Feeds

NSW drops NBN access bombshell

NBNCo told to climb a tree

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.