Tuesday, 31 July 2012 15:41

NBN's updated operating plan to be released this week


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says the national broadband network's latest business plan will tell a "pleasing story".

The Government is expected to release the NBN's operating plan later this week, which is expected to detail the extent of delays in its rollout, update figures on the takeup of services and revise financial forecasts. A widely expected delay of nine months, due to the protracted negotiations with Telstra of about the same period will be included.

This latest operating plan comes at a time when Telstra shares are trading at a 4 year high, reaching $4 on Monday this week. Analysts suggest this is due to greater regulatory certainty, its guarantee of $11B for the soon-to-be retired copper network and its role in the NBN.

"I'm not going to pre-empt the release later this week but I think there's a very pleasing story to come from that," Senator Conroy said on ABC Television.

He said the NBN had locked in a range of contracts including construction over the next two years.

"The key that Australians need to understand is this has always been a nine- to ten-year project ... to do over 12 million homes," he said.

"This is not a quick fix for one election, it is about building a piece of infrastructure that will serve out country for the next 30 to 40 years and ensure that we're in a position that the future needs of Australia's telecommunications users is able to cope with what the world is doing with broadband."

The NBN is designed to provide high-speed broadband delivered by fibre to 93 per cent of premises, with the remainder getting fixed wireless or satellite services.

In parrying questions related to the Opposition's objections to the NBN (and suggesting it ought to have been built by the private sector), Sen. Conroy pointed out that prior to the announcement of the NBN, no commercial provider had proposed a nation-wide solution, instead wishing to implement only the most profitable pieces.

The NBN, on the other hand would offer a single price service no matter where a user was on the network, or by what means they connected.

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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