Saturday, 10 August 2013

Why are we [still] waiting for the NBN in Palmerston via Gungahlin?

One of my major thesis findings was that Australia's centrally-controlled approach to enabling, coordinating and regulating communications networks invariably takes longer than Canada's decentralised approach to connect citizens. Yesterday adds a little more proof to the pudding.

In my previous post I mentioned how it was Telstra, not NBN Co., that informed me of the availability of the NBN in my area. Consequently, and with bated breath, we waited from 1pm to 5pm yesterday for NBN Co. to arrive. Finally, after years of slow Net connections (until only just recently) in Palmerston, we had high hopes that by Tuesday next week, we would be screaming over the Net at 100 mbps. But that isn't how centrally-controlled systems work.

By 5:30pm, we had heard nothing. No show, no phone call, no nothing. I decided to call Telstra to see if we could do something before our appointment with them on Tuesday to finalise the connection. I was given a direct number to call the next day if we had still heard nothing from NBN Co.

By midday today, I had given up. I called Telstra. Of course, we had to reschedule the appointment. And the next available appointment is: 23 October. It might as well be 23 October 2050.

So there we have it: no customer service, no nothing from NBN Co. Very much like the bad old days of Telecom. 

How this plays out is anybody's guess. But if history tells us anything, as long as the fascination with centrally-controlled telecommunications policy persists, Australia can expect a visit from the "ghosts of fraudbands past" with the next iteration of communications technology, whenever that may be.

Creative Commons License Except where indicated otherwise, Le Flâneur Politique by Michael de Percy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License. Based on a work at politicalscience.com.au. Background image ©Depositphotos.com/ @redshinestudio