Complaining to the TIO

Complaining to the Ombudsman WHEN the fault is not the providers; (as is 99% of the current Sky Muster problems) does absolutely nothing, zip and zero … except damage and create more work for a provider already up to their ears and battling with a re-recalcitrant wholesaler ie nbn.

  • You can only lodge a claim citing your provider.
  • You cannot lodge a claim against Hills, SkyBridge, Ericsson or nbn (Sky Muster faults).

Your service provider most likely gets whacked with an automatic fee (for details click here) and if you may find that they dump you as a customer. It will be one option offered by the TIO (and probably also mentioned in the RSP’s Terms & Conditions), then you only have yourself to blame.

If I was a provider … I’d dump you if it was not my fault and I had already explained that it wasn’t my fault and that it was out of my control.

Much better in the Sky Muster case, to lodge your problem very forcefully with a Government politician. Contact details for a government politician are here

Most certainly if your provider has not tried to help you AND you have given them every opportunity to resolve the problem; then go to the ombudsman with both barrels.

See how to make a complaint here, https://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint
You need to have made a complaint to your telecommunications service provider and it is unresolved, before you can complain to the TIO. You also need the relevant information when you lodge your complaint; for example, dates of important events and names of people you have spoken to.

The TIO will investigate landline, mobile and internet services, including:

  • contracts
  • connecting new services
  • transferring services
  • SIM unlocking fees
  • faults, dropouts and poor coverage
  • billing mistakes
  • billing and supply of mobile premium services
  • debt collection
  • services provided over the National Broadband Network (NBN)

Full details of all that the TIO will investigate are listed here

The TIO will not investigate (among others) the following:

  • ADSL internet not being available to you because there is no infrastructure
  • NBN services not being available to you because there is no infrastructure

 *Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with NBN or your RSP regarding your own connection issues.

Kindly prepared and illustrated for BIRRR by John Kitchener 12/7/2016

 

MEDIA RELEASE: ‘GETTING LEFT BEHIND’ (Survey results)

MEDIA RELEASE:  ‘GETTING LEFT BEHIND’
Internet Survey unearths critical need for widespread changes to combat #DataDrought

The Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR) Regional Internet Access Survey, released this week, has revealed critical problems with Australia’s current internet options, and warns of long-term consequences if changes are not urgently made.

The survey, distributed through the BIRRR Facebook group, investigates current consumer conditions for people in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia using the internet.

The in-depth report found that rural, regional and remote people are severely disadvantaged in terms of access, speeds, cost and reliability of their internet connections, whether they be via mobile broadband or via satellite.

These issues have had (and continue to have) a dramatic effect on rural, regional and remote peoples business, the education of their children and themselves, and on their personal well-being.

It also illustrates the notion – even with the onset of NBN’s Skymuster – that data growth will soon outgrow the nbn Fair Use Policy that will see 75GB/month peak use data limits on customers.

Among the statistics revealed from this survey:

Internet in RRR Australia is mainly used for business (Fig 2, p 8)
88% of RRR respondents stated current data did not meet their needs (Fig 5, p10)
Mobile Broadband costs those surveyed an average of $9.27 per GB, with some consumers paying up to $20 per GB. (p18)
Satellite broadband costs an average of $15.96 per GB, with some consumers paying up to $70 per GB (Table 20, p 28)
63% of respondents are shaped more than 6 times per year, with over 40% being shaped every single month. (Table 11 p 19 for mobile, Table 23, p 29 for satellite)
74% of mobile broadband users (Fig 11, p21) and 89% of satellite users (Fig 18, p 30) have download speeds under 5Mbps
72% of mobile broadband users had to purchase extra equipment at their own cost, usually between $1000 – $2000 (Fig 20, p33)
73 % respondents do not have reliable mobile coverage (Fig 20, p33)
41% said their address would not register on the NBN database. (Fig 21, p 35)
65% of people not confident that they are aware of their nbn options (Fig 23, page 40)
92% gave a score of six or above indicating that they would recommend the BIRRR to friends and family (Fig 24, p 41)

BIRRR founder and admin Kristy Sparrow said the results reinforce the need for an independent telecommunications advisory body to help guide consumers through the bush broadband ‘jungle of options and answers’, along with an established universal service guarantee for regional Australians.

“There needs to be an established service guarantee for internet services Australia wide. Service for regional, rural and remote customers should be equitable in terms of speed, download capabilities and costs.

“If this does not occur regional Australia will be left (even further) behind.”

The survey was conducted up to the end of January 2016, and reflects the incredible frustrations endured by those living and using internet beyond Australia’s city limits.

“There is little doubt that the world is becoming more and more centred around the internet – from business accounting clouds to online education courses and distance education, from virtual medical consultations to emergency contact points, from the latest app developments for farming ventures and simple tools of communication, it’s all happening online.

