TelSoc vice-president Laurie Patton said the “massive” staff cuts was exactly what NBN Co - the operators of the National Broadband Network - should not be doing, and called instead for the company to begin “the replacement of millions of inferior connections”.
“They need to retain staff to do this,” Patton said in a statement issued on Thursday.
As iTWire reported, as the COVID-19 pandemic surges again, NBN Co has announced it would be sacking 800 employees before the end of the year, telling its staff on Wednesday that numbers would fall from 6300 to 5500.
Patton notes that TelSoc has previously called on the Federal Government to provide additional funding so that NBN Co is able to “fast-track the repairs needed to the fixed-line broadband network”.
“Funding the inevitable rebuild would not only help the millions of NBN customers struggling with a slow and unreliable service it would provide employment to people retrenched due to the Coronavirus”, Patton said.
“While NBN Co chair Dr Ziggy Switkowski has declared ‘Mission Accomplished’ only seven million of the 11 million premises ‘passed’ by the NBN have so far been signed up.
“This is indicative of a lack of community confidence in the project. It is also adversely affecting revenues and limiting the ability to fix problematic connections without additional government funding.”
Patton said the Government should instruct NBN Co to produce and publish a strategic plan for the short, medium and long term.
“They need to provide evidence that we can have confidence that they have a roadmap leading to the provision of 21st Century broadband to the entire country”, Patton concluded.