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Cowper to benefit from faster Broadband services.



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Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Email:greg.pierce@aph.gov.au Canberra: 62 77 4447

Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper

MEDIA RELEASE

June 18, 2007

Cowper to benefit from faster Broadband services

The Nationals Federal Member for Cowper, Mr Luke Hartsuyker MP, said today the residents of Cowper will be big winners following the Australian Government’s launch of Australia Connected.

“The centrepiece of Australia Connected is the immediate rollout of a new competitive state of the art broadband network that will extend high speed services to 99 per cent of the population and provide speeds of 12 megabits per second by 2009.

“This landmark funding initiative will enable high speed broadband coverage across the entire electorate of Cowper so that everyone living and working in the electorate will, over the next two years, have access to fast affordable broadband for the first time,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The Australian Government will spend $958 million on this new network and this funding will be complemented by $917 million from the network builder OPEL—a joint venture between Optus and Elders.”

“Everyone in Cowper can benefit from the Australia Connected initiative including those working in our hospitals and schools, families who use the Internet to keep in touch with loved ones, and our business people who use it to contact their customers and suppliers and to find new markets for their product.

“In the electorate of Cowper seven exchanges will be upgraded to very fast ADSL 2 + broadband and 18 new wireless broadband sites (WiMAX) will be built in the region,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

ADSL2+ (up to 20Mbps)—Very fast broadband updated from basic ADSL will be rolled out to the following exchanges:

• Macksville

• Maclean

• Nambucca Heads • Sawtell

• South West Rocks • Kempsey

• Woolgoolga

Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33. Mobile 0408 532 785 Email: greg.pierce@aph.gov.au Canberra: 6277 4447

Wireless broadband sites (12Mbps)—WiMAX will be rolled out in the following areas:

Bellingen, Brooms Head, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Macksville, Maclean, Megan, Minnie Water, Grafton, Nambucca Heads, South West Rocks, Tyndale, Ulong, Urunga, Woolgoolga

Australia Connected is a three part proposal and contains the following elements:

• A new national high speed wholesale network: the awarding of a $600 million competitive grant which will deliver a mix of fibre optic, ADSL2+ and wireless to rural and regional areas. This rollout has been boosted with an additional $358 million funding extension;

• A new commercial fibre optic network: facilitating a fibre build in cities and larger regional centres via a competitive bids process and subsequent legislation; and

• Australian Broadband Guarantee: a program providing subsidised broadband for very remote locations (the remaining one per cent of the population) that may not be covered by the new regional network.

“Today’s announcement is further demonstration of the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring fast affordable broadband services for all Australians—regardless of where they live,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“Furthermore, the Australian Broadband Guarantee will ensure the remaining one per cent of Australians are not left behind with a per customer subsidy of up to $2750 to ensure remote broadband access.

“The Australian Government has also launched BroadbandNow - a one stop consumer help centre with telephone and web information. The service will help consumers understand the technology options available to them and provide ready information about how to get connected.”

BroadbandNow will begin from 1 July and the first Australia Connected OPEL broadband network services will be switched on from September 2007.

“Unlike Labor’s uncosted and poorly detailed proposal, this new super fast network is fully costed, affordable and will be rolled out immediately Australia wide. Labor’s plan is for a five-year rollout and Australians simply can’t afford to wait until 2013 for Labor’s broadband plan to be turned on.

“I am confident that the Australian Government has got the balance right and that this new network will deliver an enormous productivity boost to the electorate of Cowper,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

Ends