Geraldton’s Digital Divide

photo-8 Member for Perth and Parliamentary Secretary for Western Australia, Alannah MacTiernan, was in Geraldton yesterday to speak out about what she calls “Geraldton’s Digital Divide” over the National Broadband Network.

With several areas of Geraldton still yet to get the high-speed internet access, Alannah says pressure should be put on Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Government for the issue to be rectified.

She says the copper wire in Geraldton isn’t up to scratch to offer 21st century technology.

“We all know the copper wire network just simply is not up to the standard of delivering 21st century speeds and we want to make sure that the very good work that has been done by the City of Greater Geraldton and the community is not undermined by this cutting back of NBN for Geraldton,” she said.

“We need all of those areas that were identified on the map to get NBN to actually get this high speed connection.”

Alannah spoke to Everything Geraldton yesterday and praised the work of the City in creating a a sophisticated digital city.

City CEO Ken Diehm said it has been the City’s aim to be positioned well in the digital economy.

“The City of Greater Geraldton has strategically positioned itself to take advantage of the digital economy based upon the promises and commitments given by the Federal Government to roll out the NBN fibre to premises,” he said.

“We have invested heavily in a technology park and educating both businesses and residents on the opportunities that the NBN provides. The Government’s revised position has the potential to seriously impact our digital strategy.”

Ken said it would be detrimental to Geraldton if the NBN rollout is not completed.

“Significant progress has already been achieved in the roll out of the NBN in Geraldton with the fibre passing approximately 6,000 residences,” he said.

“The provision of fibre to the premises is certainly achievable and it would be a significant blow if it does not continue.

“The City of Greater Geraldton will continue to fight for all our residents to have direct access to the NBN fibre network.”

Alannah’s visit comes just a week after she attacked Communications Minster Malcolm Turnbull in Parliament over Geraldton’s NBN.

“I am putting pressure on Malcolm Turnbull and exposing this issue and some of the myths that go with it,” she said.

“Going into areas in Geraldton and pulling back the fibre optic is simply going back to second rate technology which we believe is not going to work because of the state of the copper wire here.

“Geraldton has got its act together and focused on the NBN so let’s not create the digital divide.

“This reliance on the copper wire is just silly, let’s finish the job off, lets get the fibre optic into the designated areas which were originally designed to get it.”

When Ken was asked what he would say to Malcom Turnbull he replied with, “Honour the commitments from the Federal Government and continue the NBN fibre roll out in Geraldton.”