Turnbull Still Failing Miserably On NBN

A year ago, I wrote an article criticising the lack of progress on the revised NBN plan, introduced by Malcolm Turnbull after the change in government in 2013.

I labelled it a “dismal” performance – and that’s exactly what it was.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam questioned progress at a Senate hearing on July 11, 2014, which revealed:

“Malcolm Turnbull’s NBN plan is in tatters after revelations in a Senate hearing today that not a single user has been connected to its Fibre to the Node trial, despite announcing the pilot nine months ago.”

In the nine months previous to July last year, not one user had apparently been connected to an MTM-based NBN service – not one.

You would hope that after an entire year that things might be moving along a little better, but how have things been going in the 12 months since last July?

“After nearly two years the revised agreements with Telstra has only just commenced, and the Optus agreement hasn’t. The rollout of FTTN and HFC is still in the trial phase and of the million premises made “serviceable” by the NBN, only 67 were served by an MTM technology.”

Only 67 in twelve months? After nine months with none?

Where is the media attack on this, after it mercilessly attacked the previous FTTP plan? A plan which was at least making progress, albeit more slowly than expected or hoped.


“Mr Turnbull’s commitment to telling the truth has resulted in the company saying almost nothing. The Strategic Review was heavily redacted, blacking out anything that involved forward commitments. It is now 34 months since NBN Co last issued a full Corporate Plan.”

No corporate plan in 34 months? Under the previous government, these were coming out generally once a year – and sometimes more often than that.

If these details are correct – and they do appear to be – some serious questions need to be asked. He promised a “value for money” NBN solution, and we’re getting nothing of the sort. We are getting redacted documents, and little or no transparency. Certainly, we’re also getting little or no progress.

Malcolm Turnbull is the responsible minister here, and the buck stops with him. Yet in every visible way, he is still failing dismally.