NBN roll out rip-off

Source: The Daily Advertiser

A multibillion-dollar nation-building project designed to deliver world-class infrastructure to schools and universities has been connected to just four homes as part of its Wagga roll out.

National Broadband Network (NBN) maps were updated last night to reflect the availability of services in parts of newly established Governors Hill, Boorooma and parts of Estella, despite the fact it won’t be connected to population centres of the city for another 12 months.

Labor candidate for the Riverina, Tim Kurylowicz, issued a press release welcoming the news but denied it was little more than a publicity stunt for the controversial, highly politicised infrastructure project.

“I think if it was politicised it’d be connected to the mayor’s house … but I don’t want to comment on their motives because I don’t know,” Mr Kurylowicz said.

The roll out has raised questions as to why the NBN is currently being sold as a fibre-to-the-premise connection while NBN Co merely connects mostly vacant blocks.

Member for Riverina Michael McCormack shied away from calling the roll out a game of smoke and mirrors but said it had been slow and beset with problems.

“The roll out has been slow and the take-up rate has been even slower,” Mr McCormack said.

“I still don’t think Labor understood the sheer cost and scope of the project it was trying to implement.”

Mr McCormack said he received more complaints about mobile coverage than he did about the speed of internet connections.

The announcement is contrary to what NBN Co told theFairfax Regional Mediaearlierthis month when it was questioned about the asbestos debacle involving Telstra pits.

A spokeswoman said: “work in the street to install cables – what we call the local and distribution network – has not yet started in Wagga.”

NBN Co has since said it misunderstood the question.

Telstra has confirmed pits possibly containing asbestos have not been opened by NBN Co.

The multibillion-dollar National Broadband Network has been connected in newly established Governors Hill, a suburb with only four houses. Photo: MICHAEL FROGLEY