Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, has launched a petition calling on the Morrison Government to stop the "dud deal" on the NBN and prioritise the Mid and Upper Blue Mountains for an upgrade to faster broadband connection.
The petition calls on the federal communications minister and NBNCo CEO to prioritise areas in the Mid and Upper Mountains for the planned fibre overbuild, which will see Fibre To The Node (FTTN) connections upgraded to Fibre To The Premises (FTTP).
Ms Templeman said many areas of the Blue Mountains have been left off the initial list, despite areas like Castle Hill being among the first to receive the upgrade.
"The complaints to my office during COVID have shown that our ability to run businesses, and work or study from home has been severely impacted by an under-performing NBN that uses old technology, " said Ms Templeman.
"This petition is calling on the Morrison Government and NBNCo to prioritise the Macquarie electorate - and particularly Mountains towns like Lawson, Bullaburra, Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath and Mount Victoria - for the fibre overbuild.
"In addition, it urges the government to commit to a plan to upgrade to fibre the mish-mash of NBN connections in our region."
But Liberal Senator Marise Payne accused the Labor MP of being "highly misleading when it comes to the NBN".
"On November 9, Ms Templeman posted a video on social media in which she falsely claimed that NBN Co's business fibre zones would not be rolled out to the Blue Mountains," she said.
The video show Ms Templeman's reaction to an NBN Co advertisement in the Blue Mountains Gazette promoting the national business zone fibre announcement. "This stuff isn't even coming to the Blue Mountains or the Hawkesbury," she says in the video.
Senator Payne said publicly available documents from NBN Co clearly show that from Mt Victoria through to Glenbrook, Blue Mountains villages will be included under the fibre Initiative.
But Ms Templeman described this attack as an attempt to "muddy the waters" by trying to confuse NBN residential services with business fibre zones.
The Labor MP's petition is about the residential NBN overbuild announced in October, not fibre business zones which were announced in September.
Senator Payne said the Morrison Government is investing $2.9 billion in the FTTN (Fibre to the Node) footprint, which will allow two million homes which are today served by fibre to the node to order speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second by 2023".
She said the areas that will have on-demand upgrades to FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) will "strictly [be] an operational decision for NBN".
"The approach we have designed links a significant portion of the capital expenditure for this investment to the demand for faster speeds. This is an efficient and economically responsible way to deploy the network."
Ms Templeman's petition can be viewed at susantempleman.com.au/campaigns/upgrade-our-nbn/