Friday, 26 April 2013

NBN: Deal or No Deal? The short version on questions for the Coalition.

Which side has the better deal? Is the Coalition NBN Plan a good deal?
It's $3 billion less or $245 per premise, a miserable 8% saving, but "backloaded" with a nasty sting: householders pay $30 billion directly from their wallets, to upgrade. The Coalition is perhaps a year earlier but with so much detail missing & withheld we don't actually know what they are proposing. More affordable? With an extra $10-$15 billion thrown at Telstra for renting lines, maybe not.
Is providing the same service equally to everyone, not just the privileged few carefully selected by the Coalition, "gold-plating"? I have an opinion, but everyone must decide for themselves.

If Fibre were so unnecessary, why did all the Coalition members accept the recent upgrade of their electoral offices to fibre? Multi-million dollar upgrades for themselves from the public purse are OK, but a few hundred dollars extra per elector is not. What's going on there?

The only good I can find in the Coalition's NBN Plan is: it is better than their last one... Which is faint praise indeed.

The central question of both NBN plans, I haven't been able to unpick for the Coalition: Who Benefits?
"The usual suspects" are not the obvious beneficiaries. Telstra has generally been hated by the Coalition. I wouldn't expect a plan that did them favours.

The answer for Labor's NBN is simple: it's an enormous "freebie" intended to buy votes, pitched as "Nation Building", an obvious "must-have".

That should be an easy Policy to meet and beat by naming it and then flipping it. My version:
We can't offer you a free lunch like Labor, there is no such thing. What we can offer you is the same technology, if you want it, but you'll have to personally contribute, now or later, your taxes only go so far. Whatever most people want and will contribute to, we will have built. If you want it sooner and will pay extra for that, why not?

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