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Coalition breaks election promise on broadband

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Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Member for Grayndler



The Coalition has today broken its promise to roll out fibre broadband where work is already underway, with the release of the Government’s interim statement of expectations for NBN Co.

The Coalition’s broadband policy states that "value for money for taxpayers will come from completing work already underway".

But Mr Turnbull has today broken that promise.

NBN Co’s statement of expectations says: In regard to rollout in brownfield areas, NBN Co should continue existing construction where build instructions have been issued to delivery partners.

Any further build or remediation instructions should not ordinarily be issued pending further analysis and discussion.

This confirms that people can’t be certain they will get fibre connected direct to their home or business unless physical NBN construction has already commenced in their area.

That potentially means 645,000 premises, where construction is already underway for the fibre rollout, will be left to rely on last century’s copper for their broadband.

This includes people living in Tasmania, who were assured before the election that the Coalition would complete the full fibre rollout in that state.

This is a betrayal of Tasmania and all Australians who thought they would be getting fibre to the home under the Coalition.

Before the election, Malcolm Turnbull also promised that his strategic review of NBN Co would take place 60 days after becoming the Minister.

But because he has effectively sacked the NBN Co board, this review will only be completed 60 days once a new board and management team is in place.

This inauspicious start does not auger well for Australia’s broadband future.

24 September 2013 Contact: Adam Sims 0408 258 457