Just ditch the NBN in its entirety

One can understand going the fibre optic cable route in a small, densely populated country like South Korea, but to do this in Australia is folly – not least with ever-better wireless technology coming out on almost a daily basis.

Watchdog must reject NBN’s anti-competitive deals

ROD Sims, the recently appointed chairman of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, has in his power the ability to derail, if not destroy, the government’s $43 billion National Broadband Network.

Indeed, given the bombshell in the discussion paper the ACCC released yesterday on Telstra’s so-called structural separation undertaking, which underpins the $11bn (post-tax) deal between Telstra and the NBN Co, he may have no option but to block deals that are vital to the NBN’s success.

In its 207-page discussion paper the ACCC reveals for the first time that the deal, which will see Telstra close its copper network and stop providing broadband on its pay-TV cable network, in competition with the NBN, is dependent on a “condition precedent” that beggars belief. The paper states that the deal between Telstra and NBN Co is “subject to a condition precedent that NBN Co commits to Telstra that it will enter into an arrangement with Optus regarding the closure of its HFC [pay-TV] network”.

In a country as large as Australia, with such relatively small population density, it’s madness to overlook wireless technologies.

In a capitalist country, it’s madness to create a new monopoly – created by dictum of government.

Scrap the NBN, Rod, and save us $40-odd billion that we don’t have in the first place.

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