Bargara waits for internet
BARGARA resident Katrina Jenner is most familiar with the frustrations of living in an internet blackspot.
The coastal town, which boasts some of the region’s priciest real estate, was identified in a recent report, alongside Burnett Heads, as among the places where residents were struggling with slow or intermittent internet access.
Ms Jenner said dealing with a bad internet connection could be very frustrating.
She said it was worse knowing their household was connected to the broadband network.
“When we first got connected, we were told this zone could only get up to a certain speed,” she said.
Ms Jenner said she had become resigned to having a long wait whenever she tried to access a page on the internet.
“It can be very frustrating when you’re trying to download a document and you have to sit there for ages and watch it come through slowly,” she said.
“But there’s nothing much you can do about it; you just have to open your laptop and hope it works.”
Her son Brendan Little is in year 10 at school, and uses the internet for homework and playing games.
“It just takes forever to load, and it’s really frustrating,” he said.
Ms Jenner said the one consolation was that internet connections were even worse at Moore Park Beach, where she had lived until recently.
A Telstra spokeswoman said consumers tended to look automatically at the national telco when they were having internet problems, but Telstra was not the only provider of services.
She said the Federal Government was spending $43 billion to build a national broadband network.
“At this stage we are sure the federal government proposal will bring broadband to those areas that are experiencing problems,” she said.
But better times may be on the way for Ms Jenner and other Bargara residents struggling with slow download speeds.
In a statement last year, Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, announced steps to fast-track the national broadband network in regional Australia.
“We are moving to immediately improve the competitive market in regional Australia and are fast-tracking a $250 million investment in backbone fibre optic transmission links,” Senator Conroy said.
“These are the broadband highways that connect our cities, towns and rural areas to the wider world.
“In parts of Australia, particularly links connecting our rural and regional areas, competition is limited as there is only a single provider of these services.
“This $250 million investment demonstrates how serious we are about immediate improvement for services in regional and rural Australia and will contribute to the immediate stimulus impact of the national broadband network. This plan is a top outcome for regional and rural Australia.”