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More affordable broadband in Mallee.

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Tuesday, 10 August 2010


North West Victoria will receive high speed and affordable broadband services years earlier under the Coalition’s national broadband plan, The Nationals Federal Member for Mallee John Forrest said.

“The Coalition’s comprehensive plan identifies and prioritises areas including in Mallee Electorate that are currently underserved,” Mr Forrest said.

“Under this plan 97 percent of Australian households will have access to affordable high speed broadband services by 2016, with the remaining three percent receiving an improved satellite service.”

The Coalition’s affordable and realistic broadband plan will commit:

• $750 million, including in the regions, for Fixed Broadband Optimisation to significantly increase the number of households which can receive a high speed telephone service. • Up to $1 billion in grant funding for new fixed wireless networks in rural and remote

Australia • Up to $1 billion in investment funding for new fixed wireless networks in metropolitan Australia, with an emphasis on outer metropolitan areas. • Grant funding of up to $700 million to support the provision of improved satellite

delivered broadband services to the last three percent of the population.

“The internet has transformed the way we communicate, the way we conduct business and the way a range of services are delivered particularly in health and education. Our region needs reliable access to broadband so we can also benefit from these improvements in technology,” Mr Forrest said.

“We can’t afford to wait eight years, which is how long it would take for Labor’s $43 billion tax-payer funded white elephant National Broadband Network (NBN) to take effect.

“Experts say that the cost of the NBN could blow out to nearly double and those in regional Australia are likely to end up with an inferior service as Labor racks up more debt and runs out of money for its reckless, unrealistic scheme.

“The Coalition’s plan combines the best mix of optical fibre, wireless, DSL and satellite technology to deliver services sooner, providing real benefits where they are needed,” he said.

“Today’s announcement also includes a number of commitments to improving basic telecommunications services with $30 million available to address mobile phone coverage blackspots.

“There is also a commitment to strengthen the Universal Service Obligation for basic telecommunication services, as recommended by the Glasson Review,” Mr Forrest said.

Mr Forrest can be contacted on 0428 500 186.