When I tweeted about the lack of broadband services available in Ocean Grove at 4.27pm on 20 March 2014, I didn’t expect that it would turn into an overnight twitter sensation.
But it underlines the level of discontent towards the issue, and the level of disappointment towards the impolite response I received.
I am writing this blog now to clarify the facts, as some of them seem to have been either invented or embellished by a few tweeters and online commentators:
- I am originally from Gippsland, regional Victoria
- I currently live in Melbourne
- My husband, my son and myself are moving to Ocean Grove
- We are both self-employed and work from home
- Our research into Ocean Grove showed adequate broadband for our needs
- When we called to connect our services, we were told there would be no broadband available to us. We did check prior to purchasing our house.
- Telstra customer service said they would not be putting any more ports into the exchange due to the uncertainty brought about by the NBN
(Later added: This could be deemed a Telstra issue, but where is the incentive with so much government to'ing and fro'ing?)
- Rather than writing a letter to Mr Turnbull, I decided to tweet my dissatisfaction
- I did not expect a response
- I was disappointed by the dismissive nature of his reply
- I am disappointed for him that this is how his social media team interact with constituents on his behalf, as I cannot believe it’s actually him engaging in this way on twitter.
Here is my position on broadband and accessibility:
- This is not about politics. This infrastructure should have been built 15 years, when the technology became available.
- Broadband is not a luxury. It is an essential service in modern life.
- Regional and rural Australian towns should not be treated any differently to metropolitan cities
- Leaving people without access for years would not be acceptable if this was sewerage, electricity, telephone or any other utility.
- If there is going to be a service delivery gap between the old and the new system, there should be an interim solution that means that no one misses out on essential services
- We are an intelligent country with much innovation to the offer the rest of the world, and it would be a shame that we miss out on being globally competitive because of our tardiness in this area.
MY RESPONSE TO MALCOLM TURNBULL'S WEB MESSAGE
His original message: http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/media/is-it-possible-to-have-a-rational-discussion-on-twitter-the-nbn-and-the-out
Dear Mr Turnbull
I am very happy to learn today that you’d like to have a rational conversation. I offered for you to call me today, but haven’t heard from your staff. I am more than happy to receive advice on the best way to optimise my broadband in my new home.
That twitter conversation would have looked like this:
Bought a house in Ocean Grove. No NBN. No Cable. No ADSL 2 or 1. Back to the dongle. Prehistoric. @TurnbullMalcolm. Not good enough! #nbn
Hi Julia. Sorry to hear. What’s your number so my office can call you and see if we can assist to make this better for you. You shouldn’t suffer because you are moving to regional Vic.
Wow - that would be great. Thanks. Here’s my number. :)
I would then go onto explain to your staff that I had done by own due diligence about the broadband capabilities, and upon registering the property for services, we were told that the information provided was actually false.
As evidenced today in the hundreds of tweets about the matter, this is a common issue for property buyers and renters. I would have then said to your staff the same thing on my original tweet:
“it’s not good enough”.
As said in my tweets, the government’s inability to move any faster on ‘any’ solution means that there is no incentive for telcos to invest in their infrastructure / exchanges. Is this an issue for the telcos or the government? That is a matter of opinion. Either way, it is certainly worthy of the attention of the Federal Minister in charge of this area. Hence, my original tweet to you.
My position has not changed. Modern essential services should be available to everyone, regardless of location. They are essential for this country to compete globally. They are essential for regional Australia to continue to contribute to economic growth. We should not be entering the dark ages on modern broadband services. As the Federal Minister responsible for our communications excellence, the buck stops with you. It’s not good enough. I look forward to reading more about how you plan to remedy the situation.