[LINK] NBN to cost 24 times South Korea's faster network, says research body

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Wed Feb 9 16:31:00 AEDT 2011

NBN to cost 24 times South Korea's faster network, says research body
UPDATED James Massola
From: The Australian
February 09, 2011 2:46PM

THE National Broadband Network will cost taxpayers 24 times as much as 
South Korea's but deliver just one tenth the speed, according to one of 
the world's most respected economic research organisations.

A paper released by the Economist Intelligence Unit today criticises 
Labor's broadband network on a range of fronts, including its cost per 
household covered.

The report assesses the plans of 40 countries to enable high speed 
broadband development, assessing the target speeds, rollout time frame, 
cost and regulatory provisions to deliver a final ranking.

The research body marks Australia down in its government broadband index 
because of "the huge cost to the public sector" of the NBN.

It also loses points due to limited private-sector involvement, high 
government intervention and the exclusion of state and municipal 
authorities from the plan.

The report highlights the disparity between the cost of the network - 
estimated at 7.6 per cent of annual government revenue - and the cost of 
the South Korean network, which is estimated at less than one per cent.

The report does score the NBN highly for having a target speed of 100 
megabits per second, but it says Sweden, Finland, Estonia and France 
have all set similar targets with much lower costs.

Opposition Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull seized on the 
study's findings.

"Now the Economist Intelligence Unit joins the long list of expert 
observers, both international and local, who are utterly dismayed by the 
reckless spending of the Gillard Government on the NBN," Mr Turnbull said.

"The study confirms, yet again, that this NBN project should be the 
subject of a rigorous cost-benefit analysis by the Productivity Commission."

Australia scores 3.4 out of five on the index, trailing South Korea, 
Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, France, Spain and Denmark, 
but it ranks the NBN ahead of broadband plans in New Zealand, the United 
Kingdom and the United States.

A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy defended the 
government's investment in the NBN, adding the government would look at 
the report.

“Comparing Australia to Korea is like comparing apples to oranges. 
Investment in Australia's road, rail, telecommunications and utility 
infrastructure faces vastly different factors than countries such as 
South Korea,” she said.

“Australia's land mass is over 7.6 million square kilometres compared 
with South Korea's which is just over 100,000 square kilometres. 
Australia has a population density of 2.7 people per sq/km compared with 
487 people per sq/km for South Korea.

“We know that with Australia's population density, there aren't the 
incentives for the private sector to provide the universal high-quality 
broadband infrastructure that all Australians need.”



Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
email:	 brd at iimetro.com.au
website: www.drbrd.com

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