NBN talks down its King hit

Aiden Boyham and Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph

An NBN spokeswoman has hit back at claims made by Brand MHR Madeleine King that the technology roll-out across the region is in crisis, stating everything is being done to connect homes and businesses as soon and as cost-effectively as possible.

The response comes as Ms King has scheduled a special NBN “crisis meeting” with shadow minister for communications Michelle Rowland in Baldivis next Tuesday, the Telegraph can reveal.

Residents affected by the NBN roll-out will be able to voice their concerns, with Ms King stating the NBN is one of the top issues raised by residents with her.

“The roll-out of the NBN has now reached crisis point for local homes and businesses that were promised so much more,” she said.

“It is absolutely critical that homes and businesses have access to a reliable NBN connection but this just simply isn’t possible for many.

“This is not just about watching Netflix; it is about school students and businesses that depend on a reliable internet connection.”

NBN WA corporate affairs manager Ebony Aitken said everything was being done to get Baldivis up to speed.

While NBN would like to connect everyone at the same time, we are constrained by economic and physical factors,

she said.

“We have also made sure that areas deemed underserved are over-represented in the forward roll-out schedule. However, this of course does not mean we can simultaneously start the roll-out in every area of Australia that currently has poor broadband.”

Ms Aitken said more than 4100 premises within Baldivis could now access services over the NBN.

She said construction to add about 7200 more homes and businesses to the network was expected to begin in the second half of 2018, with first-area switch-ons in 2019.

Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said within 12 months virtually every home in WA would have NBN access or network construction under way in their neighbourhoods. “There are now more than 4500 WA households switching over to the NBN every single week,” he said.

“Behind these weekly rollout figures, there is literally an army of skilled field technicians, mum and dad contracting businesses, and NBN’s own project managers and engineers making this network a reality.”

Baldivis residents are invited to attend Ms King’s meeting at the Salvation Army Hall at 13 Fifty Road from 6pm next Tuesday.

Register your interest by contacting 9527 9377 or sending an email to madeleine.king.mp@aph.gov.au.

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