Having strong, stable and available internet and mobile phone connection is right up there with running water and toilets that flush! So, when the opportunity came up to talk directly to the 2021 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee, we here at Good Cover, jumped at the opportunity.
This won’t come as a surprise, but Australia is so far off the pace when it comes to telecommunications infrastructure that in 2019, IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranked us as 54 out of 63 countries reviewed for Communications Technology. Again, we are 54th! By contrast Australia is the 13th largest economy in the world!
So, what did we have to say to the committee:
1. If you drive from Byron to Brisbane your mobile phone will drop out for a good period around the Sleepy Hollow area. If you drive South to Sydney, you will get multiple dropouts, often for 30 mins at a time. We are talking about the main highway linking Australia’s largest and third largest city! Once you leave the highway your going back to the digital dark ages!
2. We have NBN fibre to the node in Bangalow, as they do in most locations in Australia, where NBN has been rolled out. Sounds OK, but the truth is that last hop from the node to your home or business is done on copper. This is like driving a Ferrari to within a couple of km’s of your destination and then jumping on an old Malvern Star bike to finish the trip.
Literally, for most of Australia awesome speeds and reliable service is as close as their node, in our case at the end of our street, but that last 300m kills all the good work leading up to it.
Here in Bangalow, we have people and business, ourselves included, willing to stump up our own money to contribute alongside the government to get the fibre rolled out that last few steps … and still we can’t seem to get the government to come to the party!
3. As a customer have you ever tried to call Telstra and speak to a human? Good luck. Telstra push as many calls as they can off to a text/message channel and it’s infuriating. How can it be that a company making a $1.7 billion profit can’t answer the phone?
In any normal circumstance people would happily vote with their feet, but here in regional Australia there are often no other options!
At Good Cover we proud to take an active role in our community, advocating for change, working with whomever, whenever, to move our community forward. We will be working with a number of others to back up todays discussion with a written submission to the committee with practical suggestions of how we can fix some of these long-standing issues so stay tuned for more on this.
#community #fixournbn #fixourinternet #fibretothedoor