The 2022 Federal Election is yet to be officially called, but that hasn’t stopped either party from going off with their respective election campaigns. In the lead up to May, Labor wants you to know it has a plan for the NBN.
In a statement on Monday from Shadow Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland, we got a summary of what the Australian Labor Party (ALP) wants to do, at least as far as the NBN is concerned, anyway.
Starting with a report that Australia has slipped to 65th in the world on median broadband speed rankings, Rowland said improving the quality, resilience and reliability of regional telecommunications is a top priority for her party. It was also a priority heading into the 2019 election.
With a $3.2 billion investment, Labor wants to leave the past in the past. This is what the ALP says it will do if elected:
- Expand full-fibre access for a further 1.5 million homes and businesses, including up to 660,000 more premises in the regions.
- Upgrade fixed-wireless to make speeds of 100 Mbps available to all users (with this, it wants up to 85 per cent having 250 Mbps access). The impact of this is around 755,000 premises.
- Expand the coverage of fixed-wireless to a further 120,000 currently satellite-only premises.
- Boost the monthly data allowance for remaining SkyMuster satellite customers to 90 gigabytes a month (it says this will benefit 300,000 premises).
- Still on SkyMuster, Labor says it will increase the unmetering of Sky Muster Plus data from the current six-hour window (1 am to 7 am) to 16 hours (midnight to 4 pm).
- Lastly, Labor said it will also work with NBN Co to examine the feasibility of reducing congestion on its seven most clogged-up satellite beams, which it reckons will result in data allowances of at least 100 gigabytes per month.
“Under Labor, 80 per cent of the 7.1 million Australians living in regional and remote areas will have access to speeds of 100 Mbps or more by late 2025. Currently this is only 33 per cent,” Rowland said. “In short, regional Australians will have better connectivity.”
In addition to the above, focused more on regional Australia, Labor says it will ensure:
- 80 percent of all regional and remote premises have access to speeds of 100 Mbps or more by late 2025.
- 93 per cent of all Australian homes and businesses have access to speeds of 100 Mbps or more.
- 90 per cent of the NBN fixed-line footprint will have access to gigabit speeds.