As far as the Australian Labor Party is concerned, the Coalition Government’s version of the national broadband network has reached “new depths of confusion”.
The claim comes after NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow recently said he is thinking of building a 5G wireless network to bypass parts of the copper NBN that are unreliable or corroding.
Labor shadow communications minister Michelle Rowland said Bill Morrow had been quoted saying words to this effect in the telecommunications publication, CommsDay on Tuesday.
On Monday, Morrow released NBN Co’s results for the second quarter of the 2018 year. The report revealed a record $1.13 billion loss.
“It’s important to reflect on how we arrived at this point,” Rowland said in a statement.
“(Prime Minister) Malcolm Turnbull abandons a $45 billion fibre NBN on the false pretense that he could build a copper alternative for $29.5 billion;
rowland vert”Turnbull goes on to deploy an inferior multi-technology mix for $49 billion; and
“NBN Co executives begin considering plans to overbuild parts of the fixed-line network with wireless technology that the private sector is already deploying.”
The Labor party was in power when the NBN begun. It’s vision was to roll out fibre to the premises for 93% of the population. The other 7% would be supplied with either wireless or satellite.
Rowland said the combined cost of a copper build and fixed-wireless overbuild was nearly $6000 per premises. This is a much larger figure than deploying fibre from the start.
“This is another embarrassing concession that parts of the current network are not fit-for-purpose,” she said.
“Things only got worse for (Communications Minister) Mitch Fifield during question time today (Tuesday), when the poor minister evidently had no idea what NBN Co was up to.
“With this level of incompetence, Australians are legitimately entitled to ask – what is the point of building a second-rate copper NBN that costs more and does less?
“This is the $49 billion question that Turnbull continues to evade.”