Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has sent out a comprehensive survey that will allow every household across the electorate to express their views on telecommunications services in their local area.
Mr Coulton said the Parkes Electorate Telecommunications Survey is important and would provide valuable information which would go towards the formulation of the telecommunications policy of the Nationals.
“Telecommunications and access to adequate telecommunications in the Parkes electorate is a major concern to my constituents. On average my office would receive at least three complaints per week of poor mobile service, poor internet service, poor customer service by the service providers and even poor landline connections that are unreliable and out-dated.”
Representing the biggest Federal electorate in NSW, Mr Coulton has worked hard to highlight the need to improve telecommunications in rural and regional New South Wales raising the issue in Parliament on numerous occasions.
Mr Coulton has also had the current Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy and also the Shadow Minister for Regional Telecommunications, Luke Hartsuyker MP visit the Parkes electorate.
“There are many areas in the electorate which suffer from second rate telecommunications services. Goolma, Botobolar, areas around Coonabarabran, Moree and Condobolin, and even areas around Dubbo have no mobile phone service.”
“With over $50 billion of taxpayer funds being spent on the National Broadband Network, it has meant mobile phone reception and other areas of communications have been neglected in rural and regional areas.”
“The Coalition had a plan at the last election to address mobile phone black spots in urban and rural areas by providing $30 million to support the deployment of the telecommunications infrastructure necessary to ensure communities have adequate and reliable mobile phone coverage.”
Mr Coulton said further investment is clearly needed to provide regional Australia with adequate and equitable access to telecommunications services, but doubted the merit of the NBN in addressing this problem.
“By improving telecommunications infrastructure in regional and rural NSW, we can ensure growth and prosperity. It is necessary to acknowledge and address the problems with black spots across regional Australia as a priority, and ensure access to satisfactory internet speeds at affordable prices.”
Mr Coulton has called on his constituents to provide him with as much information as they can in the survey. Results of the survey will be compiled and released at a later date.