Labor MP: Fibre broadband will be obsolete in 12-16 years

Labor MP: Fibre broadband will be obsolete in 12-16 years

But MP tells ARN the comments were about acting while there is still need and not the technology

One of Labor’s newest Federal MPs, Laura Smyth, has said the Government should get on with rolling out the National Broadband Network because its technology will be outdated in “three or four terms”.

Smyth was referring to a term of Government, which is four years.

The MP made the comments during a doorstop interview in Canberra. When asked why the Government wouldn’t allow a cost-benefit analysis of the NBN despite the latest OECD report’s findings, she said it had to respond to the needs of constituents.

“Why not 20 or 30 more [reviews]?” she said. “Why not continue into three or four terms into the future when the technology that might be being considered becomes obsolete?

“We really need to get moving with these things…the proposal by Malcolm Turnbull to seek ongoing analysis and ongoing delays in this process really are an attempt to try and limit the role of the NBN and go to his core purpose, which is to wreck the NBN process.”

When contacted by ARN, Smyth said she was trying to make a point about delays and not obsolescence.

“Let’s get moving with this, let’s actually do it now while people have a need for it,” she said. “The benefit of acting now outweighs delaying it further and that’s the point I continue to make and was making this morning.

“It wasn’t intending to be anything relating to the actual functionality of the technology.”

The comments were in contrast to those of Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, who has repeatedly said the NBN is an asset that will be of benefit for almost half a century.

“This is an asset that will last up to 40 years,” he said on the ABC’s Lateline program in September. “You can’t say that you add up the whole total cost for an asset that lasts up to 40 years and suddenly try and bemuse and trick ordinary Australians that that’s the actual cost.

“This is an asset over 40 years, Tony. 13 cents a day.”

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Tags NBNSenator Stephen ConroyCommunciations MinisterLaura Smyth


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