Turnbull criticises government's NBN budget cuts

The Federal Government allocated $12.9 million for NBN initiatives in the 2013-14 budget but cut NBN advertising

Malcolm Turnbull has criticised the Federal Government for budget cuts to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The shadow minister for communications and broadband said it was an admission the “project is failing” in response to budget cuts from the government for the network.

Turnbull claimed more than 1 million premises will not get the NBN by the dates indicated in NBN Co’s corporate plan.

“The Budget reveals Labor has cut its planned equity investment in the NBN between this financial year and 2014-15 by $3.5 billion, or 20 per cent,” Turnbull said.

“The gutting of the NBN’s funding is a clear admission it is disastrously behind the schedule unveiled by Stephen Conroy and Julia Gillard only nine months ago in August 2012.”

The Federal Government allocated $12.9 million for NBN initiatives in the 2013-14 budget to demonstrate the benefits of the network.

The funding has been allocated to the Digital Enterprise program, which provides free NBN group training for SMBs and not-for-profit organisations, and the Digital Local Government program, which provides funding for local governments to encourage them to develop online services.

Around 21 extra Digital Enterprise services and 15 extra Digital Local Government programs will be provided with the additional funding.

The government has also allocated $4.9 million in NBN advertising for campaigns in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

This compares to $20 million in funding for a marketing campaign to dispel misconceptions about the NBN which was announced in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

The NBN is running three months behind schedule due to delays from construction partner Syntheo.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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