I will be online between 2 - 3 pm (AEDT) on Thursday 23rd July 2020. From the impact of COVID to our new business platform Carbon to how we’re changing the telco game for all Australians. Please do join in! Looking forward to your questions.

My Proof: https://imgur.com/aj2vrni EDIT: Thanks everyone for all your questions / comments from today. I always enjoy interacting directly with our customers and you are welcome to join our forums on Whirlpool at any time - https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/152

Comments: 392 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

Mydadpicksthefruit100 karma

What is Aussie Broardbands stance on torrent / news group usage?

How often do you pass on piracy letters from movie studios and such?

What state has the highest level of downloads for consumers?

What is the most a user has download in a month?

Are there any plans for you to open offices in QLD or staying in Vic/ NSW

How often do you get offers to be purchased by larger companies like iinet and such, have you ever thought about taking one as it was too good?

Last question,

What does the future of Aussiebb hold, anything in the works people are going to like?

Phil-AussieBB141 karma

What is Aussie Broardbands stance on torrent / news group usage? - No policy

How often do you pass on piracy letters from movie studios and such? - We do

What state has the highest level of downloads for consumers? - on a per user basis Queensland presently followed closely by Victoria.

What is the most a user has download in a month? - Highest at the moment is 34TB and they'll probably be hearing from us soon under the fair use policy.

Are there any plans for you to open offices in QLD or staying in Vic/ NSW - We've been looking at putting another call centre in Perth but the present travel restrictions are making it look like we'll have to stick in Victoria.

How often do you get offers to be purchased by larger companies like iinet and such, have you ever thought about taking one as it was too good? - We haven't received any from bigger telco companies (in the last few years) but there's been interest in the non-telco sector. We're very committed to our IPO path.

nightkhaos47 karma

I'm terribly sorry about the recent data sync I had to do with my parents place back in NZ. While I restricted it to 2MB/s, it was still 200GB of data per day I was uploading for about 3 weeks.

It's done now but... is there a way I can let you guys know if I need to move a lot of data next time, or was that usage not even on your radar?

Phil-AussieBB77 karma

Don't stress, you're not on our radar.

ertiyu62 karma

Are there plans for letting John build a ABB branded Train around the office?

Phil-AussieBB61 karma

It would get in the way of the segways and go-karts :p

frznmatt53 karma

Systems Engineer here who WFH's.

Has NBNCo put forward a plan to address segment congestion issues across their HFC network?

Downstream is fine, upstream is quite bad during peak periods and more so during the day thanks to COVID-19 and the "very generous" (yet questionable from a infrastructure supporting/decision standpoint) upstream speeds of up to 40Mbps.

Also, does ABB prioritise VoIP packets across all platforms?

BTW, thanks for spending the time on this AMA. :) Looking forward for those IPOs.

Phil-AussieBB44 karma

Over the past few months, there have been considerable segment upgrade on the HFC network and now the network is running quite well. There are only a very small number of segments still running congestion which are all slated for an upgrade in the next few weeks.

Prioritisation of packets is only useful if the network is congested. In the backhaul network, we run there is no congestion so there is no prioritisation. As it enters nbn through CVC and then within the nbn network itself there can be congestion but we are not running the VoIP in TC1 so congestion can occur on that.

frznmatt12 karma

Thanks Phil, what stirred my question was based on a concurrent over 3-month running fault in this subject.

NBN are throwing the "service hits full speed at least once in 24 hours, so it must be OK" line. Even with ample data being provided (ie. visible dips in bandwidth graphs over several months [ie. 37Mbps->6Mbps]), the same tune is played on repeat.

Do you find yourself having to go back and forward with NBN Co's fault team and escalation point?

Phil-AussieBB28 karma

Going back and forth happens on a regular basis. They are using bots now to manage a lot of these faults and tickets will get closed incorrectly in our view. Its a constant problem we keep working with nbn on.

Psychological-Fox72542 karma

So the common censuses that you’ll find online is that Aussie Broadband wins in terms of customer support however loses to Superloop when it comes to network which has also been my experience as well. What is Aussie Broadband currently doing to strengthen their network?

Also another question, what applications/services apart from web conferencing have you seen increase sustainably due to COVID?

