Abbott just doesn't get the NBN: Gillard

Abbott just doesn't get the NBN: Gillard

Summary: Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday morning accused Opposition Leader Tony Abbott of not understanding the technology behind the National Broadband Network (NBN), as the fibre-based project was formally launched on the mainland in the northern NSW city of Armidale.

SHARE:
TOPICS: NBN, Broadband
13

Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday morning accused Opposition Leader Tony Abbott of not understanding the technology behind the National Broadband Network (NBN), as the fibre-based project was formally launched on the mainland in the northern NSW city of Armidale.

Last week, Abbott described Labor's plan to invest billions of dollars of equity funding in the NBN as "reckless", noting in his Federal Budget reply speech that the capital could be re-allocated to fund a number of major transport infrastructure and hospital projects.

"That $50 billion could fully fund the construction of the Brisbane rail loop, for instance, the duplication of the Pacific Highway, the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail link, the extension of the M4 to Strathfield and 20 major new teaching hospitals, as well as the $6 billion that the Coalition has proposed to spend on better broadband," Abbott stated, referring to the Liberals' unpopular broadband plan floated during last year's Federal Election.

As Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has previously highlighted, Abbott pointed out that broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps were already potentially available to "almost every major business and hospital", as well as most schools and, referring to the HFC cable networks offered by Telstra and Optus, through high-speed cable "already running past nearly a third of Australian households".

However, speaking in Armidale yesterday at a school to launch the NBN in the city, Gillard said Abbott didn't get it.

"Well Tony Abbott just doesn't understand this technology, and he hasn't got any plans for the nation's future. I mean Tony Abbott is in the digital dark age — he is still scrabbling around trying to put a policy together as we are rolling out the NBN," she said. "I think he'll still be scrabbling around trying to put a policy together as the NBN comes on board in more sites in Australia."

If Abbott wanted to understand the NBN, Gillard said, he should come to Armidale and talk to customers about how it was transforming "their businesses, their education, their local healthcare services, transforming the way farmers go about managing their land". Gillard said farmers now had more information and more contact with agricultural researchers and scientists than they've had before.

"Tony Abbott might be in denial about the future, but the future is here right now, and he can come and see it in Armidale," the Prime Minister said.

However, despite Gillard's statement, it is not clear that any farmers in Armidale are currently connected to the NBN — given that only a small number of customers are known to be on the NBN in Armidale. Internode has two customers (both IT workers) on the NBN, iiNet has some at the University of New England and Telstra has a handful.

Topics: NBN, Broadband

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

13 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Looking forward to Julia explaining to me the benefits of NBN.

    So far the 2 or 3 people interviewed in the media have told me they can download really fast, which sounds like good value for the taxpayers money.
    gumb0r
    • "taxpayers money"

      Will be payed back. Your arguments are boring.
      Hubert Cumberdale
      • In what time scale are you talking about?

        With the current 7, and the planed 40 more for Telstra when they have free access, I don’t see how on earth it can be paid back...

        Before you tell me From 09/11 they will have to pay - do you know what the access seekers cost is, and how much of that will go to admin fees at USO & NBN Co?
        amckern-b0f83
        • "In what time scale are you talking about?"

          Ask Quigley.
          Hubert Cumberdale
          • You made the brilliant comment, so that is why he asked you the question. What a stunning answer you gave, duh !
            Wallingford-314a6
          • You said you weren't coming back here again...didn't you...LIAR!
            Rizz-cd230
  • They cannot help themselves mate. Like Heckle and Jeckle, these two are an absolute joke, but it is "their life" and "what they live for." What a pair of raving knuckleheads!
    Wallingford-314a6
  • LOL... did Visionary/Visionray/Salad Fingers/fa hayek and your other aliases, let you out of the basement...to dish out some nastiness...?

    Ooh...

    What a poor sorry fool you are... keep trying tiger, as it becomes clearer, just how badly I have humiliated you and your moronic comments...!
    Rizz-cd230
  • You are the joke...!

    Doubt/Visionary and all those other names...

    LOL...you are hurtin' from my previous humiliation of you eh...LOL!

    PLEASE DO NOT GO AWAY, I wanna see you and that ego keep hurtin' boy...!
    Rizz-cd230
  • oh hello HC, I see you have just emerged from under the bridge.
    My view is that the truth is not a popularity contest and that points I make across the board may be unpopular with uneducated or stupid people, The rotting copper question HC remember that?
    There are also those who think a high speed broadband connection would suddently transform their sorry lives. Is that you HC?
    And it is simply just fun kicking you people along!
    Knowledge Expert
    • "I see you have just emerged from under the bridge."

      Actually I never left, that was waffleton, pay attention.


      "My view is that the truth is not a popularity contest"

      Glad you see it that way.


      "The rotting copper question HC remember that?"

      What about it? Do you have a point? No?


      "Is that you HC?"

      No, no it is not, my life is wonderful and I expect the NBN to make it just that much better... must suck for you...


      "And it is simply just fun kicking you people along!"

      Not sure if you noticed but it's actually us kicking you people along, you **** and moan, kicking and screaming like a toddler as we drag you into the next century but you'll be glad in the end and will actually thank us.
      Hubert Cumberdale
  • re - " If Abbott wanted to understand the NBN, Gillard said, he should come to Armidale and talk to customers about how it was transforming "their businesses, their education, their local healthcare services, transforming the way farmers go about managing their land". etc., etc.,. etc., "

    Which of the 7 customers, will he get the most intelligent answer from ?
    Wallingford-314a6
  • You said you were leaving didn't you.. LIAR!
    Rizz-cd230