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Labor's broadband failure felt locally.



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Margaret May MP

Federal Member for McPherson Shadow Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

3 December 2008

LABOR’S BROADBAND FAILURE FELT LOCALLY

Despite its overblown broadband election promises the Rudd Labor Government has delivered nothing for the southern Gold Coast with its plan for a National Broadband Network (NBN) in tatters Margaret May MP said today.

Labor promised it would select a network builder for its broadband network within six months of coming to office. Most significantly, it promised to start construction before the end off 2008 and claimed the first services would come online soon after.

“These fundamental commitments have been broken and there are widespread concerns that construction will not even commence next year, if at all,” Margaret said.

“Labor promised it would deliver a fibre-to-the node network which would service 98 per cent of Australian households and businesses. Even those that have lodged bids under Labor’s troubled tender process say this is simply not possible.

The Rudd Labor Government has committed up to $4.7 billion of taxpayers money for this project, but Telstra for one says taxpayers would need to stump up an incredible $15 billion if the promise was to be ever delivered.

“Ignoring these realities, Labor re-affirmed its promise to roll out a fibre network to 98 per cent of Australians within five years again on 27 November.

“To make Labor’s failures worse is the fact the former Coalition Government had a firm plan to deliver affordable and high-speed broadband services to the entire population by the middle of 2009.

“The Rudd Government inexplicably cancelled this project despite having no alternative to it. Now the people of rural and regional Australia are left hoping they might see benefits from the NBN sometime over the next five or more years.

“Every week another resident calls my office to complain they are unable to receive suitable broadband at their home in Varsity Lakes, Mudgeeraba or Burleigh.

“Labor’s broadband plans were nothing more than a cruel and cynical hoax designed to get it through an election campaign,” Margaret said.

Ends

Media Contact Amelia Walsh (07) 5525 0688 or 0415 660 251