MEDIA RELEASE - More hot air from Careless Clare
15 December 2015
Labor’s Shadow Minister for
Communications Jason Clare has made some extraordinary claims regarding the nbn
that are full of hot air and careless of the well known facts.
CLAIM: A year
ago today, Malcolm Turnbull bought back the old copper network that John Howard
sold last century. On the same day he also bought an old HFC network that
Optus planned to decommission years ago.
FACT: Reports that
under the Coalition Government NBN Co paid a single dollar more for the
copper or HFC assets it has acquired are incorrect.
In June 2011 it was the former Labor
Government which oversaw binding deals with Telstra ($9 billion) and Optus ($800 million) — to stop using these networks.
underlying intention was to pay the telcos to migrate their fixed line
customers across to the nbn and stamp out competition which would have been
detrimental to the economics of the rollout.
paying these companies to stop using their networks, Labor did not negotiate
any rights for NBN Co to access or acquire this infrastructure.
months on it is very clear that these were both bad decisions made without
proper due diligence.
FACT: When the Coalition came to Government,
the value of Labor’s deals had to be maintained but a renegotiation ensured nbn
could actually get to use the abandoned HFC and the copper connections into
homes to deliver high-speed broadband quickly and cost-effectively.
Coalition didn’t have to spend one extra dollar to get these existing assets
which — with the support of upgrades and remediation to deliver higher speeds —
will deliver millions of Australians ultrafast broadband this decade.
differential in the construction cost per premises is stark.
The 2016 Corporate Plan forecasts the
cost per premises for the Coalition’s Fibre to the node (FTTN) at around $2,300
compared to the current all-fibre (FTTP) cost of $4,400 a premises. For other
fixed line upgrades using existing HFC (Pay TV cables) the cost is even lower at
$1,800 a premises.
The FTTP rollout took nbn about
15 months to get the first 1,000 premises connected. In the FTTN areas, it
has taken just 51 working days to get 1,000 premises connected. By the end
of this financial year, around 500,000 homes and business will be able to
access this technology.
leaked NBN Co internal document revealed that the cost of fixing up
the old copper network to make it work has blown out by more than 1,000 per
cent. In December 2013 Malcolm Turnbull said the cost to repair the copper
would be $55 million. This leaked document reveals it has now blown out
to $641 million.
FACT: All costs
associated with upgrades, extensions and remediation work on the nbn fixed line
network have already been accounted for within the 2016 Corporate Plan peak
funding range that was released in August.
Overall changes to peak funding estimates between
December 2013 ($41 billion) and August 2015 ($46-$56 billion) reflect the nbn
management’s greater understanding of the costs and revenue projections for the
network. The latest
Corporate Plan is the most detailed and accurate guide to the peak funding
required to complete the nbn under the multi-technology mix. As forecasting is
inherently difficult, the company has expressed the peak funding in a range
from $46 billion to $56 billion to account for long term uncertainties, with a base
case of $49 billion. By comparison, the company also applied the same rigorous
assumptions to the alternative of switching to a fibre-to-the-home rollout
again. This approach had a funding range of $74 billion to $84 billion and a
complete date of 2026 to 2028.
Australian Labor Party is relying on inappropriately obtained and selectively
misused internal working documents for its key claims despite these documents
being out of date and unsourced.
nbn has reiterated that, based on its
experience in the field, which for FTTN now extends to more than 600,000 homes
in construction and more than 40,000 homes ready for service, its cost per
premises for FTTN as outlined in the Corporate Plan in August is proving
noted on its website:
“nbn has found no serious
copper remediation required in its FTTN deployment so far. The only
remediation work required on copper has been performing cross-connect work at
the pillars – a necessary part of building an FTTN network”.
disappointing that certain people are willing to undermine the obvious success
of the current nbn rollout and also compromise the hard work of
thousands of employees within the organisation.
Under the Coalition, the nbn
has been meeting or exceeding its rollout targets and funding forecasts for
five consecutive quarters.
CARELESS CLARE CLAIM: Three weeks ago another leaked NBN
Co internal document revealed that the Optus HFC network that Malcolm Turnbull
acquired 12 months ago today is not "fit for purpose" and NBN Co
will need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fix it up or overbuild
FACT: NBN has publicly confirmed its
HFC trial in Queensland
is proving to be a great success and that the key claims asserted regarding
Optus’s HFC network are untrue. There are 4,500 premises involved in the trial
and users have been receiving speeds of around 100Mbps/40Mbps. nbn has
not found any unexpected technical issues with the Optus network in the
Redcliffe area. There was a simple explanation for the matters canvassed in the
internal planning document. As any commercially-focussed business would, NBN Co
thoroughly and regularly reviews its strategy and forward plans. Modelling a
range of scenarios to determine where there are risks or potential cost savings
is commonplace. nbn also confirmed the unsourced material had not
even been seen by the executive management yet the Labor Opposition continues
to seek to carelessly peddle inaccurate claims, with disregard for the
reputations of both Optus and nbn.
2016 Corporate Plan. Pages 60 & 67 - http://www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco2/documents/nbn-corporate-plan-2016.pdf
Annual Report 2014-15 - http://www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco2/documents/FY15-annual-report.pdf