Thursday, August 12, 2010

The National Broadband Network #NBN - the ultimate in corporate welfare?

Telco analyst Grahame Lynch is amazed by the carpetbaggers who won’t do a stroke of work to justify the $43 billion in corporate welfare that Labor’s broadband scheme will lavish on them : 

Given the immense economic and career opportunities that the government is providing for many vendors, contractors and carriers in the sector, I find it astonishing that not one of them has mustered the modest resources required to prepare a credible cost-benefit analysis that attempts to measure the claimed externalities for the NBN in areas such as telecommuting, e-learning and telemedicine that are bandied about ad nauseam.

In an opinion piece carried by The Age this week, fibre academic and NBN expert panellist Rod Tucker, who is as much as anyone the father of the NBN policy, wrote: “A recent report commissioned by the city of Seattle found that a fibre access network would produce indirect benefits of more than $1bn a year. Scaled to a country the size of Australia, these benefits would amount to more than $5bn per annum. The $43bn price tag on the broadband network is starting to look like a bargain.”

Why is the world’s largest and most expensive broadband network proposal being justified by recourse to the findings of a report defending a modest infrastructure build for what is only the 23rd biggest city in the US? As I say, Conroy has strategic reasons for not submitting his policy to the test of the dismal science, but the telecommunications industry does not. It is a disgrace that the many economic beneficiaries of Labor’s NBN policy believe they should have a bipartisan entitlement to tens of billions of dollars of gifted resources without resourcing credible analysis to back their arguments.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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