Liberal victory will kill Telstra NBN deal

Liberal victory will kill Telstra NBN deal

Summary: The Opposition has described the National Broadband Network company's (NBN Co) $11 billion deal with Telstra as Labor's "desperate" attempt to progress its National Broadband Network policy "by throwing billions of dollars of taxpayers' cash at it", adding that it would cancel the deal if elected.

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The Opposition has described the National Broadband Network company's (NBN Co) $11 billion deal with Telstra as Labor's "desperate" attempt to progress the National Broadband Network "by throwing billions of dollars of taxpayers' cash at it", adding that it would cancel the deal if elected.

This afternoon Telstra revealed it had signed a preliminary deal with NBN Co that would see the telco migrate its telephone and broadband customers onto the fibre National Broadband Network, with its copper (ADSL) network to be shut down and no more broadband services to be provided over its hybrid-fibre coaxial cable network.

"Today's announcement is designed to mask the fact that after almost three years, [Prime Minister Kevin] Rudd has failed to deliver a single new connection under the guide of an NBN," said a statement issued by the Opposition from the offices of Shadow Communications Minister Tony Smith and Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb.

"Clearly, because the Coalition does not support Labor's reckless NBN, we would not proceed with this arrangement if elected."

"What value are taxpayers getting for the $9 billion which is to be handed over to Telstra?" the statement asked. "Labor claims this is justified to reduce the cost to taxpayers of building the NBN — but this hugely expensive and risky venture is something that no responsible government would contemplate in the first place."

The Opposition said it did not believe it was the role of government to force taxpayers to spend billions of dollars to build and/or buy businesses in areas where the private sector was able to perform the role.

The statement also pointed out that the Telstra deal was conditional on a range of requirements being met, as well as shareholder approval. "It is clear that if any agreement is to be reached, it will not be finalised for many months, well after the federal election," the statement said.

"Prior to the next election the Coalition will outline a responsible alternative policy to deliver fast, reliable and affordable broadband," the statement said. "Our policy will be responsible and deliverable."

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Government AU, Telcos, Telstra

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  • Lol...

    I wonder what all the Telstra supporters, who have campainged fiercely against Rudd, will do now that the opposition has said they'll still can the NBN/new NBN deal?

    Especially if TLS shares (as I believe they will - but I may be wrong) spike, as from tomorrow!
    RS-ef540
  • The first time I remember voting Labor was for Kevin Rudd in 2007 so I definitely no aversion to the Liberals as a party.

    But read the Green's comments Ministers Smith and Robb. The Liberals should never have sold off Telstra as a vertically integrated monopoly. It should have been structurally separated. You didn't do that because you wouldn't have earned as much money from the sale. Perhaps you would not have sufficient money to prop up your defined benefit scheme superannuation funds (that no-one in the non-government community gets).

    Some of that extra money earned from Telstra's sale is now being spent to rectify the disastrous situation that you Liberals put the country's communications infrastructure in.

    A lot of people who are technically savvy and realise the good sense that it makes to have world-class telecommunications infrastructure have equally realised how dangerous the Liberals are with their threats to cancel this project.

    These comments and those of Tony Abbott have pretty much sealed it for me. Greens will get my vote this election presuming their preferences go to Labour. Even in the presence of Stephen Conroy's incredibly stupid and utterly pointless and misdirected Internet Filter, I would rather have a up-to-date network with a filter, than more status quo with an antiquated network and no filter.

    Watch out Liberals: you are likely to get seriously burned on this issue. With your oppose-for-opposition's sake attitude I currently hope you stay out of power until at least the NBN is finished, if not longer.
    Kevmeister