Conroy pays to avoid cost benefit analysis: Turnbull

Gillard Government paid to avoid answering cost-benefit questions, says the shadow communications minister

Shadow communication minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has accused the Gillard Government of avoiding a cost benefit analysis through an independent review into NBN Co’s 30-year business plan.

An eight-page executive summary of the review, authored by corporate consultants Greenhill Caliburn, was released this week, though the Federal Government held back on the full release due to confidentiality concerns.

According to a recent blog post, Caliburn was instructed by communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, to deliberately forgo a cost benefit analysis. He accused them of failing to answer the most important questions about the National Broadband Network (NBN).

“Senator Conroy, like a latter day Basil Fawlty, hires one consultant after another instructing them 'don’t mention the cost-benefit analysis', and everyone, just like the dinner guests at Fawlty Towers, does just that highlighting very plainly that they were told NOT to perform such an analysis and in so doing confirming how negligent it is not to ask and answer the fundamental question about the NBN,” Turnbull wrote in the post.

“It is clear that the Government has gotten what it paid for in this report. The only way to really know if taxpayers will get what they are paying for with the NBN is to subject it to a thorough cost benefit analysis.”

He also called on Conroy to also explain why he has chosen to keep secret the full report, following his decision to keep secret 240 pages of the 400 page NBN Co corporate plan.

Greenhill Caliburn's report urged NBN Co itself to continually monitor uptake of mobile and wireless technologies among Australians, which was suggested to be a potential risk to uptake of NBN services in the future.

“Trends towards ‘mobile centric’ broadband networks could also have some significant implications for NBN Co’s fibre offerings to the extent that some consumers may be willing to sacrifice higher speed fibre transmissions for the convenience of mobile platforms,” the report reads.

One of those rivals could be an upgraded LTE network from Telstra, announced by chief executive, David Thodey, at Mobile World Congress in Spain this week and set to go live in Australian capital cities by the end of the year.

The network will operate over the telco’s existing 1800MHz spectrum assets and will fall under the company’s Next G brand, but would not immediately replace the 3G/HSPA+ technologies currently used over the 850MHz in Australia.

According to the Caliburn report, LTE or 4G technologies could potentially contribute to the threat to the NBN as it operates at speeds comparable to fast fixed line broadband with the added functionality and convenience of mobility.

“This report, like the other multi-million dollar consultants’ reports the Government has commissioned, fails to address the single most important issue:- what is the most cost-effective way to ensure that all Australians have access to high speed and affordable broadband?” Turnbull wrote.

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9 Comments

Raymond

1

Alan Bond never got away with what Conroy has! if Conroy was an executive of any size public Co, ASIC would have had him struck off as director for twenty years, and more than likely he would be defending criminal charges!

Michael

2

I cannot believe this the NBN they say they are only delivering what the voters wanted. Did not the coalition win on seats and only the independents place labour where they are? I am a PC consultant and what the government has not advised the public clearly is that the copper ADSL will be closed down hence making this NBN a monopoly. Check out the cost in Tasmania, there is no way we will be paying $49 for 130GB of downloads. Also what about the cost into home, I even do not know what the final costs will be re the wiring from the street to your home, then the new equipment for example routers etc. Noting wireless N in home peaks at 108mbps yet most wireless items in the home are 54mbps hence we will have this speed but not be able to use it. Please have some one wake up before it is too late. As I can advise I will not want to pay more than what I am paying now.

D Newman

3

@2 alot of the copper is being closed down due to it being life ex and to expensive for Telstra to replace, which is why this circus started in the fist place.
The NBN is a creation to replace the life ex copper, infrastructure that was slated for replacement in the mid 90,s. it grew to its currant size due to Telsta (then under Sol) being bankers, (spelt with a 'w').
Lastly the spin from the interested parties ref wireless, do some research on how much more power and how little service a country wide 4g network would supply, its a smoke and mirrors BS show that Telstra has been trying to flog for 20 years, to get out of its copper liabilty.

Also research OPEL and how pathetic that was while you are at it, the politics of OUR telecomms is leading us in stupid directions because private enterprise also has a one or another attuide, and also because the public is so badly informed by a vested interest media ie FOXTEL scared witless about IPTV and CABLE tv new enterprise, Newspaper groups same as Foxtel scared witless about falling demand .

