Lack of communication undermining NBN community support

Urgent local engagement strategy needed at second NBN release site, government hearing into National Broadband Network hears

NBN Co must step up its engagement with relevant government departments and the Australian community if the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) or face an increasingly ambivalent public.

Speaking at the Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications in Adelaide, the City of Tea Tree Gully’s manager of business and economic development, Bob Carmichael, said the rollout of the NBN in the suburb of Modbury had been characterised by a lack of communication between NBN Co and the council.

“We’re keen to optimise connections and uptake by the [NBN] trial group of 3000 users and we see the urgent need for a local engagement strategy to explain the infrastructure to the local community,” Carmichael said. “We’re keen to be an early adopter of high speed broadband…we welcome discussion with NBN Co and the federal government.

“We’re trying to work out whether it should be our engagement strategy, NBN Co’s strategy or the department’s [strategy that runs the project]. We’d like to find out their [NBN Co’s] engagement strategy so we can work with them.”

The planned rollout at the City of Tea Tree Gully suburb of Modbury is part of the second release trial sites announced in July last year, with Carmichael saying that the council doesn’t want to falsely raise hopes for a mid-2011 rollout.

As well as needing to open the lines of communication, Carmichael said community awareness about the infrastructure project needed to be raised.

“We need to have a system where we’re promoting a connection, where we understand how the infrastructure works,” he said. “…We’re keen to establish a demonstration site of the National broadband Network.”

Carmichael said the council would not play an active role in promoting the NBN due to concerns that the project would not be delivered on time, potentially placing the council in negative light.

“We’re in contact with the NBN every week…we’re very concerned about over promising. We want to work out when we can start an engagement strategy of some kind,” he said. “We’re holding back until we know which areas will have it and the timing of it.”

The lack of communication reported in South Australia follows claims from action group Digital Tasmania last year that more information needed to be made available to the Australian public about the NBN and its impact on the Tasmanian community.

Despite the lack of communication, the Modbury community was eager to signing up to the NBN, with local businesses in particular saddled with poor internet connections, Carmichael said.

“Some people have copper [internet connections] and it’s not just enough for what they want to do with their business and others have generally poor service,” he said. “I saw a map of the black spots in our city and they are all over the place…it surprised me just how many places in the city had them.”

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Comments

nate dog

1

Complete madness to lay fibre optic cable to every private citizen in every city in Australia.
Lunacy. ADSL2+ already delivers more than enough speed so that we can all stream a movie in real time, watch whatever porn we'd like or download any software apple cares to sell us in mere minutes.

Fibre optic needs to be laid to no more than 10 CBD hubs around each city in Australia. This was the original NBN plan. Costing was estimated at around $5 Billion. Absolutely no reason not to stick with it. Make the business districts competetive, but why oh why do we need 200 mb/s at every door step. Not to mention the fact that Tasmania as a great show case has already demonstrated that the public has no need for faster internet for private users than is already available. Even when offered free installation in their homes (at a cost to the public of $3000 per residence, a luxury i very much doubt will be afforded to the rest of us plebs) uptake in Tasmania is shockingly low!

If Gillard wants to be re-elected, all she has to do is sit on her big fat arse and do nothing, instead she implements every retarded policy thought up by a team of what must be mentally impaired advisors we all like to call public servants. You know the ones, no where near good or clever enough to cut it in the private sector so now they dictate policy for the rest of us.

I see nothing ahead but a road to ruin, paved in fibre optic cable and lined with squandered tax dollars.

Akira Doe

2

I'll be the first to admit that Conroy is a horrible Communications Minister and generally a dishonourable weasel and his wastage of Tax dollars with the NBN to date, the lack of clear and honest information available, trying to exempt the NBN from FoI and the way he is so quick to attack opponents of the NBN to divert attention away from the issues at hand does not fill me with any confidence in his ability to deliver on the ALPs new NBN Promise without the cost blowing out or the project being scrapped because of mismanagement.

BUT, I have ADSL2 where I live now on the Gold Coast. I'm moving 2 minutes down the road and my only "broadband" option is Mobile... I'm not out in the sticks, in fact I'm still less than 1KM from the nearest exchange but at first there were no ports left, then I'm on a RIM, now the line quality is too poor. At the end of the day I don't care what their excuse is, bottom line is I cannot get broadband.

I've trialed the mobile offerings from Vodafone and NextG and clearly I'm not the only person in the area who has to resort to these cards because they are horribly unreliable, speeds are terrible and I'll be paying more for less if I sign up for one myself.

