Gfast map

gfast map nov

 

Dark Green: Firm commitments from incumbent: BT (10M), Belgacom, Australian NBN, Swisscom,  Austria, Bezeq Israel, Chunghwa Taiwan, Telus Canada, Telekom South Africa, SK Korea, (U.S.) AT&T, Century, Frontier, Windstream, Belgium, Omantel

Mid Pink: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan

Light Green: Incumbent likely:  France, Germany, Italy

Vectored DSL RR From ASSIA 23050,000 refunds as complaints go up 160%. Much of the Australian network is second-rate. Belgacom got 80 megabits down to almost everyone. Most could get over 100 meg. That confirmed the lab tests and theory. (Chart from ASSIA.) Other telcos told me similar.

When Malcolm Turnbull, now Prime Minister, asked me whether vectoring could deliver 100 megabits, I said yes. So I bear a small share of the responsibility for millions of Australians having a second-rate Internet for the next decade. (He heard the same from many others.)

I (apparently) made an inaccurate assumption: that NBN would build the network to the well-known standards for vectoring. Vectoring generally delivers 100 megabits 500 meters and more than 50 megabits 800 meters. The figures below from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission show ~50% are not getting the 100 megabits paid for and more than a quarter get less than half the speed. 3% do not even receive 25 megabits.

There are rumors Deutsche Telekom is facing similar problems but no hard data. 

Telstra is offering to compensate 42,000 customers for slow NBN speeds under pressure from the Australian Competition Commission. Optus is part-refunding almost 9,000 more. 

ACCC Chair Rod Sims is part of an international wave of regulators demanding telcos deliver what they advertise. OFCOM in England and BNetzA in Germany are cracking down. The British Advertising Standards Authority now requires companies to provide median speeds rather than the long denigrated "up to" speeds. 

At Telstra:

  • 26,497 (56%) of FTTN customers on the 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps. Of those customers, 9,606 could not receive 50/20 Mbps, which was the next speed tier plan down.
  • 6,352 (45%) of FTTN customers on a 50/20 Mbps plan could not receive 50/20 Mbps.

At Optus:

  • 5,430 (48%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps, and 2,337 (21%) of those consumers could not receive 50/20 Mbps
  • 1,519 (26%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 50/20 Mbps plan could not receive 50/20 Mbps

The ACCC has another proceeding to investigate the fall in performance during peak periods, which is often severe. They price backhaul highly, probably 5-10X the actual cost. Many underprovision. Minister Conroy told me this was deliberate, to keep NBN prices as low as DSL. 

He liked that choice as little as I did. The NBN passed by a single vote in Parliament and without that pricing he feared it would fail. Turnbull, now Prime Minister, also was aware of the problem when he was Communications Minister. 

Conroy made a second very costly decision: to pay Telstra $billions more necessary in hopes they would tone down the opposition. The NBN is wildly more expensive than similar builds in other countries; the high payment to Telstra is a small part of the problem.

Switching from full fiber to vectored DSL has not solved the cost problem, unfortunately. The costs remain far too high.

"We will continue to investigate others" writes Rod Sims

Optus to compensate customers for slow NBN speeds

11 December 2017

Optus will offer remedies to more than 8,700 of its customers who were misled about maximum speeds they could achieve on certain Optus NBN plans.

Between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, Optus offered NBN services to consumers advertising a range of speed plans. This included a “Boost Max” which advertised maximum download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and maximum upload speeds of up to 40 Mbps (100/40 Mbps).

Technical limitations on the customers’ fibre to the node (FTTN) or fibre to the building (FTTB) NBN connections, however, meant they could not get the speeds that were advertised.

“Optus is the second major internet provider we have taken action against for selling broadband speeds they could not deliver to their customers,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Worryingly, many affected Optus FTTN customers could not even receive the maximum speed of a lower-tier plan. This is a concerning trend we have seen throughout the industry and we are working to fix this.”

The issue affected a range of customers across a number of different-tiered speed plans, including:

  • 5,430 (48%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps, and 2,337 (21%) of those consumers could not receive 50/20 Mbps
  • 1,519 (26%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 50/20 Mbps plan could not receive 50/20 Mbps
  • 1,381 (3%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 25/5 Mbps plan could not receive 25/5 Mbps.

