The NBN will be delivered on time and on budget, CEO Mike Quigley has told the Joint Parliamentary Joint Committee on the NBN, meeting in Sydney today.
Without directly attacking the Coalition’s plan or its assertions that the NBN’s cost will blow out from the budgeted 37.4 billion to $90 billion or more, Quigley has methodically gone through the project’s costings and timeframes, categorically asserting that the project is on track and that recent well-publicised delays will not affect the project’s budget or schedule..
As part of his presentation he released a detailed 19 page report, which is available at: Report to parliamentary joint committee.pdf
The report shows every aspect of the NBN Co Corporate plan to be within budget, and also forecasts lower wholesale prices than originally envisaged. “Substantial portions of the National Broadband Network have now been contracted and NBN Co is receiving actual costs for the volume rollout. Based on contracted rates negotiated with delivery partners and on actual costs received to date, NBN Co's total estimated capital costs to FY2021 remains within the $37.4 billion.”
The NBN is preparing an updated Corporate Plan, which will be presented to the Committee in May.
Quigley has told the Committee that he is “more than happy” with the progress of the NBN to date. “In my view it’s reasonably satisfying that we've advanced to this point, given the changes we had to take on board, given the increase in scope," he said.
"We are confident that we can bring in the project in on time and on budget."
The Committee will sit until 3pm today, and hear submissions from the Victorian Government, the ACCC, Vodafone, the NSW Business Chambers and others.
If the figures presented by NBN CO chief Mike Quigley today are correct – and there is no reason to doubt them – then the Coalition’s costings are little more than scare tactics.
Committee Chair, independent Rob Oakeshott has previously criticised the politicisation of the debate.
ITWire will report again late in the day after the Committee rises.