Why you should upgrade your broadband service
Posted On July 23, 2021
If you’re a consumer, you’ve probably heard of the Great Australian Downturn, when millions of Australians lost their internet and TV services.
Now it looks like you might be facing a similar fate.
The state and territory governments have warned that the state’s fibre-to-the-home network is facing “significant degradation” and is unlikely to be up and running again until at least 2020.
And this is a problem for everyone in the ACT and Victoria.
As of January 2020, there were 1.2 million premises in the state without fibre, which is considered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to be the lowest level of penetration.
The situation has worsened since the announcement of the state government’s NBN Co fibre-optic network in May.
The ACT and NSW are now the only states where fibre is not required, but NBN Co is working to increase that number, according to the company.
This year, the company is upgrading its copper network in the Sunshine Coast to support the state.
But it’s only a partial fix and it’s still unclear whether the NBN Co network will be able to support all of the current network needs in the next six months.
The Coalition government has promised that by 2020, the state and ACT’s fibre networks will be 100 per cent fibre-compatible.
But the NBN’s rollout is not yet complete, and it has yet to release a detailed timetable for the roll out.
The problem is not just limited to the ACT.
There are reports that the NBN is experiencing delays in rollout in NSW and Victoria too, with some ISPs reporting that they have been unable to meet demand.
“There has been a significant degradation of the copper network and the network that is supporting the rollout of NBN Co’s Fibre to the Premises network, and the rollout is currently delayed,” the Coalition said in a statement in May last year.
“As a result, there are significant delays to the rollout, and a substantial risk of network failures.”
However, the ACT government has warned that this problem will only get worse.
“The Coalition Government will invest $100 million in the rollout and upgrading of the fibre network in 2020,” the state said in an email to The Australian.
“These investment investments will ensure that our copper network is ready to support fibre to the premises and will allow the NBN to deliver the state-wide rollout in 2021.”
The NBN Co website does not list any specific times for when the network will have been upgraded.
But in an interview with The ABC in May, NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley said that by 2019 the state would be fully upgrading its network and that it would be ready to roll out the network in 2021.
“By 2019, we will have finished the first stage of the upgrade, which will include upgrading our copper and the fibre to deliver that,” Quigly said.
“And then by 2020 and 2021, we’ll be upgrading all the copper to deliver a fibre to a node.
By 2021, it will be fully up and operational.”
“By then, there will be a new network and fibre to that node,” he added.
However, NBN says it is working on a fix.
The company has promised to upgrade all of its copper networks by 2021.
But there is no timeframe for that, and its not clear whether the state will be upgraded as well.
The NBN is working towards a fibre-enabled network in most of the ACT, NSW and Queensland, but it has said that only a “small percentage” of those networks are fibre-capable.
The government is also working on an update to its state-specific plans for the NBN.
The federal government has said it wants to roll the state out “within four years”.
But while the ACT is on track to deliver fibre-connected networks, other states and territories have been slow to do so.
“All of the remaining major telecommunications markets are in progress or on track for deployment,” NBN Co said in May when announcing the state of the network.
The WA Government said it was still in the process of upgrading its networks and said that “by 2021 we will be upgrading our fibre network to deliver services in all of WA”.
However, as The Australian reported in January, there is currently no timetable for any of the states to achieve that.
NBN Co has also told The Australian that it is considering upgrading the state network “to a full fibre-ready state”.
The company also has plans to expand its copper infrastructure in New South Wales and Victoria, but its rollout has not yet been completed.