Stephen Conroy Response

December 8th, 2009 by Russell Leave a reply »

Katy Gallagher has forwarded on to me the response she received from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy.

In her response to my earlier letter Katy had informed me she had forwarded the matter to Senator Conroy on my behalf. I thank Katy for sending me the response.

The letter is as I had anticipated any response from the minister, part form letter and part sales pitch on the NBN. In the letter Senator Conroy does have a few interesting things to say. He speaks of not having the ability to deal with an issue concerning Broadband which may interfere with day to day operations of a public company.

While I concede the point Governments can’t directly influence public companies it is difficult to understand how little governance actually exists when it comes to these matters. It would appear that Internode, the ACT Legislative Assembly and the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy have no influence on the problem….so who does?

Where would we stand if this was a matter for the Minister for Health? If a medical procedure at Calvary Hospital cost the same as in the hospital at Woden but Calvary gave you only half the treatment, would you have a case? I guarantee there would be all sorts of governance, reviews and backlash over that.

Here in Gungahlin Telstra can put in the lowest cost solution and charge higher rates to consumers. Here we get a substandard service on technology which limits competition. In Gungahlin we get to pay for poor decisions made by Telstra when they were a fully Government owned institution and used tax payers money build a network. We have little to no recourse if Telstra refuse to upgrade Gungahlin due to cost.

Now I have to watch TransACT roll out Fibre past my suburb to a Greenfield site with very little hope of seeing anything equivalent within the next 5 years. Maybe it is time to change focus, maybe it is time to appeal to TransACT to do “brownfield” roll outs in Gungahlin.

To see the response from Senator Conroy check the link out below.

Stephen Conroy Response.pdf



  1. Ryan says:

    The sad thing is that you know he didn’t read the letter or attempt to understand the problem.

    The issue is not access, cost, or lack of competition.

    The issue is that Telstra refuses to upgrade its broken infrastructure despite FTTH rollouts literally 50m away from some affected residents.

  2. Beastboy says:

    I agree completely Ryan

    After reading this latest post I tried to find out what exactly a Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy does.

    However despite having broadband at this time of night I cannot get passed the first page on website.

    But I guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning when I take that 10 minute drive to work where the Telstra Network there actually has the capacity to actually deliver what they have sold.

  3. Ryan says:

    Russell – just got word from a neighbour that they are being reimbursed by Telstra for their internet.

    In other words, they’re not paying for it because it’s below their 100kb/sec guaranteed limit.

    Am letting Internode know that we’d like similar treatment.

  4. Denis says:

    It is bad enough that the connection speeds are horrible in Gungahlin, I today contacted iinet to see if ADSL2 was available, the answer was no adsl2 or naked ADSL. I have now been here for more then two years waiting to get ADSL2 on the main street of Gungahlin.

    This needs to be fixed.

  5. Dennis says:

    The past few weeks have been unbearable, 24 hours of everyday have been plauged with pings of 600 or more. On christmas eve i received a skype call from my brother in England, he wanted to wish me a merry christmas and a happy new year, due to my internet and the congestion i could not even access the call, he also wanted me to meet my new nephew for the first time.

    Another christmas ruin thanks to the Crace exchange

  6. Mordd says:

    Question: Is ADSL1 available but not ADSL2?

    I am also curious to know if the author was able to get any assistance under the broadband gaurantee?

  7. Gerry (Dunlop) says:

    I have just received a similar letter from Senator Conroy, basically saying there is nothing he can do (“the decision to provide certain services, or upgrade telephone exchanges… is a business decision for [ISPs] to make”) and then banging-on advertising the proposed NBN (which, if it even happens, is still years away anyhow). The end of the letter mentions the Australian Broadband Guarantee, however, as has been discussed elsewhere on this site, neither Dunlop, nor Gungahlin qualify as many “metro-comparable service[s]” are offered in these areas (not that any of us can actually receive that speed due to the crappy infrastructure). So – just to recap – no action.

    Oh, some of the paragraphs were cut-n-pasted from the same letter as Russell’s too.