Optus has admitted that by promoting and offering speed plans that could not be delivered, it likely contravened the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations.

Optus has provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC detailing the remedies it will provide to affected customers, including refunds, moving speed plans, discounted speed plans, and exit from contracts without paying a fee. Optus will be contacting affected consumers on or before 2 March 2018 by email or letter.

“Affected customers should carefully consider the remedies Optus is offering them to assess which best suits their needs. In some cases, consumers may consider it preferable to simply exit their contract with a refund rather than accept a service that does not meet their needs,” Mr Sims said.

The court-enforceable undertaking also requires Optus to check within four weeks of connecting a customer to a new NBN speed plan that they are getting the advertised speeds they are paying for. If it is below the advertised speed, Optus will notify the customer and offer remedies.  

“This undertaking is yet another step towards an industry standard of providing accurate information to consumers about the speeds they can achieve in real-world conditions, and ensuring that consumers get what they pay for,” Mr Sims said.

“We are continuing to investigate other retail service providers selling NBN broadband plans, and will take enforcement action if we consider that they are not delivering on their promises to customers.”

Notes to editors

The undertaking requires Optus to contact current and former customers who could not receive the maximum speed stated in their speed plan. Optus will inform these customers of the maximum speed they are able to receive and offer customers a range of options. 

Consumers who purchased an internet-only plan will be offered the option of:

  • remaining on their current plan with no refund;
  • moving to any lower speed plan of their choice and receiving a refund; or
  • exiting their contract without cost and with a refund.

Consumers who purchased NBN as part of a bundle will have the option of:

  • remaining on their current plan with no refund;
  • moving to the base speed for their bundle with a refund and, where applicable, a discount for the remainder of their contract; or
  • exiting their contract (including the bundle) without cost and with a refund. 

However, these bundle customers will not be offered the option of moving to a lower-tiered speed plan other than the base speed plan with Optus. 

Consumers who choose to exit their contracts and move to another provider should be aware that the maximum attainable speed may not change if they purchase an NBN internet plan from another provider.

The undertaking is available at the ACCC's public registers website.

Table 1 – Optus’s FTTN customers

Table 1 shows between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, the number of Optus FTTN customers on each speed plan, and, for each speed plan, the total number of consumers who could not achieve the maximum speed of each of the speed plans Optus offers.

Speed Plan

Number of consumers on Speed Plan

Number and percentage of consumers on each Speed Plan who have Maximum Attainable Speeds less than:

100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload

50 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload

25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload

12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload

100/40 Plan

11,326

5,430 (48%)

2,337 (21%)

372 (3%)

10 (<1%)

50/20 Plan

5,856

 

1,519 (26%)

253 (4%)

13 (<1%)

25/5 Plan

40,503

   

1,381 (3%)

50 (<1%)

12/1 Plan

32,038

     

26 (<1%)

For example, 5,430 of the total FTTN consumers on a 100/40 Plan could not achieve 100/40Mbps (48%). Of these 5,430 consumers, 2,337 could not achieve 50/20Mbps. This accounts for 21% of total FTTN consumers on the 100/40 Plan. 

Table 2 – Optus FTTB customers

Table 2 shows, between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, the number of Optus FTTB customers on each speed plan, and, for each speed plan, the number of consumers who could not achieve the maximum speed of each of the speed plans Optus offers.

Speed Plan

Number of consumers on Speed Plan

Number and percentage of consumers on each Speed Plan   who have Maximum Attainable Speeds less than:

100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload

50 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload

25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload

12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload

100/40 Plan

1,406

248 (18%)

116 (8%)

47 (3%)

1 (<1%)

50/20 Plan

659

 

99 (15%)

34 (5%)

0 (0%)

25/5 Plan

4,481

   

83 (2%)

0 (0%)

12/1 Plan

4,082

     

3 (<1%)

For example, 248 of the total FTTB consumers on a 100/40 plan could not achieve 100/40Mbps (18%). Of these 248 consumers, 116 could not achieve 50/20Mbps. This accounts for 8% of total FTTB consumers on the 100/40 plan. 

Background

On 7 November 2017, the ACCC accepted a section 87B undertaking from Telstra for the same conduct as the Optus undertaking.

