Wamboin Communications Action Group
Working towards a fibre network for the Wamboin, Bywong and Sutton Region (WBSR)
Issue with some Wamboin addresses and Telstra
A local resident has reported having issues trying to maintain and then get ADSL in the area. This is their story:
I have had a problem with my internet for some time. They basic problem which had existed for about 5 years was that on my Telstra account the internet connection did not appear and I was not paying for it.
This might sound OK but it meant that if I had a problem with the connection it was hard to get Bigpond to fix it because they said that the connection was not active – even though I was using it at the time. I tried quite a few times to get them to fix it, even though it would cost me more because I saw the need for them to recognise that it existed so that I could get help with it from time to time .
It seems that it wasn’t being fixed because the order would be cancelled because I was in an “”NBN restricted” area.
Well at last, not having it fixed, a time came when it bit me. Telstra recently put me on a new landline plan and in the process my internet connection stopped.
I have rung Telstra five times. Each time I have been on the phone for at least two hours. (on one call, nearly four) The consultant set up an order to start a “new” connection but the first three times when I checked it a few days later the order had been cancelled. The fourth time it had gone into pending. The final time the Consultant recognised that my address “Wamboin” was preventing the connection from being made. The consultant specifically said that as I am in an “NBN satellite” area there should be no problem with getting the ADSL connection back on; but my address was marked so that ADSL connection would be blocked She changed the status of my address and said that all would be OK with the order now .
I provide this info to you because others in Wamboin may be having the same problem. If your address is fully restricted by the NBN you wont be able to get ADSL. If in the other hand it is marked NBN Satellite then you can get ADSL. Apparently there are addresses in this area which are incorrectly identified.
So if you are having issues with the continued provision of ADSL it may well be worth checking that your address is not incorrectly labelled.
WIN News interview - 04/03/2021
Glenn Archer and Jon Gough were interviewed by Win News regarding the NSW Government tender for improved connectivity on Thursday 04th March 2021. You can find the video of the interview here: Win News Interview - Regional Fibre - 04/03/3021
NSW member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin, media release - 03/03/2021
MP Janelle Saffin spoke to WCAG on 25/02/2021 about the work that is being done and the current outcomes. This is part of the process of expanding what is happening in WBSR to the rest of NSW. The media release can be found here: Saffin applauds action group for tackling digital divide
NSW Government tender - Joe Rocks Road, The Mountain Road
Please note that some areas of the original proposed coverage area (during the time WCAG was directly talking with network providers) has been omitted by the NSW Government (eg. the area on top of the escarpment, but in the suburb of Bungendore). Equally, some areas of coverage have increased beyond the scope of a network proposed by WCAG in earlier days (eg. Sutton Town, and Sutton north of the town). While WCAG is happy about network additions, we are obviously against any network omissions. As such, WCAG is actively pursuing the NSW Department to try and have the Bungendore side on top of the escarpment added back in to the network as per our original concept, though at this stage this is being handled as an optional network component within the Tender documents. We encourage residents affected by this to directly address their frustration with their local member (John Barilaro).
NSW Government has issued an open tender to deliver improved internet for the Wamboin, Bywong and Sutton.
On Tuesday 19th Jan 2021 the NSW government issued and open tender to deliver improved internet for the Wamboin, Bywong and Sutton Region (WBSR). The tender can be found here:
NSW Government commences procurement process to select a telecommunications provider to build a Fibre Network for Wamboin, Bywong and Sutton
In early 2019, the Wamboin Communications Action Group was successful in obtaining a commitment of a $5M grant from the NSW Government towards the cost of installing a fibre optic network around the Wamboin, Bywong and Sutton Region (WBSR).
Throughout 2019 the WCAG met on a number of occasions with NSW government agencies responsible for this grant. As a result of the limited progress being made, and some understandable frustration expressed by the community, members of the WCAG met with the Deputy Premier, Mr John Barilaro MP, in Sydney in early December 2019 to review the project and discuss the increasing urgency we saw in having work commence. Following that meeting, the pace has quickened and there were a series of meetings and interactions with the NSW Government Project team established to support this initiative.
On Thursday, 27 February 2020, the NSW Government announced that our network would be one of the "initial target locations" for its $100m Gig State initiative. The announcement advised that the Government would shortly commence a tender process to select a telecommunications provider to construct and manage a fibre network for residents in Sutton, Bywong and Wamboin.
Consistent with that announcement, on 22 April 2020, the “Gig State – Expression of Interest” was released on the NSW Government Tender site. Critically, this means that the process to select the organisation to build and operate our new fibre network has finally started.
The NSW government describes the Gig State initiative as an effort to close the ‘digital divide’ - the significant disparity between regional and metropolitan areas when comparing the affordability and accessibility of digital technologies, as well as the ability of local populations to effectively use it. The call for expressions of interest from prospective respondents includes a specific project to deliver “residential fibre Network Services to Sutton, Bywong and Wamboin” (and is referred to as the SBR network in the EOI). The document indicates that the network will cover all of Sutton, Bywong and Wamboin including Sutton village.
Responses to the EOI close on 2 June 2020 and the evaluation of responses will result in a formal Request for Tender (RFT) being issued to successful EOI respondents in the second half of 2020.
The document provides the following details in respect of a network for our community:
The termination point to be within the residence
Minimum speed of 100/40 Mbps
Service levels equivalent to metropolitan NSW
A viable and sustainable pricing and product mix (that should align and provide equivalence) with metropolitan Sydney CBD
Further information can be found at: https://www.investregional.nsw.gov.au/news/100-million-gig-state-project/
The WCAG will continue to work with the NSW government to represent the community's interests and aspirations within the context of the procurement process. We anticipate that this will also include working closely with the successful telecommunications provider (once selected) - particularly in the planning and construction phases.
We will keep you posted on significant developments as they happen.
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WBSR initial coverage
We will keep you up to date with developments and try our best to lobby internet network providers to set up shop in our area. With the goal of providing choices in connectivity that are better than the current ADSLx, while ensuring affordability and reliability.
The Wamboin Communications Action Group is a group of local Wamboin, Bywong and Sutton Region residents who are actively seeking to improve our communities access to communications (focusing on our future Internet connectivity options).
We are strictly a non-commercial collective of like-minded residents that wishes to improve our Wamboin/Bywong/Sutton area's access to high speed internet.
To lobby for, engage with and otherwise champion the cause of obtaining fast, reliable and affordable internet for Wamboin and surrounding districts.
Without action we will be burdened with a slow, and very expensive communications option (SkyMuster NBN satellite) when we are very close to the civilised world of Canberra and Queanbeyan.
The Wamboin Communications Action Group wishes to raise the awareness of the local community of their current fate, and help action a push for something better.
The NBN Sky Muster Satellite Service is NOT fit for purpose
We deserve better!
Why should I care? My ADSL is fine!
The WCAG has spoken to dozens of residents who have reported issues with their copper-based phone and ADSL services. Most have experienced delays of weeks, if not months, in having these repaired. Some have told us that Telstra will not repair services at all and are being provided a 4G phone instead–for calls only, no data!
This still meets Telstra’s obligation to provide a phone service under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) but these residents no longer have access to any ADSL based internet service. There are now serious concerns being expressed that, with the USO rumoured to end in 2022, Telstra may cease supporting most copper services (including ADSL), especially in less profitable and high maintenance areas like ours.
As NBN require that all ADSL services in wired areas to be terminated 18 months after the NBN services becomes available, the incentive to maintain this technology in the remaining 7% of the nation is low.
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