NBN rollout in Tasmania - Facts

October 30, 2013
Communications & Broadband

Statements this morning by Digital Tasmania’s Andrew Connor about the state of the NBN rollout in Tasmania are not accurate and are calculated to misinform Tasmanians about this important national infrastructure project. 

Mr Connor stated that the Coalition has put the rollout on hold for a couple of months.

That is not correct.  The Coalition has updated the NBN maps to show residents the true state of the rollout in Tasmania.

Labor created a misleading metric of ‘construction commenced or completed’, which was initiated as soon as high level planning began and was designed to create the impression that there was far more construction activity than was actually the case.

Mr Connor acknowledged that asbestos delays and issues with contractors had already created delays in the rollout.  These delays occur between high level planning and physical construction work begins – meaning that communities who have been informed that they will be getting the NBN in a reasonable timeframe are waiting for periods of beyond 18 months.

The new maps reflect only areas where physical construction has begun, meaning that those communities have greater certainty about when the network will be active and when they can expect to order their services.

Mr Connor also said:

“A lot of these areas have been handed over to contractors and those instructions have been issued to make these pits ready so we’re just bemused that that work is just going to go to waste now.  To then put that on hold for, at best, a few months or more while they plan out a new network and negotiate with Telstra to get access to that copper – it’s just not going to make the rollout happen any faster or any cheaper in Tassie.”

Again, it is wrong to say that any delays in the rollout in Tasmania are a result of Coalition policy. 

As he well knows, Labor went to the last election with the rollout forecast for June 30, 2014, cut by almost 50 per cent with only around 600,000 premises in brownfield areas across Austraia expected to be passed by fibre.

The NBN Co has advised the Government that with the revised Statement of Expectations, it expects to be able to reach approximately that same number of premises by June 30.

However there will be more certainty concerning forecasts by NBN Co following the completion of the strategic review.

The new maps are designed to create more certainty for residents and consumers so that they have reasonable expectations about when they will be able to order services.

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