Our area ‘finally’ got NBN and now I have to pay more for slower internet with downgraded infrastructure. Yes. It’s insane.

Our ‘NBN’ is simply the old copper coaxial Foxtel/Tesltra cable they’ve repurposed for internet as HFC…. They’ve added nothing.

The thing is, Optus also has a coaxial network in my area that’s been around for over 20+ years….and has been offering great, fast internet for ages… I’m currently paying $60pm for unlimited 100Mbps and there is NEVER any congestion as few people are on it.

But now with the NBN… they are going to RIP UP the old Optus copper coaxial cable (to use elsewhere/sell) and force me to switch to the worse Foxtel/Telstra one….

So now, I have to pay $70pm (more) for 40Mbps (less than half the speed) and MUCH more congestion on EXACTLY THE SAME (Copper/HFC) INFRASTRUCTURE

Yes, you heard that right… the NBN is making me pay more for more congested, slower internet and DOWNGRADING THE INFRASTRUCTURE in my area from two cooper cables to only one…. they are not adding anything… just taking it away…

INSANE. What can I do to complain? The NBN is literally technologically regressive. Also, are my facts correct? I live in Slacks Creek QLD. Also, the reason I pay only $60pm for 100Mbps is due to a special, negotiated deal with Optus… to be fair, what I have left out is that I get only 2Mbps upload, while NBN is more…. but as I understand, this is simply due to software (is that the right term?) changes.


  • +11

    You can’t expect the special negotiation deal to last forever. Unless you can negotiate another deal with them…

    But the way that the government has priced it, it’s very hard for isp to dish out discounts and still make a profit

    • It can last forever.

      I'm on a "special, negotiated" private health fund deal that I joined in 1997 via my (then) employer. Every couple of years I check to see if I can get a better deal and they look it up and tell me "you won't get better than that".

      We also had a special deal with Telstra Mobile that I didn't take up but plenty of work mates did and they are still on it.

      • Not with NBN sadly

  • +12

    I hear you. It seems a bit backward. But I’ll take a 50/20 plan over 100/2 any day. In fact I would gladly pay $10 more for it. A lot of my storage is now cloud based and data upload is super awesome and I love it. There’s almost no situations where 100MB download is needed over say 40MB. Steam games updating in half the time is no big deal. What else do you do that utilised the 100MB speed you had on Optus cable?

    • +1

      What else do you do that utilised the 100MB speed you had on Optus cable?

      Hurry up! I'm a busy man! [slurps soda]

      • +2

        What in tarnation is this "Soda" you speak of.

        • +4

          He eats bicarb. Cleans the teeth.

    • +16

      If you have a lot of other people sharing that connection then 100Mbps is absolutely needed, especially if they are all downloading/netflix/youtube/etc.

      • -7

        If you have a lot of users sharing that connection, there's no way they're getting close to 100Mb/s because the upstream bandwidth (2Mb/s) gets saturated well before that point and packet requests start queueing up.

        • -4

          That’s not true. I’m on Telstra cable with a 116mbps connection and I saturate it all the time with two users. A few 4K streams, a smart home with constantly uploads/downloads and hundreds of devices means that I’ll saturate the connection daily at times. I’ve got 5mbps upload which is way better than Optus 2mbps, and adequate for my needs for now (I was on Optus and the 2mbps wasn’t enough for my cctv and ring doorbell).

        • Wow I didn't know Mr. Turnbull frequented Ozbargain


    • +72

      This is the exact backwards thinking mindset that got us into this mess.

      100Mbps may not seem necessary to you now, but what about 5-10 years from now?

      The bone headed politicians thought no one needs more than 25Mbps which is how we ended in this mess.

      It’s unfortunate that major infrastructure like this is a political pawn and changing from government to the next results in half baked solutions.

      • +11

        Yes misinformation perpetuates the hidden agenda

      • -28

        In 5-10 years time we'd all just be on 5g.

        And tbh, even in that time 100 may not necessarily be required. At some point, the bandwidth isn't as important as the latency.

        • +20


          And what travels faster than light? Which is the fundamental part of the fibre technology?

          • -12

            @aragornelessar: Electricity travels at 95% the speed of light. The latency difference between a home with a copper feed and fibre is negligible/undetectable.

            • -33

              @gyrex: 5G use radio wave ( speed of sound ) which is magnitude slower than speed of light.

