NBN SER­VICE WOES

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

NBN Co rep­re­sen­ta­tives will visit the Shire of Ash­bur­ton in com­ing weeks to ad­dress se­ri­ous con­cerns about the net­work roll­out af­ter a high vol­ume of re­ports of con­nec­tion is­sues and ser­vice faults.

Shire of Ash­bur­ton coun­cil­lors have ex­pressed “grave con­cern” over the NBN roll­out in their towns, with sev­eral homes, busi­nesses and a med­i­cal cen­tre that have al­ready made the switch fail­ing to get re­li­able ac­cess and oth­ers un­able to switch over at all.

As per a mo­tion passed at last month’s coun­cil meet­ing, NBN Co rep­re­sen­ta­tives will visit Tom Price and Parabur­doo later this month to ad­dress re­ports of NBN ser­vice faults at some premises and an in­abil­ity to con­nect to the net­work at oth­ers.

Among the lo­ca­tions ex­pe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems are Tom Price Med­i­cal Cen­tre, where staff have re­ported on­go­ing is­sues with the ser­vice; Yana­gin Place, where no prop­er­ties can con­nect; and Pilkena Street and Cro­ton Street where only some prop­er­ties can ac­cess the ser­vice.

The Shire also plans to dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of a “more se­cure” in­ter­net ser­vice for Onslow that does not rely on the Sky Muster satel­lite con­nec­tion.

Shire pres­i­dent Kerry White said the coun­cil was dis­ap­pointed with the lo­cal NBN roll­out so far.

“Since the of­fi­cial roll­out of NBN ear­lier this year both Shire of­fi­cers and coun­cil have re­ceived a large vol­ume of feed­back from res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers, ex­press­ing their frus­tra­tion at ex­pe­ri­enc­ing con­stant faults and dropouts with the ser­vice or in fact, not be­ing able to con­nect at all,” she said.

“Coun­cil has re­quested that the Shire’s CEO seek a for­mal re­ply from NBN as to how these is­sues are be­ing ad­dressed, and ex­tend an in­vi­ta­tion to NBN to at­tend Novem­ber’s or­di­nary meet­ing of coun­cil to ad­dress these con­cerns.”

Ms White also said she would write to all rel­e­vant Fed­eral MPs to ex­press coun­cil­lors’ con­cerns about the ac­cess is­sues and the im­pact they were hav­ing on lo­cal busi­nesses, es­pe­cially at Tom Price Med­i­cal Cen­tre.

Cen­tre di­rec­tor Joshua Der­ring­ton said the clinic had ex­pe­ri­enced “on­go­ing prob­lems” since con­nect­ing to the NBN in Au­gust. “It has af­fected our tele­phone lines, fax and in­ter­net con­nec­tions,” he said.

“It has been an in­con­ve­nience, par­tic­u­larly for our pa­tients not be­ing able to call us and some calls drop­ping out mid-con­ver­sa­tion.

“Down­time has var­ied from five min­utes through to 30 min­utes.”

NBN Co WA lo­cal man­ager Jane McNa­mara con­firmed there were “a small num­ber” of premises in Tom Price and Parabur­doo un­able to switch to the NBN be­cause of engi­neer­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, and the com­pany was in­ves­ti­gat­ing pos­si­ble so­lu­tions to con­nect them.

Ex­ist­ing phone and in­ter­net ser­vices will con­tinue at those premises in the mean­time.

How­ever, Ms McNa­mara said the com­pany was not aware of any premises in Tom Price or Parabur­doo that had started ex­pe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems af­ter switch­ing to the NBN, and ad­vised any users in that sit­u­a­tion to con­tact their telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions provider in the first in­stance.

She also said NBN Co was not aware of any se­cu­rity is­sues with the Sky Muster ser­vice.

Du­rack MHR Melissa Price said she had heard about the con­nec­tion is­sues in Ash­bur­ton and spo­ken to NBN Co and the com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter about them.

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