​The speed you need: Pyne and Albanese clash on NBN

Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese lock horns on last night’s Q&A

Christopher Pyne said the NBN will deliver the download speeds Australian consumers “want and need” and will be finished by 2020.

The Coalition’s Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry was asked on ABC’s Q&A programme last night if the government regretted its decision not to persist with the original NBN plan to roll out fibre-to-the-home.

“Absolutely not and there has not been a delay of the NBN,” Pyne said. “If Labor was still in power the NBN would not have been delivered for four years longer than it would be under Malcolm Turnbull’s management,” he said.

"Because of Malcolm Turnbull’s management of the NBN it will all be finished by 2020, not 2024 as Labor were promising, with speeds that people want and need."

Ahead of the 2013 election, Labor promised its NBN would deliver download speeds of 1Gbps through a network made up mainly of fibre-to-the-home.

“They simply didn’t need the speed that Labor was promising and it was costing an absolute bomb,” Pyne added. “The speed that they’ll have, you’ll be able to watch five full length movies in the one household if you want to at the same time.”

The Coalition’s NBN plan has a significantly lower target download speed of 25Mbps.

Anthony Albanese, Labor shadow infrastructure and transport spokesman, responded by saying: “The NBN isn’t about movies, it’s about our economy. And Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘fraudband’ is double the cost of what he said it would be. It is half the speed of what he said it would be, and the delay is extraordinary.”

The former Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy also called the use of copper wiring “19th Century stuff" and spurned the recent AFP raids on Labor Party offices.

“When we said that he’d produce coppers to the home, we didn’t think it was literally. But that’s what happened last week,” Albanese said. He added that the leaked documents were “information that every Australian has a right to know.”

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