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ALP Attacks Howard Over Broadband Policy

The Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, has attacked the Federal Government over its attitude to Broadband.

This is the text of a media statement from the Leader of the Opposition, Kevin Rudd.

Howard Rules Out Federal Government Support For National Network – Keep Australia Unplugged

Prime Minister John Howard today in Parliament ruled out Federal Government support to create a national broadband network – unplugging the nation.

Mr Howard confirmed in the Federal Parliament that he does not understand the future needs of our nation.

Mr Howard told Federal Parliament that:

“It’s not the business of taxpayers to fund broadband. It should be a product of the proper operations of the market circumstances of our economy.”

This is the clearest statement from the Prime Minister on a national broadband network.

Mr John Howard wants to keep Australia unplugged.

Small business and families rely on fast broadband internet connections. They deserve to be internationally competitive.

Federal Labor recognises the importance to Australia’s continued economic prosperity for the government to invest in the infrastructure of the future.

That is why Federal Labor will invest up to $4.7 billion to establish the National Broadband Network in partnership with the private sector.

Nation building in the 19th century meant building a national rail network; Nation building in the 21st century means building a National Broadband Network.

This is necessary to boost productivity growth and build long-term economic prosperity once the mining boom is over.

The National Broadband Network will connect 98 per cent of Australians to high speed broadband internet services – at a speed more than 40 times faster than most current speeds.

Federal Labor will increase speed to a minimum of 12 megabits per second. This means business, education and household services on the internet including entertainment will happen in “real time”.

Currently, Australia is 25th in the world in terms of available internet bandwidth behind Slovenia and the Slovak Republic. If we are to remain globally competitive, we must address this as an absolute priority.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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