No Quick NBN Fix Under Labor

No Quick NBN Fix Under Labor

Those hoping a change in Australia’s Government will also mean a positive change to the National Broadband Network – and soon after – may be a little disappointed.

Last week we mentioned Federal Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland had recently stated Australian taxpayers and consumers are worse off on “every measure” with the current NBN. The comment was made in the wake of Australia’s fixed broadband speed rankings dropping to number 60 in the world – 5 positions lower than in December 2018.

Michelle Rowland on the NBNFederal Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland via Facebook

Comments such as these are easy to make in while in opposition, so what’s Labor’s plan and how fast will positive changes be made if the party is voted into power?

Not very fast it seems.

Speaking on the topic of the road ahead for communications in Australia at The Sydney Institute last night, Ms. Rowland said there will be no quick fix, nor would the party make promises that it couldn’t keep.

Ms. Rowland says decisions made in 2013 to change from a fibre-focused rollout to Multi Technology Mix (MTM – aka Mixed Technology Mongrel) has had a negative impact on cash flow.

“She said improving the cash flow at the NBN Co, the company rolling out the network, was a problem over which the party had been spending many sleepless nights,” states an ITWire report.

As for the details of a solid plan from Labor, supposedly all will be revealed soon.

Ms. Rowland does have some background in telecommunications aside from her stint as a pollie. Prior to her election to the Federal seat of Greenway back in 2010, Ms. Rowland was a senior lawyer specialising in competition and regulation in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors.

The rollout of the NBN is scheduled to be completed in 2020. It was reported earlier this month that NBN Co is expected to deliver download speeds of 50Mbps to 90 per cent of fixed-line premises by that time, but that will be at a national level. 90% @ 50Mbps will be attained in only three of Australia’s eight states and territories – Northern Territory, Victoria  and NSW. However, the Coalition government’s 2016 statement of expectations apparently did not demand NBN achieve that minimum speed standard in each state and territory.

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