NBN Under Review

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Friday, October 4th, 2013
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Australia’s massive National Broadband Network is under review as the Coalition moves to reduce construction costs and timeframes associated with the project.

Australia’s massive National Broadband Network is under review as the Coalition moves to reduce costs and timeframes associated with the project’s construction.

In a statement on Thursday, Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government had asked NBN Co to undertake a comprehensive review of the project setting out its progress and full costs under current policy settings.

The review will involve a stocktake of current progress and costs and will report on the estimated cost and time to complete the network if variations, such an increased use of fibre to the node in established areas, are made to the current plan.

NBN Co will also report on the viability of the project under alternative strategies, the implications of existing and alternative strategies in terms of wholesale and consumer prices and recommendations to any changes in organisational or construction model changes.

“This work will inform the NBN Co into how it can deliver the network sooner, cheaper for taxpayers and at less cost for consumers” Turnbull says, adding that Labour had made ‘shocking mistakes’ and wasted ‘billions of dollars’, and that it was important to assess where the project was at the moment.

Set to be submitted to the government by 2 December, the review will be conducted under the leadership of new NBN Co executive chairperson Ziggy Switkowski, who was appointed by Turnbull on Thursday under a massive overhaul of the company’s board which saw four resignations accepted by the government and a the tenure of another director terminated.

The latest developments come amid mass delays in construction of the project amid what NBN Co says has been a failure on the part of some of its construction partners to ramp up activity to the extent anticipated.

Last month, Turnbull said NBN Co had revised down its forecast for the number of premises passed by June 30 2014 by almost half compared with previous forecasts issued only a few months earlier.

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