Valentine's Day NBN 'nightmare' for Port Kembla florist

Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, Cunningham MP Sharon Bird and Keeley and Renay Horton.

Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, Cunningham MP Sharon Bird and Keeley and Renay Horton.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a florist’s best day of the year.

But for Port Kembla florist Renay Horton, February 14 this year was a nightmare.

The phone lines at All Occasions Flower and Party Hire went down and didn’t get back up and running until nine weeks later.

‘’Our production on Valentine's Day was down 43 per cent. During the nine weeks we were without a phone, production dropped 36 per cent,’’ Ms Horton said.

The Port Kembla Chamber of Commerce vice-president said many businesses in the suburb had similar NBN ‘’horror stories’’.

‘’It’s been an 18-month ordeal for us. We only had NBN installed last week, eight months after our landlady applied for NBN connection back in November,’’ she said.

Ms Horton is part of the 60 per cent of survey respondents in the Cunningham electorate who expressed frustration with the Federal Government’s NBN Fibre to the Node (FTTN) policy.

Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird said the 509 written comments by locals from all parts of Cunningham were particularly damning.  

Our production on Valentine's Day was down 43 per cent. During the nine weeks we were without a phone, production dropped 36 per cent. - Port Kembla florist Renay Horton

‘’People are really angry about speeds, drop outs, reliability, the change from FTTP to FTTN and general connection issues,’’ Ms Bird said.

There were 844 NBN survey respondents, with 273 residents indicating they had problems with speed/reliability.

‘’The Port Kembla Chamber of Commerce has indicated their frustration at extremely old and outdated copper wiring impacting on speed and reliability,’’ Ms Bird said.

‘’This just isn’t good enough. The reliance on old copper wiring for the FTTN service is a complete waste.’’

Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland said the Cunningham survey results echoed recent CHOICE survey results which reported 62 per cent of consumers experiencing internet problems such as slow speeds and drop outs.

Everywhere I go, people are furious about the ongoing slow speeds, drop outs and inability to have problems resolved. - Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland

‘’Malcolm Turnbull must explain why he continues to use taxpayer’s money to deploy copper infrastructure that will soon be redundant, instead of rolling out Fibre to the Home, or at a minimum to the kerb,’’ Ms Rowland said.

‘’Everywhere I go, people are furious about the ongoing slow speeds, drop outs and inability to have problems resolved.

‘’Sharon’s survey continues to highlight the same thing I hear all around the country. It’s just a mess.’’

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