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 newsletter!

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

Tags broadbandStephen ConroyNational Broadband Network (NBN)

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?