Oakeshott made the remark during today’s meeting of Joint Parliamentary Joint Committee on the NBN. The meeting was dominated by NBN Co Mike Quigley’s defence of the project and presenting detailed costings to show the project was on track (see earlier story in iTWire).
NBN Co’s Corporate Plan outlines the project’s budget, broken down into its constituent parts and with an overall time line. A new Corporate Plan is due in May, but based on Quigley’s performance today it is unlikely to be much different from the one that already exists, which is based on FTTP to 93% of Australian homes
Oakeshott said it might be a good idea for NBN Co to draw up a second plan, based on the Coalition’s alternative FTTN plan. Oakeshott has previously called the Opposition plan “madness” and “backward thinking.” He has also criticised the politicisation of the debate.
But he believes a separate NBN Co plan based on it would better enable a comparison between the two plans.
Meanwhile, NBN Co says it will offer a 1 Gbps wholesale broadband service in December. “Australia will become a Gigabit Nation before the end of the year when NBN Co releases a broadband product that delivers wholesale upload and download speeds that far exceed those available to households today,” it said in a statement coincidentally released as Quigley has defending the NBN before the Parliamentary Committee.
“NBN Co’s wholesale customers – Internet service providers – will be able to order the new product from December. ISPs will develop retail plans based on the 1 Gbps – product. These plans will be available to families and businesses nationwide with access to the fibre network. Consumers will not need any additional NBN equipment in order to receive the new product.”
The announcement was almost certainly made to focus attention on the merits of the Government’s faster NBN. 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 in his presentation to the Committee methodically went 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: