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Turnbull broadband plan still an illusion

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Turnbull broadband plan still an illusion

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today called for the third month in a row for the Coalition to come clean on their broadband plans.

“In the first three months of 2012 Mr Turnbull has made 479 tweets, issued 9 press releases and delivered 4 public speeches. In that time he has only provided one piece of policy detail - to buy back Telstra‟s copper, at an unspecified cost.

“Yet when the Gillard Government announced last week its first 3 year rollout plan to build NBN fibre to 3.5 million premises over 1500 communities, the Coalition rushed to say they will deliver broadband also.

“But where is the Coalition Broadband plan? Malcolm Turnbull gave one speech in August last year, but since then he has continued his negative campaign and not provided an actual broadband policy.

“There is no Broadband Policy document. There is no funding commitment. And no-one else in the Shadow Cabinet is saying anything about the „Turnbull plan‟,” Senator Conroy said.

“Instead his coalition partners continue to call for fibre to the home in regional Australia, while his leader keeps saying that investment in 21st century broadband is a waste.

“The Coalition needs to come clean - what is their actual policy, what technology do they propose to use and what will it cost.”

“The Gillard Government has committed to making high-speed broadband available to every one of the 11 million homes in Australia by 2021. Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition need to tell Australians how they would achieve the same outcome, if not through the NBN.”

Date: 4 April 2012

Senator Conroy’s Office: 02 6277 7480

Questions Mr Turnbull still won’t answer...


 How much will his network cost?  How will he achieve the structural separation of Telstra?  Who supports his contention that Telstra will not require additional payment for nationalising the copper?

 How does he cost a network with a capital cost of $35B at $50B?


 How many FTTN nodes does he plan to build?  What percentage of households will be served by which technology - FTTN, HFC, wireless?  What does he really think the future requirements for bandwidth are in Australia?  When does he expect his network will need to be replaced by FTTH (he calls it a migration


 What satellites does he plan to use to deliver broadband beyond the reach of wireless?


 How will he ensure comprehensive broadband availability through his hit and miss approach?  Does he support his leader‟s belief that everyone is happy with wireless?  Does he support the National Party view that fibre to the home is the right solution? Does he support their target of 50% fibre to the home for regional Australia?

 What he will actually do for the year it will take the Productivity Commission to subject his plan to a Cost Benefit Analysis?  How much will his „voucher‟ system for regional Australia cost? How much dearer are „comparable‟ regional prices to metropolitan prices?  When will his plan be submitted to shadow cabinet for funding approval?