Broad­band net­work wins two year de­liv­ery ex­ten­sion

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

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.

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