Phil-AussieBB60 karma

The main reason we see at the moment is connectivity from east coast Australia through to asia. We're in the process of bringing on a new transit path from Sydney which we believe will resolve this. As in its due to go live in the next fortnight.

Jimbuscus10 karma

Will this happen to affect the Malvern suburb?

Also, I was told that connectivity drops for minutes at a time will not be investigated until it reaches 5 times per day, will these 5 minute dropouts we get a few times each day be improved with this change?

Phil-AussieBB16 karma

It will help all east cost including Malvern.

Intermitting drops are hard to diagnose and nbn are quite strict on accepting faults around these which is why the team would have pushed back on that.

digitty-dog2 karma

Who will you be using. Are you building a PoP in Hong Kong

Phil-AussieBB7 karma

We are adding NTT into Sydney and then will manage the routes with communities.

Dave-AussieBB41 karma

Hi Phil, long time listener, second time caller.

I've heard of a few rumours circulating that you're seriously considered a Traralgon office. Is there any truth to this, and what are your plans re: office space and COVID WFH in general, moving forward?



Phil-AussieBB39 karma

Well David, glad to see you've plucked up enough courage to be a second-time caller. You see a Traralgon office would be great if l lived in Traralgon, but you see l just can't get my housemate to move there.

Looks like you'll have to keep making that 15-minute drive for a while longer, or convince John that we should build a house in Traralgon :)

abdullak23 karma

Does Aussie Broadband have any plans to improve the customer experience when there is an NBN failure?

I had a faulty power blocker that would cause my HFC connection to drop out for increasingly long periods of time, with increasing frequency. Whenever I called Aussie Broadband, I was told that you had brought the issue up with the NBN but there was nothing you could do unless the connection went away altogether.

After 2 weeks, my connection finally dropped out for a 60 hour period of time, and that was enough to trigger an NBN technician to fix the problem. This is a really poor customer experience, and I understand that the blame lies with the NBN, but I have zero recourse with them and am told to contact my RSP instead.

How will you improve this in the future, especially with more and more people working from home?

Phil-AussieBB11 karma

We have a few things up our sleeve round failover - more info available soon.

nightkhaos21 karma

Hey Phil,

What are your thoughts on the current NBN AVC plans. I'm kinda disappointed in the lack of higher upload plans. If I want more than 20Mbps upload my options are limited to 100/40, 250/25 and 1000/50.

I would really like to see some other options like around 200/40. I'm currently on 100/40 and my HFC service can go to 250/25 and to be honest it's a hard choice to justify.

Is there anything you at AussieBB can do or tired to do to not make it feel like us power users are being left behind by NBNCos focus on consumption behavior resulting in low ratio upload speed in their plans?

Phil-AussieBB62 karma

I personally think that the upload speeds on the 250/25 and 1000/50 suck, and we've told nbn this many time. Their business team argued that if the upload was higher it would attract too many businesses onto residential plans and they would miss out on revenue as a result.

We're hoping now that the business team and residential teams at nbn have been merged together that it will be seen for the sham that it is.

nightkhaos14 karma

That's good to hear (about your feelings, not so much NBNCo). It strikes me as odd that they even care about traffic usage patterns at all other than a curiosity "We're not selling as much of this class as we'd like, better adjust the lower classes to compensate for the lost revenue."

Surely they know that the kind of businesses that don't know the difference between traffic classes are the not the kinda businesses you can convince that they want a 10/10 CIR at the same price as a "consumer" 100/20 plan (with a CIR of only ~2/2) no matter how you try and spin it to them, and revenue is revenue no matter where it comes from.

Phil-AussieBB37 karma

That's my viewpoint as well. We've got residential users willing to spend a lot more than a lot of small businesses and the plans should be agnostic regardless of who the user is.

per084 karma

Too bad if you have a business in an FTTN area with a 25/5 connection, then?

Phil-AussieBB10 karma

The solution for this can be to look at an enterprise ethernet service. Quite often then a fibre build will be bundled into the monthly fee. The small business team can help you with this.

jimbeam00779 karma

Hi Phil, I'm in the same boat with nightkhaos, currently on 100/40 grandfathered plan (FTTP), would love to see more plans in between, eg. 250/40 or 250/50 or 250/100. Any plans to offer something like this? Thanks.

