Telstra is investigating complaints from some of its customers that activating the Telstra Air service causes a sudden and dramatic decrease to the speeds they receive on their home broadband service.
The issues emerged after the company officially launched the network in June, following a free trial that began in November last year.
Telstra Air will eventually include 8000 wi-fi hotspots - located within payphone booths nationally - and a network of a planned 1.9 million hotspots offered by the telco's home broadband customers.
The telco is relying on its home broadband customers to share a portion of their bandwidth with other Telstra customers in exchange for similar access to get to the 1.9 million goal.
But those customers that have signed up so far to share their bandwidth are reporting suffering degraded speeds.
One affected customer told iTnews the issue had been compounded by some customer service staff not being trained in the Air service.
“It would seem when I connect to Telstra Air, my wi-fi NBN [speeds] reduce from 96mbps to 33mbps. Deactivated it jumps back to around 90-96mbps. This does not affect Ethernet, which connects at around 90-93mbps,” the customer said.
“I have consulted Telstra in regards to this. Operators just say they are either not trained for the NBN or not trained for Telstra Air.
“I do not seem to be the only person with this issue as I was told last week that even a Telstra operator experienced the same problem.”
iTnews understands the issue was not observed during Telstra’s internal or pre-launch tests of the service, and could have a number of possible causes.
Out of more than 50,000 subscribers using the service, Telstra said it was aware of only a handful of customers who have experienced the issue.
The company is currently investigating, with technicians set to visit affected customers over the coming weeks.
A Telstra spokesperson told iTnews the issue was being treated as a priority.
“We are looking into a small number of reports from Telstra Air members that they’re experiencing reduced broadband performance in their home. The reports are not widespread,” the spokesperson said.
“To understand what might be affecting in-home broadband performance in these cases we’re looking at gateway configurations, fixed broadband performance in a local area and any environmental factors that may be affecting wi-fi performance in the home.
“Any customer who requires support can contact 133 933 to be transferred through to our specialist Telstra Air team.”