12/03/2008 - 22:00

New role for Allphones chair

12/03/2008 - 22:00

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Perth-based chairman of communications retailer Allphones, Tony Mitchell, has been appointed to a new federal government committee that will assess proposals to build a national broadband network.

Perth-based chairman of communications retailer Allphones, Tony Mitchell, has been appointed to a new federal government committee that will assess proposals to build a national broadband network.

The panel of seven, headed by secretary of the new Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Patricia Scott, will help the federal government prepare for the start of the network’s construction by the end of 2008.

Other members of the panel include Lazard Carnegie Wylie chief executive and prominent corporate adviser, John Wylie, Treasury Secretary Ken Henry, and former Australian Communications Authority chairman, Tony Shaw.

The committee is part of the government’s planned roll-out of a new national high-speed fibre broadband network, at an estimated cost of up to $4.7 billion.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said the government would formally call for innovative and competitive proposals to roll-out the new network.

The network is expected to: deliver speeds of at least 12 megabits per second; use fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the premises architecture; be available to 98 per cent of Australian homes and businesses; have uniform wholesale pricing; and provide open access to wholesale broadband services on transparent, equivalent and genuinely pro-competitive terms and conditions.

Senator Conroy said the government would ensure people who may not have access to the new fibre network would have access to the best new fixed line, wireless or satellite technology.

“The government is moving quickly to fulfil its election commitment to support the roll-out of a new national high-speed fibre broadband network, by investing up to $4.7 billion,” Senator Conroy said.

“The government will be inviting submissions from interested parties on the appropriate policy and regulatory framework for the future.” Mr Mitchell was chief executive of Allphones from 1999 to 2003 and since then has been chairman of the company, which operates 165 stores across Australia.

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