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Confirmed: Labor's broadband stops at city limits.



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Warren Truss Leader of The Nationals Shadow Minister for Trade, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Federal Member for Wide Bay

M E D I A R E L E A S E

W o r k i n g h a r d , g e t t i n g r e s u l t s

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 0419 233989 / 02 6277 4482 paul.chamberlin@aph.gov.au www.nationals.org.au

27 November 2008

Confirmed: Labor’s broadband stops at city limits

Not one of the carriers bidding to build the National Broadband Network will meet the Government’s election commitment to deliver fibre to the node broadband to 98 percent of the Australian population.

The Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Warren Truss, said that at best under Labor, it will be many years before most of rural and regional Australia receives faster broadband.

At worst, they will never get it.

“The Government’s plan was fatally flawed from the start, and now every Australian can see what happens when a short-term political fix becomes telecommunications policy,” Mr Truss said.

“Labor said the following in August last year: ‘Only a Rudd Labor Government can guarantee regional Australia access to a world-class fibre-to-the-node broadband network.’

“The lie of that election commitment has now been confirmed with not a single bidder preparing to meet it. This is another broken election promise.

“In government, the Coalition began building a fast broadband network that would have given every Australian access to broadband that was quicker, cheaper and sooner than Labor promised. Labor cancelled the Opel contract and now has nothing to put in its place.

“The Coalition’s Australia Connected package used a mixture of proven technologies and would have been delivered in 2009, not 2013 - the absolute earliest under Labor.

“Labor’s attack on the regions’ telecommunications future has been further confirmed this week with legislation before Parliament scrapping the $2 billion Communications Fund, set up by the Coalition to future-proof services in country Australia,” Mr Truss said.