Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

WATCHDOG: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims urges Bendigo residents to sign up to a broadband speed monitoring program.
WATCHDOG: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims urges Bendigo residents to sign up to a broadband speed monitoring program.

Spotlight on NBN speeds

Many consumers in Bendigo are in the dark about the typical speeds of the different retail services offered over the NBN, and sometimes left angry, frustrated, and dissatisfied by internet services that don’t deliver.

Four in every five consumers are confused about the broadband speed information they get from retailers. Australians spend over $4 billion  per year on fixed broadband services yet complaints about internet data speeds increased 48 per cent during 2015-16, making it the single largest issue for telecommunication consumer complaints.

In response to the unmet need for information about broadband speeds, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is setting up a program that will measure and compare broadband speeds across the country. The program will install hardware-based devices in the households of around 4000 volunteers. These devices will perform remote testing to determine typical speeds on fixed-line NBN services at various times throughout the day.

The ACCC’s broadband monitoring program will provide consumers with accurate, transparent, and comparable information about the quality and reliability of the fixed-line broadband services available.

The broadband speeds program will also help to identify whether issues relating to poor speeds at peak times are being caused by the performance of the NBN, or by internet service providers not buying sufficient capacity to ensure you get the speeds you are paying for at peak times.

It is crucial that consumers have access to information about the speed and quality of the broadband services they are paying for in order to compare offers and find the plan that best meets their needs.

The ACCC urges all residents of Bendigo that have a fixed-line NBN connection to sign up to the monitoring program.

To sign up visit www.accc.gov.au/broadband by July 31.

Rod Sims, ACCC chairman

Political system ‘rotten’

Ross Tyson’s editorial (“Gloves off as Malcolm Turnbull clings to life”, July 4) failed to cover the political turmoil in all our political parties at the moment, and the frustration it is causing amongst voters; we could well see a number of new leaders at the next election.

Malcolm Turnbull has his problem with continued sniping from Tony Abbott; he also has Christopher Pyne believing he should be leading the Mardi Grass parade down Oxford Street instead of just being leader of the house in Canberra, and biting his tongue.

Bill Shorten is continually looking over his shoulder at Anthony Albanese, who is more popular amongst the rank and file than himself. Now, Albanese’s hard left are seeking to realign Labor’s policy on the Middle East by supporting the proscribed terrorist group Hamas, which runs a violent dictatorship in half of the fictional state of Palestine, instead of the democratic state of Israel.

The Greens are in turmoil with Senator Lee Rhiannon being suspended and openly criticising her leader for failing to take the party further to the left than Jeremy Corbyn, and Sarah Hanson-Young is still furious at losing immigration. Senator Hanson-Young has now got caught out taking her child on a taxpayer-funded whale watching holiday including a charter flight, this is on top of $20,000 in wrongly claimed expenses she was forced to pay back earlier.

One is just left wonder when will all this turmoil end, and that those we are compelled to elect will concentrate on the job they were elected to do instead of being distracted by sideshows.

The French president has the idea of reducing the number of MPs by a third in order to have a more efficient government that works for the people. Could we do that here? Sadly, we have too many MPs along with their political advisors with their noses in the trough, some getting paid $200,000 per year for such a sensible idea to happen. 

No, we are just stuck with a rotten political system that breeds mediocre politicians who pursue populist politics.

David Arscott, Kangaroo Flat