Labor’s Gold Plated NBN Panned New Version Delivers $18B Economic Boost Vs Labors $2B
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull last night released the first ever cost-benefit analysis of Australia’s largest infrastructure project a review that former Stephen Conroy refused to conduct.
The Coalition review is three times more cost effective than Labor’s costly rollout, it also leaves Australians $16 billion better off.
In a scathing indictment of the Rudd and Gillard governments and the ranting of former Communication Minister Conroy who wanted to introduce fibre directly to 93 per cent of premises, the cost benefit analysis finds that their policy was so expensive it would leave all Australians paying for a network long after it had become obsolete.
The new analysis recommends that expensive connections for remote Australia are dropped and freezing connections of high-speed cables all the way to houses and apartments. This limited version would deliver a benefit to Australia of $24 billion.
Abandoning wireless and ?satellite services for remote areas is set to be criticised by the National party who expect all; Australians to fork out billions for a very small number of rural properties.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was committed to rural services and was not surprised the review found them expensive.
“It’s clear if you’re going to have any sort of equity in terms of access to ?telecommunications in rural and regional Australia there will have to be some form of subsidy,” he told The Australian Financial Review.
The Financial Review said that the most beneficial scenario that emerges from the analysis is an “unsubsidised roll-out”, where broadband is provided where it will make money and not need government subsidies.
This approach would continue the predominantly fibre-to-the-street-corner approach of the Coalition and would not connect homes by fibre optics in cities or satellite and Wi-Fi ?services in rural areas.
NBN Co would continue to exist but would rely on copper line and networks being used to deliver cable TV services.
NBN Co would also be allowed to set its own prices rather than be restricted by the Special Access Undertaking approved by the competition regulator.
But Mr Turnbull said this was not a viable scenario.
“That option insofar as it was ever an option is long past. If you had a more conventional approach to broadband, the private sector would have done as much of it as it could have done without a subsidy, and the government would have written a cheque,” he said.
The report was written by a panel headed by former public servant Michael Vertigan, and included well-known Labor NBN critic Henry Ergas.