ALP pledge to fund broadband to the home

LABOR leader Bill Shorten has pledged to connect an extra two million homes to fibre as part of the National Broadband Network roll-out, costing $1 billion more than the Coalition's plan.

Mr Shorten yesterday announced the expanded roll-out, which would see Labor spend $57 billion to complete the initiative by 2022 - the same deadline the Coalition had pledged, but with more homes or businesses directly connected to fibre instead of copper.

The Opposition's plan will mean some 39% of premises will get fibre-to-the-home instead of fibre-to-the-node under the Coalition government's program, which has already exceeded its $29.5 billion spending target.

It also would mean the current roll-out of the copper network would stop once the existing pipeline of contracts was completed and work would start to upgrade some copper connections to the higher-speed fibre-optic cable.

Mr Shorten said the government's plan would be "out of date" before it was finished, also claiming there would be "no impact on the budget from this announcement".

It follows a poll on Sunday published in Fairfax Media showing Labor may have reached its peak in the election campaign, at 49.8% to the Coalition's 50.2% and after federal police last month raided the office of a Labor frontbencher over the leaking of NBN Co documents last year.

- ARM NEWSDESK


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