Media Release - BROADBAND QUESTIONS REMAIN FOR NEWCASTLE

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20 October 2014

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has today again called on Malcolm Turnbull to provide answers to the people of Newcastle about when they will receive access to the National Broadband Network.

Ms Claydon raised the question in Parliament today following NBNCo’s release of expanded rollout maps. While it is estimated that up to 47,000 premises in Newcastle will be passed by the rollout announcement, large parts of the city will still miss out.

“I welcome the announcement that some parts of Newcastle are back on the rollout schedule after being wiped off when Tony Abbott and the Liberals were elected,” Ms Claydon said.

“But there are so many questions that remain unanswered. When will the rest of Newcastle have access to the NBN? When will residents in places like Thornton, who don’t have any access to broadband be able to connect to the rest of the world? What download and upload speeds will be available when people connect? What will it cost to connect? ”

“Today’s announcement gives no comfort or certainty to businesses or residents.”

The announcement also confirmed that most of the region will only have the opportunity to connect to Mr Turnbull’s second-rate, less reliable and slower fibre-to-the-node technology.

“Speed for upload and download will be dependent on the condition of the copper in the ground for those covered by today’s announcement and we know that the condition is incredibly varied,” Ms Claydon said.

“On the other hand, a small pocket of residents in Mayfield East will have access to the superior, faster, more reliable fibre-to-the-premise network.”

“Access to high-speed broadband is an essential service. Your address shouldn’t determine whether you'll have access to the best technology available or have to rely on the old copper network. Fibre-to-the-node is no substitute for the real NBN.”

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle