MEDIA RELEASE - S&P ISSUES SCATHING ASSESSMENT OF TURNBULL’S MULTI-TECHNOLOGY NBN MESS - 25 JULY 2018

With Shadow Minister for Finance, Dr Jim Chalmers MP. 

The Turnbull Government must today clarify its position on an NBN write-down, following a scathing assessment by Standard & Poor’s of the multi-technology mix.

The S&P report questioned the long-term economics of the multi-technology mix, and the assumptions underpinning the Turnbull Government’s NBN Corporate Plan, saying a write-down “appears inevitable”.
 
Malcolm Turnbull promised to deliver a second-rate NBN for $29.5 billion with the rollout complete by the end of 2016.
 
Instead he is $20 billion over budget and 4 years behind schedule, with a rate of return that has halved.
 
Beyond the cost blowouts and delays, Turnbull’s $49 billion multi-technology mix costs more to maintain, generates less revenue, and is more exposed to wireless competition.
 
On every measure, the long-term economics of the NBN have been compromised by Turnbull to the detriment of Australian consumers and taxpayers.
 
He fleeced a nation on the false pretence that copper and HFC would be cheaper – it wasn’t. It has been slower and more expensive.
 
Among the failures directly attributable to the Government’s mismanagement are:

  • A $20 billion cost blowout;
  • Rollout that is 4 years behind schedule;
  • 54 per cent increase in the cost per premises for HFC;
  • 1,000 per cent increase in copper remediation costs;
  • Unacceptable levels of complaints by consumers;
  • 3 in 4 premises on copper unable to access 100 Mbps speeds; and a
  • HFC rollout halt for which the disaggregated cost remains undisclosed.

Meanwhile NZ, US and the UK slashed fibre-to-the-premises deployment costs by between 40 and 50 per cent.
 
The Government cannot continue to hide behind its spin.
 
The Australian public deserves full transparency about the scale of Turnbull’s self-made disaster.