As some celebrated the NBN rollout reaching its halfway point, many remain unconvinced about the quality, reliability and level of service available.
A visit to Shepparton from some of NBN’s top execs yesterday came with the message that Shepparton was at the forefront of the project with insight suggesting more than 90 per cent of homes in Shepparton had been provided for.
But as has regularly been the case since the rollout began, this spruiking was somewhat mulled by a loud chorus of multi-pronged complaints and concerns about the service.
So what does it mean that Shepparton is at the forefront?
Especially amid varying degrees of criticism and questions around whether it stacks up at all.
It’s easy to be critical. And certainly not all these criticisms are fair.
And the scale of the project should also be considered, rightly described by NBN representatives yesterday as among ‘‘the most complex and ambitious initiatives to be undertaken in any market across the world.’’ .
But there seems to be a significant disconnect across the spectrum of NBN experiences from project proponents and users.
Adding to this chorus of criticism is the voice of Australia’s peak body representing Internet users which has observed an increasingly unhappy public regarding the rollout.
‘‘It’s time the (Federal) Government and the Opposition put the national interest first and agreed on a bi-partisan strategy for building a 21st Century NBN,’’ Laurie Patton from Internet Australia said.
When pressed on lingering user issues, one NBN representative yesterday said hearing about customer problems was disappointing but added that the NBN was committed to improving processes and systems.
This acknowledgment is certainly positive.
The goals of the project remain good ones and arguably more important than ever for regional communities.
But the issues being faced in the rollout, which seem to be increasingly frustrating for users, need to be acknowledged and addressed more attentively moving through to this significant NBN project’s latter stages.