Conroy promises NBN speeds of up to 1Gbps

Ten times faster than originally announced

Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, claims the National Broadband Network NBN will reach speeds of up 1Gbps, 10 times faster than the originally announced speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Conroy said he had only found out about the 1GB speed yesterday when NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley, called him.

Quigley will make further announcements regarding the faster speeds at a conference in Sydney today.

The announcement was made at the official NBN launch at Midway Point in Hobart, Tasmania, one of the first townships to receive the NBN, as part of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's campaign trail. The official launch was a chance to differentiate Labor from the Coalition - which has vowed to bin the NBN if elected.

Conroy stated that when a consumer purchases speeds of 50Mbps or 100Mbps that is what they will get consistently - that those speeds represent a consistent rate and not peak speeds. The fast speeds quoted are what the consumer will get and not just "standing under the tower and you are in a lab - it's what you get".

When asked how many people were using the NBN now, Conroy responded with "the NBN guy said" that there were 70 NBN customers with hundreds more waiting to come online.

He couldn't put an exact figure on how much had been spent on the NBN so far. However, he did say the first stage was under budget.

Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said that Australia could not sit back and let other countries build similar infrastructure and get the advantage. "Singapore, Korea and Japan have the benefits of this technology," she said.

Gillard said that Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, "wants to shun the technology" and that he did not understand the NBN and that his thinking wasw limited to only that of downloading music and movies. Gillard said it showed how little he understood modern health care and education.

Gillard said, "The NBN is infinitely superior to anything the coalition has to offer".

The Prime Minister whether she also wasn't a tech head, a reference to Abbott's recent comments that he was not a tech head.

Gillard said this was not the point. The debate with Mr Abbott was about his desire to scrap the NBN is he was elected.

She reminisced about how her mum told her when she was 15 or 16 that a girl needs to learn to type to get a job, so her mum taught her how to type on a typewriter. She also pointed out that back in those day the family had a fixed line telephone that went "ring ring".

The Prime Minister said it would be foolish to say the old typewriter and fixed line phone were still good enough. If you did say "good enough" then you were “condemning Australia".

After the first round of talks Gillard and Conroy pushed a button which then launched a video of an animated earth with "online" written across it - then morphing into the NBN Tasmania logo.

Gillard had said she was “very much looking forward to pushing that button”.