WA Senator Peter Georgiou has called on the Communications Minister, Mitch Fifield to fast-track the broadband plan to connect homes and businesses in Perth’s eastern suburbs, rather than make them wait for another agonising two years.
Evidence submitted by the Morley Internet Action Group (which represents residents in Nollamara, Noranda, Dianella and Morley) at the Standing Committee on the NBN inPerth today, revealed that internet speeds averaged around 2.4 megabits per secondand could plummet as low as 0.3 megabits per second.
This has caused grief and distress for local businesses, some of which have packed up and moved to surrounding suburbs, while at the same time, some families have been forced to send their children to friends with faster internet so they can complete their studies.
“As a long time Morley resident, it’s quite concerning to see local businesses and the education of our children suffer” Senator Georgiou said.
“It is hard to believe that thousands of people, who only live less than 10 kilometres from the Central Business District of Perth, can only access the digital world via poor internet coverage, which in some cases is so bad their only portal is the antiquated dial- up system” he said.
“It just baffles me to see regional areas like Busselton, Bunbury, Albany and Geraldton have access to strong broadband, but suburbs which are a stones-throw from the capital are experiencing a third world problem”.
“My office has today been told, that in some circumstances, services to these blackspots could be improved and relief could be offered with the support of Telstra. I would urge the Commonwealth and the Telco explore this immediately.
“The NBN, according to its own charter is supposed to be the conduit to “connect Australia and bridge the digital divide” the Senator added.
“What the Federal Government won’t admit is the divide, is just getting bigger”.