In his own words: Tony Abbott on the NBN

“Do we really want to invest $50 billion of hard earned taxpayers money in what is essentially a video entertainment system?”

(Image credit:

(Image credit:

Tony Abbott, Australia's new prime minister, is a self-confessed non-tech head.

His position on Australia's largest infrastructure project, the National Broadband Network (NBN), has wavered from completely demolishing the network to building a broadband network for much less and faster.

Computerworld Australia has compiled a selection of Abbott's quotable quotes about the NBN.

Report: After the election: What next for the NBN?

“Do we really want to invest $50 billion of hard earned taxpayers money in what is essentially a video entertainment system?”
- Press conference, 20 December, 2010

“[We] are absolutely confident that 25 megs is going to be enough, more than enough, for the average household.”
- Joint press conference, 9 April, 2013

"I've already described it as school halls on steroids, and we can be certain the NBN will be to this term of government what pink batts and school halls were to the last term of government."
- 14 September, 2010

“As far as I’m concerned it is far more important to get the Pacific Highway duplicated than it is to spend $50 billion-plus doing what the private sector could easily do with vastly less money with the National Broadband Network…

“I’ve got to say to the government in all candour that it would be so much easier to do this if they weren’t wasting money on the greatest white elephant this country has ever seen, the National Broadband Network.”
- 9 January, 2012

“Of course I appreciate the importance of these things. But let's not assume that we should put all our eggs in the high fibre basket either.

“I mean all of the people who are making daily use of telecommunications services, increasingly they're using wireless technology.

“All those people who are sending messages from their iPhones and BlackBerries, all those people sitting in airport lounges using their computers, I mean they do not rely on fixed line services.”
- On Insiders, 15 August, 2010

“If you're gonna get me into a technical argument, I'm going to lose it, Kerry, because I'm not a tech head.”
- On 7:30, 10 August, 2010

“The National Broadband Network is a luxury that Australia cannot now afford. The one thing you don’t do is redo your bathroom when your roof has just been blown off.”
- Calling for the NBN to be scrapped to help with flood recovery efforts in Queensland, 18 January, 2011

“Speeds of up to 100 megabits are already potentially available to almost every major business and hospital, to most schools, and through high speed cable already running past nearly a third of Australian households.

“The smart way to improve broadband is not to junk the existing network but to make the most of it. It’s to let a competitive market deliver the speeds that people need at an affordable price with government improving infrastructure in the areas where market competition won’t deliver it.”
- Reply speech to the 2011-2012 federal budget, 12 May, 2011

“I want our NBN rolled out within three years and Malcolm Turnbull is the right person to make this happen.”
- A letter to Australians, 7 September, 2013

Tags Tony AbbottMalcolm TurnbullNational Broadband Network (NBN)




This article is pointless - just a list of typical polly quotes.
The oly one that is worthwhile is the last
“I want our NBN rolled out within three years and Malcolm Turnbull is the right person to make this happen.”



There is no point in re-hashing the past.
We are all about to learn exactly what Tony will be doing about the NBN so I don't see the point of articles like this.
The time for critical examination has come and gone. Now we will get what we will get and that is the end of the story.

It may be worth comparing what was promised with what we are given at some future date, but we need to know what is being delivered before there is any point writing about it.

Morgan Bomm


This plan is so stupid he's never going to be elected because of this generation, because in 3 years or so, there's going to be more of our generation that will hate this plan and i'm only 13 and I hate this plan because I play video games at home and we get 500kb/s and my brother lives in Melbourne and he gets 2mb/s and we both play online games and its not just gamers who are going to be pissed of or people who use the internet to be social it going to be business that live in areas where they can only get wireless internet and have poor internet so he's losing a lot of votes from this generation.

Industry observer


Many of the people who voted for his party must have difficulty reading, never mind managing technology. This was not a technology election, or even one decided on policy, but, mainly, on mindless prejudice.
We can only hope that Turnbull's better understanding prevails over that of Tony and the other Luddites.

Francis Young


Malcolm Turnbull now has a poison chalice of his own making.

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull have promised almost daily from April to September 2013 that the coalition guarantees no Australian child will lack 25 Mbps broadband by 2016.

This includes contract negotiation, copper remediation, contractor delays (because these only affect fibre projects) and that it will be achieved without paying Telstra more than $11 billion for the copper for FTTN to 71% of premises. The total cost will be no more than $29 billion, including satellite, wireless, 71% FTTN and 22% FTTP.

This will be very interesting to watch unfold.



Liberals hate informed voters. If they can limit the internet as much as possible they limit our access to media outside their control. The Iron curtain is next and say goodbye to the wild west. I'm a IT Professional, the internet was built by IT Professionals and infrastructure planning should not be designed by a pack of morons who call IT Professionals "tech heads". Tony Abbot is a S3xist Racist Jock and a Catholic, he thinks IT Professionals are only to speak when spoken to and to otherwise keep there shamefully nerdyness to themselves. Seriously anyone who voted in the liberals is an idiot.




Well Turnbull & Abbott have finally building Australia's larget white elephant or a modern day Trogan horse.
1. They expect to sell off the NBN once completed. Who in their right mind would buy such a messy patchwork quilt.
It has a mix of FTTP, FTTN and other technologies it will be a nightmare to maintain.
2. They expect the private sector to build it. So not one cent of tax payer money is to be used, I doubt that will ever happen. As Turnbull has stated many times let "Private Enterprise build the NBN"



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:

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
address: Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Malcolm Turnbull:
phone: 02 6277 4144
fax: 02 6277 8445
address: PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

Liberal Party Federal Secretariat:
phone: 02 6273 2564
fax: 02 6273 1534
address: PO Box 6004,
Kingston ACT 2604

Thank you for your support.



When will people stop to realise that the NBN is really the replacement telecommunications for the old phone system? Stop the bellyaching and political posturing and just get on with something in Australia's interest!
Telstra spend $1B annually just to maintain the copper network.

aaron colbert


I already get 25mb/s and i want 200mb/s wat is abbott thinking he is not a smart person he cant even spell simple words in an add with his photo on it he says quote" education is important however, bubget surplusses are importanter" WTF is importanter isnt it more important that our children in the public sector learn and have the same oportunities as others. I mean these children are the middle class of the future and these are the people that acctually keep the country going day in and day out the small % of upperclass people in australia do there fair share but the majority of people in australia are lower/middle class the back bone of society!

aaron colbert


the NBN abbott says will take 80years it would seem to me that there is alot less work to do with a fibre network then the "Snowy River Mountain Scheme" that took only 25 years starting in 1949 wasnt the technology alot more primitive then? I think hes not thinking properly maybe its his primitive religous beliefs!

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