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High-speed broadband to woo voters

Lisa Murray

June 5, 2007

THE ROLL-OUT of a multibillion-dollar high-speed broadband network in the cities could be rushed through as the Federal Government tries to seize the upper hand in the debate before the election.

At the same time, it will spend $900 million - $300 million more than expected - on improving internet speeds and access in regional and remote areas.

The plan, to be discussed by cabinet today, is believed to include setting up a process to assess rival proposals from Telstra and the Optus-led G9 consortium that cuts out the competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. This may be done by the Department of Communications, Information, Technology and the Arts or an independent panel, which would be charged with recommending any necessary regulatory or legislative changes.

High-Speed Broadband To Woo Voters