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Greens call Coalition NBN a 'farce'

Greens leader, senator Christine Milne, has labelled the Coalition's NBN policy as a 'farce'.

Opposition leader, Tony Abbott and his communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, revealed their national broadband policy, costing $29.5 billion to build, offering speeds of 25Mbps to 100Mbps by 2016 and minimum speed will rise to 50Mbps at the end of 2019 for 90 per cent of fixed line users.

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It aims to give the highest priority to areas with poor broadband services and projected a retail cost of an average broadband plan at $66 per month, compared to Labor's NBN costing about $90 per month.

The Greens stated the Coalition's alternative broadband policy is 'planned obsolescence' on a vast scale, and will deliver a rehashed ALP broadband policy from 2009.

"The Coalition has finally come out with its first detailed policy, and it's a farce," Milne said. "We need long-term vision, nation-building infrastructure that will meet Australia's needs for future generations, not cheapskate measures that will cost us more later on."

The Coalition plans to use fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology and Telstra's existing copper network, and new development sites will get fibre-to-the-home. Labor's NBN is based on fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP).

Milne said the concept of installing tens of thousands of powered cabinets on street corners around the country will leave existing customers stranded on obsolete copper while new estates get glass fibre installed.

Greens communications spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam, said the Coalition's proposal was based on an out-dated and degraded copper network, which is expensive to maintain and vulnerable.

"This approach was explicitly rejected in 2009 prior to the Government's announcement of the fibre-to-the home project, because it would be obsolete on the day it was built," Ludlam said.

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