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Why should SA regions wait for broadband?



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MEDIA RELEASE Senator Simon Birmingham Liberal Senator for South Australia Tuesday, 18 August 2008 Why should SA regions wait for broadband? Communications Minister Stephen Conroy needs to explain how he will provide broadband in a timely manner to underserved areas of regional South Australia, Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham said today. Senator Conroy is part of celebrations in Minlaton today for the Broadbanding the Yorke Peninsula project, funded by the Federal and State Governments as well as the District Council, Regional Development Board and Agile Communications. “The Yorke Peninsula community is to be congratulated for its efforts in securing broadband services to the area, gained with the support of the former Liberal Government” Senator Birmingham said today. “However, there are still too many parts of the state waiting to know when access to fast and reliable broadband will come, thanks to the Rudd Government’s shambolic efforts. “Labor cancelled the Howard Government-approved and $1 billion-backed OPEL WiMax network earlier this year, using questionable data to claim the project offered less coverage than promised, but has failed to come up with a timely alternative. “Nearly nine months after the election, Senator Conroy still can’t even explain what taxpayers will actually get for their $4.7 billion being spent on Labor’s National Broadband Network (NBN) or guarantee when they will get it. “While OPEL was to have delivered enhanced broadband services by the middle of 2009, the NBN is still nothing more than a shambolic and secretive tender process involving several broken deadline promises and significant estimated cost blow-outs. “It’s all very well for the Minister to join in celebrations for a local project supported by the former Liberal Government, but his time would be better spent addressing the needs of the thousands of people who will still be without broadband probably until 2013 at the earliest.” Media contact: Senator Birmingham 0404 807 970