Communication Minister Stephen Conroy and the Gillard Government, who are the architects of the $43 Million dollar National Broadband Network (NBN), have been given a blunt warning by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to slow down the project which faces been overtaken by “superior technological alternatives”.
According to the Australian newspaper the OECD has warned that the project is installing a public monopoly that could choke off the development of better internet technologies.
The OECD has reiterated what Opposition Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been saying for months.
The OECD said that Stephen Conroy and the Federal government had adopted a “picking-the-winner strategy” on the NBN that could hinder the development of “as yet unknown, superior technological alternatives”. The report also found “substantial financial uncertainties” with the massive project – which is expected to have $26bn worth of equity funding from the government – and cautioned that it may not be the most cost-effective strategy.
Malcolm Turnbull said the OECD had confirmed “that this is being undertaken without any proper examination of the alternatives to achieve the policy objective of universal affordable broadband”.
The NBN will be an optic fibre-based network connected to 93 per cent of the nation’s homes and business premises.