National Broadband Network

National Broadband Network blowout clouds Tasmania’s rollout agenda

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TASMANIA’S leading edge on the National Broadband Network is in jeopardy after a backflip by the Federal Government over an $11 billion cost blowout.

Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday released the Coalition’s NBN review saying the project would cost $41 billion — up from the pre-election figure of $29.5 billion.

But Mr Turnbull said the Coalition remained committed to limiting its equity investment in NBN Co to $29.5 billion, with the excess to be made up through debt.

The review showed the Coalition’s promise of delivering 25 megabits per second broadband nationally by 2016 would stretch to 2019.

The state’s information communications technology sector yesterday called on new federal MPs Brett Whiteley, Andrew Nikolic and Eric Hutchinson to press Mr Turnbull on what the cost blowout meant for Tasmania.

“Tasmania’s NBN rollout is more uncertain than ever,” TAS ICT executive officer Dean Winter said.

“How can our industry plan for the future drive the economy and increase employment if we are totally in the dark about plans for Tasmania’s broadband infrastructure?”

Mr Whiteley said the review would have no bearing on the Tasmanian rollout.

“The review was about laying out the facts for all to see,” he said.

“Under the previous Labor Government the NBN was a fact-free zone, and now we know why. We committed to honouring existing contracts during the campaign and that is happening right now.

“Any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.”

The review raised concerns about the rollout in Tasmania, suggesting the process could be accelerated by 35 per cent to 75 per cent by reducing waste and lifting performance.

“NBN Co has received a proposal from the Tasmanian Government which suggests greater use of aerial in FTTP [fibre to the premises] deployment,” the report said.

“NBN Co will explore this suggestion as one way of improving momentum.”

A passage referring to Visionstream, the company oveseeing the rollout in Tasmania, has been blacked out in the report.

Mr Winter said the original fibre to the premise plan, first promised by Labor and then promised in principle by the Coalition during the election campaign, could revolutionise the Tasmanian economy.

— with AAP

Sourced from The Mercury

So as time has passed the truth of the Coalitions “Promise” has taken a new twist in just what will happen here in Tasmania. Essentially you can be assured that whatever is said will pretty much be hot air as politicians argue over the original election promise to what will eventually eventuate!  So if you are one of the lucky ones to have got FttH (FttP) installed prior to the election then you can of course enjoy internet speeds of up to 100Mb/s Download & 40Mb/s upload, but if you’re one of the unlucky one to have to be subjected to FttN then sadly you might as well just stick with whatever you have (ADSL/ADSL2+)

This is becoming a hot debate in Tasmania with the state government pushing to use fiber cable on existing Aurora infrastructure (power poles) There’s too much that can go wrong with that solution, that would cause expensive repairs and lengthy downtime should a pole be damage by a vehicle or similar… 😐

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