Internet Speeds Plummet After NBN Installation

Internet Speeds Plummet After NBN Installation
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Residents of Elan Tower in Sydney’s Kings Cross are used to 100Mbps download speeds, thanks to the hybrid fibre coaxial cable they paid Telstra to install six years ago.

Now the building is being forced onto NBN’s copper-based fibre-to-the-building network. The copper telephone wire in the building, travelling up 40 floors, is 20 years old.

As reported by SMH, around 69 households are using the HFC connection, NBN plans to shut it down for good in February next year.

Residents are reporting a drop in download speeds once switching to FTTB from 110 to 30Mbps – prompting some to refuse to switch, threatening ombudsmen action.

Legally, NBN can force Telstra to decommission the HFC network, leaving residents of Elan Tower with no choice.

Are you in a similar situation? Has your internet speed dropped since NBN came to your home or business? Let us know in the comments.


  • Bloody fibre, its slower even when its faster! When will people stop the waste and spend big to install an inferior service?! #hamburgerseatpeople

  • Not the same kind of thing, but darn when NBN speeds drop they drop hard.
    I pay for 100/40 via HFC and typically get around 85-90.
    I couldn’t watch a 480p stream last night as 4Mbps was about the best I was getting.

  • I have Telstra cable unlimited. 110 mb download speed.

    Seems insane that I’ll end up with a worse connection. Surely you can pay extra for a faster service than 25mb

    • You absolutley can pay for faster speeds, this is the biggest problem the NBN has at the moment. No one seems to have grasped that you dont just choose a download limit, you also choose a speed tier.
      These people likely went from a Telstra plan where they got whatever speed was available to an NBN plan where they just took whatever the RSP offered. So they signed up to a 25 mbps plan or a 50 mbps plan and now they are screaming to anyone that will listen that they dont get 100 mbps.

      • There’s a bit more to it than that. I think many people will accept that the speed they pay for is the maximum possible they can expect. But if an ISP is offering 50 Mb/s and 100 Mb/s plans, you should be able to assume that the 100 Mb/s plan will give you at least 50 Mb/s. Otherwise, what’s the point of offering two speeds?

        • With that, they only have to get you 50% of your download speed, already spent several hours talking to telstra about it, bit ridiculous considering we pay for 50/25 and barely get 25/13 but thats fine cos thats what im paying for fml

          • And therein lies the issue. Most RSPs make it pretty (un)clear that the fastest they can guarantee is 12down/1up. I pay for 100/40 but the most I ever get is about 75-85 down. Mind you i can complain; the best i ever got on ADSL was about 12.5 down so its a massive step up speed wise. I just wish the whole network was a bit more stable. I’ve had more maintenance outages in my area in 12 months on the NBN than the previous five years on ADSL.

    • Australians, let us all re-… [buffering] … -joice, for we are young and fr-… [buffering] … [time out error]

    • Australians why should we rejoice, for we’re not really free,
      Corporations tell us what to do, and the government does it so gladly,
      Our land abounds in natures gifts of beauty, rich and rare,
      But we sell it cheap to everyone, because the government doesn’t care,
      They’re far too busy privatising, to advance Australia fair.

  • Ombudsmen action required it would seem. I’ve got FTTP because I planned and built our house on a street that had it already going into it (under contract prior to the coalition getting in) but can understand why these people would be upset.

    • The problem is, the ombudsman won’t be able to order Telstra not to turn off the HFC network because the law allows NBNCo to order Telstra to turn it off. The laws are actually very much against the residents in this case, as much as that sucks. consumer protection is one thing, but that doesn’t protect people from a legally discontinued service any more than it does from the crappy service we get on NBN.

      • Well, thats what the country gets for voting ultra conservative (the inanely name liberals & the nationals) rather than conservative (labor) or moderate (greens).

  • I’ve got my NBN HFC coming on Friday. The more I see and read about the NBN these days is filling me with dread come Friday.

    Given I’ll be upgrading from ADSL2+ to hfc 100/40 here in Brisbane I’m hoping for an overall speed increase but I’m still concerned.. can’t be worse than adsl right?

    • As long as you go with a big ISP you should be ok. Smaller ISPs do have a habit of underbuying bandwidth, but it is not entirely their fault as NBN Co sells via cost tiers.

    • Hahahahaha! Try 0.8 mbps on HFC at peak when paying for 100/40!
      Good luck, I hope you do better.

    • I was on ADSL2 getting a consistent 8mbps. Now I am on fixed wireless, i cant stream netflix or youtube. Online gaming is dead, i get 900kbps most days. Welcome to the future.

