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Broadband progress in Forrestdale.



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BROADBAND PROGRESS IN FORRESTDALE MEDIA RELEASE Thursday, 16 March 2006

After a community campaign urging Forrestdale residents to register their interest in Broadband ADSL backfired slightly, Canning MHR Don Randall put pressure on Telstra to repair their website Demand Register and make ADSL available.

In November last year, Mr Randall wrote to all residents in the Forrestdale area, encouraging them to visit the Telstra Bigpond website and add their details to the Broadband ADSL Demand Register.

Telstra will not upgrade a telephone exchange to enable ADSL until they receive enough interest in the service from the public. The Demand Register was set up by Telstra to capture the details of interested residents.

In November, the website showed an expression of interest (EOI) level of 60 people.

For the exchange to be upgraded, Telstra require an expression threshold of 160.

In December, Mr Randall began to receive calls and emails from residents advising him that the EOI level was not increasing.

In fact, one resident stated she had attempted the same process as Mr Randall a few months earlier. She collected over 100 signatures from her Forrestdale neighbours and with their permission, entered these details into the register. There was no increase in the figures.

This week, Telstra advised that the system error which stopped the expressions of interest from downloading into the ADSL Demand Register had now been fixed.

The expressions are now showing a total of 104.

Mr Randall stated he was still trying to have the threshold lowered so that the service could be provided sooner.

“Forrestdale is made up with many five acre and higher, blocks of land. I have expressed my doubts to Telstra many times that there are not enough residents in the 4km radius from the exchange to reach this threshold.

“In the meantime however, I once again encourage all residents in Forrestdale to enter their details on the Demand Register (www.bigpond.com/internet-plans/broadband/availability) and see if we can now reach the required amount.

Mr Randall said he took positive aspects away from his “Call to Action” Community campaign.

“At least this shows residents are taking note of the information I provide and in turn acting on it.

“I hope to have more positive news in respect to ADSL for the residents of Forrestdale soon,” Mr Randall said.