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Reality vs fantasy on broadband.

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Media Contact Paul Chamberlin mob 0419 233 989 ph 02 6277 4482

14 August 2010

Reality vs Fantasy on Broadband The debate between the Coalition and Labor on broadband policy is really a debate between reality and fantasy, Nationals’ Leader Warren Truss said today.

Labor’s $43 billion proposal for a National Broadband Network (NBN) is pure fantasy and will never be delivered under the current Labor Government.

“The Coalition’s plan will deliver high-speed broadband to regional Australians faster and in a more affordable way than Labor’s pipedream, which is presently only serving 70 people in Tasmania,” Mr Truss said.

“We have put forward an affordable plan to deliver high-speed services to regional Australia years ahead of any alternative.

Our plan includes:

$1 billion of funding for rural and remote broadband wireless networks $750 million for Fixed Broadband Optimisation $700 million to support improved satellite broadband services $2.75 billion investment to create a nation-wide fibre-optic backbone which

will leverage significant investment from the private sector.

“Under the Coalition’s scheme 97 percent of Australian households will receive high-speed broadband - between 10 and 100 times faster than current services.

“We’ve put regional Australia first - ensuring that the towns and centres most in need are first in line to receive new services, unlike Labor’s typical cities first approach.”

Mr Truss said in the unlikely event that Labor delivered on its NBN commitment, access to the full capacity broadband system would be completely out of reach for ordinary Australians, particularly households in regional areas.

“Very few people in regional Australia would be able to connect to Labor’s fibre network, meaning they would still need to use wireless or satellite to deliver high-speed services.

“I’ve been amazed that some people think, from Labor’s spin, that their broadband service will be free under the NBN.

“The reality is it will be charged at a cost-recovery basis. According to industry experts the NBN high-speed service could cost many hundreds of dollars per month, and this is completely unaffordable for the average Australian.

Media Contact Paul Chamberlin mob 0419 233 989 ph 02 6277 4482

“The Coalition has presented a realistic proposal to the Australian people that would deliver high-speed services at an affordable price, within the current range of $30 - $100 per month.

“Our plan is fully flexible and can accommodate future changes in technology, unlike Labor’s prescriptive approach to one form of technology.”

To determine the likelihood of Labor delivering on this promise, Mr Truss suggested people look at Labor’s record in government.

“They promised 2,650 Trade Training Centres, they’ve delivered 22.

“They promised 260 child care centres, they have delivered only four that are operational.

“They promised 970,000 laptops in schools and have delivered about a third.

“On August 21 I urge all regional Australians to choose a realistic plan for the future that will deliver real action on broadband,” Mr Truss said.