And now the delays begin…as has been reported by SMH, the company building the NBN has been granted permission to finish the project more than two years later than planned. Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said the extra time was needed to connect an extra one million homes to super-fast broadband. Extra? Did we miss someone in the first count? Have we grown us an extra million since NBN was first announced? Apparently, he told the Senate that the build has expanded. The Senate passed this without a division being called…however, not without this lovely little cat fight between Conroy and Liberal senator Mary Jo Fisher. Fisher questioned why NBN Co needed a 2.5 years to cope with an additional 3 percent workload. Conroy’s response was this! “I’m not sure anything I could say will help you with your homespun maths,” . Now really, was that very grown up? Very mature? I don’t think so!
The debates about the NBN will, of course, continue…hopefully in a more organised fashion. Sittings in both houses of parliament will resume on Friday, so legislators can debate amendments to NBN legislation. Even before the debate is resumed, Optus is making noise expressing misgivings about the amendments. When NBN is eventually built…(and by that time Internet will probably be so old hat!) utilities will be able to access it for free and telecommunications companies will need to pay dearly to provide services to their clients. A proposal to dilute the ACCC’ authority is also creating concern in the telco sector. Under the existing legislation, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has the right to approve interconnection points on the network.The ACCC would need NBN Co’s consent before making any changes, under Minister Conroy’s amendments. Ahhh, I remember (the then) Senator Conroy…frightfully feisty he was during Senate Estimates..and how he loved to have it his way… looks like he may have his cake and eat it too with this NBN debacle.
Over and out