A city accountant has added his tale of woe to the growing list of Hunter National Broadband Network (NBN) horror stories, saying his home office has been sitting redundant for three months due to unresolved problems connecting to the network.
Thomas Bowe moved into a Cooks Hill house in January and inquired about getting an internet service through provider TPG on January 15. After receiving notification a few weeks later that NBN connection was available in his area, he decided to convert to the new network.
However, he is yet to receive any internet service and is becoming increasingly frustrated by the provider’s inability to resolve the issue and apparent buck-passing between TPG and NBN Co.
“First, they told me ADSL wasn’t available, then they kept telling me NBN Co had rejected the application because they didn’t have my telephone number,” Mr Bowe said.
“But I had given them the number with the initial application. I ended up giving it to them three times before it was sorted out.”
Mr Bowe said he was told his NBN connection would take place on March 29, but he arrived home from work to find there was no internet service. A technician sent by the company on April 6 blamed the problem on the NBN “wiring up the street wrong” and told Mr Bowe it would be fixed within days.
When he pursued TPG a few days later, the company seemed surprised he was still not connected and told him another technician would be sent out. Mr Bowe is still waiting.
“But I did get a call from my customer care manager, asking if I was enjoying my new internet connection,” he commented wryly.
“I think that shows that communication within the organisation is pretty well non-existent.”
Suburbs of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie have been among the first in the country to receive fibre-to-the-node technology but the rollout has been far from smooth. The offices of local federal MPs have been inundated with complaints from people left in limbo while waiting for connection or experiencing slow, dial-up era internet speeds after switching to the NBN.
While service providers have been at fault in some cases, Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the fact complaints were not isolated to one service provider nor a single issue suggested the rollout strategy was at the root of the problems.
Opposition communications spokesman Jason Clare said the region had been let down by the federal government’s second-rate NBN.
“Mr Turnbull has made a mess of the NBN and nowhere is this mess clearer than in the Hunter where his copper version of the NBN is not working properly,” he said.