The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has used the Senate Estimates process this week to confirm NBN Co. has walked away from the regional Victorian community of Napoleons and its bid to install a fixed wireless tower.
“The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy was adamant the government was consulting with communities across Australia, but if a community refused a tower then it was unlikely an alternative would be pursued,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Clearly the government is not concerned with ensuring regional Victorians are connected to the NBN, despite Golden Plains Shire suggesting several alternate locations for the tower.”
In response to persistent questioning from Senator McKenzie, Senator Conroy confirmed:
“They [NBN Co.] rejected the tower as there was no more suitable site[s]… the NBN has moved on.”
Now the Napoleons community has to wait for a satellite service, which will provide slower internet access than what is currently available and will take years to arrive
“Today’s ADSL 2+ broadband is faster than the satellite service expected to be installed by 2015,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The Minister’s dismissive response to the genuine concern of the community is appalling. Regional Australians need access to fast, inexpensive broadband.
“The Coalition’s alternative broadband policy will deliver fast broadband to all Australians sooner and at less expense to the taxpayer.”