NBN creates problem solving plan after internet shutdown in Yackandandah

Indi MP Cathy McGowan and NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow
Indi MP Cathy McGowan and NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow

The demand for NBN use in Yackandandah became too high this week and caused the wireless transmission tower to temporarily stop working completely, the latest issue plaguing internet access in rural areas.

The drama came just before Indi MP Cathy McGowan met up with NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow in Canberra on Thursday.

She said the company had identified the cause of the internet system becoming congested.

“They’ve got answers to all the technical problems and what we need to do is make it much easier for local people to get the staff they need - at the moment that communication seems to be really breaking down,” Ms McGowan said. 

“It was a really productive meeting and the answer is the NBN is going to work with us on a communication plan.”

She said Mr Morrow understood the system was not perfect and committed to sending a communications team to the North East to explain the service to people, and ensure they were aware of the NBN customer service complaints workers.

An “NBN local” team will also meet with the Indi Telecommunications Action Group, made up of council representatives, in October to discuss the issues.

The full NBN rollout was due to be completed by 2020.

Ms McGowan said most people connected in the North East were happy, “but when it doesn’t work, it really doesn’t work”.

“You change your lifestyle to suit it, but if you can’t rely on it, it really makes people frustrated – it’s even worse than not having it because you’ve set your life up,” she said.

A parliamentary inquiry into the NBN rollout, featuring Ms McGowan and Farrer MP Sussan Ley on the committee, was set to release its recommendations as part of the first draft report towards the end of the month.

“It’s really important that members of Parliament like myself and Sussan Ley don’t let our regions go off the map because I think we get forgotten about if you weren’t making a lot of noise,” Ms McGowan said.