Waiting for NBN solution
Open letter to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield on Christmas Day
Thanks for your departmental response of September 20 from Mr Stewart of the Broadband Implementation Branch, regarding advance notice of local NBN outages.
Since that advice my Internet Service Provider (ISP) has texted me no less than 13 times to notify me of NBN fixed wireless “maintenance/upgrade” outages affecting all subscribers connected to the Beauty Point, Bermagui NBN tower.
NBN subscribers have been negatively affected for up to 10 weeks. This afternoon, at 18.26, the NBN went down yet again. It is still not up and running at 22.09.
Since the third-last outage my NBN NTD multiplex receiver’s signal quality has markedly deteriorated and strength oscillates constantly. Identical symptoms affect all my neighbours and friends, irrespective of ISP. For two-and-a-half years prior to that, NBN fixed wireless signal strength remained totally stable and full-strength, resulting in internet performance that was excellent. They were the good old days!
Like many small business operators in this area my efficiency, customer service and profitability are being negatively affected. For most local business operators it is a critical annual trading period.
When can NBN subscribers expect a stable, reliable solution? Will you, Minister, personally ensure subscribers receive a prompt remedy?
Is the Beauty Point tower over-subscribed? If so, why not re-direct subscribers to less populated towers? (For example, 800 metres from my home is the Umburra tower with likely less than 50 subscribers connected.)
Will the government continue to mal-administer its national network, settle for inadequate standards, and commit insufficient resources to its upkeep?
When will the government declare its national network an essential service by legislation, as the European Union felt obliged to do, for practical reasons, long ago?
Your community is seeking reliable internet, not obfuscation.
Rob Slazenger, Bermagui
Headspace for Eurobodalla
The Eurobodalla Shire has the second largest population in the Southern NSW Local Health District.
Despite having a relatively low proportion of infants and young people (4.3 per cent aged 0-4 years, 15.3 per cent aged 5-19 years), the shire has similar numbers to Goulburn-Mulwaree and Bega Valley LGAs (7450 people aged 0-19 years in 2016).
It has the largest indigenous population (5.6 per cent, with 46 per cent of these aged 0-19 years)
There is no regional or base hospital in the 300 kilometres between Nowra and Bega.
Headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, has services in Nowra, Bega and Queanbeyan but there is no service within the Eurobodalla.
Young people, particularly those with young children, are disadvantaged by distance and limited transport opportunities.
I acknowledge the great service Headspace provides. With more than 2 million occasions of service provided, they have helped thousands of young people get vital support .
The federal government has announced extra funding for the national youth mental health foundation aimed at allowing it to employ more staff and provide 14,000 extra services at its 107 centres across the country.
Australia’s mental health services will receive a $52million boost in an attempt to cut waiting times for desperate teenagers struggling with anxiety or depression.
Another $12.8million will be allocated to offering online support to youngsters in rural and remote areas.
The youth population of the Eurobodalla deserve the same level of mental health services as those of the surrounding towns.