NSW consumers to be lumped with $400m NBN bill, NSW government says

Greg Pearce has said the NSW government was unwilling to further reduce its price for NBN Co to access poles.

NBN Co has reportedly walked out of negotiations with the NSW government over the National Broadband Network (NBN), forcing consumers in NSW to foot a $400 bill, according to Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce.

Pearce said NBN Co has refused to cover the full cost of rolling out fibre in NSW, which would result in a $400 million bill over 20 years that electricity consumers in NSW could be forced to pay, Pearce said.

“I am angry that NBN Co is poised to use draconian powers to override the NSW government by routing NBN fibre on electricity poles despite the NSW government being ready to negotiate the cost,” Pearce said in a statement.

“The NSW government has negotiated in good faith for two years, even presenting a whole-of-government position to NBN Co rather than forcing it to negotiate with every electricity distributor and NSW government agency.”

However, Pearce said the NSW government was unwilling to further reduce its price for NBN Co to access poles.

“Dropping our price even more would mean we would be out of pocket and we simply cannot do this work for less than it costs, because if we do it could mean electricity consumers will have to pay the difference…” he said.

“The NSW government supports high-speed broadband across NSW and we will facilitate the rollout of NBN services when it is in the interests of the NSW community."

Pearce said the NBN was a Federal Government policy and should be paid for by the government.

“That NBN Co has walked away proves one thing – the Federal Government has decided to shift the cost of the NBN onto NSW residents so it doesn’t have to pay for its own project,” Pearce said.

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Tags nswnbn coNational Broadband Network (NBN)Greg Pearce

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