Phil-AussieBB13 karma

Due to the nbn AVC construct, we can't alter the upload speed without buying a way more expensive AVC and then shaping it down.

per0821 karma

What practical things can users on rubbish FTTN and HFC (poor sync speed, unstable, etc) do to actually get nbn to do something about it? I mean actual fixes, like upgrades to FTTC, replacing cable in the street, etc. All nbn says is talk to your provider and all providers do is say "nbn's fault. Sorry, but too bad."

Is the only solution to save up for the FTTP upgrade?

Phil-AussieBB20 karma

The only solution is to do an FTTP upgrade unfortunately.

vanguard881520 karma

The digital divide is now more apparent - especially when NBN allowed only 70% of HFC to obtain 250mbps and a smaller percentage to obtain 1gbps. Leaving the rest of the 30% who actually want it, in the dark unless they apply for a technology switch to FTTP.

The question is -

  1. Can ABB influence NBN to convince them to allow remaining customers to obtain these speeds (even if they're not ABB customers?).
  2. And question 2) Will ABB look into applying for a TCP to FTTP on behalf of a customer and letting a customer pay off the TCP over a period of time like they would in a subscription?

Phil-AussieBB28 karma

NBN actually wants to invest in upgrading technologies, particularly FTTN to get more users onto the fibre. It needs money to do this, which is why it's saying the CVC side of things needs to stay. We get this and support nbn keeping their total revenue the same to allow for network upgrades in the future, but the pricing construct/mix needs to change and we believe a simple AVC the only charge can achieve this with AVC price increases overtime if necessary.

ABB is pushing this for the whole industry, not just ABB customers and the way you can help is to tell your local MPs that CVC needs to go and the upgrades need to occur as they will provided nbn keeps their total revenue the same.

We have no intention of setting up TCP so that customers can pay it off. We believe that if customers wish to do this, they could fund it though other loan sources (like extend your home loan/personal loan etc).

nekogtr16 karma

If you were forced to sell the company to Malcolm Turnbull or Bevan Slattery which one would you pick and why?

Phil-AussieBB62 karma

Well Malcolm Turnbull was involved in OzEmail back in the early days so has form in this area, and Bevan, well everything he touches turns into billion-dollar companies.

I'm here for the long haul so neither.

braxxytaxi14 karma

Hey Phil,

any chance of an ABB office expansion into NSW? I'm a network engineer and would love to work for a telco - namely yours - but can't justify a move to VIC!

love your work.

Phil-AussieBB15 karma

We're currently considering WA and there has been talk of Woolongong in the past but nothing in Sydney.

per0813 karma

When ABB is stock exchange listed, how will you prevent your awesome service support from being outsourced overseas by the owners?

Phil-AussieBB43 karma

Well considering that I'm an equal largest shareholder and managing director of the company, i'd say i've got a fair say in keeping our service the way it is.

Our business is built on being different to the others, people have invested in the business because it's different to the others and onshore support and service is a key element of this.

Petarkco11 karma

Would Aussie Broadband ever consider 'bridging the gap' between POIs and end users with it's own connection (by-passing the NBN) or is it too costly or prevented by NBN's position?

Phil-AussieBB18 karma

With the new fibre network we're rolling out we will be able to service business customers with 20 or more employees. This is a legislation thing at the moment being able to service less than this, but those laws are changing in August and we're looking at other ways to service residential and smaller business directly off our own network.

PCGeek2151 karma

Apart from the capital requirements to build out an access network that overbuilds NBN, you’d incur the $7 NBN tax as well making it very difficult to hit an economic point of competition - mostly as consumers would see it, against NBN itself.

Phil-AussieBB5 karma

Even with the $7 tax it would stack up much better than the current nbn CVC construct.

nicoparboleda10 karma

Hi Phil,

You've mentioned recently that NBN Co should scrap its current CVC pricing model and go with a single access charge instead. Aside from the economic benefits, do you think the customer experience will improve as well? If yes, how so?

Cheers, and thanks again for this AMA!

