Slip through the net

The Advocate (Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Lisa Thomas and Sarah Brookes

RES­I­DENTS in Ellenbrook, Swan Val­ley and the Hills are suf­fer­ing from slow broad­band ser­vice and poor mo­bile re­cep­tion and are call­ing for the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try to be held to ac­count.

Swan Hills MLA Jes­sica Shaw said she had res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers con­stantly con­tact­ing her to com­plain about poor in­ter­net and mo­bile phone cov­er­age.

She said the is­sue was elec­torate-wide and was con­cern­ing com­ing into bush­fire sea­son.

“It’s one of the most com­mon is­sues raised with me,” she said.

“We’re wait­ing an eter­nity for NBN and our phone cov­er­age is dread­ful.

“Homes and lives are at risk, es­pe­cially dur­ing bush­fire sea­son, and we need telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions (com­pa­nies) to un­der­stand and act dur­ing in­ci­dents”

She said there was a se­ri­ous threat of bush­fires for res­i­dents in the Hills and in­ter­net and phone re­cep­tion was a part of pre­par­ing for the up­com­ing sea­son.

“I have raised it with Tel­stra on be­half of my con­stituents and I am also per­son­ally af­fected by it as a Mt He­lena res­i­dent,” she said

“Busi­nesses in Ellenbrook tell me they have poor in­ter­net cov­er­age, which is im­pact­ing their abil­ity to run their busi­ness or for students to do their home­work.”

Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions In­dus­try Om­buds­man Judi Jones said there was dis­sat­is­fac­tion in cov­er­age across Perth.

“It doesn’t seem to be any sin­gle fac­tor,” she said.

“There’s noth­ing that’s a stand­out is­sue.

“You look at land­line, mo­bile, in­ter­net; all of those are up.”

Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Mitch Fi­field said con­struc­tion of the NBN was sched­uled to start in the Hills and Ellenbrook in the third quar­ter of 2018.

Mr Fi­field said part of Swan View was un­der con­struc­tion and parts of Mid­land were ready for ser­vice.

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