NBN Co has apologised to residents of Riddells Creek as installation of the National Broadband Network has been delayed by a year.
The rollout of fixed wireless NBN in parts of the Victorian town, 45 minutes north of Melbourne, was scheduled to start this month but has been pushed back until between July and December, 2021.
Frustrated locals have been trying to find out why the installation was delayed, but said they had been given “no answers”.
NBN Local general manager Chris Cusack said the delay was caused by negotiation breakdowns with the carrier who was going to complete the works.
“We’ve only just been able to reach agreement to co-locate a tower with one of the mobile providers.
“What we now need to go through is the design and approval process, and it’s that approval process that generally takes the longest time.”
Mr Cusack said NBN Co had been trying to secure a site to build a fixed wireless tower since 2015.
“This is the fourth location that we’ve tried to build a tower to service that part of the Riddells Creek community,” he said.
“Unfortunately we do need to secure a location and secure land owner approval before we can seek council approvals and build the site.”
Riddells Creek Neighbourhood House president Kristine Rawlinson said it had been difficult trying to work from home and homeschool her children with slow internet.
“We were getting 5MBS (megabits per second) and it really caused dramas for us once the kids were home from school,” she said.
“We had four people trying to work on screens and it was a bit of a nightmare.”
Ms Rawlinson said the whole community had been waiting for the NBN and the delay was increasingly frustrating.
“The logic behind it doesn’t gel for me, and it just really makes it unfair,” she said.
“We are being told ‘if you can work from home stay at home to be safe’, but we just don’t have the resources to be able to.
Mr Cusack said they were doing everything they could to speed up the delivery.