Phil-AussieBB12 karma

I think as it stands right now customers wouldn't see any change in customer experience as most providers are over-provisioned using the CVC boost from nbn. My concern is that once the CVC boost runs out on 19 August, may providers will need to lower their CVC to a level where it impacts peak time speeds and at that point, customer experience will drop. Our position is that we have always provided good peak time speeds and so we will adjust retail prices before we lower peak time speeds. We believe nbn needs to drop CVC so that customers are not forced into higher retail prices just to enjoy the same network performance that they do today.

Xanddrax10 karma

Hi Phil,

Do you see satellite constellations like Starlink being a competitor in the future, particularly in the semi-rural and rural areas? Is ABB looking at integrating those kinds of technologies when they mature?

Phil-AussieBB12 karma

I think it has the potential to impact the SkyMuster areas (which we won't provide) and maybe will help in the fixed wireless areas. I don't see it taking fixed line area share.

abdullak10 karma

Have you seen a lot of users take advantage of the Technology Choice Program? What do you think could be done to increase uptake of FTTP in Australia?

Phil-AussieBB15 karma

We've only seen a small number (less than 20) use the program.

If they lowered the price, uptake would increase.

creativesounds20199 karma

Phil, my question is, how did you become so awesome?

Phil-AussieBB28 karma

It's not me, its the team, they're awesome!

RonnythePanda9 karma

Hi Phil, when will IPv6 be rolled out in full?

Phil-AussieBB11 karma

We have a target of having 50% of residential customers on IPv6 this financial year.

EragusTrenzalore8 karma

Does ABB plan to introduce any mobile data backup (like Telstra, Vodaphone) in its modems in the case that NBN connections fail?

Phil-AussieBB4 karma

Its something we're working on.

monchee37 karma

When is ABB going to go public?

Phil-AussieBB15 karma

Sometime soon, can't be more specific than that sorry.

asdasdjlaskjdlka7 karma

Which is the best Scout group?

Phil-AussieBB15 karma

I have been a leader at 1st Traralgon Scout Group for over 20 years but these days am playing a state role as Deputy Chief Director of the next Australian Jamboree. As for who's the best, every group offers a unique and different experience to their youth.


Hey, what type of jobs are there on Aussie Broadband?i live in Victoria, I was inspired with a phone call once to try and get my nbn running faster for gaming and the person on the other end was very helpful with giving instructions. What type of courses would you need to do for giving IT help over the phone.

Phil-AussieBB38 karma

We specialise in taking people with no IT experience and getting them skilled up in our customer service team. We look for the right personality and train the rest in. We prefer people who haven't worked in telco as we have to train the bad habits out of them.

GoFutureProof20206 karma

TPG have built a FTTB access network which is now quite extensive. Retailers seem able to offer attractive price points when using it.

Have ABB any thoughts on how it fits for their business?

Phil-AussieBB7 karma

TPG through their AAPT subsidiary made it very difficult for us to purchase services a few years ago. I doubt they will be interested in wholesaling to us.

decryption6 karma

Is there a reason why other speed tiers for FTTP (e.g: 1000/100 or 1000/250) haven't been made available? Would be great to have the ability to build your own speed profile like you can a bandwidth package.

Phil-AussieBB10 karma

Basically, nbn's wholesale pricing and bundle cvc structure does not make these tiers affordable for most users. Basically, they have either 1000/50 or 1000/400 are the two tiers we could use to do these and there is a big wholesale price difference between 1000/50 and 1000/400

dorsy996 karma

Hey Phil, happy Gigabit FTTP customer here.

My question is around Uploads - Why are the upload speeds so much lower than the download speed on NBN plans (esp. the gigabit plan) for consumers? Is there any plans to increase upload, now Download has reached the "holy grail" gigabit speed for some people?

Thanks again,


Phil-AussieBB11 karma

Its because nbn has constructed the underlying plan this way. To give you more upload we'd need to use a different wholesale speed tier which would double the price.

comod196 karma

Hey Phil, thanks for the AMA, I'm considering getting your services.

What do you believe are ABB's main advantages over the larger telcos? Is it just customer service or are there other benefits?

Phil-AussieBB27 karma

Great network, great team, all-round nice guys!

fukawi25 karma

What is the July 2020 status/update on the IPv6 deployment? Are many users on the beta? Any new problems discovered?

