NBN roll-out for region stalls, now depends on review
Monday: Story updated with response from Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd
TANNUM Sands, Boyne Island, and Agnes Water residents look likely to stay in the slow-lane for a while longer, with the Federal Government not committing to a timeframe for the roll-out of the National Broadband Network in these areas.
The previous government had committed to start rolling out the NBN to these areas in 2014 and 2015, however, with the Coalition winning power at the last federal election, these areas were quietly taken off the roll-out list last October.
A spokesperson for NBN Co said any future roll-out to the three areas was dependent on a review being conducted in the middle of this year, and could not guarantee these areas would not be worse off as a result of the review.
They confirmed that the roll-out targets at these three sites were dependent on the review, adding that they would receive the NBN "in one form or another".
The LNP has said the review would prioritise areas of greatest need, but cannot say whether these areas include Agnes Water, Boyne Island or Tannum Sands.
The continuing NBN limbo has frustrated residents of these areas, who have limited ADSL infrastructure available, more often than not having to resort to wireless options which are less reliable than a wired connection to the home.
The government's plan for the NBN involves a shorter roll-out time period and cost savings to taxpayers, but with fibre to nodes near homes and businesses rather than all the way to the premises limiting the speed of the service.
A spokesman for Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd said following the recent review into the "botched rollout of the NBN by the former Labor Government", the Coalition Government was getting on with the job of implementing an affordable NBN four years sooner and $32 billion cheaper than had been promised by Labor.
"The government favours implementing a national broadband network using a multi-technology mix and is aiming to have 50 megabits per second data available to nine out of 10 houses by 2019," the spokesman said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, Labor made false promises to the majority of Australians in relation to the NBN rollout, and the plans that were published under their stewardship had almost no connection with reality.
"The new rollout schedule will prioritise the worst served areas in Australia. Unfortunately this affects areas in Flynn as it does areas right across the country.
"Nevertheless, Ken is determined to get the best deal for his constituents and will continue to push for the earliest possible rollout of the NBN into these areas."
Tannum Sands locals suffering with unreliable internet
KATHY de Groot is one of the residents in Tannum Sands who has been frustrated by a lack of high-speed internet in her area.
While there is ADSL available, there are no more spots available at the node, meaning Kathy has had to use a 4G wireless aerial to connect to the internet, something she says is not reliable.
"The connection gets knocked around quite a bit, and becuase there's no availability of other services in our area, our ability to upgrade isn't great," Mrs de Groot said.
She says while family members regularly use her connection because theirs is simply too unreliable, she said she and her husband regularly visit the library to access a stable connection.
"The grandkids have iPads, and they need them for school," Mrs de Groot said.
"But of course they can't really use the internet when they come over, because it's unreliable and our download limit isn't huge."
She said while it would be fantastic to have the NBN rolled out in Tannum Sands, Mrs de Groot said she didn't mind what eventually made its way to the suburb, as long as it was more reliable than her current connection.
"I did hear that NBN was coming, but honestly as long as what they replace it with is stable, I really don't mind."