Wednesday, 13 December 2017 13:39

Rowland makes NBN an issue ahead of by-election

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Labor Shadow Communcations Minister Michelle Rowland claims it is unthinkable that Malcolm Turnbull is spending $50 billion on a second-rate NBN that could be leaving residents on the HFC network with fifty times more network downtime when compared to those on fibre.

 “Is this really what the Turnbull Government proposes to give the students, families and small businesses of Bennelong? An expensive HFC network that still doesn’t work properly — and is producing up to 50 times more dropouts?”, Rowland said, speaking ahead of next weekend’s Bennelong by-election.

“Time without internet connectivity is a critical source of lost productivity for businesses, students and professionals working from home.

“Labor believes Australians deserve a first-rate NBN that delivers the speeds and reliability the economy needs to reach its full potential.”

Rowland cites NBNCo data provided to the Senate in August that she says revealed households connected to the HFC network have been experiencing nearly 50 times more network downtime than households connected to fibre.

“An analysis of the NBNCo supplied data indicates that whilst the average fibre household is experiencing around 0.4 hours of network downtime per year, an average HFC household experiences 21.8 hours of downtime — that is almost fifty times more,” Rowland says.

“In Bennelong alone, this could mean an additional 1 million hours of lost internet and phone connectivity per year for the expected 50,000 premises that will be served by HFC.”

According to Rowland the Senate requested updated reliability data from NBNCo 40 days ago, but says this is yet to be provided against the due date of 8 December.

Source: Analysis of Question on Notice (QON) 347, Communications and Environment Committee, Budget Estimates 2017

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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