“Internet access is no longer an ‘option’ – it’s an essential part of everyday life.” (Internet access was declared a basic human right by United Nations in 2011.)

The BIRRR survey reflects also community concerns about accommodating the growth of data use.

“People are clearly worried that as more and more activities become data hungry, current and proposed plans will be unable to handle the extra load. We already know data use growth is a continuing upward trend: The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports the average broadband downloads grew more than 33 per cent from December 2013 to December 2014.”

This same ABS report showed that, on average, each Australian household has eight Internet connected devices – already many bush connections cannot support that load, and there is increasing concern that data limits announced for SkyMuster by nbn will simply not be sufficient into the future.

“Currently internet connectivity does not meet the educational, business, health & welfare needs of regional Australians. Peak Data of 75GB on NBN satellite will not future proof Australia’s data needs. Nor will it end the #datadrought. The Long Term Satellite is not a long term solution for rural, regional and remote users of the internet. “

Another major ‘sticking point’ are off-peak periods to be enforced via Skymuster.

“With much of the data available on plans currently being offered to customers looking to use SkyMuster only accessible between 1am and 7am, it is simply not ‘user friendly’,” Mrs Sparrow said.

“This survey illustrates clearly that regional Australians are frustrated with their current set-ups and not confident about long-term ‘fixes’ such as the Skymuster satellite (LTSS).”

Full survey findings here: 2016 BIRRR SURVEY RESULTS
For further information: birrraus@gmail.com


Following: illustrations from the 2016 BIRRR survey report

  data survey map

Respondents came from right around Australia.

meeting needs image

Overwhelmingly, current services do not meet needs.

mobile download upload speeds

sat upload download speeds

cost to access mobile service

nbn addressing issues

Among the many hurdles – registering to find out nbn availability!

birrr preferred info

Figure 24: Reinforcing the need for an independent telecommunications advisory body to help guide consumers through the bush broadband ‘jungle of options and answers’.

A very special thanks to Rachel Hay, PhD Student & Sessional Lecturer, James Cook University, Townsville, for compiling and analysing survey data for this report.

How Do I Get nbn™ ?

Did you know EVERY Australian residence will be able to access some form of nbn™ by the end of 2020 ?

  • Every Australian residence  will be able to access some form of nbn™ – fixed, fixed wireless or satellite. nbn™ are a wholesaler for the service, they sell to providers who then sell to the public.

At BIRRR headquarters we spend a lot of time researching the facts for our many members. We have noticed lately some confusion over the release of the new nbn Sky Muster Satellite service. The single most important item to remember is to research plans and providers, don’t stick with an old plan just because you have been with that provider for years. Sky Muster Providers are listed here.

To help choose an nbn provider check out the BIRRR Tip Sheet.

To compare Sky Muster providers – see our Sky Muster Plan Comparison.

How do you find out what type of nbn™ you will be getting at your address ?

STEP 1. Check your address on the NBN Rollout Map. The map should state what nbn technology your address is mapped for. If the pin on the map is not your actual house, go to Step 2.  If you are close to purple shading or have line of sight to a nbn Fixed Wireless tower (and not in purple shading), go to Step 2.

If your address looks correct, click on the arrow to find out if your residence is ready for service and which providers you can chose from.  When you contact a provider you will be given an install date for an nbn technician to come and install your equipment.

If your address does not map. Go to Step 2

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 3.14.47 PM

 

STEP 2. If you find your address does not display or is incorrect on the nbn Check your Address site you can contact nbn directly via email – info@nbn.com.au or phone 1800 687 626 and ask for your address to be fixed up so that you can order a service.

If you have any difficulties or think you are eligible for a different nbn technology,  BIRRR can assist via our desk check process.

Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with nbn™ or your provider regarding your connection.

Prepared for BIRRR by Kristy Sparrow, updated 17/08/18

Mobile Broadband Modems

A modem is a device that allows access to the internet.  Some of the modems listed below are also routers, meaning they supply a wifi connection for use with multiple devices.

Optus

 Optus 4G Home Wireless Broadband

500GB $75/mth 24 Month Contract or Month to Month ($216 modem up front charge)

Must have Optus 4G coverage. Signal and speed may be improved by adding an antenna to the modem. To check availability at your address click here

Optus 5G Home Internet

Unlimited Data $70/mth 24 Month Contract or Month to Month ($200 fee)

Must have Optus 5G coverage. Signal and speed may be improved by adding an antenna to the modem. To check availability at your address click here

Optus Portable PrePaid Devices

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Must have Optus coverage. Signal and speed may be improved by adding an antenna to the modem (check specifications to see which devices have antenna ports and for further details on available plans).

