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MyRepublic Talks Gigatown, NBN and Customer Services Shortcomings

NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow’s claim that Australians do not want super-fast broadband has ruffled more than a few feathers, with incoming ISP MyRepublic committing to build Australia’s first “Gigatown” to refute the point.

“We have only been in the market for three months but already have 10,000 customers opting for the fastest speed available. In Singapore, over 90% of our orders are now 1 Gigabit (Gbps).  In New Zealand, MyRepublic launched the 1Gbps plan 2 months ago and already 40% of new orders are buying that product.” said Nicholas Demos, Managing Director at MyRepublic Australia.

“We want Australians to have a true voice so we are calling out to the nation to sign our petition and register for our upcoming promotion that will bring Gigatown to one Australian community. If the government won’t do it then we will, just as we have done in New Zealand, Singapore and Indonesia,” he insists

The company is calling on Australians to sign their petition and register their interest for their community to be wired up for 1Gbps-speed connections.

“We said at launch that the Telco incumbents and government have pulled the wool over the eyes of Australians for years and kept the conversation focused on data caps instead of broadband speed,” Demos claims.

“Enough is enough, our incumbents and government haven’t done anything to ensure consumers are getting the fastest speed internet at an affordable price and we all know that’s what Australian consumers want. We also want to drive the decrease of the NBN’s connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) charge because this is crippling Australia.”

ChannelNews spoke to Demos directly to clarify how he justifies claiming that Australians want more data when recent NBN quarterly and half-yearly reports indicate they’re perfectly happy with 25mbps and he insisted that the problem lies with the carriers.

“All they care about is shifting people across to the same price points and same products. That’s the easiest thing they can do and all the people who don’t know any better are going across to the 25mbps [plans],” Demos says.

“They don’t care what the customer wants, it’s just easier for them”

He says the goal of the company’s Gigatown initiative is to demonstrate how the data appetites of consumers will rise to meet higher internet speeds if offered.

According to him, “If it’s instant, you start changing your behaviour.”

Demos describes the company’s ambitions for 2017 as “pretty aggressive”,

“Somewhere in six figures, we’re not mucking around here,” he says before confirming the company plans to go big on advertising to ramp up its presence in Australia.

Currently MyRepublic Australia offers consumers one package for $59.99 per month, with the fastest NBN speed available in their location, up to 100Mbps, unlimited data and local support.

However, it’s the last component here that’s proved a contentious issue for early adopters.

An ambiguous wait-time of between five and twenty days for services to be connected and reports of unsatisfactory wait times have dogged the company since late November.

Demos insists that’s all behind them now.

“It’s not an issue anymore. It was an issue – I won’t hide from that but really it was just because of the demand – which we’re geared up for now,” Demos says.

He says they’ve recruited additional staff, increased the efficiency of their internal processes and decreased turnaround time.

Demos cites unexpected demand as the root of the problem, explaining ”we planned for a successful launch but not that successful unfortunately.”

However, there are plenty of online reviews for the service from as recently as this week citing continued problems.

One particularly unhappy customer posting on the company’s Facebook page claims to have been waiting since January 11th to have his connection set up.

There are a few happy customers praising MyRepublic’s speed and pricing but even some five star reviews come loaded with caveats and concessions.

One reviewer on ProductReview.com said “I must admit that i had to wait a month to get my service activated but everyone should realise that the company is newly established and any new company will have teething issues in the beginning.”

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