Wednesday 19 September 2007
Labor’s broadband blunders
The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator the Hon Helen Coonan called on the ALP to produce the detail missing from their sole broadband press release from March.
“There’s no detail in Labor’s plan on coverage maps, how much consumers will pay or what happens to the 3 million households that will miss out. Where are the design specifications that Mr Rudd claimed this morning had already been released?” Senator Coonan said.
“In contrast the Government has released all the details of its high speed broadband proposal, including coverage maps, the locations of the 1361 WiMAX sites, the locations of the ADSL2+ exchange upgrades, the prices consumers will pay ($35 to $60 per month), the two year timeframe, the speeds, the fibre backhaul arrangements and the detailed guidelines for regulatory and legislative proposals,” Senator Coonan said.
Contradictory statements made on the ABC AM program today by the Opposition Leader are at odds with earlier statements made by Senator Conroy and Lindsay Tanner. If, as Mr Rudd said “I have not the slightest interest in long-term public ownership of this entity” then why is Labor’s proposal to spend $4.7 billion of taxpayers money buying into a joint venture with the private sector.
“Both Telstra and the G9 consortium have informed the Australian public in full page advertisements they don’t require Government money to build it, just regulatory amendments,” Senator Coonan said.
“Yesterday Senator Conroy announced yet another inquiry, this time, an inquiry into the internet and the cost of broadband access. The problem with Labor’s latest stunt is that the ACCC already does the job – they’ve been doing it for years.
“Under this Government and with the ACCC monitoring, consumers have seen telecommunications prices fall by 26% since 1997,” Senator Coonan said.
Media Contact: Frank Peppard 0417 061 969