              • +30

                @Indomietable: Lol, radiowaves do not travel at the speed of sound

                • -5

                  @Mrgreenz: @Mrgreenz Sshhhh you are not helping

                • +6

                  @Mrgreenz: @pig HAHAHAHAHA that's genuinely the funniest thing I've read today

                  • -5

                    @Kingfield: I hope this catches on with politician! 5G has Cinderella effect that it will solve everything.

                    • @Indomietable: Not sure why you are downvoted for this comment. I agree that politicians do believe 5G will fix our internet needs. Maybe if the government had put all the NBN cash into building a country wide 5G network with the backhaul to support it being maxed out then maybe it would.

                      But as people have said, the amount of towers needed would be in the hundreds of thousands for 100% coverage of this country?

        • +3

          Any wireless will be less reliable than wired technology. Most mobile might be on 5G but to have solid fast and future proof wired is the way to go. Also 5G requires significantly more towers than 4G which mean the backbone network to connect those tower need to be improved. Right now the only way to connect all these towers is to use fibre.

          • +10

            @Indomietable: Dude, you literally said radio waves travel at the speed of sound. You shouldn’t be lecturing anybody.

            • +2

              @Burnertoasty: LMAO amazing how his second backtrack comment actually has upvotes

          • @Indomietable:

            Right now the only way to connect all these towers is to use fibre.

            To make 5G match the NBN, they'll be using HFC or FTTN to connect the towers together :D

        • +15

          In 5-10 years time we'd all just be on 5g.

          No, no we won't.

          5G because of its higher frequency (6GHz and above) has a far, far shorter range than 4G and requires base stations every 250 metres in a typical suburban environment to give consistently fast speeds. The amount of expenditure required for the necessary infrastructure upgrades to provide 5G coverage for a majority of residents in Australian cities would be double what the current NBN has cost us ($51 billion).

          Not to mention, how do you think the base stations are connected to the switching centres and thus the NBN backhaul links? That's right, fibre. Moving all or even 50% of our fixed line Internet traffic into our barely-able-to-cope-with-voice-data-during-peak-times mobile infrastructure will literally cause it to fall over. Optus's network for example drops calls or fails to connect you like it's playing Russian roulette.

          • @Gnostikos: I'm guessing the public is paying for the NBN, compared to the telco's who have to pay for the 5G base station?

            So in the end, it's only users of 5G who's paying for the 5G infrastructure, instead of the public?

            • +2

              @NGPriest: Which means it will only be rolled out in the most profitable areas, and the competitors will over-install each others' footprints to steal their market share. Their only incentive will be to create something slightly better than their competitor.

              What we'll end up with is two or more companies at a Nash Equilibrium, serving the most profitable customers the best (over serving), but leaving the least profitable customers out to dry.

              This is what happened in the 90's with HFC.

              This little video explains a bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jILgxeNBK_8

        • It is important brother, we dont play game all the time but we have shit tonne of data that need either download or upload these day

      • +1

        My HFC nbn is docsis 3.0 compatible which is capable of gigabit speeds. So it’s gonna be fine in 10 years.

        • Yet they don’t offer it now

          • @Burnertoasty: Maybe in the next decade. But I barely use 25mbit even watching 4K content so I dont care yet.

          • @Burnertoasty: They do, it just the CVC cost is so high that consumer won't pay for them.

            For example: AussieBroadband 100/40 - 150/100 is double the price and not unlimited data (1800GB).

            • @DisabledUser230319: If it was unlimited data I reckon people would pay double.

            • @DisabledUser230319: Agree. I have ABB 100/40 on FTTN and it rocks. I consistently get 90+/30+ with no peat time speed drop.

              I pay $100 for unlimited and wouldn't pay more for more speed as I don't need it.

        • +5

          You probably meant 3.1?
          DOCSIS 3.0 is what Telstra and Optus have already been using for years; it can reach just over 1 gbps but only in ideal conditions.
          DOCSIS 3.1 can reach over 10 gbps. NBN switched from supplying 3.0 modems to 3.1 last year (they're obviously backwards compatible) but there's extra work that needs to be done before the network will support it.

        • Mr optimist ;)

        • How long does HFC cables last before needing to be replaced?

          • @NGPriest: Mine lasted 5 weeks before it's shit itself and I am still waiting for an NBN tech to come out (its either the cable or the modem).

            • @ruddiger7: Weird. Most people have zero issue with the HFC cable itself. Probably error on the modem.