    • You may get a speed increase but a worse signal. After being harassed daily by Nbn co to switch over, We did & now multiplayer is dead, Psn’s basic features are now well more problematic than they were, Trying to play Payday2 & getting dsynced is not good.

  • I had about a year ago 2 nbn connections coming into my house (long story why). One of those connections was with iinet the other telstra however both were 100/40 speed plans. Iinet i was luckt to receive 20mb on a good day and most of the time i was getting 12mb. On the same modem in the telstra connection i was receiving 97 constantly. 3 months of arguing with iinet later and i told them to get stuffed and got a refund for the time. They said the speed loss was a mix of the cabling in my house and distance from exchange which made no sense since the telstra connection was on same setup. Perhaps (and i know nothing of this tech im just a user) its not just the nbns fault but other isps ability to offer the service.

    • As @kolreth mentioned above, the smaller ISPs don’t buy as much bandwidth as the bigger ones so they typically get conjested during peak times. Having said that, iiNet is definitely not a small ISP – and is in fact one of the largest, so they don’t really have that excuse.

      However I’m with Internode, who are owned by iiNet, and I’ve had nothing but quality out of them.

  • TLDR its wiki

    The crucial attenuation limit of 20 dB/km was first achieved in 1970 by researchers Robert D. Maurer, Donald Keck, Peter C. Schultz, and Frank Zimar working for American glass maker Corning Glass Works.[23] They demonstrated a fiber with 17 dB/km attenuation by doping silica glass with titanium. A few years later they produced a fiber with only 4 dB/km attenuation using germanium dioxide as the core dopant. In 1981, General Electric produced fused quartz ingots that could be drawn into strands 25 miles (40 km) long.[24]
    Initially high-quality optical fibers could only be manufactured at 2 meters per second.[25] Chemical engineer Thomas Mensah joined Corning in 1983 and increased the speed of manufacture to over 50 meters per second, making optical fiber cables cheaper than traditional copper ones.[25] These innovations ushered in the era of optical fiber telecommunication.
    The Italian research center CSELT worked with Corning to develop practical optical fiber cables, resulting in the first metropolitan fiber optic cable being deployed in Torino in 1977.[26][27] CSELT also developed an early technique for splicing optical fibers, called Springroove.[28]
    Attenuation in modern optical cables is far less than in electrical copper cables, leading to long-haul fiber connections with repeater distances of 70–150 kilometers (43–93 mi). The erbium-doped fiber amplifier, which reduced the cost of long-distance fiber systems by reducing or eliminating optical-electrical-optical repeaters, was co-developed by teams led by David N. Payne of the University of Southampton and Emmanuel Desurvire at Bell Labs in 1986.
    The emerging field of photonic crystals led to the development in 1991 of photonic-crystal fiber,[29] which guides light by diffraction from a periodic structure, rather than by total internal reflection. The first photonic crystal fibers became commercially available in 2000.[30] Photonic crystal fibers can carry higher power than conventional fibers and their wavelength-dependent properties can be manipulated to improve performance.
    Record speeds[edit]
    Achieving a high data rate and covering a long distance simultaneously is challenging. To express this, sometimes the product of data rate and distance is specified – (bit/s)×km or the equivalent bit×km/s, similar to the bandwidth-distance product.
    2006 – Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation transferred 14 terabits per second over a single 160 km long optical fiber[31]
    2009 – Bell Labs in Villarceaux, France transferred 100 Gbit/s over 7000 km fiber[32]
    2010 – Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation transferred 69.1 Tbit/s over a single 240 km fiber multiplexing 432 channels, equating to 171 Gbit/s per channel[33]
    2012 – Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation transferred 1 Petabit per second over 50 kilometers over a single fiber[34]

  • The internet around my parents area was made faster. Then for no reason, they decided to take it out and put in a slower system.

  • So is there any indication of why the speed dropped to 30 Mb/s? Is it actually a problem with the building’s wiring, or is it the general problem of ISPs buying too little capacity for NBN customers?

    If it is a problem within the building itself, then it is probably a matter to take up with the building manager rather than NBNco.

    For what it is worth, the HFC cable connection to each apartment would also likely have been copper. It wouldn’t have been an independent connection to each apartment though, which I guess is the reason they used the telephone wiring instead.

    • Apartments have always been a problem with the NBN. Originally it was going to be FTTP, which meant fibre wiring throughout the building to each apartment, but that meant getting permission from the building owners which was complicated so often meant apartments were skipped and left until later. Now it’s FTTB which means fibre to the building but old copper wiring to the apartments. Either way you lose.. either a slow connection or no connection.

  • I’m in a similar situation, paid for a HFC lead in cable when I moved into a strata as I could see which way the wind was blowing regarding labor losing power and the butchering of the original NBN that was coming. The HFC is in top condition around here and I often get download speeds of 114Mb/s from steam/origin/blizz.

