Labor’s Spokesperson for Regional Communications, Stephen Jones has slammed Senator Fiona Nash’s assertion that regional Australians don’t need access to the same internet speeds as our major cities.
The Productivity Commission has today identified access to the NBN as critical for regional and remote communities:
The National Broadband Network, for example, is Australia’s largest infrastructure project. The uniform pricing strategy adopted for broadband services across regions is aimed at significantly narrowing the digital divide between rural, regional and urban Australia. Broadband is a fundamental enabler of distant trade in goods and services, allowing non-urban communities to find new markets in Australia and overseas.
For the Federal Minister for Regional Communications to sell regional Australia short like this is astounding.
Regional Australians should not be treated like second class citizens in Australia’s digital economy – but under the Turnbull Government, that’s exactly what is happening.
The Coalition’s second rate “copper” NBN is a disaster for regional Australia
It is a far cry from the fibre optic NBN that Labor had planned for.
Labor’s fibre optic NBN would have delivered an equivalent service to all regional towns with more than 1,000 premises and the cities – to 93% of Australia.
Labor committed over $12 billion in investment to bring better broadband to regional Australia through the NBN, yet so much of this has been wasted by the Turnbull Government.
This sentiment is shared by the experts.
At this week’s Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband, Professor Rod Tucker elaborated on his description of the copper NBN as a national tragedy, and said by the time the NBN roll out is complete; the technology will already be obsolete.
Further, Associate Professor Mark Gregory told the Committee that the government’s decision to roll out copper FTTN technology could have wiped about 50 percent of the value of the NBN, and that it was vital for regional Australia to have FTTP technology.
Regional communities deserve communications that are fit for the future, rather than entrenching a network that excludes country Australian’s from the digital economy.
Senator Nash should be demanding the same access for the bush. It’s her job.