Media Release - THE GREAT BROADBAND DIVIDE BEGINS IN NEWCASTLE

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26 June 2014

Today the Communications Minister announced that Hamilton has been ripped off the plans to receive super-fast fibre-to-the-premise broadband. Instead, residents will only have access to an inferior fibre-to-the-node service relying on old copper technology.

The Abbott Liberal Government has now started carving up Newcastle into haves and have-nots when it comes to high-speed broadband.

Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon, condemned the announcement.

“Every home and business in Newcastle was due to receive the most reliable and fastest broadband network within three years before Tony Abbott was elected,” Ms Claydon said.

“Today’s announcement confirms that under this government we will be a city of haves and have-nots. Your address will determine whether you’ll have access to the best technology available or have to rely on the old copper network.”

“The people of Hamilton have been dudded by the Liberal Party.”

Early last year, the Hamilton telephone exchange was upgraded in preparation to be an early receiver of the fibre-to-the-premise broadband network, with full rollout due to have occurred this year.

“Hamilton residents had every right to think they’d be one of the first in the queue to get super-fast broadband. Now they have been confirmed as the first in Australia to be laden with this government’s vastly inferior, less reliable, slower network,” Ms Claydon added.

“At this stage, only Mayfield is due to receive the super-fast fibre-to-the-premise network in Newcastle but that is still not confirmed. Who knows what they’ll end up receiving, or what anyone else will? Access to high-speed broadband is an essential service that we should all have. There shouldn’t be a digital divide in Australia.”

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle