National Broadband Network

31 Oct 2019 speech

I move that this House:

(1)notes that:

(a)after six years of the previous Labor Government, just 51,000 users were connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN);

(b)under the Liberal National Coalition Government, over 60,000 premises are being connected to the NBN every two weeks; and

(c)the network roll out is scheduled to be completed in 2020;

(2)welcomes NBN Co's announcement that the NBN is now available to more than 10 million homes and businesses; and

(3)congratulates the Government for adopting a broadband roll out plan which will see the NBN completed four years early and for $30 billion less than had Labor's approach been continued—meaning that Australians will get access to fast broadband services more quickly, and at lower prices, than what would have occurred under Labor's plan.

The National Broadband Network has well and truly arrived in my electorate of Boothby. Thanks to our government, more than 95,500 premises in my community are ready for service and almost 54,000 are already connected to the NBN. Nationally, the NBN is now available to more than 10.6 million homes and businesses, with over 5.8 million active connections providing fast and affordable internet across Australia. One of those connections belongs to Gary Paradise and his team at Concept Data, a fantastic local business in my electorate, in the suburb of Torrens Park. Concept Data are providing innovative IT solutions to clients and using the National Broadband Network to do so. I recently visited Concept Data with the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts and representatives from the NBN Co to hear direct from Gary about how their connection to the NBN means they can deliver a better service for their customer base, which includes some of South Australia's biggest brand names. I'd like to take this opportunity to recognise the minister for his commitment to listening to the experiences of business owners like Gary and for the minister's hard work to resolve the NBN rollout challenges that we inherited from those opposite.

The coalition government is connecting more users to the NBN every two weeks than Labor connected in six years of government. I'll just repeat that: we're connecting more people to the NBN every two weeks than those opposite managed to connect in six years of government. Those opposite, the former Labor government, missed every rollout target they set themselves and they connected just 51,000 premises to the fixed-line network in six years. Labor's fibre-to-the premises NBN policy would have cost $30 billion more and taken six to eight years longer to complete. This would have increased broadband bills by up to $500 per year. Labor paid $6 billion for the NBN to pass just two per cent of Australian premises. The rollout was so badly managed that contractors downed tools and stopped construction work in four states.

In stark contrast, all Australians will be able to connect to the NBN by 2020 under the coalition government. In regional Australia, the NBN rollout is over 99 per cent complete or under construction, and in metro areas the rollout is more than 93 per cent complete or under construction. We're now rolling out a multitechnology mix just like the USA, UK, Germany, France and many other countries. This multitechnology mix will include fibre to the node, fibre to the curb, fibre to the premises, HFC, fixed wireless and satellite. We're rolling out better broadband across Australia in the fastest and most affordable way so Australians can get access to fast broadband sooner at a price they can afford. The coalition's changes to the NBN rollout have saved taxpayers around $30
billion, avoided a $43 increase in monthly internet bills and will connect all Australians six to eight years sooner. As you can see, our government is delivering on our commitment and delivering NBN for all Australians.

Yet, unfortunately, we continue to see misinformation and false claims made in this place and in the media about the rollout of NBN. I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify some of this information, as it directly relates to my community. In August, it was reported in the media that suburbs in my electorate, including Somerton Park, Glengowrie, Darlington, Warradale, Oaklands Park, Sturt, Seacombe Gardens, Glenelg, Glenelg North, Glenelg South and Marino, were in NBN limbo. Understandably, this was of great concern to me and residents in my local area, and, as a result, I immediately contacted the minister seeking clarification about the claims.

I'm pleased to inform the House today that I've been advised by NBN Co that the majority of premises in my community, specifically in the suburbs I have just listed, are live and ready for service. If you break down the suburbs I have just noted, all but one are live. The majority of these connections were made in 2017-18, and the remaining module will be connected and ready for service by May 2020. NBN Co is working closely to resolve any connection difficulties experienced by individual households and businesses in these areas. I ask anyone needing further assistance to contact my office for help—you are most welcome to do so.