The latest weekly report from the nbn tells us the project has passed a major milestone. There are now more than 4 million premises that are able to be connected to the NBN, more precisely the number is 4,046,135. The next column over though shows something a little concerning, that is that just 1.7 Million (1,764,661) have actually taken a service on the NBN.
There’s plenty and varied reasons for this, but a massive part of the blame has to go to the arguments of the technology available in different areas and a lack of focus on what benefits are actually possible with higher speed internet today.
The transition away from a FTTP approach was supposed to reduce capital costs for the project, but also remove another barrier, digging up the front yards of millions of homes, it seems that hasn’t been a big draw cards for existing home owners. Once a service is a available at a property, the clock starts ticking as the telcos will eventually shut down existing services and force users to transition to the NBN, even if they’re using the same copper lines to access the internet. This means the numbers will continue to improve over time, but relying on forced migration doesn’t speak high about the value people feel for the NBN.
Another key element is certainly cost. If you want the 100Mbps down and 40Mbps up with a decent download cap, expect to pay around $100pm. If you cheap out on the provider, you’re likely to face higher congestion during peak times. The NBN was supposed to offer faster, cheaper internet to Australians, but those higher speeds, at least right now, are far too expensive to be a reality. Remember households buy services like Netflix, on top of internet services, so the monthly bill combines to be significant in a time where households budgets are being squeezed. Of course you can choose a slower tier and many have to, but we didn’t spend billions as a nation to not take advantage of the updated technology.
Social media is full of accounts of horror stories of customers who wait weeks to get a service and even more stories of unhappy customers who aren’t receiving the substantial speed upgrades promised by the NBN. This is widespread and across the board, regardless of specific locations or carriers.
Let us know in the comments about your experiences. Out of 1.7 Million households (many more users), there should definitely be more stories of how amazing high-speed internet is.