Feeds

Gloves off on Australia's NBN: Turnbull articulates policy

Clarity at last, we think

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Telecommunications policy-watchers in Australia have a clear articulation of the federal opposition’s position and plans, after communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull addressed a Sydney conference on Wednesday.

While part of the policy – to "demolish" the government's National Broadband Network (NBN), or at very least to oppose it at every step – has been evident, Turnbull has long fielded complaints that he offered no alternatives. Addressing the CommsDay Summit, Turnbull put those alternatives on the table.

In his speech, Turnbull broadened the opposition’s call for a cost-benefit analysis. Instead of merely briefing a cost-benefit analysis into the NBN, as has long been the call, the opposition would get the Productivity Commission to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to: “identify what is the most cost-effective way, given the facts on the ground or in the ground, to delivering fast broadband to all Australians.”

The Liberal Party would support the wholesale-retail separation of Telstra, which Turnbull said should have been “done years ago,” and would encourage facilities-based competition.

"If someone wants to roll out a fibre ring to service a densely settled residential area ... why would you prevent that from occurring?" he said. That also stretches to the Telstra-Optus metro cable broadband duopoly: "Insofar as it is possible, we would endeavour to liberate the HFC networks so they were able to compete," he said.*

Turnbull said the structure of the NBN legislation will make reversing the NBN very difficult. He described the legislation, and the industry structure it creates, as a Gordian knot of contract and regulation and legislation "that will be very hard to unpick". ®

Bootnote

* This, perhaps, needs explanation to non-Australians: Telstra and Optus both operate HFC networks, and both offer broadband services on them, but negotiations are in hand for those customers to migrate to the NBN fibre, after which time the carriers would not offer broadband on their HFC networks. It should also be noted that HFC competition is very limited, since third-party ISPs have no access to those networks.

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.