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NBN Co management must listen to Productivity Commission and immediately review abysmal broadband take-up

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Luke Hartsuyker MP

Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Shadow Minister for Youth and Sport Federal Member for Cowper

Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Canberra: 62 77 4447

June 17, 2011

NBN Co management must listen to Productivity Commission and immediately review abysmal broadband take-up

NBN Co must heed the advice of the Productivity Commission and conduct a review of the roll-out of the National Broadband Network, Shadow Minister for Regional Communication, Luke Hartsuyker, said today.

Mr Hartsuyker’s comments follow today’s appearance by the Productivity Commission’s Deputy Chairman Michael Woods before the Joint Parliamentary Committee of the National Broadband Network.

“The Productivity Commission has today given evidence that an unsuccessful test marketing period should require a management response,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“Under questioning, Deputy Chairman Woods told the Committee that a highly unsuccessful test marketing period would normally be the subject of management action.

“Responsible company management should always question and change their strategy and the product roll-out if the test marketing period shows poor demand for the product,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The management of NBN CO are failing to follow this basic management principle. The range of test markets for the NBN are all pointing to the same thing: This project will not produce a take-up rate high enough to deliver an adequate return and taxpayers will be stuck with a $50 billion-dollar white elephant.

“The warning signs are all there. NBN Co has stated that they have just 719 customers across the county. In Armidale, more people travelled to launch on the Prime Minister’s VIP jet than were signed up as customers to the NBN.

“In response to a question to Mr Quigley the Joint Committee was advised last month that the roll- out of the NBN was on target, with the exception of the Telstra negotiations..

“According to page 19 of NBN Co’s Corporate Plan, that means NBN Co will have passed 13,000 brownfield premises by June 30.

“This amounts to a take-up rate of 5.5 per cent. The market testing shows that demand for the NBN simply isn’t there and the project will end up wasting billions of taxpayer dollars.

“Just as he forgot about Costa Rica whilst at Alcatel, NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley seems to have forgotten to respond to the abysmal take-up rate of the NBN.”