Nate, it sounds like you've got a great Internet Connection available to you, but lots of us don't. Even the ADSL2 connection I'm using now (before I move) only syncs at ~2000-3000kbps at best and the exchange is in the next street. Telstra have diagnosed the issue with my line, but since the Internet and phone function will not repair it.

One day the Copper network will need to be replaced, either by regular maintenance which in my case at least seems impossible to get or something more suitable for the future will be introduced.

Rather than leaving the market to it, I think it's a good idea that a proper NBN is being built that should make access easier for all Australians.

My concern is how it's being handled and how much is being wasted. Senator Conroy needs to pull his socks up and be more open about EVERYTHING NBN rather than his usual approach of spinning his way out of questions, going on the offensive and attacking people/organisations with legitimate concerns to avoid answering the questions and pay back all the money he wasted on the first Tender process (can't hurt to try, but I'd expect we'd have a lot more information and a no-spin approach if he was held personally and monetarily responsible for any failings that are his).

The opposition need to start helping the Country by insisting the NBN is done right rather than simply opposing it outright. But they won't and Conroy won't change so as much promise as this plan has, in the end I'm not confident we'll be better off in 8, 10, 12 years time (or what ever the built time will blow out to).

gb

3

Well it was always going to be an absolute mess was it not this government couldn't find a chook in a poultry farm. Look at the pink bat fiasco and the schools building rip offs. I am stunned that people are actually surprised that Conroy is having issues.

Hellfire

4

The NBN is a totally un-necessary waste of public money and should never have gone ahead as a publicly funded operation. Just like the public service it has become and will always be an institution full of waste and mismanagement. Fibre network to all of Australia is definately not needed considering advances in speed being developed for existing wired and wireless technologies and any extention to areas not currently covered by broadband access should have been done by private enterprise not with our tax dollars.

Post new comment

5

Re NBN need for more 'communication' - there has been ample.
The marketing agency they now have engaged speciallises in 'large failed govt projects ' which pretty much says it all.
-
The NBN has failed in 4 public trials, been found to have deceived the public in timeframe, benefit, estimates and usefulness.
The plan and design and goverment level of intervention, as well as the cost and timeframe to any beneifit was rated WORLDS WORST by the industry and independent objective bodies.

The truth came out re Tasmania re the secrecy, spin and lies pre election. A bigger set of lies than the reversal on the Carbon tax.
Townsville exposed the fragility and repair costs and risk to our community and business in the flawed physical design.
Kiama then showed the true cost and efffort of an incorrect design.
Brunswick - Kaiser discovered Australia has 'people that rent and dont speak english' and it will have to be forced.
We then heard more delays, descoping, the real lack of value and the denial in the meantime for a decade of true choice and value from the industry and global technology evolution.
So the minister changed the law so it will be forced and any competition removed.
No learnings or adaptive behaviours there.
-
Currently the phase is total passive resistance to it, a NBN board failing to act to their mandate, the whole NBN plan in crisis, infighting and a complete failure to be able to demonstrate value or execute.
-
Australia needs to move on and get real global capabilities for its growth, which is good govt supervising an industry not trying to dominate and monopolise it so Australia is not held to ransom by some labor factional and religious right reformist fanatics - implementing a 19th century information control and survelliance make work scheme that denies and actively removes choice, freedom and competion.
-
Or one that creates massive debt, raises our interest rates and living costs - and diverts money, skills and effort into flawed and now completed failed politized pork barrel vote buying scheme for the likes of sychophants like Oakshotte, Winsdor and the Greens.
-
The NBN has clearly past its use by date politically and needs a Royal commission into the massive failure and disappointment it has now become to the industry, business, community.

NBN = Nota Bene Nihil

6

N.B.N. = Nota Bene Nihil (note well, it comes to nothing)
The great communication aquaeduct project has failed and even the socius commilito factions have their knives out now in Rome as the plan becomes political poison.
There is not enough opulentia.
The culprits like Samuels and Conroy hide mute behind the doors as the citizens demand their heads.
As the front line of NBN fanaticus and anfractus sway and buckle.
Just like all the other failed Labor projects, it always ends in farce.
Cant even be built at twice the estimated cost. If it did it would take 12 years and its available for most in a much more useful and cheaper form now or soon anyway.
N.B.N. R.I.P. (requiescat in pace)

pappa bear

7

So they started the NBn roll out in my street today.

We had one letter arrive last week informing us that we are inthe test area.
1 letter
the next week we got a letter from telstra on a wednesday that thewy were pulling up the sreett TOMORROW!!!!
and we ahve to move our cars.
Come on people more notice
notice notice. i gues they don realise it wil lsow them down in the long run

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