Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Rushed Announcement Amid Falling NBN Customer Numbers

The Communications Minister has today rushed out an announcement on NBN to try to counter the bad news on plummeting customer numbers for the Sky Muster satellite service and fears that NBN is being absolutely smashed by Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite service.

NBN’s own data confirms that satellite customers had fallen by more than 13,000 since June 2022. In May this year, NBN lost 4000 customers in just one week and 8000 in a month.

Given the slide in customers, Minister Rowland has clearly felt compelled to rush out a glossy ‘good news story’ to counter the questions about the performance of NBN.

The Minister cannot take credit for today’s announcement. It was the Coalition Government which, on 22 March 2022, announced $480 million in funding to boost mobile coverage in regional, rural and remote Australia and in peri-urban areas.

The Coalition investment would provide for a total upgrade worth $750 million, with NBN Co providing $270 million towards upgrades of the fixed wireless network, delivering more data and faster speeds for customers.

Michelle Rowland is now trying to ride on the coat-tails of a Coalition Government announcement from over a year ago.

But we’re not seeing the Minister taking charge to resolve the challenges facing NBN, particularly in the face of strong competition from new players like Elon Musk and Starlink.

The Minister will readily take the credit for hand-picking 54 mobile black spot sites, where 74% went to Labor seats, and 100% went to ALP electorates in NSW and Victoria.

Aside from orchestrated announcement like the one we’ve seen today, where is the leadership and reform from the Minister to put a stop to NBN’s ailing customer numbers?

The Hon. David Coleman MP
Federal Member for Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications