Focus Back on NBN

March 11th, 2010 by Russell Leave a reply »

A number of events have come together in recent days to bring the telecommunications debate back at a federal and local level. The NBN seems to be back on the agenda for Senate debate with the imminent release of the NBN implementation study and debate on the new draft telecommunications bills to be held over the coming months .

On the local front Senator Kate Lundy has published a Media Release and part of an interview she recorded with me during a meeting we had at my home. I took the opportunity to raise my concerns with broadband performance in Gungahlin with a hope she may help raise the profile of the issues we face. Senator Lundy has a long history dealing with broadband issues in Canberra and the release of the video interview and Media Release could bring national focus to our broadband issues.

The Media Release, titled NBN urgently needed in Gungahlin was released today by Senator Lundy’s office and goes to the heart of one of my objectives with this campaign – fix broadband services in Gungahlin. If Telstra continue to ignore existing complaints about performance then trying to bring an alternative to Gungahlin is the only other option. The NBN is the prime candidate for such an alternative and my conversations with Senator Lundy have revolved around bringing the NBN to Gungahlin as fast as possible.

I am still working to have TransACT expand their current Fibre roll out to include existing suburbs. I have been working on a submission to send to their board in an attempt to convince TransACT to do “brownfields” rollouts.

The full interview is being worked on and will be released shortly. In the full interview I talk about the problems faced by Gungahlin residents with the current copper network and the impacts of what I understand the technology constraints to be. I hope this issue gets greater coverage and the interview and Media Release helps to bring a result for our community.

Two draft bills have been released and I encourage people to review them and comment. I have participated in these in the past and will be making a submission on both of these bill as listed on the DBCDE website. Comments close 15th of March.

You can see the Video here

You can read the Media Release here

Feel free to comment or contact me via email and thanks again for all the support and feedback.



  1. Paul F says:

    Good to see you back Russell.
    Thought you had disappeared into web happiness since you got off the RIM.

    And thank you Senator Lundy for still trumpeting the issues of poor internet infrastructure here in the north due to Telstra.

  2. Tristan says:

    Good stuff Russell, thanks for continuing to speak up and push the issue. And thanks to Senator Lundy.

  3. Greg says:

    Thanks for the update Russell.

    BTW, here is a copy of an e-mail I just posted on Senator Lundy’s website.

    Hi Kate,

    I have just gotten to your site (sorry) and I am really happy with what I see and wish to say thank you for the issues that you are raising for us.

    I would also like to encourage you in the work on the issue of poor internet in Gungahlin. As a resident of Palmerston, I have been subsidising Telstra for long enough and am now waiting with suspense for news on the NBN and how it will impact on the deplorable state of affairs in my area (when it comes to broadband).

    Whilst I know that you have been an advocate in this for many years, by way of background, I have been monitoring the speed of internet in my area over the past 4 months. I found that at times the speed can be a maximum of 600kbps, but at peak times, it can drop to a pitiful 8!

    I had a telstra technician out and he said that there was no problem (he came at about 12:00 on a tuesday), so I can only conclude that it is a matter of congestion, that is too many people who want to access broadband infrastructure at the same time (approx 4pm to 11pm Mon to Fri, and all Sat and Sum)- which probably reflects the demgraphics of the area.

    Due to my young families increasing dependence on the internet (both for recreation and work/school) it is becoming a huge issue for us for this reason that I would really like to encourage you to keep lobbying for this Gungahlin to be on a priority list of areas for the NBN roll out.

    I also understand, however, that everyone wants to get on the NBN first. I think, however, that this area has a number of merits that could give it a good case.
    1. The area (of over 31,000 people at 2006 Census) has had to live with inequitable access to broadband for at least 10 years, which is not only the worst in Canberra, but worse than many rural and regional areas.
    2. This area would be a fantastic example of a new and expanding suburban/metro area adapting the new technology (especially with the new expansion in the Gungahlin Town Centre).
    3. Due to the current congestion issues and demographics, it is easy to assume that there would be a huge take-up of the new technology in this area and help in load testing.
    4. Considering that that the new suburbs of Crace and new Franklin will be getting Fibre-To-The-Home installed as they are developed (in the upcoming months), I assume that there would be savings to government through concurrent installment.

    Many thanks for your time and keep up the good work!
    Greg Wells