Sharon Bird and Michelle Rowland today met with local business owners in Port Kembla who have rated Malcolm Turnbull’s NBN Fibre to the Node (FTTN) policy a complete failure.

Over the past two weeks, Sharon Bird conducted a survey of local residents which saw 60 per cent of respondents condemn the FTTN policy. 

Sharon Bird said the 509 written comments by locals from all parts of Cunningham were particularly damning. 

“People are really angry about speeds, drop outs, reliability, the change from FTTP to FTTN and general connection issues,” Sharon Bird said.

“Our locals are extremely frustrated with the inferior NBN service they are receiving.  The Port Kembla Chamber of Commerce has indicated their frustration at extremely old and outdated copper wiring impacting on speed and reliability.

“This just isn’t good enough.  The reliance on old copper wiring for the FTTN service is a complete waste.


Total   number of NBN survey respondents


Total   number of respondents who registered dissatisfaction


Total   number who indicated they had problems with speed/reliability/service no   better or worse than previous


Total   number who specifically indicated that they knew speed issues were related to   copper wire issues


Total   number who indicated that they had problems with the installation process


Total   number of respondents who still don’t have access to NBN

Note:   Many of the people who commented that they weren’t dissatisfied with their   service indicated that this was because they were on FTTP.

Michelle Rowland said that the Cunningham survey results also echoed the CHOICE survey results which reported 62 per cent of consumers experiencing internet problems such as slow speeds and drop outs.

According to reports earlier this week, NBNCo has conceded the company has started planning upgrades to the network after its 2020 completion date, aware the current network will not be able to meet the needs of Australians into the future.

This week Michelle Rowland called on the Government to explain how much these retro-fitted upgrades will cost, and how many billions of dollars have been wasted by pushing ahead with a copper rollout that is not fit-for-purpose.

“Malcolm Turnbull must explain why he continues to use taxpayer’s money to deploy copper infrastructure that will soon be redundant, instead of rolling out Fibre to the Home, or at a minimum to the kerb,” Michelle Rowland said.

“Everywhere I go, people are furious about the ongoing slow speeds, drop outs and inability to have problems resolved. Sharon’s survey continues to highlight the same thing I hear all around the country.  It’s just a mess,” Michelle Rowland said.


Attachment A


Respondent 11:


“It’s absolutely terrible. I have fibre to the node (FTTN) and I regularly have dropouts and connection issues. I am paying for a 100Mb plan but only getting around 30-40Mb. I don’t want to reduce my plan as I may risk losing even more speed. My ISP has told me there is nothing wrong with the lines. I have investigated the cost of a fibre to the premises service (FTTP) and would really like to put this in but the cost is just ludicrous. I have a friend a suburb away, who has FTTP and its hands down awesome. I wish I had the same service.” (Unanderra)


Respondent 12:


“FTTN should never have happened, it’s criminal what Malcolm Turnbull has done to ruin the technology that would have helped our country stay relevant on the world stage. Those with FTTP have won the NBN lottery (Luckily the house I move to next week has it, as I work for a company in the UK and a stable internet link is mandatory). (Fairy Meadow)


Respondent 31:


“I am stuck on MTM Fraudband. I would pay for a gigabit service, or failing that 100Mb service, but I can only get <50Mbps, and I will never have an upgrade path because MTM = Malcolm Turnbull’s Mess.” (Figtree)


Respondent 72:


“Use of old copper lines to home.  Always a problem in wet weather and still a problem.” (Fairy Meadow)


Respondent 75:


“The speed has not changed. We were promised fibre to the home and end up with fibre to the node. Others in Wollongong have received the former.” (North Wollongong)


Respondent 126:


“The NBN is a continual problem. We regularly lose connection/server – at least once a week. It is slow! – slower than when we had ADSL2. We mainly use internet for business but it is very slow much of the time, or simply ‘drops out’! The service we receive with the NBN is as poor/slow as we experienced 10 years ago on a rural property with a satellite connection.” (Figtree)


Respondent 173:


“Only disappointed that the current speed of around 11Mbps is not much faster than the ADSL, why do we have copper wires and not fibre?”  (Austinmer)


Respondent 196:


“Yes, we do have the Turnbull nbn connected but because of the Turnbull changes we have the equivalent of a party line system which really struggles for bandwidth with speed during peak periods. This is not what was supposed to happen with the original nbn.” (Wombarra)


Respondent 215:


“Constant drop outs and no apparent change in speed. Drop outs appear to be caused by ancient copper wires in the street. They are in very poor state from what we have seen inside nearby inspection pits. Totally exposed to dirt and weather. Little use contacting Telco. We have given up.” (Austinmer)


Respondent 226:


“We have FTTN and the copper from the side to our home has experienced several problems resulting in loss of phone and internet for several weeks. The cost to the NBN of many technicians would have been substantial and wouldn’t have been necessary if fibre had been installed to our premises.” (Balgownie)


Respondent 227:


“Every so often our NBN cuts out for the whole day. That’s fine but seeing as I work from home it is costing me a fortune. I’ve called my provider and they say it’s not their problem because it’s the NBN. I’m just so disappointed, everyone knows it has cost so much more money than we were told and it’s a disgrace that third world countries have better speed than us.” (West Wollongong)


Respondent 260:


“High speed optical fibre to local nodes then being coupled to old brittle overloaded copper phone lines for the last ½ km to our house.”  (Balgownie)


Respondent 265:


