NBN Co lights up on mainland
Fibre for farmers and marginal electorates
Australia’s controversial national broadband network took one small step towards actual deployment with the click of a specially-constructed media-stunt red button officially activating the first mainland site in Armidale, NSW yesterday.
Two years into the project, NBN Co still have some significant hurdles to clear before getting the A$36 billion construction project up to speed.
The network has 600 customers in Tasmania, the first pilot site, and is targeting 800 customers on the mainland by September. The Armidale portion of the network can reach 2500 premises but launched with seven customers. Another NBN pilot site Townsville was slated to be the first city activated, but cyclone Yasi hit the area earlier this year.
NBN Co still needs to finalise a network closure and access contract with Telstra. Despite persistent speculation that the deal is weeks away neither board signed off on the deal.
Under the public terms of the agreement, Telstra will be paid $9 billion to shut down its copper network and make its access ducts and pipes available for NBN’s fibre deployment.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also needs to approve the deal and the details of Telstra’s interim separation of its wholesale and retail businesses.
NBN Co is also yet to name the lucky network construction contractor that would reap around $12 billion for the full-scale rollout. The network operator called off the onerous tender process citing high prices, and leaving 14 potential bidders dangling.
Communications minister Stephen Conroy maintains that the tender process was called off in early April because the companies had tried to “rip off” NBN Co. "That is why they suspended the previous process - because they weren't getting prices that were inside their business plan," he said.
However, it is hard to believe that any vendor would have the temerity to try and fudge numbers placed in front of Alcatel Lucent stalwarts, NBN CEO Mike Quigley and CFO Jean-Pascal Beaufret.
In light of the rip-off allegations, NBN Co has been negotiating deals directly with individual companies in the last six weeks.
The incessant white noise surrounding Quigley and Beaufret’s prior careers at Alcatel during the bribery scandal means the NBN Co executive team will be under more pressure and scrutiny than ever to negotiate a water tight, transparent agreement within budget. ®
Some maths for you
..so you don't put your foot any further down your throat.
These quotes come straight from the article you so kindly referenced.
"the Bruce Highway got $1.4 billion in federal funding for upgrades (over 5 years)...The Pacific Highway, by comparison, received a total of $2.3 billion over five years, including $950 million from the NSW Government."
Now I know the journalist from news.com.au was a little tricky here, but if we subtract the $950 million the NSW government contributed from the $2.3 billion figure quoted we get $1.35 billion. It seems that the Federal government actually chipped in more cash for QLD than it did from NSW. Ouch.
"While an average $259,000 was spent per kilometre each year on the Bruce, a whopping $540,000 a kilometre was spent on the Pacific."
Now you claim that "500k less per kilometre" is spent in QLD. But $540,000 minus $259,000 = $281,000. It seems your maths has let you down here. If you look back to the previous quote you will note that the Federal Goverment paid more to QLD than NSW, so this shortfall must stem from your State Government.
Your first link is saying that the Federal Government has only paid for one third of the total costs of the project (that isn't enough for you it seems). Your second link shows that the Federal Government paid almost equal amounts to NSW and QLD to fund the Pacific Highway, but your state contributed very little in ongoing costs compared the the NSW Government...
Both your examples highlight how your problem lies with your State Government not spending enough on roads. There is no obligation for the Federal Government to pay for your roads but as you have so expertly shown, they have contributed significantly. If you want to see a lack of Federal spending on state infrastructure, come to WA.
This is a classic strawman argument, QLD state spending on roads != Federal spending on communications.
You don't understand our political system
Roads and power lines are not funded by federal money, they are paid for with state and even local council funds. The NBN is a federal project using everyone's tax dollars to fund a project that benefits everyone.
Maybe before you rant about things you should actually try to understand them.