THOUSANDS of homes in the City of Swan and Shire of Kalamunda will be waiting until 2018 for construction of the National Broadband Network (NBN) to start, according to a recent Freedom of Information request that Federal Labor claims sheds more light on the failings of the rollout.
WA Senator Glenn Sterle said the documents provided a detailed snapshot of how the rollout had progressed and did not look good for the region.
“In 2013, Malcolm Turnbull promised to provide every Australian home with access to NBN by 2016, yet only three in 10 homes across Hasluck now have access,” he said,
“Of greater concern, 41,000 homes in Hasluck, more than nine in 10 homes, are scheduled to be connected to NBN through the fibre-to-the-node system, which relies on a second rate copper network to connect to homes.
“Only new housing estates will have superior fibre-to-the-premises.”
Mr Sterle added that while the Coalition’s NBN was supposed to be faster, quicker and more affordable, in reality it was slow, expensive and near obsolete.
“The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has reported complaints about faults on the NBN soared by 147 per cent in 2015-16,” he said. “And as if things weren’t bad enough, seven of the top 10 postcodes for NBN complaints were served by copper fibre-to-the-node.”
NBN spokeswoman Ebony Aitken said with the rapid increase in end users and construction activity, an increase in the number of issues reported to the TIO was to be expected.
“It is also worth noting that as we saw in the TIO Annual Report last year, the number of complaints relating to the NBN network actually decreased by 12 per cent year on year when adjusted for the number of complaints per end user, as more Australians connect,” she said.
“However, one fault or complaint is too many and we will continue to enhance our construction and activation processes, and work with our retail service providers to improve service levels and customer satisfaction.”
Ms Aitken said the WA rollout was progressing well with more than 440,000 homes and businesses now able to connect.
“NBN is focusing on getting areas with under-served broadband connected first and as quickly and efficiently as possible,” she said.
“To date, the rollout has been largely focused on regional Australia, with 70 per cent of that build now complete. In 2017, we are focusing on ramping up the network build in metro areas.”
Ms Aitken said the rollout was expected to surpass the halfway point in WA by the end of the year.
“In 2015, NBN was being made available to 1300 homes and businesses per week in WA,” she said. “Last year that rate increased to more than 2100 new properties a week and this year, it is forecast to reach around 5500 premises every week in WA,” she said.