Broadband network wins two year delivery extension
THE company building Australia’s $ 36 billion national broadband network has been given permission to finish its project more than two years later than originally planned.
NBN Co in late 2010 flagged its intention to have its deadline pushed back from June 2018 to December 2020.
The Senate has now allowed this.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the extra time was needed to connect an additional o ne million homes t o super-fast broadband.
‘‘The build has expanded,’’ he said.
Under NBN Co’s initial proposal, 90 per cent of Australian homes were to be connected to the optical fibre network.
But in a business case released in December, the government business enterprise said it needed a time extension.
This would include tracts of vacant land set aside for future housing, known as greenfield sites.
A government amendment to allow the rollout extension passed the Senate on the voices without a division being called.
Sti l l , Liberal s enator Mary J o Fi s her q ues - tioned why NBN Co needed an extra two and a half years to cope with an additional three per cent workload, prompting a retort from Senator Conroy.
‘‘ I’m not sure anything I could say will help you with your home spun maths,’’ he said.
The ACCC would need NBN Co’s consent before making any changes, under Senator Conroy’s amendments.