NBN rollout in limbo as company waits for advice
THE roll-out of the National Broadband Network in regional areas across Queensland is in limbo, with NBN Co waiting for advice from the Coalition Government on its future plans.
Work began in Bundaberg in April this year and a NBN Co spokeswoman said at the time that Moore Park Beach was on the three-year rollout schedule, and construction was due to start there from September next year.
But the scheduled work involved Labor's promised "fibre-to-the-home" connections, rather than the Coalition's 71% of premises "fibre-to-the-node" election pledge.
The difference may mean some residents still waiting may instead be connected to a network at the end of a street, rather than their home.
Moore Park Beach resident Alan Corbett said he was interested in Labor's policy because as a carer, the fast speeds would enable him to set up video conferencing.
"The reason for this is that I am a full time carer and was really looking foward to the video teleconferencing aspects which would be of great help to me," he said.
"To have that option to talk to specialists and doctors in that scenario would be great."
Mr Corbett said if fibre to the premises was the best way for him to make use of that technology then he could not afford to potentially pay between $2000 - $5000 to be connected directly to the home under the Coalition's policy.
But how the Coalition's plans will actually affect the roll-out remains to be seen, with an NBN Co spokesman confirming it was still waiting for detail from the incoming government.
Despite the new government already ordering action on numerous policies such as border protection and the carbon tax, the Coalition has not yet told NBN Co what its policy or plans are.
It has left the NBN Co unable to answer key questions related to its business, such as how the Coalition plans will affect regional areas around the country.
A spokesman for NBN Co said the corporation was waiting for guidance on "how any new policy would impact the design and delivery of the NBN".
Incoming Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Coalition was committed to ensuring all Australians would be able to access speeds of at least 25mbps by 2016.
However, he was unable to shed more light on the uncertainty about the future rollout, committing only that new plans would be released following a strategic review of the current plan.