NBN nightmare install escalated to CEO, fixed


blog Remember Andrew Devenish-Meares, the Armidale resident who penned a nightmarish tale several weeks ago relating to his ongoing struggle to negotiate telecommunications industry bureaucracy and get the National Broadband Network fibre connected to his house? Well, the situation has been resolved, and Devenish-Meares is now a happy NBN camper with Internode. Devenish-Meares writes on his blog (we recommend you click here for the full, updated post):

“Thursday morning, about 8:30am, a rep from Silcar, the NBN contractor, showed up and said he hoped to get a cherry picker up to us this morning to install the fibre from the power pole across the street. They turned up at about 10:30am to do this. After that a call from Silcar confirmed an appointment for 1pm Friday. In the meantime I confirmed this with Internode. Friday morning rolled around and we had a call from the installer. The morning appointment had cancelled, and he could be around in 10 minutes to start the install. It all happened, and we were up and running by lunch time.

I recieved a call from NBNCo to go through the whole issue from start to finish, and have been told it’s an issue that has been raised at the CEO level. We’re not alone in our experiences here, but they’re trying to address this resourcing issue. Indeed, the answers to my above questsions all seem to relate to this. So thanks to Internode for being persistant. Thanks to Scott Rhodie at NBNCo for pushing for an install timeframe. And in the interest of full disclosure, Internode have been good enough to provide me a month’s credit on my account.”

Sounds like all’s well that ends well. It also sounds like NBN Co has been pretty responsive throughout this situation. We already knew that NBN Co digital communications manager Scott Rhodie was a decent sort, and it appears as though NBN Co isn’t ashamed to escale these sorts of tricky situations all the way to chief executive Mike Quigley as well. Now that’s the mark of an organisation which isn’t afraid to go the extra mile to meet its customers’ needs. Kudos.

Image credit: Robert Michie (Tamworth), royalty free


  1. So in conclusion, it was a teething issue in a test area. NBN Co used this teething issue as a learning experience, and hopefully have better practices for it.

    Props to Andrew for posting the followup, props to Scott for getting involved here, and props to NBN Co for manning up over the problem.

    As you say, cudos.

  2. What’s that guys? I can barely hear you with your mouth firmly attached to NBNco’s bum… /eyeroll

    1. Do you think the CEO will be personally handling every complaint generated during the deployment to 8 million odd residences connected over the next x years?

    2. A ‘horror story’ in the early stages get’s in to the media for a highly publicised (and in some circles criticised) government project and the first thought is ‘this is their level of customer service’ rather than ‘this is them covering their asses against bad PR’? X D

    Renai, I respect your articles even if I occasionally disagree with them, but how does your journalistic integrity stand the blatant sycophancy that goes on around here irt NBNco. In your opinion, do you think this is an example of the level of customer service we should expect from NBNco or a scramble to avert giving away a free opportunity to the coalition to mudsling? More importantly, isn’t it more newsworthy that there has been few (one?) horror stories to date? All rollouts are going to have their disaster moments, I would have thought the lack of them was far more notable than pulling out all stops to fix one problem…

    • @Asmodai

      Hop over to Whirlpool. There’s dozens of people with both fibre and wireless who’ve been having great installs. Renai reported THIS story a few days back to show the OTHER side, because there WERE mainly good stories coming through. This was an exception and it shows the lenths NBNCo. are prepared to go to to fix things.

      Why is this an issue?

    • Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

      In some people’s eyes it really doesn’t matter what NBNCo do, it’s always going to be wrong in some way :/

    • “I would have thought the lack of them was far more notable than pulling out all stops to fix one problem…”

      Indeed. So write up an article telling us just how great NBNco are. Go on, off you go champ. I look forward to reading it.

    • Asmodai (also knows as Orgas’mo at Whirlpool) is already well known for making something out of nothing. Apparently, even reporting the successful outcome and the level of accountability for NBNCo versus …. well …. most other telcos (really, when did David Thodey last get involved directly with a regular customer issue?) is now … apparently …. sycophancy.

      Apparently, everything is due to government politics, even business process improvement. Never mind that Quigley (and management team) has fostered since day one a culture within NBNCo of continual improvement, revision and refinement (really, the NBNCo guys never shut up about it in any of their presentations.

      Not everything is due to politics, NBNCo staff are employed to construct and run a network. While political influence (especially at higher levels) plays a part, the aim is to actually build something here. It’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

      • To Murdoch, and the rest of you sycophants who add ‘inability to read’ to their current resume of ‘ass kissers’:

        From my reply:

        “More importantly, isn’t it more newsworthy that there has been few (one?) horror stories to date? All rollouts are going to have their disaster moments, I would have thought the lack of them was far more notable than pulling out all stops to fix one problem…”

        I find Quigley’s actions hardly laudable, I certainly find more merit in a high satisfaction rate.

        Don’t let that stop all your knee jerk protection reactions though… ; )

        • While I did answer …. I realised that both yourself, and what I wanted to post, possibly breached Renai’s comments policy. So I’ll just add the most pertinent part of that policy ….

          “Obvious and repetitive trolling to get a reaction”


          “Comments which display a lack of rationality or reasonableness”

        • There’s only been one horror story and Delimiter actually reported on it…?

          NBN hater Renai ;)

    • Shouldn’t any boss take an interest in problems at the beginning of a large project?

      Seems to me it’s just good business practice to get issues settled early on.

      • Indeed as I said above… damned if they do/don’t…

        Had the issue not been resolved the nay sayers would have been saying where’s super Quigley now?

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