NBN priority not promised to independents: Conroy

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NBN priority not promised to independents: Conroy

Regional rollout re-jig.

The two key independents whose support gave Labor a second term in office had not asked for, nor received, a commitment for the priority rollout of NBN infrastructure in their electorates, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said overnight.

Appearing on the ABC's Lateline program, Conroy said the independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott "did not put forward any plan whatsoever to prioritise their own electorates" in their weeks of negotiations with Labor to form a government.

Both Windsor and Oakeshott had listed broadband as an important factor in their decision to side with Labor.

"I think what attracted them to the National Broadband Network was that this was a national benefit to all of regional Australia," Conroy said.

"They did not ask for nor did we give them any commitments about being focussed in their individual electorates."

Conroy shed further light on planned discussions with NBN Co this week to re-jig the rollout plan to prioritise regional over metropolitan areas generally.

"What we will be talking to NBN about in the next few days is instead of starting one maybe in the centre of Melbourne, we would actually do one in, picking a town, Wodonga. Instead of starting in Brisbane, we might do Mackay," he said.

"The engineers at NBN Co have got a range of options.

"The way that the rollout will actually be constructed is that there will be more than 30 construction sites across Australia when it reaches its peak build at the same time."

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