In Technology

Federal Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband Malcolm Turnbull

Kevin Rudd Misleading Australians On Economic Benefits Of NBN

Victor P Taffa

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is deliberately misleading Australians voters by linking a taxpayer-funded analysis of the future benefits of high-speed broadband to Labor’s failed National Broadband Network (NBN), and by claiming it shows his policy will “not only transform the Australian economy and improve our national competitiveness, but will also directly benefit every family in the country”, Federal Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband Malcolm Turnbull said.

“Mr. Rudd made the claims following the release of research commissioned from Deloitte Access Economic which estimates the direct and indirect benefits of high-speed broadband could average $3,800 per household by 2020.”


“But the Deloitte Access report does not in fact provide any support for Mr. Rudd’s claim that “every family” will benefit from Labor’s fibre to the premises NBN.” Mr. Turnbull said.

“Nor does it indicate that the Labor Party’s fibre to the premises version of the NBN is needed for these benefits to accrue. Most of the estimated value for households arises from moving from narrowband to fast broadband, which could be delivered over today’s HFC cable networks, a fibre to the node network, or a fibre to the premises network.”

“In reality there is not a single benefit included in the $3,800 figure for 2020 that will not be delivered by the Coalition NBN.”

“While the Deloitte Access report places a dollar value per household on the benefits of high-speed broadband in 2020, it fails to offset this with the costs of building a network to provide it.” Mr. Turnbull said.

As Deloitte Access states in a press release:

“The report is about the benefits of high speed broadband and looks over the horizon to 2020, when Australia will have a fully digital economy.  It is not a cost benefit analysis, nor a comparison between different NBN policies or of the alternative ways in which broadband services can be delivered. The analysis does not include the costs of constructing and operating broadband networks.

“Rather, the report assumes the benefits of fast broadband will be priced at the same price as today’s ADSL2 broadband indefinitely into the future.”

“We know this is not true for Labor’s NBN its own business plan shows charges per user will triple between now and 2021, and be even higher if the network costs close to $100 billion as the Coalition and many others expect.”

“There is another reason the figure of $3,800 per household by 2020 is almost certainly wildly overstated in the case of Labor’s NBN. That is the reality that Labor’s NBN will be nowhere near finished by then on the contrary, at the current rollout pace it could take another twenty years to be completed.” Mr. Turnbull said.

“After six years of Labor and four years of construction, NBN Co’s fibre network is available at 1.2 % of the premises it needs to reach to be completed.”

“Rather than releasing and then misrepresenting research paid for by taxpayers during the caretaker period, Kevin Rudd’s case for Labor’s NBN would be far better served by actually rolling it out to some of the millions of Australian households and businesses which have substandard broadband.” Mr. Turnbull said.

Instead of travelling down the cable NBN path Former Prime Minister John Howard was keen to advance the wireless internet method of operations. Wireless provides good download and upload speeds. Wireless systems can be updated faster than a rigid cable system.

However the Rudd and Gillard Governments have been almost obsessed in proclaiming the benefits of their NBN. At the rate of current rollout the NBN will take longer to build than the Snowy Mountains Scheme which took 25 years from 1949-74.

Instead of building the so called “Information Superhighway” that the Rudd and Gillard Governments have called the NBN what should have been started was the High Speed Rail Network that links all mainland Capital Cities and Hobart via a Rail Ferry across Bass Strait. While technology advancements occur in the Rail Industry as much as I.T. the Heavy Rail High Speed Rail trains have been in operation in Japan since the 1960’s.

While High Speed Rail will take some time to build it will not take nearly as long as if High Speed Rail linked in with existing State based Rail Networks. The Rudd Government wants to build High Speed Rail after buying up properties to then build totally isolated High Speed Rail Lines. This approach will cost billions of dollars more and more years to build than working in with State based Rail Networks.

Building the High Speed Rail Network will be cheaper to install than the NBN especially if High Speed Rail uses existing State Based Rail corridors.

Faster technology speeds are needed as much as High Speed Rail. It would seem that both the Rudd and Gillard Governments have had the totally wrong approach to achieving the end goal of each project that has both a nationwide appeal and visionary outlook.


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