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Liberal NBN FTTN promise a lie: Jason Clare

Liberal NBN FTTN promise a lie: Jason Clare

Brands the Government's NBN a set of patchwork delivery

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is effectively dead in that it is no longer the national scheme which Australians were expecting prior to last year's election, according to shadow communications minister, Jason Clare.

He said it is instead a fragmented set of delivery methods, therefore breaking the Coalition's promise to implement a fibre to the node (FTTN) service to almost nine million homes and business across the country.

"Instead, what we will get is patchwork of different networks with different speeds and capabilities," he said.

"About 24 to 25 per cent of the population will get fibre to the premises (FTTP), about 31 per cent will get FTTN, about 11 per cent will get fibre to the basement, 27 per cent will access broadband via a hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network, and about seven per cent will access it via satellite of the fixed wireless system."

Clare admits he was wrong in November 2013 when he stated that Labor had won the NBN debate and that the Liberal party accepted it was "too popular to destroy, and so they would keep it and build a small version".

"With the benefit of hindsight I think that I have worked out what Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull were doing with [a lifesize hologram of] Sonny Bill Williams when they made those promises that they have broken. It was about neutralising an issue that was positive for the Labor Government before the election."

The padding game

The minister also claims that instead of pushing NBN Co to accelerate the construction of the NBN, the Government has reduced targets for the benefits of a positive press release come election time.

October last year saw Turnbull set the target to meet by the conclusion of the current financial year at 450,000 premises past. In December, the figure was dropped to 375,000.

"It is important to understand what has just happened," Clare said. "NBN Co has failed to meet its construction targets in the past. What Turnbull is determined to do is ensure that never happens on his watch, and has now lowered the bar to the point where it is impossible for the company not to surpass."

This means NBN Co could slow its construction to two thirds its current pace and maintain the new targets.

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