Research urged before NBN switch

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser

The National Broadband Network is available to 80 per cent of properties in Albany, as NBN Co plans to finish the network by mid-next year.

More than 3000 properties in McKail, Warrenup, Milpara and Orana were connected to the network last Friday, bringing the total number of properties connected to the network in Albany to 13,200.

Albany, Little Grove and Big Grove will be connected at the end of January 2018 while remaining suburbs such as Albany East, Millbrook and Elleker will be ready by mid-next year.

But, as the project comes near to completion, many locals remain doubtful with the benefits of joining the broadband network.

Many are choosing to remain with their old ADSL network even after knowing they could connect to NBN.

NBN Local Western Australia’s Rachael McIntyre said this was mostly because of misinformation and lack of communication between NBN, local service providers and their customers.

The company launched the Albany NBN Local team to assist and improve customer experiences with the NBN network.

“Although retail service providers should always be the first point of contact for any resident or business having issues with their broadband connection, the new NBNLocal unit will be a dedicated team working with local stakeholders and community groups to help ensure local problems are identified early and addressed,” Ms McIntyre said.

Locals are also encouraged to do their own research before choosing a service provider.

“There is now 120 providers offering NBN services in Albany — it’s a very competitive market,” she said. “So I would really encourage residents to look out and compare prices — do homework — speak to their neighbours and shop around.

“They need to understand in many ways that you got what you pay for.”

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said he was pleased with the NBN project to date. “The majority of people I speak to say once their service is up and running, their internet speeds are far superior to what they’ve had in the past,” he said.

“People should also remember that there will be constant and ongoing upgrades once we complete construction of the network in 2020.

“Initiatives like fibre-to-the-kerb were only developed after the NBN Co began building the network — we’ll have the capacity to explore some of these options once the rollout schedule is fully complete in the next couple of years.”

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