Premier promises SA internet upgrade

SA Premier Jay Weatherill says Labor will invest $35mil in fibre network if re-elected (File).Thousands of Adelaide homes will have access to internet speeds 10 times faster than the National Broadband Network and equal to the fastest in the world if Labor is re-elected at the March poll, Premier Jay Weatherill says.

Labor will invest $35 million in expanding the state’s existing fibre network, to be known as “the fishbone”, allowing thousands of business and households to connect to the internet at speeds much faster than the NBN.

“It is shameful that we have internet speeds in this country which are 55th in the world, after Kazakhstan,” Mr Weatherill said.

“What this gives us is internet speeds in South which will be equal to the fastest in the world.”

The project will extend the government’s GigCity network, which provides ultra-fast internet to start-ups and businesses.

Innovation Minister Kyam Maher said Labor would open up the system to internet providers to offer cheaper services to customers.

“Where we have rolled out our GigCity network, it has delivered speeds 50 to 100 times faster than previously available at these sites, 10 times faster than the NBN and at least 50 per cent cheaper,” he said.

Labor also announced it would attempt to increase internet access to low-income households across SA by creating a Department for Digital Innovation.

“The internet is an essential service that all South n’s deserve access to, regardless of their income,” Mr Weatherill said.

The state’s peak welfare group, the South n Council for Social Services, welcomed both policies and said the state lagged behind the national average in terms of internet access.

“We also need to pay attention to regional areas where 22 per cent of households are not accessing the internet at home at all,” SACOSS senior policy officer Greg Ogle said.

South ns go to the polls on March 17.

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