Australia doesn’t want 100Mbps Internet: Turnbull

'Gigantic torching of taxpayers' money'

High-profile Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull has slammed Labor’s National Broadband Network Policy in impassioned comments to a Sydney audience, describing it as “a gigantic torching of taxpayers’ money” and claiming most of Australia doesn’t want 100Mbps fibre internet.

“The reality is, there simply isn’t demand at the household and every small business level for Internet at that speed, at a price which would make it even remotely financially viable,” the former Opposition Leader told a forum he convened in Sydney to discuss Labor’s mandatory Internet filter policy.

“You’ll spend $40 billion plus dollars, and you’ll get an asset that’s worth $10 billion,” he said.

Describing the NBN as “a colossal white elephant”, Turnbull said he was fundamentally a “free enterprise” person, believing the market would provide most services that consumers wanted, and the Government should provide subsidies to aid the market where it could not provide needed services and make a return.

Turnbull said the market for universal 100Mbps fibre Internet was not there – but there was explosive demand for wireless broadband – at which point he held up his Apple iPad device, on which he had been Twittering during the forum proceedings. “This requires a very different sort of architecture,” Turnbull said of wireless broadband.

Turnbull said it was the Opposition’s view that in terms of broadband, government policy should focus on areas – such as in rural Australia – where commercial services were never going to be able to provide broadband at an affordable price.

He mentioned the former Howard Government’s OPEL project as one which had the potential to improve services in this way, noting the Rudd Labor Government had “canned” the OPEL deal with Optus and Elders.

“I think that was a great pity,” he said.

Liberal MP, Paul Fletcher, formerly an Optus executive in charge of regulatory affairs before his ascension to the Par,liament, agreed with Turnbull. He argued the NBN policy was “dreamt up on the back of a beer coaster” by former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, in a plane flight.

“It’s an attractive high-level vision,” he said, but when you “dig into the practicalities, what is proposed has some problems”.

“Yes, it would be wonderful if the surgeons at St Vincent’s just down the road here could supervise brain surgery remotely in Alice Springs,” said Turnbull. “But sitting in your apartment in Bondi, you are not going to want to be supervising brain surgery in Alice Springs, in all probability, and so in a sense, it’s just totally over-engineered.”

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags National Broadband Network (NBN)

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Renai LeMay

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?