The fourth installment of the Techsolvers NBN Guide for the Sutherland Shire.

Managing NBN related problems
You’ve finally moved to the NBN, after months of anticipation. “Slow internet speeds are a thing of the past”, you tell yourself. “Bring on Netflix!”.

Unfortunately, many users run into problems with their new NBN connection. Read our post to find out how to troubleshoot it and how to escalate it through the right channels.

Although this page has been written expressly for Sutherland Shire residents, the content applies for all Australians.

I have problems with my NBN connection. What do I do?

The size of the NBN project is so large that we should expect many users will have problems with their NBN connection.

We’ve listed some of the common NBN problems reported below and how you can handle them:

Consistently slow internet speeds

FTTC, HFC, FTTN and FTTB users should check the sync speed (sometimes called line rate) on the admin page of their modem.

You’ll need to compare your Sync Speed to your speed plan (it should be within 20-30%, depending on your tolerance levels).

Call your service provider and ask them to investigate if you are unhappy with your Sync Speed compared to your speed plan.

Connection drop outs

Check your router admin page and review the connection.
Call your service provider and ask them to investigate if you can see it dropping out on your router admin page.

Poor performance during the evening

Your service provider may not have enough available bandwidth for their subscribed users at peak times.
Call your service provider and ask them to investigate.

No connection at all

Call your service provider and ask them to investigate.

As you can see, you should typically call your service provider before anyone else. Your service provider is responsible for resolving a speed issue or a dropout problem nine times out of ten. The other times it could be a network fault that requires Nbn™ investigation. Your service provider will need to raise a ticket with the Nbn™ to investigate.

Why do I get slow NBN speeds during the evenings?

Slow sign NBN
Your service provider is responsible for providing bandwidth for all their NBN subscribers.
You might see adequate performance during the day when there is light use and slow performance during the evenings when everyone arrives home from school or work if your service provider does not buy enough CVC for their users.

What is CVC and how does it affect my NBN speeds?

CVC (Connectivity Virtual Circuit) describes the bandwidth purchased from Nbn™ by RSPs.
RSPs must buy sufficient CVC from Nbn™ to supply subscribers with reliable internet speeds.

Why don’t service providers buy enough bandwidth for us if they are selling us 100 Mbps plans?

The Nbn™ wholesale pricing plan for Retail Service Providers (RSP) as of 29 March is $8.00 per Mbps. An RSP would need to spend $800 per month to be able to offer dedicated 100Mbps to a single customer. Few customers would be comfortable spending $800 a month for an NBN100 tier plan.

We should expect oversubscription because we know users don’t use the internet all at the same time. Much like a motorway, we don’t build lanes for all drivers to use the motorway simultaneously.

As you can imagine, there is a balancing act required here. Service providers want to maximize their return on investment but if they get it wrong and oversubscribe too much, users will leave them.

If your internet speed slows down at peak times, you must call your service provider and complain. You should also reach out to other people in your neighbourhood using the same service provider and have them do likewise because the service provider is only likely to act if they get a sufficient volume of complaints.

I just got FTTN and my speed is lower than 12Mbps. What can I do?

Call your service provider and ask them to investigate.
They will assess the health of your connection and make a judgment whether there is a further problem to be investigated.
Your service provider will then open a ticket with Nbn™ to investigate if they believe your line is incapable of achieving 12 Mbps (Nbn™ guarantees they will deliver a connection capable of 12 Mbps).

My NBN service doesn’t work and now I have no internet. What can I do to access the internet at home?

You might be unlucky and find your internet completely stops working after the NBN is installed. Alongside chasing your service provider, you can consider either exposing a WiFi hotspot on your smartphone or using a 4G modem. You need to be mindful of the potential costs if you choose to use your smartphone hotspot as this will potentially chew through your data allowance very quickly.

Can I recover the cost of temporary internet access from my service provider?

You might be able to recover these costs from your service provider. Make sure you raise your complaint following our guidelines below. You’ll also need to keep all receipts and demonstrate reasonable use. Many service providers initially refuse to cover these costs so you will likely need to raise a case to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman at www.tio.com.au, or on 1800 062 058.

You might be able to use your previous internet connection if it is still available. Make sure to discuss this option with your service provider and raise it with the TIO. This Melbourne man has shown it is possible but you should expect an uphill battle the whole way.

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How do I raise a complaint about my NBN connection with my service provider?

NBN Complaints
Call your service provider and tell them you would like to raise a complaint about your NBN connection. Keep a record of all conversations including:

  • Time of call
  • Name of the person you spoke to and their position
  • What you told them
  • What they told you
  • Follow up actions
  • Case number or Support ticket number

Your provider will attempt to resolve your complaint on your first call. They should look to formally close the problem within 3 weeks.

The ACMA advises urgent complaints must be resolved within 2 days however each provider has a different definition of what they consider urgent.

You can raise your complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) if your complaint is still unresolved after 3 weeks. We recommend warning the service provider that the problem will be escalated to the TIO one week before you intend to do so. Some service providers respond very positively to the mention of the TIO so don’t be afraid to namedrop.

You can raise complaints with the TIO at the TIO website, or on 1800 062 058.

How do I contact Nbn™ to complain?

You don’t. Your service provider is responsible for managing your NBN connection and you should escalate to the TIO if your service provider cannot resolve your problem.

If you insist on contacting Nbn™, you can reach them via the contact form on their website.
You can also email them directly at complaints@nbnco.com.au.

While there is no harm in contacting Nbn™ directly, they will most likely advise you to contact your service provider.

My business has been disadvantaged because of my NBN problems. What can I do?

ACCAN advise you might be able to claim compensation which should make up for your loss. As an example, if your internet is out for a week, you could ask for a partial or full refund of your subscription. You may also be able to claim for costs incurred to fix the problem or using extra mobile data.

How do I claim compensation?

You’ll need to work out how much money you or your business has lost due to the problem. This can include costs for an interim service (such as extra mobile data).

You’ll need to have supporting documents to evidence your claims such as receipts, invoices & bills.

You’ll also need a record of when the outages took place, how long they lasted, who you’ve spoken to and when you spoke to them. Once you have this information, contact your ISP to explain the situation and ask for compensation. You’ll need to pass your service provider copies of the evidence.

What kind of compensation can I claim?

It’s really up to you to suggest how you would like to be compensated.

Some forms of compensation you may consider include:

  • A partial / full refund of NBN subscription costs
  • Cost free, early termination of your NBN fixed contract
  • Reimbursement of reasonable costs incurred (for example, the purchase of a 4G modem & plan
  • Ongoing reduction of NBN subscription costs
  • Free plan transfer
  • Compensation for revenue loss

My service provider rejected my claim for compensation. What now?

You can raise your complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman at www.tio.com.au, or on 1800 062 058.

I have more questions. Who can help me?

You can head over to our NBN Guide page which has an index of all NBN questions answered on our site.

You can also call our office on 02-8502-8954 7 days a week 8am to 6pm or raise a question using our contact form. We’re always happy to take calls and answer your questions, free of charge.

Make sure you like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our mailing list so you get notified when further posts are published.

Next Up: Winners and Losers in the Sutherland Shire NBN Lottery

Check out the next part of our NBN Guide “The NBN Lottery – Sutherland Shire’s Winners & Losers”

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