Three years ago today, Malcolm Turnbull walked away from the promise he took to the 2013 election that all Australians would have access to minimum speeds on the National Broadband Network by the end of 2016.
With only 19 days remaining this year, the Turnbull Government will end up missing its target by about 7 million premises.
This was no idle promise. Malcolm Turnbull made this promise explicitly, confidently and frequently prior to the 2013 election:
MALCOLM TURNBULL: We will accelerate the project. The whole purpose of our project is to accelerate the rollout. That’s why we can say that by the end of 2016, everyone in Australia will have access to very fast broadband.
Doorstop – 8 August 2013
MALCOLM TURNBULL: There’s two million premises that don’t have any broadband at all. Under our policy, by 2016 everybody will have access to very fast broadband and nobody will have access to less than 25mbps.
Doorstop – 3 September 2013
MALCOLM TURNBULL: We’ll get it sorted out and we will ensure that by 2016 every Australian has access to very fast broadband so they can do all things that Deloitte is talking about here.
ABC News Breakfast – 4 September 2013
In fact, this promise still appears in all its glory on Malcolm Turnbull’s own website:
Our goal is to ensure all Australians have very fast broadband by 2016 and that everybody can access at least 25mbps.
Malcolm Turnbull likes to claim that under his stewardship, the NBN is “one of the great corporate turnarounds in Australia’s history.” He doesn’t let the facts get in the way of reality.
Malcolm Turnbull promised that under his watch, the NBN would be faster, cheaper and more affordable.
He has failed miserably on every count.
The cost of Malcom Turnbull’s fraudband network has blown out from $29.5 billion to $54 billion. There’s no way the project will meet his promised timeline of every Australian having access by the end of 2016, and at the end of it over 5 million premises will be left with a slower, second rate copper-based NBN.
And just when we thought there was one promise the Coalition would keep, they broke it anyway – and with it their last shred of credibility.
Recently the Turnbull Government announced it would lend $19.5 billion to bail out its second-rate NBN, despite repeatedly pledging that public funding would be capped at $29.5 billion and remaining funds would be sourced by NBNCo from external markets.
Meanwhile, the lived experience of consumers is failing all expectations. Far too many Australians are enduring unacceptable connection delays and faults, slow data speeds, unusable services and drop-outs. Frustrated customers are being passed back and forth between NBNCo and their retail service provider when something goes wrong.
No wonder Australians are fed up with all the deceit of Malcolm Turnbull’s fraudband. They are simply not getting what they paid for.
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) also recently revealed that complaints about the NBN have increased by almost 150%. The vast majority of the postcodes that recorded the most complaints have been relegated to Malcolm Turnbull’s flawed copper-based fibre-to-the-node technology.
Only Labor understands the drivers of innovation are a strong education system and a culture of creativity, backed by world-class broadband infrastructure. It’s this kind of vision that is sorely lacking from the Turnbull Government.
Just like his Prime Ministership: when it comes to the NBN, Malcolm Turnbull is all empty promises and spin, not delivery.