Thursday, 07 March 2019 11:40

Labor claims govt will miss own NBN speed mandate

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Labor claims govt will miss own NBN speed mandate Pixabay

The Federal Government's national quality benchmark of 90% of premises being able to obtain speeds of 50Mbps in the fixed line footprint of the NBN will be achieved in only two states and the NT, according to evidence provided to the NBN Joint Standing Committee.

Victoria (92%), NSW (91%) and the Northern Territory (96%) are the three which will meet the guarantee. The percentages for other regions are; Queensland (89%), ACT (84%), South Australia (88%), Tasmania (87%) and Western Australia (85%).

Labor Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland and Josh Wilson, the member for Fremantle and deputy chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the NBN, said in a statement that these levels were based on network performance in 2022, and not 2020 when the NBN Co says the rollout will be completed.

They said this came after Labor had warned Communications Minister Mitch Fifield repeatedly that the levels of fibre-to-the-curb were not enough, especially in WA where the fixed-line speeds were the slowest.

"It is astonishing that despite a $21.4 billion cost blowout, and rollout delay of four years, the Liberals can’t even meet their own low-ball speed mandate in five out of eight States and territories," Rowland and Wilson said.

"Under the original fibre plan, the entire fixed line footprint in every state and territory could achieve speeds of 1000Mbps.

"Under the Liberals, not even 90% of the fixed-footprint can achieve 50Mbps."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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