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College seeks answers to phantom connection

Thursday, 18th July, 2013

By Kurtis J Eichler

The Coalition has promised to investigate why Robinson College cannot get fast broadband internet despite a fibre cable being hooked up to the building.

The federal opposition’s shadow minister for regional communications, Luke Hartsuyker, listened to the plight of South residents yesterday during a whistlestop tour of Broken Hill.

Mr Hartsuyker was invited out by federal MP for Farrer Sussan Ley to talk about the National Broadband Network and sell the Liberal Party’s fibre to the node scheme.

College manager Ann Rogers told the opposition frontbencher the Wentworth Road building was connected to a fibre cable but was unable to be used.

This is because no one is claiming ownership of it, she says.

“No one knows where it’s come from,” Ms Rogers said.

Some say it was installed seven years ago by the Department of Education and others say it’s a part of an old Telstra roll-out.

Ms Rogers said she’d asked Telstra about getting broadband through the fibre optic cable but it’s fallen on deaf ears.

“We need to have access to the service so we can just get high speed internet at the college,” Ms Rogers said from Bells Milk Bar in Patton Street.

“It’s just very frustrating not being able to have the right people, so to speak, to talk with about the optic fibre.”

Current speeds at the College in the city’s South are not consistent. While sometimes they can be adequate, at other times speeds can be sluggish.

The College holds an iPad course and students are required to download an iTunes app of about 15MB. It takes 45 minutes for eight people to download one app each, just one example of the dire need for high speed internet at the school.

Mr Hartsuyker said he would look into the problem.

“I’ve taken on board the comments from Ann and I’ll be taking that up with Telstra myself as a matter of urgency.”

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