No, the OECD says NBN is right: Conroy

No, the OECD says NBN is right: Conroy

Summary: While Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has claimed a report released over the weekend by the global Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) backed his arguments regarding Labor's National Broadband Network project, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy believes it backs his own arguments.


While Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has claimed a report released over the weekend by the global Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) backed his arguments regarding Labor's National Broadband Network project, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy believes it backs his own arguments.

In a statement, Communications Minister Conroy's Office pointed out that the report highlighted a number of positive benefits which would flow from the NBN.

"The OECD concludes that the NBN has the potential to yield substantial benefits, especially in terms of productivity, and that it will improve internet services for the entire population and promote a fairer competition between private firms on retail services," it said.

The report also noted, however, that Labor's project entailed "substantial financial uncertainties" and referred to the associated decision to shut down copper and hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) cable assets.

"Shutting down the copper and HFC networks for broadband is a commercial decision made by Telstra under the Heads of Agreement with NBN Co," the statement said. "The competitive impact of the agreement between Telstra and NBN Co will be scrutinised by the ACCC, as part of the Competition and Consumer Safeguards Bill currently before the Parliament."

"The NBN will be a wholesale-only, open access network," it added. "It will introduce genuine competition to the telecommunications market and this will open up genuine choice of services and drive highly competitive prices for consumers, whether they live in a capital city or in rural and regional areas."

The statement also used other documentation from the OECD to make the government's case about the NBN.

"Australia has fallen further and further behind the rest of the world since the Liberals and Nationals voted to privatise Telstra without any review and without ever putting in place the arrangements to properly protect competition and services in regional areas," it said.

"The most recent OECD statistics show Australia is now ranked 17th out of 31 countries for fixed broadband subscribers. Australians also pay more for broadband than most OECD countries — for average subscription prices, Australia is the fifth most expensive overall."

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Government AU

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  • Pity Conroy in his selective statement that Australians pay more for broadband than most OECD countries didn't take the opportunity to declare that no one will pay more for fixed line BB than they are paying today.

    Not likely.
  • Selective statement... LOL!!!!!!!!!

    That, coming from the king of FUD, who reads a headline and an article (which has just one or two paragraphs dedicated to an OECD report) but is riddled with Turnbull negativity) and then openly passes off the entire article(including Turnbull FUD) as factual and non-selective.

    You must be kidding, FFS, LOL!!!
  • The currently proposed model for the NBN is one supplier - may retailers. This model has seen the prices for water, electricity and gas sky rocket in Australia so I think Advocate's point is valid. There needs to be some level of control on prices by the government. The NBN is technically a private organization and as such will price themselves at what the market will bear without effective legislation. I cannot see the private investors in NBN (when they come online) doing the right thing otherwise.
  • Four letters for you (no, not OECD) ACCC.
  • Oh yes the same ACCC which protects us from oil companies, supermarket monopolies?
    Blank Look

    How many times do you people need to be told.

    NBNCo is a government owned and operated(with shareholders being the Government).
    ACCC still in control of setting pricing.

    So there for the chance to have the NBN pricing sky rocket would be failer of ACCC doing it's job.
  • Unfortunatly ACCC scope need to be expanded in those area's.

    Visionary, your blinded by a bat.

    ACCC has done very well in the last couple of years along with the Competition Tribunal.

    Perhaps you need your research checked? mmmmkkkk ?
  • Looking at this latest report is absolute proof of the waste of time , effort and money it would be to do a CBA.

    As is the case here, the negative aspects were jumped on and amplified ten fold by Turnbull and the puppets all ascended (without even reading the report/summary!) quoting Turnbull, not the report and prematurely beating their chests...LOL!!!

    Then of course Conroy simply did likewise with the positives...and we are no further ahead or any clearer?

    That's politics... politics which clearly demonstrates the folly and wastage of a CBA.
  • You mean the same ACCC that controls Telstra Wholesale pricing on the exchange link and access and to whom Telstra Wholesale customers have spent the last 13 years making submissions complaining about the very same access and pricing of which the ACCC controls.

