NBN rollout timeline imminent: Conroy

Australians to see when they will get NBN next month
Senator Stephen Conroy and Malcolm Turnbull face off on debates surrounding the National Broadband Network

Senator Stephen Conroy and Malcolm Turnbull face off on debates surrounding the National Broadband Network

Communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has signalled the imminent release of a timeline around the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) in October or early November, revealing how many Australian homes and businesses will receive fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections within the current term of government.

Appearing on ABC’s Lateline program with shadow communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, Conroy said he expected the information to be releases shortly.

“We're about to receive in the next few weeks that sort of information from National Broadband Network, and I'm sure there's a whole range of information that we'll be making available very, very shortly on some of these key questions,” he said.

The information will form part of the business case to be submitted to government by network wholesaler NBN Co once the government issues a reply to the $25 million NBN Implementation Report it commissioned from McKinsey & Company and KPMG. Conroy has stated the case will not be released publicly, but a spokesperson for the senator confirmed some aspects - including rollout data and costings - will be released into the public domain.

It is expected the information will be available in four to six weeks.

NBN Co did not confirm the release at time of writing.

A delay in the release of the timeline has been attributed to the agreement with the independent MPs, which saw a reprioritisation to regional areas. It is also potentially subject to approval of the non-binding Financial Heads of Agreement between NBN Co and Telstra, which is expected to be finalised by June next year.

The new information is likely to qualm some criticisms of the project, largely surrounding fears the digital divide could widen between those who receive fibre connections under the project, and those who may miss out should the Coalition win power in future elections and cancel further rollouts.

Labor released a blueprint of how the fibre, fixed wireless and satellite technologies would be distributed across Australian towns and cities during the Federal election this year, but did not indicate when construction would begin in each area.

“The entire business model collapses,” Conroy said. “All of the packages, all of the speeds, the download limits, the prices would collapse if the Opposition won government and stopped and froze the project.”

Conroy’s comments came during a heated debate with Turnbull, during which the Opposition frontbencher continued to demand the government commission a cost-benefit analysis for the project. Conroy remained unable front the question directly, pointing instead to reports from IBM and Access Economics around the benefits of a cheaper fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) project, and existing case studies of South Korea and Japan.

Turnbull, who pushed for the public debate, was unable to confirm whether he or the Coalition would support the project if a potential cost-benefit analysis settled in favour of the NBN.

Lateline presenter, Tony Jones, also called the per-house costs of the project in question, which have often been used by the Coalition and NBN critics to undermine the project. The costs, which have varied between $4000 and as much as $7000 per house, didn’t represent the total costs of the build, according to Jones.

“That's a completely false representation,” Conroy conjectured. “This is investing in an asset that will last up to 40 years. If you take even Malcolm's $4,000 and stretch that across 40 years, it's about 13 cents a day.

“So, you can't say that you add up the whole total cost for asset that lasts up to 40 years and suddenly try and bemuse and trick ordinary Australians that that's the actual cost. This is an asset over 40 years, Tony! 13 cents a day!”

Join the Computerworld Australia group on Linkedin. The group is open to IT Directors, IT Managers, Infrastructure Managers, Network Managers, Security Managers, Communications Managers.

More about: ABC, ABC, Access Economics, etwork, IBM, IBM Australia, KPMG, Telstra
References show all

Comments

Visionary

1

At 13 cents a day, we should be building super highways between our cities, fast safe public transport, state of the art hospitals, new airports, new low emission power stations etc etc.

Raymond

2

Conroy says imminent, so lets take note of the date, and then we can judge weasel word Conroy and judge his definition of imminent!
I would hate to swing by short and curlies for his period of imminent.

Simon

3

#1 - There used to be a saying that the ABC cost 8c per day. I suppose we should be doing a cost benefit analysis on that organisation as well now. Where do you draw the line?

