Labor to deliver lightning internet speeds Â Â Jason Koutsoukis March 2, 2008 Most homes will have broadband communication speeds up to 100 times faster than what is currently available, under the Rudd Government's plan to wire Australia for the 21st century. Federal Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy told The Sunday Age that early discussions on the Government's promised broadband network indicated that it would be much faster than previously thought. "This is going to revolutionise the way Australians live their lives," Senator Conroy said. Before last year's election, Labor promised to contribute $4.7 billion to help build a national broadband network accessible to 98% of homes, with a guaranteed minimum speed of 12 megabits per second. But by deploying VDSL, (also known as Very High Speed DSL) technology, Senator Conroy said the new network would be able to carry up to 25 megabits per second. Most broadband users currently receive only 256 kilobits per second - 100 times less capacity than 25 megabits - using ADSL technology. With internet speeds like 25 megabits per second, people living in the same house will be able to use the network simultaneously for different purposes. This could include a broadcast-quality video telephone call , while someone else watches high definition internet television, and another person plays online gaming. Pay television would also be delivered through internet cable, with people able to watch different channels at the same time in different parts of the home, while a feature length film was also being downloaded to a computer hard drive in another room. Other applications such as "smart" electricity meters, which say how much electricity is being used and at what price, would also be instantly available. "Labor would welcome the newer VDSL technology as part of its broadband network. This will greatly enhance Labor's current plan, making available a wide range of applications at the same time and begin to fundamentally change the way people live," Senator Conroy said. "The extra speeds will simply allow more bandwidth-hungry applications to be run at the same time without shutting each other out." The Rudd Government's broadband network will be built using a "fibre-to-the-node" network design. This means laying new fibre-optic cables and extending them to the telecommunications pillars found on many street corners. These are called nodes. Technicians will then attach the fibre-optic cables to the existing copper wires that run out of those boxes into telephone subscribers' homes.