Game Of Thrones In Less Than 30 Seconds, Welcome To Life With The NBN

One of the biggest issues facing voters as they head to the polls this Saturday is the drastically different positions the two major parties have on their Broadband policy. Fibre to the Node or Fibre to the Home? 25 to 100mbs or 100 to 1000mbs? So what’s life with the NBN actually like? We caught up Andrew Brown of Waterloo, who is one of only at most a few thousand Sydney residents to be connected and actively using the NBN both in his home and as part of his work as a Graphic Designer and Web Developer in his small business Mr Brown.

Can you tell us when you first got access to the NBN and how you got access to it? I’ve been connected for about 18 months now, it was actually a quick decision but took about 12 weeks to get online.  

Just for our readers, can you explain how quick the connection is? Do you notice a change from your previous broadband connection to using the NBN? An episode of Game of Thrones downloads in like 1 to 2 minutes and that’s average, sometimes it’s less than 30 seconds. Songs on iTunes download so quickly you don’t even see the progress bar.  

Do you have to be connected at all times to achieve those speeds or is it something you can access wirelessly? No, my whole home office is set up over Wi-Fi 

So if you plug directly in, it would be even faster than the speeds that you’re talking about? Yeah, if I ever have to plug directly in, it is literally insane – it downloads so fast!  

So you’re in one of the first buildings in Sydney that has access to the NBN but you mentioned earlier that not many people are taking it up in the building, why is that? I think there are a couple of reasons. The first is that it’s quite a cumbersome process. By the time you understand all the terminology around the NBN and what kind of connection you’re going to get and make a decision. Price is a factor and it is more expensive. Once you make that decision and call up a provider, they have to actually send someone from the NBN out so they have to schedule an appointment. If they’re booked out it can take 6 weeks for someone to get there. That’s 6 weeks you’re without a connection. It really pissed me off because they literally come in, press a button and they leave. You have to wait 6 weeks for someone to press a button on a piece of equipment then walk out.

Who are you connected to the NBN through and how much does it cost you per month? I’m with iiNet it’s broken down into several parts; we’re on the highest speed connection with the highest amount of data so I think we pay about $139 per month.  

Has the NBN had any effect on your business? Before the NBN, I would be flying overseas constantly because it was just easier. Now I do a lot of the work online and clients are happy to talk to me online because they know there isn’t going to be issues. Beyond that, in terms of productivity and how we work it’s completely changed. We’re no longer duplicating files everywhere; we no longer need to make sure everything is on each computer. We can now access everything on the cloud and instantly and it won’t slow us down. Even with backups, we have local backups and online backups so we can be working, streaming things online and backing up everything and it doesn’t impact our workload. 

Amazing, thanks for your time. Thanks.