Archive for the ‘Correspondence’ category

ACT Planning Authority December Meeting

February 25th, 2010

I would like to thank Caroline le Couteur MLA for representing the issues I have raised in my previous letters with the ACT Planning Authority. In her response, which is posted on this site Ms le Couteur indicated she would take this issue to the next meeting. She has kept her word and I applaud her for doing so.

In a comment left on this site on the 21st Feb 2010 she has posted part of Hansard which documents the proceedings of the committee meeting. I recommend that anyone interested in new suburbs and broadband coverage read page 53 (document page 23) and pages 69-70 (document pages 39-40) of the transcript of evidence from the Standing Committee on Planning, Public Works and Territory and Municipal Services, Annual and financial reports 2008-09 which sat on the 11th December 2009.

Transcript from http://www.hansard.act.gov.au

What interests me most about the meeting is the details provided by Mr Neil Savery and Mr Ben Ponton on the questions asked by Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Sorry. Ms Le Couteur asked the question and you talked about the national broadband. I am asking: when you actually design the suburb, are you saying there will be trenches that will take these sorts of things et cetera?

THE CHAIR: That is a different question.

Mr Savery: Through the chair, we do not get into that level of specificity in our designs. That is for estate developers to provide. It is up to governments to set policies as to whether or not they want internet provided to every home. That is not for a planning agency to determine. We do not get to that level of design.

MRS DUNNE: No, but, when suburbs are being planned, do you tick off or have any consciousness of whether the trenches, because everything is underground these days, are capable of carrying gas, water, electricity, cable, fibre, whatever? Is that sort of element ticked off? It is about the common trenching policy, I presume. It may not be
called that anymore.

Mr Ponton: In the estate development plan we seek advice from various agencies. We also ask developers to speak with communication providers to ensure that communications, including internet, can be provided to the estate. At the moment it is possible for common trenching; so we do this without issue. We do not get involved in the detail of that but we have to be satisfied that it can be provided.

MRS DUNNE: So you do tick off on the capacity to deliver all these services?

Mr Wurfel: That is right.

Page 39 and 40 of the transcript of evidence from the Standing Committee on Planning, Public Works and Territory and Municipal Services, Annual and financial reports 2008-09 which sat on the 11th December 2009.

It would appear that telecommunications delivery is NOT part of the ACT Planning Authority’s scope of responsibilities. What is indicated through the responses provided by ACT Planning Authority representatives is a situation where critical services are subject to a relationship which is controlled by the developer. I would consider this to be a significant flaw in planning where both policy and governance are weak and very little “planning” is done to provide assurance to the home buyer.

The planning committee seem to accept the fact that critical services including Gas, Electricity and Telecommunications only need to pass a capability test, that is can a trench accommodate a Gas or Electricity service? It seems to be inferred by the statements above that actual access to the common trench is controlled by the developer.

How can the residents of a land release be assured that a service will actually exist? The planning Authority does not seem to have a plan to provide open or fair access to these resources. They deal with fair access to Sun light and Solar resources but can not ensure fair competition is achieved for the delivery of  services to houses.

The ACT Planning Authority and the Members of the Legislative Assembly  should seriously consider the implications of restricting access to the “common” trenches by leaving developers without clear guidelines on use. I may be wrong and there may be controls in place, but the comments made above don’t support that in my opinion.

This lack of policy and governance could the reason why Canberra has such patchy and inconsistent services geographically. As the choice of service providers is controlled by the developer each area has services provided by different organisations and without competition. With out fair use policy I contend that competition is discouraged as service providers would attempt to establish exclusivity with the developer and discourage other providers of a similar service. Gungahlin is a prime example where Telstra is the only provider of telecommunications services in some suburbs without Optus or TransACT services available to residents. It may be that some providers declined to be involved but that is not consistent with other areas of Canberra where wires are placed above ground.

In my opinion this lack of guidelines on trench access has contributed to the issues in Gungahlin. As Tesltra is the exclusive provider in the majority of this area, they have no competition. The lack of competition is the reason why the bare minimum service has been rolled out and why residents suffer. The MLA and the ACT Planning Authority need to provide guidelines to developers as well as supporting legislation to ensure developers do not limit access to common trenches to a single provider.

The new suburbs in the Molonglo development are a good chance to correct the past mistakes. I urge Caroline le Couteur MLA and others to ensure all future developments that use common trenching take the true meaning of the word “common” and ensure open access to all.

Stephen Conroy Response

December 8th, 2009

Katy Gallagher has forwarded on to me the response she received from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy.

