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Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

This topic was created by Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor .

Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull stands accused of telling a householder to move to another home if she wants better broadband.

We think it's an unfair accusation to level against Turnbull. Here's my comment piece explaining why.

Is Turnbull right? Is Julia Keady, the aggrieved householder? Am I?

You're one click from your chance to reply.

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Re: Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

It depends on the extent of her "research". If she contacted Telstra and they indicated that they would be able to provide a service, but subsequently didn't, then the fault is clearly theirs.

However I suspect it's a case of, 'I saw something on some website-thingy which I'm almost certain said something about something and I can't remember exactly what it said and certainly not which website it was and anyway I'm too busy and important to pay attention to piddling details so it's everyone else's fault and definitely not mine so why haven't you fixed it yet?'

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Re: Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

If you'd ever tried this then you would know it's IMPOSSIBLE to confirm availability. The best you can do is determine the likelihood.

If you go to the Telstra (or any other ISP web-site) then they can tell you if its not available, but can't confirm availability until you've placed an order (i.e. well after you've bought the house).

If you're knowledgeable enough you can go to a site like adsl2exchanges and get an estimate of the line length, whether there is a RIM, the local exchange name and the likely connection speed.

You can then go to the Telstra Wholesale web site and download the spreadsheet with the number of available ports about a fortnight ago (i.e. not when you've settled and moved in) and can therefore get an idea whether any will be available.

If there are any ports, and Telstra don't make a complete balls up of the installation, you'll only know the achievable line speed and throughput once you connect, probably 3 months after you signed the contract to purchase you new property.

So a nice simple process open to every non-technical citizen and business owner - not.

The real fail is that Turnbull is unaware of the byzantine process that normal householders go through trying to obtain broadband. His arrogance shows through, not for the first time. I suppose Sydney's inner north shore is well supplied with broadband.

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Re: Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

And then there is the problem a friend of mine has. It turns out his personal copper pair is pair-gained (multiple voice circuits over a single copper pair) from the exchange to the street corner and Telstra has no intention whatsoever of introducing new capacity this side of the NBN rollout.

Adding insult to injury, while our city in general was one of the first on the list for the NBN rollout, his specific suburb (with a very high percentage of retirees and other low income earners) was excluded.

And then there's the number of subscribers who are still stuck with single pair flat (untwisted) connections to their nearest pit or pillar. Something which bit Telstra on the bum nice and hard when I had a second line installed in NSW. Linesman came to install the second phone, took one look at the lead in and told me it would be at least a month before the connection I'd already been billed for could be made.

Fortunately, I'd specifically mentioned this problem to the girl on the other end of the line when I placed my order, and she'd responded with "There ain't no such animal." I argued, she insisted, and the recording made for "training purposes" bore me out. Telstra decided it was cheaper to string a new twisted pair line, then and there after 5 PM on a Friday, than pay the fine for an upheld complaint to the ombudsman.

Unfortunately for wannabe broadband subscribers, Telstra's legislated service guarantees top out at the 9600 baud analogue necessary for FAX machines.

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Unhappy

Re: Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

I never understood how the communications authorities could have allowed Telstra to commit this abomination - oh, wait - Telstra was the communications authority then.

I am so glad we sold them off.

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Pint

Re: Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

I have to agree with flatearther. I was moving back to San Antonio from Dallas a few years ago. I couldn't find out from any one at ATT in Dallas if I could get broadband in my house. The best part is I was moving back into a house that I had rented out while I was in Dallas and my renter had Uverse.

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Anonymous Coward

Keady's beef should therefore be ...

>Keady's beef on this occasion should therefore be with

>the source of information she used and Telstra, not Turnbull.

I know this is a gratuitously outragous suggestion, but perhaps Keady's beef should be with the poorly considered NBN rollout plan from 2007 that caused Telstra to cancel all of their planned upgrades from that date on.

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Service availability advice is unavailable

Perhaps with the issues is with Telstra's (and other telcos') time honoured availability process.

1. Definitive availability statements will be given in response to an actual order.

2. An actual order can only be placed for a premises, if you own, live or work there.

So how does someone considering a property get an unequivocal answer on availability?

You can't!

Apart from all that, the issue is caused by investment paralysis, induced by the prospect of NBN availability. That should not necessarily be blamed on NBN. It is short sightedness by suppliers who should know the likely roll out times and be happy to invest in order to service customers for 5 years.

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Availability advice is unavailable

Perhaps with the issues is with Telstra's (and other telcos') time honoured availability process.

1. Definitive availability statements will be given in response to an actual order.

2. An actual order can only be placed for a premises, if you own, live or work there.

So how does someone considering a property get an unequivocal answer on availability?

You can't!

Apart from all that, the issue is caused by investment paralysis, induced by the prospect of NBN availability. That should not necessarily be blamed on NBN. It is short sightedness by suppliers who should know the likely roll out times and be happy to invest in order to service customers for 5 years.

