Senator Stephen Conroy has moved to reassure the Queensland regions of Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay that they will receive the National Broadband Network (NBN) via fibre.
The move follows claims by Nationals leader, Warren Truss, on Meet the Press that the three regions would receive the NBN via wireless, despite “[Julia Gillard promising] them that they were going to get fibre-optic cable to the home,” Truss said.
NBN Co released three statements last week regarding fixed wireless planning proposals for the three areas. However, NBN Co told Computerworld Australia the NBN would be delivered via fibre in the metropolitan areas of Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay, with the outskirts of the metropolitan areas will receive the NBN via fixed wireless and beyond those areas via satellite.
Fibre construction in Mackay and Rockhampton is due to begin in the next 12 months, according to Conroy, minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy. Fibre construction has already commenced in Townsville to over 14,500 premises.
Around 12,500 premises are expected to be passed by fibre in Mackay, with 11,000 premises receiving the NBN in the area via fixed fireless from late 2013.
A round 14,200 premises are to be passed by fibre in Rockhampton, with around 3500 premises receiving the NBN in the area via fixed wireless from late 2013 to late 2014.
Meanwhile, the NBN will be delivered to around 15,000 premises in Townsville from late 2013 to late 2015.
Conroy called on Truss to apologise for making misleading statements about the NBN.
"Over 50,000 homes and businesses in Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton are already part of the fibre rollout," Conroy said.
“This is not the first time Mr Truss has been caught out on the NBN. In March and May, he claimed people in his electorate of Wide Bay were not getting the NBN. He misled the Australian public on both occasions.”
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