News

Speed leaves family frustrated

by
October 17, 2017

LONG WAIT: Kylie and Greg Palmer can see the NBN tower from their yard, but that does not guarantee good speeds.

Kylie and Greg Palmer were excited to jump on the NBN earlier this year, but enthusiasm has turned to frustration.

The Strathmerton couple’s NBN connection could go from superfast to slower than dial-up depending on the time of day.

Basic tasks like video streaming or even loading email can be impossible depending on the time of day as the world wide web turns to the world wide wait.

‘‘When it is not peak time it is great,’’ Mrs Palmer said.

‘‘But sometimes you try and load something simple and it just errors out, it is really frustrating because we are paying for a service which we can’t get.’’

The couple had an ADSL2 service until switching to a 25mps fixed wireless NBN service through Telstra earlier this year.

The couple did not think the fixed wireless tower was to blame for the problems, as it was just 150m from the house and in the perfect position for a good signal.

Instead, they believed not enough bandwidth was being supplied, which caused the service to slow down to a snail’s pace at certain hours.

‘‘As soon as the kids get home (from school) you can’t use it,’’ Mrs Palmer said.

‘‘Middle of the day is not a problem, but that is not when you want to use it.’’

They had documented speeds through speed tests, which showed rapidly slowing speeds throughout a single afternoon.

On Friday, the speed reached a relatively-speedy 16.55mbs at 2.41pm, but by 9.18pm it had slowed to an almost unusable 1.59mbs.

The family was frustrated as they liked to use the net to stream movies and TV in the evening, but with regular congestion on the network, this could not be guaranteed.

For Mrs Palmer, the unreliability affected her work at St Mary’s College in Nathalia.

She relied on a speedy connection to work remotely from home, as she could ‘mirror’ into her work computer through the internet.

‘‘So if I can’t do that I have to drive into Nathalia,’’ she said.

The couple has spent hours reporting the speed problems with Telstra and have complained to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

Telstra area general manager Steve Tinker said actual connection speed could be determined by a range of factors.

‘‘We purchase capacity at each NBN Co Point of Interconnect or POI. Traffic at every POI is different depending on the stage of NBN rollout served by those POIs. We look at traffic demand on each POI and make regular additional purchases of CVC capacity so as to ensure customers are able to achieve suitable speeds in the busiest periods,’’ Mr Tinker said.

After looking at the Palmers’ performance, he said it was ‘‘performing normally and as it should’’.

An NBN spokesperson said if customers were not happy with the speeds at peak times, they needed to speak to their retail service provider.

Editorial: Page 10

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