Two months ago we posted an article on our blog that spoke about some of the internet access problems we encountered while setting up our new North Lakes office. The article also mentioned that our Legal Practice Director Dan Hutchinson had met with Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth to discuss these issues.

Mr Howarth vowed to bring the matter to the attention of Federal Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull. This week we were happy to receive feedback from Minister Turnbull that detailed the Government’s actions regarding the National Broadband Network (NBN) in our local area.

“As internet and telephone service providers are private companies the Australian Government has limited scope to intervene in their commercial decisions, such as upgrading telephone exchanges to support additional ADSL connections or improve network performance,” said Mr Turnbull.

“I can assure you that I am aware the North Lakes area has inadequate broadband access and that NBN Co Limited (NBN Co) has been directed to transition to an ‘optimised multi-technology mix’ to dramatically speed up the NBN rollout. This will match the right technology to the right location and make use of existing networks where possible to deliver very fast broadband.

“Unfortunately there are many Australians who are in similar situations with regard to access to ast, affordable broadband. Currently, around 1.6 million households and businesses across Australia are in areas that have no or limited access to fixed broadband. The Government believes that the suburbs, regions, towns and business districts with the poorest services have the greatest need for the technological upgrade that the NBN rollout will deliver. The Government will therefore NBN Co to amend the rollout plan to give priority to the identified inadequately served areas where logistically and commercially feasible.

“To assist with the prioritisation of the NBN rollout a comprehensive analysis of broadband availability and quality in over 78,000 local areas of Australia has been undertaken to identify underserved areas. On 20 February 2014, I published the full results of this analysis and launched the MyBroadband website which allows people to view results for their local area and provide feedback on the broadband quality and availability ratings.

“NBN Co is currently working on a new rollout schedule which will indicate when different parts of Australia will be connected to the NBN and which technology will be used in those locations. We expect this information will be released as part of NBN Co’s revised corporate plan in the second half of this year. I am optimistic that this will provide greater certainty about the rollout timing and technologies for many areas such as North Lakes.”

Cooke & Hutchinson would like to thank both Mr Howarth and Minister Turnbull for their efforts in pursuing this issue. It is reassuring to see that our Federal Representatives are aware of these local issues and how they impact on the local community. We will continue to follow this matter closely and keep you updated as it progresses.

Click here to visit the MyBroadband website for further information.