Oakeshott Calls for re-commitment to FTTP NBN | Rob Oakeshott | Independent for Cowper

 

Reliable and affordable access to high-speed internet will be a top priority for Independent candidate for Cowper Rob Oakeshott, if elected to the 46th Parliament.

Today I visited Pacific Legal & Conveyancing, a small law firm in Dorrigo that has had no internet access for almost five months.

The firm’s directors, Jane and Nikki have resorted to sharing an open letter online to force their telco and NBNCo to take action.

I have also spoken to several small businesses in the Bellingen area, including a medical centre, that experienced a surprise six day internet outage just last week.

You can’t run a small business using a mobile data hotspot for six entire days, it’s frustrating and incredibly expensive.

These are just some of the examples I’ve heard from people around our region who are frustrated with their sub-par internet connections, due to the lack of a sensible and equitable National Broadband Network policy.

Reliable access to mobile and internet services are central to life in regional Australia. In 2010, Independent MPs ensured the Government would deliver fibre-to-the-premises service in at least 93% of Australian households.

Since 2013, ministers and MPs have stripped the NBN back to its bare bones, downgrading residents and businesses to 19th century copper, and unreliable wireless and satellite connections.

This makes it impossible to guarantee a stable Skype connection in Bellingen, or even consistent email access in Dorrigo.

Meanwhile, the ministers making these decisions have no lived experience of how these actions are hurting our communities.

If elected, I will work with other MPs to ensure parliament restores a minimum service standard for NBN speed, installation and servicing in regional areas. This will include standards on timely responses to faults and outages.

Regional  Australia should have the same access to the internet infrastructure of the 21st century as our cities, so we can all do business across the globe.

Today I call on the Liberal, National and Labor parties to commit to a fair NBN for Regional Australia. And if elected, I will hold whichever party is in Government to account, to ensure they deliver the NBN service our regions deserve.