[LINK] NBN to cost 24 times South Korea's faster network, says research body
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
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
"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
“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.”
email: brd at iimetro.com.au
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