Veil removed from NBN implementation study

Conroy announces release of the NBN Implementation Study after months of secrecy

The Minister for Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, yesterday released the NBN Implementation Study on behalf of the Federal Government.

The $25 million dollar, 500-page report by consulting firms KPMG and McKinsey and Company covers the operating, financial and governance arrangements for the network and includes legislative advice for NBN Co, the company in charge of rolling out the $43 billion dollar National Broadband Network (NBN) in Australia.

Conroy was previously criticised for withholding the independent study since he first acquired it on March 5 but had promised to release it to the public before the Federal Budget on May 11.

The implementation study, which includes 84 recommendations for the Government, found that the NBN "can be built on a financially viable basis with affordable prices for consumers."

Critically, the study also confirmed that while infrastructure sharing and other commercial arrangements with existing telecommunications companies is a vital part of the project, the NBN "will be financially viable even without the participation of Telstra."

"After months of detailed and rigorous analysis, the Implementation Study confirms that the Government’s National Broadband Network is achievable, viable and will transform life and business in Australia," Conroy said in a statement. "The study confirms that the NBN can provide consumers with faster speeds and better download limits for comparable prices to what they pay in the market today."

The report also detailed costs including a $43 billion total capital cost, a peak $26 billion investment by the Government and a $30-$35 per month entry-level wholesale price for Australian consumers to provide better value for money.

Although the study was only released to the public yesterday, NBN Co has been moving ahead with the rollout of its high-speed broadband fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, announcing the five first release sites for live trials of the network's design and construction methods.

The full NBN Implementation Study, together with details of the public consultation process, is available online.