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back to article NBN Co trials migration incentives

Last week, NBN Co – the company building Australia’s National Broadband Network – announced trials of a $AU108 migration incentive for retailers. The payment is made to retail service providers in selected NBN-ready areas to encourage them to move customers off their own infrastructure (such as ADSL) to the NBN fibre. Described …

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Meanwhile,

regional centers (these aren't little back-of-Bourke places, even if they aren't capital or satellite cities) can't even get ADSL or *usable* wireless because the switches ran out of capacity years ago and the cells are chronically oversubscribed.

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Re: Meanwhile,

Yep, and that's one of the reasons for building the NBN...

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Re: Meanwhile,

Yep, and that's one of the reasons for building the NBN...

Too bad it doesn't actually exist. Especially in those areas.

If it does finally kick in, they'll be paying more for less. Well, less than they *would* have had anyway.

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Unhappy

Re: Meanwhile,

Yep, but because of pending exchange upgrades, nothing has been added to the existing infrastructure for years, and the region I am referring to in particular isn't anywhere near the top of the conversion list, so the population is left dangling.

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Re: Meanwhile,

I am, BTW, referring to where my mum lives, about 6 blocks from a major regional exchange. When she talks to businesses/universities/political-groups from the cities (which they invariably are) they always tell her to check something on the internet or send an email and when she informs them that there is no usable internet for many people where she is the response ranges from flabbergasted to incredulous. City people just can't get their heads around the idea that everyone in Australia (barring a few shacks out on the Nullabor) doesn't have the same access as Sydney and surrounds. (They don't say the 'NSW Government' stands for 'Newcastle-Sydney-Wollongong Government' just to be cute!).

While I did get mum hooked to the Optus wireless network, it is so over-subscribed that generally even a graphic-light page, like, say 'www.gov.au' front page, can't download properly at the speeds she gets. As for trying to get to the regional fire-alert pages which the TV and radio keep directing her to, forget it! She is seriously clocking connection speeds from the days of acoustic couplers! I was getting orders of magnitude better connectivity from regional Chinese cities back in '99 when I was contracting over there.

Mum was trying to do a correspondence post-grad course via UNE, mainly to keep her brain from turning to mush and hence keep herself out of the aged care system, but unlike 10 years ago when she aced a BA at the same institute, the whole system is too internet-reliant to use without a home connection (she has tried the local public library PCs with no usable success too - the machines are too out-of-date and unmaintained to support modern web standards in any usable way). She is often meeting much younger locals also trying to do correspondence courses to get themselves out of whatever rut they have fallen into and finding themselves in the same situation.

Just to re-iterate, this isn't some little bunch of beach shacks down the coast - it is a major regional center with a population in the several tens of thousands (not counting satellite communities). It is officially still 3 years off NBN rollout, which in real terms means she might see an internet connection by the turn of the decade.

Problem is simple: Exchanges are long-ago full. Telcos won't add new kit because NBN is 'coming soon' (nee. several years away). Regional Australians hung out to dry, too bad so sad.

And anyone suggesting fibre-to-the-node would have rolled out any differently can go stick their head up a political lobbyist's arse and shake vigorously!

Off to find a fire extinguisher to put myself out now.

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Re: Meanwhile,

So, your beef is with Telstra and the other ISPs - not the NBN, right? Because, unlike them, the NBN will eventually provide new infrastructure (be it fibre, wireless, or sat) to her area.

The ISPs could invest and extend their network - but they've chosen not to. Holding the NBN responsible for decisions made by unrelated businesses seems a bit silly to me.

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@Tac Eht Xilef

Pretty much. I have not /technical/ issues with the NBN. The roll-out is a corporate-friendly citizen-hostile sick joke. At the behest of the providers, so blaming them isn't so silly, I feel.

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Re: Meanwhile,

Not Just regional, you get that in Sydney Suburbs to. I live 20 minutes from the CBD but there is not enough copper in the street to support demand.

Looks like years before I will be able to get fibre. $108? I will pay $3000 (or more) if it meant I would get fibre sooner.

