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More Troubles For Australia’s Government Broadband Network

December 8, 2016

Australia’s government-owned broadband network (National Broadband Network, or NBN) has been plagued by troubles almost since it’s conception, and, according to a November 30 article in Space News, the situation isn’t getting any better. Space News said NBN’s “satellite broadband service continues to suffer regional outages seven months after its introduction, with a majority of users reporting installation or connection problems …”

Specifically, in a recent survey the Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR) found 86 percent of NBN’s customers have reported “one or more connections hiccups” while 20 percent have run into problems with installation. According to BIRRR, “[S]ome of the issues with the Sky Muster service were exacerbated by the slow responsiveness of the company’s call center, which the association said was incapable of delivering basic network status information so that subscribers could learn if the issues were specific to their premises, or part of a wider outage.”

These problems are certain to have economic consequences. More than half of the NBN customers that responded to BIRRR’s survey said they use the satellite service for businesses purposes. BIRRR spokesperson Kristy Sparrow told Space News, “The outages and issues over the past few months have devastated some rural businesses and jeopardized children’s education.”

The average peak data plan from NBN costs $102 per month. The average speed is 25 megabits per second. Space News noted, “The Australian broadband plan is arguably the world’s most extensive and expensive, including fixed wireless, fiber and microwave links.”

Click here, here, and here to read the Coalition for the New Economy’s previous coverage of NBN.