Kill the NBN? Please Don’t!

No Malcolm. This is what we want – fibre to the house !

Been a while since my last post but I had to put pen to paper (well, fire up the PC and hammer the keys anyway) to add my voice to the growing concerns about the Coalition’s intention to stop the NBN.

Here at Shoalhaven Heads, like many smaller regional towns, we are really at the mercy of Telstra. Mobile phone reception is a joke for many who live here and there are ‘dead spots’ where you can forget mobile phone service – let alone wireless internet. So we are dependent on fixed line services for both landline phones and ADSL internet. Most of us live within 5-6kms of the small local exchange but line noise / internet dropouts are a fact of life that I encounter every day of my working life. Going through the joys of hours trying to convince the Telstra helpdesk that ‘yes, I know what I’m talking about  and no, we haven’t made any changes to the computer and no, we don’t want to call the modem company because the DSL light has gone off’.

We all KNOW why the light is off – the ADSL connection has dropped due to line noise! Finally, a tech gets dispatched who finds a dodgy connection in a plinth up the road – or in our case had to pull in 30 metres of replacement copper cable up the street as it was so full of pinholes caused by our sandy and salty soils that we lost dial tone whenever it rained – and the broadband miraculously begins to work again until the next downpour of rain and I start all over again with another poor customer.

And the Coalition believes that ‘fibre to the node’ is a reasonable  alternative to what we all want which is fibre to the house? That is just a joke.

Come on, anyone who has worked in the telecoms industry (my stint was 27 years) knows that copper lines have a limited lifespan and have to be replaced when they fail. The lack of proactive maintenance work by Telstra, who I believe thought that they would be the ones running the new fibre into our homes and businesses not the NBN, is starting to show now after the stuff has been in the ground for many decades past it’s service life. Even New Zealand has decided that they have to spend more to push fibre to the house and business premises rather than use a stop-gap method. They realised that in the long run it will work out cheaper.

Once we have a fibre connection in place it opens the door to the future – cable TV for a start. No more rain-affected satellite broadcasts.

Please, just remember this when you cast your vote on the 7th.

Andy

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