Residents of Picketts Valley are still unable to connect to the internet through the NBN despite all surrounding streets of surrounding suburbs being active since June 19.
Picketts Valley is designated as Fibre To The Node (FTTN), with two nodes servicing the suburb, one near Country View Cls and the other on the Scenic Hwy. Despite being activated in June, residents have been left in the dark as to when and why they can’t access the internet. Valley resident, Mr Matthew Malone, said the NBN Co had failed to inform residents about when the lines would be quality tested and said there had been no updates on the state of the Valley’s NBN service other than that it would be ready by October 2016.
“Picketts Valley is a semirural suburb of the Central Coast region of New South Wales. “The area has never had any reliable access to the internet, as it is 5km away from the Avoca Beach exchange and up until the NBN, expensive 3G mobile internet has been the only option for residents to have internet access,” Mr Malone said. Mr Malone also said residents were left in a state of confusion thanks to NBN Co’s back flipping over the status of their area‘s rollout. “The way in which NBN Co has communicated the rollout in the Valley has caused widespread confusion. “Their online status page has flip-fl opped between active and inactive many times. “Calling NBN Co yields absolutely zero additional information, other than a scripted ‘we are working on it.’
“NBN Co’s website states that the area is ready for service and that we should contact our service providers, but when we do, we are told that the NBN is not ready yet. “NBN Co’s website has now returned to stating that additional work is required,” Mr Malone said. The question of just how much work is needed to get Picketts Valley online remains unknown, despite the fact that remedial works were performed on both nodes throughout July and August. Adding to residents’ frustration is the possibility that the network will not generate speeds at a reliable or fast rate and that further upgrades will come at their own expense. According to Mr Malone, the Country View node connects to the existing copper network via an underground hub and then an aerial connection, before crossing the road (underground again) to the power pole opposite number 71. This means that there is an additional 230 metres of copper between the node and the start of the connection.
“Many residents have expressed the need for FTTP (Fibre To The Premises). “NBN Co, offers a ‘Technology Choice’ service to change an individual premise over, at their expense (costing anywhere between $1-15,000). “However, this option can only be started once the area has been activated. “It is also likely that a brand new fi bre line will need to be brought in the existing FTTN infrastructure,” Mr Malone said. The lack of information coupled with the fear that the service won’t live up to expectations has residents particularly upset, as the NBN was touted as the ‘be all end all’ of the Valley’s internet connectivity woes. According to Mr Malone, the lack of a dedicated, reliable and affordable internet service was taking its toll on the inhabitants of Picketts Valley, many of which were business owners forking out massive sums to keep their businesses online through 3G. “Residents of Picketts Valley have been in constant contact with NBN Co.
“We have had multiple ongoing investigations with them as to why there have been delays. “Local Member, Lucy Wicks, was able to give us a higher level contact at NBN Co that reviewed our case. “Unfortunately they had to cancel our investigation because they noted that the area was still ‘under construction’, and no further information on when the area will be activated was available,” Mr Malone said. Fed up with the NBN Co’s response, Mr Malone has created a community website for the residents of Picketts Valley (www. picketts.com.au) to summarise the community’s ongoing issues with the NBN Co and outline the situation as it develops. “I created the website out of sheer frustration, no other method was getting through to the appropriate people and I needed somewhere central to help communicate any updates I received to the other residents,” Mr Malone said. Mr Malone urges other residents of Picketts Valley as well as the surrounding suburbs slated into the Valley’s rollout (Kincumber, Kincumber South, North Avoca, and Avoca Beach) to follow the issue.
Email, Sep 5, 2016 Matthew Malone, Picketts Valley Interview, Sep 5, 2016 Matthew Malone, Picketts Valley