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Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:39

No political agenda in choice of NBN first release sites

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Hoping to confirm the oft-repeated claim that NBN Co's choice of first release sites was politically motivated the Sydney Morning Herald sought, and obtained, NBN Co internal planning documents under Freedom of Information legislation.

It was disappointed, reporting today that - as NBN Co has always maintained - "The internal planning documents show sites were chosen for their engineering, telecommunications, geographic and geological conditions and to test aerial and underground roll-out techniques."

Such news, of course, does not make for great headlines. So the SMH seized on the fact that shadow communications spokesman - and outspoken critic of the NBN - Malcolm Turnbull's electorate of Waverley in Sydney had been one of the suburbs considered for inclusion in the first release list, even though he did not hold the portfolio during the selection process.

This enabled it to run the story under the headline "Turnbull's electorate put on hold for NBN connection," and to give him the chance to take another free kick at the much maligned project.

He told the SMH ''Most of the constituents I speak to would prefer the government upgrade broadband networks, where required, in the most cost-effective fashion and are asking why we are spending exorbitant amounts to shut down one superfast network to overbuild it with another."

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