Friday, May 07, 2010

Australia: NBN is "achievable and affordable", even without Telstra

The Australian Government yesterday released the National Broadband Network (NBN) Implementation Study which confirms that high-speed broadband for all Australians is achievable, and can be built on a financially viable basis with affordable prices for consumers, at a price lower than initially envisaged.

From the accompanying press release:
"...while infrastructure sharing and other commercial arrangements with existing telecommunications companies can benefit the project, the NBN will be financially viable even without the participation of Telstra...Fibre to the premise is widely accepted as the optimal future proof technology with wireless broadband a complementary rather than a substitute technology...the NBN can provide consumers with faster speeds and better download limits for comparable prices to what they pay in the market today...the NBN business model establishes that taxpayers are paid back their investment with a modest return by year 15 of the project on the basis that privatisation is completed."
Which suggests that the NBN won't be a public asset in perpetuity? TelecomPaper confirm this: "The report authors also recommend that the government keep the network in public hands until the roll-out is completed, to ensure it meets policy objectives." And TeleGeography report that Telstra has until the end of June 2010 to finalise a deal on its participation in the  project. Comments on the implementation study are invited by 27th May 2010.

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