Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Gungahlin to Get NBN Fast Track

July 8th, 2010

What can I say? I am not sure I really know what to say other than WOW.

The NBN Co announced today that Gungahlin will be included as one of the 14 locations where the NBN will be rolled out in early to mid 2011. The announcement, which can be seen on the NBN Co site here states that Gungahlin will start to receive the upgrade as early as March next year.

This announcement is a great boon for our community. For too long we have struggled with bad service and broken promises with regard to phone and internet services in Gungahlin and it is great to finally have our issue acknowledged.

The broken promises started on the 31st of August 1995, almost 15 years ago when Telstra representatives stood in front of my local primary school in Palmerston ACT. At that time Telstra promised to invest $20 million for “…connecting each of our [school] buildings with optical fibre, using a hub and router system to connect the school then into the university’s file server … other schools but also the World Wide Web and Internet.” Reference -The Media Report

The $20 Million dollar telecommunications investment was also to trial new technologies.

“There was no pre-existing infrastructure in Gungahlin, and in terms of choosing Gungahlin we were able to try out various infrastructure opportunities.” Reference -The Media Report

Unfortunately for Gungahlin, Telstra quietly withdrew the investment and decided to only “trial” Pair Gain and RIM technology. People moved to the area with the belief they would get the best in schooling for their children and world leading communications services. It was not until later people realised they had been mislead.

The reality of the broken promise crystallised on the 15th of February 2002 when the then Chief Minister Garry Humphries was quoted by the Canberra Times as saying

“…it was almost impossible for ACTTAB to be moved to Gungahlin due to costs, particularly the installation of new communications lines/systems.” Reference – Canberra Times

Only at this point, the true impacts of poor communications infrastructure became clear. Government Office space and the associated office workers will not be setting up in Gungahlin. The under investment in phone and data services in Gungahlin had become a major disincentive to business and Government departments moving into the area.

Still to this day only one Government department has located in Gungahlin. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship temporarily located a small number of workers at Gungahlin. The Department has since vacated the site and no other large private entity or Government Departments have moved in.

As Gungahlin has the largest rate of population growth in Canberra it is hard to believe very few employment opportunities exist within the area. The local business that provide support and services like coffee shops are suffering for lack of clientele. Our local economy has suffered with many businesses closing or moving to other locations.

The NBN will bring a new infrastructure service to our area providing what has been lacking for 15 years. The NBN will enable big businesses and Government Agencies an affordable telecommunications solution to support their businesses. Residents will be able to get the benefits of usable internet access for the first time. People who run business from home will be able to service their clients effectively.

No longer will our beautiful area be shunned as a “Technology Ghetto”

In an Interview today Mike Quigley stated community dissatisfaction with services had made a difference.

“… the inclusion of Gungahlin was partly thanks to community dissatisfaction over its poor Internet coverage.

“I’d say it certainly is a factor in our consideration,” he said. “It’s clear Gungahlin has a problem – it has a bunch of RIMs serving large parts of it, they can’t provide broadband.

“So it makes good sense if you can pick an area in the ACT to pick one that’s got problems with broadband.”

Reference – arnnet.com.au

The article links to this site and proves that some of the people who make decisions are listening.

To the community within which I live, thank you for all your support, emails and feedback. It was what kept me going and fighting for a better deal. The system does work some times. It was this campaign and other work done by Alan Kerlin at the GCC and Senator Kate Lundy who helped make this happen.

Thank you Kate Lundy and Pia Waugh for finding my site, listening to my story and supporting this campaign.

Thanks to Alan Kerlin and the members of the GCC who also put in time and effort to improve services for community.

Thanks to the MLA members who took time to respond to my letters and represent our community. Special thanks to Caroline Le Couteur (Greens) who responded to my letters and posted comments on this site. Thanks also to Katy Gallagher, Deputy Chief Minister who also responded to my letters and represented the issue at the Federal level.

I am not going to call this campaign over just yet. This is just the beginning of a journey we have not yet completed. It is not a victory until the first home is connected but still, today is a great day :)

Some additional links and information

NBN Company website – NBN Co announces next rollout locations

Senator Stephen Conroy – Media Release

Kate Lundy Website – Warm Welcome for Initial NBN Rollout

ITNews.com.au – Broadband Battlers Get Their Dues

ARN – update: nbn co announces 14 new mainland australia sites

Gungahlin Community Council Facebook Page

Canberra Times – Super-fast internet for Gungahlin

Focus Back on NBN

March 11th, 2010

A number of events have come together in recent days to bring the telecommunications debate back at a federal and local level. The NBN seems to be back on the agenda for Senate debate with the imminent release of the NBN implementation study and debate on the new draft telecommunications bills to be held over the coming months .

On the local front Senator Kate Lundy has published a Media Release and part of an interview she recorded with me during a meeting we had at my home. I took the opportunity to raise my concerns with broadband performance in Gungahlin with a hope she may help raise the profile of the issues we face. Senator Lundy has a long history dealing with broadband issues in Canberra and the release of the video interview and Media Release could bring national focus to our broadband issues.

The Media Release, titled NBN urgently needed in Gungahlin was released today by Senator Lundy’s office and goes to the heart of one of my objectives with this campaign – fix broadband services in Gungahlin. If Telstra continue to ignore existing complaints about performance then trying to bring an alternative to Gungahlin is the only other option. The NBN is the prime candidate for such an alternative and my conversations with Senator Lundy have revolved around bringing the NBN to Gungahlin as fast as possible.

