A shouting match has erupted in the Senate in Canberra over Young residents’ unhappiness with the download and upload speeds of the NBN.
Minister for Regional Development Senator Fiona Nash was questioned by New South Wales Labor Senator Deborah O’Neill who quoted Young Witness articles about locals who are unhappy with their NBN service.
Senator O’Neill slammed the LNP over locals claims the NBN is delivering half the speeds in Young than those being spruiked by the Government.
Local residents who have described the NBN service in the area as “rubbish”, and have expressed frustration over the Coalition politicising the roll out process were directly quoted in the Senate confrontation.
Senator Nash was asked to explain the Government’s decision to proceed with copper technology, despite industry specialists declaring the Government would have saved a lot of money if they put politics aside and went with Labor’s original plan.
“I disagree,” Senator Nash said. “If we had gone with Labor’s plan it would have cost us $30 billion dollars more.
“The people in Young would not have the NBN yet if it wasn’t for the Coalition because Young wasn’t even on the roll-out schedule for Labor.”
But Shadow Minister for Regional Communications Stephen Jones rejected Senator Nash’s claims that under Labor, the roll out of the NBN would have cost $30 billion more.
“The Government used to say their second rate NBN would only cost $29.5 billion, which later grew to $41 billion, and now $56 billion,” he said. “Under Mr Turnbull, Australians are paying more and getting a dud.”
Mr Jones expressed frustration over the Government’s response to the community’s concerns, and accused Nash and McCormack of unfairly passing blame onto Retail Service Providers.
“The biggest factor affecting broadband’s speed and reliability in regional Australia is the Coalition’s use of outdated technology,” he said.
“Government MPs are keen to blame everything else except for the major culprit – copper – because that’s the factor that they alone are responsible for.”