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Re: Availability advice is unavailable

I had the same issue 10 years ago.

I checked distance to the exchange.

I picked a new subdivision.

I checked the online location checker which said yes it is available.

I checked a friend's number 1 street away, about 50 meters. it said yes, ADSL is available for that number.

I built a new house, connected to a new telephone cabling.

I applied for ADSL.

Not possible.

!!!!

after 6 months I contacted my local MP, Federal. Mysteriously it was available shortly after that.

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Having ADSL2+ doesn't actually mean you have it either ...

I have been having issues with my broadband - happily connecting at 14M , at 7am downloading speed test are a happy 80% of that rate at 7.30pm I get about 5% of that number (a super speedy 0.8Mbps).

Looking at my ISP forum at another place, 9/10 threads are "for the last 2 -3weeks my download speeds on xyz exchange have been awful", and reporting similar sorts of speeds/results). Just scanning all the ISP forums its seems that 2 other ISPS have the same problem, but not as badly.

My exchange & the next one (the other side of a lake) over has no available ports , and Telstra won't add any 'cause of the NBN - even though none of its exchange area was on the original 5 year , or modified, or further modified, or latest 3 year plan.

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Ministerial failure

1/ The complainant’s side:

• That a lack of installed broadband is prehistoric: technically true.

• That providers’ lack of capacity for a modern household utility is ‘not good enough’: a matter of opinion. Some may feel that it is indeed good enough for Australian homes to be cut off from built-in infrastructure like roads, power, water, sanitation and telecommunications due to a lack of corporate interest.

• That her pre-purchase research indicated that broadband would be available to the house.

• That her post-purchase attempt to connect to broadband was denied due to the provider’s intentional lack of capacity for servicing the installed connection despite previous advice given.

2/ The Minister’s response:

• Fails to address any specific or national concern raised.

• Implies that broadband was not available where and when the house was bought.

• Asks why a house was bought without broadband, rather than why houses can be bought without broadband or why consumers can be misled about broadband availability.

• Portrays access to communication as a personal choice rather than a national value.

• Assumes the complainant is at fault despite no such evidence.

• Asks an irrelevant question “why did you buy”.

• Makes no attempt to indicate a resolution for the telecommunications issue other than by choice of location.

3/ My verdict: Turnbull is at fault and “to move to another home” is implied by his loaded question.

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Terms of sale?

Just like "subject to finance", the offer I made for the house was based on approval for an ADSL service. If you are going to spend a half million dollars or more, the $127 fee to buying the old owner for a month is well worth the risk if you need it.

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FAIL

"why did you buy a house where there was no broadband available?"

The real question here is why are there houses where no broadband is available?

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Unhappy

The real question

The real question is why this woman thought it was the Governemnt's fault. This is just another case of middle-class welfare in operation.

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Re: The real question

It is not about middle-class welfare: just as basic services such as water & sewerage have been in place in cities for centuries, followed later by more sophisticated services like telephone lines, the NBN is the latest service which will one day be taken for granted. The technology already exists. All that is lacking is the political will, and that is most definitely the government's fault.

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Urh

Ugh....

While Turnbull did not explicitly tell Keady to move house, I agree with other comments that have concluded that Turnbull's response implied that she should move in order to get better broadband. For a minister whose job it is to oversee telecommunications policy, this is unacceptable. Instead of expressing concern that there are still premises without fixed line service (in 2014, no less), the minister tries to paint Keady as a fool, even though (as others have rightly pointed out) it is virtually impossible to know for certain what services are available at a property until after you've purchased it and attempt to have services connected.

This entire farce has highlighted yet another one of the ways in which the telecommunications sector is failing to serve the Australian public, yet this message is being drowned out amongst the frantic s***-flinging that has become Australian political discourse (thanks in no small part to Tony Abbott and his rabid supporters in the media).

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NBN is Telstras flood of 67

Jim: How am I going to explain the missing documents to the Mail?

Sir Humphrey: Well this is what we normally do in, circumstances like these. [hands over a file]

Jim: [reading] This file contains the complete set of papers, except for a number of secret documents, a few others which are part of still active files, a few others lost in the flood of 1967. [to Humphrey] Was 1967 a particularly bad winter?

Sir Humphrey: No a marvellous winter, we lost no end of embarrassing files.

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Anonymous Coward

This goes on across the ditch too

New Zealand has a similar problem defined as "waiters and wanters". I get to hear a couple of cases like this a week where people seem to fail to get a port despite living in seemingly sensible places in the land of the long white cloud. Though they are few, they are loud and to be honest in this day and age it does seem like a basic service that should be available to sensible locations. Until either government direct the infrastructure provider to mandate enough xDSL ports then there will always be a handful missing out. However I hate to say it but the current New Zealand UFB role out seems to be kicking the NBN mk17's bottom or what ever gets spat out by the new(ish) Abbot lead government.

In this particular case, she did her homework and the network provider aka Telstra have screwed her over and that Turnbull is a muppet imo.

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