Coalition announces its broadband plan for Australia

The Liberal-National coalition party has announced its scaled-down version of the $43 billion broadband plan, NBN. The Labor run plan would enable a national fiber-optic network by 2017 that everyone could use; that is if they are voted into power on August 21.

Liberals argue, that the planned network (that would reach 93% of Australians) is far too expensive and that their alternative network is all Australians need. Such a change to the current Australian strategy would be the end of the government's deal to offer Telstra Corporation $11 billion for the existing fixed-line copper network to be upgraded into the proposed broadband network.

The alternative to this network, offered by the coalition, is going to cost $2.75 billion to help fund construction of the network and would expect to gather another $750 million in funding from the industry. The Coalition would form a $6.32 billion outlay to be provided over 7 years, this includes $1 billion that is necessary for upgrading the much slower existing network.

"Together, these components will ensure that 97% of the population has a base line minimum 12 megabits per second service peak speed," coalition communications spokesman Tony Smith said.

Mr. Smith said that the 100 megabits per second network would be available to some homes. "Today we are seeing higher speeds over the HFC [hybrid fiber coaxial] cable, which is capable of delivering 100 megabits per second, that passes 2.5 million Australian homes," Mr. Smith said.

The coalition said that it would spend $1 billion for wireless networks in both rural and metropolitan areas of Australia. As well as a further $700 million for a satellite broadband network for the 3% who can’t access the new network. A National Broadband Commission would be set up to implement the plan.

"Instead of creating a new inefficient government-run monopoly, the coalition's plan will stimulate a vibrant, private sector-based broadband market with government involved to encourage competition and ensure services reach all Australians," Mr. Smith and finance spokesman Andrew Robb said in a policy statement.

The coalition has no plans for backing the Labor run plan, even though the NBN Chief Executive, Mike Quigley stated in June that the Telstra deal would mean that the network would cost less to build than the previous estimate. He never stated by how much only saying that it would be in-between $43-$27 billion.

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