NBN Co forced to wait on advice from incoming government

THE roll-out of the National Broadband Network in regional areas across Queensland and northern New South Wales is in limbo, with the NBN Co waiting for advice from the Coalition Government on its future plans.

Under the previous Labor government's plans, work was expected to start between this year and 2016 on the broadband network in numerous towns around Queensland and north NSW.

Among those areas left in limbo were suburbs in Grafton, Murwillumbah, Bellingen and Yamba in NSW and Queensland towns such as Rockhampton, Caboolture, Gympie, Mackay, Nambour, Noosa and Caloundra.

But the scheduled work involved Labor's promised "fibre-to-the-home" connections, rather than the Coalition's 71% of premises "fibre-to-the-node" election pledge.

The difference may mean some residents of those regional areas still waiting may instead be connected to a network at the end of a street, rather than their home.

But how the Coalition's plans will actually affect the roll-out remains to be seen, with an NBN Co spokesman confirming it was still waiting for detail from the incoming government.

Despite the new government already ordering action on numerous policies such as border protection and the carbon tax, the Coalition has not yet told NBN Co what its policy or plans are.

It has left the NBN Co unable to answer key questions related to its business, such as how the Coalition plans will affect regional areas around the country.

A spokesman for NBN Co said the corporation was waiting for guidance on "how any new policy would impact the design and delivery of the NBN".

Incoming Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Coalition was committed to ensuring all Australians would be able to access speeds of at least 25mbps by 2016.

However, he was unable to shed more light on the uncertainty about the future rollout, committing only that new plans would released following a strategic review of the current plan.

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