I’ve purposely waited for the dust to settle before writing about Conroy’s NBN proposal. At first, I thought it sounded pretty good. Who wouldn’t want fast Intertubes?
On closer inspection, major holes can be found in the plan. Rudd-Labor went to the election promising FTTN for 98% of the population at a cost of around $4.7b. After a lengthy and expensive tender process, that plan has been abandoned. Now, up to $43bn of taxpayer money will be spent to provide FTTP to 90% of the population. On top of this, the time frame has doubled to eight years from the original four.
To put $43bn into context, Telstra’s entire market cap is around $40.5bn.
Labor claims that the NBN will be sold within five years after the project becomes operational, but unless the project can deliver a decent commercial return (which remains to be seen), any sale price will likely be considerably less than the $43bn investment.
I am automatically sceptical of any large government projects. Generally the budget and time estimates are too low, and the utility and quality estimates are too high. We’ll all have to wait and see.
To the people blindly supporting the project, I simply ask: if you wouldn’t trust this cunt to filter your Internet, why would you trust him to responsibly build completely new infrastructure on time and on budget?