Why I said no to the dud NBN

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By LAURIE PATTON | 19 March 2019

Today I cancelled my order for the NBN. I had initially accepted an offer to switch over from my current provider before making some inquiries about the service I might expect. Turns out my HFC (cable) connection is being replaced.

When I checked with several RSP’s (NBN Co retailers) the best they could offer me was a plan on 50 Mbps – with the possibility that I might be bumped up to 75 Mbps, dependng on tests carried out after installation. I currenty have a regular and uninterupted download speed of 115+ Mbps. Why would I switch?

I have written regularly for several years now about the troubles faced by millions of NBN customers. Today the reality hit me fair and square.

We need a 21st Century broadband service if we are to enjoy the benefits of the emerging digitally-enabled global economy. We need affordable and accessible Internet access for our social development and to create online equity among all the people of Australia.

It’s time for bipartisan agreement on a plan to fix this mess. We need #BetterBroadband.


In 2020 a parliamentary inquiry is being held into the National Broadband Network. TelSoc, of which I recently became vice-president, lodged a submission prepared by a working group of highly qualified industry experts. Unless the federal Government takes notice of two key recommendations millions of consumers are destined to continue suffering second rate broadband for years to come.

(Laurie Patton was CEO / Executive Director of Internet Australia, the NFP peak body representing the interests of Internet users, from 2014-2017.)