Councils back broadband plan

ALGA president Geoff Lake said the delivery of optical fibre cabling direct to 90% of Australian homes and the planned investment in wireless and satellite technology for all other Australians would allow local communities to realise enormous economic and social opportunities.Local communities had waited too long for adequate broadband services, and the investment would expand Australia’s productive capacity and educational frontiers.“We also welcome the government’s announcement that it will mandate fibre to the home in all new greenfield developments,” Lake said. “Councils have been advocating for this initiative for some time and it’s pleasing the government will now give fast broadband a similar priority to other utility services in planning new housing estates,” he said. However, Lake warned the roll-out of the $43 billion infrastructure was of an unprecedented scale. He urged the federal government to work with local government to ensure that the interests of Australia’s 21 million residents are taken into account.“The roll-out of the NBN infrastructure will involve laying overhead cables and cutting up roads, footpaths and nature strips,” Lake said.“Local government recognises that a project of this scale requires an expedited delivery model. However, a fast broadband network completed by 2017 and sensitivity to local community interests are not mutually exclusive.”

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