'Wires may be crossed' on NBN

COUNCILLOR Neil Meiklejohn has raised further concerns over the National Broadband Network (NBN), fearing there may be a breakdown in communication about what the government is expecting and what NBN Co will deliver.

Cr Meiklejohn said a response to the Daily News’ questions about the NBN from a spokesman for the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy was indirect conflict with what the council had been told at a presentation by an NBN Co representative.

“I don’t want this to become some big thing,” Cr Meiklejohn said.

“But if NBN Co is telling us one thing and the government think another thing, there may be a breakdown in communication there and we have to know what is happening.”

The Daily News asked the Minister’s office what their plans were for the large number of people in the Southern Downs who wouldn’t have access to the NBN because they lived in townships with less than a 1000 people.

Mr Meiklejohn said he was passionate about the issue and didn’t want to see people with already poor coverage left behind.

But the Minister’s spokesman said 100 per cent of Australian premises would somehow be serviced by the NBN.

“Ninety-three per cent of homes, schools and businesses will have access to fibre technology, capable of providing speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second,” he said.

“All remaining premises will be served by a combination of next-generation fixed-wireless and satellite technologies, providing peak speeds of at least 12 megabits per second.

“Indicative coverage maps published by NBN Co Limited at www.nbnco.com.au/our-network suggest that Warwick and Stanthorpe may be served by fibre-to-the-premises technology, with the surrounding areas to be served by a combination of fixed-wireless and next-generation satellite technologies,” he said.

Yesterday a council spokeswoman said there was still no decision as to whether the Southern Downs Regional Council would be joining with other councils to try to tackle the NBN issue.



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