Remember when the NBN was going to deliver great internet speeds to 93% of the population? We thanks to the coalition’s decision to go with a mix of technologies, predominantly Fibre-to-the-node, we’re now in 2020 and the quality of internet services is dramatically different based on your postcode.
If the original focus on delivering fibre to the premises (FTTP) had been delivered, we’d be incredibly well positioned right now, to deliver remote health between your Doctor and your home.
Instead the connection quality differs so much, particularly upload speeds, that reliability is a real issue.
Today the Government announced that medical and mental health staff will be allowed to bulk-bill sessions conducted over video conferencing services like FaceTime, Skype and the like as part of the Government’s containment strategy.
Australian telecommunications group, TelSoc, has called on the federal government to fast-track improvements to our telecommunications infrastructure, including mobile and the National Broadband Network. This remediation to those who can’t achieve connections capable of sustaining HD video calls, should be resolved ASAP.
This would enable doctors and healthcare workers to stay safe when dealing with patients suspected of having caught the Coronavirus.
TelSoc President Professor Reg Coutts, has written to communications minister Paul Fletcher pointing out that unless they and their patients have decent broadband access doctors will struggle to take advantage of the new bulk-billing arrangements.
Too many NBN customers experience very poor connectivity due to many reasons including outdated technologies. It makes you wonder if we have gone backwards!”
Eventually the NBN’s out-of-date technology will need to be replaced right across the network. Given the needs of the medical profession right now it would make sense for the Government to instruct NBN Co to make doctors, health centres and hospitals its top priority for a technology upgrade for a future.TelSoc President, Professor Coutts
TelSoc recently told a Parliamentary NBN committee the country needs bipartisan agreement on a plan to fix the NBN.