Still no NBN for many of us

click for larger map

Two years on from speaking in person with and writing to our independent MP Rebekha Sharkie and our community STILL doesn't have proper NBN coverage. The NBN fixed wireless tower at oval doesn't work through trees, so residents as close as 400m away have no signal. Looking south, the tower signal peters out before it even gets to the CFS shed.

Now we learn that Clarendon is to get a new NBN tower in a few months’ time. Judging from past experience, that won't reach very far north! There is a larger map on Facebook which shows the various coverages as at March 2019. Purple is the "nominal" NBN coverage from the oval tower. The green oval with the X is my estimated coverage of the proposed Clarendon tower. The red circles are the approximate coverage if we had a service installed at the Marshall Road Tower - marked MRT. Finally, that red pin is my home - caught like so many of my neighbours in no man’s land.

We deserve better than this. We are not in the remote outback. The NBN satellite services offered are rubbish because streaming services like ABC iView won't work and the GB data allowances are pitiful. NBN satellite plans offer around one third the data for around double the price of NBN fixed wireless. Refuse to give in. Don't accept satellite NBN as being even remotely (hah!) acceptable.

I asked a question last month on a very dodgy Skype video call on the ABC Q&A program – “what is the point of having an independent MP, if this is what we receive as a community?” The quality of my Skype was so bad it was laughable. The non-answer I got from Sharkie was some waffle about mobile phone blackspots and "please contact me".

Well, I did write to on 20 June 2018: "If you could use your vote as leverage to extract from Mitch Fifield some decent NBN coverage for the forgotten people in Cherry Gardens (and most of the rest of semi-rural Mayo) who are expected to make do with satellite $$ NBN (as you and I have discussed previously), that would be even better. What’s the point of having an independent member if we can’t get some benefit?"

I never received an answer to that email. Great swathes of our community still have no decent NBN.

There is a federal election coming soon. We can either support the candidate who will support our community, or DIY and get a community co-op going to get our own coverage up on towers with a wireless ISP.

Darren Kruse
8278 1779