Visionary

4

#3- yes that is the point i was attempting to make.

lorro

5

O no will we be stuck with no upgrades for 40 years :(.
They need to factor in equipment upgrades that should be made every 5-10 years, by 2025 we should have 10Gbps to the home (in high usage areas only, like CBD and metro, I heard Melbourne has the greatest broadband speed and usage demands, so upgrade Melbourne to 10Gbps by 2020, then around the rest of the country ect ect.)

anon

6

The coalition keep harping on about a cost-benefit-analysis but what would be the point? If the CBA came out and said it was beneficial, there would be no reason not to proceed, and even if the CBA came out saying it wasn't going to be profitable, that is further proof that private industry will never build this infrastructure and the government must do it.

Turnbull/Abbot keep forgetting that Government is not a business, it's not supposed to make a profit, it is supposed to provide services and infrastructure. Roads don't make a profit, schools don't make a profit, hospitals don't make a profit, but they're good for the economy. The telecoms infrastructure has languished since being sold off. Maybe when the opposition keep bandying about the $43 billion figure they should take into account how much money they made by selling off Telstra in the first place.

Saying we won't need Fiber is just like saying we don't need bitumen highways because dirt is good enough, or we didn't need the original copper network, because telegrams are good enough. Copper has served us for 50 years but it is at its maximum possible speed, and it needs to be replaced with something that is future capable, fibre.

Gary Khol

7

@6 all that is very true, but if both sides accepted that in principle, what on earth would they fight about?

RS

8

Here's what Malcolm (National Broadcasting Network) said today -

Turnbull, who pushed for the public debate, was unable to confirm whether he or the Coalition would support the project if a potential cost-benefit analysis settled in favour of the NBN

Here's what he said last week -

although the Opposition has called for a cost-benefit analysis on the National Broadband Network, Turnbull said he wouldn't commit to support the $43 billion project in the "unlikely" event that such an analysis concluded fibre-to-the-home should proceed.

Visionary

9

#8 seriously what do really expect a politian to say when asked such a leading question.

RS

10

@9 you seem to be following me around!

Anyway, whatever...

The answer is we simply expect him to be consistent. Not we "wouldn't" last week and "dunno" this week...

Visionary

11

#10, Probably the opposite, however remember the Coalition is not anti broadband just do not want to see another education revolution cost over run

RS

12

Definitely not the opposite... but again whatever...

For Turnbull to say, even if the NBN analysis found it should proceed, they wouldn't support it, sounds pretty anti-broadband to me...!

Visionary

13

#12 - err we actually have broadband already in Australia, breaking news. We just do not need overpriced nationalised NBN.

RS

14

Breaking news... not everyone has decent broadband, even those in cities on RIMS...!

Oh Visionary seriously, I just got rid of one troll who was compelled to disagree with every generic post (not even remotely associated with him) I made... as you just did in @9...!

So before this all goes sour too... you do realise others are entitled to an opinion and not every opinion needs a sarcastic, trolling response, just for the sake of it.

Peter

15

What I have noticed reading through comments on this topic is there are a lot of selfish people who are content with their Broadband access but cannot even think of how many people have trouble getting decent ADSL2+
Seriously what is the problem, its not going to increase your personal tax rate as some may fear

Raymond

16

@ 15 I have excellent ADSL+ why should I pay $7000+ for some poor soul fifteen k's west of Patchiwollick to have some broadband.

@13 you will notice there are posters on here who believe they have the god given right to be right, they actually believe the are the Pope and should not be challenged! allbeit drivel, self scented, selfish opinion.

Turnbull has been very consistant, in any case consistency is irelevant, what appears to be different to these people from Turnbull, is the business acumen kicking in, something so foreign to these selfish, childish foot stamping, I want NBN nerds.

Raymond

17

@ 9 Turnbulls statements were both consistent in the ramblings of @ 8 it's just he has no idea!

The real question to ask is as in @ 10 demands consistency for WE, who are the WE......................NERDS is my guess!

So not that important! just like children wanting their NBN

Troll

18

"@ 15 I have excellent ADSL+ why should I pay $7000+ for some poor soul fifteen k's west of Patchiwollick to have some broadband."

Because no-one else will.
Thanks to Telstra, my "1.5Mbps ADSL" connection is about as fast as dialup at night (about 2-5KB/sec, that is). Is Telstra going to fix this? F*** no, they put the damn RIM there in the first place cause it helps maximise their profits. I can only dream of having an ADSL2+ connection.