The ACCC has previously published guidance for retailers on how to advertise speeds for NBN broadband services, including clearly identifying typical minimum speeds during peak periods. The ACCC has

also announced a broadband performance monitoring program to provide Australian consumers with accurate and independent information about broadband speeds.

 

Telstra offers to compensate 42,000 customers for slow NBN speeds

8 November 2017

Telstra has agreed to offer remedies to around 42,000 customers for promoting and offering some of its National Broadband Network (NBN) speed plans as being capable of delivering specified maximum speeds, when those maximum speeds could not be achieved in real-world conditions.

Between September 2015 and November 2017, Telstra offered internet services through both its Telstra and Belong brands, advertising a range of different speed plans.

This included a “Super Fast Speed Boost” which advertised maximum download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and maximum upload speeds of up to 40 Mbps (100/40 Mbps).

Limitations on the affected customers’ NBN fibre to the node (FTTN) or fibre to the building (FTTB) internet connections, however, meant that many customers’ internet services were not capable of receiving the maximum advertised speeds of the plans.

“Our investigation revealed many of Telstra’s FTTN and FTTB customers could not receive the maximum speed of their plan. Even worse, many of these customers could not receive the maximum speed of a lower-speed plan,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“In essence, people were paying more to get higher speeds that they just weren’t able to get.”

Telstra admits that by this conduct it was likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations.

Telstra has provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC detailing the remedies it will provide affected customers, including refunds, the option to change speed plans, and exit from contracts without paying a fee.

“All businesses have a responsibility to ensure that claims about the performance of their products or services are accurate. This is particularly important in cases where consumers sign long-term contracts to acquire a service. Telecommunications contracts are typically 12-24 months in duration and this can represent a serious financial commitment.”

The issue affected a range of customers across a number of different tiered speed plans, including:

  • 26,497 (56%) of FTTN customers on the 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps. Of those customers, 9,606 could not receive 50/20 Mbps, which was the next speed tier plan down.
  • 6,352 (45%) of FTTN customers on a 50/20 Mbps plan could not receive 50/20 Mbps.
  • 9,342 (2%) of FTTN customers on a 25/5 Mbps plan could not receive 25/5 Mbps.

Telstra came to the ACCC to notify it of issues relating to some, but not all, of the affected customers, which the ACCC investigation subsequently uncovered.

“We are pleased that Telstra proactively reported this serious problem to the ACCC and has cooperated in creating a remediation plan for affected customers,” Mr Sims said.  

“However, we are mindful this is not just a Telstra problem; it is an industry problem where consumers are often not getting the speeds they are paying for.”

“We will continue to investigate other retail service providers selling broadband plans over the NBN and take enforcement action where appropriate. As we’ve said previously, we expect RSPs to provide consumers with accurate information up front about the internet speeds they can expect to receive, and then deliver on those promises.”

“The ACCC is keen to separate out two issues affecting customers’ broadband speeds. First, and the subject of today’s action, is the situation where the connection is not capable of delivering the speed that has been sold.”

“Telstra has undertaken that, where it advertises or otherwise represents to potential customers that they will receive a particular speed, it will, within four weeks of connecting a new service, check each customer’s attainable speed. If it is below the advertised speed, Telstra will notify the customer and offer remedies,” said Mr Sims.  

Mr Sims said the second issue was where speeds can technically be delivered, but the internet service provider has not purchased enough capacity from NBN Co to provide the speeds it is advertising to customers, particularly at peak times.

“To address this second problem of under provisioning, the ACCC is urging all ISPs to advertise the typical speeds customers can expect in the busy evening period between 7:00pm and 11:00pm.”

Mr Sims says the ACCC is expecting major ISPs will adopt this approach to their advertising over the next month.

“Our message to retailers is that if you advertise a particular speed and customers cannot get that speed, you will risk breaching the Australian Consumer Law,” said Mr Sims.

Background

The ACCC’s investigation commenced when Telstra notified the ACCC that approximately 9000 of its customers on 100/40 Mbps and 50/20 Mbps plans could not receive speeds above the next lower- speed plan. 

