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Australian Broadband Guarantee continues to provide affordable broadband for all Australians.



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Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

Media Release

Media Contact: Katherine Meier 0417 441 141 www.minister.dcita.gov.au

117/07 Friday 24 August 2007

Australian Broadband Guarantee continues to provide affordable broadband for all Australians

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, today announced the commencement of the full program of the Australian Broadband Guarantee, part of the Government’s Australia Connected initiative.

“A range of internet service providers have been registered and are now participating in the program and I expect more registrations over the coming weeks.”

“Two-way satellite broadband packages are now available from registered providers for as little as $39.95 per month.”

Since 2004, the Government has been subsidising rural broadband resulting in over 1.5 million Australian households and small businesses gaining access to affordable broadband for the first time.

The $162.5 million Australian Broadband Guarantee continues to provide subsidised broadband services for the most remote and hard to reach places. This includes the one percent of Australian premises not covered by the new OPEL network.

“The Australian Broadband Guarantee has been designed to complement the roll-out of services under the new OPEL Network.

“The Australian Broadband Guarantee builds on the success of two previous broadband subsidy programs—the $878 million Broadband Connect program and the $160 million HiBIS program—and provides a real guarantee that all Australians will have access to a metro-comparable broadband service,” Senator Coonan said.

“This Government takes its responsibility for accountability and administration of public money very seriously. We have required all approved providers to meet a very high standard of financial viability and required that they are not solely dependent upon ongoing Government funding.

“I’m also announcing today there will be a further round of registrations with applications for registration closing on 30 September 2008,” Senator Coonan said.

Consumers also have access to BroadbandNow - a one-stop consumer help centre offering a broadband information service to all Australians. BroadbandNow has a dedicated website (www.broadbandnow.gov.au) and call centre to respond to enquiries. The BroadbandNow hotline can be accessed on 1800 883 488, Monday to Friday 8am-9pm EST.