Opposition uses World Broadband Forum to lay boot into NBN

Shadow communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, told attendees of the event that the NBN was born "out of frustration"

The Opposition has used the Broadband World Forum to once again dismiss the Federal Government’s National Broadband Network (NBN), this time on an international stage.

Shadow communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, addressed attendees of the forum in Paris and claimed that the NBN was unique when measured against the rest of the world as it will fail to encourage greater competition in the telecommunications sector.

“Whereas other countries are seeking to encourage greater competition in telecommunications, including at the facilities level, in Australia the NBN will not only be Government owned but will be a fixed line monopoly,” Turnbull said.

Turnbull labelled the plans to decommission Telstra and Optus’ hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) cable networks in exchange for payment from the government as an “extraordinary measure without any precedent”.

“This mandated monopoly for NBN is one reason why a number of other telcos, who initially welcomed the NBN since it would clip Telstra’s wings, are becoming much less enthusiastic.”

“Australia’s NBN offers little prospect of cheaper access to broadband,” he said. “As a heavily capitalised, Government owned monopoly the NBN has both the incentive and the means to charge high prices.”

According to Turnbull, the NBN was born out of frustration spurred by both governments' inability to meet a satisfactory arrangement with Telstra around upgrading its access network to deliver faster broadband.

He also reaffirmed his criticism of the government forgoing an independent cost benefit analysis of the project, a process he has previously accused communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, of deliberately avoiding.

“What remains most mysterious about the project is this: Every politician can understand the appeal of promising that all citizens will have access to very fast broadband,” he said “But citizens expect politicians who make such a promise to do their homework and ensure that they deliver their promise in the most cost-effective manner.”

“And yet this project, the largest in our history, has never been the subject of any cost benefit analysis.

“The government has not budged from its resolve and so there has never been any analysis, for example, of whether a fibre to the node deployment would be more cost-effective in brownfield areas, or of whether it would make more sense to continue the upgrade of the HFC networks rather than decommission them.”

Turnbull pointed to instances in Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan where benefits have been accrued through facilities-based competition between HFC and fibre which has driven usage and affordability.

“The current Australian government’s approach to NBN shows that a blind pursuit of superfast broadband at any cost can lead you to some very anomalous policy outcomes.”

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Tags NetworkingNational Broadband Network (NBN)Malcom Turnbullbroadband

More about etworkFederal GovernmentOptusTelstra Corporation

9 Comments

Deevo

1

Does this idiot Turnbull (or Speakbull, as he should be known) have any idea of just how much damage he does to Australia's international reputation? This talk isn't just factually wrong, it is bordering on treason, as far as I can see. It serves no other purpose than to undermine the rest of the world's confidence in the ability of all Australians.
Turnbull damages my company, damages me, and damages the reputation of my country and its workers. He is an economic and social liability. Can someone just shut this idiot up?

gnome

2


Perhaps Turnbull, like Keating, thinks that the best view of Australia is to see Darwin going by underneath the plane en route to Paris?

More seriously, it seems Malcolm simply has no idea about the realities of comms access for all Australians, despite his claim to be a comms expert because he once merchant-banked an ISP.

While it is a point, I'm not so much concerned about our global reputation as I am about the inane policy of arrogantly shutting down NBN because of what appears to be just an expression of political spite. And to hell with the national interest.

diefarroria

3

I am happy i decided to finally say hey to you all, i been trolling for months and now its time for action!

Insect

4

@1 Deevo, what are the lies that Turnbull are telling? We may not agree with him but what he is saying is more or less what has happened.

Tom

5

It was born "out of frustration" alright -15 years of inaction from a Coalition Federal Government who kept handballing the problem to the Telstra monopoly.

K Deem

6

Typical claptrap from the party of no IT, the hyprocsy know no bounds, the Liberals caused this problem with Telstra then sticking their collective heads in the sand for 15 years, and only at the end did they come up with a policy that was so woefully outdated even it they announced it (OPEL).

So for Turnbull, (a banker, NOT a IT expert at all) to stand up and say born of frustration is beyond a joke.

PS they still do not have a policy that makes any sense or provides for data needs for the next 10 years.

HUH

7

@5 there you go insect just for starters, this is pure Turnbull "told to say" BS......

“This mandated monopoly for NBN is one reason why a number of other telcos, who initially welcomed the NBN since it would clip Telstra’s wings, are becoming much less enthusiastic.”

(.......The 2 Telco's I do alot of contract work for a very very happy with the NBN coming and seeing as they account for a very large block i,m calling BS, also Telstra is happy as its dodging its copper nightmare problems.........)

“Australia’s NBN offers little prospect of cheaper access to broadband,” he said. “As a heavily capitalised, Government owned monopoly the NBN has both the incentive and the means to charge high prices.”

..........Competition on pricing hasnt even begun in earnest as NBN is not fully active and yet I know of 1 ISP thats already made it very affordable so yet again BS.....

LAST POINT if you think Turnbull is correct peg him for his alt policy, so far he has followed the NO NO NO line and has offered nothing firm as an alt plan, what he has said so far is not cost effective or in 2 cases not even viable.

Gary Khol

8

This link shows the head NBN engineer giving a long talk about NBN myths its well worth a watch even if he is lacking a bit in the charisma department.......

http://www.nbn.gov.au/media-centre/videos/myth-busting-the-nbn/

Qamarjkh

9

The boots up very comfortable, very warm, to experience it together.

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