Susan Templeman slams federal government NBN policy, laments focus on fibre-to-the-node

NBN logo
NBN logo

THE federal government should be ashamed of the rollout of the National Broadband Network according to Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman.

Last week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claimed growing frustration with the NBN should be directed at service providers, not the NBN technology being installed.

Mr Turnbull said telcos marketing unrealistic speeds was one of the bigger complaints, as was the installation of the service in homes.

Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman. Picture: Alex Ellinghausen

Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman. Picture: Alex Ellinghausen

The Labor Party’s Susan Templeman has spoke often about a lacklustre experience Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains people have experienced with the NBN.

“The experience of the upper Blue Mountains FTTN (fibre-to-the-node) roll out has been horrible for many households,” she said.

“A year on, some are still not connected, with no connection date, because of the technological limitations of FTTN.

“So it's no wonder some in the Hawkesbury are not looking forward to the experience that this government is landing them with.

This is on top of other parts of that area being forced onto fixed wireless, with its unsightly towers, and still others on satellite. It makes the Hawkesbury one of the least equal places when it comes to internet access. It's something that this government and this Prime Minister should be ashamed of.”

Mr Turnbull, who was speaking with Neil Mitchell on Melbourne’s 3AW backed the government’s decision to stick with FTTN and other things such as wireless internet towers.

These are opposed to Labor’s policy when it was in office, which preferred fibre-to-the-premise or fibre-to-the-home.

Mr Turnbull said the change in technology options was allowing NBNCo to perform a much faster rollout, and said it was doing an “extraordinary” job.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Ms Templeman bemoaned the fact the government persisted with rolling out FTTN.

“Densely populated suburbs, like McGraths Hill, will have to make do with this second rate fibre to the node, as will Wilberforce and Freemans Reach,” she said.

“Parts of the new development in North Richmond get fibre to the premises, while the rest of the suburb will get dodgy fibre to the node.”

As for the Prime Minister’s assertion that many problems lay with internet, Ms Templeman said she agreed to some point with Mr Turnbull.

“There's no doubt that the fault for some of the problems people are experiencing with NBN lies with the service providers and how difficult it is to know what to choose,” she said.

Mr Turnbull also rubbished reports that Kenya had better internet than Australia.

"One-and-a-half per cent of people in Kenya have access to broadband. In Australia it's 90 per cent", he said.

"You might have a handful of wealthy people with apartment buildings that have got first world telecoms in a country where the vast majority of people have got no access at all.”