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Coalition NBN farce – another reason to keep Greens in Senate

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

"The Coalition has finally come out with its first detailed policy, and it's a farce," Greens Leader Senator Christine 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 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.

"The Coalition is continuously playing politics with policy, which is why we need Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate to keep a check on Abbott's ridiculous plans and to stand up with a strong alternative voice.

"This highlights why it is vital to keep Scott Ludlam in the Senate to protect the NBN - more Coalition seat-warmers in the Senate will demolish the progress on infrastructure reform, setting Australia back decades."

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said: "The Coalition's technically inferior proposal is based on an out-dated and degraded copper network, which is enormously expensive to maintain and vulnerable to weather events.

"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.

"With the Coalition generating headlines with imaginary cost figures for the NBN, attention should not be diverted from the very real problems in rolling out the NBN. The company should come clean on its revised targets, but the last thing we need is to revisit a concept that was rejected with good reason.

"The Coalition's broadband policy is faster and cheaper for a reason: it provides a quick fix that we will regret."

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