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Coalition's NBN 'better for bush'

Friday, 12th April, 2013

By Kurtis J Eichler

Liberal MP Sussan Ley has vowed Farrer residents will get hooked up to the National Broadband Network earlier under a Coalition government.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull announced their NBN plan this week, touting it as the more financially sensible option.

Everyone will have at least 25Mbps by the end of 2016 and 50-100Mbps by the end of 2019, according to their plan.

It will cost $29 billion compared to the $44 billion to roll out Labor's fast speed broadband vision, they said.

The Federal Government's plan promises 25 to 100 megabits per second by the end of 2021.

Comments by the Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese that regional people would pay more for slower internet drew fire from Ms Ley.

The shadow frontbencher said promising to have all homes hooked up to the NBN by the end of 2016 was more than the government had promised.

She said Mr Albanese's comments were "simply incorrect".

"They haven't even been able to give us a date," Ms Ley said.

She said the estimated retail price of getting connecting was also higher by roughly $40.

"The Coalition is providing Farrer what Labor and NBNCo failed to do time and time again.

"The internet speeds fibre-to-the-node offer will be more than adequate for most users, with the option of even faster speeds on demand now, if you need it."

Ms Ley added it was the opposition's plan to link wireless broadband towers and mobile phone carriers in a bid to "eradicate black spots".

"This is absolutely vital in clearing up the digital divide that has happened in many rural areas under this government."

Critics of the policy have called it a failure with one telecommunications expert saying it was the "biggest lemon in Australia's history" and wasn't a sensible answer to the country's needs.

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