In her response to my earlier letter Katy had informed me she had forwarded the matter to Senator Conroy on my behalf. I thank Katy for sending me the response.

The letter is as I had anticipated any response from the minister, part form letter and part sales pitch on the NBN. In the letter Senator Conroy does have a few interesting things to say. He speaks of not having the ability to deal with an issue concerning Broadband which may interfere with day to day operations of a public company.

While I concede the point Governments can’t directly influence public companies it is difficult to understand how little governance actually exists when it comes to these matters. It would appear that Internode, the ACT Legislative Assembly and the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy have no influence on the problem….so who does?

Where would we stand if this was a matter for the Minister for Health? If a medical procedure at Calvary Hospital cost the same as in the hospital at Woden but Calvary gave you only half the treatment, would you have a case? I guarantee there would be all sorts of governance, reviews and backlash over that.

Here in Gungahlin Telstra can put in the lowest cost solution and charge higher rates to consumers. Here we get a substandard service on technology which limits competition. In Gungahlin we get to pay for poor decisions made by Telstra when they were a fully Government owned institution and used tax payers money build a network. We have little to no recourse if Telstra refuse to upgrade Gungahlin due to cost.

Now I have to watch TransACT roll out Fibre past my suburb to a Greenfield site with very little hope of seeing anything equivalent within the next 5 years. Maybe it is time to change focus, maybe it is time to appeal to TransACT to do “brownfield” roll outs in Gungahlin.

To see the response from Senator Conroy check the link out below.

Stephen Conroy Response.pdf

Persistence Pays Off

November 25th, 2009

It would appear that my mother was right all along, persistence does pay off. I received two responses from local members of the Legislative Assembly today, one from Zed Seselja and the other from Andrew Barr.

I am glad our local members are starting to take notice of the issues in Gungahlin, even if I had to use some provocative language to get a response.

I am pleased to see that Zed has taken steps to investigate the issue with Telstra and has assured me that he will let me know of the outcome. Having both Jon Stanhope’s office and the leader of the opposition both involved should start to send a message to Telstra.

Andrew Barr’s response entails forwarding the issue to the Chief Minister’s office but I still hope Andrew will write to Telstra as well.

The Greens are still to respond to either of my letters but it is still early days. I do expect a response from them, and look forward to working with all members of the Legislative Assembly to fix this issue.

I have attached both responses below and hope to receive more soon.

Andrew Barr – Response.pdf

Zed Seselja – Response.pdf

Second Round of Letters to ACT Legislative Assembly

November 20th, 2009

At around 4:45pm on Thursday 19th November I sent a second round of letters to the ACT Legislative Assembly Members for Molonglo. These letters were sent in an attempt rally more local support behind the issue prior to me going federal with the campaign.

My strategy at this point is to get all the local members passing the issue up to federal members at the same time as I write to the federal members. It is an attempt to present the issue as it really is…a community wide issue.

As Jon Stanhope’s office and Katy Gallagher did respond and forward Gungahlin’s concerns already, I did not send them a letter. They have done something and should get some credit for action where others have done very little.

I have attached all the letters below, they are all very similar except for the personalised third paragraph.

I have to admit the language in these letters is far more direct and challenging than the first letter sent in September. I will call members out who continue to show no interest in local matters. As I explain in my letter this is about the constituents and local business and there are a hell of a lot of us affected.

Senators Stephen Conroy, Garry Humphries, Kate Lundy are next as well as Bob McMullan.

2nd Letter MLA – Simon Corbell.pdf

2nd Letter MLA – Shane Rattenbury.pdf

2nd Letter MLA – Jeremy Hanson.pdf

2nd Letter MLA – Caroline Le Couteur.pdf

2nd Letter MLA – Andrew Barr.pdf

2nd Letter MLA – Zed Seselja.pdf

Lack of Response from MLA

October 20th, 2009

It has been nearly three weeks since I sent letters off to the current Legislative Assembly members for Molonglo.

Unfortunately I have only received 1 response.

I am drafting a second series of letters to the same members which I will send out next week. For any of the current members you still have a week to respond.

The one response I did get is best described as underwhelming at best. I can not even be sure Katy herself saw the letter. I have attached the response below for you all to read.

Response K Gallagher 070909.pdf

Maybe I have been taught a different definition for the term “representitive” but I have hoped that local members would have been more interested in the issues concerning their electorate.

This has inspired me to go a step further – I invite all Canberra residents who have contacted members of the Legislative Assembly, Federal Ministers or senior representivies of Internet service providers to send me a copy of your correspondence. I am going to dedicate a page on the site to all the letters, emails, faxes sent in an attempt to show how widespread the issue is.

