NBN to cost 24 times South Korea's faster network, says research body
The Labor party's NBN is like some sort of vampire that nothing can kill
THE National Broadband Network will cost taxpayers 24 times as much as South Korea's but deliver just one tenth the speed, according to one of the world's most respected economic research organisations.
A paper released by the Economist Intelligence Unit today criticises Labor's broadband network on a range of fronts. The report assesses the plans of 40 countries to enable high speed broadband development, assessing the target speeds, rollout time frame, cost and regulatory provisions to deliver a final ranking.
The research body marks Australia down in its government broadband index because of "the huge cost to the public sector" of the NBN. It also loses points due to limited private-sector involvement, high government intervention and the exclusion of state and municipal authorities from the plan.
The report highlights the disparity between the cost of the network - estimated at 7.6 per cent of annual government revenue - and the cost of the South Korean network, which is estimated at less than one per cent.
The report does score the NBN highly for having a target speed of 100 megabits per second, but it says Sweden, Finland, Estonia and France have all set similar targets with much lower costs.
Opposition Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull seized on the study's findings.
"Now the Economist Intelligence Unit joins the long list of expert observers, both international and local, who are utterly dismayed by the reckless spending of the Gillard Government on the NBN," Mr Turnbull said. "The study confirms, yet again, that this NBN project should be the subject of a rigorous cost-benefit analysis by the Productivity Commission."
Australia scores 3.4 out of five on the index, trailing South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, France, Spain and Denmark, but it ranks the NBN ahead of broadband plans in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.