Response to Question Without Notice - House of Representatives - Broadband

Ms Rowland (Greenway—Minister for Communications) (15:21): I thank the member for her question and her ongoing advocacy when it comes to high-speed broadband in outer metropolitan Sydney. Labor, of course, founded the National Broadband Network for the purpose of providing fast, reliable and affordable broadband for all Australians. The original vision was for a world-class fibre national broadband network, underpinned by sound long-term economics.

It was about access, about opportunity, about leveraging an essential national asset to drive social and economic benefits, and, importantly, to ensure we remained world competitive—which is why we took a policy to the election to make the NBN better, to invest $2.4 billion over four years to give an additional 1½ million premises full fibre access. That means 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the NBN fixed-line footprint will have access to gigabit speeds by 2025, with 660,000 of those premises being in regional Australia.

I'm pleased to inform the House that today we are delivering. We have announced the latest tranche of suburbs that will be eligible for full fibre upgrades, and that is one million additional premises right across Australia. The latest one million premises are in suburbs and towns across the states and territories, including a significant proportion, as I said, in regional areas. These upgrades have been determined based on NBN Co's analysis of a range of factors, including the likely take-up of higher-speed tiers and the cost of the upgrade. These are important in ensuring the upgrades provide a commercial return to the company. The remaining locations to be upgraded as part of this government's investment in expanding full fibre access are expected to be announced by early 2024.

The Albanese government's fibre repair job is enabling the NBN to reach its full potential and giving Australian families and small businesses access to the world-class broadband infrastructure they deserve. What are these benefits? The benefits include faster upload and download speeds, more reliable connection and greater latency, and they're even more pronounced for larger households. If many devices are used, higher speeds mean the whole family can be online at the same time.

These one million premises reflect the implementation of the values this government has brought to this policy—equality of opportunity, setting up Australia for a better future and ensuring that all Australians, irrespective of what they earn or where they live, have the same access to the best, world-class, high-quality broadband. That's what we are delivering.

Mr Albanese: On that very positive note, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.