Senate debates

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Questions without Notice

Broadband

2:36 pm

Photo of Fiona NashFiona Nash (NSW, National Party, Deputy Leader of the Nationals) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator McKenzie for her question and for the tremendous work that she does for regional Victoria. Reliable and affordable broadband is absolutely critical to the success of Australia's regions. Having quality broadband in rural, regional and remote Australia creates jobs and careers. It helps keep our young people from moving away to the cities. Reliable, effective and affordable communications will help drive future regional economies, which already make such a huge contribution to our nation.

NBN Co's two Sky Muster satellites are providing consumers with unprecedented coverage and capacity in regional Australia. Just recently, I was pleased to join with NBN Co to announce improvements to the performance of Sky Muster satellites. Maximum monthly data limits have now been doubled. What we are now seeing is that, for the first time, end users are able to purchase, at a reasonable cost, plans offering 200 gigabytes of peak-time data per month and another 100 gigabytes off peak. Average Australian monthly download is 130 gigabytes, so we're offering rural and remote Australians much more than the average person uses. This means that a farmer can watch YouTube videos on how to fix her tractor. Uni students home during holidays can study hard and stay in contact with friends without using up the entire monthly limit.

There are 80,000 end users on the Sky Muster service, and I'm pleased to see more joining every week. And I am very proud to be part of this coalition government, which is delivering world-leading internet by 2020 whether you live in the mountains, in the outback or on a remote island.

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