Read the full speech below.
Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (13:48): In November, my electorate, like the rest of the country, got the surprising news that there would be a pause in the HFC rollout in the National Broadband Network. It was a surprise for everyone, really, because the NBN's chief engineer had been at a Senate hearing very recently prior to that and was talking about interference and HFC but made no mention of this impending pause. Of course, I asked the NBN what this would mean for my electorate, and they said, 'Where places are ready for service, there will be no new orders.' They thought it would be about six months. If you're ready for service, it's a six month delay. In the areas where it's not ready for service, they will be delayed as well. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise, considering how terrible this government's National Broadband Network policy has been. The introduction of HFC has been a particular concern for people in my electorate—the very, very few of them who've actually been able to get a connection to the NBN so far. We had a crisis meeting about the state of the NBN last year, and so many people came to tell us stories about their problems with the NBN. It wasn't just the speed issues; it was the reliability issues. One constituent said that he worked online a lot of time marking academic papers and was so frustrated by the internet repeatedly dropping out. Unfortunately, that's not surprising. In August, the Senate heard that HFC cabling had 50 times more network downtime than fibre connections on the NBN. This NBN is a joke. It needs to be fixed. This government needs to do something about it.