NBN in the Mountains

March 03, 2020


I want to turn to the issue of the National Broadband Network, which of course is soaking up large amounts of funding provided by the government but not necessarily delivering to my community the way people would expect. Over the weekend I received a deluge of emails from people who were about to be connected to the NBN. Sadly, the day they were due to be connected, they were told: 'Oops, that date is not possible. That date is moving.'

Let me tell you what Rowan from Hazelbrook wrote. Rowan said: 'Hi, I'm writing to you as another of those who, on the day I should have been able to connect to the NBN in Hazelbrook, was told I would be able to connect in on 28 August.' That's the 28th of August! That's a really long time away from the date they were given. Remember, this community has been promised and promised connection dates, and they keep being pushed out by 12 months, six months, 18 months, so the community is understandably frustrated at the poor delivery that has occurred. Rowan knows that I have already received a number of these messages, and he says to me: 'I'd like to add my voice to those who are struggling with the poor communication from NBN and another who is disappointed to be moved to such a distant date.'

He is not on his own. Paul from Winmalee said to me: 'I've been waiting on pre-order for quite some time only to be told I'd have to wait until'—when?—'28 August 2020, with no explanation why or any assurance it won't be pushed back again.' This is the contempt with which hundreds and hundreds of people across the lower up to the mid Blue Mountains are being treated. Dates are just being pushed back with no warning and no explanation. It isn't good enough to blame bushfires, because all the cabling's been put in. Something is wrong in the system. The government cannot keep pushing back on NBN Co and saying it is their fault. They have to demand that these things get connected. My community is crying out to be able to run their businesses, university students to do their assignments. We all deserve better internet in the Blue Mountains.