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Telstra Chairman - Australia would have been much better off without the Rudd/Conroy/Turnbull NBN

The blame for the Australian broadband debacle is fairly widely distributed.

Conroy and Rudd are the principal offenders who kicked off the tragedy.

But the greater fault lies with Malcolm Turnbull.

I spoke to Turnbull dozens of times as the debacle was unfolding.

He understood the scale of the catastrophe.

He knew the costs and the abject absence of benefits.

But he lacked the courage and judgement to argue the case publicly.

Instead he folded and took a "me-too" position alongside Labor.

The results are plain for all to see.

Thailand took the approach Telstra chairman John Mullen advocates below - here are the results:

Pity Australia and thanks for absolutely nothing Rudd, Conroy and Turnbull.

Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 11.46.17 amTelstra chairman John Mullen has claimed all Australians would have access to high-speed internet at a "fraction of the cost" if the government had not proceeded with the $50 billion National Broadband Network project.

Mr Mullen admitted to shareholders at Telstra's annual general meeting on Tuesday that the country's biggest telecommunications company should bear some of the blame due to its "recalcitrance in helping the government at the time".

"The creation of the NBN 10 years ago has had a seminal effect on our industry and Australia," Mr Mullen said.

"It is always easier to comment with the benefit of hindsight, but it is my view that over the last 10 years private sector competition between strong players such as Telstra, Optus, TPG and others was always going to build 100 Mbps broadband access and speed to the majority of the population of Australia, in an ongoing competitive landscape and at no cost whatsoever to the taxpayer," he said.

Mr Mullen said the government could then have decided how much in subsidy they could provide to the industry to extend this coverage to regional and rural areas where the private sector economics didn't stack up.

"This would have been at a fraction of the cost of today's NBN," he said.


He's dead right.

The Turnbull/Conroy/Rudd NBN's disastrous consequences for Australia

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The Australian Labor Party (maybe except for Albo) is running a campaign against "big business".

Part of its campaign includes this ad/infomercial about the evils of monopolies, published one day ago.

Also published on the same day was this ad/infomercial trumpeting Labor/Turnbull's catastrophic NBN - no lack of ironic humour in Sussex Street!

The Conroy/Rudd NBN, subsequently adopted by the galah Turnbull is a government-mandated monopoly.

It resulted in a capital drought affecting broadband service provision starting in about 2008.

Billions of dollars worth of viable infrastructure has been stranded and decommissioned.

And because its (borrowed) funding is government guaranteed, it operates like a bloated Soviet bureaucracy.  It has no competitive benchmark and there's no one else to turn to.

Does the Labor Party and its mate Turnbull think we are brain-dead?

The error on the part of the risk-averse conservatives in not undoing the NBN is a monumental one.

I knew Turnbull pretty well during the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd years and spoke to him every week or so, sometimes for hours.

He knows how damaging the NBN and its associated legislative effects are on the Australian economy.  But he chickened out on fixing it.

As communications shadow he took the low-risk path to government (supported by Tony Abbott and the then LNP leadership) rather than pursue the more difficult ethical and moral imperative of arguing against and dismantling the NBN.

Andrew Leigh is right about monopolies and the damage they cause.

The NBN will always be a lumbering, slothful behemoth incapable of covering its cost of capital, let alone producing a positive nett present value that could result in its sale.

It'll be reliant on cash injections forever along with L-A-W laws protecting it from competition.

It's truly tragic to watch Australia suffer this disaster.  For the past few years I've spent most of my time in South East Asia where I've enjoyed ultra fast broadband just about everywhere - and I haven't paid a single broadband bill.  Not one cent.  It's so cheap and fast that just about every hotel/cafe/shop offers it for free.

Australia could be like that too, but we've had 10 years of the Conroy/Rudd beer-coaster-design approach to a centralised economy.

Turnbull could have helped stop that.

But he cared more about himself and getting into power.

He deserves a caning at the next election and we deserve someone who'll stand up for us.


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