Digital divide on show in Lake Macquarie


Around 2,000 homes and businesses in Belmont were this week switched on to the second rate version of the NBN that relies on copper from last century to make it work.

Meanwhile, two minutes down the road in Swansea, people who have been judged to have the worst internet access in the country are still waiting to find out when they will get the NBN and if they too will be forced to make do with the second rate copper version.

This is Malcolm Turnbull’s failed legacy on the most important piece of infrastructure to unleash innovation and productivity in the digital economy.

Under Labor, 93 per cent of Australian homes and businesses would have been connected to the superfast fibre-to-the premises NBN which comes with internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

Suburbs like Belmont, Valentine, Warners Bay and Budgewoi were listed to get the Labor version of the NBN by the end of June 2016.

Instead, residents in these suburbs and across the country will be left with a second rate version of the NBN that will have to be upgraded down the track.

The NBN is also more expensive than Malcolm Turnbull promised before the election.

He promised the second rate version of the NBN would be built for $29.5 billion but in one of his last acts as Communications Minister, he revealed that he had presided over a huge cost blowout and the second rate NBN would now cost up to $56 billion.

The NBN is rolling out slower than Malcolm Turnbull promised, it is more expensive than Malcolm Turnbull promised and it is a second rate version that does not set Australia up for the future.

Malcolm Turnbull has a record on innovation – it’s two years of a more expensive, slower NBN.  

The people of the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie, like all Australians, deserve better.