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Outer-metropolitan areas of capital cities should be the first priority for newly announced NBN upgrades, according to Julian Leeser, Member for Berowra.

“Telecommunications challenges are not just a problem for the bush. They are a problem for thousands of people in my electorate, living only 40 minutes from the centre of the city,” says Julian Leeser.

Leeser has welcomed the announcement of additional NBN upgrades, but urges the NBN to understand where community need is greatest and prioritise upgrading fixed wireless and satellite to fixed line technology.

“In my electorate I have doctors living in suburban homes who cannot look up patient files at home. I have a school that had to give up on home learning during lock-down because students couldn’t get onto the internet. I had teachers trying to run lessons from supermarket carparks,” says Leeser.

“The NBN rollout has not yet been completed in my area and in too many places the technology is already inadequate .   I urge the NBN to deliver the service people will need for the future.”

“When the internet of things becomes a larger part of our lives, the demand on the network will be even greater,” says Leeser.

Leeser has also expressed concern about the risks of inadequate telecommunications during emergencies.

“Huge parts of my electorate are vulnerable to natural disasters. Presently, firefighters and SES volunteers can’t rely on receiving notifications when there is an emergency because telecommunications are so unreliable.”

“During the terrible summer we had last year, there was a serious risk to thousands of homes and lives because of the potential that the fires would jump the Hawkesbury and enter the Sydney basin in my electorate. Our telecommunications would not have been up to the challenge,” says Leeser.

The challenge is not only for the NBN.

“For four years now, I have been repeatedly asking mobile phone companies and NBN to do more to service my electorate.”

“Telstra, Optus and other mobile phone providers need to step up their investment, and I have made clear in pre-budget and other submissions that this needs to happen. I urge all telco providers, including NBN, to prioritise the urban fringe.”

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