Parties argue over who has best broadband policy

9:25 pm on 17 August 2010

New Zealand has featured in Australia's election campaign as the two major parties argue over which one has the best internet broadband policy.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was in Townsville, Queensland, on Tuesday to mark the official start of the construction of her government's national broadband network on the mainland, Radio New Zealand's political editor reports.

Labor's national broadband network, which involves laying fibre optic cable, will cost $A43 billion and Ms Gillard says it will deliver speeds 1000 times faster than now.

In contrast, the Coalition is proposing to spend just $A6 billion on broadband, with an emphasis on using wireless technology.

Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott says it is about doing what is affordable.

Mr Abbott says the Coalition's proposed investment per household in broadband is similar to the investment being made in New Zealand.

However, Ms Gillard says Mr Abbott's plan lacks ambition and vision.