Second attempt at broadband inquiry succeeds

A second opposition attempt to force a Senate committee inquiry into the state of Australian broadband competition passed through the upper house today after two new terms of reference were added to the original proposition.

After failing on the first occasion, Labor, the Democrats and the Greens forced the inquiry after broadening it to cover ownership control and the use of existing infrastructure.

Shadow Minister for IT, Senator Kate Lundy, told ARN that Labor gained support from independents Meg Lees and Shayne Murphy to swing the result by one vote.

Lundy said she hoped to gain a comprehensive investigation into the uses of broadband technologies by service providers.

“We are calling for strong recommendations on how to increase broadband competition,” she said. “Competition is a major problem and [Senator] Alston is trying to cover up the hot issues affecting broadband.”

Lundy said that Telstra's position as the dominant broadband provider would be the main focus of the inquiry.

The previous attempt was described by the government and independents as a “waste of taxpayer’s money”. A spokesperson for the department of communications and IT today reinforced those feelings.

“The government’s position has not changed on this issue,” he said.

The spokesperson highlighted the Estens report and the Broadband Advisory Group (BAG) inquiry as the backbone of facilitating development of broadband technology and competition.

He claimed this new inquiry was unproductive and only added to research already undertaken.

The Department of Communications said a Senate inquiry was already taking place after Labor called for it in June 2002, but confirmed the Senate is yet to report on its findings. It is nine months overdue.

The Minister for Communications and IT, Senator Richard Alston, said the ACCC also recently launched an inquiry into Internet interconnection at his request.

Alston said several other inquiries had already made recommendations on higher bandwidth services for rural and regional areas, including competition aspects of higher bandwidth pricing.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?