The economics of the NBN

Summary:In this edition of Twisted Wire, Senator Nick Minchin, Maha Krishnapillai and Ian Birks discuss with Phil Dobbie the economic viability of the new National Broadband Network.

In this edition of Twisted Wire, Senator Nick Minchin, Maha Krishnapillai and Ian Birks discuss with Phil Dobbie the economic viability of the new National Broadband Network.

The government has earmarked $43 billion to build a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network to reach 90 per cent of all Australians. The intention is to attract investors from the onset and to ultimately sell the whole entity to the private sector. That raises two big questions — will we see a realistic return on investment for this massive sum and will it be attractive to investors?

Today's Twisted Wire discussion highlights two further questions. Most people agree on the spin-off benefits to the Aussie gross domestic product. Wouldn't the government have been wiser to argue the benefits to the economy rather than arguing full payback on the investment?

The other question is, can it proceed at all without use of existing Telstra infrastructure? Once again, the industry waits for Telstra's next move.

Senator Nick Minchin is the shadow minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy; Maha Krishnapillai is the director of Government and Corporate Affairs for Optus, and Ian Birks is the CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association

Add your comments in the Talkback section at the end of this post.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Optus, Tech Industry, Telcos

About

Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.