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Broadband plan creates more questions than answers

  • 18 June, 2007 09:30

<p>Internode has welcomed today’s Federal Government broadband announcement for encouraging competition, but warns that it provides more questions than answers about Australia’s broadband future.</p>
<p>Two highlights were the selection of the Optus/Elders OPEL joint venture to deliver regional broadband, which would increase competitive pressures on backhaul pricing, and including Australia’s competition regulator on the Expert Panel to evaluate the competing Telstra and G9 Fibre To The Node (FTTN) bids.</p>
<p>Internode managing director Simon Hackett said these decisions recognised the value of competition in delivering the best broadband outcomes for Australia. “The problem is that the devil is in the details and we don't have the details yet,” he said.</p>
<p>“After months of silence, this announcement actually adds more questions than answers. Both the broadband industry and the consumers of Australia await the details - soon - to allow proper assessment of whether this initiative is good, bad, or indifferent for Australia.”</p>
<p>The Federal Government announcement about broadband can be viewed here.</p>
<p>Mr. Hackett said the announcement held no positive news for residents in regions where Internode was building broadband networks until the Federal Government suddenly cancelled the Broadband Connect scheme in March. “The Australian Broadband Guarantee process remains stalled,” he said.</p>
<p>“The guidelines and application forms are still not available for the intended July 1 start. We were promised that the Coorong and Yorke Peninsula networks would not be 'left in the lurch', but they are still right there in that lurch so far, with no clear sign of how that will be resolved.</p>
<p>“There is no rational way to form a belief that the Government’s Expert Panel can magically resolve the Telstra FTTN impasse before the election – if that is the aim – in a manner that will actually protect consumer interests. There is a difference between speed and unseemly expediency here.”</p>
<p>About Internode www.internode.on.net
Internode is a first tier IP carrier committed to using broadband technology to redefine the national telecommunications environment. The Australian-owned company is a trailblazer delivers broadband services to individuals and businesses throughout Australia.</p>
<p>For media assistance, call John Harris on (08) 8431 4000 or email jharris@impress.com.au.</p>

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