Wednesday 17 October 2007
Another provider under the Australian Broadband Guarantee to increase the reach of broadband
The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, today announced that Internode would be providing broadband under the Australian Broadband Guarantee.
“Within weeks, Internode will be offering the latest high speed wireless WiMAX broadband technology to large parts of the Yorke Peninsula and the Coorong region in South Australia,” Senator Coonan said.
“This is a very important step in ensuring all Australians have access to fast, affordable broadband, no matter where they live.
“The Australian Government has the plan to deliver broadband to all Australian consumers and we are already rolling it out and getting on with the job.”
Senator Coonan said this was in stark contrast to Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party.
“We all know that the Labor Party’s proposal for broadband in a complete farce. Australia will be left waiting until 2013 for broadband and at least 25 per cent of the Australia population will miss out altogether.
“Worse still, Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party plan to rip $2 billion from the Communications Fund to help fund a network that industry has said it will fund itself.
“The Australian Government has protected the $2 billion principal of the Communications Fund so that only the interest earned from the fund’s investments - up to $400 million every three years - can be spent to keep the future telecommunications needs of regional and rural Australia secure.
“This legislation ensures that the Communications Fund, which the Labor Party has committed to drain, will continue to support areas that need ongoing targeted government assistance – that is rural and regional areas where commercial solutions are not always viable.
“Labor will turn regional and rural Australia into a telecommunications backwater with no targeted government assistance for future telecommunications upgrades.”
Senator Coonan said the Australian Government’s Australia Connected initiative is a seamless plan guaranteeing a broadband service to 100 per cent of the country.
OPEL, a joint venture between Optus and rural group Elders, is building a new $1.9 billion national high speed broadband network that will extend fast affordable broadband to 99 per cent of Australians.
“T he $162.5 million Australian Broadband Guarantee provides a safety net to ensure the remaining one per cent of the country can receive a subsidised broadband service.”
“Internode is now one of 11 fully registered providers under the Australian Broadband Guarantee that are providing communities with affordable broadband services,” Senator Coonan said.
A further three service providers have also been approved and are finalising their Funding Deeds.
Consumers interested in accessing the Australian Broadband Guarantee should contact the BroadbandNow hotline on 1800 883 488 Monday to Friday 8am-9pm EST or visit www.broadbandnow.gov.au.
Travelling with the Minister, Frank Peppard: 0417 061 969
In the office, Katherine Meier: 02 9223 4388 or 0417 441 141