Re: Not surprising for Aus
The legacy copper network was in terrible shape. It was only around 50 years old (I remember it being undergrounded in the 1970s in Melbourne) but at some point some kind of special jointing goo was used which is said to have damaged the wires over time. As it was assumed under the Rudd scheme it would all be pulled out for scrap copper, the minimal amount of patching was done and dropouts were common after rain.
FTTN ("node" = your "cabinet") is typically around 25Mpbs here, but if your last mile of copper still has bad joints it will go out after rain.
I have something different again, called "fibre to the kerb" ("FTTC" because America), where a newly laid copper run in the old conduit runs to fibre in front of my neighbour's house, and there are special modems each end of the copper. It's up to 100Mbps, and I get nearly that.
It does make good sense to upgrade all the FTTN people, and those few still on repurposed cable TV technology, to 1Gbps FTTP first.
Why was this dog's breakfast allowed to develop? Tony Abbott is on record as having said that the only use for fast internet into residences was for streaming movies. It took him two elections to get in. The first time around we got a hung parliament, and Gillard was able to form government by promising three independents that the FTTP scheme would go ahead. And so rural Armidale has rolled gold FTTP. The independent MPs mentioned teleworking for their rural electorates when explaining to the Australian electorate why Tony Abbott was not PM.