Fixing the hole: Labor pledges FTTP for Tasmanian West Coast


news The Opposition today promised to deliver Fibre to the Premises to most of the West Coast of Tasmania if it wins the upcoming Federal Election, in a move squarely aimed at resolving the complaints of residents and businesses in the area over being relegated to satellite broadband access under the Coalition.

Residents of areas such as Queenstown in Western Tasmania were previously scheduled to have received a full Fibre to the Premises rollout as part of the previous Labor Government’s original NBN plan.

However, under the Coalition’s revised Multi-Technology Mix approach to the NBN, they will instead only receive satellite broadband, with the NBN company not planning to deploy any fixed broadband infrastructure to some areas of the state, despite the fact that townships such as Queenstown already have ADSL broadband over Telstra’s copper network, and several thousand local residents.

Residents and business groups in the region have bitterly complained about the issue to their local MP, Brett Whitely, demanding better broadband.

In a joint statement issued this afternoon, Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare, Tasmanian Labor Senator Anne Urquhart and Labor candidate for Whiteley’s seat of Braddon, Justine Keay, said that if elected, a Labor Government would be a “fibre NBN link” to the West Coast of Tasmania, connecting Queenstown, Rosebery and Zeehan to fibre.

“This will reverse Mr Turnbull’s sneaky and unfair decision to rip the West Coast of Tasmania off the fibre NBN map and instead provide them with an inappropriate satellite solution,” the trio said.

“This fibre link will mean that Tasmanians living on the West Coast will get the fast internet speeds that come with a fibre connection.”

Labor said the fibre link would mean residents and businesses in Queenstown, Rosebery and Zeehan would receive a full FTTP connection, with those in Strahan to receive a fixed wireless connection.

The three Labor figures said that before the last election, Queenstown, Rosebery and Zeehan were scheduled to be connected to Labor’s Fibre to the Premises NBN, with construction to start by December 2014.

Before the election, the trio said, as Shadow Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull promised Tasmanians he would: “honour all contracts” for the fibre rollout in Tasmania; and roll out the NBN to all Tasmanian homes and businesses by 2015.

“In Government, Mr Turnbull broke these promises,” the three Labor figures said. “Mr Turnbull and Brett Whiteley then said that the West Coast would be connected to the second rate fibre-to-the-node network, with construction to start by June 2016.”
“They broke this promise too.”

“In 2015, Mr Turnbull quietly put the West Coast on the NBN satellites without even informing the community—it only came out in Senate testimony. Mr Turnbull has treated the West Coast of Tasmania with contempt and Brett Whiteley has been a willing accomplice.”

The Labor figures said Labor “will make it happen” in terms of connecting the residents of Queenstown, Rosebery and Zeehan with “fibre”.

A Shorten Labor Government, the statement said, would also work with the Tasmanian Government to lease capacity on TasNetwork’s West Coast fibre network to provide redundancy. This will mean that if the link goes down the fibre service to the West Coast will still operate, according to Labor.

Labor said the cost of the Tasmanian project was estimated to be approximately $29 million, including contingency. This would be met from within the existing budget allocation for the NBN.

The trio said Turnbull had made a “mess” of the NBN, accusing the Member for Wentworth of presiding over a doubling of the cost of the Coalition’s version of the NBN, as well as the time to completion, as well as having let Australia slide from 30th in the world for broadband speeds to 60th.

“A Shorten Labor Government will fix Malcolm Turnbull’s Mess and deliver the West Coast of Tasmania the 21st century infrastructure it was promised,” Labor said.

Delimiter has invited Communications Minister Mitch Fifield to respond to Labor’s announcement.

Opinion/analysis to follow.

Image credit: Julie Inman Grant


    • Yeah, it’s really not going to be hard for the ALP to have a better NBN policy than the Libs tho is it – it’s a pretty low bar they’ve set!

  1. yeh .. well what about the rest of Australia that is getting Turnbull’s second rate – 3rd world country internet ? How about fixing up the rest of Turnbull’s “steaming turd ” – FTTN – MTM …. Crap….

    • We won’t be left out – MTM has a lot to fix and the ALP may not be able to tell us exactly what they can/cannot do until they are in government thanks to contracts.

      We may have to go through with fttn and then look at fftp – thanks to the LNP!

  2. If they give all those that Turnbull is switching over to satellite the broadband connections originally planed then they could probably allow satellite customers more than the paltry 150GB per month they are imposing on them to skimp on areas of the rollout.

    • I don’t know about increasing data allowances but it would certainly take some of the pressure off the very strained satellite capacity.

  3. Brett Whiteley.
    This MP of Tasmania tells his constituents to eat cake.
    But at the end of the day he lacks the fibre for the job.
    Adios buffoon.

