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Get broadband up to speed

Cripplingly slow internet broadband services have been targeted by top chief executives for Government action.

Nearly 60 per cent of respondents to the Herald's survey do not believe enough is being done to increase broadband penetration rate at cost-competitive rates. A number made disparaging comparisons with the rate of broadband expansion elsewhere.

The Government's digital strategy commits it to investing $400 million to get most homes connected at 5Mbps by 2007.

Trouble is, other countries with Knowledge Economy pretensions are more ambitious.

Telecom chief executive Theresa Gattung last month unveiled figures showing internet growth was a standout feature for the June 2005 result.

Broadband numbers quadrupled from 52,592 to 205,927 over the period. Telecom's quasi-monopoly of the local loop is also an issue.

"It's time to get tough and force Telecom to allow TelstraClear real access to local loop," said one business leader.

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