Early indications are that the NBN is strugglingt to attract customers with only 11% of homes signing on to the $36 Billion dollar broadband network where it has already been rolled out. In some places the take up rate is less than 6%.According to new information only one in nine homes have taken up the service in towns like Armadale NSW which is Tony Windsor’s electorate of New England.
Late last week Senator Nick Xenophon was told that the sign up rate in Brunswick, Victoria was only 5.5%.
“what we are seeing now is that the cost benefit analysis that should have been done, is now being done in actuality and it’s showing the back of the envelope calculations done by Communications Minister Senator Conroy is not worth the paper it’s written on said Senator Barnaby Joyce.
SingTel Optus Boss Paul O Sullivan has also waded into the debate claiming that the NBN could become a “huge” failure unless the Company rolling it out NBN Co is far more transparent.
NBN Co and Comms and Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy have defended the early take-up rate of NBN services claiming the poor use of the service was not a relevant issue. “People need to finish their existing retail contracts now before they migrate over to the NBN,” the spokesman said. “But eventually, because of the Telstra deal, all of its customers will be migrated over to the NBN.”
The Australian newspaper recently revealed that a survey of company directors showed that 55 per cent disagree with the National Broadband Network, compared with 35 per cent in favour. Those who strongly oppose the NBN (32 per cent) more than double those who strongly support it (15 per cent).
Previous warnings have come from The Economist, the internationally respected magazine whose intelligence unit has compared broadband projects around the world.
It described the NBN’s price tag as “exorbitant” and noted it will cost taxpayers 24 times more than South Korea’s network, for a tenth of the speed. A later audit found Australia’s plan the most expensive of all the countries surveyed, including Greece and Qatar. It described the NBN as an example of “extreme government intervention” and noted it involved less competition than schemes in China.
Senator Conroy’s response has been to dismiss criticism as “ideological dogma”.