NBN may be running late, but it will be built right: Conroy

Stephen Conroy has admitted the NBN has taken longer than he expected but said it will be built, no matter what legal obstacles lie in the way.

Senator Stephen Conroy

Senator Stephen Conroy

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has admitted that the National Broadband Network has taken much longer than the government expected, but says the outcome will be worth it.

Speaking on the ABC Inside Business program on Sunday, Conroy said the government’s ambition, when it announced the NBN during last year’s election campaign, was to have the commencement of construction by the end of this year.

“What we found upon coming to government was that when we talked to the potential bidders they said look, we need all of this information if we want to make a fair dinkum bid. So we needed to pass some legislation through Parliament requiring all telcos to give us this information. Now that took longer than I would have hoped and I'm certainly sure than the bidders would have hope.”

He said the delay will ensure the government makes sure it gets the build right.

“There was no point doing what the previous Government did without any information inviting tenders. There was no network information available to people under the former government's proposals to build a high speed network in the five major cities, but what we said was we are going to get this right.”

But the minister did not state when he thought the network will be up and running.

Submissions for the NBN closed last week. They are now in the hands of the expert panel which will make a recommendation to the government towards the end of January. Depending on what the recommendation is from the expert panel, Conroy said he hoped to be signing a contract some time towards the end of March.

“We would then want to start the build obviously as fast as we can.”

Conroy admitted that the spectre of legal action hangs over the entire process but said that was “par” for this sector.

“So at every stage the first threat that anybody makes in this sector is hey, we're taking you to court. The Government is not going to be swayed by any of this behaviour. We have set down a process, we're going to complete the process and then we'll make a decision and ultimately what we're going to do is put the national interest ahead of any individual company’s company interest.”

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NBN

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Howard Dahdah

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?