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‘A good strike rate’

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December 01, 2017

Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum.

NBN: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE CONFUSING

Federal member for Murray Damian Drum has weighed in on the rollout of the NBN, saying the service was bound to experience a few hiccups.

Some 33000 people are connected to the NBN in the Murray electorate and Mr Drum said he received about two phone calls each week detailing issues with the service.

The Federal Government has received significant backlash for its handling of the service, with experts criticising the choice to use outdated technology to save taxpayer dollars.

But Mr Drum said he believed the service had only begun to develop and that time would resolve issues as the government, NBN and providers worked to improve the service, particularly in regional areas.

‘‘Most of the complaints I’ve received are generally around bandwidth contracts and the speeds that were ultimately delivered,’’ Mr Drum said.

‘‘We then have to determine whether this is an NBN problem, or something with the service provider, and, in my experience, we’ve had a good strike rate.

‘‘We’re urging anyone in the seat of Murray to give us a call if they’re having issues, because we have those connections locally to fix the problems.’’

Mr Drum rejected the notion the government had made a mistake with the framework around the rollout and said the cost to rollout newer technologies would have been detrimental.

‘‘We’ve had a tremendous response by using a combination of materials, and they handle around 99 per cent of all needs right now,’’ he said.

‘‘We need to work on expanding and improving the connections to regional areas that we have now, and down the track, if we are in a position to further expand, then we will do that.’’

Opposition leader Bill Shorten previously said Labor would push for fibre-to-the-premises technology, proven to be more effective in countries such as New Zealand and Britain.

‘‘(Mr Turnbull) promised everyone in Australia would have access to the NBN this year, but less than 20 per cent of Australians have access to the NBN,’’ Mr Shorten said.

‘‘Worst of all, many Australians are getting a slower, second-rate copper NBN that will not meet their needs into the future.

‘‘Fast broadband creates jobs. But you can’t have an innovation boom while you are still buffering.’’

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