    Yes you mean THAT ACCC, they will just change the sign on the Telstra in-tray to NBN which will be the biggest in-tray money can buy because it will have now have to handle BigPond submissions as well, and the circus continues.
  • The OECD report actually demonstrates the folly and wastage of the NBN and demonstrates the need for a proper CBA.
  • They actually stated the need for a CBA in 2009.
  • And when the CBA says this part is beneficial but this part is not economically sound?

    Come on seriously, what do think will happen and what will it achieve...? All BS and polticking aside, what will it achieve...?

    Refer to the latest OECD report (that you still haven't read) and the us vs. them interpretations from both sides as, what can be expected.

    Ooh and beware those falling planes!
  • Is that the OECD you previously pretended didn't exist? Hmm.

    Now all of a sudden they are at the top of your Xmas card list and not much has really changed (apart from you), LOL...
  • Hi Zero, well i checked out the ACCC website and the Competition Tribunal. Other than a success with cabcharge, the ACCC found the big supermarkets do not have dominant market power, the ACCC monitor fuel prices. so are really toothless. Maybe you can share any succcess I have missed?
    Blank Look
  • Here's what they have been doing over just the last 3 months...there's a number of successes.

    Of course this one ($18m Telstra fine) too - which shows they are vigilant in comms...

    Here's them opposing the NAB/AXA take over -

    A $7m fine for anti-competitiveness re: Woolies -

    There are many more...

    I would have thought one with such "vision" (ahem) would have found something? I guess it depends whether you actually want to find, eh?
  • Last 3 months, you must have meant the last 30 years. most of the references you have provided are ancient history. Ah well at least I am looking forward not in reverse.
    Blank Look
  • Did you read them this time...?

  • If you actually read the overview of "Economic Survey of Australia 2010", p. 12, you will find that the OECD supports the NBN, just as Senator Conroy said.

    The OECD appears to have the decimal point wrong on the cost which they put at 3.25% of GDP. $26 billion over eight years on annual GDP of $1000 billion is 26/8000 or just 0.325% of GDP. It was on the basis of this GDP impact that they cautioned about "financial uncertainties", which Malcolm Turnbull pounced on.

    But the OECD praises the NBN in these words:
    (On service delivery) "The authorities’ strategy will improve Internet services for the entire population and promote a fairer competition between private firms on retail services."
    (On prudential expenditure) "establishing a monopoly in this way would protect the viability of the government’s investment".
    (On privatising the copper) They even slam the 15-year failure to deliver services of the market-driven National Access Regime, of which "[a] detailed assessment would help draw lessons from the experience to date and finetune regulatory provisions."

    In fact the only apparently negative statement is advocacy for competition between broadband technologies. Yet the NBN DOES provide for all wireless technologies to throw their hats into the ring and compete for local solutions, provided they can deliver minimum 12 Mbps on a 1:1 ratio to users. These include futureware like LTE, 4G (whatever that turns out to mean) and even Wimax. Critically, it gives wireless a chance to really deliver by offloading all the serious data onto fibre to premises, the same futureproof fibre which will still be up to the task when some users are demanding terabit bandwidth.

    Elsewhere in the chapter the OECD states that infrastructure including communications "facilitates trade, bolsters market integration and competition, fosters the dissemination of ideas and innovations and enhances access to resources and public services" and is "particularly important for Australia because of its size, the geographical dispersion of its population and production centres, and its remoteness from other markets".

    So the NBN ticks all the OECD's boxes, which is why Malcolm Turnbull is clutching at straws, and Senator Conroy's adherence to the best solution is again vindicated.
  • @Zeronut What controls will the ACCC have? Thanks to Conroy exempting the NBN from competition laws, they'll be powerless. They will have control over the retailers but not the NBN itself.
  • Oh RS, GOL!!!! , I did notice your mistake, but choose not to be petty and point it out to the community. Yes the ACCC has been busy, going after dressing gowns, a poor restaurant or two! Nailing the real villains in business.
    Blank Look