Radio National’s Background Briefing is about to take a look at Turnbull’s NBN.
The program will go to air on Sunday, November 1 at 8am, repeated Tuesday, November 3 at 9pm. It will also be repeated on NewsRadio at 1pm on Sunday.
RN’s Breakfast had a foretaste on Friday, the transcript of which is available here.
You can take your pick as to who you believe, the stories appear incompatible.
My understanding is that the original fibre to the premises was going to replace the existing creaky network, which was to be decommissioned. Fibre to the node (FTTN) has meant retaining and upgrading the last link from the node to the home/premises. This has cost more and take more time than expected, and yield a patchy but overall poor result.
There is an expectation that the Government may announce a plan to bring fibre to the kerb, but it seems the original plan of doing it once, doing it right, doing it fibre is lost forever.
My own interim view, until I hear the whole program, is that the original vision was best. We would have ended up with a world-class digital highway network, with universality and equity. The rich and the heavy users would have cross-subsidised the rest. A government-owned corporatised monopoly was the best solution in this case. It would have taken us a while to get there, but then we would have been competitive with elsewhere in the world. Turnbull’s way will take us longer to catch up.
Turnbull has denied us that possibility for basically ideological reasons.
On costs, the big numbers frighten people, but they are not so large in this kind of league. We’ve just been told that we are likely to spend more than $130 billion on Australia’s electricity networks between 2010 and 2020.