If you are in North Sydney where some big IT Companies like Cisco, Fujitsu, Sun or even Coca Cola have their Australian headquarters, you have Buckleys of getting a new fast broadband connection during the next five years, but if you live in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek you will be connected pretty soon.This is despite the fact that the big Companies and the hundreds of thousands of people who live on Sydney’s North Shore or around Melbournes CBD are the high tax, high profit people the Gillard government are going to tax to pay for the new NBN Network.
Anomalies, especially involving the political world, abound in the three-year rollout plan for the National Broadband Network, unveiled by Julia Gillard, Stephen Conroy and NBN Co boss Mike Quigley at a media event in Sydney yesterday.
Of the 11 electorates not getting any NBN services by 2015, 10 are held by the Coalition with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy insisting “there is nothing political” about the decision as to who will get the network first,
Victoria has been dudded, getting only 691,000 premises, or 19.5 percent, connected in the first run. With 25pc of the nation’s population, the State is entitled to another 191,000, claimed Tech Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips.
Gillard and Quigley claimed that politics had no part in deciding where the planned 3.5 million connections in 1500 communities will be made in the coming three years.
“Our planners wouldn’t know an electoral boundary if they tripped over one,” said Quigley on ABC radio.
It was only a week ago that Quigley told ChannelNews the NBN Co was a Government funded organisation.
Instead of prioritising locations where the network is most likely to be used, such as the high density suburbs of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, the NBN Co and the Gillard Government are supporting a move to deliver the network into suburbs where there are little if any main stream industries.
Ironically the people who are responsible for keeping the Gillard Government in power, including Bob Katter in far North Queensland, Tony Windsor in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Rob Oakeshott, Adam Bandt, Tony Crook and Andrew Wilkie in Tasmania will get a fast broadband connection.
The PM said this is first major stage of the decade-long mainland rollout would cover about a third of all homes and businesses, including 1 million premises in NSW, 700,000 in Victoria, 680,000 in Queensland, 430,000 in WA, 330,000 in SA, 65,000 in the Northern Territory and 200,000 in Tasmania.
The network which is heading to be what has been described as a massive white elephant has only managed to connect 18,900 premises to the fibre network with only 2700 of these becoming active.
“If you are on this three-year plan, the only way you’re going to get fibre-to-the-home is if you vote Labor, because Tony Abbott said he’ll stop it,” Senator Conroy said yesterday.
Opposition Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull has promised to honour NBN construction contracts but is proposing an alternative network that lays fibre to “nodes” that are near homes and using existing copper lines to make the final connection.
The Coalition communications spokesman said it was “humbug” for Labor to talk of “work commenced” in areas with 3.5 million homes.