If you have support ticket details please send them also.

I encourage everyone to send me information, even if you only raise a ticket 5 minutes before sending me the details.

The address – russell(at)actbroadband.net

Please remember to protect your personal details like address, phone number, ISP username.

My Issue Is Resolved?

October 20th, 2009

Over the weekend I was contacted by Internode via email informing me of the resolution of the support ticket I raised on the 14th of October.

Apparently my issue has been resolved or maybe I needed to respond to some question or issue I wasn’t asked about.

Here is the email Intenode has sent informing me of the resolution. It is obviously a form letter or standard template.

From: Internode [mailto:nobody@mail.internode.com.au] On Behalf Of helpdesk@ticket.internode.com.au
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2009 1:36 PM
To: russell@actbroadband.net
Subject: [ticket.internode.com.au #2229656] Resolved: Poor Internet Performance

Hi,

This message has been sent to you because we believe the ticket has been

resolved or we have not yet received a response to our earlier correspondence.

If you consider that further work or information is required, just reply to

this email. The information you provide will be added to the ticket and the

ticket re-opened for our staff to attend to.

We strive to provide excellent customer service. If you have any comments or

questions about the handling of this ticket, please feel free to contact

Feedback via our website at http://www.internode.on.net/contact/feedback/,

making note of the ticket number concerned within your message. Your feedback

will be read by senior Internode management, who value your comments.

Regards,

The Internode Team

________________________________________

Internode Technical Support

150 Grenfell St, Adelaide SA 5000

1300 788 233

Phone: (08) 8228-2999

Fax: (08) 8235-6999

Web: www.internode.on.net/support

Unfortunately I can not agree with their assertions that the issue is resolved or I have yet to respond to them concerning the issue. While the issue continues to affect me and other residents of the area I will try and keep this ticket and the others open.

Here is my response to the support email.

Dear Helpdesk at Internode,

Please move this ticket from resolved back to open status. This I ask for three reasons.

1, You have not been able to demonstrate or provide me with details to how the resolution was achieved, nor have you explained why you believe the issue is resolved. I will not allow you to close this ticket until you can provide me with such details.

2, I will demonstrate again that the issue still exists.

Tracing route to [12.129.242.22]

over a maximum of 30 hops:

1     2 ms     2 ms     3 ms  ppp59-167-63-146.lns1.cbr1.internode.on.net [59.167.63.146]

2   605 ms   613 ms   594 ms  lns1.cbr1.internode.on.net [203.16.215.192]

3   491 ms   424 ms   398 ms  gi1-0-0-3.cor3.cbr1.internode.on.net [150.101.160.6]

4   682 ms   650 ms   674 ms  pos2-1.bdr1.syd6.internode.on.net [150.101.160.110]

5   693 ms   733 ms   756 ms  pos5-0.bdr1.sjc2.internode.on.net [203.16.213.162]

6   813 ms  1021 ms   846 ms  ge-7-7.r02.snjsca04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net [129.250.11.97]

7   601 ms   635 ms   640 ms  ae-2.r20.snjsca04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net [129.250.3.225]

8   668 ms   778 ms   898 ms  192.205.33.177

9   727 ms   723 ms   785 ms  cr1.sffca.ip.att.net [12.122.114.18]

10   751 ms   691 ms   683 ms  cr1.la2ca.ip.att.net [12.122.3.122]

11   784 ms   859 ms   879 ms  gar4.la2ca.ip.att.net [12.122.128.169]

12   566 ms   542 ms   492 ms  12.122.255.70

^C

C:\Documents and Settings\user>date

The current date is: Mon 10/19/2009

Enter the new date: (mm-dd-yy)

C:\Documents and Settings\user>time

The current time is: 21:27:06.64

Enter the new time:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/596386603.png

Until my latency is stable and in line with ADSL services is neighboring suburbs (ie under 100ms to Internode POP) I will argue the issue remains.

3, I have not received an earlier correspondence from you other than acknowledging the congestion fault on my service still exists. I have not received an email or SMS concerning the status of the ongoing issue since August 8th, over 5 weeks ago. I raised another ticket as I had assumed Internode believed the issue solved which is to the contrary.

Please keep this ticket open. I will be in contact in the next week to inquire to its status and Internodes progress.

Thanks

Russell

I expect to hear from Internode again shortly. If you have an outstanding support ticket with your ISP please check it is still open, if it is not ask them to open it again.

Internode Support Response

October 14th, 2009

At around 4:00pm Tuesday 13th October Internode Support replied to the ticket I raised on Monday the 12th.