The undertaking requires Telstra to contact current and former customers who could not receive the maximum speed stated in their speed plan. Telstra will inform those customers of the maximum speed they are able to receive and offer customers who have not already been remediated options which include:

  • a costless exit from their contract (including any bundle) and a refund
  • moving to a different speed plan and receiving a refund
  • remaining on their current speed plan and not receiving a refund.

Customers who Telstra has already remediated will be offered the option to move plans or exit their plan but will not be entitled to a refund.

The undertaking is available at: ACCC Public Register

Consumers should be aware that a consumer’s Maximum Attainable Speed may not change if the consumer chooses to exit their contract and purchase an NBN internet plan from another provider.

The ACCC has previously published guidance for retailers on how to advertise speeds for NBN broadband services, including clearly identifying typical minimum speeds during peak periods. The ACCC has also announced broadband performance monitoring program to provide Australian consumers with accurate and independent information about broadband speeds.

Table 1 – Telstra’s FTTN customers

Table 1 shows, between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, the number of Telstra’s FTTN customers on each speed plan, and the maximum speed those customers were able to achieve (those customers’ Maximum Attainable Speeds).

Speed Plan

Number of consumers on Speed Plan

Number and percentage of consumers on each Speed Plan who have Maximum Attainable Speeds less than:

100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload

50 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload

25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload

12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload

100/40 Plan

47,076

26,497 (56%)

9,606 (20%)

954 (2%)

96 (<1%)

50/20 Plan

14,032

 

6,352 (45%)

343 (2%)

20 (<1%)

25/5 Plan

413,153

   

9,342 (2%)

749 (<1%)

12/1 Plan

23,028

     

93 (<1%)

Table 2 – Telstra’s FTTB customers

Table 2 shows, between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, the number of Telstra’s FTTB customers on each speed plan, and those customers’ Maximum Attainable Speeds.

Speed Plan

Number of consumers on Speed Plan

Number and percentage of consumers on each Speed Plan   who have Maximum Attainable Speeds less than:

100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload

50 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload

25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload

12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload

100/40 Plan

3,815

375 (10%)

44 (1%)

29 (<1%)

29 (<1%)

50/20 Plan

563

 

6 (1%)

3 (<1%)

2 (<1%)

25/5 Plan

17,711

   

48 (<1%)

35 (<1%)

12/1 Plan

6,024

     

13 (<1%)

 

Telstra offers to compensate 42,000 customers for slow NBN speeds

8 November 2017

Telstra has agreed to offer remedies to around 42,000 customers for promoting and offering some of its National Broadband Network (NBN) speed plans as being capable of delivering specified maximum speeds, when those maximum speeds could not be achieved in real-world conditions.

Between September 2015 and November 2017, Telstra offered internet services through both its Telstra and Belong brands, advertising a range of different speed plans.

This included a “Super Fast Speed Boost” which advertised maximum download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and maximum upload speeds of up to 40 Mbps (100/40 Mbps).

Limitations on the affected customers’ NBN fibre to the node (FTTN) or fibre to the building (FTTB) internet connections, however, meant that many customers’ internet services were not capable of receiving the maximum advertised speeds of the plans.

“Our investigation revealed many of Telstra’s FTTN and FTTB customers could not receive the maximum speed of their plan. Even worse, many of these customers could not receive the maximum speed of a lower-speed plan,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“In essence, people were paying more to get higher speeds that they just weren’t able to get.”

Telstra admits that by this conduct it was likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations.

Telstra has provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC detailing the remedies it will provide affected customers, including refunds, the option to change speed plans, and exit from contracts without paying a fee.

“All businesses have a responsibility to ensure that claims about the performance of their products or services are accurate. This is particularly important in cases where consumers sign long-term contracts to acquire a service. Telecommunications contracts are typically 12-24 months in duration and this can represent a serious financial commitment.”

The issue affected a range of customers across a number of different tiered speed plans, including:

  • 26,497 (56%) of FTTN customers on the 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps. Of those customers, 9,606 could not receive 50/20 Mbps, which was the next speed tier plan down.
  • 6,352 (45%) of FTTN customers on a 50/20 Mbps plan could not receive 50/20 Mbps.
  • 9,342 (2%) of FTTN customers on a 25/5 Mbps plan could not receive 25/5 Mbps.

