Telephone, internet and the NBN
Modern Australia has come to depend upon high-quality, reliable telecommunications. Unfortunately, the digital divide between rural-regional Australia and our cities is growing. With the completion of the roll-out of the NBN, we now have 2,773 premises allocated satellite NBN within a 25km radius of the GPO in Adelaide. Nearly 88 per cent of premises within 25km of the Adelaide GPO marked for Sky Muster satellite cannot order an upgrade via Technology Choice. In 2020 Hobart came a distant second to Adelaide with 264 Sky Muster connections within a 25km radius of the GPO and Sydney had 28 Sky Muster connections. The high-quality telecommunication services promised to regional Australia via the NBN are not being fully met. The delivery of the NBN has been a significant source of complaints from the community.
With mobile phones replacing landlines, reliable mobile coverage is critical to the safety of our communities, many of which live in high bushfire risk areas. The mobile network is not covered by the Universal Service Guarantee. A fact that continues to surprise my community (and many others) who consider mobile connectivity an essential service, particularly in high-risk bushfire areas.
The Black Summer bushfires in 2019/2020 on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills highlighted the community’s reliance on the mobile network to receive timely information to protect life and property. Particularly on Kangaroo Island, identified mobile black spots caused firefighting, alerting, and evacuation issues. Lack of mobile coverage also hampered the efforts of emergency services. Notwithstanding that fire did destroy or significantly damage critical infrastructure in those fires, mobile coverage (while operational) was relied upon extensively within the timeframe of the going bushfire.
As a result, I am working hard to encourage the Government to continue the Mobile Black Spot Program and revise its criteria to deliver more results in Mayo regional Australia. I am also advocating
Speeches and Questions in Parliament:
I have also asked Questions in Writing on the following topics:
Fighting for the ABC
I am a staunch defender of an independent, sufficiently-resourced ABC.
Our national broadcaster plays a critical role as a cultural resource for the nation, and as a source of quality, reliable and independent reporting. In a time of globalising culture and declining resources for investigative journalism in the public interest, maintaining a strong national broadcaster is more important now than it has ever been at any time since Australia’s Federation.
Speeches in Parliament:
Fighting for Community Broadcasters
I am also a big supporter of community radio and community television station Channel 44 in Adelaide. These broadcasters produce local content for local audiences and have played a vital role in connecting communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also the training grounds for our future broadcasters, videographers and producers.