Superhighway breakdown: Businesses failing to connect
THE slow speed of the National Broadband Network rollout in Toowoomba has left business owners frustrated with only a handful able to sign-up to the service.
The NBN was officially "switched on" in Toowoomba earlier this year.
Only 1700 homes or business across Toowoomba have the necessary infrastructure in place to be able to connect to the trouble-plagued service.
However, NBNCo, the company responsible for the rollout, would not divulge how many homes or businesses had connected to the service.
Business owner Tomas Guerin of Comtel Toowoomba said he had to jump through some extraordinary hoops to get connected to the NBN.
"The big issue with the NBN is it is not ready for commercial properties," Mr Guerin said.
"They have said it will not be ready for several months to come.
"Businesses just cannot get connected to it.
"We are talking about businesses in the CBD."
Mr Guerin said he believed he was only one of a handful of businesses across the city that had access to the NBN.
"I only got connected after contacting the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy directly," he said.
"People are frustrated. It was turned on in January and you still can not get it.
"Businesses have had to put all their plans on hold because of it."
Toowoomba businessman Brendan McDonald said he had the NBN connected to his home in East Toowoomba last month.
"It seems to be more reliable and stable," Mr McDonald said.
"I did a test of my system, but I am not getting the speeds I signed up for though.
"But, it is better than my previous internet connection.
"There certainly have been issues with it, especially people situated in multi-level dwellings."
An NBNCo spokeswoman said the organisation was "pleased" with how the rollout was progressing in Toowoomba.
"It took four years before dial-up internet had 13% penetration, and six years before ADSL reached 28% of the market," she said.
"We are trending better than that.
"Where the NBN has been in place for more than 12 months, the average take up is over one-third.
"Those who have the NBN are on average downloading 50% more data than other broadband users."
NBN - WHAT IT COSTS
- Telstra - $100 per month for 200GB package over 24 months (www.telstra.com.au)
- Optus - $110 for 300GB package over 24 months (www.optus.com.au)
- iinet - $99.95 for 500GB during peak times and 500GB during off peak times package over 24 months. (www.iinet.net.au)
- Westnet - $79.95 for 500GB package over 24 months (www.westnet.com.au)
- SkyMesh - $59.95 for 60GB package with no contact. (www.skymesh.net.au)
- You will need equipment installed at your premises to connect to the NBN.
- NBNCo will supply and install the equipment required at no charge.
- Packages shown above are for residential at the minimum standard speed.