NBN report a chance to give regional people world class internet
Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is urging all regional MPs to act on an NBN inquiry report to give rural and regional people world class internet.
Ms McGowan’s call to action follows the release of the first report from the Joint Standing Committee inquiring into the NBN rollout.
“The inquiry has been an opportunity to take real action on NBN,” said Ms McGowan, who is a member of the committee.
“The first report is out and it has some good things in it, including a recommendation to set up a reference group to support the rollout in regional and remote Australia.”
Other recommendations cover data allowances for SkyMuster and improving NBN’s complaints process.
While the national inquiry unfolds, Ms McGowan has organised a meeting in November with the Indi Telecommunications Action Group and NBN. This follows a meeting with NBN CEO Bill Morrow in September to discuss working more closely with local councils.
“This was an incredibly successful approach for addressing mobile phone blackspots, and now ITAG will tackle NBN problems,” Ms McGowan said.
“The inquiry process revealed huge gaps in the rollout for regional Australia,” Ms McGowan said.
“The many submissions from Indi and the hearing in Wodonga revealed the biggest concerns locally are around delays and faults in installation, slow and limited downloads, and the complaints process.”
The concerns are reflected in the recommendations, which Ms McGowan worked on closely with the committee.
“There has been a really good understanding amongst committee members that this has to be done better,” Ms McGowan said.
“As an independent voice I have been able to work effectively across party lines to help regional people influence a major national infrastructure project.”
Ms McGowan said a hearing of the inquiry into regional development and decentralisation in Wodonga on 12 October would be another chance to highlight the issue.
“Effective regional development will rely on world class internet,” Ms McGowan said.
People who are having issues with the NBN rollout should contact their retail service provider in the first instance. The NBN has a help line 1800 687 626, and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman can be contacted at 1800 062 058.