LEFT OUT: Josh Dingle needs internet to do his homework.
LEFT OUT: Josh Dingle needs internet to do his homework. ALI KUCHEL

Mother fears she is 'failing' her kids

REGENCY Downs teen Josh Dingle feels isolated from the rest of the world.

The 17-year-old lives just an hour outside of Queensland's capital city, but according to Josh he may as well live in the middle of rural Australia.

The Lockyer District High School student hasn't always felt this way, it only developed after moving to a house with no internet connection.

Josh said he regularly missed out on training, research and social events because of the lack of internet at the property.

"I feel left out and behind,” Josh said.

"There's been so many missed opportunities.”

Josh lives at home with his parents and older brother just 2km from Plainland Plaza.

Despite their proximity to shops, they have no option to connect to the internet through existing phone lines or the National Broadband Network.

Josh's mother Bobbi Dingle said their only source of internet was a Wi-Fi dongle.

"I feel let down from the government because they said the NBN was going to all those who did not have internet and then it would go to the rest of them,” Mrs Dingle said.

"They've not done that, they've not kept their word.”

On the NBN website, the Dingle property is expected to be connected to the network by June this year, but Mrs Dingle said the estimated date had changed three times.

"It's leaving us out. It's frustrating,” Mrs Dingle said.

While thousands of Lockyer Valley homes were now connected to the network, the Dingles were one of the unlucky ones.

Mrs Dingle said what made things more frustrating was residents just six lots away could connect to the network.

"I feel like we are failing the kids because they're not getting the work done they need to do,” MrsDingle said.

Josh has his heart set on becoming a vet but fears he might not be able to achieve the goal with no internet at the house.

"I'm struggling to do the homework I've been set, so when it comes time for assignments that's going to put me back,” Josh said.

With the NBN estimated to be completed by 2020, the Dingles should become connected within the predicted time frame.

The Lockyer family hopes the NBN fulfils their expectations, bringing them back into the modern world.

Be aware and get connected

SOME Lockyer Valley residents may feel left in the dark by the National Broadband Network, but the message is there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

While a number of areas are still unable to connect, almost 7000 premises can now order a fixed line service with their preferred retail provider.

Head of NBN Local Queensland Ryan Williams urged residents to connect to the network as quickly as possible.

"With more households signing up to connect to services over the NBN access network each day, it has never been more important for people to speak to their internet provider,” Mr Williams said.

He said residents should talk to internet providers about the steps they need to take to get the ideal plan to suit their needs.

Installation of the NBN network has been dubbed "one of the biggest transformations to happen to Australia's telecommunications industry”, but it has also been criticised for its lengthy delays and cost.

Mr Williams said the network was working wonders for those connected.

"Regional NBN-connected users were estimated to be 40per cent more likely than regional non-NBN-connected users to use the internet to keep in touch with loved ones,” Mr Williams said.

"That's an indication that access to the NBN access network is helping reduce the tyranny of distance for remote living.”

At present almost 2800 Lockyer premises are connected to the NBN after the property owners organised the switch from existing phone lines.

"Making the switch is not automatic,” Mr Williams said.

The NBN network has been rolled out progressively across the country with an aim to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.


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