Power struggle! Sorry. I just really wanted to say that at the front of a story like a newspaper journalist might. Moving on. This week the Federal government and the New South Wales state governments have gone head to head over the cost of power bills following the introduction of the National Broadband Network. Who is telling the truth and who should buzz off?
This is no petty war of words like the battle between Conroy and Turnbull or the battle between Huawei and, well, pretty much everyone. The NSW State Government and NBN Co are heading straight for a date before a judge in the Federal Court over access to power poles for NBN fibre cabling. State Finance Minister, Greg Pearce, said that he has already made several concessions with NBN Co about the price for pole access, and wouldn’t go a cent lower. An interesting statement considering Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s rebuttal. Conroy claims that other states have allowed access for around $30 to $40 per pole, while NSW is allegedly asking for $140 per pole.
Conroy and NBN Co is accusing the Liberal NSW government of trying to gouge taxpayers and delay the roll-out of the super-fast fibre-optic network. NBN Co’s Mike Quigley is claiming that NSW is doing itself a disservice, because better broadband infrastructure means more investment in the state.
Also in the power arena, electricity provider Ausgrid is claiming that the NBN on local power poles will push up power bills.
Finally, NBN Co has made a new hire: a chief information officer! Turns out it’s someone from the Sol Trujillo era of Telstra.