It’s just over a year since the first of two NBN satellites commissioned by Labor were launched into orbit on 1 October 2015.
Tomorrow, the second of these satellites is scheduled for launch.
Malcolm Turnbull always opposed these satellites, which were developed under Labor’s NBN plan. He described them as an unnecessary “Rolls-Royce” option and “wasteful spending”.
Today, he calls them a “game changer”.
But for the satellites to be a game changer, customers actually need to be able to connect to the service.
That isn’t happening. For some retail service providers, they have more customers waiting to be connected than actually connected to the satellite service.
With Mr Turnbull and the Liberals in charge of the implementation of the Sky Muster service, there have been more complaints than success stories.
Australians in rural and remote areas have been let down by another Malcolm Turnbull stuff up of the NBN.
Australians are now voicing their disappointment and speaking out about the problems they face just trying to connected to the satellite service.
Many people have contacted me and their local members about their negative experiences trying to connect to the Sky Muster service. I have heard from communities who are concerned about the waiting times and the effect living in a broadband black spot has on their local businesses. There are people who have waited an unacceptable 78 days for the service to be connected to their home.
Retail service provider, Activ8me, has described the Sky Muster installation process as an “absolute bugbear”, with complaints from consumers at an all-time high:
“We are currently experiencing an enormous lift in the number of complaints, and they’re all around Sky Muster” - Ian Roberts, General Manager, Activ8me.
Activ8me has reported that while it has 10,000 customers connected, it has a backlog of 24,000 premises waiting to be connected to NBN satellite services. Such is the level of complaints that some customers are waiting between 3 and 4 hours just to be connected to its call centre staff.
Mr Turnbull made it clear in 2012 that he did not even want this satellite service to begin with. He’s had 3 years with his hand-picked team to work out how to best manage the satellite service installation process. Now he’s stuffing it up while thousands of Australians wait to be connected to the broadband they deserve.
Labor understands that fast, accessible, affordable broadband is essential for all Australians and it shouldn’t matter if you live in a city or a rural or remote area.
The successful delivery of the NBN satellite service has the potential to transform health, education and improve the way small businesses do business. It’s a pity that Malcolm Turnbull can’t deliver it.
TUESDAY, 4 OCTOBER 2016