Coonan to outline broadband plans, digital reform agenda

To deliver CEDA keynote

Federal ICT Minister Helen Coonan will outline the government's digital reform agenda and future broadband plans at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) luncheon tomorrow.

For the past year the federal government has undertaken a number of digital reform policy reviews and is looking to tackle ongoing infrastructure and broadband communications problems.

Broadband continues to dominate the election agenda with the government keen to seize the upper hand following the Labor Opposition's announcement it will invest up to $4.7 billion in a national network.

The network would be funded in partnership with the private sector, a move that has been strongly criticised by Senator Coonan.

The Minister has been invited to address pre-election telecommunications challenges at the CEDA luncheon including broadband.

The government is looking at ways to speed up the rollout of a broadband network including resolving problems between Telstra and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), as well as the Optus-led G9 consortium.

Telstra wants the government, not the ACCC, to regulate prices it can charge rivals for access to any new network.

A Cabinet meeting was held today reviewing a number of options and Senator Coonan is expected to announce future telecommunications plans at the CEDA luncheon tomorrow, June 6, 2007.

CEDA is an independent organization that aims to improve Australia's economic and social well-being through research and discussion.

Member organisations come from business, universities, governments and the not-for-profit sector.

The organization has more than 2000 trustees and last year CEDA events attracted a total attendance of more than 22,000.

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