OECD figures have highlighted the “critical need” for NBN, says Stephen Conroy.
The Minister for Broadband, said new OECD statistics show Australia pays more for broadband than most other OECD countries, which reinforces the need for the $36bn network to go ahead.
He also said it was critical for the “digital economy” and pushing Australia into the 21st century.
“The NBN is about investing in the future and the Gillard Government is getting on with delivering it,” Conroy said.
This defensive stance comes as the beleaguered billion dollar project has suffered a series of setbacks in recent weeks, being hit by possible cost over runs which forced it to cancel tender negotiations with construction companies, including Telstra, John Holland and Leighton.
Following this debacle, the NBN Co’s head of construction, Patrick Flannigan, resign unexpectedly.
However, it now seems the NBN has a ‘Plan B’ and may deliver a national contract rollout, rather than dealing with a bunch of companies and in spite of the furore is still “reasonably confident” that the project can still be developed within budget, head of corporate services, Kevin Brown told ABC radio last week.
Oz is the 3rd most expensive for very low-speed connections and 14th most expensive for high-speed out of 33 countries, according to the stats.
“These OECD statistics are further evidence that Australia cannot afford to stand idly by with our ageing copper network and sub-standard broadband services,” Senator Conroy said.
“The NBN will provide Australia with world-class broadband infrastructure. It will open up a genuine choice of services and drive competitive prices for consumers.”