Happy Budde faces a hostile NBN crowd


blog Paul Budde’s support for the National Broadband Network project is well known, with most in the industry considering the analyst’s opinion on the subject to be a matter of public record.

But that didn’t stop a few eyebrows from being raised when the man some people call the smiling ‘Buddha’ of Australia’s telco sector appeared to celebrate a bit too enthusiastically last week following Labor’s drawn-out Senate victory, in a column on Business Spectator:

Yes $35 billion is a lot of money, but it will be spent over a decade or so, making it a very acceptable investment for the government – which will get its money back in the end anyway. It is truly a worthwhile investment for the generations growing up now and those who will be following them.

Most Australians wanted the NBN to happen and were getting tired of the debate, and as a can-do country the message clearly was stop arguing and let’s get started.

The response from punters in the comments field was hardly complimentary. “Paul, you seem to be glossing over history a bit there painting a bit of a utopian picture,” wrote one. “What a complete load of garbage,” added another. “It sounds just like more PR spin from the NBN and the ALP!”

Australia’s business community, if truth be told, has always been a bit nervous about the NBN. It never appeared to have been particularly well planned out from the start, and support has rallied around Malcolm Turnbull over the past few months in his crusade for a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis. Then too, business has been suspicious of the supposed productivity benefits; believing that much of the benefits of broadband could be achieved at current speeds.

I’d suggest this suspicion will continue long into the planned fibre rollout over the next few years. In the meantime, perhaps it’s best not to crow about Australia’s new fibre future just yet ;)

Image credit: BuddeComm


  1. If you think a private monopoly is bad, wait for a government owned monopoly. All those people complaining about non-existent Telstra monopoly will finally get what they deserve, an NBN! I can’t wait to read the newspapers and listen radio on endless complaints about NBN services, poor delivery, expensive products, indifferent service, and a lot more.

    People are so stupid that they couldn’t ask a simple question to themselves; “if Telstra is a monopoly how come its revenue and profits stagnated during the last fifteen years while Telecommunication industry grew much faster than inflation every year?”

    Now that they will get a real government owned monopoly with an inherent conflict of interest of being its regulator as well, the fun starts.

    • To be honest I think NBN Co is being set up in a way that will prevent many of the problems you’re complaining about — most of these sorts of products will actually be tied back to retail service providers rather than NBN Co. However, I take your point that it is a risk.

      • Agree Renai.

        The NBN as a WHOLESALE monopoly – (and that is an important distinction from a RETAIL monopoly) – is perfectly fine if the enabling legislation – (introduced to parliament on Thursday or Friday morning) – properly manages it into a non-threatening position, which has been the intention all along.

        Pre-1992, Telecom was a government monopoly for national connectivity. In the complete sense. 100%, and no other competitors. OTC was the same for international connectivity. Telecom and OTC were merged, and became Telstra.

        A retail and wholesale monopoly which has raped and pillaged competition ever since, and then it was sold off – (originally proposed by Paul Keating in the Hawke Government era) – and left us with a vastly lop-sided telecommunications market.

        I know which sounds better to me.

        What should have happened was that the network side of the old Telecom, and OTC merged, and left separate from the retail side of the old Telecom.

        They could have kept or sold the network. The could have kept or sold the retail side.

        Now we will finally have a form of what we should have had, and every player will be able to compete on level terms. True competition.

  2. Once the NBN is finished it will never be altered or upgraded as there will be no competition and we end up in the same way Telstra won’t up grade.
    It will cost alot more than thought as every government project has in the past..
    Concorde was the fastest plane but was it good value for money???????

    • “Once the NBN is finished it will never be altered or upgraded”

      Sure. Just like the copper network originally laid for analogue voice calls has never been used for anything since, and never upgraded. Idiot.

Comments are closed.