this afternoon Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Finance Minister Penny Wong issued the media release below with respect to the Government’s release today of the National Broadband Network’s new corporate plan (which we will conduct analysis on in a separate article).
In the interest of maintaining a level of objective truth in the ongoing National Broadband Network debate, early next week Delimiter will be publishing a fact-check analysis of these comments by Conroy and Wong. We will also be sending this fact-check analysis to Conroy’s office to invite him to respond.
With this in mind, I invite the Delimiter community to help fact-check this Labor media release. Please read the media release carefully, and post in the comments below this article your view on which statements are accurate and which not. This will help us greatly in responding to this article. Please keep in mind our comments policy when doing so, and bear in mind that off-topic comments will be deleted, with no exceptions. Unfortunately no comments will be accepted from representatives of politicians or political parties at this time.
Note that we are seeking your views strictly on whether Conroy’s comments are accurate: Not whether you agree with them or not.
Thank you for your help with this important exercise; your assistance is greatly appreciated. We have conducted a similar fact-checking exercise with respect to Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the past and expect to do conduct similar exercises in future with respect to major technology-related policy statements by all parties.
Editor + Publisher, Delimiter
NBN Co Corporate Plan 2012-2015 released
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, and Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Senator Penny Wong, today released NBN Co’s Corporate Plan 2012-15, which confirms that the National Broadband Network is on track to be delivered to all Australians.
The Corporate Plan 2012-15 confirms:
- The NBN is a sound investment that will pay its own way and generate a 7% return for the taxpayer
- The Government is on track to meet its target of having work for 758,000 fibre premises commenced or completed by the end of 2012
- Wholesale broadband prices are projected to fall over time in both real and nominal terms
- The capital cost of the NBN build has increased by 3.9%, but remains significantly less than the $43 billion originally announced
- The construction time for the NBN has only been extended by six months, despite a nine month delay in the completion of the Telstra deal.
“The Gillard Government is delivering on our commitment to provide all Australians with fast, reliable and affordable broadband. The assumptions and estimates in the 2010 business case have been reinforced or replaced with signed supply contracts, firm agreements, operational experience, and regulatory certainty,” Senator Conroy said. “It is the forecasts in this plan against which the progress of the NBN should be measured.”
The 2012-15 Corporate Plan reflects a number of important developments since the release of NBN Co’s 2011-13 Corporate Plan in December 2010, including:
- Finalisation of the $11 billion Definitive Agreements with Telstra
- Completion of the Optus transaction and approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
- Execution of construction contracts for every state and territory across Australia and across all three technologies – fibre, next generation fixed wireless and satellite
- A number of changes to Government policies, including the fibre in new developments (greenfields) policy and battery backup for fibre installations
- The impact of implementing the ACCC’s decision on Points of Interconnect, which led to a substantial redesign of the network.
“These developments give greater certainty to NBN Co in delivering the Government’s commitment to provide all Australians with fast and reliable broadband. For example, now that the deal with Optus has been finalised and approved by the ACCC, NBN Co can factor it in. As Optus customers are migrated to the NBN, this will result in increased revenue to NBN Co, as well as higher operating expenses,” Senator Wong said.
“The Gillard Government considers high speed broadband to be an essential utility for the 21st century, like water and electricity. This operational Corporate plan is the foundation on which this vision will be achieved,” Senator Conroy said. “For Australia to fully embrace the digital age across our entire economy – in healthcare, in education, in small business, and in agriculture – all Australians need access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband.
“The NBN will boost productivity and provide the foundation for an efficient and future ready economy,” Senator Wong said.
Image credit: NBN Co