[LINK] Conroy on the NBN on Lateline
kim at holburn.net
Thu Oct 21 09:48:06 EST 2010
> TONY JONES: Now, will anyone have to pay to get the NBN cable, the
> high-speed fibre connected to their home? Will anyone have to pay
> for that at all?
> STEPHEN CONROY: Well at the moment we're working on - we've gotta
> comply with the laws of the land. So in Tasmania we're in a
> situation where we have to require consent to go on somebody's
> property, as you would expect properly for that to be the case. So,
> if those individuals who've signed those consent forms say we can
> come on, there is no cost whatsoever to having it connected to your
> If we then roll through your suburb and roll on a few more suburbs
> and you suddenly change your mind, the NBN Co haven't made a final
> decision on this, but there's been some suggestions there could be a
> cost if we've gotta come back and re-do your home. But no final
> decision has been made on that issue.
> TONY JONES: But isn't this why the Tasmanians are now bringing in an
> opt-out system so that if you don't want the thing on your property,
> you'll have to opt out of the system? And is that what you plan to
> do nationally?
> STEPHEN CONROY: Well we've actually been in discussions. I know Tony
> Abbott only recently discovered this issue, but we've actually been
> in discussion with state governments for over 12 months on this
> issue. Premier Bartlett is the first to announce that they're going
> to go down this path, because this will be a saving to not just
> taxpayers in terms of the rollout cost, but it ultimately be
> potentially a saving to the customers, because if we've gotta go
> back twice, then there could potentially be another increase.
> So, the key here is to get as many people with the connection to
> their home. Now, a lot of confusion is being deliberately spread.
> Just because the fibre is connected to the side of your house does
> not mean you have to take the service. It is your choice whether you
> want to take a broadband service. So you do not have to take it.
> TONY JONES: It will mean inevitably you actually have to use it
> though if you want to keep your fixed phone line, is that correct?
> STEPHEN CONROY: No, no, absolutely. Let's be clear about this. We've
> said from day one we are looking to establish a wholesale open-
> access monopoly which will improve competition and see prices to
> start to go down. And the whole purpose of the deal with Telstra is
> to shut down the copper network, transfer customers onto the new
> fibre network, so ultimately if an Australian wants to have a fixed-
> line phone service, they will need to make that call on the fibre.
> But the point I made about no connection costs plus the pricing
> being sufficiently low at a wholesale level to ensure there's no
> increase in charge, all of that information will be available very
> shortly when the NBN provides us with its business plan.
> TONY JONES: Okay. So is it true, as it's been reported, that if you
> opt out, because for example you might think your old fixed-line
> telephone is good enough and you don't think you want an NBN
> computer access, high-speed broadband thing, will you then have to
> pay $300, as has been suggested, at some point, to get connected
> back onto the NBN so you can get your fixed-line phone that you
> obviously need to get connected?
> STEPHEN CONROY: There's two different circumstances you're talking
> about here, Tony. First is in Tasmania where you have the choice to
> connect now for free. And ultimately, if we roll through the NBN and
> they've moved on to another town, another city and we've gotta come
> back, just like any other commercial operation, there may be - and
> it hasn't been decided yet - there may be a connection fee.
> TONY JONES: Could it be as high as $300? That's the figure that was
> reported in The Age?
> STEPHEN CONROY: Some have suggested that it could be $300, but that
> has not been a final decision made. Now, in the case of where it
> becomes mandatory to make your phone call on the fibre because the
> copper's been disconnected, I can't imagine there's a case where you
> could say you should have to pay now to come and make the
> connection. The purpose of the rollout is to ensure that people, if
> they have to make a phone call and its only got the fibre available,
> I can't imagine there is any case to be made for there being that
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