Your intrepid PC Update editor has asked me to explain why I, in common with a number of other Club members, have elected to use the relatively new retail service provider Aussie Broadband, absolutely not to be confused with the similarly named Australia Broadband.
Aussie Broadband (ABB) is a retail service provider which concentrates on a high-quality connection supplemented by a locally based service department. ABB is represented at all POIs (points of intersection – there are 121 of these around Australia that are similar to telephone exchanges and provide a connection between the NBN and your RSP’s network) but is locally based in Morwell.
Now for some history. At the time NBN first became available to me I naturally wanted to stick with a well-known name. I had for some years been with Telstra HFC cable and being extremely happy with that service which provided me with speeds of up to 115mbs and with perfect reliability.
Telstra’s work in arranging the change over to NBN went very well and while there was a short-term glitch on the NBN side it wasn’t long before I was connected to their HFC service and getting speeds of 93/37. And for the first three years contract period I was perfectly satisfied with the performance of NBN HFC as provided by Telstra.
Things went wrong however when at the end of that period Telstra arbitrarily increased my fees by $30 per month without telling me and certainly without providing any reason. The increase was not entirely unexpected as I had seen reports of this increase being applied to others, but I was nevertheless totally dissatisfied with the lack of notice or explanation. Queries to the Telstra billing department revealed the reason (withdrawal of a so-called promotional discount) but I was assured that there was no way the increase could be waived. It actually turned out that had I complained and threatened disconnection the increase would have been waived but that’s not my style. Telstra had their opportunity and failed to tell me the increased fee might be set aside.
Switching to ABB was an absolute simplicity. All I had to do was to complete the form on their website which I did one evening and the next morning I was connected to ABB. Certainly there were some adjustments in mail and other arrangements to make but the switch could not have been simpler or faster.
I did not expect faster speeds with ABB nor did I get them. Speeds remained comparable to what I was getting with Telstra which was exactly what I expected. What was attractive to me with the fact that I now had available a locally based service department – something that I thought might be very important with the declining service standards provided by NBN. I have not yet had to use this service but I still think it is a big plus.
ABB also provides greater transparency than Telstra – for example, the ability to display a CVC graph of my local POI – something that very few other providers can match. I also get much better notification of NBN outages than ever was the case with Telstra.
In short, the service provided by ABB has been perfectly reliable and very much up to expectations and at a price slightly lower than Telstra.
More recently NBN has made available speeds faster than 100 megabits per second on the HFC network and I have been successfully able to upgrade to a 250/20 plan. That too was a matter of absolute simplicity. I simply selected the plan on the ABB website and it was implemented and the speeds available within 10 minutes. An upgrade within the last few days has delivered the over-provisioning which NBN has been promising and I have been able to record speed tests of up to 270 megabits per second download.
Is ABB the best provider out there? I certainly couldn’t say that – there are many good providers available. What I will say is that ABB is a provider which our members should certainly consider and which is already providing services to quite a number of our regular Yammer members.