The Turnbull government has spurned the opportunity to make key improvements to its second rate National Broadband Network (NBN) with its dismissive response to important recommendations made in the Joint Standing Committee on the NBN’s (JSCNBN) September report.

The Turnbull Government’s decision not to support the NBN committee’s recommendation for a rural and remote references group is disappointing and misunderstands the report recommendation.

Regional customers are bearing the brunt of the Turnbull Governments poor decisions around the NBN and have nowhere to turn for answers.

The NBN project may be regulated but it isn’t transparent and lacks accountability for many of its decisions and assumptions that are short changing regional customers regarding technology type, faults and network issues.

And if it wasn’t for the Government’s belated regulatory package announced in December - many months after the JSC Report drew attention to the myriad of consumer woes - the Ministers response on the JSC Report consumer issues would be even weaker than it is now. 

Regional Australia is bearing the brunt of the Turnbull Government’s second-rate copper NBN and the Minister is deaf to the chorus of discontent. 

Comment attributable to Josh Wilson:

The Turnbull Government has started 2018 with its head firmly in the sand when it comes to the systemic flaws in its NBN rollout plan.

The NBN Committee put forward a number of clear practical recommendations based on a year of hearings, community consultation, and expert input from around Australia.

These included the vital imperative to shift away from the near-obsolete fibre to the node technology in favour of fibre to the curb wherever possible, and a call to ensure every household or business can check the tested speed capacity of their connection rather than discover they’ve been sold a package that can’t be delivered.

There is no infrastructure project more important to our future than the NBN, and a responsible government would take on this constructive criticism in the national interest.

Unfortunately, the government’s response promises more of the same: a slow, patchy, glitch-filled network that pushes Australia further down the global broadband league table, that entrenches social and economic inequality, and deepens the divide between the city and the bush.

There is no part of Australia that deals with remoteness and distance on quite the same scale as WA, and I share the concerns of people throughout regional Australia that the Coalition’s NBN will entrench a harmful digital divide, when the very nature of this technology should be able to ease the tyranny of distance.