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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11544


Mr LAMING (Bowman) (13:40): There is no doubt that, all around the gallery, all around Australia, people want faster internet connection, and it is fascinating that Geoff Horth, the chief executive of the M2 Group—soon to be the fourth-biggest telecommunications company in Australia—has come out today and said, 'Go steady and stick with fibre to the node':

"The reality is that a fibre-to-the-node deployment in time gives us a chance to go to fibre-to-the-premise if we think it is justified," he said. "[Connecting premises directly with fibre] would absolutely take longer to connect—there's no way they could build fibre to the premise at the rate they're proposing to build fibre to the node.

"NBN has been pretty good in the last 12 months and they have definitely got better timeliness and its provisioning has improved so we've definitely got more confidence in its capacity to deliver than we ever had."

Those are clear words from the telco—whose subsidiaries include Dodo and iPrimus—that they want fibre to the node. Why is that? It is because you put one $25,000 box on a footpath, and 200 houses lose their black spot and get speeds of 25 megabits per second. When we connect families, 90 per cent of them want the cheapest plan. They do not want the gold-plated plan. They say, 'I'll take the cheapest plan, please.' People hate black spots, but they do not need gold-plated solutions paid for by someone else—because ultimately we know it is the taxpayer who pays. In my area of Redlands, we want to see no more black spots. We are not going to wait six to eight years for a Labor slow plan. We want it done in the next two to three years. That is precisely what the coalition will deliver, with the best technology around the world deployed right here.