Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Australia - concerns raised by business over the lack of a cost benefit analysis for the NBN

[channel news] Labor’s much loved National Broadband Network has been slammed by a leading online entrepreneur a leading business executive and been likened to "giving everyone a Ferrari" when they might be content with driving a Commodore”.

Graeme Wood, the founder of the online travel bookings service and the opening keynote speaker at the recent World Computing Congress said that the National Broadband Network had the potential of being a "$43 billion hi-tech babysitter".

Also slamming the NBN costing is Vocus Communications, chief executive James Spenceley, who likened the NBN to "giving everyone a Ferrari" when they might be content with driving a Commodore.

Wood questioned the value of pouring taxpayer funds into a data speedway that most households would use to download games and movies.

Communications and Broadband Minister, Stephen Conroy, and NBN Co boss, Mike Quigley, are now under pressure to explain their costing which are now facing a chorus of industry criticism.

Woods told the Australian newspaper "If all you're doing is speeding up the rate at which we entertain ourselves, can you justify that from a public expenditure point of view?".

"Is there any value to society in just delivering entertainment faster . . . to have more dots on the screens? The public debate hasn't been had, not just in terms of the GDP impact of broadband, but on the costs (and) benefits to society."

Billionaire miner, Andrew Forrest, has also slammed Labor's refusal to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed network.

"I worry about the NBN because that hasn't even got a feasibility study on it," Mr Forrest, founder of Fortescue Metals Group, told an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce function in Sydney. "That $40bn - is it the best technology? To build it without a study . . . as a mum or a dad, you should be scared."

NBN Broadband Costings Slammed By Experts & Entrepreneurs

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