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Analysis and Comment (24)

Is the government sending signals on the speed of broadband Australians should accept? Steven Depolo/Flickr

Broadband projections fail reality test

In their cost-benefit analysis of the national broadband network, the Vertigan panel predicts that in 2023, an average Australian household will require a broadband download speed of 15 megabits per second…
Shifting from one policy to another has disrupted the NBN rollout, so how does NBN Co report its progress? Floris van Lint/Flickr

Mixed tech, mixed messages: NBN reports unravelled

NBN Co, tasked with building the National Broadband Network (NBN), yesterday released its 2014 Annual Report, showing a three-fold increase in activated premises (210,000 up from 70,000) and a doubling…
The NBN has never shifted far from its Canberra masters. Lukas Coch/AAP

In support of a fibre to the premises NBN

In his independent audit of the public policy process behind the national broadband network, former Telstra director Bill Scales suggests there was never an internal debate about different technology options…
The NBN was not subjected to a cost benefit analysis - but this may not have circumvented controversy around the merits of the project. AAP/Stefan Postles

Cost benefit analysis can help or hinder good policy

Big infrastructure projects, such as the National Broadband Network, cost big money. So, how do we use public money wisely? For communications minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition government, a…
NBN Co is digging itself into a deeper hole. Shutterstock

The NBN is in a regulatory hole – time to stop digging

Has there ever been a bigger policy mess than the NBN? The latest claims are that NBN Co risks breaching Australia’s consumer law on the grounds of misleading and deceptive conduct. So how did it get to…
Malcolm Turnbull says Labor’s NBN would have cost $73 billion, but his version is also likely to be billions of dollars over budget. Alan Porritt/AAP

NBN 2.0: From engineer’s dream to political football

With unwavering confidence Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled the consultants report showing Labor’s ambitious plan to provide fibre–to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband to the vast majority…
Former communications minister Stephen Conroy relished the opportunity to attack new NBN Co boss Ziggy Switkowski on rising costs and the state of Telstra’s copper network in the Senate hearing last week. AAP/Lukas Coch

Senate hearing circus shows politics has no place in NBN

As Stephen Conroy interrogated the incoming NBN Co chief Ziggy Switkowski in last week’s Senate hearing into the network’s rollout, it became increasingly clear that politics is getting in the way of good…
Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has not accepted the resignation of six members of the NBN Co board – yet. AAP/Alan Porritt

NBN Co’s board members resign – but why?

The mass resignation of all board members but one of NBN Co - the company charged with rolling out the National Broadband Network (NBN) - should come as no surprise to anyone observing the NBN debate…
Workers install a fibre optic cable for the government’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

FactCheck: will the NBN take another 20 years to complete?

“At the current rate of roll-out, the National Broadband Network (NBN) won’t cover the whole country for 20 years.” – Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, National Press Club, 11 August. The above claim on the…
The two proposals for Australia’s NBN offer two potential realities. Lukas Coch/AAP

Labor and Coalition broadband policies – what’s the difference?

Broadband – in the shape of the National Broadband Network (NBN) – remains a key point of difference between Labor and the Coalition’s policies going into the federal election. Our politicians are not…
Yesterday, the Coalition launched its blueprint for the national broadband network, which will have lower access speeds but will be cheaper to build. But is it good policy? AAP

The Coalition’s NBN policy is a triumph of short-termism over long-term vision

“The superfast broadband of the order of 100+ megabits per second (Mbps) and into the gigaspeed bracket is de rigueur for any nation purporting to be a developed and advancing economy.” – Phil Ruthven…
“Quick and dirty” or “slow but consistent”? The policies are now on the table. Dan Peled/AAP Image

A tale of two NBNs: the Coalition’s broadband policy explained

Today in Australia, the Coalition released its policy on the National Broadband Network (NBN). So what is the proposal? Amid rhetoric claiming Labor government inefficiency, cost blowouts and failure to…
The ACCC has concerns over NBN Co’s wholesale pricing plans.

NBN Co goes back to the drawing board on pricing plan

Yesterday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommended that NBN Co revise its wholesale agreement — including proposals on pricing and access — as outlined in its special access…
Brunswick households have largely welcomed the NBN, but more needs to be done to address retail pricing structures for high-speed broadband plans. AAP

Despite bumps in the rollout, households show strong support for the NBN

The NBN is emerging as one of the key issues in the lead-up to this year’s federal election. But the project has been fraught with challenges: planning issues and a shortage of skilled labour have delayed…
Is it time to declare the NBN a “national disaster”? MATEUS_27:24&25

The army should rescue the NBN

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is in dire trouble and has reached the point where Julia Gillard should declare a national disaster. By doing so the government would be able to utilise constitutional…
Are the people that live in remote areas any less important than those in urban areas? rubenerd

Is remote and rural Australia being dudded by the NBN?

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is an important nation-building project that’s being implemented at a time of fundamental change in the way we utilise services over the digital network. For most Australians…
News Ltd chief Kim Williams took aim at ISPs and the NBN over illegal downloads, but new copyright laws are not the answer. AAP

New copyright laws are not the answer to illegal downloads

Earlier this week, Kim Williams, CEO of News Limited, spoke at the Australian International Movie Convention on the Gold Coast and called for new copyright laws to better protect digital property rights…
The Australian Financial Review isn’t everyone’s first choice for coverage of the NBN. Lukas Coch/AAP

For whom the Whirlpool trolls? Stephen Conroy and the NBN

The presence of “trolls” in online forums is often portrayed as a blight on constructive debate, but a recent stoush indicates political discussion by antagonistic online users may not be all bad. You…
NBN Co’s $1.4 billion over-run is the latest public infrastructure project blow-out - we need to scrutinise government tendering and contracting processes much more carefully.

Lift the veil of corporate secrecy on public projects and save the taxpayer

The $1.4 billion cost blowout reported by the NBN Co last week has focused attention once again on the seemingly regular occurrence of large government infrastructure projects being delivered late and…

Research and News (4)