During a media conference late Wednesday afternoon, and under intense scrutiny from a number of reporters, Senator Conroy conceeded there is no guarantee that the National Broadband Network will cover the 98 percent of households as promised in their election promise back in March 2007.

In a significant backflip from previous statements over the past 12 months, he described the 98% as "the objective" and eventually conceded that it could not be guaranteed.

Many telecom experts - including myself - have cast doubt that it will be delivered. Guy Cranswick, an analyst at IBRS, said it is "unlikely that the actual network will actually deliver what was promised, in reach or speed. That is a problem that could have been dealt with by stronger policy planning at the outset."

The policy should have been more specific detailing a minimum of 100Mbps to 80% of households and 20Mbps to the next 9% of homes. This would have represented the top 50 cities in Australia with a population base over 25,000, and provided via a mix of FTTH and high density FTTN using VDSL2+. The next 5% could have been serviced with a combination of exchange based ADSL2+ and wireless technologies such as HSPA, LTE or WiMAX. The remaining 5% the remote and regional areas could then be serviced with Satellite. But the formulation of their policy was ill advised with conflicting information coming from multiple sources.

Conroy went on to say "It's our election commitment to deliver 12 megabits to 98 percent of Australians and businesses. That is clearly the Rudd Government's election promise and we'll deliver on our election promise."


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