RESIDENTS suffering from slow broadband and poor mobile reception are calling for the telecommunications industry to be held to account.
Midland MLA Michelle Roberts and Federal communications spokeswoman Minister Michelle Rowland met residents in the Swan region to discuss their concerns, with complaints it was an impediment to having a home-based business.
“Midland has been a major regional centre since 1829 and it’s disgusting in this day and age we’ve got inadequate telecommunications, let alone access to the NBN,” Mrs Roberts said. “There are so many opportunities for residents to be innovative and have all kinds of employment from home but it requires a basic level of reliability and connectivity.
“If we want people who live in the area around Midland to have opportunities to work from home, then services need to be fixed.”
In WA, complaints to the Telecommunications Ombudsman were up 49.1 per cent, with Swan View ranked eighth in the top 10 suburbs for complaints in Perth.
Nearly a quarter of the complaints (3315) were about landline phone services, 4512 were about mobile phone services while 5796 were about internet.
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Judi Jones said there was no single reason for the spike, but rather dissatisfaction across the board.
“It doesn’t seem to be any single factor. There’s nothing that’s a standout issue,” she said.
“You look at landline, mobile, internet: all of those are up.”
Mrs Roberts said it was time the Federal Government held the telco companies to account.
“Swan View clearly has issues and that needs improvement but what also needs improvement are issues in neighbouring suburbs such as Stratton and Jane Brook,” she said.
“We are so close to the city yet many country towns have much better mobile and internet services.”
Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said construction of the NBN was scheduled to start in Jane Brook in the third quarter of 2018, however the new estate was ready for service.
Mr Fifield said part of Swan View was under construction and parts of Midland were ready for service.
Jane Brook resident Chris Stapylton said the poor service made it difficult for her husband to run his project management business from home.
“For the past seven years our internet has continually dropped out or has been very, very slow,” she said.
“It has meant dealing with overseas clients has been difficult and Skyping our daughters who live in London is problematic.
“On top of that our mobile reception is so poor we need to go outside to even get a signal.”
Mrs Stapylton said she had spent countless hours trying to resolve the issue with Telstra.
““I am concerned at the number of complaints surrounding the NBN, I hope by the time it comes to us in 2020 the issues will be sorted out.”