Communications Minister Helen Coonan gave the game away on ABC Radio National’s breakfast program this morning when, under questioning about that embarrassing leaked email, she protested that maps had been drawn up “for every electorate”.
But since when were telecommunications systems planned around electoral boundaries? One would have thought that topography, exchanges and telephone towers might be more relevant.
Leaving that aside, we need a lot more detail before we can really assess who has the better plan for broadband — Labor or the Government. Both plans presently have at least as much spin as substance, and are light on detail. Labor did us all a favour by bringing it on to the national agenda — but their plan is also light on detail and suspect on costings.
It seems the main difference from the consumers’ point of view between the two proposals lies in the regions, and on who gets fibre and who doesn’t.
On both plans, remote locations will have to rely on wireless and satellite to get broadband. On both plans, regional areas will get government subsidies. On both plans, the major cities will get fast broadband without government subsidy because it is economic to provide it.
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