National Broadband Network in the South

The NBN is being rolled out in the South. It has a huge potential to improve services and increase productivity. Read Chris' speech to Parliament.

Below is a speech Chris made to Parliament on the NBN on 7 August 2014.

There is no doubt that our future as a state as an economy relies upon our ability to use technology and to improve our usage and effectiveness of technology in a whole range of areas. That is why I think it is so important that we take full advantage of the rollout of the National Broadband Network in South Australia.

Unfortunately, most of Adelaide—and particularly the southern suburbs where I live at the moment—has for a long time had very slow internet access. I know that at my house it is regularly very hard to get above one or two megabits per second, and frequently the line drops out. So, it is very exciting that the NBN is being rolled out with such a focus on my electorate in Kaurna. It will really be the first hub of Adelaide for the rollout of fibre to the home.

We already have houses connected in parts of Aldinga Beach, Moana, Seaford, and Seaford Rise where they are getting fibre super-fast connections directly to their homes. And there is more construction underway in those areas, but as well in Port Noarlunga South and Seaford Meadows with plans for more rollouts to come in Maslin Beach and Moana South.

I particularly want to congratulate the member for Kingston, Amanda Rishworth, who fought very hard and successfully to get that rollout happening in the south. It will really make us a beacon of what lies as potential for the rest of Adelaide and what can happen for our health services and our education services with this super-fast rollout occurring across the whole state.

What it does is it improves connections for people in the outer suburbs. There is a particularly large number of people in my electorate who work from home who have set up small businesses as small traders. To have that ability of connections—not just with people across in Adelaide through videoconferencing, but with people across the world—is very important to them when they live a fair way out of town and commuting back and forth regularly would take up a large amount of their time. It is much easier for them to use the internet to conduct those conversations and business exchanges.

We are also going to see huge potential improvements with education services with people enrolling online in university courses around the world, furthering their own education and using that superfast connection to get high definition video of lectures and downloads of a whole range of high data usage whether it be, say, in architecture where you might have CAD files that are particularly large or engineering or a whole range of other areas.

Also in health care we are increasingly seeing consultations happen over the internet and through high definition video. Psychiatrists are using the internet in that way as well as a whole range of other specialists who are now being supported by Medicare to do that. I think over time we are going to see many more health services provided online, which is fantastic.

Unfortunately, though, the rollout of this fibre to the home is stopping in very limited areas due to the Abbott government's cuts to this area. They are promoting their own view that there should be fibre to the node rather than fibre to the home, so suburbs such as Christies Beach and Port Noarlunga in my electorate as well as the majority of Adelaide will not be able to get the superfast fibre connections. They are going to have to rely on the 100-year-old copper technology to get faster internet and it is just not going to keep pace with competitors around the world who are actually investing in the proper technology of fibre.

That is why this has been called 'fraudband' by many people around the country. Many people in my electorate who are not getting it are very upset when neighbours just across the other side of the Onkaparinga River will be able to get fibre to the home. I particularly call on the Abbott government to change its short-sighted decision in this regard and roll out proper internet to people all across Adelaide and South Australia so that we have the potential to take the greatest benefit from the growing economy online, and for the greatest benefit of health services and education services for people through that high definition internet.

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