NBN Co recommends plan to save taxpayers and consumers money

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The strategic review of the National Broadband Network released today recommends the project be completed using a mix of technologies to save $32 billion, keep monthly bills lower and deliver the NBN to all Australians four years sooner than under Labor’s plan.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt, an electrical engineer, said the report would enable the Coalition to draw a line in the sand and finally progress what has been the most wasteful and mismanaged infrastructure project in Australia’s history.

“The review shows the true situation is far worse than any of us were led to believe, with Labor wasting Billions of dollars that can never be recovered,” Mr Pitt said.
Key findings:

  • If Labor’s policies are left in place, Australian households will pay up to 80 per cent more for broadband, with bills increasing by $43 per month;
  • The roll out is currently two years behind schedule, with final completion due 11 years later than promised by Kevin Rudd;
  • The cost to taxpayers of completing the NBN under Labor’s plan has blown out to $73 Billion. That’s $29 Billion more than we were told.

Mr Pitt, who has been appointed to both the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications and the Coalition Policy Committee on Communications, said this thorough and objective analysis of the NBN would enable the Coalition to chart a path forward.

“NBN Co has advised the Government that to deliver broadband sooner, at less cost to taxpayers and more affordably for consumers, the NBN should be completed using a mix of technology,” he said.

“Nine out of ten Australians will receive download speeds of 50 megabits per second or more by 2019.

“An average broadband bill will cost $72 per month using a mix of technology, compared to $139 under Labor’s plan.

“When you consider less than 400 Million of the world’s 1.6 billion internet devices are PCs, it’s easy to see why using a mix of technologies is ideal. People are moving towards portable wireless devices.

“This approach to the NBN brings Australia into line with the broadband upgrades being rolled out around the world.”
Mr Pitt said the rapid and ongoing evolution of technology meant that by the time Labor had connected fibre to every home, the technology would have been superseded.

“We would have spent Billions of dollars more than we needed to on a network that would by then be outdated, and too costly for low to middle income households to connect to,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the release of the report today meant that for the first time since the NBN was announced, Australians now had access to the same information as the Government.

“The Coalition is committed to ensuring Australians get the facts about the NBN,” he said.

“Separate to the Strategic Review, the Government has instructed the Department of Communications to report on quality of internet access in every single neighbourhood in Australia.

“Early next year, the Government will launch a website to allow businesses and households to check their broadband speeds and see where they are ranked. The Government will use this information to ensure under-served areas get the NBN first.

“A new NBN rollout schedule will also be released in 2014, along with a revised NBN Co Corporate Plan.”

Media contact: Larine Statham 0427 653 814



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