19 02/2009Damien Buckley Australian broadband "unacceptable"

Wow, someone’s finally caught on…

‘€œIt is unacceptable that we lag so far behind comparable nations when it comes to broadband penetration, speed and price,‘€ Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said yesterday in an address to Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.

He highlighted the latest OECD figures for the organisation’s 30 member countries, which rank Australia 16th on penetration levels, 20th on cheapest subscription prices, and 9th on broadband speeds.

According to the Minister, ‘Telstra admitted in July last year, that legacy network limitations mean two thirds of metropolitan areas and more than half of our regional population, cannot access broadband speeds of 12Mbps per second’ This is consistent with the fact that every month, my Department is contacted by thousands of people who cannot access high-speed broadband. This includes people in metropolitan areas.’

The remarks were made in context of the proposed National Broadband Network (NBN), potentially one of the largest infrastructure investments undertaken by any Australian Government.

‘€œIn late January the Government received the final report from the Panel of Experts charged with assessing NBN proposals,” the Senator told the audience. €œThe report contains an evaluation of the five proposals eligible for consideration – two of them state-based and three of them national.

‘€œWe are now giving this report very serious and careful
consideration.’

More info: www.minister.dbcde.gov.au

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