End the Digital Divide

Deputy Speaker, as you are more than aware, hundreds of Canberrans have taken part in my 'Send me your speeds' campaign over the course of this year. 

They've shared their experiences of life with less than one megabit per second, thanks to copper. They've shared the impediments to their opportunities that life with less than one megabit per second delivers, thanks to copper.

I'm concerned that, after the NBN Co's decision to delay the rollout of the HFC technology, the government will now speed up the deployment of fibre to the node here in Canberra. Fibre to the node is second-rate infrastructure that will need to be upgraded in the short to medium term—an upgrade that NBN Co has admitted isn't in its budget. For the hundreds of Canberrans who live just down the road from Parliament House, for the many who have had their educational opportunities impeded and for the many who have had their business opportunities impeded, why should they bear the brunt of NBN Co's HFC rollout debacle?

I'm calling on the government to adopt the NBN committee's report and roll out fibre to the kerb as a minimum. Redesign areas slated for fibre to the node to a fibre-to-the-kerb or fibre-to-the-premises rollout, work with me and the ACT government to look at feasible options to upgrade fibre-to-the-node NBN services across the whole ACT to fibre to the kerb, and end the digital divide here in Canberra.

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