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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6726

Ms Marino asked the Minister representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, in writing, on 11 March 2010:

By what date will the National Broadband Network be rolled out in the electoral division of Forrest, and what are the names of the towns that will be excluded.

Mr Albanese (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) —The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

The Government’s commitment in establishing the National Broadband Network is to provide all Australians with affordable high speed broadband, no matter where they live. No towns will be excluded.

The Government’s objective is to connect at least 90 per cent of premises with fibre to the premises technology providing speeds up to 100 megabits per second, with the remaining premises being connected via next generation wireless and satellite technologies delivering 12 megabits per second or more.

Detailed modeling undertaken as part of the NBN Implementation Study shows fibre can be extended to 93 per cent of all premises and recommends it also cover the 1.3 million new premises expected to be build by 2017-18, within the total capital cost estimate of $43 billion. This would extend the fibre coverage to an additional 1.6 million premises.

The Implementation Study also shows that next generation wireless services will be a vast improvement on current services. They will deliver peak speeds of at least 12 Mbps, and much higher for many wireless users. Satellite services will deliver average data rates which are more than 20 times higher than most users of these technologies experience today and much higher than average DSL usage today.

The Government is currently considering the Study and its recommendations.

It is not yet possible to provide details of when the electorate of Forrest will be connected to the National Broadband Network, or which technology will provide such access. Detailed rollout plans are the responsibility of NBN Co as part of its network design and roll out and announcements will be made in due course. The rollout in Tasmania, the rollout of the first release sites on the mainland and the construction of optical fibre backbone links are already underway and will feed into the schedule.

Given the scale and complexity of a project like this, the rollout will be meticulous and comprehensive. It is crucial that we get it right and that’s why learning from the rollout in Tasmania, and with the First Release sites, will be so important.