No end in sight for Fernvale and Lowood mobile phones issues

There is no end in sight to telecommunications access for Fernvale and Lowood residents.
There is no end in sight to telecommunications access for Fernvale and Lowood residents. Contributed

MALCOLM Turnbull's department has been unable to tell the Somerset Regional Council when communication services will be fixed in Fernvale and Lowood.

The council emailed the Minister on March 31 saying residents could not get a new ADSL connection and Telstra had not provided new lines because they would not be needed when the NBN arrived.

However, significant delays to the NBN have left many residents in theses areas without telecommunications access.

Elizabeth O'Shea, the assistant secretary in the department of telecommunications, responded on April 11 saying that although construction was being completed in areas where it had already started, decisions about work that had not yet started would not be taken until the NBN review was completed.

"NBN Co is currently working on a new rollout schedule, which will indicate when different parts of Australia will be connected to the NBN and which technology will be used in those locations," Ms O'Shea said.

"We expect this information will be released as part of NBN Co's revised corporate plans in the second half of this year."

Ms O'Shea said she was "optimistic" this would provide greater certainty about the rollout timing and technology for areas such as Lowood.

The department made no mention of Fernvale in their response despite being named in the question to Mr Turnbull.

Local technology expert Paul Heymans said the lack of ports on the network led to massive congestion, particularly in the hour after school when students accessed social networks.

"Telstra should upgrade ADSL capacity and install new ports," Mr Heymans said.

Topics:  fernvale lowood malcolm turnbull somerset regional council telecommunication

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