Second rate NBN rolls out in Hunter

Nearly 20,000 premises across the Cessnock Local Government Area have been added to the National Broadband Network (NBN) roll-out map, with fibre-to-the-node FTTN construction expected to commence in the coming months.

NBN has launched a website which gives an indication of when NBN connection will be available throughout the local area.

With businesses in Cessnock CBD scheduled for connection in May, people can register to receive email updates on the NBN’s progression locally.

Businesses are encouraged to prepare for the switch by reviewing the NBN’s checklist available online to determine which services and equipment may be affected, and find out what you need to do next.

While the NBN promises to deliver faster internet speeds, many across the Hunter electorate have experienced serious and ongoing issues around the transition to FTTN NBN connection.

The Hunter has been one of the first areas to receive the FTTN rollout. As of November 2016, there were 30,954 homes and businesses ready for service in Hunter and of these, 13,349 had an active NBN connection. A further 24,779 homes and businesses are currently under construction in Hunter.

In October 2015, NBN released its three year rollout plan, which forecast that by the end of September 2018 approximately 45,490 homes and businesses in Hunter will be either ready for service or under construction.

“Feedback from Hunter constituents in Lake Macquarie who have already swapped to the NBN service have experienced drop-out problems with both the internet and their land lines, or find the new system slower than their old ADSL2 service,” Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said.

“The few in the Hunter who are receiving Turnbull's second rate NBN tell me their ADSL 2 was better.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s mismanagement of his inferior National Broadband Network (NBN) is threatening to send local small businesses to the wall.

“A day without phone or internet services is problematic for any small business, but to lose services for weeks is devastating.”

Four years ago Malcolm Turnbull stood up with his then leader, Tony Abbott, to promise that all Australians would have access to minimum speeds on the National Broadband Network by the end of 2016. Today there are still 7 million households and businesses still waiting for connection.

“Malcolm Turnbull's inferior NBN is bad enough, but the Government’s mismanagement of its rollout has been appalling,” Mr Fitzgibbon added.

“Too often when something goes wrong people are frustratingly passed between their retail provider and NBN Co. Neither side wants to own the problem, but all you want is for someone to fix your broadband connection.”

Mr Fitzgibbon has continued to campaign on the importance of improving the digital divide between capital cities those who live in rural and regional Australia.

“There is a very significant divide of disadvantage in the regions,” he said.

“Australians were promised fast and reliable broadband at affordable prices to be delivered by the end of 2016, but this Government has shown consumers nothing but contempt. As Malcom Turnbull’s copper NBN rolls out, it’s becoming increasingly clear that its reliance on outdated technology is leaving consumers stranded with slow speeds and unacceptably high drop-out rates.”

COMPLAINTS

Preliminary complaints data indicates an NBN consumer is almost 20 times more likely to complain to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) than a consumer of other telecommunications services.

People are encouraged to make a complaint to the TIO if their NBN issue is not resolved.

“You deserve to get the internet service you paid for. I am very interested to hear about your experiences. As your local member I can raise any relevant concerns you have about the NBN with the Turnbull Government and NBN Co,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“I want to know about your experience with getting connected to NBN, and once you are connected, if you’re actually getting the services you’re paying for. I’m also interested in how any faults were handled by your retail provider and/or NBN Co.”

People in the Hunter electorate who experience difficulty or issues with transitioning to the NBN network are encouraged to contact Joel Fitzgibbon’s office by phone on 49911022 or email joel.fitzgibbon.mp@aph.gov.au.


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