Hockey misleads on NBN cost and rollout

Hockey misleads on NBN cost and rollout

Summary: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has incorrectly stated that Labor's NBN would be rolled out to fewer premises and be slower than the Coalition's proposed alternative.


Treasurer Joe Hockey has incorrectly claimed that the Coalition's National Broadband Network (NBN) would deliver faster speeds to more homes than Labor's proposed policy, in stark contrast to NBN Co's own strategic review, which states that very few premises will have access to 1Gbps download speeds by the end of the Coalition's planned rollout.

Last week, NBN Co released its strategic review into the NBN, detailing the expected cost of six different rollout methods, including Labor's 93 percent fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) rollout, and the Coalition's preferred multi-technology model incorporating FttP, fibre to the node (FttN), and use of the existing hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus.

Although much of the finer financial detail of the review has been redacted in the publicly released document, the report states that Labor's plan is now projected to take an extra four years to complete out to 2024, with the cost of the construction set to rise, with peak funding now at AU$73 billion. The Coalition's proposal is also expected to now cost AU$41 billion, but be completed in 2020.

While at the end of Labor's NBN rollout, all users on the fibre network would be able to get 1Gbps download services, the review states that it will be at least until 2030 before 1Gbps is available to the majority of users under the Coalition's preferred model, when the network could be completely upgraded to FttP.

The Coalition government has not yet settled on whether it will proceed with the multi-technology model proposed by NBN Co, but Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that the Cabinet would consider the review along with the cost-benefit analysis into the best broadband model for Australia that is due for completion in mid-2014.

Despite clear evidence from the review stating that only between 65 and 75 percent of premises will have access to 100Mbps download speeds at the end of the proposed rollout under the Coalition versus 93 percent under Labor, Hockey told 2GB on Wednesday that the Coalition's proposal would deliver faster speeds than Labor's proposal.

"The fact is Labor said that the National Broadband Network would cost AU$42 billion, their program would cost well over AU$70 billion, probably closer to AU$80 billion. It would take much longer, and over the same period of time, deliver slower speeds to fewer homes than what we are going to do," he said.

Hockey also claimed that although funding for the NBN is expected to cost AU$41 billion under the Coalition, there would be no more funding after the initial AU$29.5 billion as was promised in the April policy announcement.

"Our program is much more affordable, we have capped the taxpayer contribution to the scheme to AU$29.5 billion and that is it. After that, it has got a pay for itself," he said.

"It has to raise its own money, and it has to start to generate income. We are capping it, and they are going to make it work."

Earlier this week, NBN Co executive chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski said that Labor's plan to pass 13 million premises by the NBN by the end of 2021 was "never going to happen".

Topic: NBN


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • What the...

    "It would take much longer, and over the same period of time.." - LOL
    Sloppy Joe, at it again.
  • I'm not sure what everyone was expecting but it's totally understandable that the coalition clowns would have to resort to this to justify their gimped noodle network and subsequent waste of taxpayers money. Also consider the bogan audience of 2GB, they are much easier to fool. Everyone regardless of political leanings should be looking to take advantage of these uniformed voters as much as possible. So I dont fault Hockey for misleading them at all.
    Hubert Cumberdale
  • Hockey misleads ...

    A good article, Josh; keep up that informative fact-checking and analysis.

    Peter Gerrand
    Peter Gerrand
  • Actually...

    the statement is factually correct. By the completion of the Coalition plan, the report states the Labor plan would have passed around 40% less homes, and that at that same point in time, the Coalition plan would have more homes connected to 100Mbps connections thanks to FttB and the acquired HFC zones.

    I'm not saying it's right (excludes Gbps connections, etc) but that's all that's going on here...
    Andrew Hargrave
    • Yeah, well...

      if you accept all the Ziggy NBN report's 'grand assumptions' maybe...

      The other view is that Joe and the nest of vipers are just going to try to keep lying their way to another three years after this term... won't work...
  • Actually Andrew...

    There's a massive flaw in your argument.
    Just like the 2GB audience you're blindly accepting their propaganda as fact when to date even their leader admits he's a liar.
    Unless you're just trolling I would suggest you place a little more faith in those realistic expectations, facts & figures published by the original tech savvy world class experts our Allbull banker immediately disposed of only to be replaced by compliant mates & ex-Telstra cronies with vested interests & only too willing to assist in convincing the gullible with their fudged "facts" & redacted costs that what their party originally termed as "Fraudband" is suddenly now the best thing since sliced bread.
    Still waiting for my local "Cheaper, Faster & sooner 25Mbps by 2016" Node that now won't even be purchased during the current 'government's' term. One can only hope Murdoch has less success in convincing the lemmings to jump next time.
  • hmm

    I think the problem with Hockey he Turnbull at face value and took what turnbull had said as law, though the reality in him not checking before passing a dead comment has left with shit plastered on hid face..

    sadly Turnbull's total isn't practical and will in the long run cost more to deploy.
    they can take up to 3035 to deliver FTTH under the ALP plan and still cost them less in the long run..
    under the LNP sees the start gap in deployment to 2017 and take a min of 2050 to augmentation to ftth/p..

    though the physical reality is ftth should of started migration process 20 years ago, this stop-gap measure had a service end of life 5-11 years ago...
    Jason Howe