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National Broadband Network Safety Concerns

Friday, April 23, 2010

Network activity across the state was stopped for about two weeks in March.   This stoppage is due to fears over the Federal Government's National Broadband Network has been hit with safety problems, with construction suspended in Tasmania after a worker received an electric shock.

Mike Quigley, the head of the NBN Co which is installing the network, has revealed a man working on the pilot project received the electric shock from a power pole.

The project had to be shut down for almost two weeks and now hundreds of workers are being educated about workplace safety.

The future of the NBN is also looking grim should a Coalition Government get in, with Tony Abbott promising to scrap it.

At a lunch to an audience of builders and engineers in Sydney, Mr Quigley was pitching the new high-speed network as a nation building project.

But building for the nation is not always safe and the NBN's pilot project, which started in Tasmania, has already hit a hurdle.

In March, two men were injured in the roll out of the fibre optic cables, and one suffered an electric shock.

"I think it was related to an insulator on a pole," Mr Quigley said.

It came when the Rudd Government was under heavy attack for its insulation program, and Mr Quigley says he was only too aware of the political sensitivities.

"Any doubts [about safety], we stop," he said.

"[The Government] didn't need to tell us. I know how important this is."

Reported by ABC News



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