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Abbott causes NBN error for WA

Vast swathes of Western Australia will miss out on a world-class, fast broadband service under the Abbott Government, a senate inquiry will hear today.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said people across the state would be stranded on the obsolete copper telephone network under the current plan advanced by Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

"Farmers, regional architects, designers and software developers in WA could have been conducting business with people across the world with fast broadband," he said.

"But huge sections of the metro area suffer sub-standard telecommunications, and Abbott's solution is to pull the plug.

On the first leg of its regional tour, the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network will hear evidence on the rollout of the NBN in WA from witnesses including a major Internet Service Provider and the City of Greater Geraldton.

After the 2010 election, then opposition leader Tony Abbott instructed Malcolm Turnbull to "demolish" the NBN, which resulted in the current plan to buy and then maintain Telstra's patched and outdated copper network.

In an earlier hearing the committee was show evidence of the degree to which copper cables are spliced together with duct tape and plastic bags.

"I see the Greens' role as to salvaging as much as possible from the wreckage by maximising the amount of optic fiber laid directly to premises. I strongly encourage people to make their concerns heard directly with their Liberal and National MPs," said Mr Ludlam.

"There is no reason why WA has to miss out and be subjected to broadband dropouts just because the Abbott Government doesn't have the foresight to install a world class telecommunications network."

Fact Box:
• The Greens support a fibre optic cable to the premise (FTTP) plan. The ones it can't reach will be serviced by wireless or satellite.
• The Abbott Government wants to run a fibre to the node, which will run along the street and an obsolete, clunky copper network to the home.

Maps can be found here:


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