Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin has slammed the government's decision this morning to form a company in partnership with the private sector to roll out its own fibre-to-the-home broadband network.
Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin has slammed
the government's decision this morning to form a company in
partnership with the private sector to roll out its own
fibre-to-the-home broadband network, while Terria chairman Michael Egan has praised it.
This represents a monumental policy failure
Spokesperson for Nick Minchin
"This represents a monumental policy failure in relation to the
broadband tender," a spokesperson said. "18 months and $20
million later the whole process has imploded today."
The announcement was made as a face saving exercise, the
spokesperson said, adding that the government's plan carried
enormous risks for the Australian taxpayers.
It was purely another scoping exercise, the spokesperson said.
Even if it all went well, it would be eight years until services
were turned on.
The spokesperson also questioned where the money was going to
come from. The government committed to an initial $4.7 billion
investment, but all up $43 billion of public and private money
could be injected into the network.
The government had talked about government guaranteed bonds, the
spokesperson for Minchin said. "Will tax payers have to foot the
guarantee of those bonds if it should turn pear shaped?"
Terria chairman Michael Egan, on the other hand, said that it
was a "fantastic decision".
The government has come up trumps.
Terria had been heading up the main rival bid before Optus
decided to go it alone. It had five members: Optus, Macquarie Telecom,
iiNet, Internode and Primus.
According to Egan, it would present Australia with broadband infrastructure which
was second to none, but would also foster genuine
It didn't matter who built the network, Egan said, the model
mattered. The consortium will sell wholesale services only and will
be open access. Egan believed the government had it right.
"The government has come up trumps," he told