Push to lock in NBN rollout

A TASMANIAN senator has moved to lock the federal government into providing fibre-to-the-premises broadband across the state.

Labor Senator Anne Urquhart tabled an amendment to the National Broadband Network Companies Act in the Senate yesterday to include the provisions that the NBN Co not enter into a contract to provide broadband in Tasmania that allowed for fewer than 200,000 premises to receive a fibre-to-the-home connection.

The Senate also passed a motion on the need for the government to ``honour it's election commitment'' to rollout fibre-to-the-premises broadband to at least 200,000 Tasmanian homes.

Senator Urquhart quoted Tasmanian Liberal Senator David Bushby as saying before the federal election that although the Coalition was not ``fully au fait'' with the NBN contracts while it was in opposition, ``we understand that those contracts are in place to rollout right across the state, and if that is the case, we will honour that''.

Victorian Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield accused Senator Urquhart of ``misrepresenting' Senator Bushby's comments, and said the Coalition ``never promised to deliver fibre-to-the-premises at any cost''.

NBN Co announced last month that it would re-draw the rollout maps for Tasmania at the end of the year, and the new rollout plan would include a mix of technologies such as fibre-to-the-node with the final connection made in copper wire.

Senator Bushby said Tasmanians who received fibre-to-the-node broadband after the end of this year would be able to pay to have a fibre connection to their home or business, at a cost of about $6000.

Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said fibre-to-the-node did not offer the upload speeds promised under the NBN and limited the ability of businesses to take advantage of the new technology.

Senator Anne Urquhart

Senator Anne Urquhart


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