NBN Co delays cause problems for rural satellite subscribers

DWINDLING access to the internet may be a 'first world problem', but for Sharon Lehman it's a very real one.

The Copmanhurst resident, who lives just five kilometres from the town's centre, has in recent months watched her data allocation shrink steadily due to National Broadband Network rollout delays.

Having no mobile service in her area and living just outside the reach of Copmanhurst's fixed wireless network, her only option is to be connected to the network via satellite.

The problem is the satellite in question has been oversubscribed leaving people in remote areas in the Clarence Valley with a severely limited amount of data at their disposal.

"Each month we're getting an email saying instead of 30 gigabytes, we now have 25 gigabytes, and so on," Ms Lehman said.

"My internet service is really cheap at the moment because they're dropping the price; there'd be an outrage if they didn't.

"Last night I was working online and just waiting for the internet to stop working - I've hit 85% of 20 gigabytes and will be cut off before the end of the month.

"I used to build courses online (for work) and now I can't even watch a video."

Ms Lehman said she had spoken to a lot of people in Halfway Creek, Nymboida and Whiteman's Creek in the same situation.

"There are massive areas in the same boat, I've spoken to people who are thinking of moving," she said.

The release of a new NBN Co satellite is expected to ease the problem, but so far its implementation has been delayed.

Ms Lehman said the only possible solution she could think of, other than to move house, was to appeal to Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan.

"It was meant to go up at the end of last year but now they're saying the end of this year, or possibly the start of next year," she said.

"It maybe a first world problem but the service has regressed and it is a political issue."

When asked by The Daily Examiner, Mr Hogan did not offer any personal views on the subject but noted 169 premises in Copmanhurst can now access the NBN.

"I am more than happy for... residents to contact my office personally so we can get a specific timetable from NBN Co of when she will gain access from the ongoing rollout," he said.

"Since the last election the NBN has rolled out to more than 11,800 homes and businesses in Page."



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