Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity
Turnbull has no broadband policy excuses
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, called for the Coalition to come clean on their broadband plans for the fifth consecutive month.
"Mr Turnbull has made 684 tweets, issued 23 press releases and delivered 7 public speeches in 2012. He has still not, however, released a broadband policy.
"In August 2010 Mr Turnbull said that he could do everything he needed to do with a 3.5 Mbps connection on a wireless card.1
"In August 2011 Mr Turnbull planned to provide Australians with a 12 Mbps broadband service.2
"In May, Mr Turnbull in a speech in Kuala Lumpur repeated his assertion that residential premises have no need for anything more than 25 Mbps.3
"This is a seven-fold increase over two years in download speeds that Mr Turnbull thinks is acceptable. He refuses to specify any upload capacity that customers should expect.
"He even acknowledges that Australia's existing copper network will not fully support his proposed FTTN.4
"Mr Turnbull has no excuses for being evasive about the Coalition's broadband policy."
Date: 4 June 2012
Senator Conroy's Office: 02 6277 7480
Please find an updated list of questions on the next page.
 I have been using my wireless card, I've got a Next G wireless card in my laptop and when I was in Mackay yesterday I was getting 3.5MBs speed. We are getting about that speed here in Gladstone. So, that is not 100MBs but from a practical point of view that enables me to do everything I need to do.
Malcolm Turnbull on Michael Bailey, Radio 4RO, Rockhampton 15 April 2009
 ... Australians within the designated areas have access to a rapid upgrade in broadband services to at least 12 mbps as soon as possible — ideally within twelve months - and should have access to 24 mbps within forty eight months..
Malcolm Turnbull address to the National Press Club, Canberra, 3 August 2011
 FTTN services are comfortably offering speeds well over 25 mbps, as high as 80 mbps in the UK for example, and that is more than adequate for the vast majority of residential customers.
Malcolm Turnbull, address to Broadband World Forum Asia, 15 May 2012
 We're not ruling out fibre to the premises, either. There will be areas where fibre to the premises makes a lot of sense — where copper has deteriorated or is more costly to maintain. You take a rational approach with what is more cost effective.
Malcolm Turnbull comments at a post budget event reported by ZDNet Australia 11 May 2012
Policy questions for Mr Turnbull...
- Does Mr Turnbull stand by his August 2010 statement that he can do everything he needs with a 3.5 Mbps download?
- Does he stand by his objective to deliver 12 Mbps download as stated in August 2011?
- Does he stand by his claim that residential customers need no more than 25 Mbps as stated in May 2012?
- Does Mr Turnbull expect this seven fold increase over two years in download speeds to continue in the future, or simply stop?
- What upload capacity will Mr Turnbull guarantee?
- What percentage of households will be served by which technology — FTTH, FTTN, HFC, wireless and satellite?
- How many FTTN nodes does he plan to build? Will he guarantee that all homes will be within 400 metres of a node to support speeds of "up to" 80 Mbps?
- Now Mr Turnbull acknowledges that Australia's existing copper network will not fully support his proposed FTTN, how many premises will he be connecting using FTTP?
- Will he guarantee the structural separation of Telstra? Has it been agreed by shadow cabinet?
- Will Telstra be required to divest the HFC assets? Who will be making the investment to make it open access?
- Has Mr Turnbull told the National Party that he is going to deliver wireless to regional Australia? Has he told the National Party that he does not support their policy that fibre to the home should be built to at least 50% of premises in regional Australia?
- Will he guarantee his new NBN will start within 12 months, despite his promise of a Productivity Committee review and tender for a private sector network provider?
- How much will his policy cost to the budget?
- What price will be charged in country areas without the cross subsidy? Will he guarantee that metro and regional users will pay the same price?
- NBN Co is committed to a 7% rate of return. What rate of return will his proposed "Network Co" require to build new broadband infrastructure?
- Is Mr Turnbull really going to pay to renationalise the deteriorating copper network?
- When will his plan be submitted to shadow cabinet for funding approval?