Left behind

What do Oodnadatta, Christmas Island, sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and Pipers Creek have in common? They are considered by NBN to be remote regions of Australia.

NBN broadband is only available in these areas via Skymuster satellite. 'WOW' plans with 50Gb of peak data at 25mbps will be available for $115 per month.

While having a speed of 25Mbps in remote Pipers Creek would be great, the limited download will forever condemn us as the poor cousins of the less remote areas such Redesdale with it fixed wireless NBN where plans with 1000Gb download and speeds of 50Mbps are available for $99 per month. However, there is a solution. A new mobile phone tower is being erected in Pipers Creek and co-locating NBN fixed wireless antennas would solve the problem.

According to Steve Tinker, Telstra area manager, there are industry wide agreements for co-location.

Currently in Pipers Creek we have a woefully intermittent and slow ADSL service where the download speed varies between 0.3Mbps to around 2.8Mbps and it will probably remain as the best option for us rather than Skymuster's limited data plans.

Unfortunately ADSL may not be an option for long, as I have been informed by Lisa Chesters' office that Telstra has a contractual obligation to turn off the ADSL service 18 months after NBN is made available.

With this in mind I urge all Pipers Creek residents to lobby Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications, by email at minister@communications.gov.au and make complaints to NBN on their facebook page www.facebook.com/nbnaustralia otherwise we will be left behind in the digital age.

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