Turnbull says ex-ACCC chair is an NBN 'cheerleader'

Turnbull says ex-ACCC chair is an NBN 'cheerleader'

Summary: Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has accused former ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel of being an out-of-touch cheerleader for the NBN.


Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that Australian taxpayers will pay for former ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel's cheerleading over the National Broadband Network (NBN).

As first reported by ZDNet, Samuel told the IPv6 Summit last week that switching the NBN roll-out from a fibre-to-the-premise (FttP) network to a fibre-to-the-node (FttN) network would cost "many times more" than the estimated AU$4.7 billion, and would result in thousands of street-corner nodes. He also expressed great scepticism about the viability of hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) networks in the long term.

"I think it is highly unlikely to be a longer-term competitive infrastructure to the NBN," he said. "What has happened with HFC is that more and more data is being pushed down, and at this point in time, it's suffering contention issues."

In a blog post published today, Turnbull fired back, saying that Samuel was a "cheerleader for the NBN" who was out of touch with the latest technologies available in FttN networks, which allow broadband to be deployed over both copper and fibre to premises.

"They are available from multiple vendors. Carriers around the world are increasingly offering fibre connectivity on a customer-by-customer basis where this makes economic sense," he said.

Turnbull indicated that his plan would see a "revision of contracts" already signed between Telstra and NBN Co to use part of the copper network from the node to the premise, and rejected Samuel's suggestion that this would add billions to the cost of the network.

"As far as Telstra is concerned, Mr Samuel's claim that a revision to the contracts to use part of the Telstra copper network will cost additional tens of billions of dollars is without any basis in fact," he said.

"Under Labor's NBN, Telstra is being paid to progressively shut its copper network so it has no commercial value. I have indicated that our policy will leave Telstra shareholders at least as well off in economic terms, and I am very confident a win-win outcome will be attainable if we are elected."

Topics: NBN, Government, Government AU, Telstra


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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  • Tumbul, the anti-cheerleader :)

    Except... The NBN isn't paid for by taxpayers (and their taxes), only by those who use the network.

    And... running a fiber customer by customer sounds incredibly expensive. I wonder if thats the most efficieent way to do it?

    Why is it that they claim it will be 20-50 billion in payments to Telstra for use of ducts and transferal of customers (forgetting to mention that might be over many decades), yet flat out taking the copper and ducts will be cheep? The value of the copper is only low if you are building a competitor that will be superior and equivilent in price (FTTH). If you are going to actually use the copper then it suddenly has some real value.
    Paul Krueger
  • Called it


    Perhaps Turnbull doesn't quite understand that upgradeable to FttH nodes is not plus for rolling out a FttN patchwork but a clear sign you shouldn't even bother. FttN is a lame stopgap solution that will be obsolete before it's even finished. How do I know? They are building nodes that allow people to upgrade to FttP!!! LOL. Meanwhile the sucker taxpayers have to shoulder the cost for wasting all that time building obsolete infrastructure to begin with. Amazing. Talk about incompetent and convoluted. I'm almost hoping the coalition clowns do win the next election now because you have to admit watching them flounder will be quite entertaining.
    Hubert Cumberdale
  • Knowing of Graeme Samuel (not personally)...

    Yet again, people from all walks of life, demographics and traditional political leanings are supporting the NBN...

    It would 'seem', with Graeme being an AC, successful businessman and rather wealthy, politically he would surely, be more at home siding with the conservatives...?

    Being so, if Graeme is indeed as Malcolm suggests, an NBN cheerleader, it stands to reason it is simply because Graeme is wise enough and strong enough, to look past his own traditional political leanings and see the NBN as a great plus/must for all Australians.

    Goodonya Graeme, pity your strength can't rub off on the blind, ideologue naysayers :(
    • It certainly is funny RS all the polls indicate most Australians are in favor of the proper NBN build, this is well known yet Turnbull seems to be taken aback with Mr Samuel sharing the same opinion. Yes how dare he have common sense.
      Hubert Cumberdale
  • Well...

    HC, GS obviously isn't a CIO and as such, is inexperienced and uneducated... LOL!

    But I'm sure overtime he will learn ;)