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Both Rudd and Howard "broadband for the bush" plans need more teeth

  • 12 April, 2007 15:08

<p>Tasmanians losing out says satellite industry leader as both parties to the debate are long on rhetoric and short on detail</p>
<p>Both the highly praised Rudd Plan and the Howard Government’s announcements for delivering broadband connection to remote and rural Australia are short on detail despite the hype surrounding the policy deabte, according to Adrian Ballintine, the Founder and CEO of NewSat Limited (ASX:NWT) Australia’s leading independent satellite services provider, in a statement issued in Hobart today.</p>
<p>“Both sides of the political divide are focused on the easy part of the problem, rolling out broadband to significant locations of population, such as major towns and regional centres in Australia. The current level of debate is how best to achieve this,” said Mr Ballintine.</p>
<p>“The real debate, we have to have, is how the major parties propose to reach out to those families, farms and businesses beyond the economically reachable areas for terrestrial communications. This includes large parts of Tasmania as well as remote sectors of the mainland.”</p>
<p>Speaking at a launch of NewSat’s entry into the Tasmanian market today, Mr Ballintine called on both major parties to clearly articulate their detailed plans for exactly how they plan to connect up those Australians, whether in remote parts of Tasmania or the red heart of the country, to the internet with a digital high speed broadband service.</p>
<p>“The Tasmanian State Government, the National Party, the Farmers Federations and the Aboriginal communities should all be up in arms about the lack of high speed broadband communications policy which deals with their constituents,” he said.</p>
<p>“Already NewSat delivers this communication for health services to parts of remote Australia which don’t even have postcodes. And we have the capacity to deliver the connectivity at speeds of up to 100mbps, the same rate as the much-vaunted offering some parts of Paris boast about.</p>
<p>“So I remind the policy makers that NewSat has the homegrown capacity to deliver world-class satellite service to meet the broadband needs, if they have the political will to provide for their remotest voters.</p>
<p>“With our substantial teleports in both Adelaide and Perth, NewSat is the solution for the bush, where others find it too hard to provide a connection, or are too busy trying to prise government dollars to achieve in regional Australia that which is achievable under normal free market conditions anyway.</p>
<p>“Whatever your political hue, the real test of a broadband for the nation policy is whether it deals with broadband connection for those located in the real outback or rugged Tasmanian terrain,” he said. “And to date, the debate has not yet reached how to deal with these parts of Australia.”</p>

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