NBN discriminates against people living in small towns, according to Senator Macdonald


Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald today came out strongly in support of small rural towns that will miss out on high-speed broadband services under Labors $50 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) plan.
Thousands of Australians living in small centres will become second-class citizens under the plan simply because Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy has decided to leapfrog towns with populations of less than 1000 people, he said.
Labor is determined to saddle us with this $50 billion white elephant; the very least they could do is ensure people living in small towns are not left behind.
Sen. Macdonald, Coalition spokesman on Northern and Remote Australia, said people in small communities would have to settle for relatively slow 12 megabits-per-second wireless or satellite broadband under the NBN plan while those living in towns and cities with populations above 1000 would have access to 100mbs broadband speeds.
What about towns in North Queensland like Richmond, Toomulla, Toolakea and Brandon that are likely to miss out on high-speed fibre-optic broadband
In many cases for example, Julia Creek in the McKinlay Shire west of Townsville the NBN fibre-optic cable runs right through the town but the towns 500 residents wont get access to it unless they pay for the expensive infrastructure themselves, according to Sen. Conroy, he said.
Labor is kicking dirt into the faces of rural Australians in these small towns by asking them to pay extra for the same service that those in larger centres will be provided with.
This type of thinking is un-Australian and entrenches the feelings of disconnect among people living in rural and remote areas.
Sen. Macdonald said the mayors of the Barcoo and Diamantina shires, west of Rockhampton, were forced to spend $2.8 million of ratepayers money to set up the necessary infrastructure to enable residents of six small communities to gain access to the NBN cable.
I call on Senator Conroy to rethink this discriminatory policy so that ALL Australians are treated equally, said Sen. Macdonald.

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