ROLLOUT: A Casatel employee is laying down fibre optic cable as part of the NBN rollout in West Ipswich.
ROLLOUT: A Casatel employee is laying down fibre optic cable as part of the NBN rollout in West Ipswich. David Nielsen

Neumann slams $900 'NBN tax'

IPSWICH new home owners will be $900 worse off and many residents will get a second class service from the Federal Government's NBN rollout in the region.

That is the warning from Blair MP Shayne Neumann who has slammed what he called "a $900 NBN tax".

But a spokesman for Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull said "the fact is that nothing when it comes to the NBN is free, despite Labor's best attempts to convince Australians it will be".

Mr Neumann said page five of the government's recent released policy document "made clear that home owners will now be hit with a new $300 NBN connection fee".

He said developers would also be charged a new $600 deployment charge for homes "which they can pass on to home buyers".

"This tax is unfair," Mr Neumann said.

Mr Turnbull's spokesman said that every dollar the government spends on building the NBN would "have to be recouped one way or another".

"If we had continued with Labor's plan average internet prices would have had to increase by up to 80% making broadband less affordable to millions of Australians struggling with the cost of living," he said.

"By reversing the long-standing industry practice of charging for telecoms connections in new estates, Labor claimed it would be "free" and sought to stamp out all competition to the NBN Co.

"The result was that the NBN Co couldn't deliver and private sector fibre deployment companies were driven out of business. Thousands of homes were left without any fixed line connection, often for more than six months."

Mr Neumann said the government's planned NBN rollout would not serve the region well because "we are going to get a situation where only those people currently with fibre to the premises will get it".

"There are going to be streets in Ipswich where there will be an NBN divide

"What people are going to get under the Abbott Government is 25MB of download instead of the 100MB Labor was proposing.

"You won't get fibre to premises. It is going to cost you to connect, and regional and rural areas are going to be more adversely impacted.

"All the country towns like Esk, Toogoolawah, Kilcoy, Fernvale and Lowood were in the mix to get fibre to the premises, but now they will not get it.

"The Abbott Government has also announced plans to axe universal wholesale pricing. People living in the Somerset region will pay more for broadband than people in our big cities.

"In my electorate, there will only be 24,000 households and businesses that will get fibre to the premises. Everything else is wireless, satellite or fibre to the node. But tens of thousands of households and businesses in the Blair electorate will miss out."


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