The leader of the Coalition isn’t afraid of making a bold claim or two.
The ABC reports from its election blog that when questioned costings for the Coalition NBN policy this morning, Tony Abbott stated that
“The national broadband network policy was released many months ago by myself and Malcolm [Turnbull]. The Government’s been crawling all over it. No-one has been able to question the costings. It is absolutely bulletproof.”
Actually, Tony, nobody’s been able to question the costings, because you haven’t released the full costings (due to happen this afternoon) — or for that matter, the full plan. That’s actually part of your policy; the very first thing that was stated in the Coalition’s NBN launch many months ago was that the first thing you’d do if you assumed Government was launch into a series of reviews around the NBN itself, and that this was likely to take time. It’s a sentiment echoed by Malcolm Turnbull himself only a couple of days ago.
Are there NBN costing and implementation issues to contend with? I’d say there are. There’s the issue of how much Telstra will actually want for its copper network, no matter how many times it’s declared worthless. That feeds into the issue of how much it’ll cost to both remediate and maintain the copper in order to meet the Coalition’s aggressive 25MBps download speed goal for all Australians by 2016.
Bulletproof? It’s as bulletproof as the existing NBN, which, lest I be accused of being on a Labor payroll (which seems to happen any time I write about NBN issues) has been plagued with under-delivery, cost over-runs and health scare issues.
Those are implementation issues, and they’re not something that’s likely to simply vanish switching from FTTP to FTTN. My core interest remains the technology — and I don’t think anyone’s in any doubt as to which solution is by far technologically superior — but statements that declare a plan “bulletproof” make for nice soundbites, but lack in that all too critical proof.