours and they will break down.

    So waited from 2015 to 2017 for broadband only to have really bad useless crap delivered and then the service cancelled to be rebuilt and not available until 2019, maybe and still be the same crap just rebuilt. What a bargain by the LNP for all Australians but hey the Murdoch family are laughing all the way to the bank, they bought their politicians well.

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