Faster internet to roll out next year


MORE than 43,000 homes across several suburbs including Frankston, Baxter, Langwarrin and Karingal will have access to the National Broadband Network by the end of 2017 as part of an “accelerated plan” announced by the federal government.

Dunkley Liberal MP Bruce Billson hailed the planned connection of “superfast internet” for many suburbs in the electorate, including some who have struggled with slow internet speeds, as “critical for our community”.

“I most recently met directly with representatives from NBN Co to discuss solutions for some of the internet ‘black spots’ in Baxter, Frankston South and Seaford,” Mr Billson said. “I was dismayed that some members of the community had limited access at best.” The former small business minister said the Coalition government will deliver the national broadband network “a decade earlier and far cheaper than expected under the previous Labor government”.

“The Coalition government is able to deliver the NBN far quicker and cheaper than the previous Labor government by making use of a range of technologies. This includes using the existing copper and cable infrastructure already provided into homes and businesses.

“We also recognise that there was little point overbuilding in some areas which already had high-speed broadband options available, or in dismantling and disposing of existing pay TV infrastructure that with the help of world-leading software can be easily and cost effectively adapted to be made available for high-speed broadband.”

Just over 15,000 premises in the Dunkley electorate can now choose to connect to the national broadband network.

Critics of the Coalition’s NBN policy say the quicker rollout of the network has come at the expense of top internet speeds needed to align Australia with internet speeds in many first world countries. The Coalition opted for a less expensive fibre-to-the-node model for the NBN compared to Labor’s fibre-to-the-premises plan when it was in government. The FTTN model relies on outdated copper cables to connect the network to premises at the final point of connection while the FTTP model offers faster internet speeds since homes and businesses are connected directly to fibre optic cabling.

Labor’s NBN plan was budgeted at $44.9 billion before the party lost government in 2013. The Coalition budgeted its plan at $28.5 billion before the election but the cost has since blown out to an estimated $46 billion.  A NBN Co review of the Labor plan after the election found Labor’s network would have cost $73 billion if it had proceeded.

Mr Billson said the rollout in Dunkley will mean 43,820 premises in Frankston, Baxter, Langwarrin, Langwarrin South, Karingal, Mount Eliza, part of Carrum Downs, part of Skye, Seaford and Mornington will be connected to the national broadband network by the end of 2017.

First published in the Mornington News – 27 October 2015


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