More Trouble with the NBN, the National Broadband Network of Australia

The NBN seems to love invoicing for services, coming up with ideas for fees and making random charges to Australian homes and businesses but not actually giving them much, if anything, in return. They seem to be so bureaucratic that they seem to be creating processes for the sake of creating processes in their office and charging people for it.

The $300 Connection Fee is a Dud

When I moved into a brand new house I’d built, I thought all the previous payments made to the National Broadband Network Company covered me for everything needed.

No so. When you sign up for a new NBN package, you have to pay a $300 connection fee. This requires you to wait at home throughout a 4 hour window for a technician to come in. The technician does nothing to earn their $300 fee. When my technician arrived, he took one look at the NBN cable on the side of the house, opened up the little NBN box with his special key, said “Ok that has been previously connected, good.” Then went to my NBN port in the garage, and plugged in my modem that I’d previously brought home from a Telstra store. That was essentially it. 

Part of the process is that they “check the connection” which took all of 15 seconds with a meter plugged into the port on the wall. Then, they connect an NBNco box, an ARRIS CM8200 which can be bought for $49.95. So net cost would be under $30. There was no professional installation. Indeed, the ARRIS box wasn’t professionally installed. It was plugged into the port on the wall, and into the power point and then the technician grabbed an old step ladder I had and placed it on there. I asked if he would do a professional installation by securing it to the wall but apparently not.

In all of 10 minutes the technician had arrived at my house, opened and closed a little NBNCo box, made muddy footprints on a new hallway and left a modem hanging by the lan cable connected to the ARRIS box he’d placed on a step ladder. Is this $300 charge for this appropriate? I think not.

Why do we need to pay fees to NBN to register the fact we want to build a house and make a new connection? You actually have to pay an additional fee to have the physical cabling done.

But what did I get for my registration fee? Nothing. In fact, when I went to sign up for a new NBN plan with Telstra, in the 6 months that I had registered a new development with the NBN to then wanting to sign up for a new plan at the address, no one had done anything. Telstra had not been informed of the new development. So I’d paid $600 to register the development, which meant that NBN was meant to inform all ISPs of a new connection at the address, but they had not done do. So, for a total of $900 to NBNco, I received nothing.

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