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”

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

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
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?