Thursday, 24 September 2020 10:42

Coalition's MTM was a colossal mistake, says NBN Co's first CEO Quigley Featured

Mike Quigley: "It is now clear that FttP was the safest bet on which to build the NBN in order to provide Australians with the fixed broadband they will need for the decades ahead." Mike Quigley: "It is now clear that FttP was the safest bet on which to build the NBN in order to provide Australians with the fixed broadband they will need for the decades ahead." Courtesy YouTube

The man chosen by the Rudd Labor Government to head the NBN Co when it was formed has not held back in criticising the Coalition for what he called "a colossal mistake" when it decided to change the mix of technology for the NBN from one that would be mostly fibre to one in which copper would dominate.

Mike Quigley told iTWire, in response to a query for his reaction to the announcement on Wednesday by Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, that the move "confirmed that when the Coalition Government placed a bet on using the old copper and Pay TV technologies to build the NBN it made a very big mistake".

"They lost that bet," he said. "No amount of rationalising or saying that the world has changed with COVID-19 explains why you would spend a decade saying that FttP is a gold-plated solution which Australians don't need and then, before the multi-technology mix build is actually finished, now say FttP really was the right answer."

He was reacting to the government's announcement on Wednesday that fibre to the premises would be available to about 75% of homes on the NBN, making a total of eight million in all, by the end of 2023, with the NBN Co to spend about $3.5 billion to upgrade connections. In addition, the NBN Co said a day earlier that $700 million would be spent on business fibre zones in metropolitan areas and the regions, and $300 million to improve regional Internet services.

Web Analytics
Quigley, who lost his job when the Coalition Government came to power in 2013, did not mince his words.

"It is now clear that building Australia's NBN with outdated and limited copper technology was a colossal mistake. Tens of billions of dollars have just been spent on a network that NBN Co announced on Wednesday they will start overbuilding," he said.

"To argue that the right path to a fibre-based NBN is to first invest tens of billions of dollars in copper technologies and then, before that copper-based NBN is completed, to begin overbuilding it with fibre, is nonsense. But that is what the Coalition Government is asking Australians to believe.

"You don't have to be a telecommunications expert to know that operating two fixed-line networks side by side is a huge waste of money. But Page 42 of the Corporate Plan released on Wednesday shows that is exactly what NBN Co is planning to do.

"The Coalition assumed in 2013 that they could build a network based on old copper technologies for a peak funding of $29.5 billion and it would be built by the end of 2016. But the last published peak funding number was $51 billion and, while NBN Co has chosen not to include an updated peak funding estimate in the Corporate Plan they released on Wednesday, we can estimate that it is now likely to be around $57 billion.

"I am afraid reality has now caught up with NBN Co and no matter what words are used to try to explain this latest move, it is now clear that FttP was the safest bet on which to build the NBN in order to provide Australians with the fixed broadband they will need for the decades ahead."

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here


The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.


Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News