Phil-AussieBB3 karma

It's very close to going into normal production. Aim is to have all new customers and 50% of existing customers cut over into IPv6 this financial year.

ydiskolaveri5 karma

Hey Phil, I'm a current ABB subscriber and want to know if vocus handles any part of my internet delivery. How do I establish this?

Phil-AussieBB11 karma

We don't take any internet or IP transit services from Vocus. We do use their dark fibre and 100G wavelength services for between data centres, intercapital links and on the ASC cable between Perth and Singapore. You'll never see Vocus in the network or a traceroute but their backhaul network forms part of our backhaul network. We also use Telstra for a lot of this sort of thing.

olitryon5 karma

Any ETA on speeds 100mbps> for FTTC?

gergnz7 karma

I've heard that many DPUs and supposedly many NCDs are able to use G.Fast. Surely that means that NBN could enable these and we can "see what we can get"?

Phil-AussieBB9 karma

You're correct, nbn has the technology but haven't turned it on yet. No idea when at this stage.

nekogtr4 karma

We always hear about the NBN challenges, both economical and financial, so lets put those aside for now. What is the biggest infrastructure challenge facing ABB moving forward? Any regrets or things you would do differently with lessons learned from growing so rapidly?

Phil-AussieBB6 karma

Putting the nbn aside for us it's about being able to scale with the growth. We're the fast organic growing RSP in the market and that comes with challenges. The main thing I'd do differently is getting the smart people l have on board now on much earlier.

ecosystems4 karma

American here. In typical American fashion I’m gonna make this about us. Has the eroding situation here had an impact on Australian broadband?

Phil-AussieBB17 karma

Its made it a little harder to get things done over there, we have equipment in LA and San Jose but overall it hasn't made much difference. The biggest negative for me with your situation being so out of control is that l didn't get to go to Cisco Live in Vegas this year! Please stay safe and l hope you get it under control soon.

ecosystems3 karma

Sorry it didn’t work out - please come visit us when all this is over!

Phil-AussieBB3 karma

I love coming to the USA and will be back as soon as we're allowed to.

knightslay24 karma

Are there any plans for introducing international calling packages for NBN plans?

Phil-AussieBB5 karma

There are some revamped VoIP plans coming that will have international calling bundled in.

dailyfauxpas3 karma

Hi Phil,

If you can't reveal the IPO ETA can you reveal when the ASIC restrictions will be lifted?

Thank you kind Sir.

Phil-AussieBB6 karma

We don't have a definative timeline on that either sorry.

TrueFigure13 karma

How easy is it to get a telecoms broadband company started?

Phil-AussieBB4 karma

It depends on the model. If you're talking a small scale wireless ISP, it's fairly straight forward.

If you're wanting to onboard as a direct nbn RSP, its pretty dam hard.

bluejet073 karma

Hi Phil,

Awesome work, when will you allow customers access to more diagnostic tools that the NBN hides from the customers. Since there should be more tools to allow customers know when there is a drop in speeds or signal. Since Im on HFC and there was a moment when I had constant dropouts and that I was screenshotting NTD status page to proof that there was problems. This is gated by the lack of visibility on the customers end. It be nice to see more of these tools on the customers end.

Even a commandline accessible speedtest server that can be accessible to customers. I have to resort to running the browser in noheadmode and python to scrape the results.

Phil-AussieBB5 karma

Pretty much every tool that nbn provides us is available now to customers in my.aussie. The only thing we don't provide is a newer tool called the service health check which is still in a trial stage and really needs some skill to interpret the results.

teganjones3 karma

Hey Phil,

If nbn co was ever to ditch the CVC model, could that potentially negatively impact some of the edge Aussie Brodband has on the market with its low prices, etc?

How would Aussie Broadband address this/ensure a point of difference in market, besides its excellent local customer service?

Phil-AussieBB7 karma

The edge we had on the market was largely eroded when nbn introduced the focus on 50 program and gave providers a 50% CVC uplift and then rolled that into the bundle construct we have today.

