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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1764

Ms SHARKIE (Mayo) (10:19): Yes. I second the motion. I'd particularly like to thank the member for Denison and I'd like to echo his concerns about NBN retailers advertising speeds far beyond what the average consumer is likely to achieve. For many, what is advertised is an unobtainable dream, and it's unacceptable. I think there could be no more misleading phrase than 'up to'. I do note that the ACCC has been investigating ongoing complaints about this very issue and has recently released a report which sets out six principles for internet service providers when communicating with consumers. Updated consumer guidelines are also expected in June. However, consumers need more than principles and guidelines; they need legislative protections.

My electorate was one of the first areas to have the NBN through, and complaints about the network quickly became the No.1 constituent issue after I came to office in July 2016, including that households were not achieving the broadband speeds they expected and they were promised. I realise that there is a transition period during a rollout when NBN is turned down, for want of a better word, because it has to co-exist with other services. One household might achieve 80 megabits per second at peak times, when residents one street over are only achieving an average household download speed of 12 megabits per second—all that the NBN is required to deliver during the transition period. There is such a discrepancy between what is advertised and what is delivered by the service.

In closing, when constituents tell you that they were better off with ADSL—it was faster and more reliable—something needs to be done. This was supposed to be the greatest national infrastructure project of this century, and what we have is a fraud. It is 'fraudband', not broadband. I commend the member for his private member's bill. It will provide clarity and consumer protection.

The SPEAKER: The time allotted for this debate has expired. The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.