I am still working to have TransACT expand their current Fibre roll out to include existing suburbs. I have been working on a submission to send to their board in an attempt to convince TransACT to do “brownfields” rollouts.

The full interview is being worked on and will be released shortly. In the full interview I talk about the problems faced by Gungahlin residents with the current copper network and the impacts of what I understand the technology constraints to be. I hope this issue gets greater coverage and the interview and Media Release helps to bring a result for our community.

Two draft bills have been released and I encourage people to review them and comment. I have participated in these in the past and will be making a submission on both of these bill as listed on the DBCDE website. Comments close 15th of March.

You can see the Video here

You can read the Media Release here

Feel free to comment or contact me via email and thanks again for all the support and feedback.

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.

Another Dismal Night

October 13th, 2009

Last night the 12th October 2009 was another dismal night for Broadband performance in Gungahlin. It was so bad I registered another support call with Internode.

ticket.internode.com.au #2229656

I would like to register another complaint concerning the poor internet performance experienced on my connection.

I have 2 existing tickets raised about this issue:
#1910774
#2080837

Here is some information supporting the latest performance issues.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/589839173.png
http://www.speedtest.net/result/589826993.png

This was 100 pings sent to lns1.cbr1.internode.on.net the first hop at the
Internode POP in the ACT.

Ping statistics for 203.16.215.192:
Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 88, Lost = 12 (12% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 483ms, Maximum = 1074ms, Average = 678ms

C:>date
The current date is: Mon 10/12/2009
Enter the new date: (mm-dd-yy)

C:>time
The current time is: 23:06:11.57
Enter the new time:

Tracing route to [12.129.242.22]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1     3 ms     5 ms     4 ms  ppp59-167-63-XXX.lns1.cbr1.internode.on.net[59.167.63.XXX]
2   653 ms   712 ms   704 ms  lns1.cbr1.internode.on.net [203.16.215.192]
3   636 ms   701 ms     *     gi1-0-0-3.cor3.cbr1.internode.on.net[150.101.160.6]
4   650 ms   595 ms   688 ms  pos2-1.bdr1.syd6.internode.on.net[150.101.160.110]
5   868 ms   754 ms   663 ms  pos5-0.bdr1.sjc2.internode.on.net[203.16.213.162]
6   675 ms   720 ms   774 ms  ge-7-7.r02.snjsca04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net[129.250.11.97]
7   867 ms   794 ms   724 ms  ae-2.r20.snjsca04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net[129.250.3.225]
8   713 ms   645 ms   724 ms  192.205.33.177
9   779 ms   840 ms   865 ms  cr1.sffca.ip.att.net [12.122.114.18]
10   705 ms   693 ms   695 ms  cr1.la2ca.ip.att.net [12.122.3.122]
11  ^C

I have documented the history around this issue at
http://www.actbroadband.net as well as @ACT_Broadband on twitter.

Please escalate this issue “again” as it has existed for over 8 months with
no improvement.


Ticket created by the Internode Contact Form
http://www.internode.on.net/contact/online/
No virus found in this incoming message.

The latency across the Wholesale provider’s infrastructure averaged over 670 milliseconds and packet loss was over 10% for the evening.

As well as these poor results the download and upload speeds experienced was 0.1 Megabit per second. Thats is virtually dial up speeds (56 Kilobit per second) or about 12 kilobytes per second written to disk.

Just to put this in perspective – at these speeds it would take 1 mintue and 25 seconds to download 1 Megabyte of data.

To download the same amount of data to fill a 1.44MB floppy (remember those) it would take 2 minutes and 3 seconds approximately.

If you are sceptical of my claims here are two speed tests done nearly 20 mins apart. They are in the support ticket I sent to Internode last night and were also posted on twitter.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/589839173.png
http://www.speedtest.net/result/589826993.png

Report for September Released

October 2nd, 2009

I have completed the report for September 2009 and uploaded it to the the Reports page.

The report is in PDF format so please make sure you have the appropriate reader.

The report can be viewed directly from the following link – September 09 Report

Feel free to visit the Reports page and view the latest statistics.

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?

Performance Reports Released

September 23rd, 2009

I have finally managed to release the performance reports for June, July and August 2009. These reports have been posted in The Reports page of this site.

These reports are based on output from monitoring I am doing of the network. The Reports page outlines how I gathered this information. I have published the reports in PDF format so make sure you have an appropriate reader.

I will be releasing a report for September 2009 early next month, I encourage you to review the reports I have generated. You may be surprised at how congested the system appears to be.

Welcome to actbroadband.net

September 8th, 2009

This website is dedicated to addressing the ongoing Internet performance issues concerning residents of Gungahlin. I hope this site will become one of the focal points in the quest to improve Internet access performance to levels equivalent with neighboring suburbs in North Canberra.

An explanation of issues with Internet services in Gungahlin as well as some history is outlined in links on the top of this page. I have spent some time documenting the problems experienced by residents of North Canberra as well as what I have done to address the issues myself. If you always wondered how it works or why it is so slow, these pages will help.

More information will be uploaded here on a regular basis including statistics and reports when I can generate them.

I will also be using a Twitter account to track latency on a day to day basis. Follow me if you are interested in receiving information on when my site is updated.

I will also be posting all copies of correspondence I have with service providers, Politicians and other organisations.

The more people can work together the greater the chance of a result. The hope is to engage enough residents in the Gungahlin area to escalate the issue beyond what is possible by a single individual.

Please read through the site and come back often.