Telstra

Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro

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200GB $99.95/mth (includes modem) or $75/mth (no modem) 24 Month Contract

Must have Telstra 5G coverage. Signal and speed may be improved by adding an antenna to the modem. Telstra currently offers 5G in select areas and is progressively rolling it out to other areas. In non-5G coverage areas, you’ll automatically switch to 4G or 3G. Check coverage at telstra.com/coverage

NETGEAR 4G Nighthawk® M2

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 5.54.37 PM

200GB $91.00/mth (includes modem) or $75/mth (no modem) 24 Month Contract

Must have Telstra 4G coverage*. Signal and speed may be improved by adding an antenna to the modem.

NB: In BIRRR’s experience these modems do not perform well in 3G only areas

The Telstra Mobile Network offers 4GX in all capital CBDs and selected suburban and regional areas and is progressively rolling out to more places. In other coverage areas around Australia, you’ll automatically switch to our fastest available 4G or 3G. Check coverage at telstra.com/coverage

Telstra PrePaid Portable Devices

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Wireless internet devices, which include a Pre-Paid SIM card (already inserted). For plan and device details click here

Vodafone

Vodafone Pocket WiFi® 3 4G

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 8.18.04 pm150GB $67.50/mth (includes modem) – 12 month contract

Must have Vodafone coverage (heck your coverage with the Coverage Checker). Modem and plan specifications are detailed here. Also available as a PrePaid device.

 

Huawei WiFi Cube 2 4G

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 8.39.34 pm

 

150GB $78/mth (includes modem) – 12 month contract

Must have Vodafone coverage (check your coverage with the Coverage Checker). Modem and plan specifications are detailed here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NB Tec

NB Tec are a solutions specialist, their Longreach Modem solution is a  modem/antenna & booster in one that can connect to Telstra, Optus or Vodafone mobile networks.

Mobile Signal Enhancement

The above modems from carriers can be used in conjunction with a repeater and / or antenna to increase signal strength and speed.

Telstra Repeaters

Cel-Fi Repeaters for all Carriers

Equipment Suppliers, Installers & Specialists

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider, regarding your own connection issues and required equipment and plans.

Updated 01/08/2020

 

Alternate Voice Telephony

Alternate Voice Telephony

Everyone is familiar with landline and mobile phones. There are a number of alternative voice technologies that you may use over your internet connection. They can provide a reliable alternative or back-up voice service and they are inexpensive.

VoIP

VoIP can be an exhausting topic. In a nutshell it is a relatively cheap and reliable way of voice communication and can work well over satellite and other internet connections. You may use a standard analogue phone handset, or a dedicated VoIP cordless phone system etc. VoIP is available over the Interim Satellite Service and an improved VoIP service  is now available over the Long Term Satellite Service (Sky Muster). Click here to read more on VOIP over Sky Muster.

For more details regarding a VoIP service, talk with your RSP or arrange for a VoIP service with a VoIP only service provider.

Skype

You may use Skype for voice calls, with the Skype app installed on your smart phone or computer. You can call home and mobile numbers for a small cost. See http://www.skype.com/en/features/call-phones-and-mobiles/. You may also purchase a Skype cordless phone which LAN cable connects to your internet router. See http://dualphone.net/

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider, regarding your own connection issues.

Prepared  for BIRRR by John Kitchener 7/1/2016

Antenna and Equipment Installers and Suppliers

Where do I buy appropriate DIY equipment and receive sound advice?

A desktop site survey can assist you with determining if there is mobile reception in your area and what equipment might be needed to connected.

Telco Antennas desktop site survey cost is $99.

OnWireless desktop site survey cost is $99.

The above businesses can then put you in touch with a specialist in your area who understands the requirements for your state. The report will advise likely signal levels, the sort of mobile services available, the best antenna and extension device for your location and where to point your antenna.

Network Extension Equipment Suppliers and Specialists:

  • Telco Antennas – Advice, equipment and installation
  • OnWireless – Advice, equipment and installation
  • Powertec Technologies – Equipment provider
  • NB Tec – Equipment provider – offers a licensed solution that is a modem/antenna & booster in one that can connect to Telstra, Optus or Vodafone mobile networks.

Thanks to Telco Antennas. To find your closest antenna and equipment installer click here.

BIRRR List of Installers:
To find an installer, supplier etc view our map here:

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 4.40.03 PM

Note: BIRRR has gathered the information above from businesses, which we understand to be true and correct at time of publishing. This does not equate to any form of endorsement. Please thoroughly investigate your options before deciding on the best provider, equipment supplier and ensure the installer is accredited and has the appropriate industry licenses.

BIRRR do not recommend self installation, please contact one of the professionals above.


**If you are a network extension specialist or installer and would like to be added to our list please fill in this form to be added to our map, please ensure we are kept updated with your correct details by emailing us at birrraus@gmail.com with any necessary changes.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider, local government and local installer regarding your own connection issues and infrastructure needed.  Please ensure that your equipment specialist is licensed and provides licensed and legal equipment. Updated 01/08/2020