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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 12133


Ms MacTIERNAN (Perth) (10:07): Suburbs with some of Australia's poorest broadband are still not in the Turnbull government's planned rollout of their second-rate NBN. Last week nbn put out its latest three-year rollout plan, and Bayswater, Bedford, Maylands, Embleton, Inglewood, Noranda and Dianella have once again been left off, meaning that they will not receive any high-speed broadband until 2019 at the earliest. Bedford is rated as being in the second lowest band for broadband quality in the nation, with median speeds of around nine megabits per second, according to the Broadband availability and quality report and the MyBroadband site of the Department of Communications and the Arts.

However, based on the work we have been doing with residents in those areas, we suspect that the actual speeds are much worse than those listed on those sites, which are very much based on a sheer calculation of distance from the exchange. If I can talk about one street, Shaftesbury Avenue in Bedford has particularly bad connections due to the fact that the copper wire simply has not been maintained for the last 15 years. There is a lack of capacity and quality on that line. When it rains, we constantly find not only that they are not able to get data services; they are not even able to get voice services. The residents tell us that they would be happy to get 20th century speeds, but they are not even getting that.

I repeat that when Malcolm Turnbull, before the last election and subsequent to the election, made it very clear that the reason he was going with his dumbed-down version of the NBN, the reason we were getting a second-rate scheme, was so that it could be laid out more quickly and so that he could ensure that those suburbs, regions and towns with the poorest services and the greatest need for upgrade would receive first priority. That has not happened here. These suburbs have been left off, and I suspect it is because we are still living in 'Turnbullistan'. We are still trying to pretend that that copper is bright and shiny. I noted, even last night, Mr Morrow, the NBN CEO, claiming that he was really happy with the copper that was being revealed as the rollout preceded in the eastern states. But I can tell you that the copper in Bedford, Maylands, Inglewood, Noranda and Dianella is not bright and shiny and, when you start digging that up, you are going to see the need to either replace that or put in fibre. (Time expired)