Riverina resident skeptical over telecommunications reform package

A fresh promise, guaranteeing NBN service to all Australians has been called out across the Riverina. 

It comes as the Telecommunications Reform Package legislation, introduced to Parliament last week, included an assurance all premises would have access broadband services.

However, Jindera resident Brian Shannon said he was skeptical. 

“How many years before they can guarantee the service,” Mr Shannon said. “(Companies will) screw us over till then.”

Mr Shannon said he and his family had suffered through poor internet service for more than three years, with download speeds from 0.9 megabits per second (mbps) to 4 mbps during there peak times.

“It’s been the biggest scam ever,” he said. “It’s garbage.”

Mr Shannon said downloading movies through his Foxtel service could take more than 11 hours. 

“If you go to the petrol station and you pay $20 for fuel but you only get $15 worth, you would be pretty annoyed,” he said. “I’m paying for a service that’s not being provided.”

Mr Shannon said every single person with NBN in Jinderra was complaining about how useless it was. 

“I can’t use anything so it’s just pointless having it,” he said. “But I can’t be cut off because I’ll lose my phone.”

In addition to the telecommunications package announcement, the Productivity Commission proposed NBN and mobile services should replace fixed-line telephone services.

Mr Shannon said it was simple.

He said when NBN was first advertised, it was sold as being “super fast”

“If you’re going to advertise something, make sure it works,” he said. 

“If they can claim everyone will have access that’s great but I don’t believe it. Not for a second.

“If they said it is a guarantee, there are going to be some big-arse lawsuites.”

National Farmers’ Federation Chief Executive, Tony Mahar said the legislation was a win for regional, rural and remote residents.

"This is a significant first step to ensuring all premises across the country have access to broadband services,” Mr Mahar said.

“(These services will be) capable of at least 25Mbps per second download and 5Mbps upload speeds."

Mr Mahar said the reform would also aim to stop the hand-balling of complaints between network and internet providers.

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