            • @ruddiger7: I dont have NBN but if theres a chance its the modem get the company to send you a new one if its vendor provided. If the tech comes out and its the modem I expect they will want to charge you

      • 100Mbps may not seem necessary to you now, but what about 5-10 years from now?

        DOCSIS 3.1 may reach speeds up to 10Gbps.

      • +1

        They're talking about the 2mbps UPLOAD part of the 100/2 of the plan. The 100 part is fine, but you'll be bottlenecked by the upload speed because your requests to whatever server will start getting congested first.

    • +10

      There’s almost no situations where 100MB download is needed over say 40MB.

      Do you live in a family house? It is very easy to saturate a 100MB download, let alone 40MB.

      • Geezus lol doing what? Is everyone simultaneously running torrents and watching 4K on 5 different screens?

        • +2

          I live in a 1 bedroom apt with my wife and my network has over 40 devices of different types connected.

          Between ipads, macs, windows, linux, raspberry pi HTPCs, VMs, consoles, iphones, android devices updating, syncing cloud backups, netflix etc, I can totally destroy my 14Mbit ADSL2 link (which is half decent for ADSL2) and my 1mbit upload is a disgrace.

          50/10 seems a reasonable speed for 2019.
          If you live in a 3 / 4 bedroom house with housemates or 2 kids over 10 years old, you're boned.

          • +2

            @hamwhisperer: Most family homes would have a tonne of devices, agreed, but not all downloading 4k content or steam games simultaneously.

            It's easy for somebody like Odin to make a throwaway comment like "It is very easy to saturate a 100MB download" without actually explaining what they are doing to saturate it. Citing torrents is not really a good example as torrents will chew up any and all available bandwidth so there's never enough, and its very simple to bandwidth throttle, or schedule them with 10 secs of thought.

            • @Skramit: Yeah but on a higher connection torrents will chew up all the bandwidth for less time

          • @hamwhisperer: When you count them out you seriously get 40? Between two people? What kind of Linux farm are you running?

        • Just having one person running an unmetred BT (by both bandwidth and data) will kill a 100/40 connection. But it will kill any connection you give it if you jump on something as soon as it is released.

      • +6

        no it really isn't easy to saturate a 100MB link. It requires a significant effort even in a family home. to saturate that for 1 hour is 45GB. doing that just once a day for a month is almost 1.5TB, that is more than 95% of households use in a month and that is just saturating it for an hour a day. Most people vastly over estimate how much bandwidth they really need to do what they do at home. If you are regularly saturating your 100MB link you are saying you are using many TB of data a month, that would put you in the a very tiny fraction of households.

        what many people see is slowdowns of an evening and think they are saturating their connection when in reality you are simply getting high contention from your provider.

        • +1

          I agree that 100mbps is plenty for the majority of people right now, but it's not going to be for long.

          Just over 10 years ago I was happy with my 512kbps adsl. Sure it wasn't fast, but it did the job. Then 8mbps was good enough. I have 50mbps now with nbn and it seems good, but I don't think it will be for long. I already have uses which could benefit from higher than that, and I don't know what I'm going to need/want in another decade - or two. I don't foresee our infrastructure being upgraded any time in the next two decades though.

    • +1

      There’s almost no situations where 100MB download is needed over say 40MB.

      Is your cloud storage write-only? I would rather wait for uploads than downloads.

      It's far more interrupting to my workflow to be delayed getting a new thing (I need the thing because it's blocking my progress), than it is to wait to share my results with the world (if needed, I can let the upload run all night in the background, no-one is sitting there refreshing the page waiting to see my changes).

      I'm curious as to your specific use case where upload is so important… Maybe I've underestimated how painful 2Mbps is.

      • I work on large media files (1GB+) so when I'm finished I want them backed up semi-immediately to the cloud so I can shut down my PC or my laptop. Having to come back 45mins or more mins later to check the backup was completed was annoying when on ADSL with 1.5Mbit upload. Now it's 5 mins and done.

        • Fair enough. Especially if you're delivering to a schedule. I solve the issue with a huge array of local storage that doesn't get turned off :)

          • @abb: Yeah I also have a backup to NAS but onsite is not the same as offsite :D

            • @Skramit: Ahh, it's a shame that a NAS can't be programmed to do things like upload to the cloud by itself… ;)

              • @abb: It can :)

                I have been using Resilio Sync to sync across my NAS in my family house and also rclone to Backblaze.

