Former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Graeme Samuel is "cheerleader for the NBN," and naturally he would support the $37 billion Labor broadband initiative that would deliver high-speed internet access across Australia.
This according to the latest blog posted by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, accusing too Mr Samuel of overlooking the better economic benefits of fibre-to-the-node (FttN) networks, the Coalition's planned alternative to the national broadband network (NBN), which it vowed to scrap once it gained government power.
The former regulatory chief had earlier told The Australian Financial Review (AFR) that opting for the Coalition broadband plan would prove costlier for taxpayers, pointing to the rejected proposal by giant telco Telstra Corporation to set up FttN in 2208.
"Many thousands of nodes would be required ... and those nodes are ultimately obsolete equipment when inevitably there is a requirement to take the fibre all the way to the premises ... it was not the way to go," Mr Samuel told The AFR.
In the end, it would cost more money to implement the Coalition blueprint in delivering a nationwide broadband service that is super-fast, stable and highly reliable, Mr Samuel stressed.
However, Mr Turnbull said that the former ACCC chief seems to be drawing conclusion on matters without the benefit of solid facts, insisting that the latter's "latest comments show that he's out of touch with new technologies."
He explained that the new technologies governing FttN networks now allow the deployment of broadband on both copper and fibre infrastructures, which "are available from multiple vendors."
"Carriers around the world are increasingly offering fibre connectivity on a customer-by-customer basis where this makes economic sense," Mr Turnbull pointed out.
The Liberal frontbencher also dismissed claims by Mr Samuel that dumping the NBN will lead to more billions to be wasted due to contract revisions with telcos like Telstra.
"I have indicated that our policy will leave Telstra shareholders at least as well off in economic terms, and I am very confident a win-win outcome will be attainable if we are elected," Mr Tunrbull was quoted by ZDNet as saying on Tuesday.
The former ACCC chief, Mr Turnbull said, needs to be directed to the fact that the NBN, as admitted by both the government and the NBN Co, is now saddled with delays and budget blow outs, with estimated losses of about $923 million.
These liabilities caused the NBN to actually reach 42,000 households after a number of years in active build up, he added.
What is more revolting, Mr Turnbull said, is Canberra's plan of spending another $20 million to promote the NBN without any clear assurance that the project is running without glitches or will at least be completed at all.
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