NBN network

The federal coalition will deliver a faster, better, cheaper national broadband network (NBN) to all Australians if it wins government, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says.

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Mr Abbott launched the coalition’s broadband policy in Sydney on Tuesday with communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull.

"We believe in a national broadband network," Mr Abbott told reporters.
"We will deliver a better NBN."

Mr Abbott said if the coalition won government this year, users would be able to access a minimum download speed of 25 megabits per second (mps) by the end of its first term.

If it won a second term, the minimum speed would increase to 50mps for the vast majority of households.

While 25mps is about five times better than Australians get now, it’s still well down on the average 100mps being promised by Labor.

But Mr Abbott said rolling out fibre optic cable to the node – or street corner – rather than all the way to the home or business as Labor would do, would be cheaper.

"We will build fibre to the node and that eliminates two thirds of the cost," Mr Abbott said.

"So we will be able to do this for under $30 billion, compared to the over $90 billion it will cost the National Broadband Network (under Labor)."

Mr Abbott also announced plans for three inquiries, including a commercial review to be completed within 60 days of the coalition winning office into how quickly the NBN builder can meet coalition objectives.

There would also an audit into Labor’s NBN "mess" and an independent study into Australia’s broadband future needs, which would include a cost benefit analysis.

Under the coalition’s plan, the NBN rollout would be completed by the end of 2019, instead of the current deadline of 2021.

Priority would be given to areas with the poorest broadband services today.

The coalition also says basic broadband plans will "always" be more affordable.

It projects prices would be $24 cheaper per month by 2021 than Labor’s projected NBN prices.

But in areas where there was very strong need for high broadband speeds – such as business centres, educational centres, hospitals and new housing estates – there would be fibre-to-the-premise services.

Mr Abbott also said the coalition planned to sell the network to the private sector once it was ready.

Mr Turnbull said the government shouldn’t be building the NBN, when everywhere else such projects were being created by the private sector.

But he acknowledged that if the coalition won government it would inherit network builder NBN Co and would have to work with it.

He said the government had wasted billion of dollars that could not be recovered, but the coalition would save money.

The coalition says its plan will cost $29.5 billion.

Story source: www.ninemsn.com.au

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