Macquarie Electorate: National Broadband Network

February 15, 2021

Yet again, the needs of Macquarie internet users have been ignored by the Morrison government. In this case, it's the upper Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury users on fibre to the node.

The government has announced another smattering of suburbs to receive a fibre overbuild, something the upper mountains in particular have been calling for for years. From Lawson to Mount Victoria, parts of Pitt Town, Wilberforce and all of McGraths Hill, people are stuck with the antiquated, copper-heavy FTTN. In a relay, you're only as fast as your slowest runner, and with the NBN you're only as fast as your slowest technology. Copper is the tortoise of the race. Business needs fibre, students need fibre and retirees need fibre too.

I met 87-year-old Bruce Sinclair in Leura last week. Along with his love of Star Wars, this former school principal has a love of online gaming. It's one of the ways that this active octogenarian stays connected and agile. When I visited, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was taking hours to download. But, while he's technologically savvy and can push through the appalling FTTN, he knows that too many of his friends just give up. It shouldn't be this hard, and fibre to the home would have avoided all of that.

In spite of the need for a fibre overbuild, it's pretty obvious that this particular overbuild is not a quick fix and still likely to have a hefty price to connect.