Further delays to NBN rollout in Blue Mountains

NBN delays: Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman in Mount Riverview.
NBN delays: Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman in Mount Riverview.

The NBN rollout from Lapstone to Hazelbrook has been delayed even further, with some residents now having to wait until March of next year to be connected.

Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, said the latest delays came just three weeks after NBNco announced expected connection dates would be delayed from July to between August and December.

“Now we’re being told connections won’t be available for homes between Faulconbridge and Lapstone until October at the earliest, with Linden and Hazelbrook now being pushed back to as late as March next year,” she said.

“Given that we were told a different story only a few weeks ago, we need to ask the question, are there even more delays to come? And if so, how did they get the planning so wrong?

“While I want to see the rollout done properly the first time, these constant changes make it impossible for residents and businesses to plan,” said Ms Templeman.

“It also ups the anxiety for people who are already nervous about making the transition to NBN.

“Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) is a relatively new technology and feedback from areas where it’s already operational is promising,” she said. “But these constant delays are getting beyond a joke.”

A spokeswoman for NBNco said the complexity of the Fibre to the Curb rollout often results in delays.

“Fibre to the Curb by its nature takes the optical fibre farther into the network to the premises boundary than Fibre-to-the-Node. The complexity that is introduced here is that more civil works are required as a result, some known at design phase, others uncovered during the build phase,” she said.

“It is for unforeseen reasons such as this that projects may extend beyond our estimated completion time.”

The spokeswoman said the workforce building the NBN network is a finite resource, [and] “whilst we’d love to build all areas in tandem this is not a reality”.

“Our goal is to ensure that all Australians, including those in the Lower Blue Mountains have access to fast and reliable broadband as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are on track to achieve our target of making fast broadband available to all Australians by 2020.”

Residents can use the Check Your Address function on the NBN website (www.nbnco.com.au) to find out when the network will be available at their home or business.