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Slow Internet? Your Fault Says NBN

The corporation in charge of delivering Australia’s national broadband network has released research suggesting users should better optimise their home internet networks as it faces continued criticism about poor speeds.

More than 10 million homes and businesses are now able to connect to the network, which is due to complete rollout in the next 12 months.

Actual connections are significantly lower, with 5.4 million active users at the end of May.

The corporation is working on ways to attract these customers who are able to connect to the NBN but have so far elected not to.

NBN Co recently announced it was seeking feedback from retailers on new pricing structures designed to encourage under-represented, price sensitive customers such as low-income earners and older Australians to subscribe to services.

In recent months, modems, Netflix, and congestion have copped blame for poor speeds being experienced by users on the NBN.

NBN Co has now added another potential culprit: the users themselves.

Research commissioned by NBN Co found while 86 per cent of Australians understand at least a little about environmental factors that can affect their internet speed, only 42 per cent were confident their home was configured to provide optimal speed and performance.

68 per cent said they’d set up their own home internet, 26 per cent got help from family and friends, and 90 per cent said they would be likely to use technical assistance to optimise their network if the service was offered.

While spruiking the new research and rollout milestone, NBN Co reiterated customers should contact their retail service provider in relation to any problems they have.

The corporation operates as a wholesale-only business, supplying the network infrastructure to retailers who then sell the tiered plans to customers.

NBN chief customer officer for residential Brad Whitcomb said “now is the time” for users to ensure their household network is optimised to deliver faster speeds, as connected home technology becomes more prevalent.

“Research shows one in four Australians are interested in making their homes ‘smarter’ so getting your set-up right will become increasingly important as we look to power the homes of tomorrow,” Mr Whitcomb said.

“There are lots of factors that can impact your household broadband experience, such as Wi-Fi quality, modem placement and the number of devices connected.”

Advice to users includes amplifying home wireless networks to compensate for thick walls, moving their modem to “a central location free from obstructions”, and checking with their retailer to see if they should move to a more expensive, faster plan.

NBN Co has added a new in-home optimisation guide to its website to help users optimise their home network environment.

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