                You can also consider syncthing as open-sourced alternative.

                If you running FreeNAS, there also built in cloud uploader for backblaze/s3. I am pretty sure consumer NAS like synology/qnap have automatically cloud backup option with vary providers.

                • @DisabledUser230319: Winky emoticon indicates a joke :P

                  What Backblaze plan are you on? Last time I looked at it the personal use offering didn't seem compatible with Linux…

                  • @abb: Currently only using B2 backup for important files. My mass backup is still crash-plan at the moment due to no unlimited versioning and retention is unlimited (forever) compare to backblaze is 30 days.

    • Firstly, sure, right now, I don't need my 100mbps connection. It's definitely nicer to use than 50, though. Things are snappier, updates are quicker, things just work a little faster. I also don't need a 32" gaming monitor with a 144hz refresh rate - I can do all the exact same things on a 18" CRT.

      That is, 50mpbs is all I need right now. I didn't need 50mbps back before 4k streaming video was available and affordable on platforms like Netflix. I didn't need 12mbps adsl before sites like YouTube. 2400 baud internet was PLENTY when I was happy to go to the store and pick up physical media for any "apps" I wanted to install but I was pretty happy when I could just download ICQ over a 56k connection and it didn't take a week.

      The services that we'll be using 100mb connections for are out there - game streaming is a huge one Australia is getting left in the dust for. We don't yet know what we'll be using our 1gbps+ connections for but I guarantee once it becomes common place, the services and technologies to use them will become clear.

      • Agreed.

        But people carrying on today that they are saturating 100Mb with 'family use' are full of shizzle IMO :) Like the guy above said, people grossly over estimate how much bandwidth they are actually using as most "slowness" is due to the various services or websites they are connecting to, or the way their ISP routes the traffic. Not the bandwidth from the street to their house.

    • Steam games updating in half the time

      Half-Life 3 confirmed

  • +33

    Our ‘NBN’ is simply the old copper coaxial Foxtel/Tesltra cable they’ve repurposed for internet as HFC…. They’ve added nothing.

    Yes, this is a huge issue which would have been resolved if Turnbull didn't capitulate and scrap the original NBN. That said, I do think that we have an unenviable task here in AU. We've been complaining about internet speeds vs. places like Japan and Korea for ages, but when you such vast areas like we do, it's difficult.

    INSANE. What can I do to complain?

    Complain to all of the people who voted in Abbott against Rudd. That's politics for you though, people vote based on personalities and against "disunity and dysfunction" despite pretty solid two terms of Labor government and policies. Who can even name any of Abbott's policies today? Scrap the carbon tax? Anything else?

    • +7

      Who can even name any of Abbott's policies today?

      We will deliver strong and stable government that restores accountability

      Policy may not have quite foreseen revolving door of Prime Ministers.

    • +2

      Comparing against Japan or Korea is a bad comparison for Australia
      The real head scratcher is why countries like Romania have both very fast (1000Mbps freely available) and very cheap, with broadband for 10 Euros per month.
      In Australia we can only provide 1/10th the speed for 5x the price.

      • +3


        The average income in Romania is ~$9,000(AU) a year, their cost for internet is $16.50 (AU) a month. Then on top of that, only 14% of the population even has access to the network & they don't get unlimited plans at that speed either, they have to pay per usage.

        Their internet is comparatively more expensive.

        • https://www.digiromania.ro/servicii/internet

          They have 300/500/1000 plans from $10.38 AUD/month - unlimited data

          What percentage of the Australian population has access to 1000Mbit internet for a reasonable price? It's a lot less than 14%

          Obviously it's not reasonable to compare Australia to Romania on a cost per Mbit basis and I wasn't trying to say that, I said it makes you scratch your head.
          It's still interesting that they can provide such high speeds for such low costs.
          Could Australia ever do internet as cheap? Hell no, but it's definitely possible it could have been lot cheaper and/or faster than it is now.

          • +3

            @IamEzza: I think you also need to factor in people's income into the equation. Average income is a lot less in Romania than Australia. I did a quick calc using some rough numbers and I got around 2% of income goes to internet access in both Australia (70pm 60k ave income) and Romania (14pm and 9k income).

            Also I found this on google, so it sounds like internet speed expectations could be different to Australia as generally our speeds are relatively similar regardless of where our data comes from. In saying that, I've never been to Romania so I can't comment on the accuracy of my googling.

