+ Tuesday September 17th, 2019

Huawei Technologies Australia’s chief technology officer David Soldani has given his scathing assessment of the National Broadband Network, and the Australian Government’s management of the shambolic technology project.

Mr Soldani labelled the network (and the $51 billion dollars spent on the project) as a catastrophe, and slammed the performance of the network that, despite the huge investment, couldn’t even deliver modest speeds to more than 1 million Australians.

In a post on Huawei’s website, Soldani said:

“Australia has somehow managed to invest $51 billion on a network that can’t even deliver 50Mbps to around one million of its fixed-broadband end-user premises,” the post claims, listing 200,000 homes on fibre-to-the-node technology that cannot get 25Mbps speeds.

“The NBN project has failed and Australia needs to stop expecting NBN Co to deliver high-speed broadband to all Australians – it is just not going to happen.”

Some may see this as a case of sour grapes from Huawei, which was banned from participating in the NBN years ago, and more recently from participating in 5G network builds in Australia. However, looking at the state of the NBN, it’s hard to disagree with his comments.

The performance of NBN’s Fixed Wireless network was targeted in particular:

“The incredible truth of the matter – and this takes some believing – is that in hundreds of cell sites across the country the NBN fixed wireless network is now delivering only around 6Mbps to each end-user premises at peak-time,” he said.

6Mbps speeds, in 2019, are absolutely appalling. In many countries around the world, gigabit fibre is broadly available, and offers speeds as much as 150 times faster than these woeful NBN speeds.

The continued mismanagement of the NBN rollout has been felt by customers across the country, with a second-rate FTTN network delivering appalling speeds to many customers, and countless others having build dates pushed further and further back.

You may have followed my own journey to the NBN, which was promised when we moved in two years ago, and after delay and delay, we approached a June 2019 ready for service date … only to be told that further build was required, and then a delay to January 2020.

Regardless of Huawei’s situation at the moment, the company has a point; in feedback we’ve seen on previous NBN stories, there’s lots of unhappy customers, with lots of conversation about whether the original promise of the NBN has been met (or can even be met). Sadly it almost feels like we’ve been sold a lemon.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Mike
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Mike

Just recently moved here from NZ and have been shocked at the appalling state of NBN here. I am shocked equally that Australians are putting up with this. Reading the blogs and comments from NBN officials is like listening to a used car salesman. FTTN is not true fiber and the speeds are appalling. NZ Chorus were given the contract for there version of NBN and become extremely efficient in laying fiber down streets (trenched) in footpaths and delivered to the driveway. In Australian streets for the most part you dont seem to have fully concreted footpaths and so is… Read more »

Mathew
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Mathew

> “Australia has somehow managed to invest $51 billion on a network that can’t even deliver 50Mbps to around one million of its fixed-broadband end-user premises,” Labor never intended the network to offer fast speeds to everyone. The evidence is the speed tiers and Labor’s expectation that in 2026 50% would be on 12Mbps and <1% would have 1Gbps. I don't think Labor anticipated that rush to unlimited data plans which put further pressure on network performance. On the fixed wireless front, FTTN in many smaller towns would deliver significantly faster performance and take pressure off wireless capacity. This was… Read more »

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

The worst part of the debacle of the Lieberal Fraudband Notwork being inflicted upon Ausfailure, is how little the generic public cared about the harm, financial and data access, this disaster would cause.

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

Sadly when it comes to things like elections and NBNs, etc. far too many Australians still get sucked in by the misinformation spread by RWNJ news outlets like Newscorpse rags, FauxNews, Squawk-back radio morons, and now Nine/Fairfax. Add to that the fake news spread across Fakebook by “Pro Australian” groups which are really just fronts for RWNJ orgs like the Christian industry.

Even sadder is now when we are in age that people should be better educated than ever, people in general are so easily misled and deluded.

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

Don’t you mean Nein/unFair-Lack-of-facts?
edit: You also missed the major anti-social nyetwork which competes against Arsepage, Twaddle.

Christopher Scott
Guest
Christopher Scott

It’s awful to see that the Christian industry despite its thousands of abuses here of children and other issues they still exist here. There not even as bad as Newscorp and that’s saying something

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

He isn’t saying anything that everybody outside of the RWNJ reality distortion bubble doesn’t already know.

Wonder if he’d ever talk trash about his ultimate bosses, the Chinese Gov’t. I recently read how dissenters are being forcibly turned into organ donors for the black market by the Chinese Gov’t.

chris
Guest
chris

I am so lucky, FTTB and cat 5 cables to the apartments means I get 104mb download and 39 upload in quiet periods, surprisingly it seems MyRepublic has put my area on a direct NBN connection and not via Optus wholesale so in peak I get about 96mb download. My experience is certainly not the norm.

Samuel
Guest
Samuel

Well he’s not wrong.

On NBN FW at home, most nights our uploads are faster than our downloads. During the day it’s fine, flat out speeds, but that peak time crawl is beyond a joke.

Conan Thorogood
Ausdroid Reader

finally something everyone can agree with huawei on

Sean “Hugo” White
Ausdroid Reader

The only place you can put the blame for this is with the Liberals and their constantly fucking around of the technologies. The original Labor plan would have run over cost by a lot, but at least we’d all have gigabit fiber to the house vs this node crap

chris
Guest
chris

Still would have had issues due to the cvc limiting data but the libs added a heap more points of connection meaning that ISPs had to purchase way more to cover each point so further crippled our peak download speed.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Pull your head out of your ass. It’s yet another legacy disaster bought to you by the Kevni circus.

chris
Guest
chris

Uncalled for Ben. If you can’t be civil in your comments go away.

Joshua Hill
Ausdroid Reader

All ideology, no reasoning, no intelligence, in short no attempt to contribute to the conversation here and to make it worse they’ve attacked others. Ben is behaving despicably well done for calling them on it in a polite way Chris.

Joshua Hill
Ausdroid Reader

Double posting this here for your benefit Ben:

All ideology, no reasoning, no intelligence, in short no attempt to contribute to the conversation here and to make it worse they’ve attacked others. Ben is behaving despicably well done for calling them on it in a polite way Chris.

Joshua Hill
Ausdroid Reader

Labor should not have misled the public about the true cost of a truely high speed NBN. The NBN was supposed to generate a profit and not be subsidised by the tax payer. That was never feasible under Labor’s plan. While the coalition deserves most of the blame Labor is not without fault 😉

Of course this whole situation arose because of the false narrative that ‘debt is bad’ and ‘surplus good’ and Labor didn’t think they could be truthful with those they are supposed to represent.

Dal Ashford
Guest
Dal Ashford

Yep just gave the NBN fixed wireless the boot, gone to Home Wirelees Broadband, the speed has slowly got worse over the past 12 months on the NBN down to 3Mbs download and 4Mbs upload.
I think the NBN will just die as the Wireless Technology improves and customers will vote with their feet.

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