NBN granted free access to poles for rollout

NBN Co will have free access to Aurora Energy power poles to continue the full rollout of fibre to the premises in Tasmania.

Premier Lara Giddings this morning announced the state-owned energy company would forego revenue of about $25 million over 20 years, if the federal Coalition government adopted her proposal to switch from an underground to aerial rollout. 

“This is a small price to pay if it means Tasmanian homes can be connected to optic fibre as originally promised by the Coalition,'' Ms Giddings said. 

The Liberals which support the aerial rollout plan have backed the decision and will not charge NBN Co either. 

executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski last week said that contracts did not guarantee the full-fibre rollout to all homes in Tasmania and parts of the existing copper network could be used to finish construction next year. 

Labor has accused the federal Coalition of breaking its pre-election promise to deliver full fibre to the premises in Tasmania and criticised Liberal Leader Will Hodgman for failing to stand up to his party's federal leaders on the issue.

Mr Hodgman was yesterday caught on camera telling Liberal colleague Jacquie Petrusma: ''This could cost us the election. Anyway, that's democracy."

Mr Hodgman said he had been in discussions with Federal Liberal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging him to adopt the aerial rollout using Aurora's infrastructure. 

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