Re­search urged be­fore NBN switch

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Saskia Adysti

The Na­tional Broad­band Net­work is avail­able to 80 per cent of prop­er­ties in Al­bany, as NBN Co plans to fin­ish the net­work by mid-next year.

More than 3000 prop­er­ties in McKail, War­renup, Mil­para and Orana were con­nected to the net­work last Fri­day, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of prop­er­ties con­nected to the net­work in Al­bany to 13,200.

Al­bany, Lit­tle Grove and Big Grove will be con­nected at the end of Jan­uary 2018 while re­main­ing sub­urbs such as Al­bany East, Mill­brook and Elleker will be ready by mid-next year.

But, as the project comes near to com­ple­tion, many lo­cals re­main doubt­ful with the ben­e­fits of join­ing the broad­band net­work.

Many are choos­ing to re­main with their old ADSL net­work even af­ter know­ing they could con­nect to NBN.

NBN Lo­cal West­ern Aus­tralia’s Rachael McIn­tyre said this was mostly be­cause of mis­in­for­ma­tion and lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween NBN, lo­cal ser­vice providers and their cus­tomers.

The com­pany launched the Al­bany NBN Lo­cal team to as­sist and im­prove cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences with the NBN net­work.

“Al­though re­tail ser­vice providers should al­ways be the first point of contact for any res­i­dent or busi­ness hav­ing is­sues with their broad­band con­nec­tion, the new NBN Lo­cal unit will be a ded­i­cated team work­ing with lo­cal stake­hold­ers and com­mu­nity groups to help en­sure lo­cal prob­lems are iden­ti­fied early and ad­dressed,” Ms McIn­tyre said.

Lo­cals are also en­cour­aged to do their own re­search be­fore choos­ing a ser­vice provider.

“There is now 120 providers of­fer­ing NBN ser­vices in Al­bany — it’s a very com­pet­i­tive mar­ket,” she said. “So I would re­ally en­cour­age res­i­dents to look out and com­pare prices — do home­work — speak to their neigh­bours and shop around.

“They need to un­der­stand in many ways that you got what you pay for.”

Mem­ber for O’Con­nor Rick Wil­son said he was pleased with the NBN project to date. “The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple I speak to say once their ser­vice is up and run­ning, their in­ter­net speeds are far su­pe­rior to what they’ve had in the past,” he said.

“Peo­ple should also re­mem­ber that there will be con­stant and on­go­ing up­grades once we com­plete con­struc­tion of the net­work in 2020.

“Ini­tia­tives like fi­bre-to-the-kerb were only de­vel­oped af­ter the NBN Co be­gan build­ing the net­work — we’ll have the ca­pac­ity to ex­plore some of these op­tions once the roll­out sched­ule is fully com­plete in the next cou­ple of years.”

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