O'Dowd warns of delays in NBN

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd has welcomed the announcement of Rockhampton's NBN rollout but warned "Don't hold your breath".

"The NBN is now forecast to cost at least $50 billion, or 10 times the original budget.  No other country is spending as much public money on broadband," Mr O'Dowd said.

"Added to that, the rollout is running massively behind schedule, it was originally anticipated to be completed by 2013.

"Rockhampton itself may be set for connection but the reality is that everywhere around the city, as well as other regional centres including Gladstone, Emerald and Biloela are being left behind".

He said users face higher prices because the NBN has no competition and is spending so much on its network.  Until recently broadband costs were falling - the price of ADSL fell 69 per cent from 2005 to 2010.

In contrast the NBN has asked regulators for the right to lift prices on most services for the next five years.

"Ms Livermore is free to promote the NBN in Rockhampton all she likes, but the truth is her government is leaving the rest of Capricornia behind and wasting billions in the process," Mr O'Dowd said.

"The Liberal National Party will continue to hold the Government to account on the NBN.  We will also continue to develop our alternative broadband policy, which will improve the quality and availability of broadband.

"Our policies will result in much lower costs for taxpayers, more choice for consumers and access to super-fast broadband for all Australians many years sooner than under Labor's expensive, competition-stifling and sluggish Government monopoly."

Kirsten Livermore, Federal Member for Capricornia welcomed the announcement that Rockhampton would benefit from NBN Co's broadband rollout.

"This infrastructure for Rockhampton will help businesses, connect families to loved ones, and means that we can make use of leading edge medical and scientific technology." Ms Livermore said.

"Businesses and Community Groups have been pressing for the NBN for Rockhampton knowing that it will develop the region, and make a positive difference in people's lives," Ms Livermore said. 

 Locally, the Regional Development Australia Fitzroy and Central West lobbied for the NBN, as well as the Rockhampton Region Digital Economy Taskforce, an initiative of the Rockhampton Regional Council.  

"This decision by the Labor Government means that Rockhampton will not be left behind, and gives us the same level of internet access as the rest of Australia," Ms Livermore said.

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