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Mushroom

Re: Meanwhile,

In the end, if the govt. was serious about internet provision in this country, they would pass laws requiring minimum levels of service provision to all citizens with penalties for failure (exactly what has always been done for voice lines). Not multi-million dollar back-handers to private industry.

That, however, wouldn't get them invited onto the boards of any major companies after they 'retire' from politics, of course.

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Re: @Tac Eht Xilef

Fair enough - though I don't really see how it's a "corporate-friendly citizen-hostile sick joke". I'm at a loss to think of any way the problem could've been avoided, short of the government either mandating or subsidising continued expansion of soon-to-be-obsolete technologies by ISPs or The Big Evil T's wholesale division - which would be truly "corporate-friendly" and "citizen-hostile".

I guess there's an argument that the Gov't could've leaned on the NBN to roll-out in 'under-served' areas first - but, realistically, they seem to be doing that (interim satellite, accelerated rollout of fixed wireless, etc). Fibre rollout - apart from greenfield estates* - is only just now starting to emerge from the 'trial' stages of areas chosen more for the representative quality of their infrastructure, mix of service types, and relationship to the PoIs than anything else.

It sucks that the sterotypical "can see the CBD from my verandah, but can't get broadband" problem exists - but someone's always going to feel hard done by; it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario...

* Which is a whole 'nother feck-up entirely, and one not restricted to the NBN - let's just say that Telstra** has had the same problems with lazy developers & 3rd-party infrastructure providers since the mid-90's.

** Not defending Telstra at all; I worked for the pack of plural-of-a-4-letter-word-beginning-with-"C" for 20-odd years, so I loathe them with a passion unequalled by your average half-witted "I have ADSL & run Linux" Telstra-hating Whirlpoolian knob-head - but I'd like to think I'm sensible about it.

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Re: @Tac Eht Xilef

It wouldn't nearly be such a problem if the govt., corps, and sundry organisations weren't increasingly already running all their public-facing services on the assumption that everyone had internet access.

Eg. Mum rang the fire information hotline explicitly because she can't check fire front locations online only to be directed to the web site and met with incredulity when she tried to explain she not only didn't have but couldn't get internet access in her area.

I have already mentioned the inability to pursue an out-of-institute formal education without the said connection. While the UNE front-line staff try to work with the situation, the academic staff range from extra-mile-going to downright hostile towards 'paper only' students who can't access their moodle and email systems consistently. Let alone watch web-broadcast lectures.

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Re: Meanwhile,

Well, Im in the city, about 2 mins from the CBD, and my house isnt even coming up on the 3 year plan yet. My ADSL syncs at 4.5mbit and is stable so i cant complain about that but know people who have bad luck and poor wires and sync at 800kbit (bad) with constant dropouts (makes it nearly unusable). And the mobile networks are not great - not enough bandwidth to go around. At peak times, the mobile networks are filled with calls and its impossible to get a data connection. H

ave patience, Australia is a huge place and this is a seriously geographically huge network. Some country towns will get fibre which will be up to scratch and some will get wireless, but you can bet that wireless will still be a damn site better than what is available now. The NBN is a well designed network. I havnt heard anyone complaining who has been connected to it yet, only good stories about how fast it is. Its just a pitty it cant be built quicker!

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Urh
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Re: Minimum levels of service

When Telstra was privatised (one of the biggest government blunders in recent memory IMO) the USO was put in place to guarantee a minimum level of service. Too bad that said minimum is a f***ing joke, and not a particularly funny one at that. To compound matters it's enforced by the gutless regulatory body that is the ACCC.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd sign up without incentives

The NBN "line" is going to run within 1 km of me, but no, cannot have.

It will never make it, especially as the Great Tech Philistines (AKA Liberals) are poised to take power at the next federal election.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd sign up without incentives

Similar situation here ...

We may just have to go to church and pray Dr No sees sense if and when he comes to power ... after all, he does listen to the Big Fella :)

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Urh
FAIL

Re: I'd sign up without incentives

If/when Dr No gets into office, I'd start praying that one of Malware Bullturn's FTTN cabinets gets plonked right on your doorstep, because unless you're already in the fibre footprint, that's the best you can hope for.

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