Then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, said that the new network would: connect 90 percent of all Australian homes, schools and workplaces with FTTP broadband services with speeds up to 100Mbps and connect all other premises in Australia with next generation wireless and satellite technologies that would deliver broadband speeds of at least 12Mbps.
Quigley was hired to do this, not to question it. But Turnbull went after him with bulldog tenacity. "When I asked him if he had been asked whether there were any other technologies that could deliver 100 megabits per second, he said he had not been asked. I then queried if he had been asked whether 100 megabits per second was the appropriate bandwidth requirement for households, and he said that he had not been asked about that either - it was part of his brief."
Seems Turnbull simply needed a fresh hook upon which to hang out and air once again the arguments against the NBN that he has run many times already.
His colleague Paul Fletcher fired the next salvo, revealing that average wages paid during FY2011 to NBN Co employees were well ahead of those paid to Telstra and Westpac and up there with "the Millionaire Factory" Macquarie Bank.
When my colleague Stan Beer published details of Fletcher's attack he got a swift rebuttal from NBN Co's Andrew Sholl. "Our 2009/2010 head count was 531 (the figure Mr Fletcher used) but that number rose considerably in the 2010/2011 financial year to 855." Sholl said.
I smelt a rat. Fletcher claimed to have got his NBN wages costs from the NBN 2011 annual report. Fletcher is no fool. I could not see him getting the wrong number for employees from the same report. Sure enough, he had not. "As at 30 June 2011, NBN Co had 855 employees, up from 207 in June 2010," the report says.
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