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Real action on broadband.



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Authorised and printed by Brian Loughnane for the Liberal Party of Australia Cnr Blackall and Macquarie Sts BARTON ACT 2600

Media Release

The Hon Tony Smith MP

Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications And The Digital Economy Federal Member for Casey

The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction Federal Member for Goldstein

Tuesday, 10 August

REAL ACTION ON BROADBAND

Australians need fast, reliable and affordable broadband services - and the Coalition will take real action to deliver them over an affordable high-speed broadband network using the best mix of optical fibre, HFC, wireless, DSL and satellite.

The Coalition’s plan will deliver uniform nationwide availability of high speed broadband.

By 2016 Australia will achieve a national broadband baseline, under which 97 percent of premises are able to be served by high-speed networks capable of delivering from 100 Mbps down to a minimum of 12 Mbps peak speed, using a combination of technologies including HFC, DSL, and fixed wireless.

We will emphasise affordable broadband , with all such premises wherever they are in Australia able to receive services at prices comparable to those for similar services in metropolitan Australia.

There will also be improved satellite delivered broadband services for the last three per cent.

The Coalition will cancel Labor’s reckless and expensive National Broadband Network. The NBN would be a $43 billion taxpayer funded white elephant. It would do nothing to deliver lower prices -it just substitutes one monopoly for another.

The NBN gives no priority to those who do not get an adequate service today - in fact Labor’s plan leaves them waiting up to eight years before they see a change.

Instead of creating a new inefficient Government run monopoly, the Coalition’s plan will stimulate a vibrant, private sector-based broadband market, with Government involved to encourage competition and ensure services reach all Australians.

Central to the Coalition’s plan is a $2.75 billion investment (with the expectation of leveraging at least $750 million in additional private sector funding) to create a nation-wide competitive fibre optic ‘backbone’ by 2017.

This will ensure two lanes of ‘backhaul’ fibre each accessible to any telecommunications company to provide multi-technology broadband.

Authorised and printed by Brian Loughnane for the Liberal Party of Australia Cnr Blackall and Macquarie Sts BARTON ACT 2600

Our backhaul plan will ensure lasting competition and stimulate new private sector broadband networks being built to connect with the new competitive backhaul network.

In addition the Coalition will legislate to allow the ACCC to set access pricing to support broadband competition.

In total the Coalition’s plan will provide up to $6.315 billion over seven years in grant and investment funding to stimulate the build of new access and backhaul networks.

Our plan will serve the priority areas quickly. We will identify the areas where Australians are underserved - particularly outer metropolitan areas and rural and remote areas - and ‘fill those gaps’ as quickly as possible by committing:

o $750 million for Fixed Broadband Optimisation to significantly increase the number of households which can receive a DSL service or high speed equivalent. o Up to $1 billion in grant funding for new fixed wireless networks in rural and remote Australia. o Up to $1 billion in investment funding for new fixed wireless networks in metropolitan

Australia, with an emphasis on outer metropolitan areas.

We will also provide grant funding of $700 million to support the provision of improved satellite delivered broadband services to the last three percent of the population.

All networks funded under our plan will be open access networks. Access prices will be set under the telecommunications access regime administered by the ACCC.

Unlike Labor’s approach, the Coalition’s plan is not prescriptive about technology. Based on industry trends and consultation, we expect that wireless networks will play a central part - and we have provided sufficient funding to roll out wireless networks to achieve our stated objectives.

However our competitive selection process will be open to other technologies if the coverage, price and open access requirements are met.

Our plan will establish a commercial and technical platform for much greater fibre penetration over coming years, particularly by stimulating demand for broadband services and in turn stimulating investment by the private sector (building on government contributions such as new and more competitively priced backhaul.)

The Coalition will establish a National Broadband Commission (NBC) to implement our broadband plan.

The NBC will build and publish a detailed National Broadband Database.

Funding for the Coalition’s broadband plan will commence in our first year in government, and we will invest almost $2 billion in the forward estimates period.

Unlike Labor’s approach, the Coalition’s broadband plan is fully costed and funded, and over 80% is on budget.

This is a financially responsible broadband plan - which will deliver a baseline of high speed broadband around Australia using a mix of technologies, but without exposing taxpayers to many billions of dollars of debt to fund a highly risky commercial venture.

Media Contact: Andrew Cox, 0427 460 063 Cameron Hill, 0408 239 521