Expert Warns Poor Broadband Means WA Faces More Risks On Cyber Security

WA has the worst broadband in the nation, with the highest proportion of underperforming services of any state in the country, according to an ACCC report “Measuring Broadband Australia”.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report Measuring Broadband Australia claimed Western Australians had been provided with a poor internet service, with many owning NBN50 or NBN100 plans over Fibre to the Node connections .

The report identified that WA had the slowest average ‘busy hour’ download speeds, while one in eight consumers continuing to experience services that reached less than 75 per cent of advertised speeds.

Federal Shadow Environment Assistant Minister and Fremantle MP Josh Wilson said that WA drew the short straw because of the NBN design, and that we’ll be severely disadvantaged as a result.

“It means for young people and ordinary households and business that we are at a serious disadvantage compared to other states in Australia,” Mr Wilson said.

“We are the largest state, the most remote state, and we can’t afford to be at that kind of disadvantage will hold people back economically. It will mean we will have less ability to access important services when it comes to health, education, banking and those sorts of things.”

Mr Wilson also warned that the rollout of 5G mobile internet technology may render the NBN obsolete.

“There is a risk though, that because the NBN has been delivered so poorly, that mobile technology will compete with low quality line broad band – that should not be the case, but it may happen,” he said.

Murdoch University Politics and Policy Senior Lecturer Ian Cook said that the poor execution, and a mix of different technologies used in the NBN design means more cyber security vulnerabilities.

He believes that Western Australia is “paying the price for what was a poorly designed and executed system” due a lack of investment.

“Well if we can’t make online world secure and if jobs are continually moving online, we have a paradox, we have a problem,” he said.

“We are moving people in a less secured space, asking people to do things that are exposes them more and this is a major issue we need to address.”

“It’s pretty clear that we are not going to stop going online, we got to address this through security, we’re got to try to fix this NBN.”

A spokeperson from NBN Co responded says that the ACCC Report acknowledged limited speeds are out of NBN Co’s control.

NBN Co stated that they will continue to work with “RSPs and the broader industry to improve customer experience.”

“As the ACCC noted, limited speeds can be caused by factors outside of NBN Co’s control. These include in-home wiring issues that can be fixed with a visit from a technician. We encourage customers to always contact their retailer in the first instance for anything related to the in-home experience,” the spokesperson said.

“Recent research, commissioned by NBN Co, showed that although 86 per cent Australians understand at least one factor that can impact their broadband experience (such as Wi-Fi quality and location in the home), just 42 per cent say they are very confident that their home set-up is optimised to deliver the best speed and performance.”

“We continue to work closely with RSPs and the broader industry to improve customer experience. These initiatives continue to focus on factors such as better in-home network setups, network reliability and availability, capacity management, and the minimisation of outages.”




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