NBN a shambles: Servcorp COO

Moufarrige believes the debate should be focusing on what the outcomes will be once it is built, not the technology

Marcus Moufarrige, COO at Servcorp

Marcus Moufarrige, COO at Servcorp

Marcus Moufarrige, COO at Servcorp, believes the National Broadband Network (NBN) is in a “shambles” and says there is doubt about whether it will be delivered under a Labor government.

Moufarrige, of Servcorp, which provides serviced and virtual offices to businesses, says there is a lack of trust from businesses in the Labor government delivering the fibre optic network in a timely and costly manner.

“It’s pretty easy for someone to give you a great presentation and tell you that they’ve got a startup that’s going to set the world on fire and is going to change everybody’s lives, but the actual delivery of that and making it work is really what investors want to see at the end of the day,” he says.

“I think there’s certainly a case of that in relation to the all singing, all dancing, all fibre NBN.”

Report: NBN could add $3800 in benefits: Deloitte

Instead of focusing on what technology is the best for the network, Moufarrige believes the debate should be focusing on what the outcomes will be once it is built.

“In any business, if you’re going to invest in infrastructure, particularly technology infrastructure, you’re outcomes driven. You want to know what the benefit is going to be at the end of the day and you’ll use whatever technology is going to deliver the most robust and best outcome for the situation that you’re facing,” he says.

Moufarrige believes the federal government should be looking to overseas models of fibre optic network rollouts for guidance on what should be done in Australia.

In particular, he points to South Korea as an example, which has one of the highest penetration rates for broadband in the world.

“Essentially there are better models around the world that could be looked at and I think if they had taken the time to look at some of those better models … then they would have had a lot more success,” he says.

While Moufarrige says the Coalition is likely to be more pragmatic in its approach to the NBN if it wins the federal election, he doesn’t entirely agree with its broadband policy either.

Instead of a “blanket approach” to what technology should be used for the NBN, Moufarrige wants the politics taken out of the debate and for the easy wins to be tackled first. This includes installing fibre in greenfield estates first, with reports last year that thousands of new homes were waiting to be connected to the NBN via fibre.

Beyond those premises, Moufarrige says fibre should only be installed in premises where the business model stacks up.

“This whole fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-premise argument is a political furphy that has nothing to do with outcomes. You should be building the network to provide the best level of service to the broadest amount of people that you can,” he says.

“Not ‘we’re going to deliver fibre to everybody by hook or by crook and we’re going to go tens of millions of dollars over budget to do it’.”

Tom Worthington, adjunct lecturer at the Australian National University, also believes the federal government should be prioritising greenfield sites, as well as areas with poor or no broadband.

“The areas with copper phone and Pay TV cable could be left for last, where it is working okay. This would be a slight change to the current government's NBN FTTP to achieve cost savings proposed by the opposition,” he says.

Some in the tech industry have been vocal proponents against fibre-to-the-node. Steve Dalby, chief regulatory officer at iiNet, has previously hit out at the Coalition’s policy, saying it hasn’t addressed the benefits the NBN could offer Australia’s digital economy and taken the wrong approach by focusing on simply the cost to build the network.

Dalby says a mixed network with fibre-to-the-node and fibre-to-the-home could also provide more complexity for retail service providers.

Businesses and the NBN

A recent report by Servcorp found only 51 per cent of businesses believe the NBN will have a positive impact on their business. A total of 37 per cent said it wouldn’t have a positive impact and 12 per cent were unsure.

The report surveyed 450 businesses, with around 90 per cent of those businesses with less than 200 employees.

“What I think [the results] speak to is whether people actually think that it’s going to get delivered or that it’s going to get delivered in a timely fashion to actually impact them. I think that’s reflected in the results,” he says.

Moufarrige says the results of the survey reflect the uncertainty about whether the NBN will be delivered under Labor.

“The numbers that I’ve read is that they’ve spent roughly 30 per cent of the slated budget or committed 30 per cent of their slated budget and delivered roughly 5 per cent of the network,” he says.

“If we were rolling out a network and it was showing those numbers we’d call it a dead duck, so I do think that it’s in threat. On top of that, the minister [whose] baby [it was] is gone. The chief executive of NBN Co is gone and they’re in dispute left, right and centre. I think it is an absolute shambles.”

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Tags ServcorpMarcus MoufarrigeNational Broadband Network (NBN)

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7 Comments

Paul Krueger

1

So... half of all businesses will have a positive impact from the NBN?

I don't know of any other infrastructure that will deliver a prifit and improve the position of half of all businesses in Australia.

Given the polrized debate based on political preference that is fantastically high.

Biased Reporting

2

Um, The Australian on 17th April 2012 described Mr Moufarrige as a "Liberal Party supporter" (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/government/technology-committee-executive-lashes-telstras-ugly-sister/story-fn4htb9o-1226328183569). Why is that political bias not mentioned in this story?

More Bias?

3

Servcorp is also a consistent donor to the Liberal Party (and no other party) according to the AEC web site: http://periodicdisclosures.aec.gov.au/Donor.aspx?SubmissionID=3&ClientID=28771

Layman

4

This has been a paid political announcement, brought to you by Servcorf on behalf of ??????????? I would have thought that any IT literate would just be aware of how easy it is to track memberships, sponsorships, affiliations donations etc, The general public can and do, and are increasingly double checking articles in MSM, trade mags etc, there is really no place these days for the dishonesty and propaganda of the past. http://periodicdisclosures.aec.gov.au/Donor.aspx?SubmissionID=3&ClientID=28771

Benson

5

The only thing that labor can ever be trusted to deliver, are huge debts ,and many broken promises.
I have no doubts whatsoever that the NBN will be found to be underdeveloped, many faults , and well over budgeted. Who is stupid enough to believe that labor could ever deliver such a massieve project, whene they couldn't even deliver a single budget surplus.

Johnson Zhu

6

It is clear this man has NFI.

thepeopleofaustralia

7

I have started a petition to strongly urge the coalition government to reconsider their FTTN NBN proposal in favour of a superior FTTH NBN. Please show your support for this issue by signing the petition and leaving any comments/thoughts at the following link:

http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/the-liberal-party-of-australia-reconsider-your-plan-for-a-fttn-nbn-in-favour-of-a-superior-ftth-nbn

Please spread the word, and refer as many of your friends and family as possible. Additionally, feel free to raise further concerns to Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and the coalition government by sending them an email or written letter to the addresses below.

Tony Abbott:
phone: (02) 6277 4022
fax: (02) 6277 8562
website/email: http://www.tonyabbott.com.au/ContactTony.aspx
address: Parliament House
RG109
Canberra ACT 2600

Malcolm Turnbull:
phone: 02 6277 4144
fax: 02 6277 8445
website/email: http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/contact
address: PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

Liberal Party Federal Secretariat:
phone: 02 6273 2564
fax: 02 6273 1534
email: libadm@liberal.org.au
address: PO Box 6004,
Kingston ACT 2604

Thank you for your support.

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