AFTER listening to the evidence presented to him during a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, Shadow minister for communications Jason Clare agrees Singleton should be included in the next roll out of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The NBN is Australia’s new network for fixed line phone and internet services but due to the nature and size of our country the steps toprepare for installation differ for each location.
POSITIVE TALKS: Singleton mayor John Martin, Gill Eason, Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon, Shadow minister for communications Jason Clare and Shaun Barry.
Accompanied by Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon, Mr Clare listened intently as local business leaders, the mayor and council staff put forward their case.
From Mt Thorley and Broke to McDougalls Hill and the town centre, the stories of howunreliable internet connections and mobile phone coverage is disadvantaging localbusinesses were numerous.
Singleton Business Chamber’s Gill Eason says the problem is not only affecting already established businesses.
“Internet access for businesses in the Mt Thorley and McDougalls Hills area just dies at around 3.30pm so trying to use the internet is just a waste of time. They may as well pack up and go home,” she says.
“This lack of capacity also means that many new businesses can’t even get access to aninternet connection or phone line.
“At a time when we are trying to diversify the local economy and attract new businesses to the area this is unacceptable.”
Business operators in outlying regions, like Broke, also face similar challenges, she says.
Council’s economic development officer Selana Avard agrees this technology is vital if we are going to diversify the economy and retain our “core population”.
She pointed out how now would be the perfect time to lay cables in Singleton’s town centre with the pavement being pulled up for the upgrade.
Mr Clare says with the next roll out update due at the end of the month, now is the time to lobby the federal government.
“They promised areas with the poorestservices and greatest need for upgrades will receive first priority,” he says.
“Given the evidence I have heard today Singleton should be a priority.”
Mr Clare says under Labor, Singleton was scheduled to get the world class fibre-to-the-premises NBN.
In the meantime, Mr Fitzgibbon will encourage Telstra to upgrade their current services.
At present the Bridgman Ridge is the only area in town connected to the NBN.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.