Indi needs better communication infrastructure.
Indi residents are concerned that the NBN roll out in our region is slow, inconsistent and behind urban timetables. Across the region I hear from businesses who say they can only remain competitive by moving aspects of their business online. However they will not have access to fibre optic speeds. Mobile phone black spots persist in large parts of Indi, especially the Mt Beauty-Alpine region and down to Marysville. This has risks for health and safety due to emergency services being uncontactable in parts of Indi because of these coverage blackspots. Many people in Indi are also missing out on the innovations that mobile phones can provide.
Looking long term, we must aim for services comparable to those available in metropolitan areas. High speed broadband will level the playing field for regional areas, creating huge opportunities for the delivery of health, aged care and education throughout Indi. This will facilitate new businesses moving to regional areas, and further the development of existing businesses. It is essential that we fully realise this opportunity and invest in the right plan for Indi.
- I will support the current fibre-to-the-home NBN plan. Fibre optic cable supplemented with wireless and satellite technology can bring a world standard communication infrastructure to Indi.
- I will hold the Government to account on the NBN rollout timetable and system speeds. Residents and businesses should have certainty about when they receive these services and the quality of the service.
- I will campaign for communities and businesses not receiving fibre optic coverage currently by developing a pathway for communities, or groups of communities, that develop and present a financial case for their inclusion within NBN.
- I will support a dedicated fund to co-invest in mobile carrier services for mobile phone black spots. In some areas towers might not get built because they won’t be commercially viable – these residents should not be ignored.
- I will support the co-ordination and sharing of the NBN and mobile phone infrastructure. The NBN wireless system can be used to improve mobile coverage through the use of low-power base stations and the towers of each system should be co-ordinated to improve mobile reception in parts of Indi.
- I will endeavour to get mobile phone black spots mapped in Indi. The Government needs to work with mobile service providers to map the black spots in regional areas.
- I will continue to monitor technology developments to ensure regional areas remain competitive. Technology will continue to develop and evolve and this will affect future delivery of services and the viability of businesses. Regional communities must be vigilant that the wireless and satellite communication infrastructure (instead of fibre optic) does not disadvantage those communities.