[LINK] NBN white-elephant-to-be: better spend the $$$ on other things

Stilgherrian stil at stilgherrian.com
Thu Aug 19 12:37:50 AEST 2010

On 19/08/2010, at 12:27 PM, David Goldstein wrote:
> It's not couch potatoes who want high-speed broadband. The OECD has published 
> several reports over the years on the need for countries to invest in high-speed 
> internet, most of them probably published when the Tories were in power, that 
> gave examples of why countries need to invest in high-speed broadband giving 
> examples of how it will be used. And how countries who don't will fall behind 
> economically.

One of the most relevant for Australia is this one, "Network Developments in Support of Innovation and User Needs" from December 2009. Amongst other things, it shows that a fibre-to-the-home network like the NBN could pay for itself in 10 years, even if fully government-funded. It requires spill-over savings of between 0.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent in just four key  sectors -- electricity, health, transport and education.


I'm curious as to why Senator Conroy doesn't quote directly from reports such as these, instead of giving only vaguely convincing hand-wavey justifications involving health scenarios and magic dishwashers. It would help distract the other side from the lack of a "cost benefit analysis" in the specific form they demand.

Mind you, it'd be nice to see some of the NBN Co business plan documentation. That such things remain secret is precisely the lack-of-transparency that could well provide the cover for all sorts of mischief.


Stilgherrian http://stilgherrian.com/
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