OPINION: IT'S business as usual for Bill Shorten's candidate Lucy Stanton, parroting incorrect comments on the NBN straight from Labor's union HQ.
Her claim that the Coalition Government paid $11 billion to buy Telstra's copper infrastructure is false (even though Labor's Federal communications spokesman said the same thing two days earlier).
It was in fact the former Labor Government that did deals with Telstra and Optus costing $9 billion and $800 million respectively in June 2011 - to close down their networks to eliminate competition with Labor's overpriced NBN network.
The Coalition paid no money for these networks - we simply negotiated access to them.
As a result, the cost of connecting customers to the Coalition's Fibre to the Node (FTTN) NBN is half what Labor would have paid for their Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) system.
In addition, Labor took 15 months to connect FTTP to the first 1000 premises.
The Coalition took 57 working days to connect the first 1000 premises to FTTN.
By the end of 2016, 500,000 homes and businesses will be able to access this technology. It's probably no surprise to anyone that L. Stanton's costings on the NBN are way off mark.
The NBN recently estimated that a return to FTTP rollout would cost $80 billion and would take until 2026 or 2028 to complete. Labor first promised their NBN would cost $4 billion and be completed by 2016.
The Coalition's NBN using a mix of technologies is a better solution for decentralised regional communities than running fibre to every premises.
L. Stanton knows this as her community of Boreen Point already has NBN thanks to the Coalition's Fixed Wireless network.
Not a single premises in Wide Bay was connected to fibre under the Labor Government.
L. Stanton also repeated the Labor spokesman's claim that the Optus HFC network is not 'fit for purpose'.
The NBN has publicly confirmed its HFC trial in Queensland is proving to be a great success and users are receiving speeds of around 100mbps download and 40mbps upload.
If L. Stanton wants to prove to Wide Bay that she is more than a mouthpiece for Labor's city-centric policies she should elaborate on Labor's plan for telecommunications services for Wide Bay.
Residents of Wide Bay have a right to be sceptical of L. Stanton's pie-in-the-sky NBN promises.