Debate It: Is the NBN actually worth all the fuss?

Robert Mugabe gets pulled in to the NBn debate.

Following the termination of the planned OPEL network , speculation is now rife about what shape the National Broadband Network (NBN) or ‘free internet for everyone’ scheme will take in Australia.

Controversy has surrounded the Rudd government’s plan ever since a gag order was issued for companies submitting tenders to the scheme, and a senate enquiry was ordered to find out the proposed effects on competition, existing services and the need for private investment.

The federal government has published the 80 tenders it has newreceived for the scheme, resulting in Telstra accusing its competitors of “harbouring an agenda of Telstra-slashing.” . The tender process has also been ravaged by debates about the need for an NBN builder to have horizontal structurally separated retail and wholesale arms (http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;348074129).

This week the NBN scheme has been likened to ‘Mugabe-politics’ by the federal opposition, and Senator Conroy, the scheme’s overlord, to bumbling TV secret agent Maxwell Smart.

Do you agree with Shadow Communications Minister Bruce Bilson, that “f we get this wrong, unscrambling an egg would look simple”? Do you care what shape the NBN actually takes? Or do you just wish that it was finished already and we could all move on?

And is the NBN actually worth all the fuss?

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