Conroy: NBN won't be an eyesore

Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy today assured local council representatives that the National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre infrastructure would not be an eye-sore on their landscapes.

Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy today assured local council representatives that the National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre infrastructure would not be an eye-sore on their landscapes.

Speaking at the National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra this morning, Conroy addressed concerns that the NBN would be a repeat of the 1990's, when Optus and Telstra rolled out competing hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cables.

The NBN and fibre-to-the-premises component of the roll-out would be as "unobtrusive as possible", he said. His comments follow last week's admission that where underground cables were not economically feasible, the government would look to overhead cables for the NBN.

"In other instances, aerial cabling may be faster and more cost effective," Conroy told council representatives today.

Conroy reiterated comments he made last week in the Senate that while the government would "amend the existing carrier powers and immunities" to progress the NBN roll-out, it would also consult with stakeholders on legislative changes.

Shadow Communications Minister, Nick Minchin, has claimed that up to 70 per cent of Tasmania's leg of the NBN would be overhead and has asked the government to outline which councils face aerial deployments. The government was waiting for its implementation study to be complete, said Conroy.

Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has said he expected to commence construction on the network within the coming months, which will be rolled out via state-owned energy corporation Aurora; however, neither the state nor federal government have reached an agreement yet.

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