Minister hits back in online row

CLAIMS smaller communities would miss out on the higher internet speeds provided by the national broadband network are wrong, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy said yesterday.

Senator Conroy was hitting back at a report in the NewsMail yesterday that said communities with fewer than 1000 people would not get the broadband service.

“The national broadband network (NBN) initiative will deliver high speed broadband to all premises in Australia, no matter where they are located,” Senator Conroy said..

“Under the National Broadband Network, 90% of premises will be connected with Fibre-to-the-Premises technology providing speeds of 100Mbps.

“The remaining 10% will receive next generation wireless and satellite technologies that will deliver 12 Mbps or more.

“The NBN is not a quick fix for an election, it is a solution for the long-term benefit of the country, including our rural and regional areas.”

But Hinkler member Paul Neville said the government had itself announced that anyone living in a community of fewer than 1000 people would not have access to internet speeds of 100Mbps.

“(Residents of small towns) will be left lagging behind with a system that only runs at 12 megabits,” he said.

“The minister simply does not appreciate that communications infrastructure is just as critical to the livelihood and lifestyle of people outside metropolitan Australia as to those in our cities.”



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