Tower troubles, tide troubles, Tony troubles… It’s been a tough week for NBN Co this week, as you’re about to discover in this week’s roundup…
• Seven per cent of Australian households will get access to the NBN via wireless when the rollout is complete. Well, they will if they let the towers go up. This week was full of stories about rural residents fighting NBN Co’s planned tower construction, like the Smeaton residents in Victoria who turned down an $8000 a year offer to host the tower on their land. Obviously there are concerns about health implications from the 40 metre towers, so expect this debate to wage on as the network continues to be built. [SMH]
• Broome North residents had NBN cables laid down last year, but thanks to some high tides, the estate hasn’t been connected to the main NBN network. That said, the network should still be online by May for the Broome locals. [ABC]
• You’d hope the tragic death of an innocent child would be a politician-free zone. But when an 11 year old boy died at his holiday house when a truck smashed through his home, Tony Abbott took the opportunity to use it as a platform to decry the NBN.
“It is always a question of priorities, though. As far as I’m concerned it is far more important to get the Pacific Highway duplicated than it is to spend $50 billion-plus doing what the private sector could easily do with vastly less money with the national broadband network.
“So I’m very happy to be bi-partisan about finishing the Pacific Highway as quickly as possible. I’ve got to say to the government in all candour that it would be so much easier to do this if they weren’t wasting money on the greatest white elephant this country has ever seen, the National Broadband Network.
But Tony, you keep forgetting – you’re no Bill Gates. [Port Macquarie News]
• Primus and iiNet have signed deals with NBN Co to begin signing up new customers, now that the trial arrangement has ended. It’s been a bit of a mexican standoff with other ISPs refusing to sign. [SMH]
• Macquarie Telecoms doesn’t want the ACCC to approve Telstra’s planned structural separation, which could cause further delays to the network’s rollout. Macquarie believes that the plan has “failed to adequately establish rules to treat its retail business and its rivals equally”. [The Australian]