6 February 2018

NBN delayed again: The Canberra suburbs that won't be connected this year

| Ian Bushnell
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NBN: coming to a suburb near you… eventually.

Residents in Canberra’s south hoping to connect to the National Broadband Network this year will have to wait at least another year after the latest update to NBN Co’s rollout map.

Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann told Parliament yesterday (5 February) that Canberrans faced yet another delay in connecting to the ‘technology patchwork that is the NBN’.

She is calling on the Communications Minister and NBN Co to provide answers as to why there is another delay given these are suburbs that have some of the worst broadband speeds in Australia.

The suburbs to miss out this year are:

  • Greenway;
  • Monash;
  • Bonython;
  • Isabella Plains;
  • Gordon;
  • Calwell;
  • Conder;
  • Banks;
  • Theodore;
  • Richardson;
  • Chisolm;
  • Gilmore;
  • Gowrie;
  • MacArthur;
  • Fadden;
  • Parkes.

Ms Brodtmann said that in parts of Narrabundah, Forrest, Kingston, Red Hill, Barton and Griffith, small pockets of the rollout had taken place, and would continue later this year. But most of these suburbs would also be waiting until the January-June 2019 time frame.

“It is a slap in the face for the suburbs hoping to be connected this year and only further entrenches the digital divide this Government has created in my community, with its patchwork of technology, with its second-rate copper, with its lack of transparency in the rollout decisions,” she said.

“So Canberrans, if you live in one of these suburbs you can thank the Turnbull Government that you now have to wait until January and June 2019 at least for the NBN to roll out.

“Canberrans deserve to know what is happening on the NBN and why the constant delay.”

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Here in Pearce we got it last September. It is apparently coming from the Kambah exchange. If they can run a cable under Mt Taylor to get to us, why can’t they run it out to more nearby suburbs as well?

It doesn’t really come form the exchange. What they are rolling out now is in the street as the line lengths to the home need to be as short as possible.

Now whilst easier to install than fibre to the premises it still requires fibre to be run to the node locations and for new copper to be installed from the node to the existing Telstra copper network.

If you look around you will see new pillars popping up over the places. The old Telstra ones were round, the NBN ones are bigger, oval shaped and have lifting handles on the side. Near that there should be a small cabinet which is where the VDSL2 hardware is located. This is where your ‘line’ ends.

From there it makes its way back to a local exchange then onto either Civic or Queanbeyan exchanges where NBN handsoff your service to your service provider.

Yes the NBN is nowhere near what it should be, and its the Liberals’ fault for that. But the question for Labor is what exactly do they plan to do once in office? Are they willing to commit to retrofitting all the FTTN areas with FTTP? That is my question to Gai Brodtman, Andrew Leigh, Katy Gallagher, Bill Shorten et al.

It’s a worse slap in the face for the suburbs that waited patiently for the TransACT network, only to find that the money had run out and the roll out stopped short of them.
To watch other suburbs now have a choice of VDSL2 providers while we get ADSL2+ at best is rubbing salt into the wound.
Why wasn’t the NBN deployed first into areas without existing Highspeed internet access?

That’s not what happened with Transact. Transact was only going to places that had power poles owned by ACTEW. Most of Tuggeranong and Gungahlin didn’t so missed out.

As for NBN it was deployed into th worst place first which was Gungahlin. Whilst parts of Tuggeranong are indeed bad as a whole it was far better than Gungahlin to older copper to exchange whereas Gungahlin was ALL* RIMs which was copper to a street cabinet.

*the Gungahlin town centre had copper to a small exchange mostly for business internet.

That was definately what happened in the south.
Gungahlin area missed out due to underground reticulation.
The plans were already drawn up and approved for most of the southern suburbs when the cash ran out and ACTEW was bought back in to take management of the company again.

Transact never had plans to go to locations with underground power. The whole reason it could rollout was because ACTEW owner the poles. In underground power sites Transact couldn’t use the power ducts due to deportation requirements and Telstra was not obliged to share. Most of southern Tuggeranong, the part being discussed here is underground power.

Transact only got into the underground business in green fields sites, which was later sold to NBN.

It’s easy for Gai to blame the Turnbull government for not prioritising Canberra, but haven’t they just followed the Gillard-Rudd government lead? Canberra is a safe Labor seat and so there was no electoral risk for Labor to leave it down the list, just as there would be no gain for the Liberals to brig it forward. Given recent reporting on the amount of pork distributed by both sides in the last 10 years, we’d be better off changing the party of the local member on a regular basis.

Stirling Butcher4:11 pm 06 Feb 18

Remember the odds and even system we had during the water restrictions? I think it could be adopted for voting. Odd house numbers vote Liberal and even Labour for the pork barrel win!

Canberra including Tuggeranong was high up the priority on the labor rollout. All of Canberra would have had fibre to the home by now under the original plan.

The original plan prioritised Gungahlin and Queanbeyan with the rest to follow right after. But have been delayed a good 4 years now by the Liebrals.

I haven’t seen anything that backs up Labor prioritising Canberra, and the main point I was making was that safe seats tend to be accorded lower priorities than marginals. The Fairfax article I read said that Labor had distributed more pork than the Liberals, and Labor made damn sure that Windsor & Oakshotte’s electorates got the NBN because they held the balance of power. Look over the border at Eden Monaro at all the federal funding they’ve received because they’re a marginal seat. We’d be better off if we elected a member from a different party on a regular basis. Who knows, maybe if Canberra & Fenner were in play, the Libs may not have gone so hard on PS wages.

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