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