Liberal NBN FTTN promise a lie: Jason Clare

Brands the Government's NBN a set of patchwork delivery

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is effectively dead in that it is no longer the national scheme which Australians were expecting prior to last year's election, according to shadow communications minister, Jason Clare.

He said it is instead a fragmented set of delivery methods, therefore breaking the Coalition's promise to implement a fibre to the node (FTTN) service to almost nine million homes and business across the country.

"Instead, what we will get is patchwork of different networks with different speeds and capabilities," he said.

"About 24 to 25 per cent of the population will get fibre to the premises (FTTP), about 31 per cent will get FTTN, about 11 per cent will get fibre to the basement, 27 per cent will access broadband via a hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network, and about seven per cent will access it via satellite of the fixed wireless system."

Clare admits he was wrong in November 2013 when he stated that Labor had won the NBN debate and that the Liberal party accepted it was "too popular to destroy, and so they would keep it and build a small version".

"With the benefit of hindsight I think that I have worked out what Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull were doing with [a lifesize hologram of] Sonny Bill Williams when they made those promises that they have broken. It was about neutralising an issue that was positive for the Labor Government before the election."

The padding game

The minister also claims that instead of pushing NBN Co to accelerate the construction of the NBN, the Government has reduced targets for the benefits of a positive press release come election time.

October last year saw Turnbull set the target to meet by the conclusion of the current financial year at 450,000 premises past. In December, the figure was dropped to 375,000.

"It is important to understand what has just happened," Clare said. "NBN Co has failed to meet its construction targets in the past. What Turnbull is determined to do is ensure that never happens on his watch, and has now lowered the bar to the point where it is impossible for the company not to surpass."

This means NBN Co could slow its construction to two thirds its current pace and maintain the new targets.

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Tags FTTNLaborfibrenational broadband networkfttpgovernmentNBNbroadbandJason Clare

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5 Comments

DJ

1

The NBN targets were always impossible to achieve & hence the timeframe given was also impossible. I would rather they did it properly & in an organised way. If you are always showing as missing the targets, there is always the pressure to either take shortcuts or throw more money at it.

bluetie

2

Or do the sensible thing, fix the known problems and deliver the planned package to the original area as intended.

But that would mean abandoning the political grandstanding.

David

3

The NBN is yet another example of a great idea that get's fudged then utterly ruined by politics.

When it comes to such grand nation building plans Australia is all too often a first world nation with third world aspirations...

Taxpayer

4

Jason Claire, please read this extract from NBN Co. press release:

"PROGRESS TO DATE

Construction of the NBN, which commenced in 2009, and would not be completed until three years later than
planned under the previous approach.

By June 2014, the rollout is expected to pass a total of only 357,000 brownfields premises with fibre, against a
target of 1.129 million as set out in the August 2012 Corporate Plan; the total number of brownfields premises
with an active NBN service is now forecast to be 90,000 versus the August 2012 Corporate Plan target of
420,000.
A comprehensive analysis of the project to date has found that if the NBN was to continue under the previous
model, NBN Co would:
• Require more than $29bn in additional peak funding ($73bn v. $44bn in the 2012 Corporate Plan)
• Require more than $19bn of additional capex ($56bn v. $37bn)
• Miss its forecast completion date by three years (June 2024 v. December 2021)
• Forego revenue of more than $12bn between 2011 and 2021
• Require a cumulative increase in opex of $5bn+ until the new network completion date of 2024
• Generate a much lower IRR (2.5% v. 7.1%)"

stevet

5

Good. I am happy it will cost a fortune. I WANT to pay for it with taxes. I suspect there are many more like me.

It doesn't matter if the NBN costs, $73bn. It's too important for the nations future.

This is priceless infrastructure, and needs to be done gold-plated, like interstate highways, powerlines and telephone lines were a 100 years ago.

Build it to last 100 years, and you'll never need to lay fibre again. Fibre speeds are then only limited by their connection points.

What 'taxpayer' and his ilk don't understand is that most people are actually happy to pay a fortune for goldplated infrastructure, we like paying taxes for projects that matter.

We just don't like being ripped off.

NBN is not something that could be achieved in the private sector - it isn't in the private sector's own interest to provide a high speed, wholesale alternative to its own offerings.

I miss grand visions like the NBN. Grand visions built the Sydney harbour bridge to have 6 - 8 lanes), not 2, with a frame held together by chicken wire.

We are going to get a half arsed NBN that doesn't work as advertised and I for one would rather pay a few hundred more in tax per year to make sure it happens properly.

I'd certainly rather put money into the NBN's pockets than the mining magnates through tax breaks, thanks.

We can't survive off coal and minerals forever (I bet the next generations are going to love us for that), and the NBN could birth entire new industries (and resurrect old ones).

All of a sudden $73bn doesn't look too bad.

Comments are now closed

 
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