In the wake of Labor confirming that it has no plans for a Royal Commission into the NBN, Scott Ludlam from the Greens has told PC World...
The Greens propose to renew the terms of reference of the Senate Select Committee on the NBN and immediately undertake a multi-party inquiry into the most cost-effective and future-proof architecture for the NBN. [Clarification on timing: the Senate has to approve members and terms of reference for a select committee so the earliest it could start is the first sitting week back.]
A Royal Commission into the politicisation of the NBN would itself be political and would not progress the project itself. A select committee inquiry informed by an independent panel of technologists, academics, engineers, user advocates, NBN advisers and other experts, will, with the assistance of Infrastructure Australia, generate a 20-30 year life-cycle cost benefit analysis and other technical work.
These studies will break the political deadlock and propose a pathway forward.
Similar implementation studies were done by academics and experts before the last major FTTP plan was implemented by Labor. However, the Coalition completely ignored them. In the subsequent years, Labor repeatedly refused to perform a Cost Benefit Analysis while the subsequent, post-election, Coalition-sponsored Vertigan Review and Ergas Cost Benefit Analysis were deeply flawed and missed out virtually all business benefits and enormous healthcare savings. However, repeating the process with the Coalition, post-election, may pave the path away from the current plan which focuses on upgrading the existing copper network. Or it may not.
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