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Monday, 23 October 2017
Page: 11519


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:15): My question is to the Prime Minister. We are now in the fifth year of this government and for years the Prime Minister has made a choice, first as communications minister and now as Prime Minister, to build a second-rate copper NBN instead of a first-rate fibre NBN. When will the Prime Minister stop blaming everybody else and finally take some responsibility for the system he's been in charge of for years and years?

Mrs Sudmalis interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Gilmore will cease interjecting.

Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McEwen is warned. The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:16): The Leader of the Opposition and his communications spokesman—neither of them understand the technologies for the NBN at all. Let's deal with some facts. Had the coalition continued with fibre to the premises, as proposed by Labor, it would have taken six to eight years longer and $30 billion more. That means people who had no broadband would have been waiting for many years longer to get it and the cost of providing it would obviously have been much higher because the capital cost would be greater. The big advantage of fibre to the premises is that it can carry a higher line speed. That's the deal. That's the proposition.

Let me make this observation. NBN now knows what Australians are prepared to pay for. Seventy nine per cent of people on fibre to the premises order speeds of 25 megabits per second or less, 87 per cent of those on fibre to the node order speeds of 25 megabits or less, 77 per cent of those on hybrid fibre coax order speeds of 25 megs or less and the same pattern is true with fixed wireless and fibre to the basement. So the whole premise of the fibre-to-the-premises argument by the Labor Party has been comprehensively disproved by what the public are prepared to do and use. It was a folly the way the Labor Party set it up, and we are sorting it out.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: I caution those members who have been warned. It might be only Monday, but they will not defy my earlier warnings. They know who they are. And I say to the member for McEwen, who is the second Deputy Speaker—I mention him most days—that I think today is a good day for a rostered day off. The member for Indi has the call.