Hodgman backs Aurora for NBN

OPPOSITION Leader Will Hodgman has thrown his support behind a plan to use Aurora to deliver the National Broadband Network, but stopped short of accusing the federal government of backflipping on its pre-election commitment to complete the full fibre-to-the-premises rollout.

Mr Hodgman said he would not engage in ``scare campaigns'' about the future of the NBN, after NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski last week said only Tasmanians who received the NBN by the end of this year - about 30 per cent of homes and businesses - were guaranteed a fibre to the premises connection.

Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said before the federal election that he would honour all existing contracts, but Dr Switkowski said last week the contract with Visionstream, the lead contractor on the Tasmanian rollout, did not specify what technology must be used. 

``Since Dr Switkowski's comments last week I have had a number of discussions with Minister Turnbull and Mr Switkowski about how best to deliver fibre to the home for all Tasmanians,'' Mr Hodgman said.

``I've asked Mr Turnbull to actively consider the Aurora proposal as the model to achieve this, and I am pleased he will do so.

 ``Working co-operatively with the federal government is the best way to deliver good outcomes for Tasmania, rather than political grandstanding and scaremongering.''

Premier Lara Giddings wrote to Mr Turnbull last year proposing Aurora's poles and wire network be used to deliver fibre-to-the-premises broadband  faster and cheaper than the underground rollout, ensuring all Tasmanians receive the same service. The proposal has not received a formal response. 

Ms Giddings accused Mr Hodgman of failing to stand up to his federal colleagues over the issue.

``Will Hodgman is a Johnny-come-lately on the NBN,'' Ms Giddings said.

``He waits for Malcolm Turnbull to break an election promise, he waits for Malcolm Turnbull to back down from what he promised Tasmanians before be picks up the telephone. ``It's a bit late, really.''

Ms Giddings called on federal Liberal MPs to ``stand up for Tasmania,'' saying they ``must be accountable'' for the broken promise.


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