Cable TV providers in Australia are now reporting significant drops in service as Australians struggle to get online.
The Coalition’s $4.2 billion broadband package is due to start rolling out across the country by March 31.
In an update to the NBN rollout earlier this month, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the NBN would be “the fastest-growing part of our infrastructure by 2020” but there were still “significant issues” with the rollout.
He also said “critical infrastructure” was still to be installed, but said the Coalition was working to fix them.
“We are committed to ensuring that the NBN is the fastest- growing part of Australia’s infrastructure by the end of 2020,” he said.
“There are significant issues with the NBN that need to be fixed.”
Cable box downtime is an issue for many consumers as they wait for broadband to arrive and as the rollout progresses.
A study published by Telstra earlier this year found that in March, nearly 90 per cent of Australians said they were having to wait for a download or upload of at least five minutes.
It also found Australians were using more than 100 gigabytes of data per day on the NBN.
The Telstra report also found that nearly half of households were using an ISP for internet access.
“In March, Australians were reporting an average of one gigabyte of data downloading per hour, with nearly one third reporting an over-usage of that bandwidth,” it said.
But in its latest update, Telstra said it had seen a sharp drop in demand for internet.
“While the NBN has made significant progress, we are seeing a dramatic decline in the use of the NBN’s fibre-to-the-node network,” the report said.
It added: “Despite these trends, there are significant challenges to be addressed.”
The latest report by Telstar found Australians had used a whopping 5.9 billion megabytes of broadband data between April and September, up by almost four million megabytes compared to the same period last year.
This has put a strain on the company’s infrastructure and the NBN as it struggles to deal with demand.