Conroy asked if using carrier pigeons

Summary:The Australian opposition has asked Communications Minister Stephen Conroy whether he is using carrier pigeons to seek updated information about connections from the company building the National Broadband Network.

During Senate question time on Wednesday, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy faced a second day of grilling on whether NBN Co will achieve its June 30 target of exceeding connections to 286,000 existing homes on the National Broadband Network (NBN).

There's speculation that NBN Co will soon downgrade that target, because only 140,000 connections may be completed by that date. If correct, it will be the third change to the target.

Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham asked Senator Conroy whether he is using "carrier pigeons" to get the latest updates from NBN Co.

Senator Conroy said there have been "workforce mobilisation issues" in Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

He said NBN Co has taken control of construction of the NBN in the NT, because contractor Syntheo, a joint venture between Service Stream and Lend Lease, has failed to meet rollout targets.

Senator Conroy said the information about the connections is detailed and complex, and involves multiple construction partners.

"It's not simply a question of NBN Co pushing a button," he said.

Conroy said 40,000 Australians are using the NBN.

Topics: NBN, Government : AU

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