The industry – John Stanton, CEO, Communications Alliance
The Strategic Review of the NBN has underlined the need for an almost unprecedented multi-stakeholder national effort to bring the project back onto a successful trajectory. The review, and the statements by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, were sobering news for the telecommunications industry, which has been a strong and active supporter of the NBN and its profound potential to benefit all Australians.
“We are still digesting the analysis and recommendations, but we welcome the frankness of the review and the pragmatic approach to assessing the re-engineering options that now lie before us. It is importance to maintain momentum in the current NBN rollout, despite the risks to immediate progress inherent in multiple reviews and re-casting of plans.”
The consumer advocate – Theresa Corbin, CEO, ACCAN
“While it is disappointing that the strategic review found that the rollout of higher speeds will take longer than previously expected, we recognise that the NBN will still bring faster broadband speeds to consumers. We also need to ensure that rural areas are not left behind and uniform national wholesale pricing is a critical part of achieving this goal. NBN infrastructure can be used to boost mobile coverage in rural and remote areas and is also a vital part of the solution to getting Australia connected.
“Whatever the mix of technologies adopted, ACCAN wants to see the structural separation of Telstra flow through to finality. We want to see Telstra’s control over the customer access network removed – and this will deliver more competition and choices with better prices for consumers. As the NBN project evolves, we want to ensure this objective remains front and centre.
There are however still some uncertainties to be resolved about how structural separation will be implemented with regard to FTTN and HFC and we look forward to working with government and industry to address those issues.”
The reseller – David Buckingham, acting CEO, iiNet
“iiNet welcomes the strategic review of NBN Co and the commitment to a continuation of the rollout of superfast broadband by this Government.
“We have already connected more than 25,000 customers to the National Broadband Network, a number that is only going to accelerate as the network rollout continues.
“We applaud the focus in this review, on connecting those Australians who have been left behind in the digital economy – delivering fast broadband to the millions of households and businesses currently underserviced.”
The Opposition – Jason Clare, Shadow Communications Minister
“The Abbott government has today broken one of the most important promises it made before the election.
Australians want Labor's NBN, not the Coalition's second rate copper network that we now know won't even meet the low expectations they set for it. This broken promise will hang like an albatross around Malcolm Turnbull's neck. This is unforgivable and the Government will be punished by the electorate for it.
“The Prime Minister has said: ‘I don't intend on making promises that I won't keep.’ Well, they have just broken a whopper. It means that you can't believe anything they say. It's not worth two bob.
“Yet again, the Coalition has shown the Australian people this isn't the government they said they would be.”
The new man – Bill Morrow, incoming NBN Co CEO
“I’m honoured and privileged to be offered the opportunity to lead one of Australia’s most important infrastructure projects, which has the potential to shape the nation’s economy and change the lives of all Australians.
“I have been a champion of NBN. It is a big bold move by the government and the taxpayers to try to reshape its entire ecosystem around the digital revolution. Bringing competition to Australia, whether it's mobile or fixed, is something that NBN should definitely be doing.
“I trust that Malcolm Turnbull, along with Ziggy as the chairman of the board, are looking to bring together all of the thoughts, all of the perspectives to be sure that we set out on a trajectory that's the right one.”
The journalist – Paul Smith, Australian Financial Review
“Whatever your political persuasion and whichever part of the business community you come from, the overwhelming feeling upon reading Thursday’s strategic review by NBN Co is disappointment and impotent frustration.
“It is a depressing state of affairs that four and half years after Kevin Rudd and Stephen Conroy ripped up their previous plans to announce the creation of NBN Co and a national broadband network that we are left debating which side of politics’ approach has been the most clueless.
“It shouldn’t be like this. We are supposedly a clever country, yet we can’t seem to grasp the importance of not screwing around with vital infrastructure of a modern economy. By now we should be seeing the first indications of economic and social benefits of high speed broadband in pockets around the country. Instead, we’re back to the drawing board and drowning in a sea of excuses and political recriminations. Unfortunately, the reality is that, as a nation, we have blown it.”