Turnbull “stuffed up” NBN costs, says Labor


news The Labor Opposition has responded to the release of NBN Co’s Corporate Plan 2016, saying that that document confirms that “every assumption [Prime Minister] Turnbull made when he was Minister responsible for the NBN was wrong”.

In the Corporate Plan, NBN Co said that it remains on track to complete the network build with a predicted peak funding of $49bn, a figure down from $52bn last year. Further it revised its top end of peak funding range downwards by $2bn, saying it would be $46-54bn by 2020.

While an NBN Co was positive about the lower figures, Labor said that the cost of the NBN has “nearly doubled”, as has the time it will take to build the network.

“Malcolm Turnbull promised he could build a second-rate copper NBN for $29.5 billion but it is now costing up to $54 billion. This means Turnbull’s NBN has blowout by $24.5 billion,” said Labor MP Michelle Rowland, Shadow Minister for Communications.

The party also hit out at the multi-technology mix policy for the NBN rollout, saying the choice of technology “will not provide Australians with a future-proof 21st Century broadband network”.

The assumptions Prime Minister Turnbull used to “justify his shift” from a fibre-based network to the current multi-technology mix (which utilises legacy HFC networks and fibre to the node, as well as other technologies) has been “proven wrong”, said Labor.

The nation will need to “reinvest in an upgrade to fibre” once the NBN is completed, the party said.

The speed of the rollout also came in for criticism, with Rowland saying that, while Malcolm Turnbull “promised all Australians” they would have access to minimum speeds on the NBN by 2016, the Corporate Plan states that by June 2017 that only around half of Australians will be able to order a service.

“Under Malcolm Turnbull’s second-rate NBN, Australians are not getting the NBN they need or deserve to compete with the rest of the world,” Rowland said. “All Malcolm Turnbull is offering Australians is a slower, second-rate copper NBN.”

Image credit: Parliamentary Broadcasting


  1. Unfortunately with the extra maintenance costs of maintaining copper, CVC costs will go down slowly.
    The cost will continue to be ultimately passed on to the customers. Expensive not so great NBN.

  2. every assumption [Prime Minister] Turnbull made when he was Minister responsible for the NBN was wrong

    Predicted by myself and other logical thinkers when they announced their MTM clusterfuck in 2013. Only the squealing copper fanboy knuckle draggers were fooled, it was everything they hoped for and told us it should be, now 2016 most have gone into hiding too embarrassed to admit they were wrong. 123 days to go ;-)

    • Only the squealing copper fanboy knuckle draggers were fooled

      Indeed. Talking to a fence post makes more sense that trying to “discuss” anything with Richard or Reality. For folks that like to make out they are hard nosed business types, they sure are gullible (but that’s just Australian business types for you, no wonder Aus business is going down the tubes…).

      • Shh timman don’t mention how gullible Richard still is of the counter factual cp16

      • no wonder Aus business is going down the tubes…

        Speaking of going down the tubes did you hear about GimpCo’s latest brain fart Tinman?

          • Their HFC VDSL mongrel idea.

            GimpCo’s MTM clusterfuck will be a patchwork of patchworks patched up with patchworks.

            Expect the copper fanboy knuckle draggers to squeal even more because “bubububuu uses existing infrastructures”

            120 days to go ;-)

  3. “Corporate Plan states that by June 2107 that only around half of Australians”

    Im guessing a typo, but shit who knows, they said we would all have it by 2016, the way they are making progress though i guess 2107 could be a possibility..


  4. The most compelling argument for cost blowouts for me still remains this:
    The Coalitions figures, whether $29Bil or $54Bil doesn’t represent the cost of the end product. The end product is now and has always been fibre. So unless they start adding on the cost of upgrading their network once again to fibre once the MTM version is complete any figures are meaningless.

  5. “Malcolm Turnbull promised he could build a second-rate copper NBN for $29.5 billion but it is now costing up to $54 billion.

    It’s not a just a copper based NBN it’s called Fibre to the Node but of course you don’t dare use the correct name it has the word ‘Fibre’ in it, the Coalition MtM also includes greenfields FTTP, HFC , the Coalition FTTB model, Fixed wireless and satellite.

    All those ‘other things’ you were going to keep in your Labor 2016 MtM NBN policy based mainly on Coalition policy, funny you never mentioned that.

    This means Turnbull’s NBN has blowout by $24.5 billion,” said Labor MP Michelle Rowland, Shadow Minister for Communications.

    No it isn’t that’s the upper limit peak funding prediction, they have not even spent the $29.5B government cap yet.

    So what was the Labor peak funding requirement for their NBN 2016?, oh that’s right $57B, funny you didn’t mention that Shadow Minister.

    It didn’t win the July election for you either.

    That rubbish is the best Labor can come up with in Opposition?

    The Coalition NBN model has nothing whatever to worry about from Labor, but then since Labor were booted out in 2013 it never has.

    • LOL toll

      well the coalition cap funding was $20B and peak was $29B.

      So $3B more than the mess we have now for a full fibre rollout lol doesnt should cheaper now does it lol.

    • It is time we faced reality and started stating the true cost of the MTM.
      It will be in the vicinity of $100Bn comprising the $56Bn he has pissed up against the wall, followed by the $40+Bn needed to replace FTTN and HFC within the next 5 – 10 years.
      Turnbull and Fifield will go down in history as worse Communications ministers than Alston and Coonan

      • Turnbull and Fifield will go down in history as worse Communications ministers than Alston and Coonan

        An irrelevant distinction to make. All clowns bred from the same genetic cesspool with an allergy to progress.

