Business leaders unimpressed by Coalition broadband plans

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Business leaders unimpressed by Coalition broadband plans

TCNZ, Bank Of Queensland want higher speeds.

Members of the Trans-Tasman Business Circle have slammed the Coalition plan for Australian broadband, arguing that higher connection speeds and greater regulation of Telstra are essential to the business community.

Speaking on an executive panel at the SAS Forum in Sydney today, outgoing Telecom New Zealand director Rod McGeoch said that he was unimpressed with the plan.

"I cannot believe we could have settled in the Opposition for a 12 Mbps outcome," he said. "It really troubled me to see that as a goal."

TCNZ's assessment was that a minimum speed of 15 to 20 Mbps was essential for browsing, email and entertainment services, even before considering additional services, he said.

McGeoch described the Coalition commitment to maintain a vertically integrated Telstra as "troubling".

"You simply can't get fair go across their network if they're trying to make a quid off it," he said. "What's happened in the telecommunications industry in this country is an unbelievably abrogation of insistence on policy to allow access to infrastructure. The government settings in Australia destroyed any other company's opportunity to get a fair go at the access network."

David Liddy, chief executive at the Bank of Queensland said the Caolition's proposal - which relies heavily on stimulating private investment - was inadequate.

"We need to come up with a solution that's a solution, not something that's going to get us halfway there," he said. "I don't think we can afford to compromise."

SAS chief executive Jim Goodnight expressed scepticism that wireless technology would deliver sufficient speeds for many services.

"There's no way we can all be watching movies over that," he said.

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