Slow NBN rollout disruptive to Tas startups

Tasmanian startups say the rollout of “transformative” NBN services is vital for businesses, as IT lobby group TASICT warns the rollout of the NBN has slowed to a crawl across the island state.

In its submission to the National Broadband Network inquiry, TASICT says that it remains supportive of the full fibre-to-the-premises network being rolled out to all 190,000 premises originally earmarked for connection.

However, it warns that the project has been used “as a political tool” by all major state and federal parties, while key issues are ignored.

Several leading Tasmanian startups show just how much the NBN is needed.

The TasICT report also notes increasing frustration from retail ISPs about the technology that will eventually be used on the project, with an estimated 50% of appointments missed by contractors due to delays in rolling out the network.

The submission claims less than 4000 new premises have been passed by the rollout since Visionstream announced plans to accelerate the rollout in December of last year.

Paris Buttfield-Addison, co-founder of independent Hobart-based computer game and app development studio Secret Lab, told StartupSmart before the NBN, the fastest upload speed she could get on ADSL2 was just 0.9 Mbps.

“The connection of the NBN via FTTP to our business has enabled us to be significantly more efficient, work faster with international and interstate clients, and offer better service to our existing clients. We’re able to accomplish in a matter of minutes what used to take overnight – or much longer.

The sentiment is echoed by Biteable.com cofounder James MacGregor, who told StartupSmart the NBN rollout is essential for the growth of Tasmanian startups.

“The snail paced rollout has been disappointing. If any state needs a boost in business productivity it's Tassie. The NBN holds a lot of promise for the new wave of tech businesses emerging in the state,” MacGregor says.

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@startuptasmania tweeted this page. 2014-04-29 10:12:13 +1000
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Slow NBN rollout disruptive to Tas startups