Letters: Needing some clarity on NBN

Gunning NBN questions

I am writing to ask Council to provide some clarification about the future of internet services in Gunning. While I am aware that this is a federal issue, poor internet services do have an impact on economic development in villages like Gunning.

There is also a precedent for councils to negotiate better internet connection services with NBN Co, see here: http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/tech/2017/08/30/local-council-nbn-fttc-precedent/

In the above article, Bellingen Shire Council in NSW was able to obtain a modification to NBN Co's technology used to deliver internet services in their shire.

There is much confusion about the services that NBN Co will be providing to the village of Gunning. At present, many residents enjoy a high standard of internet services, with Telstra, for example, offering ADSL connection speeds of approximately 17mbps and data download limits of up to 1,000GB for around $120 per month. This far exceeds what most users require, and as a heavy internet user for my work purposes, the service as it is now is more than adequate.

However, it is my understanding that when SkyMuster's satellite services become available in Gunning, the ADSL services will be switched off, and residents will be forced on to SkyMuster's inferior satellite service. This will mean a less-reliable service, with speeds of around 7mbps and monthly download limits of around 120GB at about $160 per month.

But these figures are misleading in that 60GB of the download allowance is only available between 1am and 7am. This would mean that many residents in the Shire will not have adequate internet services, especially for those who rely on a reliable internet connection for their employment.

There is an issue here in that Gunning residents (and other residents in the Shire), will have contributed to the cost of the NBN through federal taxes, but may end up with an inferior and costlier internet service than that which is already operational.

I am asking Council to provide some clarification on the future of ADSL services in Gunning, and, if it is the case that SkyMuster services are to replace ADSL in Gunning and other villages in the Shire, that Council lobby NBN Co to ensure that the rollout of the NBN, and SkyMuster in particular, does not disadvantage Shire residents in relation to currently available services. This situation presents Council with a problem for employment and the local economy, issues which are clearly within local council's responsibilities for economic development. Nevertheless, if ADSL services are not to be switched off, I ask that Council confirm this with NBN Co, and advise residents accordingly, to alleviate the current uncertainty over the future of internet services in the Shire.

  • Dr Michael de Percy

Sometimes small can be big

While we are often subjected to politicians using many words to say very little, sometimes brevity can be very effective.

Take a video on October 17 from our local Federal Member who managed to rebuff parts of his electorate and the wider public, wedge the Labor Party and have a swipe at elements of the rainbow community of LGBTQI all at the same time with five little words by declaring that any previous policies on energy were "...energy industry policy in drag". Masterly!

  • A. Darbyshire