20 August 2015

One of the continuous complaints that I receive from local residents in Greenway, and in particular in the suburb of Glenwood, is the lack of reliable broadband services.

I draw the House's attention to this week's Rouse Hill Courier headline 'It's 2015—residents would like reliable internet'. It reads:

“Frustrated residents living in Glenwood are dealing with almost non-existent internet access at peak times.

Residents say they have experienced unsustainable connection speeds since the launch of the Netflix video-on-demand streaming service in March.

"Between 4pm and 6pm the internet gets very slow—sites like YouTube won't even work," IT worker Neil Caldwell said.”

I can attest to this. As a long-time resident of Glenwood, this situation has been getting worse and worse, despite all the promises from this government and in particular Minister Turnbull, who has talked a big game on delivering broadband to our communities, but has failed to deliver. Do not take it from me; take it from these local residents. I again quote Neil Caldwell:

“I would like to work from home but I can't. If more people could work from home it would help a great deal because Glenwood is very congested at peak times.”

Chris Winslow, President of the Glenwood Community Association, said:

“The slow broadband speeds available to people in Glenwood is a significant concern to the members of the association.”

Glenn Latch, another resident of Glenwood, said:

“My understanding was we were in the medium term roll-out plan for the NBN, but it looks like we are just not on the plan anymore. Telstra is saying there are no congestion problems, but when I'm at home and my mobile operates through my Wi-Fi, I can't even browse websites.”

This is very true. Look at the comments of Kent, for example. Kent emailed me, saying:

“I'm eagerly awaiting the NBN as it will allow me to work from home for a couple of days each week, resulting in less travel ... and more time with our new baby boy.

I was disappointed when first learning of the mixed FTTP/FTTN roll-out and feel that it is extremely short sighted. A significant infrastructure project designed to meet needs for many decades has been watered down almost to the point where it completely misses the needs of current and future generations.”

Andy, in Glenwood, said:

“It is a number one concern that Glenwood never had a good deals and reliable services from existing ISP. Our lines are on the Kellyville sub exchange and it means that by the time the internet speed reaches our home, the speed has been discounted heavily.

Paying the same price but not getting the speed promised is not on! We deserve better.

For school kids, a lot of school works needed to be completed online. Internet speed is vital!! I cannot stress it enough how NBN is so important for Glenwood residents.”

Ian in Glenwood said:

“I could buy better internet in sub-Saharan Africa!”

Ian said a Telstra representative said to him that:

“… he has a lot of people from Glenwood come in, but it's a basket case for them. He said that Telstra simply won't invest in Glenwood until there is clarity around the NBN. So in short, Turnbull and Abbott's nonsense leave me with an inadequate service due to their political games.

…        …        …

This is a fiasco. … I work from home, and this disrupts my ability to do so. It's simply not good enough that a first world country has a third world internet.”

Those examples are from real constituents who want the NBN.

Let us have a look at the progress. Today, Ken Tsang, someone who has done a lot of analysis in this area and is known to many, noted that NBN fibre-to-the-node had been delayed for 164,000 premises. He wrote:

“Analysis of nbn's monthly rollout schedule has revealed that the ambitious Fibre to the Node switch-on has been delayed for hundreds of thousands of premises by up to four months.”

So, even in this much-touted FTTN, Expected Ready for Service dates are slipping, again, under this minister. And I am not surprised that they are slipping. As we noted last week, MyRepublic slammed this government's 'fraudband' plans. Ovum Research Director David Kennedy was quoted as saying that MyRepublic was:

“… a serious company making significant inroads in the Singaporean market.”

and that:

“NBN hasn't even completed its technical trials for FTTN and we're not sure what technology they'll use.”

What has this minister being doing, going around and announcing all of these sites that are going to get connected? They have not even completed their technical trials yet. So I am not surprised by the slip in dates, continuously, under this minister—this minister who talked the biggest game on earth when it came to the NBN.

He said that the fibre-to-the-node rollout would be 'at scale' by now.

He promised every home and business would have access to 25 megabits per second by the end of 2016—a promise broken.

He promised that the NBN under him would be built for under $30 billion. He now says it is going to cost $42 billion.

This is a minister under whom the NBN is rolling out slower than promised and is costing more.