“FTTN internet meant that my internet dropped out more than 40 times per day, especially during rain, yet NBN Co did not locate a problem.” (Fairy Meadow)


Respondent 279:


“Big, fat yes! It’s worse than adsl. I pay $100+ a month for ultra slow speed and dropping out all the time, phoned to complain loads, just get told it’s “congested”, if it’s not up to task how the hell do you get away with selling it at top prices. It’s 2017, I had faster better broadband in the UK in 2008 for $30 a month!” (Keiraville)


Respondent 303:


“Slow connection – slower than the advertised speed. FTTN is a stupid policy position and we should have FTTP!!” (Coledale)


Respondent 341:


“Absolutely. Firstly the cost of a NBN plan is much higher than the previous ADSL plans… Mainly however, is the consistency and speed of the line.  The plan I am on id 12/1 Mbps but the actual speed is more like 1Mbps and that is not constant…Also the network connection is dependent on the weather, as if there is rain it drops out or cuts out completely. As they say, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” and in the case of the NBN the weakest link is the copper wire.  Fibre to the premises is the only way to ensure quality, especially in an area where we have high student numbers due to the proximity of a world class university. It is a pity we don’t have world class internet.”  (Keiraville)


Respondent 400:


“I have fibre to the node and my mobile data is often faster than the NBN. I thought the idea of the NBN was to replace the copper network? If that is the case why are we still using it?”  (Towradgi)


Respondent 469:


“NBN is still slow because of the residual copper elements in the line.  Fibre to the premises could at least be offered as an option (one off extra payment if necessary) as nodes are often too far away from the premises for nbn to work properly at all.” (Coledale)


Respondent 494:


“I work from home 2 days a week and since I moved to the NBN my system is constantly ‘disconnecting’ and ‘reconnecting’ to my work network.  I previously never had this issue…I had consistent access and very rarely had an access issue. It has decreased my productivity by at least 20% at home owing to having to login to systems again every half hour or so.  I am at the point where I may need to consider reducing my work from home time and go back to the office 5 days which will severely impact on my quality of life and work/home balance.” (Corrimal)


Respondent 518:


“Unreliable data speeds although paying for stated data speed. “Congestion”. Unsatisfactory disconnect between NBN Co and retail ISP’s regarding engineering and fault issues.” (Thirroul)


Respondent 608:


“We anticipated fibre to the house not the node and as almost all my work is performed from the home of overseas, the substandard NBN compromises work efficiency, is disappointing, frustrating and frankly, rather embarrassing, especially when OS colleagues are here.” (Scarborough)


Respondent 638:


“Not as good as promised.  I do not have fibre to the house.  What I have is slow and I try to run a small business.”  (Keiraville)


Respondent 655:


“We were originally scheduled for FTTP on the rollout plan, but ended up with FTTN, due to the change in tack.  We were hoping for 100Mb but ended up going for 25Mb due to not getting fibre.  We have old copper that was already causing us problems when we were on ADSL.  Even getting FTTN took longer than originally planned.” (Mt Pleasant)


Respondent 657:


“Constant speed difference throughout the day (MTM copper).” (Mt Ousley)


Respondent 685:


“It is definitely slower and cuts out more than when I had adsl.” (Thirroul)


Respondent 695:


“The copper from our house to the node needed a lot of repair.  We pay for speeds that we will never actually get.  We have 2 IT workers and 2 Uni students that need reliable access for work and study purposes.” (suburb not indicated)


Respondent 712


“FTTN – poor speed and inconsistent.  Household can’t handle more than 2 people streaming at once (7 person household).” (Keiraville)


Respondent 727:


“We were forced to take the nbn…We had no new line so are still on old copper network.  We now have an nbn service which is slower than the previous adsl service and substantially more expensive. Not happy.” (Towradgi)


Respondent 737:


“Often areas are skipped or have been neglected in internet access.  Also it was incredibly inefficient with Turnbull’s waste of time and money to only do to the node when fibre optic would have made us on par globally.”  (Coniston)


Respondent 743:


“It’s still on the copper so bad weather affects the performance. Fault finding is now more difficult to resolve.  The speed still grinds to slow at busy times.”  (Austinmer)


Respondent 782:


“We are still classed 60th fastest internet in the world that means 59 countries are faster than us.  Why bother? Every time it rains we have no access and because it’s one box for a few streets if it’s peak time you can’t access it properly anyway.”  (Fairy Meadow)


Respondent 793:


“Constant delays in internet access even though we are paying top dollar for unlimited services.”  (Woonona)


Respondent 802:


“We were told early on that our area would suffer with slower and unreliable broadband because the old copper wiring would not be replaced with optic fibre.  This is so true as we have had nothing but problems with interruptions and loss of phone service and network.” (Unanderra)


Respondent 806:


“I have the NBN, it is slower and less efficient than the ADSL I had previously.” (Port Kembla)


Respondent 840:


“It is often dropping out.  I live in Campbell Street Woonona which is full of units and townhouses, at certain times of the day the service is shocking on our copper wires.”  (Woonona)


Respondent 846:


“Turnbull NBN has been a nightmare in Lake Heights.  It’s working 95% ok now but for 3 months early this year it dropped out for about 3 mins in every 10 minute period.  Things like internet banking were impossible.  Other sites just froze up mid transaction…Anyone with Gillard NBN loves it.  Most with Turnbull NBN regret it.”  (Lake Heights)


Respondent 855:


“It seems that it takes longer to log on to the computers now and that every ‘page’ takes longer to load up.”  (Warrawong)