NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK
Australians deserve fast, reliable and most importantly, safe broadband services. They also deserve to be fully informed about the impact that the NBN will have on their home and internet services.
I will be continuing to use my position on the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network to ensure that Australians are provided with exactly that.
The committee was established on 14 September 2016 and is made up of 17 members from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The committee’s role is to inquire into and report on the rollout of the NBN until the NBN is declared built and fully operational.
I think this is an incredibly valuable tool tohold NBN Co and the Federal Government to account during the entire rollout to ensure the process is timely and effective.
As a part of my membership of the Committee, I have heard evidence from all over the country about people’s experiences with the NBN and heard many cases where the NBN has dramatically failed to reach community expectations.
The Committee released its first report on the rollout of the National Broadband Network on 29 September 2017. You can view the report and keep up with the progress of the inquiry here.
The Committee is currently conducting Inquiries into the business case for the NBN and into the rollout of the NBN in rural and regional areas.
The Government response to the recommendations made by the Committee in the first report was tabled on 16 January 2018 and can be found here.
The Government’s response is, quite frankly, a disappointment. The Government has failed to support nearly half of the recommendations made by the Committee that were designed to help fix the ongoing problems with the NBN and also to ensure regional Australia gets the services that it needs.
I also lobbied for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to play a more active role in making sure that internet service providers don’t mislead the public by promoting data download speeds that cannot be achieved. As a result of this advocacy, the ACCC has established a program to monitor broadband performance.
This program will provide an incentive to internet service providers to provide the highest data speeds possible and call out those that fail to meet the needs of consumers. The results of the monitoring program will be made public via the ACCC website so it will also allow consumers to make an informed choice about the best option to choose when selecting an internet service provider.
To find out more about the program, or to volunteer to take part, visit: https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/internet-phone/monitoring-broadband-performance
If you have concerns regarding the rollout of the NBN or would like to share your experiences, please get in touch with my office.