Telstra came to the ACCC to notify it of issues relating to some, but not all, of the affected customers, which the ACCC investigation subsequently uncovered.

“We are pleased that Telstra proactively reported this serious problem to the ACCC and has cooperated in creating a remediation plan for affected customers,” Mr Sims said.  

“However, we are mindful this is not just a Telstra problem; it is an industry problem where consumers are often not getting the speeds they are paying for.”

“We will continue to investigate other retail service providers selling broadband plans over the NBN and take enforcement action where appropriate. As we’ve said previously, we expect RSPs to provide consumers with accurate information up front about the internet speeds they can expect to receive, and then deliver on those promises.”

“The ACCC is keen to separate out two issues affecting customers’ broadband speeds. First, and the subject of today’s action, is the situation where the connection is not capable of delivering the speed that has been sold.”

“Telstra has undertaken that, where it advertises or otherwise represents to potential customers that they will receive a particular speed, it will, within four weeks of connecting a new service, check each customer’s attainable speed. If it is below the advertised speed, Telstra will notify the customer and offer remedies,” said Mr Sims.  

Mr Sims said the second issue was where speeds can technically be delivered, but the internet service provider has not purchased enough capacity from NBN Co to provide the speeds it is advertising to customers, particularly at peak times.

“To address this second problem of under provisioning, the ACCC is urging all ISPs to advertise the typical speeds customers can expect in the busy evening period between 7:00pm and 11:00pm.”

Mr Sims says the ACCC is expecting major ISPs will adopt this approach to their advertising over the next month.

“Our message to retailers is that if you advertise a particular speed and customers cannot get that speed, you will risk breaching the Australian Consumer Law,” said Mr Sims.

Background

The ACCC’s investigation commenced when Telstra notified the ACCC that approximately 9000 of its customers on 100/40 Mbps and 50/20 Mbps plans could not receive speeds above the next lower- speed plan. 

The undertaking requires Telstra to contact current and former customers who could not receive the maximum speed stated in their speed plan. Telstra will inform those customers of the maximum speed they are able to receive and offer customers who have not already been remediated options which include:

  • a costless exit from their contract (including any bundle) and a refund
  • moving to a different speed plan and receiving a refund
  • remaining on their current speed plan and not receiving a refund.

Customers who Telstra has already remediated will be offered the option to move plans or exit their plan but will not be entitled to a refund.

The undertaking is available at: ACCC Public Register

Consumers should be aware that a consumer’s Maximum Attainable Speed may not change if the consumer chooses to exit their contract and purchase an NBN internet plan from another provider.

The ACCC has previously published guidance for retailers on how to advertise speeds for NBN broadband services, including clearly identifying typical minimum speeds during peak periods. The ACCC has also announced broadband performance monitoring program to provide Australian consumers with accurate and independent information about broadband speeds.

Table 1 – Telstra’s FTTN customers

Table 1 shows, between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, the number of Telstra’s FTTN customers on each speed plan, and the maximum speed those customers were able to achieve (those customers’ Maximum Attainable Speeds).

Speed Plan

Number of consumers on Speed Plan

Number and percentage of consumers on each Speed Plan who have Maximum Attainable Speeds less than:

100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload

50 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload

25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload

12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload

100/40 Plan

47,076

26,497 (56%)

9,606 (20%)

954 (2%)

96 (<1%)

50/20 Plan

14,032

 

6,352 (45%)

343 (2%)

20 (<1%)

25/5 Plan

413,153

   

9,342 (2%)

749 (<1%)

12/1 Plan

23,028

     

93 (<1%)

Table 2 – Telstra’s FTTB customers

Table 2 shows, between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, the number of Telstra’s FTTB customers on each speed plan, and those customers’ Maximum Attainable Speeds.

Speed Plan

Number of consumers on Speed Plan

Number and percentage of consumers on each Speed Plan   who have Maximum Attainable Speeds less than:

100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload

50 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload

25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload

12 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload

100/40 Plan

3,815

375 (10%)

44 (1%)

29 (<1%)

29 (<1%)

50/20 Plan

563

 

6 (1%)

3 (<1%)

2 (<1%)

25/5 Plan

17,711

   

48 (<1%)

35 (<1%)

12/1 Plan

6,024

     

13 (<1%)

Release number: