Labor’s Spokesperson for Regional Communications, Stephen Jones, has today congratulated Newcastle City Council for its strong efforts and dedication to create a digitally connected city. However, it shouldn’t be left up to Newcastle City Council to bring in super-fast broadband.

Before the last election, the Liberals’ promised superfast broadband for all Australians by 2016. The Turnbull Government has failed to deliver on that promise.

Not only is the Turnbull Government’s NBN behind schedule, but it relies on inferior copper cabling and outdated Fibre-To-The-Node technology.

People in Newcastle deserve better.

Stephen Jones met with Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Federal Member Sharon Claydon in Newcastle today for a briefing on Council’s Smart City Strategy which includes full-fibre broadband in the inner city.

"Newcastle City Council should be congratulated for its dedication to bringing in full-fibre broadband in the inner city", Mr Jones said.

"The Turnbull Government’s decision to use outdated copper Fibre-To-The-Node technology has been an utter disaster for regional Australia.

"Labor’s Fibre-To-The-Premises NBN would have been the single greatest enabler of productivity, jobs and growth for cities like Newcastle but Mr Turnbull decided to go with an inferior copper network that can barely keep up with today’s needs – let alone tomorrow’s."

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon also said the council should be congratulated for taking the initiative but slammed the NBN rollout.

"Having the right digital infrastructure will be critical to Newcastle’s long-term social and economic transition. How on earth can we expect to build a prosperous 21st century city on 19th-century technology?," Ms Claydon asked.

"I congratulate the city of Newcastle for taking the lead here, despite being

abandoned by the Turnbull Government, who clearly fail to understand the importance of full-fibre broadband to our city."

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said a fibre-enabled city is crucial to the Smart City Strategy, which was officially endorsed by Council this week.

"We recognise that a fibre-enabled City is crucial to the implementation of our Smart City strategy and vitally important to the creation of an open, collaborative and connected city. It's unfortunate that Malcolm Turnbull doesn't feel the same way," Cr Nelmes said.

"Instead, our Smart City Strategy will see Council go it alone, rolling out underground fibre optic cabling throughout the city ourselves to bring high-speed data and information to businesses, students, visitors and residents across the City of Newcastle.

"Unfortunately, with ongoing problems with the rollout of the NBN in Newcastle, we were never confident that the Federal Government would roll out suitable high-speed internet across Newcastle."