Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to fix broadband ‘rot’

‘It's time to stop the rot. It's time to make a difference. That is what we are doing.’ At the recent controversial Broadband Future Forum run by the Federal Government in Sydney, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said it was time to ‘stop the rot’ infecting Australia’s history of broadband. The forum was informed about 18 different national broadband plans created to solve the problem, under the previous Liberal government’s administration, that had all failed to come to fruition over the previous 12 years.

‘The reality is that Australia's current broadband infrastructure is not up to scratch,’ the Prime Minister said. ‘Slow broadband is holding our nation back. We've got to change that.’ Rudd’s plan to action is to bring Australia up to the same levels of broadband enjoyed by the leading technological countries in the world. The Prime Minister said global statistics measure Australia as being behind ’Turkey, and even the Slovac Republic’ in terms of high-speed internet access.

‘Before we (the Labour Party) came to office, there had been 18 plans released (to fix Australia’s broadband situation) in 12 years while Australia still fell behind, Rudd said. He pushed his point further by saying Australia was, ‘in the bottom half of OECD rankings for broadband take-up.’

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy earlier told members of the telecommunication industry they were ‘uniquely positioned’ to ensure all Australians will feel the full benefits of the proposed $43 billion National Broadband Network. Conroy said, ‘we must work together to develop plans, strategies and business models to support future digital growth.’