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The Turnbull Broadband Network

On this week’s Twisted Wire Malcolm Turnbull expands on his plans for broadband development under a coalition government.

Talking to Malcolm Turnbull for Twisted Wire this week, I was struck with how the two sides of government are moving closer to the same approach. There’s still a way to go, but the shadow communications minister has a far more reasoned plan than some of his predecessors.

Both sides now see the need for the separation of Telstra. Nick Minchin, when he was shadow communications minister, was vehemently opposed to the idea.

Both sides agree that fibre is part of the future. The arguments that it is faster than anyone could possibly need, seem to be diminishing. Instead, Malcolm Turnbull used his National Press Club address to talk about what a great approach New Zealand is taking to roll out fibre to the premises. (We looked at fibre over the ditch last September on Twisted Wire.) In this week’s Twisted Wire he talks about how a more competitive approach is needed.

He argues that government monopolies tend to be inefficient and it is dangerous to deliberately set about reducing competition.

After the conversation, I question whether the real difference between Labor and the Coalition rests on the question of cross subsidisation. If Labor got rid of that approach could it allow free and open competition against NBN Co and make both sides of politics happy? At the very least they’d have less to argue about.

First published on ZDNet

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