NBN should be free, says economist


Joshua Gans from the Melbourne Business School says the media are missing the main game when they keep harping on about the need for the NBN to make a commercial return.

He says the social benefits are the real story, no one is going to make money from selling access, so it should be given away from the start. Independent consultant Kevin Morgan has a different view. He says the whole project lives in the realm of fantasy and secrecy.

These are just a couple of the views expressed at the Senate Select Committee on the NBN’s public hearing in Melbourne earlier this month (7 October). In this half hour summary of the one day talkfest you’ll also hear from:

  • Greg Wyler from 03b Networks says low orbit satellites can provide the backhaul
  • Elizabeth Barnet from Vernet doesn’t want the NBN to be built without considering the high bandwidth needs of the education and research sector
  • Folks from Ballarat ICT Limited tell us what a great place it is to live in — did I miss something?
  • John Dubois & John Weston from Senatas ask for encryption to be built into the network
  • David Ryan and Sharon Tonkin from the Grampians Rural Health alliance talk about the benefits they’re seeing from their own regional fibre network

First published on ZDNet

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