Internet ‘debacle’

October 07, 2017

One of Australia’s leading internet advocates has said complaints about the quality of the NBN across Shepparton were similar to those across Australia.

As The News takes a close look at the rollout of the National Broadband Network across Shepparton, we spoke with Internet Australia executive director Laurie Patton.

The not-for-profit group helps to promote and represent the interests of internet users across Australia.

Mr Patton said the rollout of the NBN had been problematic across the country and many users had been given an inferior product from what they were promised.

‘‘And I think it is only going to get worse,’’ Mr Patton said.

‘‘I think whoever is in office in 2020 is going to face dealing with the biggest infrastructure debacle of all time.’’

He pointed to the policy switch that happened with the change of government in 2013 as a turning point for the network.

Previously, most metropolitan users were to be delivered the fibre to the home version of the NBN, fibre optics to the house.

But when the Liberal Government came to power, fibre to the node was pushed on more premises, with copper wire still responsible for connections to the home to the node.

He said this resulted in many people reporting getting superior connections on ADSL before the NBN.

‘‘The copper links can be anywhere to a kilometre long, if you are 100m away from the node then you are getting good speeds, but if you are a kilometre away it is much worse,’’ he said.

Many homes in the City of Greater Shepparton were connected via fibre to the home to the NBN, which Mr Patton said offered a superior connection.

He said people unhappy with their service were given a ‘‘pass the parcel’’of excuses.

‘‘Technically you are only able to speak to your retailer as the NBN Co is a wholesaler,’’ he said.

‘‘Then if you ring your ISP, they may likely say it is an NBN problem and they can’t do anything about it.’’

He wanted both sides of government to come together for a bipartisan rethink on the rollout of the NBN.

What are your thoughts on the NBN in Shepparton? Let us know at [email protected]

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