NBN Co has admitted that its roll out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is not keeping pace with demand in new housing estates, with 3800 premises waiting to be connected.
7:30 reported last night that NBN Co as said it would take until the middle of next year to clear this backlog in new developments.
The program reported several residents in new developments who have been unable to connect a fixed phone line or broadband services due to fibre not being rolled out in their new housing estate yet.
“I had a big conversation with NBN in August, I think it was, and the proceeds of a half-an-hour conversation was, 'Look, pretend we're not coming,' one resident said who is due to move into a new development in Brisbane.
Another resident, who had already moved into the housing estate, said he was trying to start a business from home but was unable to due as he could not get a phone line or broadband connected.
Jim Hassell, head of product development, marketing at sales at NBN Co said there is a current backlog of around 3800 premises. “We'd anticipate that we'd catch that up by about mid of next year,” he said.
However, Stephen Albin from the NSW Urban Development Institute has criticised the roll out and stated NBN Co cannot continue to roll out the network as it has been.
“You could actually keep doing what you're doing, but if you keep doing what you're doing, then this problem is – these problems are really going get worse and snowball. You could throw more money at it, but we know there's no money,” he said.
“The only option is you've got to look at how you deliver it, and that may require reprioritisation, more flexibility and more involvement with the private sector.”
Malcolm Turnbull, shadow minister for communications and broadband, also criticised the government’s handling of the roll out, stating it is another example of the government missing targets.
“They said in January 2011 that they expected to … establish an active service to 132,000 premises in greenfield estates by June 2012. In fact, by June 2012 they had provided active services to 500 premises,” he said.
While Hassell said NBN Co keeps residents informed of when the NBN will roll out in their development, one resident said “They are very short and sweet and say, ‘We don't know when you will get NBN’, full stop. No apologies, no nothing. That's just what a monopoly can do.”
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