Coalition's broadband cheaper, but slower technology

Fastest broadband is coming to Australia.
Fastest broadband is coming to Australia.

THE Federal Coalition has promised to deliver a national broadband system with download speeds of between 25 and 100 megabits per second by the end of 2016.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott and communications spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull unveiled their plan in Canberra a  short time ago.

In a statement, the Coaltiion said its plan to transform the Government's NBN would see:

• Download speeds of between 25 and 100 megabits per second by the end of 2016 and 50 to 100 megabits per second by 2019.

• The rollout of the NBN under the Coalition will be complete by the end of 2019.

• Regions with substandard internet services will receive priority rollout.

• Basic broadband plans will always be more affordable under the Coalition than under Labor. Projections show that prices will be $24 cheaper a month by 2021 than under Labor's NBN projected prices.

• The Coalition's NBN will cost tens of billions less to complete than Labor's NBN.

The Coalition's plan will ensure the National Broadband Network is rolled out faster and cheaper, resulting in lower prices for consumers, the statement said.

Families and businesses will enjoy significant increases in bandwidth given that download rates in Australia currently average less than 5 megabits per second.

Under the Coalition's NBN all premises will have access to download speeds 25mbps to 100mbps by the end of 2016. The minimum speed will rise to 50mbps by the end of 2019 for 90 per cent of fixed line users.

"We will give highest priority to the suburbs, towns and regions with the poorest broadband services today,'' the Coalition said.

"By contrast, Labor has failed to deliver any improvement in service to up to 2 million premises with poor broadband.

"Homes with a sub-standard service, new housing estates with no connection at all and the many multi-dwelling premises (such as apartment blocks) that have not been connected have little or no prospect of getting better broadband under Labor.

 Earier, Communications Minister Senator Conroy said the Coalition's plan  was akin to building a "one lane Sydney Harbour Bridge".

"Malcolm Turnbull is going to build a one lane Sydney Harbour Bridge because he can make it cheaper and faster," he said.

Senator Conroy said using the existing copper network was dumb.

"I can't find a dumber public policy than buying the copper off Telstra," he said.

"What the Malcolm Turnbull network can't do is deliver the stability of a fibre connection.

"The speeds he is going to claim today are defying physics."

Costs of the Coalition plan to consumers, according to LNP

By 2021, the projected retail cost of the average broadband plan under a Coalition NBN would be $66 per month, compared to at least $90 per month with Labor's NBN.

"Funding costs for the Coalition's NBN will be approximately 66% less than Labor's NBN.

"That's based on the latest analysis showing Labor's NBN will cost more than $90 billion to complete.

"Our plan will cost $29.5 billion. This will ensure the NBN is cash flow positive and can operate without assistance from government.

"Under Kevin Rudd, Labor promised fast broadband for all Australians by 2013 for a cost of $4.7 billion.

"After more than 5 years in Government, only 10,400 users have signed up to the Labor's fibre network despite $7.5 billion in cash injections to the NBN by June - already almost double the money Kevin Rudd said was needed to complete the entire NBN.

"Based on the NBN's own targets - which they have consistently failed to meet - the rollout will not be finished until 2021.  On its current pace, the rollout will take years longer.

"Labor now claims its NBN will cost $37 billion but latest estimates and available data indicate this projection is completely misleading.

"The real cost of Labor's NBN is likely to be more than $90 billion by 2021.''

Topics:  broadband editors picks federal election 2013 internet

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