On Friday night while you and I were having dinner and preparing to paint the kitchen (that’s what you were doing on Friday night, wasn’t it?), the Senate was staying back after class to try and get its homework done. And by homework, I mean passing bills key to rolling out the NBN.
Firstly, NBN Co now has a two and a half year extension to complete the rollout of the national network, meaning that the last house should be connected by December 2020. Rather than being a result of slow rollout however, this is due to a change in the planned rollout, and an additional 1000 homes being added to the planned fibre connection.
Secondly, NBN Co will be allowed to sell the network directly to utilities, which completely goes against the whole “NBNCo is a a wholesaler only” message the government was pushing out.
The third key amendment – and te first that didn’t really go the government’s way – concerns the ACCC. Conroy wanted to legislate that the ACCC needed to get approval from NBN Co in order to change any of the points of interconnect as part of the NBN rollout. Which is a complete mockery of role of a regulator, when you think about it. Fortunately, the Greens, Senator Xenephon and the Coalition shut that amendment down.
Who else can’t wait for the NBN to actually be built, and no longer kicked around as a political football?