Speeches

Another storm, another pile of useless NBN boxes

November 19, 2021

Another storm season and another pile of useless NBN boxes for people on fibre to the kerb in the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury. Since a storm last Thursday, I've had nearly 100 people contact me because their NBN box has blown, by far the majority from Winmalee, Yellow Rock and Hawkesbury Heights. About a year ago I first raised with NBN that their boxes were being zapped in storms. First there was denial, then it was an exception and eventually, after months of storm activity, they admitted they'd had to replace about 10,000 boxes in my electorate. In spite of making a supposedly more resilient box the first big bolt of lightning this year has wreaked havoc. Residents were telling me this was their third, fifth or even nineth NBN box to blow, and remember that when our internet goes down our mobile coverage often goes too. It's the 21st century, people are working from home, they're still schooling at home and the internet goes down, but not just for the 24 hours that NBN claims is the replacement time. It's now the fifth day and many are still without their connection. Christopher is in Winmalee and he's prepping for his HSC. His sister is starting year 12. They've got nothing until the 21st. Telstra and the providers have to prioritise senior students. More to the point, it's not good enough for us to be stuck with such a fragile system in such a vulnerable bushfire area. It's the incompetence of the Liberals that's got us here, and it won't end till they go.