[LINK] Abbott against wireless in 1990s
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Fri Aug 20 18:55:18 EST 2010
[Can it get more comical?]
Abbott accused of double broadband standard
Ari Sharp COMMUNICATIONS CORRESPONDENT
August 20, 2010 - 3:00AM
THE case of the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, for wireless to
deliver broadband internet has been undermined by revelations he was
a vocal opponent of many mobile phone towers during the 1990s, Labor claims.
Widespread use of wireless would require a significant number of new
transmission towers if it is to meet the Coalition's commitment on speed.
While the opposition has refused to say how many towers would be
needed, some industry figures have speculated more than 1000 may be required.
As an opposition backbencher in 1994 and 1995, Mr Abbott spoke
against the location of many mobile phone towers, which he said were
''sprouting like mushrooms in the cities and towns of our country''.
Addressing Parliament on September 18, 1995, Mr Abbott said: ''I say
to everyone living in suburban Australia, 'Whether you like it or
not, there is now a mobile phone tower near you.'
''This is the downside of the mobile phone revolution - an ugly
thicket of poles and wires, a whole series of electronic pogo sticks
which now blight Australia's suburban streetscapes.''
A spokesman for the Labor campaign said the comments showed Mr Abbott
did not understand his own policy.
"The reality is that the Coalition's policy would result in thousands
of towers being constructed in suburbs and towns across Australia.
"If he becomes PM, these eyesores will now be springing up all across
the country - on every other street corner, next to playgrounds,
bowling clubs and on playing fields.''
Mr Abbott's office did not respond to a request for comment, but a
Coalition source pointed out that modern towers are less of an
eyesore than their predecessors, and all new towers would have to
meet planning regulations.
The opposition has sought to quell concerns over a separate aspect of
its $2 billion wireless plan, providing assurances that the necessary
spectrum would be available.
The opposition communications spokesman, Tony Smith, pointed to
surplus spectrum in regional areas leased by telcos, in particular
pay television provider Austar, as well as the spectrum liberated by
the switch from analog to digital television.
''Spectrum is tradeable, so they may well wish to trade it to another
player who is able to use that spectrum to deliver the service,'' Mr
Smith told ABC's Lateline on Wednesday night.
Speaking in a Lateline debate with Mr Smith, the Minister for
Communications, Stephen Conroy, sought to quash the notion that the
opposition's wireless plan would allow people to get a service away
from their premises.
''They are building a fixed wireless network,'' he said. ''You will
not be able to pick your laptop up and go for a walk into your street
and use a fixed-line network.''
While the Australian Communications and Media Authority has said that
over the next five years demand for spectrum may outstrip supply,
mobile broadband operators argue there is plenty of spectrum
available that has been allocated to companies but not used.
''There is huge chunks of spectrum available,'' the chief executive
of BigAir, Jason Ashton, said.
''Anyone who suggests there is not is kidding themselves.''
With Lucy Battersby
This story was found at:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer
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