Archive for October, 2010

NBN Consultation Has Begun

October 14th, 2010

I know it has been a while since I last posted and in that time a lot has happened. We have had an election, followed by a caretaker government and finally a hung Parliament.  Labour holds a slim balance of power, enough to keep the National Broadband Network rollout alive.

During the election I decided to take a break from the campaign while the fate of the NBN sat with the outcome of the election. I was taking to time to plan how to address broadband issues in Gungahlin if the NBN was no more. Since the election and subsequent support for the NBN by the independents in the House of Representatives, my day job and family have taken a lot of my time.

In the time since the election I have had the chance to meet with representatives of the NBN Co twice. About four weeks ago I was contacted by the NBN to discuss the beginning of the consultation process. NBN representatives met with members of the Legislative Assembly as well as Kate Lundy’s office and myself. I had about an hour with the NBN to hear how they would be addressing the community concerns and to discuss the process of the rollout.

Today NBN reps returned to Gungahlin to address a community meeting and formally start the consultation process. The Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) meeting held at the Palmerston Community Centre was the location of the meeting with 130 interested residents in attendance. Earlier in the afternoon the NBN reps came to my home to discuss the issues with telecommunications in the area and discuss the contents of my web campaign.

The process described by Glenn Holdstock of the NBN Co involves early community consultation and continued communications leading up to and during the rollout. The consultation includes local government discussions to ensure all the correct permissions and support is in place. The consultation is initiated 6 months out from the rollout date and will include static information stands in the local library and information in local news papers.

The rollout is still on track for April to June 2011 and will target between 2500 and 3500 residences and businesses

The suburbs included in the first deployment will be announced within the next 4 weeks. The NBN has informed the community the choice of suburbs included will be decided based on a large number of issues. These influences include geographical, technical as well as on a needs basis. NBN reps also indicated that schools and hospitals are also a focus for early rollout to benefit the community.

One thing was made clear during the meeting, once the rollout begins it will continue until the entire Gungahlin area is completed.

The rollout will be an opt-in system with consent forms being delivered to households about 6 weeks prior to installation. The NBN reps indicated the cost of installation of the NBN to the home would remain free during the rollout period.

The presentation seems to have been well accepted by the residents in attendance. Many residents got a chance voice their opinion and ask questions directly to the NBN. The NBN will provide a phone number and email address for enquiries and feedback leading up to and after the rollout.

Stay tuned for the announcement on which suburbs will be first. As soon as I know I will post it here.

This all bodes well for Gungahlin, 15 years of poor service might finally be coming to an end.