The response was as expected and has not differed from any previous tickets raised about the issue.

The response provided by Internode is as follows.

From: Internode [mailto:nobody@mail.internode.com.au] On Behalf Of
helpdesk@ticket.internode.com.au
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:06 PM
To: russell@actbroadband.net
Subject: [ticket.internode.com.au #2229656] Poor Internet Performance

Hi Russell,

Thank you for your support request with Internode.

We sent an e-mail to your Internode e-mail address on Friday August 8th,
advising you that your service is part of a congestion fault which has been
reported to and confirmed by our wholesale provider.

We are actively seeking updates and pushing for a resolution, however at
this point, there are no updates.

We also have sent an sms message to the mobile number listed on your account
to advise you of updates, have you received this? If not, can you please
confirm your mobile number?

If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please reply to
this email or contact our Helpdesk by phone on 1300 788 233.

Kind regards,

Carmen
Customer Support Officer

___________________________________
Internode Technical Support Team
Phone: 1300 788 233 for all support
Fax: 08 8235 6911
Web: http://www.internode.on.net

I want to let Internode and others in Gungahlin know that I will not stop raising support tickets around this issue. Even though the response does take measures to remind me that updates will be provided each month it does not mean I will wait quietly.

I understand that this tactic can be frustrating for the Internode Service Desk but it is not as frustrating as the real issue of poor ADSL performance. I know I run the risk of becoming a serial pest but if everyone becomes apathetic about the issue, ISPs and Wholesale Providers will focus on another “squeaky wheel.”

I also want to highlight that Internode is still referring to the congestion issue as a “Fault.” I assume that the Wholesale Provider has used the term “fault” as part of its current report everything – do nothing strategy.

This goes against the General Manager of Telstra Country Wide, ACT – Chris Taylor who has publicly announced that “This is not a fault.” I have included the full quote below.

“The [congestion]issue will be around cost. This is not a fault. It is actually a case of, there are more users than the infrastructure or transmission will allow.”

Chris Taylor – ABC Radio 666 interview 30th September 2009.

There it is, from the horses mouth no less. Gungahlin is not worth spending the money on to provide adequate service.

As the ADSL infrastructure (CMUX) was installed less than 5 years ago, and in many cases only within the last 2 years it would appear that Gungahlin has NEVER been an area Telstra Country Wide has deemed worthy of investment.

Might I remind you Chris Taylor, you own and manage the infrastructure causing the congestion issue. Your assertion that the public Internet is to blame is just not correct. To quote your own words:

“That’s a standard thing with the public Internet.”

Chris Taylor – ABC Radio 666 interview 30th September 2009.

The reality is different to your statement in my particular case. If the congestion I experience is due to the public Internet everyone would be affected.

People in Hackett using the same ISP are routed to the same Point of Presence (POP) as I am and therefore access the public Internet from the same point as I do.

Why are they not affected?

They are not, the question was rhetorical. The issue is occurring between the residence and the POP. The only difference between Hackett and Palmerston when accessing the Internet is the Telstra managed “last mile” infrastructure.

I can prove the congestion occurs between my house and the Internode Point of Presence in the ACT. This is prior to being “on the Internet.” The congestion occurs on the infrastructure Telstra Country Wide owns and resells for a fee.

I can demonstrate over three months where this has occurred. I have published reports at http://www.actbroadband.net/the-reports/ that show the congestion exists before traffic arrives at Internode infrastructure which is prior to hitting the public Internet.

Users like myself pay for the privilege to use this infrastructure. Regardless of wholesale or direct sales the issue is still Telstra’s responsibility to address.

I urge you to find the money, you must have had a number of opportunities to request budget to address this issue in the last 9 months. Please do not let another opportunity go by without addressing our concerns.

Letters to the Molonglo Legislative Assembly Representatives

September 30th, 2009

Earlier today I posted seven letters to the current siting members of the ACT Legislative Assembly for Molonglo and one to the Chief Minister Jon Stanhope in his capacity as Minister for Business and Economic Development.

The intention of these letters is to engage with the local members who are elected to represent Gungahlin residents. There are enough concerns at a local level to more than justify their involvement. People have to remember that the ACT Government raise revenue through the Utility Tax December 2006 which includes the infrastructure providing inadequate service to my suburb.

I also believe telecommunications issues may be threatening the viability of Gungahlin as a location for private enterprise and Governments relocate to.

For the seven members for Molonglo I have sent identical letters with only the addressee altered. The current sitting members for Molonglo are:

  • Katy Gallagher
  • Zed Seselja
  • Andrew Barr
  • Simon Corbell
  • Caroline Le Couteur
  • Jeremy Hanson
  • Shane Rattenbury

I have posted the letter to Katy Gallagher below to show the content of the letters addressed to Molonglo representatives.

