Feeds

NSW drops NBN access bombshell

NBNCo told to climb a tree

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The NSW state government , currently under fire over spiralling electricity costs, has broken off negotiations with NBN Co over access to power poles amid claim and counter-claim over price.

The state’s treasurer, Andrew Stoner, went public on Monday, October 29, with the claim that NBN Co’s offer was $AU400 million less than the state government was seeking.

In a somewhat novel argument, Stoner said because NBN Co would be paying NSW less than the state wanted for access, consumers’ power bills would rise. This is, presumably, separate from the subsidies already paid via power bills to “gold-plate” the network infrastructure.

Most of the NBN fibre network will be underground, courtesy of the multi-billion-dollar deal between NBN Co, Telstra and the federal government. However, where underground ducts aren’t available – in some cases because they’ve only been installed on one side of a street, in other cases because there’s no suitable underground route – the network will use electricity poles. NBN Co has forecast that this could be as much as 25 percent of the network.

The row has become a battle between the Labor federal government and the Liberal state government, with federal communications minister Stephen Conroy claiming that NSW was seeking access payments “six times” as much as other states and territories that have already negotiated agreements with NBN Co.

"If NBN Co were to accept what was on the table, it would cost Australian taxpayers an additional $175 million over the life of the NBN, almost six times what utilities in other states and territories are charging”, he stated.

Mike Quigley, CEO of NBN Co, said: “Putting fibre cables on power poles in NSW brings in more money for the state, not less.

“Where we have an issue is that whereas we’ve negotiated fair and reasonable terms with other utilities in other states, the NSW Government wants to charge us far in excess of anybody else.”

Both NBN Co and senator Conroy have pointed out that the Telecommunications Act could be invoked to keep the network rolling out in NSW.

While the state government continues pointing the finger at the NBN, state-owned electricity network owner Ausgrid has been singled out by the Australian Energy Market Operator for over-spending on its network. The AEMO has said that its billion-dollar over-investment between 2005 and 2009 is already costing consumers around $AU50 a year each.

The AEMO report, prepared by infrastructure consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff, said Ausgrid’s capex was $AU925 million beyond regulatory benchmarks. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.