Hawkesbury left off NBN upgrade list….again
The Hawkesbury has been left off a list of places in line for access to improved NBN services – it would have seen fibre to the premises put in for everyone - for the second time.
Last year the Federal government announced an initial list of suburbs and towns where NBN would overbuild the copper (the bit of wire that brings the NBN actually into your home from the street) with fibre all the way in areas that use Fibre To The Node (FTTN). That applies to most – but not all – Hawkesbury suburbs.
If fibre were to be fitted all the way to your home or office it would allow people to have faster and more reliable internet by accessing fibre all the way into their home.
“Both the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury Local Government Areas (LGAs) were left off that initial list,” Maquarie MP Susan Templeman said.
“On February 10, NBNCo announced the next tranche of residential upgrades, and while places like Bathurst and Orange, and Narellen and Campbelltown were on the latest list, the needs of the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury were ignored,” Ms Templeman said.
“Our region has suffered the dual economic blows of bushfire and the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 12 months. According to the National Bushfire Recovery Agency (NBRA), the Blue Mountains took a $65.4 million hit to its economy, and the Hawkesbury lost $33 million, in the 2019/20 bushfire crisis alone.
“This, of course, came before the pandemic hit, when local residents were forced to run their businesses, study or work remotely.
“The Blue Mountains was one of the first areas to receive FTTN, an experiment that has highlighted the inadequacies of combining 21st Century fibre with 19th Century copper technology.
“I have been inundated with stories from residents about slow or non-existent connections that made going online virtually impossible.
“I was somewhat relieved last year to hear the government had admitted defeat and planned to upgrade FTTN to FTTP, although only in certain areas and at a so far unknown cost to the end user,” Ms Templeman said.
“Being overlooked twice for FTTN to FTTP upgrades is deeply disappointing to those residents in both the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury regions who have been trying to run a business, study or home school, or simply stay connected throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am writing to Minister Paul Fletcher about this issue to demand digital equity for our region.”