Wednesday, July 26, 2017

NBN users not getting anywhere near the speed they're paying for.

I like to see how clients' NBN has been set up and it's interesting to watch the trouble people are having with NBN.

I attended one client and was wondering why they were still using their Wi-Fi router when a new Wi-Fi router had been installed. Their original W-Fi router was daisy chained to the NBN Wi-Fi router and they were still using their old Wi-Fi router, not the new one.

The reason given by the tech was their original Wi-Fi router had better speed an coverage. I did some testing and the tech was certainly right.

The new Wi-Fi router provided by the NBN installer (it's generally the same white Huawei box) isn't particularly fast. This client was paying for the top speed 100Mbps NBN service. The NBN provided W-Fi router was only providing a download speed of 27Mbps. Their old Wi-Fi router was providing a download speed of 59Mbps. To get even close to the stated download speed you have to connect via Ethernet which provided a download speed of 87Mbps.

If you're using the NBN installer's provided Wi-Fi router, you're probably only going to get about quarter of the download speed you're paying for if you connect your devices using Wi-Fi.

This client was previously paying Optus extra to be on their high speed service but testing showed they were getting around 20Mbps, and during one test, around 5.6Mbps. Previous testing of the Optus cable service showed the basic service could achieve 30Mbps, so this client was paying money to Optus and not getting anything extra, in fact much less than they'd expect with the basic Optus cable service.

With the NBN service they opted for the highest speed, but unknown to them they would never be able to take advantage of the speed as their W-Fi routers would never deliver the speed. That's paying extra money for something that's never going to be used.

In fact for this client I suggested their use was very basic and all they most likely needed was the base NBN service at 12Mbps (previously measure to deliver around 11Mbps). For their needs this would meet their needs and save them money.

One other question did cross my mind and that was, why don't they just discard the new Wi-Fi router. The reason they can't is the Wi-Fi router provided by the NBN installer provides the telephone line to the home. If people decide to get rid of their home telephone landline, this is no longer a problem.

It's important to measure what you're getting from the NBN services you are paying for. There's a very good chance you're paying too much and getting much less than you think you are.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support

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