Conroy to unveil NBN business plan this week

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has revealed that the long-awaited revised NBN corporate plan will be released this week.
Written by AAP , Contributor and  Josh Taylor, Contributor

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that the National Broadband Network's (NBN) latest business plan will tell a "pleasing story".

The NBN business plan, to be released later this week, is expected to detail the extent of delays in its roll-out, update figures on the take-up of services and revise financial forecasts.

The plan comes as Telstra shares on Monday hit AU$4 for the first time in four years, which analysts credited to greater regulatory certainty and its role in the NBN.

Conroy said, however, that the report will likely show a nine-month lag in the roll-out, due to a longer-than-expected negotiation period with Telstra.

"I'm not going to pre-empt the release later this week, but I think there's a very pleasing story to come from that," Conroy told ABC Television.

He said that a range of NBN contracts has been locked in, including construction.

"The key that Australians need to understand is this has always been a nine- to 10-year project ... to do over 12 million homes," he said.

"It's not a quick fix for one election. It is about ... a nation-building piece of infrastructure."

Conroy has also previously indicated that the original estimate for the cost of the network of AU$35.9 billion will likely go up slightly, due to the impact of the AU$800 million deal with Optus that will see its hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) customers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane migrated across to the NBN from 2014.

Any delays to the roll-out and cost blow-outs are likely to be seized upon by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Although Turnbull has indicated that he will see out any construction contracts and deals that NBN Co has in place should the Coalition form government in 2013, he has said that the NBN roll-out is likely to be scaled back from a fibre-to-the-home network to a fibre-to-the-node approach in many places, using Telstra's existing copper network and utilising HFC networks where available.

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