      • Turnbull and Fifield will go down in history as worse Communications ministers than Alston and Coonan

        Lets face it, Malcolm makes an even worse PM than he did as a Comms minister…god help Australia if Mitch gets any higher up the tree…

    • How does it feel to be wrong – on so many things?

      Un-reality the MTM is a mess of epic proportions.

      They promised 29.5billion by 2016 – which has been shown to be wrong.

      1.5 million houses will be downgraded from hfc to fttn and capex and opex is 150% more for fttn while revenue is 1/20th (as per the report released a few weeks ago).

      On every metric this is now a failure and will cost billions to fix.

    • “It didn’t win the July election for you either.” It damn near lost it for the LNP though unless you consider the hostile senate and a 1 person majority an improvement on their position prior to the election ;)

      (imho it is an improvement overall from last 3-4 years).

  6. Regardless of the political posturing of both sides the fact remains that fttp is the better option. One day there will be a catch up.. but at what cost? This should have been a bi -partisan national building project but it’s ended up a political pride affair.
    I’ve travelled extensively overseas and have got better wifi speeds (upload and download) in Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. The speeds there put to shame the “up to 25Mbps” my son gets with his recent NBN connection.
    25Mbps is considered the very low end of Broadband in some countries.
    Mr Turnbull is aware of this and I’m sure, given his body language when Mr Abbott introduced him as the person who invented the internet, would have preferred the better technology. The LNP opposed that because it was a LP proposal.
    Time to get nation building rather than party politics. The election results for both major parties have proved that people are disillusioned.

    • S Jez, it seems reality escapes you too. Look at the population and area size differences. Vietnam, 4x the population 89 million in a size of less than Victoria. Cambodia, 15 million in the size of Tasmania. If your disillusioned maybe you need to look at your own understanding of physics and reality instead of blaming others for your lack of understanding.

  7. The MTM NBN will start to be immediately upgraded to FTTP for one reason before all others.
    The cost of upgrading to FTTP will be less than the continuing cost of power to the nodes.

  8. Joel R. I’m sure you are quite content with the current situation..that’s your perogative. You’re more than welcome to it.
    The reality isn’t lost on me. Let’s for a moment put aside small towns and country and only concentrate on the major population centres .. Sydney, Melbourne Brisbane for example. You’d imagine that at least those cities would be catered for.. even if only for business use. They aren’t in areas, and it’s a disgrace . My post, if you’d like to revisit it, basically said that politics has got in the way of Nation building… it should have been bi-partisan.. it’s not. Repectfully.. your argument is an excuse… not a vision of what could be.
    I taught in an international school and eight years ago my students would express concern about our poor Internet speeds compared to their access in their homeland. It’s good to see that there is an attempt to improve it… but why do it with an inferior solution?

    Perhaps a reader of this post might like to let us know what Rank Australia is in Internet speeds compared to the rest of the world..and whether it’s gone up or down in the last few years.

    I’m currently getting 3.5Mbps download.. if the rest of my neighborhood aren’t on line.

    • As you can see by the following result, I’ll be happy to get anything that is faster.
      Compare:: 45% faster than client avg, 99% slower than host avg, 90% slower than city avg, 99% slower than country avg, 99% slower than world index
      1MB Download in 34.13 Seconds – 1GB Download in ~10 Hours – 4X faster than 56K
      This test of exactly 4960 kB took 172.278 seconds to complete.

      Then, today we get a glimpse if what NBN speeds are really like.

      Perth bottom of capital city broadband speeds http://abc.net.au/news/7801902 – via @abcnews

      Is it any wonder that there are unhappy, sceptical users out there.

    • S Jezioranski said:

      “Let’s for a moment put aside small towns and country and only concentrate on the major population centres .. Sydney, Melbourne Brisbane for example.”

      No. How about we don’t do that. We have been doing that for 60 years now and look at the new class of underprivileged we have created i.e. people who don’t live in urban centres.

      There is enough “speed” already in the cities as well as choice. Rural towns should be fixed up first. Rural Australia propped up Australia for so long. It is time to give a bit back so our country towns don’t fall further into poverty.

      What’s that you say? You city people don’t give a stuff? Yep. We already know that. Hope you choke on your decadence and your 100 Mbps.

  9. I Honestly think that the Government is filled with People who believe they know better than the expert just because a bunch of people voted for them. I think a lot of common sense is lacking in both the government and the people, Like explain how Copper+HFC+Satelite all these different technology will work with each other while still charging the same price for a services, We know that with Copper you are going to have to pay for powering the nodes which is going to get more expensive as electricity price goes up and copper is not as cheap as it use to be which adds more cost to replacing the faulty copper wiring that telstra has left to degrade and now that we have purchased the copper from telstra we are also paying to get that same copper replaced and fixed by telstra.
    Also not to mention the cost to the customer to replace the copper in their homes as well as the copper from the boundary point to inside the home could just be as worst causing the customer to have to replace the wiring in their own home to get better internet connection.

    Satellite should of only been for people who could not get internet at all like the people in remote area and by remote i mean no phone lines or cell towers near by but we are seeing so many people signed onto satellite that they need to send extra satellite to cover more people.

    With HFC i can see 2 outcomes it is everything the government say it will be with DOCIS 3.1 or it will be a lemon only time will tell as so far not many countries have implemented this technology in a working environment

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