Sadly these same groups control a vast chunk of this countries media resulting in FOS and FUD peddling of the highest order, the sheer pyhsics and power issues of the fairyland utopia picture of wireless beggers belief that such clap trap should go unchallenged.

THe NBN also isnt a promised land solution either, there has to be a compromise, but while the politics are so polarised, and Telsta is still well Telstra dont hold your breath.

Raymond

4

@ 2 Michael it is not a voting question more pure postioning and control ideology politics!

Also be aware that there are vested interest peddlers that will call anything but NBN outdated clap trap, and committed Telstra haters.

What they will not declare is that they (claim) work for ISP's who's whole existance is based arould their network going through Telstra exchanges, and therefore given NBN Co may well get hold of a large chunk of Telstra, need NBN just to exist.

There is no point in going back to Opel! it does not exist, it never got up, just as the NBN would never have been built by anybody if Abbott had won the election! both facts of life, trick is to play the card you are dealt!

These peddlers will declare, LTE and or any form of wireless can not will not, has never etc, etc. If they were so clever at picking winners, you would think they could not tear themselves away from their massive investments to bother peddling here! funny about that.

So let's wait and see what the Telstra shareholders do (vote).
Lets wait and see what the final design of NBN will be.
And don't concern yourself at this stage, because NBN construction will not begin until after Feb 2012, Mr Quigley said that some days ago at a briefing, so we still have a long way to go!

The peddlers will come on here and screech about Kiama, and varios other TEST sites built but not operational, they screeched about Tassie for a period, but dropped off, when Tassie proved to be a major flop.
And consider this, if Telstra get a LTE network operational in twelve months, and at 500,000 + customers already, what do you think that will do to any NBN business plan, if one existed!

A very long way to go indeed!

Neil

5

@2 I do feel sorry for you. Clearly you have suffered some injustice at the hands of Telstra and/or other corporations.
@4 Raymond, you appear to be pushing a strong bias, but I cannot figure out what is your vested interest.
I worry about the forced monopoly that comes with this NBN Co. What will prevent this organisation from adopting poor atitudes seen in previous monopoly providers, even if they are just the wholesale network provider.

Raymond

6

@ 5 Neil, a Bias you cannot identify , perhaps I am just the voice of reason!

My bias is, I hate waste, so much money, time, and resource has been didicated to NBN Co. We have a further $20 million regional cost blow out, for now!

My concern is, NBN Co want to spend $11.5 Bill to get rid of a monopoly, to create a government monopoly, the people who get the $11.5 will use that to build a LTE wireless network that makes NBN not commercially viarable, yet us poor mug taxpayers are still paying off the white elephant, a white elephant that will take ten years to build begining some time after Feb2012.

My vested interest is that I have interests in building these white elephants! that part is good!

Watch the peddlers now!

D Newman

7

@6 I thought i had done a wee peddle already, I obviously must have to scamper harder in my wheel it would seem.

raimondo1

8

We know who the peddlers are, we just come from a different aspect, we are of real world with options, as opposed to being locked into ISP land
Perhaps the penny may drop one day, some of us do not give a flying fig about NBN, we have other lives and think outside NBN box!
Some of us had a life before NBN, NN is a card in the deck, we have many other cards to play!
SOME OF US DO NOT WANT TO PLAY THE NBN GAME! we actually do no care, I have at any given time 50 mbps, NBN average is 12mbps, who gives a flying F...

My entire issue is therefore why do I need to spend $50bill over ten years to get less! on average!!

Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is anybody home!

Just Another Mad Michael

9

Mobile kills- not patently obvious yet -10 years or so.... massive brain related problems. Not just the non earphone amplified, but deep tissue, a whole range of pituitary and other disorders. Let alone sunspots (solar snot) knocking out wireless all over the place.
Imagine any city with a wireless bases system surviving for any length of time.
No way! Broadband fibre-optic may appear to be a bit "Morse code" in a megabit world.... but it will keep humanity humming when things set a bit blotchy over time!!!
If you can't hold it. shake it, suck it... you ain't got it! Your Telco and ISP will kill you (or at least let you die disconnected for a buck) you government will at least listen to you die.

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