Turnbull says fibre to the premises makes sense, sometimes

Discussing the coalition’s broadband plans confirms to me that there isn’t a huge divide between alternate plans for the National Broadband Network. Except the cost, of course.

In this week’s CrossTalk podcast you’ll hear Malcolm Turnbull, shadow communications minister, say that he supports fibre to the premises, so long as it’s affordable. That affordability could vary from area to area.

“Bingo!” he cried, when I suggested the best approach is whatever makes sense in the local geography.

That means he’s not wedded to a fibre to the node deployment, at least not universally. He believes the solution should not be prescribed by the government of the day, rather it should be left to the network builders to determine.

I wonder whether, if he had his time again, Senator Conroy would have reached the same conclusion.

In this half hour interview with Malcolm Turnbull we also discuss the basis for his cost benefit analysis. Shouldn’t it reflect the economic benefits, for example, rather than just the financial return on investment? And how can he ensure national pricing parity if competitors can undercut NBNCo in contestable areas?

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