TPG has promised to deliver “all required capacity” for iiNet and Internode users over the course of this weekend, after its initial subsea capacity upgrade had an impact that was “less than anticipated”.
The company, through its brands, acknowledged in social media posts that an initial upgrade of capacity on Telstra’s Bass Strait links delivered Tuesday night "was less than anticipated and has only gone some way to alleviating the congestion issues being experienced in Tasmania”.
It promised it would bring a second burst of capacity online on Friday before trying to deliver “all required capacity” this weekend.
However, meeting full customer demand remains “subject to our provider completing an infrastructure upgrade,” the ISPs conceded.
The updates confirmed what many affected internet users in Tasmania had already discovered – that the initial capacity increase had made a temporary but ultimately negligible difference on their service performance.
It appears that although normal web browsing is adequate, more data-intensive applications such as gaming, video and software updates are being heavily managed and traffic de-prioritised.
One user tested access to streaming services with and without a VPN enabled. The former worked and the latter didn’t, suggesting traffic management measures are in place.
There remains confusion over what TPG actually managed to buy from Telstra.
While industry group TasICT had said previously that the first burst of temporary capacity would meet 60 percent of users’ needs, the ISPs later clarified that it would rather be “60-70 percent more capacity” than what they had already had on the Telstra cable.
The latest update from the ISPs does not define what "all required capacity" is.
Internet problems for iiNet and Internode users in Tasmania began on Friday 11 March, when the Basslink data cable under Bass Strait was cut to allow for a repair on an adjacent electricity cable.
Straight after the Basslink data cable was out of action, iiNet and Internode users starting experiencing dial-up speeds and packet loss.
ISPs had been given advance notice of the impending cut to the Basslink data cable but it appeared some had not sourced enough alternate capacity from Telstra, which runs two cables under Bass Strait.
The internet problems saw the Tasmanian government intervene last Saturday, which led to action from TPG.