I’d always suspected that Tony Abbott was the Liberal party’s version of Mark Latham and while he’s not exploding as spectacularly as Latham did it seems he’s on a slow burn of idiocy. His latest plan is to abandon the national broadband network should he get into office.
The national broadband network (NBN) is contestable in it’s conception but is now many years down the track toward providing Australian’s with a fast and reliable broadband network. As someone who deals with customers every day struggling to fulfill their vision for running their companies I can tell you that a decent broadband network is sadly needed. More than that, home users are on the verge of an explosion of content as soon as the network is delivered. Video stores Australia-wide will become ghost towns when content like movies can be delivered straight to PC.
who not start again?
Because we’re three years down the track, we’ve done the planning, selected the agents to deliver our product, and, most crucially, negotiated with Telstra for use of their network. (Remember that Telstra aren’t part of the consortium chosen to deliver this network.) This last was a massive hurdle artfully negotiated, Telstra always being the gorilla in the room in any discussion of Australian telecommunications.
Now, as you can see, whether you like the current format of the NBN or not, to scrap it and start again would be lunacy. Also, from a political point of view it means Abbott is taking on the telecommunications industry (and just about every industry by extension, because we all rely on telecommunications), which is some kind of slow ritual political suicide. Just as Julia Gillard knew she couldn’t move into an election with the mining tax hanging over her everyone but Abbott seems to know you can’t fight an election with one of Australia’s biggest industries out for your blood.