Speeches

NBN Connection Boxes Scorching

March 15, 2021

For months, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury residents have had to run to their NBN boxes when lightning flashes, because the boxes are being fried. The count for some families is up to eight replacement boxes. But there's an even more worrying and more serious issue: fire and scorching of the NBN box that sits inside our homes at the end of a fibre-to-the-curb connection. First, we had one report in Glenbrook of scorch marks on a desk. Then we had another of smoke in Hazelbrook and photos of a black burnt hole the size of a 10c piece on a kitchen bench. Then I met Brian McGuire in Windsor Downs. Brian brought me the cord that connected to his NBN box. It's black. It's meant to be clear everywhere. He says it's lucky it wasn't resting near something flammable, because he reckons the sparks that must have come out of the box could set something alight. Brian knows what he's talking about. He's an electrical engineer with masters qualifications and experience in lightning tests on high-voltage transformers and for aerospace applications, so, when Brian tells me he's worried that all NBN does is replace his burnt box with an identical one, I believe him. When he tells me it's dangerous, I believe him. I'm worried that this is a tragedy waiting to happen and that a lightning strike will lead to much worse than just a scorched kitchen counter. Like me, Brian has written to the minister and we both want action before it's too late.

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