    • IIRC he has fibre connected to his electoral office but he condemns his constituents to satellite.

    • The residents in Western Tassie haven’t got it yet, where have I heard that before, oh that’s right the original Labor FTTP rollout where rollout targets were at 50% of original estimates in the end, a shit load of residents missed out then as well.

      • “honour all contracts” for the fibre rollout in Tasmania; and roll out the NBN to all Tasmanian homes and businesses by 2015.”

        Wait it’s 2016 now how many have been rollout out in TAS

      • Blah, blah, fucking blah alain…

        Tell us Labor (read politics) what you will do? Go on tell us now .. what is your solution (to the MTM FUCK UP)?

        You can keep the details to later… no, no I have changed my mind, you can”t after all (sigh) tell us now Labor (politics) what will you do… ?

        Oh, more FTTP for Tas you say Labor (politics)…?

        Yes well err, umm, Tassie people missed out before on FttP because of err, umm we had an election and a retrograde idiot government and FTTN was voted…

        Oh wait

      • “where rollout targets were at 50% of original estimates in the end”

        Hows that 25Mbit to all by 2016 going? Oh right… It was “revised”. Yet, as you point out here, revisions while under Labor were figuratively the devil. Yet, under the LNP they’re A-Okay.

        The cognitive dissonance is real.

      • @Alternate – “a shit load of residents missed out then as well”

        Because Turnbull lied through his teeth and did not fulfill the contracts that had been committed already.

      • Lol devoid
        The residents in Western Tassie haven’t got it yet, where have I heard that before, oh that’s right the original Coslition FTTN rollout where rollout targets have been miss by more than 75% of original estimates in the end, a shit load of residents missed out then as well.

        In the all great and powerful man with many names Rizz would say

        There I fixed it for you.

          • Devoid, dont bother trying to tell us what is factual and what isnt, your track record of spouting indefensible feelpinions and Libtroll propaganda makes you the least qualified person on the planet to lecture others!

          • So devoid

            The 25Mbps to all by my 2016 doesn’t exist.

            Have another go of using facts for a change

      • You are such a political shill.

        You aren’t even discussing the current issue. You are Pathetic.

  4. Peak funding for nbn is capped by the Federal Government. If nbn will be told to change delivery method for a region, who picks up the cost difference? While it’s nice for these statements to be made (including FTTdp) somebody has to pickup the bill.

    Saying that, stepping areas backwards shouldn’t be permitted. The statement of expectations should reflect areas should get equivalent services (so areas with fixed line broadband today should get at minimum fixed wireless)

    • The idea is NBN goes out and borrows money to complete said network. Funding/investment by tax payer is capped at ~$30B but nothing stopping the GBE itself to procure funds elsewhere.

      This is also partly why the cost per premises is higher for FttP as well as there will be area’s that in isolation aren’t viable to install said tech. On a national scale however its offset by the very cheap area’s etc. They figured 93% coverage was achievable with a reasonable return.

      Off course that would be far simpler if it was a state of the art (gold plated) network that could assure said money bag lending types that the thing was good for 50-100 years. Not some hideously over complex mis-mash of random tech cobbled together with zip ties and plastic bags!

      Probably not going to help that Australia is likely going to lose its AAA rating either thanks to the current muppets in charge either.

  5. Labor promising splashing even more borrowed money comes as no surprise (just the start). Perhaps the imagined economic transformation of Tassy’s west coast could start with them accepting responsibility for themselves:

    “But government monopoly programs are rarely any better than private ones — especially in dynamic sectors like telecom. True to form, it seems that execution of the original NBN did not measure up to the admirable vision. But the new government appears to have kept the flawed execution mechanism (government monopoly) while discarding the admirable all-fibre goal. Seems like the worst of both worlds to us.”

    Worth a read. Yet 44% of voters dependent on govt for majority or all their income tells a very sad story.

    • Sorry Richard comment and article is invalid

      “In fact, contrary to common mythology, economies of scale are small in this sector and need not be a barrier to FTTP development.” as that doesn’t exist according to you.

    • ah the old neo-liberal / conservative red herring of “they should just take responsibility for themselves” …. tsk tsk, such a tired and pathetic argument Richard, surely you can do better than that?

      Is it really that hard for you DelCon’s to grasp the concept of “Government exist to provide services to the people”?

      Btw, if eyeryone “should just take responsibility for themselves” does that mean we should drop negative gearing altogether because it’s just giving hand-outs to ppl who mostly dont need them?

    • They are saving money. Fixed line is cheaper than satellite is it not? Or do you suggest an extra satellite or even limiting plans to even lower than the currently pathetic 150G a month?
      I’ll admit, borrowing more money could be a problem. What with the Coalition doubling the deficit and putting our AAA rating at risk.

