Shayne Neumann MP
Federal Member for Blair

Australian Labor
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REGIONAL AUSTRALIANS BEARING THE BRUNT OF TURNBULL’S SECOND-RATE NBN

18/11/2016

Federal member for Blair, Shayne Neumann is concerned that despite all the glossy public relations from the Turnbull Government, all is not well with the roll out of the second rate, copper-based National Broadband Network in Regional Australia.

The release of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) 2016 Annual Report confirms that most complaints come from regional communities.

“In fact, more than a quarter of new complaints in 2015-2016 to the TIO came from regional and rural Australia, a big six per cent increase,” Mr Neumann said.

“It is a constant source of angst for residents in Ipswich and the Somerset Region and is one of the top complaints I receive from constituents in the office and on my mobile offices.

“Copper is the most likely culprit here with most of these locations relying on Mr Turnbull’s expensive and second-rate Fibre to the Node.

“Fibre to the Node relies on copper to get internet services all the way from the node to the home. In regional areas, this copper is often degraded and should have been ditched years ago.”

Mr Neumann said the service provided by the Telcos is fraught.

“When a fault arises, people are getting bounced between NBN and their Retail Service Provider and are simply unable to find anyone who will take responsibility for helping them fix their problem.

“It is no surprise that there are more complaints about internet problems than in previous years and that the TIO has recorded a rise of 22 per cent in complaints about internet services – the highest level in five years. 

“Many people just give up in sheer frustration in trying to find help. I wouldn’t be surprised if these figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

“According to the TIO, the most common issues consumers have raised are faults, such as slow data speeds, unusable services and drop outs.

“The TIO recorded 7,480 fault issues for NBN services – making up 38.5% of internet and landline issues recorded in 2015-16 – a massive 147.8 per cent increase on the previous year.

“In addition, complaints about NBN connections rose by 63.2 per cent. NBN complaints now represent 11.9 per cent of all new complaints to the TIO.

“Malcolm Turnbull could fix this mess by abandoning his second rate Fibre-to-the-Node approach and instead give regional Australians the modern, reliable and affordable broadband internet they deserve.”

Consumers wishing to make a complaint can go to the TIO website: https://www.tio.com.au/making-a-complaint or contact Mr Neumann’s office on 3201 5300.

The full TIO report is at: http://annualreport2016.tio.com.au/