On Wednesday 9 March, Lisa Chesters MP met with residents of Spencer Road Woodend to discuss telecommunications issues.
“Central Victoria is in a telecommunications crisis and Spencer Road is the perfect example. This meeting was set up in response to the number of constituents contacting me about their ongoing negative experiences with communications,” Ms Chesters said.
During the meeting residents raised issues of very slow speeds, high costs and constant drop outs and outages.
“The outdated communications infrastructure in this street barely manages to maintain home line phone service, let alone provide an ADSL connection. Some residents on this street have satellite, others try to get service on wireless broadband but no one has adequate connection to the internet. In 2016, less than an hour from a capital city, this is just not good enough.
“So much of our lives is online now. Some residents on Spencer Road operate home businesses and they can’t even login to their bank,” said Ms Chesters.
Ms Chesters is in regular contact with NBN Co and understands that sites for fixed wireless towers are currently being considered.
“I have written to NBN Co urging them to meet with local communities as part of the site selection process. I understand that some residents might have concerns about towers being built but ultimately, fast, reliable broadband access will benefit so many in our communities. It is important that NBN Co consult with people on this issue to ensure we don’t see planning objections impact the rollout,” said Ms Chesters.
“Over the next 18 months much of the Bendigo electorate will see the commencement of NBN construction and I am keen to do what I can to make sure this process runs as smoothly as possible. Central Victoria is more than ready to grab all the opportunities the NBN will provide – we just need the infrastructure.”