Coalition policy 'a blast from the past', says Conroy

The Coalition this morning unveiled its $6 billion rival broadband policy to Labor's National Broadband Network project

Both the Labor and Greens parties this afternoon opened fire on the Coalition’s rival broadband policy revealed this morning, in an ICT sector election debate that at times saw Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and his shadow Tony Smith at each others’ throats.

The Coalition this morning unveiled its $6 billion rival broadband policy to Labor’s National Broadband Network project, with the central planks being a competitive backhaul network, regional and metropolitan wireless networks and an ADSL enrichment program that will target telephone exchanges without ADSL2+ broadband.

Speaking in a televised ICT sector debate in Canberra held by the Australian Computer Society, Conroy described the policy as “a blast from the past” — the previous Coalition government had also targeted a wireless rollout through its doomed OPEL plan.

The Coalition plan also appears to rely heavily on the HFC networks built by Telstra and Optus over the past decade to provide high-speed services comparable to the NBN.

But Conroy told the audience at the debate that services planned under the NBN such as videoconferencing and tele-health could not be delivered through the HFC networks — which share a certain amount of bandwidth between users.

And the Minister also laid into Smith for the shared backhaul ground between the Coalition and Labor policies. “We appreciate that Tony has stolen part of our plans to build backhaul around the country,” he said.

Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam said at the debate there was a risk that the Coalition policy would result in “a real patchwork of service delivery” and emphasised the party’s support for the NBN project — as well as its vision that NBN Co would continue to remain in public hands and not be privatised as former monopoly telco Telstra was.

But the Greens Senator added he wasn’t across all the fine details of the Coalition’s announcement. “Like the rest of the room, we’ve only had five minutes to analyse it,” he said.

Other topics discussed during the debate included the controversial internet filter project, an issue on which all three party spokesmen reiterated their views. But Ludlam said he was surprised that Conroy was continuing to allocate public servants to work on the project when both the Coalition and the Greens had vowed to block associated legislation when it arrived in the Senate.

At several points during the moderated debate, Conroy interjected while Smith was talking — despite the fact that it wasn’t the Minister’s turn to speak. The interjections led Smith to return fire on the Communications Minister.

“Can you stop interrupting, I know you’re a Collingwood supporter, but this is ridiculous,” Smith said at one point. “You’re not the unpaid moderator, Steve”

Tags Stephen ConroyNational Broadband Network (NBN)broadband

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Renai LeMay

Good Gear Guide

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?