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Study exposes internet blackspots

Luke Hartsuyker
Luke Hartsuyker

A NEW STUDY has highlighted the Gillard Government’s failure to address broadband blackspots and slow internet speeds in regional areas, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications Luke Hartsuyker said today.

Global research undertaken by the Neilson Company has revealed Australia has a two-speed market for internet access where broadband speeds are being increased in urban areas while the government continues to ignore service upgrades in rural and regional areas.

“The Neilson report shows that Australia is ranked fourth for the percentage of consumers accessing faster speeds, but is also ranked second for those accessing slow to medium speeds of less than 2Mbps,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“These slower speeds are predominately in regional Australia, which highlights the failure of the Federal Labor’s broadband policy.”

Mr Hartsuyker said three years ago Labor cancelled the OPEL contract which would have addressed blackspots and delivered speeds of up to 12Mbps in regional areas.

“Since then the rollout of better broadband services in regional areas has effectively been frozen,” he said.

“There has been plenty of hot air and rhetoric, but the reality is that the rollout of faster broadband speeds in regional areas has been stuck in a vacuum since the 2007 Federal election.

“Now Labor wants us to wait another 10 years for their ill-conceived National Broadband Network.”

He said this came as the NBN Co suspended the tender process, leaving the future of regional communications in limbo.

“Yesterday’s resignation of NBN Co’s head of construction and ongoing cost blowouts is further evidence that the NBN is off the rails,” Mr Hartsukyer said.

“Given that Australia already ranks fourth in the world for the proportion of people accessing faster speeds, regional Australians have the right to ask why the Gillard Government is spending $50 billion to deliver optic fibre to people who already have reasonable internet speeds.

“If Labor was serious about improving the speeds for regional communities it would have made areas with slower speeds the broadband priority.”


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