Feeds

NBN Co coffee budget brews caffeinated controversy

Slow EspressoHits per second rate hurts NBN Co

Intelligent flash storage arrays

NBN Co, the entity charged with spending over $AUD30bn or so building a national broadband network for Australia, has defended the price it pays for coffee.

The company felt the need to do so because members of Australia's opposition parties, after combing through NBN Co's finances, wondered why it had spent over $AUD100,000 on coffeee.

The question has a semi-serious point to make, as NBN Co is building with borrowed money. $100,000 for macchiatos today will, thanks to the wondrous power of interest, cost more in the long run.

The realpolitik of the question is that the opposition is trying to paint the government as wasteful. Finding fat cats on the public teat supping lattes at taxpayer expense is the kind of thing that makes tabloid headlines, so the cost of NBN Co capuccino was raised in a parliamentary hearing.

NBNCo today emitted a press release explaining its decision to provide coffee as follows:

“Coffee and coffee machines have been purchased by NBN Co as an amenity for employees, contractors and visitors in order to aid productivity by reducing the time spent by staff purchasing coffee outside their offices.”

It hasnt stopped NBN staffers from enjoying latency-laden lunches: Vulture South shares a suburb with an NBN Co office and often bumps into staffers as we dine.

But we digress.

NBN Co says it is spending about 16 cents per cup and contrasts that with the $3.00 to $3.50 charged at a cafe close to the headquarters of News Ltd's Sydney offices (News has not been kind to the NBN or the government) and $3.40 in the parliamentary cafe.

That's not the most accurate of metrics, however, given the quoted prices are from retailers. Hardly anyone's employer runs a tab at a cafe (not a hint) in Australia, so NBN Co is not really comparing capuccinos with capuccinos.

NBN Co's critics could therefore change tack and argue the company is denying revenue to small business, a phenomenon Vulture South can vouch for since IBM infamously cut staff coffee globally a few years back. IBMers of this correspondent's acquaintance still grumble about that decision, but note it has been a boon for cafes near or on IBM campuses. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.