Opposition broadband spokesman Nick Minchin quoted on the ABC News site this morning:
“We’ve got a $43 billion plan with no…evidence that people actually want 100 megabits per second of download speed.”
No Nick, that’s why so many of us stayed with dialup. Is a complete lack of understanding of the portfolio a prerequisite for being an Opposition Spokesperson, or is it just coincidence?
Elsewhere, John Quiggin suggests (based on back-of-the-envelope calculations) that somewhere around $80/month might be in the ballpark, assuming a takeup of around 5 million households/businesses. Given that that is not much more than I am currently paying for 1.5mbps, Minchin’s reading of the market might be deemed a little too pessimistic.
There’s going to be a lot more discussion about this, especially when it gets to the Senate: the Fake Steve Fielding has already tweeted that he would “block NBN in exchange for $179 trillion for family cohesion measures”, and I expect the real one will be thinking something similar. And there should be careful scrutiny of this proposal, provided it is more than the opposition’s current tactic of “oppose everything without consideration on principle”. I’m not big on the proposal to sell the company after five years, given that much of the current situation can be blamed on the privatisation of Telstra, but I suppose it will save the Coalition the bother of doing it when they are next in power.
But all in all, $43 billion sounds like a reasonable price for Australia to get middling-to-average internet speeds.