Monday, July 25, 2011

Australia - David Braue denounced the opposition's response to the NBN, not least for lacking costings

[zdnet] I didn't end up with bruises from banging my forehead against the desk, as when I read the Coalition's gut-wrenchingly awful election communications policy last year. However, after reviewing Malcolm Turnbull's recent revelations about the party's current NBN "policy", I was struck by his determination to continue the fine Liberal tradition of promising the world but forgetting to check the price of the tickets.

That Turnbull's comments, made during a Q&A session at a Sydney conference, have been universally assessed as some form of official Liberal Party policy confirms that the industry is desperate for clarity about the potential ramifications of a 2013 Liberal election win.

There were, on balance, some relatively reasonable motherhood statements, such as Turnbull's support for a "pragmatic approach" that included fibre in greenfields roll-outs — a rare area where his amendments managed to gain support, if not legislative weight. There's the expected commitment to a cost-benefit analysis that will stall the NBN roll-out for six months (call it a year) from the date of a Liberal election win. There's the usual lack of firm commitment to rural areas beyond a wishy-washy subsidy scheme that will shift infrastructure risk back onto a jittery private sector that still has no interest in servicing unprofitable rural areas.

Sans costs, Turnbull's 'policy' is no policy

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