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Group of people sitting on lounge using smartphones and laptopsIn the lead up to the 2016 Federal Election, the Coalition, Labor Party and Australian Greens have made announcements regarding various communications policies. We’ve summarised these below, for your information.

As we previously reported, both Labor and the Coalition have committed $60 million funding for another round of the Mobile Black Spot Programme.

Coalition announcements

NBN policy

  • Continuation of multi-technology mix delivery model of NBN infrastructure, using fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node (FTTN), HFC, fixed wireless, and satellite.
  • Western Tasmanian towns of Queenstown, Rosebery and Zeehan to receive NBN services via FTTN; Strahan to receive NBN fixed wireless.

Digital literacy

  • Committed $50 million funding to assist seniors who want to improve their digital literacy skills.

Central Coast to Sydney commuters

  • Funding for improved mobile coverage on trains between the NSW Central Coast and Hornsby as well as Wi-Fi at each train station.

Labor announcements

NBN Policy

  • Continuation of existing FTTN contracts, but FTTP to be delivered to an extra 2 million premises in areas currently flagged for FTTN, but not yet under contract.
  • Infrastructure Australia to consider options available to upgrade FTTN premises to FTTP.
  • Fibre link connecting west coast Tasmanian towns of Queenstown, Rosebery and Zeehan, instead of NBN satellite.

Greens announcements

Accessible broadcasting

  • Audio description to be made permanent on ABC’s iView online catch up service. Commitment to reviewing audio description by Government and commercial broadcasters, and legislative requirements and develop an action plan for rolling out the service more widely.

Online rights

  • Better protection of online rights by appointment of a Digital Rights Commissioner to “advise governments, departments and the general public on the effect of proposals, programs and legislation, focusing on safety, accessibility, privacy and security for all Australians.”

What next?

Regardless of who wins the Federal Election this coming weekend, ACCAN looks forward to working with the new Government and the telecommunications industry to advance the interests of our members, and Australian communications consumers.

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