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First services for National Broadband Network.

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First services for National Broadband Network

Julia Gillard,Stephen Conroy posted Thursday, 12 August 2010

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today officially launched the first commercial services on the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Midway Point, Tasmania.

The Tasmanian communities of Midway Point, Scottsdale and Smithton are the first in Australia to have access to fibre to the premise on the NBN.

The Prime Minister and Senator Conroy were joined by Innovation Minister, Kim Carr, Member for Lyons, Dick Adams and Member for Franklin, Julie Collins who have been strong advocates of the rollout in Tasmania.

Three internet services providers - iiNet, Internode and iPrimus - are offering commercial services in these communities, offering introductory prices as low as $29.95 per month for 25 megabits per second, and $59.95 per month for 100 megabits per second.

Super fast broadband is the economic infrastructure the Australian economy and Australian businesses need for the future.

A re-elected Gillard Labor Government is committed to building the National Broadband Network which will deliver affordable, high speed broadband services to all Australians, no matter where they live or work.

Federal Labor today also welcomed the announcement from NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley that the network will be capable of offering turbo-charged speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, which is 1,000 times faster than many people receive now.

NBN Co announced today that Australia’s network would have the capacity to provide these speeds over optical fibre technology, following its consultations with broadband retailers.

Gigabit broadband speeds will be especially beneficial for businesses, doctor’s surgeries and medical clinics, schools and universities, all of who require greater bandwidth for things like multiple video conferencing, helping them drive productivity growth and create the jobs of the future.

NBN Co has today announced that while the optical fibre technology has always been capable of speeds above 100 megabits per second, the ongoing engineering work of the company has only recently confirmed that 1 gigabit per second can be offered as a wholesale product.

To illustrate the power of gigabit speeds: the time that it would take one classroom to download a high definition documentary falls from 5 hours to around 20 seconds.

There are also many longer term business applications of such network capability, such as,

allowing multiple doctors at a medical centre to download and transmit x-rays simultaneously.

NBN Co’s announcement shows that optical fibre has virtually unlimited capacity and cannot be matched by old copper wires or pay TV cables.

A consequence of NBN Co’s announcement today is that there will be a stronger incentive for retail service providers to offer broadband plans with less restrictive or no download caps or limits.

Currently, Australian retail broadband plans have monthly download caps and once they are reached, people are restricted to even slower internet for the rest of the month.

NBN Co’s fibre network will have virtually limitless capacity and less restrictive download caps under the NBN will be a win for families and a win for businesses.

Tony Abbott and the Liberal-National Coalition have announced they will shut down the NBN and leave Australia lagging behind countries like Japan and Korea.

Mr Abbott and the Coalition need to explain why they will deny all remaining towns and communities across Tasmania superfast broadband.

The broadband policy from Tony Abbott and the Coalition is about old copper wires and cannot be upgraded in the future like optical fibre.

It would create a thin patchwork quilt of last century technologies condemning the nation to productivity bottlenecks. Tony Abbott and the Coalition cannot be trusted to make the decisions necessary to build a modern Australian economy.

Tony Abbott’s policy would relegate Australia to the digital dark ages, destroy jobs and risk our economy for decades and our nation deserves better. He lacks the judgement to be Prime Minister.

Tags: Abbott, Australia, Broadband, Gillard, Labor, NBN