Another week and another storm, and that means Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury people with fibre-to-the-curb NBN had the heart-stopping experience of once more wondering whether their NBN box will get fried. From Lapstone to Hazelbrook and in parts of the Hawkesbury like Bowen Mountain, Glossodia and Pitt Town, there have been hundreds of residents with fibre to the curb who've had to have NBN boxes replaced by technicians. More and more people are on to their third or fourth box and some are on to their seventh or eighth. NBN won't tell us the numbers, nor the cost of sending out technicians to all these homes, and they rarely allow anyone to keep a spare box for the next time. I'm told by people in Redfern and Mona Vale—in the electorate of the minister for communications, or close to it—that it's happening there too, but there is no end in sight.
NBN tell me that they know the problem is something to do with the white box in the home and the node at the curb. Yes, even I know that. But they don't mention the copper wire, first used in 1881, one of the best conductors of electricity, that runs from the curb to the home. NBN do say they're looking for an answer and need to consult local and international lightning experts. This week my neighbour lost her third NBN box, and this response from NBN won't give her or anyone else confidence. Until there's a solution, every storm means people have to race to unplug connections. It means the loss of internet for homes and businesses. The minister needs to act.