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Announcement of the three year rollout of the NBN: speech, Sydney

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Announc ement of th e th ree y ear rollout of th e NB N, Sy dney

THU 29 MARCH 2012

Prime Minister

Thank you very much to NICTA for showing me and Minister Conroy and Minister Albanese the applications of the National B roadband Network.

It really has been an insight into the full power of this technology, whether you’re at home, whether you’re at work, whether you’re managing a supply chain globally or whether you are trying to get goods to market in Australia, so thank you very much for that.

And both Stephen Conroy and Anthony Albanese are very pleased to be here too.

As many of you would be aware, I have recently been in K orea and I had the opportunity when I was there to visit Gyeseong Catholic Girls’ School and to be on a link up with students who were in Armidale.

And watching those two groups of students talk to each other and explain things about each other' s nations, but watching the power of that education experience reinforced in me that I do not want to see our nation left behind.

I do not want to see nations around the world like K orea have the benefit of a broadband network and to see Australia fall behind the standards of the world.

And so, I am here today to say very clearly that whilst our 100 year old copper telephone network has served us well, it cannot deliver the broadband we need for the future.

And if we don' t move as a nation to the National B roadband Network, then we will see choked off the economic possibilities of the future and we will see choked off the service delivery possibilities of the future.

We have to move on and we have to move to the National B roadband Network.

This is going to bring a different way of working and living to Australian households, Australian small businesses, to hospitals, to schools, to technical and further education institutions, to universities, to regional centres, to our capital cities.

It is going to be make a difference for everyone around the nation. And in terms of our economy, we know that every 10 percentage point increase in broadband penetration delivers in the order of a 1.3 per cent one-off growth boost to the economy.

So, because we recognise the need to switch on to the future and the power of the National B roadband Network, I am very pleased to be here today with Mike Quigley, the head of the National B roadband Network Company, to release the three year roll-out plan for Australia' s National B roadband Network.

Now this is a plan that sets out the communities across Australia which will either be connected to, or are in the process of being connected to, high speed broadband fibre by mid 2015.

We are announcing today that more than 3.5 million homes, businesses, schools and hospitals will be getting access to the NB N in the next three years. And where are these?

Well, over one million premises will be covered right here in New South Wales - from Campbelltown in Sydney' s west, to Gosford and Coffs Harbour up north. Here in New South Wales, it’s full steam ahead with the NB N.

Around 700,000 premises in Victoria will be covered, around 680,000 premises in Queensland, 430,000 premises in Western Australia, 330,000 premises in South Australia, 65,000 premises in the Northern Territory and over 200,000 premises in Tasmania.

This three year plan covers about one third of all the homes and businesses across our nation. It’s going to be a fundamental change to regional and suburban economies.

And there will be direct jobs as the construction reaches its peak around 400 work teams, employing more than 16,000 workers, will be installing fibre optic cable to an average of 6,000 premises per week.

Now that direct jobs benefit is very important, as well as the economic potential being unleashed by the NB N.

So for example, to take a great state like Tasmania, which got the NB N first, which is where the National B roadband Network went first.

We know in Tasmania its economy is in transition, so Tasmania will see the benefit of more jobs today and it will also see more quickly than anywhere else, the ability of the NB N to transform Tasmania' s economy for the future, an economy in which traditional industries like sustainable forestry will still employ people, but where we will see people employed in new industries as well.

High speed broadband is simply going to revolutionise the way Australians teach and learn, the way we diagnose and cure and the way we do business.

In this new world, you have to make the big decisions that shape the future.

And the Government is doing this through our roll-out of the National B roadband Network.

The choice for Australia is very stark. It’s a choice between embracing the future or standing still.

It’s a choice between broadband or no broadband.

We have made that choice and I am very pleased to be here to announce the three-year roll-out of the NB N.

Thank you very much.

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