Liberal Party: OPEL abolishment supporters named

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Liberal Party: OPEL abolishment supporters named

The Liberal Party is adamant that project data relating to the OPEL broadband network reveals the impact the Rudd Labor Government's decision to axe it will have on under-served premises across rural, regional and remote Australia.

According to Shadow Communications Minister, Bruce Billson, the OPEL project would have seen the installation of 1,361 WiMAX base stations in 97 electorates across Australia, as well as the installation of ADSL2+ equipment in 312 telephone exchanges and the roll out of 15,000 kms of fibre backhaul.

Senator Billson stated the open access OPEL wholesale network was scheduled to deliver fast, metro equivalent broadband at speeds of up to 12 megabits per second by the middle of 2009. The network was to cover an area of approximately 638,000 square kilometres.

“The project proponents maintain they would have met all contractual conditions and would have delivered services to about 900,000 underserved premises across the country. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy terminated the contract because advice from his department suggested OPEL would reach only 72 percent of target premises,” he said.

“The proponents insist Senator Conroy’s decision was based on flawed departmental advice, that is why he must publicly release both OPEL coverage data and his department’s coverage analysis for independent comparison and verification”

Billson claimed Labor MPs across regional, rural and remote Australia, whose electorates were going to greatly benefit from the OPEL network must explain why they supported its termination and how the government plans to deliver high speed broadband services to them by the middle of 2009, despite not having any alternative plan.

A snapshot of Labor electorates that have fallen victim to the Rudd Government’s OPEL cull:

  • Labor (Julia Gillard) – 34,129 underserved premises were set to receive 13 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in one telephone exchange.


  • Hunter (Joel Fitzgibbon) – 26, 016 underserved premises were set to receive 22 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in seven telephone exchanges.


  • Flynn (Chris Trevor) – 19,406 underserved premises were set to receive 46 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in one telephone exchange.


  • Ballarat (Catherine King) – 11,475 underserved premises were set to receive 12 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in three telephone exchanges.


  • Wakefield (Nick Champion) – 30,023 underserved premises were set to receive 15 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in five telephone exchanges.


  • Page (Janelle Saffin) – 22,369 underserved premises were set to receive 30 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in eight telephone exchanges.


  • Longman (Jon Sullivan) – 23,698 underserved premises were set to receive 10 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in three telephone exchanges.


  • Dawson (James Bidgood) – 19,106 underserved premises were set to receive 29 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in seven telephone exchanges.


  • Eden Monara (Mike Kelly) – 21,845 underserved premises were set to receive 17 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in eight telephone exchanges.


  • Forde (Brett Raguse) – 47,708 underserved premises were set to receive 18 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in eight telephone exchanges.


  • Capricornia (Kirsten Livermore) – 16,706 underserved premises were set to receive 16,706 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in three telephone exchanges.


  • Blair (Shayne Neumann) – 16,158 underserved premises were set to receive 10 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in five telephone exchanges.


  • Bass (Jodie Campbell) – 5,371 underserved premises were set to receive nine new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in five telephone exchanges.


  • Cunningham (Sharon Bird) – 16,269 underserved premises were set to receive nine new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in one telephone exchange.


  • Dobell (Craig Thomson) – 20,369 underserved premises were set to receive nine new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in three telephone exchanges.


  • Bendigo (Steve Gibbons) – 12,398 underserved premises were set to receive 20 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in three telephone exchanges.


  • Leichardt (Jim Turnour) – 11,410 underserved premises were set to receive 12 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in 12 telephone exchanges.


  • Brand (Gary Gray) – 11,031 underserved premises were set to receive 12 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in eight telephone exchanges.


  • Corangamite (Darren Cheeseman) – 12,682 underserved premises were set to receive 20 new WiMax base stations and OPEL ADSL2+ equipment in eight telephone exchanges.
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