            Generally, for such broadband connections, speeds are 1000 Mbit/s locally, 1-100 Mbit/s metro and 256-2048 kbit/s International

            • -1

              @Name: That 256-2048kbps isn't correct. You can easily max out the connection on European servers for the Digi fibre service that's been mentioned. For servers in the US, you'd probably need to multi-thread it.

          • -1

            @IamEzza: The link you provided is only the price for the first two months of the long-term contract you need to sign up too, in order to get the service. It's twice the cost you are incorrectly quoting (It's actually $16.50 (AU) a month with a correct currency exchange calculation).

            So the actual cost of that internet plan you linked (of which less than 14% of the country even has access to that type of fibre, let alone the FTTH type within that percentage) from month #3 onwards is $33 per month. Which is a huge amount considering Romanians earn on average about 1/7th what Australians earn.

            • @infinite: The prices shown are the standard ongoing prices. The two-month 50% discount amount isn't shown. For the gigabit service, the first two months are 20 RON/month = $6.93 AUD/month. Thereafter, it's 40 RON/month = $13.86/month at current change rates.

        • -1


          Seems like the '14%' figure is completely wrong

          • @IamEzza: No, less than 14% of the country has access to this TYPE of internet.

            Romania is a patchwork of connectivity, with all different types of cabling & technology. They have no net in some places, ADSL 1 only in some, ADSL2+ in others, FTTC in some areas, FTTB in some and then a very tiny percentage has access to a special type of FTTH which gives access to 1000 Mbps speeds. But even the companies offering this will only guarantee 200Mbps speed - including the one in the link you provided, which even states that in their T&C's.

          • +1

            @IamEzza: @infinite's 14% figure referred to"the network". I read that as meaning access to the high speed fibre network under discussion, not just any internet access which is what your 81% figure seems to refer to.

      • +3

        Canada would be a more accurate comparison - population, geographic size, currency, political system, exports, indigenous inequities - all similar- but we never hear anything about Canada.

        • +1

          NZ is also a decent comparison - a LOT smaller, but more spread out population, with huge spaces between.
          Gigabit is <$100/month, and is available almost everywhere.

          • +1

            @AlexD: NZ had a different setup to easily convert over to fibre optic and the physical distance to wire everyone up is a fraction on Aust. NZ also has a brilliant and well constructed road system. Travelling on major South Island roads is a dream. Not bad for a country of only 4 million tax payers to fund it.

            • +2

              @MITM: NZ has a brilliant and well constructed road system????
              LOOOL Im a Kiwi and we probably have the shittest road system and public transport.

              • +3

                @sheepzpal: 90% of this thread is just "grass-is-greener" mentality. They only hear the good about other countries and only experience the bad over here…

            • +3

              @MITM: Lolwut - I am a proud Kiwi in most respects, but we do not have a well constructed road system.

              And in regards to the whole "smaller distance" argument - that makes zero sense. Melbourne and Sydney have the population of our country crammed into an area that is not that much bigger than greater Auckland.

              75% of Australias population is also concentrated in your 10 largest cities. Give them proper FTTP and use the revenue generated from having your urban centres paying into the network to fund the more bespoke solutions for the rural areas.

              That was the approach we took in NZ, and it was accepted not everyone was going to get it. That's the price you pay for living in isolated areas - it's like people in Dubbo complaining about not getting mass public transportation infrastructure like the cities.

        • +1

          The only thing I've heard about Canada is that Rogers is the only provider available to a good portion of the country and they're even worse than Telstra - usage limits, selective content throttling and injecting their own crap into webpages.

          • @ssquid: Not true, lived there for two years, Rogers and Telus are the big players for phone/internet - and operate a lot like Telstra and Optus here - sign you up to every service they have and then 'bundle' it for a 'cheaper' price. You get people and companies on old restricted data plans because no-one has updated anything in 10 years.

            If you get internet separately through other companies it's cheap and lot of extras thrown in.

            I used Shaw internet out in Fort McMurray working at ski hill outside of town unlimited 100/40 and they gave you a free xbox one with it as well for $90 a month. This is in the middle of nowhere!

            Cable Ebox in Toronto. Adsl2+ Unlimited Virgin in Montreal - was a bit worried as ADSL i had in the past in AUS barely got to 5Mbps, well this was 10Mbps solid lol and thats the cheapest of the cheap.

            Phone plans are another story though - you pay through the nose for data :(

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