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Minchin expected NBN delays

Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin today said that he was not surprised with the lack of progress shown thus far in the roll-out of the first leg of the National Broadband Network in Tasmania.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin today said that he was not surprised with the lack of progress shown thus far in the roll-out of the first leg of the National Broadband Network in Tasmania.

Senator Minchin claimed, in a statement, that apparent delays in Tasmania were the latest to occur in the government's list of broken broadband deadlines. And given the debate over NBN funding between federal and state governments, it was unlikely that the Tasmanian network roll-out would start this month.

"We don't even know how much this project will cost or even what the governance arrangements will be. Vendors are also rightly expecting a tender for the supply of equipment and services to support the roll out, yet have been kept in the dark," the senator said.

Tasmanian consumer group Digital Tasmania has also called for more detail on the expected NBN roll-out.

The Tasmanian Greens has said that the state is being disadvantaged by not having a dedicated ICT minister — Tasmania missed out on the government's $250 million announcement to improve broadband black spots.

"The Rudd Government is hiding behind an implementation study, which is more than likely a delaying tactic to get it through the next election, while disadvantaged parts of the country are still waiting for the enhanced broadband services that the Coalition would have delivered this year had Labor not cancelled the OPEL project," Senator Minchin said.

The NBN company is currently without a headquarters pending the appointment of the company's board and chairman. A spokesperson for the office of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy did not immediately respond to a request to respond to Minchin's comments.

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