Letter to ACT MLA – Katy Gallagher

The letter to Jon Stanhope is slightly different as the Chief Minister is not a representative for Molonglo. My letter to him is posted below.

Letter to ACT MLA – Jon Stanhope

I am calling on each elected representative to become involved. The Gungahlin community is starting to engage in this issue, I would be disappointed if our elected representatives failed become part of the solution.

The Word is Out

September 29th, 2009

Two important events have occurred in the last 72 hours that have brought significant attention to my site.

Posts on Whirlpool Broadband forums about this site were made late Sunday afternoon 27th September 2009 by the user Beastboy. The reference to this site was posted under an existing thread discussing Crace exchange in the Internode discussion area. The actual post and subsequent discussion can be seen here – Whirlpool Forum Discussion – Crace/ACT backhaul/congestion issue

The second event of significance occurred this evening when the post I made on The RiotACT website was made “Featured Post.” The RiotACT website is an important web resource for the ACT region and is used by numerous organisations and residents to discuss local events, issues and even burgers. The full post I made on The RiotACT can be seen here – Gungahlin’s Frustrations with the Internet

I would like to thank The RiotACT for seeing this issue as worthy of such focus.

I will update each of these posts with comments and forum replies as things progress so keep an eye out.

Internode Responds

September 24th, 2009

On Wednesday the 23rd of September Internode contacted me to respond to the letter I sent Thursday 17th September.

The initial response was via a phone call from Emma Rocca, Internode’s Customer Relations representative. The phone call was then followed up by an email from Emma acknowledging our conversation in writing. Here it the email response.

To: rXXXXXX@internode.on.net
Subject: [ticket.internode.com.au #2179885] Attention: The Carrier Relations Manager

Hi Russell

As per our phone conversation you can reply to this email address with any information that you would see of benefit to Internode, regarding the congestion issues at the Crace exchange.  Please note that this is not a guarantee that the information will be passed on to our wholesaler.

As discussed Internode is liaising with our wholesaler to try and get the congestion issues rectified and all customers affected are notified via SMS on a monthly basis with any updates that we receive. At this stage Internode has not received an ETA in regards to when this will be addressed but we will continue to apply pressure and escalate this matter where possible.

We appreciate you taking the time to write to us and thank you for your understanding.


Kind Regards

Emma Rocca
Internode
Customer Satisfaction Team Leader

Phone: 13 NODE (13 66 33)
Fax: (08) 8235 6999
150 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA
www: http://www.internode.on.net

Emma took time to explain that John Lindsay had read the letter and tasked her as the Customer Relations Representative to contact me and explain what Internode have done to address the issue. She also explained that my letter has been forwarded to the Wholesale Provider through the escalation process.

Emma has assured me that Internode has escalated the issues concerning Crace exchange as far as their relationship with their Wholesale Provider allows. John Lindsay is aware of the issue and taking all the steps possible to find a resolution.

The issue has been openly acknowledged by Telstra Wholesale as a congestion issue with their infrastructure.

This is encouraging as Internode senior management are involved in resolving the issue and as much pressure as possible is being applied by my ISP.

Our conversation did raise some concerns that I believe need to be addressed.

Internode only receives updates on the Crace exchange issue once a month, around the 8th. This consists of an acknowledgement of the issue and the expected ETA for a resolution. It would appear that the Wholesale Provider is not interested in engaging with the ISP or communicating in any meaningful way. As much as it would appear my ISP is attempting to engage, the Wholesale Provider appears not to be interested.

The Wholesale Provieder is not admitting what the actual issue is related to. I asked Internode if they had been given details of what the issue was. Internode did not seem to actually know any details other than the issue relates to congestion. Part of understanding the magnitude of the issue is having details on where the issue lies. If the congestion is with insufficient switching infrastructure that gives me confidence that the Wholesaler actually looked at the issue at some point. No information is far from transparent to the users paying for the service.

The Wholesale Provider refuses to provide an ETA for the resolution of the issue. For at least 6 months there been no ETA provided to Internode and as of the 8th of September there is still no time frame for resolution. I can only assume the Wholesale Provider is not interested in addressing the issues at Crace exchange regardless of the pressure being exerted.

These issues are significant enough in my mind to escalate further. If the issue was with a new car there is no way a manufacturer could acknowledge a defect, keep the details of the defect to themselves and refuse to provide a time frame as to when the defect will be addressed.

Why is this any different?