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Victoria Council Rejected Wireless and Satellite Broadband Plans
NBN Co informed the rural Victorian council that some of its residents will suffer from slower satellite services because the company’s application for new broadband infrastructure was rejected. The government-owned company issued a statement for residents in the Golden Plains Shire, west of Melbourne, explaining that their community would not get the benefit of faster wireless broadband after the local council refused to accept NBN’s application for the installation of new broadband towers.
"It is very important that we do not set a precedent where if people object in local councils to a fixed wireless service that they think ... it will be fibre, because it won’t, said Chief Executive Mike Quigley. Fiber would be too costly in Golden Plains Shire and the council will probably reject it. The council cited visual impact as the ground for rejecting the application on May 12. The 4G fixed wireless broadband service runs at 12 megabits per second while the Fibre connection is too expensive to deploy in Golden Plains Shire so NBN would not appeal the council's decision. Golden Plains Mayor Geraldine Frantz said that his office will not be "bullied into accepting a less than satisfactory solution”, arguing that NBN's proposal for Napoleons (area of the Golden Plains Shire) failed to meet the Code of Practice for telecommunications facilities in the region.
The council arrived at a unanimous vote to refuse permit on the grounds of unacceptable visual and amenity impact on neighbours and the surrounding area. The council strongly opposed NBN's plan to make satellite communications services the default Internet medium for Napoleons in 2015. Frantz said the issue would be dealt with a matter of priority for local residents, businesses and the local community. Out of its eight applications, NBN secured six permits from the council.
The councilor said NBN was told several times that there are alternative locations for its towers that can achieve NBN requirements while minimizing amenity impact . Frantz added that “NBN's failure to consider or consult with Council or the Napoleons community on these alternative locations shows complete disregard for the cooperative approach required to build a strong and effective National Broadband Network."