Friday, 20 April 2018 00:48

Rowland says brownfield sites slowdown depriving NBN Co of revenue


Labor’s shadow minister for communications Michelle Rowland says NBN Co is being deprived of much needed revenue due to NBN brownfield site activations hitting their lowest levels over the past 30 reporting weeks.

According to Rowland, in the past fortnight, NBN Co has activated an average of 9800 brownfield premises per week.

She says activations are down from the 32,500 per week average for November 2017 and, in a reference to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, describes the drop in activations as “the Malcolm effect”.

"The slowdown, in the midst of the peak rollout period, is depriving NBN Co of revenue to pay down construction costs,” Rowland says.

“Instead, NBN Co is having to draw on taxpayers to fork out more — potentially hundreds of millions — to cover for Turnbull’s mistakes.

“Despite the bizarre broadsides being fired off by (Communications Minister) Mitch Fifield about the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman this week, the costly six-month pause of HFC activations, and the December 2017 NBN pricing discounts, should see a significant reduction in TIO complaints in the next reporting period,” Rowland says.

brownfields peter

According to her, Malcolm Turnbull is yet to “come clean about the cost of his HFC rollout delay”.

“Regardless, we will continue to hold Turnbull accountable for his mismanagement of the NBN.”

Earlier this week, Rowland and Stephen Jones, the Shadow Minister for regional communications, jointly called on NBN Co to accelerate its efforts to address the root cause of problems affecting the migration experience of consumers moving to the NBN network.

Their call came in the wake of the latest report by the TIO revealing that it had received 84,914 complaints about telcos and their services during the second half of 2017, up 28.7% on the year-ago period.

The TIO report also showed complaints relating to services delivered over the NBN had increased disproportionately, with these complaints at 22,827, up 203.9% from the year-ago period.

Rowland, and Jones said the concerning increase in complaints was a “damming indictment of a Turnbull Government that has spent three years plodding around like a disinterested spectator”.

“Labor hopes to see a significant reduction in complaints over the next reporting period. It’s clear that current trends are unsustainable, and consumers are fed up with the blame game.”

Chart: courtesy Australian Labor Party


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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