MEDIA RELEASE - Careless Clare’s NBN confusion continues > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria

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Media Releases

Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield

MEDIA RELEASE - Careless Clare’s NBN confusion continues

16 March 2016

Labor’s spokesperson for Communications Jason Clare has again revealed his limited understanding of the nation’s largest infrastructure project, the National Broadband Network.

Careless Clare continues to provide confused advice on the nbn, which is no surprise given that under Labor the nbn was the most poorly managed project in the history of the Commonwealth.

This morning on Sky News, Careless Clare made a number of claims that are factually incorrect.

Clare incorrectly claimed that nbn has secretly trialled a cheaper, better technology than FTTN and hidden the results.

FACT - Yesterday in a Senate hearing, nbn CEO Bill Morrow provided preliminary details on early tests of ‘skinny fibre’ and fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp), which were publically released as part of the Company’s Half-Year presentation on 5 February 2016.

FACT - The Coalition Government’s policy supports the company delivering the nbn to all Australians as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, while continuing to innovate and look for ways to lower costs. Currently, any alternatives would cost significantly more and would see connection delays for households and businesses.

And, Clare incorrectly claimed that FTTdp is not part of the Coalition’s multi-technology mix, despite it being included in the Executive Summary of the 2013 Strategic Review. In fact, the company has advised that the FTTdp footprint will reach around 300,000 premises.

Relying solely on inappropriately obtained documents that he does not understand, Clare incorrectly claimed that FTTdp is roughly the same cost as FTTN.         

FACT - Yesterday the nbn CEO advised a Senate committee that FTTdp optimised with skinny fibre would in fact be 25%-30% more expensive than FTTN.

Despite Labor’s poor effort to distract from its nbn policy vacuum, the Coalition is getting on with the job of fixing Labor’s mess.

FACT - Under the Coalition, the network is now available to 1.9 million premises and more than 40,000 homes and businesses are being added every week.

Clare had multiple opportunities this morning when asked to reveal Labor’s nbn policy, but Labor does not have an nbn policy.