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Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Page: 139


(Question No. 452)

Mr Ramsey asked the Minister representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, in writing, on 5 July 2011:

(1) Is the Minister aware that the town of Streaky Bay in SA has a population in excess of 1000 people and yet according to the NBN Co. Limited website, is not designated to receive a fibre broadband service.

(2) Is the Minister aware that Streaky Bay is not designated to receive a wireless broadband service and that instead, the residents and businesses of this town are expected to access a satellite broadband service.

(3) Can the Minister explain why the Government's commitment to providing a fibre broadband service to towns with populations in excess of 1000 is not being met in the case of Streaky Bay.

(4) Why are the towns of Wudinna and Cummins, being significant centres and both adjacent to optic fibre cables, not designated to receive a fibre broadband service.

Mr Albanese: The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

The Government's objective is that NBN Co's fibre network cover 93 per cent of Australian homes, schools and work places. The indicator of where the fibre network is expected to be rolled out is 1,000 premises, not 1,000 people as suggested in the question.

All premises beyond the 93 per cent fibre footprint will be served by a combination of next-generation fixed-wireless and satellite technologies providing peak speeds of 12 megabits per second. These platforms will provide customers with significantly improved service with average data rates higher than most users of these technologies experience today in metropolitan areas and certainly higher than the current average DSL speeds.

NBN Co is considering proposals to extend the fibre to the premises coverage in some locations if external funding—such as from state or local governments—can be provided to offset the incremental costs.