Speech - Constituency Statement (NBN) (1)




Last February, I raised matters in the House about the quality and rollout of the NBN in the electorate of Lilley. Since then, there has been no significant improvement. Since coming to government in 2013, Mr Turnbull and the Liberals have done just about everything possible to destroy the NBN. They’ve taken a world-class fibre-to-the-home network, which should have been completed by 2016, and turned it into 'Fraudband'. Entire communities have been delivered a substandard service with low speeds and unpredictable connectivity.

Labor created the NBN to bring Australia to the 21st century and to make us competitive as an advanced nation. But this government has now put us decades behind. Around 20,000 fortunate households in Lilley have received Labor's first-class broadband. They've received fibre. But across the rest of the area, there are approximately 40,000 premises that are receiving 'Fraudband', mostly the old HFC network. There are around 20,000 households in places such as Chermside, Chermside West, Geebung, Kedron, Northgate, Nundah and Wavell Heights have received absolutely nothing. Now they're falling even further behind, because the government has announced further delays, because there are substantial problems with the HFC network.

For those who have been connected to the inferior HFC network, the problem is that speeds and services that were promised have not arrived, and people have been left in limbo. Some people have no service whatsoever. Some people have services that drop out. This is particularly the case in the bay-side suburbs in my electorate. The standard HFC network has been more degraded in the bay-side suburbs, leading to cost blow-outs, wait times and very, very poor service.

Other problems faced across the electorate include faulty installations and missed appointments. Worse still, when trying to seek a resolution to the issue, people are experiencing blame-shifting between the NBN and telecommunication retailers.

The NBN is too important for these problems to continue. That is why this week Labor have announced our NBN service guarantee to deliver a better experience for NBN customers.

The NBN service guarantee aims to address the problems with installations, fixing faults, and missed appointments. Labor will set new standards for installations, repairing faults, and missed technician appointments. We'll impose financial penalties on the NBN when these standards are not met and will impose strong penalties to protect small business from excessive downtime. Significantly for people in my community, these penalties will also result in compensation for wronged NBN customers, and the ACCC will have oversight of the guarantee to ensure its correct implementation.

The rolling rollout disaster of the NBN is a huge problem for people living in the northern suburbs of Brisbane and right across the country—for people who are operating businesses from home, for schoolkids who are trying to do their assignments and for families who are trying to do both these things at once or more. It short, it's been a disaster and it needs to be fixed.