A LEADING Shoalhaven businessman has described the possibility a Coalition government would leave Bomaderry and North Nowra with a second-tier connection to the National Broadband Network as “crazy”.
The NBN has become a hot local election issue after Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed on the weekend that contracts had not been secured for fibre to the premises connections north of the Shoalhaven River.
The Coalition has said that while it would honour existing fibre to the premises connections where contracts were already issued, further connections would be fibre to the node and users who wanted full fibre-optic access to the NBN would have to pay to be connected. That cost has been estimated at $5000.
Chance Hanlon, who runs Hanlon Windows in Bomaderry, said his company desperately needed faster broadband facilities.
“With branches in Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra and here, we survive on high speed broadband yet the service we have here in Bomaderry for a business is slower than what I can get for my home at North Nowra,” he said.
“If they leave us out of the loop it will not be good for business over this way.
“You have us, one of the region’s largest employers, Manildra just around the corner and the paper mill all crying out for high speed NBN.
“Scaling back would be a total disaster.
“We currently have great new software and technology we want to use but we can’t due to the speed we currently have – or the lack of speed.
“One of our major competitors, which is based outside the Shoalhaven, will be using the same technology and that will put them one step ahead of us.
“These programs and technology work via the intranet and need high-speed facilities to be able to see them run.
“And there is no way we can get that at the moment.”
He said leaving areas like Bomaderry and North Nowra off the NBN was a crazy decision.
“This area is screaming out for these high speed facilities,” he said.
“The high schools in the area can’t get it, they currently use wireless systems.
“So you have two schools on Cambewarra Road, one of the major roads in Bomaderry, yet they can’t get high speed broadband.
“I believe Nowra Anglican College is the same.
“One of the last estates built in the Bomaderry area, Gladioli, is also wireless. No facilities for broadband were built into the ground.
“As a small business we want to be able to use the latest technology.
“We also want to be able to keep jobs local in the Shoalhaven. That is really important for us.”
Although not a member of the Liberal Party, Mr Hanlon said he usually voted Liberal.
“I encourage the Liberal Party to look after small business and give us the facilities we need to survive in the future,” he said.
CONNECT US ALL: Shoalhaven businessman Chance Hanlon has called on all of Bomaderry and North Nowra to be included in the full fibre to the premises National Broadband Network.