Residents sceptical on NBN speed

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

As parts of Hedland become the latest areas in the Pilbara to be switched on to the National Broadband Network, residents remain sceptical they will get “super-fast” internet speeds.

About 1900 homes and businesses in parts of South Hedland and Wedgefield will now be able to access the NBN’s fibre-to-the-node technology after months of infrastructure construction being undertaken in town. However, the Pilbara installation has not been without controversy, as residents already connected to the service say they have experienced similar speed issues to those felt by metropolitan residents.

Resident Brandon Jurgens, who has been connected to the NBN service for more than six months, said he had never achieved the 50Mbs speeds he paid for.

“Usually we get speeds around 23-24Mbs but it can, and often does, drop down to around 2Mbs and less,” he said.“I live with it because I expect it in the Pilbara. I’ve contacted my service provider in the past and they say they’ll look into it, but as everyone knows that doesn’t exactly mean much out here.

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Anecdotally, others are in the same position as me and we’ve all just come to terms with it; it’s not going to change so why pull my hair out over it. It’s still the better option than ADSL.”

NBN local manager Jane McNamara assured residents the network provided super-fast broadband speeds and issues could be down to several factors outside NBN Co’s control.

“We recommend people speak with their phone or internet provider about the speed tiers available in their area, as well as the actual speeds they can expect to experience, particularly during peak times like the evening, to ensure they are signing up for a plan which best suits their needs,” she said.

Ms McNamara said it was important for residents and businesses to contact their service providers when speed issues occurred.

Telstra area general manager Boyd Brown said speeds varied because of a range of factors.

“Some of these factors are managed by retail service providers like Telstra, while others are under the control of NBN Co,” he said.

“Our investigations reveal there is no congestions on our network that would impact on speeds. Where customers place their wi-fi modem and how they use the internet also play a significant part.”

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