Tasmania broadband users hoodwinked

No guarantees at core of Apple island issues

Tasmanian Netspace customers believe the ISP is hoodwinking them by offering laughable broadband speed at premium rates, with one customer complaining to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

According to Tasmanian users, Netspace accounts have had serious latency issues and extremely high ping times since May this year, with some users finding 1500mb connections shaped to 16kb as commonplace.

Correspondence received by Computerworld from Netspace states that management is reviewing the upstream link from Tasmania to the mainland "and whether something comes of this we'll just have to wait and see."

The Netspace Standard Form of Agreement does not guarantee ping times and states no guarantee will be given that services will operate or be available continuously, be fault free, operate at their theoretical maximum speed or capacity.

But the ISP will use "reasonable commercial endeavours to supply a fair and reasonable standard."

Tasmanian Netspace user Andrew Bester said other ISP users have great ping times and speed, adding the problem is customers are not being kept abreast of what is happening at Netspace.

"I have asked to talk to somebody that could tell me but I have been told that I cannot talk to anyone higher than a level two tech," Bester said.

"After talking with the helpdesk, and doing the same old "powering down the modem and see how it goes" routine, the tech asked me if I was interested in Netspace's 10 cent calls via VoIP, " he said.

"I would love such a service but Netspace does not guarantee latency or data speeds, how could I be protected from any problems that might arise?

"The staff on the helpdesk are always polite and I have never vented any frustration at any of them because I know they can only do what they are allowed."

A Netspace customer care team leader said if the ADSL connection is churned or cancelled before the end of contract, early termination fees will apply.

Ben Dunscombe, Netspace regulatory affairs manager said no ISP can guarantee specific ping times due to a "multitude of factors".

"Netspace is committed to providing the best possible levels of service to all of our customers regardless of their location," Dunscombe said.

"Netspace has been in correspondence with a couple of Tasmanian customers who have been experiencing slow ping times to certain game servers.

"After investigation we have found no ongoing or systematic issues with our Tasmanian network."

Last night (October 23) download speeds ranged between 21kbs to a maximum of 56kbs.

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