Tech

Is your NBN link congested? Ask your ISP – Aussie Broadband demonstrates transparency

When it comes to the NBN don’t misunderstand the fact that no two telcos are the same when it comes to providing you with your internet.  So when the time comes time to connect to the NBN at your place – you really need to do your research and choose a provider to suit.

One of the big issues you’ll hear about when reading about and researching the NBN is speed.  And while via the NBN there are several speed tiers available, no two telcos are the same.

This week, I spoke with Phil Britt – the boss of Aussie Broadband about their approach to customers and NBN congestion and it’s one hell of a refreshing story:

To put things in layman’s terms, right across Australia, the NBN has constructed a backbone network of internet pipes.  These all terminate at what are called Points of Interconnect (POI) – think of them as the local NBN Exchange.

Your home connection, be it HFC, FTTN, FTTP or otherwise, goes back to one of these POIs.  That’s the NBN’s job, to get you connected to a POI.  Your telco has the task of taking your connection out to the big wide world.

And this is where the issue is for many users.  If two telcos have the same size “link” from the POI out to the internet, but one of them has 10,000 customers, and the other has 1,000 – it’s likely the first telco is going to be congested, and that will result in slower speeds for their users.

How do you combat that?  Well you buy a bigger pipe – you can add capacity to the “link” – problem is, we don’t know if the telcos are doing that.

Except in the case of Aussie Broadband.  This is staggeringly transparent, but they are committed to their links to the point that they have people monitoring them in real time each evening (during the “internet peak time”) and adding capacity when required.

The company has even taken to publishing the charts from their own systems to demonstrate capacity

In many cases that happens with as little as 15 minutes notice. The customer experience is and should be that they don’t experience as much of a speed degradation at peak times.

Now lets be clear – there’s always going to be traffic.  But the difference between your “100mbps” plan running at 35mbps and 75mbps at peak time could well be this capacity management.

Phil Britt told me they are working on making their POI bandwidth charts public on a “techie” website, so the transparency levels will be even higher.

I’ll be switching to Aussie Broadband next week to give them a go and continue my comparison – lets see how they compare.

Web: Aussie Broadband

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