nbn was a "big mistake": Turnbull

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 23 October, 2017

Malcolm turnbull carousel

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has claimed that the entire nbn project was a mistake and may never make the expected commercial return.

Speaking at a press conference today in response to a question whether the nbn project was in hindsight a mistake and a waste of money, Turnbull asserted that setting up a government company for the national rollout was a “big mistake”.

He blamed the Labor party for the sorry state of the nbn network and rising customer complaints over poor service quality and delays connecting users, claiming that there have been “many billions of dollars wasted” on the project due to the nbn co model.

Turnbull suggested that Australia should have followed the New Zealand model, which, if applied in Australia, would have involved enforcing structural separation of Telstra’s wholesale and retail operations and tasking the wholesale arm with delivering the wholesale nbn.

In addition, Turnbull said that the nbn is estimated to deliver a commercial return of around 3%, below the 6% that had been originally predicted and lower than the stock market would expect.

This, he claimed, would have prevented the project from attracting private investment as Labor had insisted.

Turnbull also said he is in discussions with nbn co and the ACCC regarding the rising complaints from customers that they are not getting the speeds they are paying for.

He ruled out placing a levy on mobile connections to subsidise the nbn’s operations, noting that the nbn still has a competitive advantage over mobile broadband in the form of far higher data allocations. Average data usage on a mobile plan is around 15 gigabytes per month, compared to 150 gigabytes for nbn customers.

Pictured: Malcolm Turnbull. Courtesy pmc.gov.au

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