    • @Richard – Sadly the article you link falls into the very poor bag. They try to make a case using all of telecom instead of just the infrastructure. The infrastructure of telecom is anything but a “dynamic sector”, that is what the retail sector of telecom is for…
      It is understandable as in the US (where the Nutty couple are from), all telecom companies combine retail and infrastructure, and they haven’t had a national carrier since they forcibly broke up AT&T in 1982.

    • I read that article, and it basically says that the Labor FTTP plan was good, but flawed because of the Artificial barriers.

      But it then says that the Coalition then took it and removed all the good bits, but kept the artificial barriers.

      Not sure how that supports anything you have to say.

  6. That’s one small step to get votes in one small regional area of our smallest state that made a bit of noise about getting satellite, of course what was missing in the announcement is when they will actually get RFS FTTP.

    Is this how the Labor NBN policy will develop, electorate by electorate, so what about a national policy for the rest of Australia, any ideas yet?

    • Good old devoid, still struggling to produce conscious thought, better luck next time.

    • @ alain (said)…

      “The details can come later.”..

      Oh.. No, he changed his mind…because it suits his campaigning and idiocy… ROFL


      You’re welcome

    • Thanks to how senators are elected that small population will probably end up electing 3 senators. The smaller the state, the more power they have in the senate.

      It’s a smart political play by Labor. Shame they didn’t display more political smarts when they were in power. They’d probably still be in power and we’d all be still getting FTTP.

      • Its an exaggeration to say that small states have more power. They still have less senators than big states. They just have more power per capita then the bigger states, which practically doesn’t mean a huge amount.

    • Seems you have that in reverse “Reality??”
      Labor had a National policy The NBN.
      Turnbull is now running his MTMess “electorate by electorate” with whatever tech is cheapest regardless of end result & cost to subscribers.

  7. Haha! Am I the only one who has noticed that they spelled Malcolm Turnbull’s name wrong on his nametag in the photo? You would think they would take the time to get the PM’s name right ;)

  8. Combined population figures of the three Tassie towns targeted for the save face reborn Labor FTTP exercise is 3,625 with a estimated cost of $29M.

    BTW how did they work out that $29M? did they use the retail store approach where everything has .99 on the end and it spins out better than $30M.

    Which means the cost per person for providing FTTP is $8000, of course CPP is calculated as a cost per premise which would be less than the population figure, so even being kind and halving the population figure the FTTP cost per premise is around $16,000.

    Have Labor learnt nothing about cost effective, speedy and responsible NBN infrastructure rollouts from three years in opposition and the failed snails pace FTTP rollout when they were in Government?


    I just hope they get their ‘money’s worth’ and actually win the targeted electorate seats, I also hope the electorate get what they have been promised, the previous Labor FTTP rollout history shows that you shouldn’t hold your breath on that one.

    • Devoid still unable to comprehend the concept of “National Infrastructure”!!!

      A braindead LibTroll is all you are devoid, now get lost and let the Adults conduct a rational conversation!

    • Lol devoid thank you let’s see
      MTM $56B not up to any more thanks to Fifield statement “NBN does not have a spare $29 million”
      Is $4666 CPP
      MTM $70B ex treasure $5883 CPP
      Labor $44B $3666 CPP
      SR s2 FTTP $64B $5333 CPP

    • Perhaps they used the “latest copper figures” as a guide alain…

      NBN™ claimed they would be spending $14m on copper which has now blown out in just 5 months to over (note not UP TO) $44m.

      Then only 4 months ago the cost to replace/repair the legacy copper which was estimated/quoted @ $90m in the SR, has now blown out to $641m…

      Endless cost blow outs, for this shitty, obsolete, retrograde, substandard, FRAUDBAND “faster/cheaper…ROFL” politically dumb network.

      Oh dear…

      You’re welcome.

    • One little sniff of the term ‘Labor FTTP’ in 2016 now matter how minor and in the scale of infrastructure rollouts this is just a blip sends the FTTP fan boys (rebadged back from FTTdp but on standby to embrace FTTdp again in a blink) into a feeding frenzy.

      I thought the analysis of just how much this little Labor political exercise in West Tassie costs out per premise would cause heads to spin off their axis.


      • Try again alain.

        Read my comment above, again, about what is happening now …. not your perpetually partial and typically factless take on what may or may not occur in the future…

        And if you can prise open that other eye, you will then see the moronic waste of rolling out FRAUDBAND (Coalition’s term for their own network) and patching FAILED (your word) HFC.

        You’re welcome.

      • @”reality” – now you are purely trolling…your posts are apparently just there to inflame those of us who are trying to have an intelligent discussion. Please leave, change, or hopefully get banned…

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