No Service – SOS only

Living within rural NSW presents several limitations for my parents and I in terms of internet usage. Although the Southern Highlands as a whole can gain relatively decent and reliable internet service, living on the outskirts of Robertson indicates differently.

As recognised in the recent research paper ‘Broadbanding Brunswick’ it identifies why Brunswick was one of the first communities chosen for the NBN service, an emphasis was place on “the demographic profile, socioeconomic status, and cultural composition of Brunswick residents” which has been impacted in the town and could be enhanced. I believe these same limitations facing Brunswick are inflicted on Robertson – the demographic is mostly retirees therefore their interest would not be in high speed internet as such. Furthermore although Robertson has diversity in their residents economic status, most fall under an average income which also hinders the ability of the small rural town to gain decent internet service.

Several individuals especially in the Illawarra complain about the NBN only being present in certain areas, well where I live broadband doesn’t exist. Until 2008 my family and I still used dial-up with a whopping 1, 566 Australian’s recorded on the ABS website. That’s right that annoying whining sound that defined the late 90s with the incredibly slow download speed and constant unreliable service, well that was our internet until our little wireless modem came along, surely now we would have at least reliability… Wrong due to the fact my family I are limited to 7GB a month and I’m a media student I had to move to Wollongong for unlimited, fast and durable service.

Funnily enough half my street is actually connected to broadband internet but where my house is located apparently the wires are copper and too old, they need to be replaced which Telstra refuses to do. My father has spent endless hours trying to work with Telstra in resolving this issue, but the company refuses to assist and says that the exchange is old and the lines are paired according to my father. My father is positive that under the Liberal Government my house will never gain the NBN service.

The Brunswick piece emphasises that the NBN recognises “the importance for connecting and including rural Australia (5%) and keeping up to date with developments in technology and innovation (5%)”. Evidently they are obviously selective in which ‘rural’ areas they connect, seriously impacting rural communities and their ability to collaborate nationally and globally, conflicting with the NBN’s desired purpose.

Additionally the report ‘History in the Making: The NBN roll-out in Willunga South Australia’ indicates that in 2010 the Labor Government stated Do it once, do it right, do it fibre’ (in Hutchinson, 2010), acknowledging the need for fixed line broadband infrastructure to service non-metro users. It is currently 2015, and although Labor lost the 2013 election, between those two years it is evident their ability to roll out the NBN service successfully across Australia was a failure seriously hindering several communities and their ability to enhance their technological lifestyles.

My father ranks his experience with wireless internet a 5/10 whereas I would rank it a 1/10. It is overpriced we pay $80 a month for a little stick that drops out of service frequently and only provides 7GB, half of that I use in a day watching Netflix. How can one adequately access the internet with such limited gigabyte usage? Although we gain reception in most areas of the house, weather can severely affect our ability to connect and living in Robertson this can be a severe problem.

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According to the NBN website the Southern Highlands is allegedly suppose to start gaining NBN internet coverage mid-2015, it is now August and it is clear this proposal has been unfulfilled due to the Liberal Government prolonging and debating the NBN as a funding necessity.

More than double of wireless users use Broadband according to the ABS 2013 statistics. In 2013 12, 192 individuals had broadband as opposed to wireless’ 6, 040. This is obviously due to the limited amount of GB’s available and the accessibility. Wireless is useful to a certain extent specifically towards the frequent traveler but when relying on high speed, reliability and excessive GB’s broadband is clearly the chosen internet access point.

Funnily enough when I place my home address in a broadband accessibility search engine, various company’s appear that apparently offer internet services at my home when evidently they don’t. These company’s can’t even produce accurate statistics in regards to broadband accessibility. Honestly Australia’s internet service is beyond a joke and a disappoint to several rural and urban communities. We should be beyond this, it’s 2015.

abn

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