Thursday, November 29, 2007

Broadband Policies Affect Us All

Thank yourselves for voting Labour. Seriously. A Government-owned network is a better idea.
A good summary over at Whirlpool:

Both the Coalition and the Labor Party have extensive broadband policies, and the debate over high-speed internet access has featured prominently over the six weeks of the election campaign.

Labor leader Kevin Rudd has been spruiking his $4.7 billion Fibre To The Node (FTTN) proposal endlessly. The plan, which includes minimum speeds of 12Mbps to 98% of the population by the end of 2013, will be built by the government and remain in public hands providing what Labor calls a "genuinely open access ... network".

The ALP is also promising to legislate to protect its investment in the network, ensuring more equitable access charges and allowing for the full customisation of the service — everything from speed, connection quality and contention ratios.

The bush hasn't been forgotten either. The remaining 2% of the population that will not be reached by the Labor FTTN plan will receive the benefit of the existing government contract with OPEL. The contract, signed back in June, will provide WiMax and ADSL2+ access to regional Australians at a cost of almost $1 billion.

The Liberal Party, meanwhile, is taking a different approach to broadband, but ultimately is aiming for the same lofty 12Mbit peak. Its policy, "Australia Connect", John Howard has pledged not to raid the Future Fund like Labor, but rather to seek out private sector investment to build commercially viable fibre networks in major population centres. The plan will cover 99% of Australia's population with either FTTN or ADSL2+ or WiMax via the OPEL contract.

The other 1% of the population with receive government subsidies of up to $2,750 to purchase the necessary equipment to ensure high speed internet access in the bush.

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