Cowan election promises rolled out on NBN

Cowan election promises rolled out on NBN

FASTER internet will be delivered to about 33,000 homes and businesses in the Cowan electorate under the Federal Labor Party’s National Broadband Network policy.

Opposition communications spokesman Jason Clare said a Labor government would direct NBN Co to “prioritise” the rollout of fibre to the premises at the Girrawheen and Wanneroo exchanges, which under the current plan would start construction of fibre to the node in the second half of 2017.

Suburbs to benefit would be Koondoola, Ashby, Banksia Grove, Carramar, Gnangara, Hocking, Jandabup, Mariginiup, Neerabup, Pearsall, Sinagra, Tapping and Wangara, but it is unclear whether construction would start ahead of the current target.

Mr Clare said in 2013 then Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised these areas delivery of the network by this year, but the cost and time taken to build it had since doubled.

“In that time, Australia has dropped from 30th in the world for internet speeds to 60th,” he said.

Labor’s policy would be to scale up the roll out of fibre to the premises, connecting up to two million additional properties around Australia, and phase out fibre to the node, with construction of the latter ceasing when the current planned construction work is completed.

The completion date would be June 2022.

Labor said it would cost $49 to $57 billion, compared to the Coalition’s budget of $46 to $56 billion.

Labor candidate for Cowan Anne Aly said local delivery of the NBN was overdue.

“Malcolm Turnbull promised local residents they’d have the NBN by 2016 – but they’re still waiting,” she said.

Cowan MHR Luke Simpkins said Labor had “no credibility” on the issue.

“As a local resident I understand people’s concerns of children trying to do homework and home businesses, and even just watching a basic video on Facebook,” he said.

“However, the Coalition’s NBN plan is the fastest and most affordable way to deliver better broadband to 60,000 homes in Cowan connected by September 2018.”