    But next year when NBN comes to town we’re getting shafted and moved to FttN of all fucking things. Just because I live in an area that will never vote Liberal because Kennett sold a hospital the community raised the money to pay for building and outfitting of to property developers for luxury apartments.

    • Hi mate. Please get your RSP to contact NBN Co to confirm 100% that there is no service class mismatch.

  • my entire town has access to the NBN except for 4 streets of which i happen to be in one of those 4 streets and i have no idea when these 4 streets will go live, yet i havent seen a single tech from telstra or NBN working on the node that is just 75m from my door step. Meanwhile the whole town has access to the NBN since january this year

  • Are you in a similar situation? Has your internet speed dropped since NBN came to your home or business? Let us know in the comments.

    I’ll let you know sometime late June 2019 because that’s when we lucky last suburbs (aka many Perth suburbs) will be blessed with the NBN. Right now we (quietly?) suffer slow ADSL2 speeds of just under 8 Mbps.

    I’ll happily accept 30 Mbps (as quoted in the article) if that’s what’s on offer. I’d accept it right now if the King Cross guys are happy to wait? Maybe we could do a swap??

    • On an unrelated note – just got back from holidays in USA. Where stupidly fast Internet is ubiquitous. Some dumpy out of the way hickville – yep 100 Mbps. Las Vegas stipe hotel wifi – yep 100 Mbps. On a frigging bus out to Hover Dam – yep 100 Mbps.

      I get that we live in a continent far removed with “the rest of the world” with a limited number of direct connections. But man, we suck.

      • From what I read the U.S. systems is terrible. Sure you can get 100 Mbps, but you can only buy from one company who charges a lot of money. It would be equivalent to dividing the country so Telstra gets the Eastern coast, Optus gets NT and SA and iinet gets WA and Tasmania.

        • Actually, up to 200mbps has been the standard cable connection for many years according to many of my US living friends and associates

        • In some areas it’s terrible, sure, but that’s also in comparison to the U.S. “norm”, which in most cases is stellar.

          As a yank living in Australia for 6 years, I wasn’t prepared for the network infrastructure downgrade I’d be moving to. My first dwelling in Aus, a townhouse in Thorneside, I was getting 40down/15up on cable with Telstra. Pretty good. Not phased by that drop as it was negligible speed loss for what I needed. Upon my first move, to a house in Ormiston built in 2006, my first thought was, “Sweet! Newer cabling, closer to the node and new fittings.” – Nope. ADSL2+ was my only option there. 18down/10up.

          Fast forward to now. I’m in an apartment building (which has its own inherent network infrastructure problems, I understand) built in 2010. Fitted with cable and even closer to the nearest node. 2-5down/.5-1up on ADSL2+ -.-

          Saying that you can only buy from one provider for “good net” is an absolute farce. You have plenty of options, but yes, the Big Dogs of the industry do charge more, but are typically the safer bets (in regards to service, outages, renovations & fixes), and have less throttling/bandwidth choking, especially during peak times.

          Back in the states, I was on 100up/40down consistently. In an apartment building, not retrofitted with modern cabling, built in the 70’s. I got this speed during peak times in 2000-fucking-7.

          Australia has no excuse. Just an unwilling pocketbook and misinformed/misguided government. Simple as that.

  • I can’t even be bothered to complain about my train wreck of an NBN connection anymore, they’ve crushed the fight out of me…13down 4up = turd sandwich.
    Yay, its the future

  • I noticed that Internode’s plans have changed. It used to be;

    Bronze – 12mbps
    Silver – 25mbps
    Gold – 50mbps
    Platinum – 100mbps

    And now it’s,

    Bronze – between 5 and 12mbps
    Silver – between 5 and 25mbps
    Gold – between 12 and 50mbps
    Platinum – between 12 and 100mbps

  • Hahaha our FttN dropped out friday lunch time no tech until Wednesday. Thank God for $10 a Gb on my mobile. Oh shit this is going to be an expensive week

    • Talk to your provider. I had a similar issue a couple of months ago. Spoke to my provider and they offered to cover any excess data charges on my phone plan. NO harm in asking the question.

  • Jesus if they have HFC they shouldn’t be forced on FTTN. They have a service class mismatch :\ Unless NBN have taken the easy way out for some reason
    They really really need to get in touch with us cause that’s super odd :\

  • If you currently have HFC and have been pegged as being moved to FTTx instead of FTTP please get in touch with your RSP and have them check with NBN Co that you’re not a service class mismatch; it happens.

  • Im on Telstra Cable right now… seriously dreading the NBN rollout in my Area. I am on 117MB down atm… i dont want to lose that.

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