Our point of difference is the excellent local service combined with great domestic and international connectivity and complete transparency around our traffic levels.

gergnz3 karma

With the uptick of work from home and cloud services, do you see that symmetric services will likely start to become more common? (I get that we are at the mercy of NBN, but surely there will be industry push for this)

Phil-AussieBB9 karma

We'd like to see more symmetrical services. Some of the access technologies can support this and others can't, its the joy of the MTM mix. We're hoping that nbn will look at this more now that their business and residential teams have been collapsed together.

Joker0422 karma

Your staff are advising customers signing up for HFC NBN connections that they need to buy a modem. When I asked if plugging an AP with a Internet port (just an ethernet port which can be configured to pull a DHCP address) into the NTD would work, I was told it wouldn't, because I need a modem to distribute the connection over my WiFi. When I pointed out that that's not what a modem does, the staff member put me on hold and checked if plugging an AP with an Internet port would work, since the NTD is a router. She then confirmed that it would work fine.

It seems to me like a lot of people have needlessly bought $150 modems, when their existing wireless AP / router with an Internet port would work just fine.

Is that a concern to you?

Phil-AussieBB7 karma

The units we supply act as both a modem and router. You need to have a router on the connection. Some AP's will also provide this functionality.

Whilst we try to support all configurations in the market, our team will always try to sell one of our devices as it makes it similar to support and generally improves the customer experience.

itzfinjo1 karma

Why did you charge me 3x for one months payment and never give my money back?

Phil-AussieBB6 karma

If this is actually the case i'd be interested to hear about it. Run it through our complaints team and we'll sort it out.

itsflanno1 karma

If it was 250% cheaper to outsource your call centre, would you do it?

Phil-AussieBB12 karma

Nope, it's our main point of difference.

asdasdjlaskjdlka1 karma

Hi Phil,

Big fan of ABB; feel free to answer all or some of these questions:

  • How did you assist with the Black Summer bushfires?
  • What BCP or DR plans are in place when large unavoidable outages occur?
  • What level of network redundancy exists in your core network?
    • (eg: think recent large DF cut in Box Hill, Vic several days of outage)
  • Do you think "network engineers" will exist in the future of Telco with how SDN and automation/orchestration is going?

Thanks, keep doing great stuff!!!

Phil-AussieBB6 karma

We were involved in the fires in terms of providing support to our customers and a tool that enabled us to quickly identify and suspend the billing of customers affected in the fires.

We run a strategy where every site has fully diverse and protected paths and each path is only run to 50% capacity so that 100% of the load can be taken in a failure situation.

Our core network is full 1+1 redundant not N+1.

I think network engineers will always exist, but network engineers that can program and automate are way more valuable.

catrem421 karma

Hey Phil, big fan here.

We recently signed up for the new 250/25 plan on abb and switched from Optus who’d we’d been with for 20+ years.

My question is in regards to upload speed, I understand that nbn control the speeds offered to the ISPs, but are you aware of why upload speed is so much smaller than download? Some of us love running game servers and stuff like that from home and the constant focus on download over upload leaves more to be desired.

There may be some technical reason I’d love to hear about, I’m not some network engineer.

Phil-AussieBB2 karma

It's significantly smaller because nbn designed it that way to be unattractive to businesses. There are other plans available to us that say 250/100 but the wholesale cost is such that it wouldn't work for most residential customers. nbn is choosing to charge a premium for the upload because they feel that businesses will pay for it, whereas we believe they would get more volume on residential for a balanced price.

dudulab1 karma

Hi Phil, do you know if NBN plan to reduce fee of Technology Choice Program? Will ABB provide a "sponsor" plan that subsidize part of TCP fee but requires 24-/36-months contract? (asked by others)

Phil-AussieBB1 karma

We haven't heard anything about them intending to reduce the fee.

DryMoment1 karma

Any explanation on what happened last week in terms of *part* of the service going down temporarily? Multiple friends across SA lost access to gaming related services (discord, steam, battle.net) but not anything else. Do you guys route gaming packets separately and something happened there or?

Phil-AussieBB6 karma

A fibre cable got cut and we lost about 250G of capacity between east and west coast including SA.

Serin-0191 karma

What does the timeline for getting the 1000mb plan out to HFC users who only got access to the 250 plan when the recent speed packages came out?

Phil-AussieBB5 karma

Its an nbn timeline but we'll see a lot more areas get it later this financial year.