Posts Tagged ‘Telstra’

The Community Voices its Opinion

July 15th, 2010

Last night, Wednesday the 14th of July was not a comfortable night to be traveling. It was raining and blowing a gale yet 70 concerned residents turned out to confront Telstra representatives concerning years of broadband issues.

The Gungahlin Community Council meeting attracted a wide cross section of the community. I was glad to see Shane Rattenbury (MLA Greens) and Caroline Le Couteur (MLA Greens) at the meeting. I had written to each of them during my campaign and I was glad to see their interest in this issue continues. I was also glad to see Pia Waugh from Senator Kate Lundy’s office was also able to attend and took a copy of my submission on behalf of Senator Lundy. I was also pleased to see David Mathews at the meeting. David ran for election to the Legislative Assembly for the seat of Molonglo for the Labor party at the last election.

The meeting was split into two sections with the speakers taking up the first half of the night and general questions following. I stood up and spoke first for a few minutes. It was my intention to frame the meeting by describing the issues faced by Gungahlin over the past 15 years. It was important for me to make sure everyone at the meeting understood the magnitude of each broken promise made.

I also took 4 of the most commonly asked questions sent to me prior to the meeting which I asked Telstra to address.

  1. Why did it take 18 months to address the congestion issues?
  2. Do you believe making Gungahlin wait 18 months was acceptable?
  3. What are you doing to ensure this does not happen again?
  4. Why should we trust you?

Chris Taylor followed and spent a significant period of the night explaining Telstra’s position, what they have done and the future of the service. Chris Taylor, to his credit gave an honest account of Telstra’s actions and provided information about the service and Telstra’s activities leading up to the meeting.

The third and final speaker was David Forman from the Competitive Carriers Coalition. Mr Forman provided a perspective of the Broadband issues from the non-dominant ISPs who are in competition with Telstra and Optus.

In my opinion that both David Forman and Chris Taylor’s talk provided a good balance with each party allowed to put forward their perspective. My intention was to put into people’s minds the reality of poor broadband and telecommunications. I wanted to remind people of the hardships the community faced while they listen to the other speakers. Ultimately I was there to hear from Telstra and get outcomes, I wanted Telstra to do the majority of the talking.

Once the floor was opened to questions a number of residents made their feelings known. Many of the community who attended made sure they got their point across. I was glad that people got to take their issue straight to Telstra and I was pleased to see that Chris took details after the meeting. The expectation has been set by Telstra that something will be done. I hope it gets followed up.

I provided Chris Taylor with 60 odd pages during my talk. This consisted of letters I sent to the MLA, Federal Ministers and others. It also included reports I have generated and posted on this site as well as other speed test results and trace routes. I also included a handful of stories sent to me by people in Gungahlin. These stories detailed some residents experiences and how it affected their lives. I asked these people’s permission before I included them and nearly everyone I asked were happy to oblige. This campaign is about the representing the community and I felt it was important to include some of these stories.

I encourage you to visit the GCC website and view the video when it is released (if your connection is up to it).

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.

Is It Do or Die for Gungahlin?

April 28th, 2010

I have been holding off making posts until I have the submission sorted out but too many things have occurred in the past few weeks. Today the Liberals announced that they would drop the NBN if elected in the up coming Federal election. I will spend some time over the next few days to see if they have come up with some alternate policy. To would appear that our issues here in Gungahlin, Dunlop and North Lyneham might continue if a Liberal government get in. It may come down to do or die now.

The announcement by Tony Abbott today might mean the continuation of our poor service and lack of choice for some time. An article on the Daily Telegraph website quotes Mr Abbott saying

“But if you want to cut spending, look at the NBN. Not proceeding with it could save billions of dollars.”

The full article can be read on the Daily Telegraph Website here

In response to this announcement Kate Lundy posted the following Media Release about what effects this decision may make to Gungahlin and to jobs. This Media Release also links to the next important event that occurred last Friday 23rd April, Kate Lundy’s office released the second video interview on the Broadband issue in Gungahlin.

The video provides the views of Kate Lundy, myself and others of the current issues in the area as well as providing some history of the issue. The video in full  can be seen here.

Two articles were published in news papers over the past few weeks, one article in the Gungahlin News and one in the Chronicle.

The Chronicle article headed “Business hit by slow net speeds in the north” takes the issues I have raised about the cost of setting up communications  in Gungahlin for office space and the flow on effect it has on local business. The article can be seen here in full.

The article published in the Gungahlin News has been the most surprising of all the coverage in recent times. The article was read by Christopher J Taylor – General Manager of Telstra Wholesale ACT and he was “bemused by the inaccuracies…” Alan Kerlin of the GCC jumped on the opportunity and invited him to the June Gungahlin Community Council meeting to discuss the situation.

The GCC website has posted the article and the general public has responded with comments. The GCC post with the news article can be read here.

I would encourage you to contact Alan Kerlin and the GCC if you wish to attend and meet the man responsible for the performance of Telstra Wholesale services in the ACT. If you are out of town on the 9th of June then feel free to leave comments or contact me and I will attempt to pass your message onto him during the meeting.

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.

ABC Radio Canberra Interview

September 30th, 2009

Earlier today I was invited by ABC Radio Canberra’s Afternoons program to be interviewed by Genevieve Jacobs concerning Broadband in Gungahlin. The invitation came from interest in my post on The-RiotACT.com and the content of this site. The interviews occured at 1:15pm th 30th September 2009 and finished at 1:32pm.

Genevieve also invited Allan Kerlin from the Gungahlin Community Council; David Forman from the Competitive Carrier’s Coalition; and Chris Taylor, Managing Director for Telstra Country Wide ACT.

I have to confess I was quite nervous, I did not expect to be on the radio when I got out of bed this morning.

The issue sparked numerous SMS and phone calls to the ABC radio station, many of which were commented on air after the interviews were finished.

ABC Radio have assured me they will make a transcript available which I will post on this site (if permitted).

I would like to thank the ABC for the opportunity to put my issues to such a wide audience.