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NBN bungle leaves locals off the grid

06 Oct 2016

NBN bungle leaves locals off the grid Image

By Sean Car

More than 40 apartments at 88 Wells St have been left without any internet access thanks to a botched rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

With two separate buildings at the same address, The Keep low-rise apartment complex has two separate connection points for phone and internet connection.

According to resident Kelly Smith, NBN Co technicians were not aware of this when installing fibre to the building and only installed NBN to one of the building’s two connection points.

“We know this because we have had NBN Co reps come to our house four times already,” Ms Smith said. “The outcome is that only half the building has the NBN.”

The implication is that half the complex is now unable to get internet connection at all because NBN Co has registered 88 Wells St as “NBN connected” meaning no other internet retailers are able to connect any other type of internet.

“We know this first-hand because our regular internet connection was disconnected by Optus when they transferred us to the NBN,” Ms Smith said.

“Since the wires for NBN don’t exist on our side of the building we have no internet and no proper TV connection. Optus won’t reconnect our ADSL internet because in their system it says the building has NBN.”

When asked by Southbank Local News if it planned to rectify the issue at 88 Wells St, an NBN Co Victoria spokesperson said: “Flexibility is at the heart of the NBN rollout, which means our plan will change over time.”

After following up again for a more specific response, NBN Co didn’t respond to Southbank Local News.

Ms Smith said that internet had been cut off from the building for more than three months and that she had since tried to pursue the matter with the ombudsman without effect.

Having met with NBN Co technicians on a number of occasions, Ms Smith has been informed that it is unlikely that NBN will be fitted to her side of the building as the fibre has already been rolled out.

She said she was continuing to work with Optus to have ADSL internet reconnected but that NBN Co’s mistake would have repercussions for future residents.

“This will be an issue for any future owners or tenants who change provider or try to make a new connection on the north building block. They will be unable to connect any kind of internet.”

According to the NBN Co’s website, 31 buildings in Southbank are currently connected to the NBN.

While all new Southbank buildings constructed post-2011 are automatically fitted with NBN, the rest of the rollout is scheduled to occur in stages.

Southbank buildings currently being fitted with NBN include Clarendon Towers and 30 Kavanagh St.

The NBN Co Victoria representative said it was working to ensure the quickest possible rollout in Southbank.

“Our fibre optic cable rollout sequencing is being optimised to ensure the quickest rollout of the network.”

“Residents and business operators in the area will be notified when construction starts.”

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