Raymundane

19

@17 And yet you sound equaly like a child stomping his foot and being a rude to everyone because the NBN is currantly going ahead, people who live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones Raymond.

RS

20

@16/17. Raymond, I used to enjoy humiliating you. But it has simply become too easy...

So easy, that in fact you embarrass yourself, without me even having to be involved anymore, just as you did above.

Seriously, all that I really have left for you now "is extreme pity"...!

Raymond

21

@ 19 to whom it may concern...would you care to use my mobile!

RS

22

On second thoughts Raymond, I am being much too harsh and silly. I promise to mend my ways and be nice to everyone. I now understand others know much more about technology than me and I have been really silly over the past months.
Have a nice weekend to all and I am sorry for my past posts.

anon

23

@16 Raymond - you're not paying $7000 for some random persons connection, $4000 of your tax dollars over 10 years is being spent to hook up your house to the NBN. You can refuse the connection, but in 5 years when everyone else is on 100MBit and you're stuck with 24MBit down 2MBit up, you can pay $4000 out of your wallet to get hooked up then.
We've gone from 56kbit dial-up to 24MBit ADSL2 in the last 10 years, are you saying ADSL2 is the fastest we'll need in 10 years time?
Lucky you can get ADSL2, there are heaps of people who can't even get ADSL1 because there are no more ports left and Telstra won't install any more or they're more than 5 kilometers from the exchange. Fibre is good for 25kms to the exchange.
That ADSL2 connection you've got now, was provided by, surprise surprise, tax dollars.

Visionary

24

#23; anon, also we should keep in mind that 7 percent of NBN will be limited to 12Mbit.

Raymond

25

@23 $ 43 billion 6 million homes that's close enough to $7000 each in tax dollars, all other connection cost are on top, you do not get a choice, and all must have NBN.We have heaps of broadband, if they had of plugged Opel back in, all over!

@26 Don't wind the Crayfish up, he hates being called that, has no idea what it means, only knows if it is a term of endearment from me..........it's funny..........all his boys now call him Crayfish.

Raymond

26

@ 22 all trust me, that is not RS! could not bring himself to say that, it's somebody else having a windup!

Just leave the Crayfish to uncle Raymond....he is in my Pot!

Visionary

27

Raymond you really are a moron.

Visionary

28

I have learnt several new things this week. Firstly the NBN drop to the premise is a shared fibre, That should not be a speed issue however, I am guessing nodes would be required in the street or somewhere maybe a selected premise. Another need would be mains power at each premise, ok in normal circumstances but what if during an emergency all comms would be down. Mobiles are unreliable in those circumstances.
Interested to hear the views of others?
I also realised today that this site site allows users to have the same nom deplume. It appears another "Visionary" exists, clearly not as nice a person as me refer #30. Those types of comments are not my style. Sorry Raymond if you were hurt by the comment #30. It was not written by me, the real "Visionary".

SR

29

Sorry Raymond, hahahaha.

cashcow

30

$4000/40/365 = $0.27/day.
Thank god this clown isn't treasury material.

Visionary

31

#30, it really doesn't matter if the cost is 13 cents or 27 cents per day. It is a lot of money to spend, but spend it they (Mr Conroy) will. I guess the best approach is to be pragmatic and make sure the investment in an NBN is used to the best potential.

RS

32

@31, a lot of money?

Visionary

33

To clarify the comment about 13 or 27 cents being a lot of money. My intent was to explain that total cost of government money being put into the initial build of the NBN ($27B now reported) is a lot of money. The more important fact is that the NBN will be built and we (Australians) should now focus on extracting maximum benefit from the infrastructure.

UNDODAMOIMB

34

I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome.

Comments are now closed.
Related Coverage
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Tags: Malcolm Turnbull, Senator Stephen Conroy, NBN
Whitepapers
All whitepapers

Mysterious malware steals Apple credentials from jailbroken iOS devices

READ THIS ARTICLE
DO NOT SHOW THIS BOX AGAIN [ x ]
Sign up now to get free exclusive access to reports, research and invitation only events.

Computerworld newsletter

Join the most dedicated community for IT managers, leaders and professionals in Australia