Australians are set to go to the polls on August 21 but the opposition Liberal Party is reportedly still weeks away from finalising its ICT policies.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has vowed to scrap the government’s next-gen broadband project should he become prime minister – but he has promised to honor existing contracts.
However, he has yet to unveil an alternative plan, which is not clever politics, since the NBN is emerging as an influential issue for voters.
All voters have to grasp at this stage from the Opposition is a leaked report from Computerworld which says that the Liberals are planning a much smaller scale fiber project, with wireless technologies to be deployed in regional areas.
Contrast that to the ruling party’s proposed NBN project, which aims to reach 93% of Australian premises with fiber, using satellite and wireless to cover the rest.
But the government’s NBN plans also warrant some concerns. It will go to the election next month without a firm deal with Telstra to participate in the NBN in place, although the parties have signed a frame agreement.
It earmarked A$18.3 billion ($16.5b) in May’s budget for the NBN, demonstrating it is prepared to commit taxpayers’ money to the project.