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
Malcolm Turnbull squibs another chance to release a broadband policy
The Minister today said that Malcolm Turnbull should stop short-changing the Australian people and immediately release the Coalition's broadband policy.
"In the first three quarters of this year Mr Turnbull has delivered 16 speeches, issued 34 media releases, made 1,268 tweets, and launched a survey, but he has not released a broadband policy," Senator Conroy said.
"In a recent 7.30 Report interview, Mr Turnbull refused to answer how much the Coalition's broadband plans would cost.[i]
"In the same interview, Mr Turnbull committed to providing downloads at 25 Mbps with only a lucky few achieving 80 Mbps.
"At yesterday's Comms Day summit, Mr Turnbull again squibbed the chance of releasing a policy.
"He instead launched another outrageous attack on the professional expertise of NBN Co, saying that he'd conduct a thorough inquiry into the management and governance of the company.[ii]
"The Australian people want a broadband policy from the Coalition, not personal attacks or witch hunts.
"In an attempt to cover up for his lack of policy and his inability to answer simple questions about the Coalition's plans, Mr Turnbull has issued a survey.
"Mr Turnbull shouldn't need a survey to know that no one in Australia can get a download speed of 100 Mbps using copper.
"Mr Turnbull also shouldn't need a survey to know that no one in Australia would get a download speed of 100 Mbps using Telstra's ageing copper network under his FTTN plan.
"The contrast between the Gillard Government's National Broadband Network and Mr Turnbull's inadequate approach could not be clearer.
"Under Labor, 93% of all Australian premises can receive broadband services of 1 Gbps using NBN Co's fibre to the home.
"Only Labor's NBN will deliver Australians with the broadband that serves their needs into the future."
Date: 10 October 2012
Contact: Adam Sims 0408 258 457
Policy questions for Mr Turnbull
- Will MrTurnbull's network be on budget or off budget? How much will his policy cost the budget?
- Is Mr Turnbull really going to buy back the deteriorating copper network and its expensive maintenance costs? Will he also buy the Telstra ducts? Does he stand by his media release of 17 May 2011 that acquiring use of the copper would be "more billions out the door"?
- Will he guarantee the structural separation of Telstra? Has it been agreed by shadow cabinet?
CAPACITY AND TECHNOLOGY
- What upload and download capacity will Mr Turnbull guarantee?
- Does he accept that his policy only commits to providing a 25 Mbps service?[iii]
- Has shadow cabinet formally rejected the National Party policy that fibre to the home should be built to at least 50% of premises in regional Australia?
- Will FTTN be built in areas where there is HFC? Who will pay to make the HFC open access, enter multi-dwelling units or provide a business grade service? Does Mr Turnbull accept that the upload capacity of HFC is limited to 2 Mbps? Will Telstra be required to divest the HFC assets?
- How many FTTN nodes does he plan to build?
- What price will be charged in country areas without the cross subsidy? What will regional users be charged before Mr Turnbull's on budget "vouchers"? How much will the vouchers be and how many will be issued?
- Does Mr Turnbull stand by his claim that his FTTN network will be required to generate a 7% return as claimed in his Op Ed in the Tele on 23 August?
HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE
- When would his FTTN plan be finished?
- How will he select the private network providers for the few areas he plans to build any new infrastructure?
- Will he guarantee his new broadband policy will start within 12 months, despite his promise of a Productivity Committee review and tender for a private sector network provider? Will his "thorough inquiry into the management and governance of the NBN Co" be conducted at the same time as the Productivity Commission review of the project?
- Does he accept that his FTTN network is a government monopoly network?
- Will he commit to maintaining the network in government ownership till it is fully built?
[i] ABC 7:30 Report Malcolm Turnbull interviewed by Leigh Sales http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3596995.htm
[ii] Malcolm Turnbull address to CommsDay Melbourne Summit 9 October 2012
[iii] Interview ABC 7:30 Report. Malcolm Turnbull interviewed by Leigh Sales http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3596995.htm