NBN corporate plan lands 2PM today


news The National Broadband Network Company will release its latest corporate plan at 2PM today, with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley to host a press conference in Sydney this afternoon.

The company disclosed the timing of the highly anticipated document in a brief statement this morning, noting that the corporate plan would be made available through its website later this afternoon, along with an associated media release.

The news comes as NBN Co has recently been put under pressure to make further disclosures about its current rollout schedule and financial planning, amid concerns that the project may be significantly delayed. Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, who chairs the parliamentary committee examining the NBN, this week told the Financial Review newspaper that the corporate plan must “start to really tell the truth” or risk a backlash from voters and parliament.

In addition, Coalition figures such as Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull have recently attacked the project for what they claimed was a failure to disclose some of the costs — principally, interest-related costs — involved in the project.

In the long term, NBN Co’s current projections — which are expected to be updated today — show the network is slated to make a return of between 5.3 percent and 8.8 percent on the up to $44.6 billion that will be invested in the network — meaning it will return an amount ranging from $1.93 billion to $3.92 billion, as well as delivering Australia a fibre optic telecommunications network to replace Telstra’s aging copper infrastructure.

The company is also expected today to make a further disclosure regarding the progression of its current rollout, which currently projects some 3.5 million premises in 1500 communities in every state and territory in Australia will receive NBN infrastructure over the next three years.

A number of conservative newspapers have already begun publishing a number of articles attacking the project over perceived issues related to its funding model and rollout. In yesterday’s issue of The Australian newspaper, for example, telecommunications analyst Kevin Morgan, who has been heavily critical of the NBN over its lifetime, claimed the corporate plan could “only highlight the massive failure to reach any of the initial plan’s goals”, while in an editorial this morning, the Financial Review claimed the project was “running nine months behind schedule”.

To my mind, it doesn’t really matter what NBN Co releases in terms of its updated corporate plan this afternoon. Conservative interests who have long been opposed to the project will use whatever information is released to attack it wholesale, and that will become the story, as far as anyone is concerned, no matter whether it reflects the actual truth of the NBN rollout or not.

However, despite the ongoing and incessantly negative coverage of the NBN from Australia’s largely conservative mainstream media, it remains a fact that most Australians remain positive about the project and its aims, and I don’t expect anything NBN Co or Minister Conroy does or says today to make a real difference with respect to that. Broadly, Australians are happy with the NBN as long as it’s going ahead and they know they will get better broadband at some point.

Image credit: NBN Co


  1. Your opinion section says it all.

    Though; oddly that AFR article is actually pretty upbeat, they just had to start and end it with negativity (I suspect it was the only way to get it past the editor who reads the start, and the conclusion to make sure it is critical of the NBN, then the author snuck in some facts in the middle).

    • Yes, statements like this are good:

      “Only 1 million premises will be completed or under construction by June 2013 compared with the original plan of 1.7 million.”

      As opposed to the usual claims that is missed it’s traget by 99% by using may figures.

  2. I agree with your analysis, Renai – reality & the truth are mere distractions to the politicking that’s going on (why, just this morning Mr Abbott flat-out lied to the media regarding the impact of the carbon tax on the cost of electricity – see http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-07/anger-mounts-over-gillards-power-ultimatum/4183406, the lines just above the ‘Gold medal hypocrisy’ sub-heading).

    Sadly, while the media are content to just re-print whatever they’re told / given, there’s no accountability for misrepresentations, distortions, and outright lies by politicians (on *both* sides). Makes it that much harder for us to figure out what is actually going on.

  3. I for one am looking forward to predictable responses from the coaltion clowns and the rest of the anti-progress crusaders. It would be interesting in an other dimension perhaps but honestly now it’s like watching an episode of “Neighbours” you’re like “Really? This show again? It’s still on? But the first hundred thousand episodes were all the same and not that interesting to begin with. Please, just euthanise it”

    • Yes I can see them now, with their fine tooth combs, looking for a single word, any word, in amongst 1000’s of words, which they can then greet us with the accompanying ahha…


      Seriously, why would any impartial, rational person do that?

      Oh impartial rational people wouldn’t do that, would they ;-)

      Look, if the new Corp Plan (I haven’t had time to peruse it as yet) is about on par with the previous one… so be it. If it vastly better, great. If its vastly worse, then questions should rightly be asked – “appropriately”.

      But please, no FUD for FUD’s sake – yes I am asking a lot, too much perhaps.

      • OMG Alex page 53! Page 53!

        “2035 2 ultra-HD 3DTV channel and 300Mbps Internet 900Mbps”

        See! NBN is a video entertainment system. ahha…

        • HC! Pg 54! Look at Pg 54! P2P traffic increasing from 1 Gbps to ~50 Gbps.

          Clearly building the system just for those dirty pirates…

          What else can we find…

          • I knew it.

            Remember the request… “please, no FUD for FUD’s sake – yes I am asking a lot, too much perhaps.”


          • Yeah, good luck with that one Alex :p

            The pricing chart on pg 65 will probably get some discussion wtih associated FUD about NBN cost vs current cost…

            Can see the FUD now about how the 100% increase from 50 –> 100 is only a ~10% increase in cost while the jump from 100 –> 250 is nearly a 100% increase. EARLY FUD WARNING!!!

    • Hmm… Its gone from 160 pages (17 Dec 10 version) down to 96… I guess someone will figure out whats changed.

      • Perhaps they figured more morons and arm-chair bean counters would be reading it this time so they thought it might make sense to dumb it down a little? The other possibility is that it is just more concise.

      • Don’t forget GongGav much of it hasn’t changed significantly from the original CP- Network design overall (20-30 odd pages on its’ own) statement of assumptions, statement of objectives etc. etc.

        Seems fairly watertight to me…..but we all know anti-NBN FUDsters are full of gas and I never said it was air tight…. :P

  4. Couldn’t agree more with you Renai about the press reporting on the NBN.

    Given that low-cost ubiquitous networks will make main-stream media more-or less obsolete (by making them totally unprofitable) I can’t possibly imagine why any of them would ever produce articles in support of the NBN.

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