Debbie’s* internet provider got in touch with her to advise that she would be upgraded from ADSL to VDSL. ADSL and VDSL both use copper wiring to deliver broadband services. VDSL is faster than ADSL, but it is not as widely available. 

A few days after the call, Debbie received a new modem with instructions on how to install it. She was advised that her VDSL upgrade would happen within two weeks. She looked forward to her new faster broadband connection.

Over the next month, Debbie’s internet performance significantly declined. She contacted her provider who arranged a technician to visit. The technician checked the line and completed some repairs. Her internet speed improved slightly however there were still periods of time where the internet would disconnect, or the speed would drop.

A couple of months later Debbie called her provider again to complain about the service. The provider said her modem must be faulty, so sent her a replacement. Her internet service did not improve with the new modem. Despite further discussions and testing, her connection did not improve.

Debbie learnt that she was still on ADSL. She was very frustrated that she had been offered VDSL and believed she had been upgraded, when she hadn’t been. She couldn’t understand why coverage maps showed VDSL in her area, yet she remained on a poor performing ADSL connection. Communication broke down between Debbie and the provider, so she contacted TDR.

A Resolution Practitioner was assigned to the case. During discussions, the Resolution Practitioner was able to find out what had happened with her VDSL upgrade. While VDSL was advertised as being available in the area, the signal strength at Debbie’s actual address was very poor. After testing the line onsite, the technician determined that Debbie would have been worse off moving to VDSL so he decided against installation. Neither the technician nor the provider had explained this to Debbie.

Through the TDR process, Debbie and her provider began communicating again. By exploring options together with the Resolution Practitioner, Debbie found that fibre had been rolled out locally and she could now upgrade to fibre. Fibre uses fibre-optic cables to deliver broadband and is the fastest and most reliable broadband service.

Debbie decided to withdraw her complaint from TDR and she arranged a fibre installation with her provider instead.


*Names have been changed to protect our customers’ identities.