NBN is working to connect micronodes in Tasmania

DARK: Despite 95 per cent of Tasmania being connected to the National Broadband Network, about 100 micronodes remain off the grid. Picture: Supplied
DARK: Despite 95 per cent of Tasmania being connected to the National Broadband Network, about 100 micronodes remain off the grid. Picture: Supplied

About 3000 homes and businesses across Tasmania are still waiting for the National Broadband Network, despite their communities being connected.

Across the state thousands of property owners are waiting for the NBN Corporation to connect their premises to the network through micronodes.

In a question put to NBN Co by Tasmanian Labor Senator Anne Urquhart it was revealed of the 113 micronodes deployed in Tasmania, only three were operational.

Most were built late in 2016 but due to connection problems, the majority of micronodes in Tasmania remain non-operational. 

A micronode is a small cabinet, installed to improve the quality of the signal to properties on the edge of a town. 

NBN Co would not specify what regions were not operational, citing security concerns.

But NBN Co Tasmania corporate affairs spokesman Russell Kelly said a new installation process had been developed and more people would be connected. 

Under the previous program, technicians were required to open the micronode, “exposing the electronics to the elements and taking significant time”.

Mr Kelly said the new process only required modifications to copper in joints outside the micronode.

“Trials began just last month in Tasmania and already 10 micronodes have been successfully switched on,” he said.

He said existing micronodes were planned to be connected by October this year. Senator Urquhart criticised the response provided by NBN Co to customers. 

“Finally, after releasing the statistics last week in response to my questions, NBN Co have miraculously announced that they’ve found a solution to the micro-node issues and plan on everyone being connected by October,” she said. 

“Some of these people have been waiting for well over six months – and until this week NBN Co have told them nothing.”

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz acknowledged there would be problems with a project of this size.

“There are bound to be hiccups but those issues are being overcome and a high-quality service is now available to more than 95 per cent of Tasmania,” he said.