It's Time for Real Action on the NBN - Terri Butler MP, Labor for Griffith

It's Time for Real Action on the NBN

I recently spoke in the parliament in relation to the NBN and the troubles that one of my constituents has had.

You can read the full speech below.

Mr Ted Bones is a constituent of mine. He's a 73-year-old man who's got a pacemaker because of his heart problems. He's an ex-policeman and someone who makes a great contribution to our community. As well as all of those things, he's someone who has grave concerns about the NBN. He connected to the NBN last year. Before that he'd always been a Telstra customer. But he made the arrangements to move over to the NBN. Ever since then his phone and internet have been dropping out. One of the problems with the NBN is the unreliability of landline connections for people who have NBN connections. As I said, Mr Bones has a pacemaker, and he's worried about his own health. He lives on his own and he relies on his phone to communicate with his friends and family, and to have access to emergency numbers if needed.

Mr Bones is also worried about reliability issues with his home communications because, as I said, he's a retired policeman who is really engaged with the community. He gives his time to the families of other retired police men and women, and retired service men and women, and when someone passes away—a retired service man or woman or police man or woman—he provides support to the families. He helps with funeral arrangements. His phone being diverted to MessageBank because of the unreliability caused by his connection to the NBN has meant that he missed an important call to attend an ex police officer's funeral and he was unable to assist that family. He's been very stressed about being put in this situation. He's been in touch with my office on a number of occasions to talk to us about the concerns that he has in respect of the NBN.

We've had so many worries and concerns raised with us about the NBN. There are the telephone and landline issues, obviously. I have heard from an academic who does a lot of his work online and is just incredibly frustrated by the reliability issues. It's time to establish an NBN service guarantee. Labor have committed to delivering a better experience for NBN consumers, with an NBN service guarantee that will set regulated time frames and wholesale service standards for fault rectification, for installations, for missed appointments. There will be penalties that apply if service standards are not met. To properly safeguard consumers, penalties will increase in response to excessive downtime, with appropriate compensation caps to apply. If NBN Co don't meet these standards, they'll be liable, and the impacted consumer will be fairly compensated. It's that simple. A Shorten Labor government would also establish stronger penalties to protect small businesses on the NBN, because we understand the stress and financial harm caused by the loss of telephone or internet services. It's time for Australians to have broadband that they can rely on, and Labor will deliver that.

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