Posts Tagged ‘North Canberra’

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

Chris Taylor Reschedules June Meeting

May 29th, 2010

As I sat down to prepare for the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) meeting I discovered Chris Taylor, Manager for Telstra Countrywide had rescheduled and will now meet with us on the 14th July.  He had originally agreed to attend the June meeting to discuss the recent newspaper articles which have been critical of Telstra’s current service. The announcement made by Alan Kerlin via the GCC Facebook page was slipped in on Monday the 24th of May.

He has accepted the invitation to the July the 14th meeting…if something else does not come up like it did for June.

If you were planing to come then you will have to wait another month to voice your dissatisfaction. I am disappointed it has been postponed, I was looking forward to meeting the man face to face to discuss the issues.

I hope this is only a one off situation but I am a bit skeptical. There are a number of planned upgrades for Crace Exchange listed on the Telstra Wholesale website and there could be more going on soon. I hope his appearance is not being timed with these upgrades to give the impression he is some sort of White Knight to our problems.

The last two documents on the Telstra Wholesale website (DSLAM Software Upgrade Planand DSLAM Backhaul Upgrade Plan) indicate some upgrades are being performed at some level but may not actually bring any change to the end user.

The Backhaul upgrade plan lists 13 entries related to Crace Exchange. The devices are listed as follows :

Exchange   DSLAM ID                  Date Complete

CRCF            QCRCFE4026S2

CRCF            QCRCFE4026S4

CRCF            QCRCFE4026S5

CRCF            QCRCFE4047S2    21-May-10

CRCF            QCRCFE4047S3    19-May-10

CRCF            QCRCFE4062M

CRCF            QCRCFE4064M

CRCF            QCRCFE4065M

CRCF            QCRCFE4072M

CRCF            QCRCFE7S2            28-May-10

CRCF            QCRCFE7S3            24-May-10

CRCF            QCRCFE7S7            26-May-10

CRCF            QCRCFE7S8

It is my opinion that the term backhaul used in for these upgrades are between the DSLAMs in Crace exchange and core network connections upstream. The reason I think this is the case is due to the device IDs not lining up with RIM/CMUX naming convention used in other Telstra Wholesale documents. Also the upgrade is for 13 devices which does not seem to align with the 75 RIM/CMUX in the area.

The Telstra documentation refers to DSLAM id, but users connected to RIM/CMUX devices don’t terminate ADSL on an exchange based DSLAM. ADSL is terminated on the RIM/CMUX itself and goes to the exchange on a shared backhaul connection. Some of the items listed have the same ID except for the last number in the sequence, this could mean each entry refers to the same device but different network interfaces or devices in the same location. I am only guessing of course but it is common for ISPs to use naming conventions based on location.

RIM/CMUX users can experience congestion on the RIM/CMUX itself as well as the backhaul between the RIM/CMUX and the exchange. It would appear neither of these parts of the infrastructure are being addressed. If they were there would be 75 entries in the document and Telstra vans everywhere.

If anyone can show their connectivity has been better over the past week then I would be interested to hear. I expect that no one really noticed any change at all.

I am still looking for more performance statistics and experiences from people affected. I am starting to gather quite a lot of information which adds weight to our argument that the service here is bad and it affects hundreds of people.

More Coverage on Gungahlin Broadband Issues

March 19th, 2010

After Kate Lundy’s press release and the release of the interview three major news and industry sites/radio stations covered the issue.

2CC Radio Canberra rang me for an off air interview which was incorporated into the hourly news bulletin Friday 12th of March 2010. This included quotes off the press release and a sound byte from me.

ITNews.com.au ran a story on its website which quoted both the press release and posts I had made on this site. The news article can be seen on at www.itnews.com.au under the NBN category. You can read it here.

The third place the my campaign was posted was the National Broadband Network News and Information website. The article posted here used both press release and this website as source material. You can read the article here.

I am working on a submission to Senator Lundy and Senator Conroy as well as other things. This coverage has provided renewed interest in the campaign and I will take what advantage I can to keep the issue in peoples minds.

Discussion still continues on Whirlpool forums over the congestion issue with one post in particular still receiving updates 12 months after the original post. I recommend reading and contributing to the discussions as many industry representitives participate as well as the general public. The Whirlpool Forums post can be seen here.

I will post more when it happens, I don’t expect that to be long.

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.

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.

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.