NBN's Quigley slams wireless broadband plan

Dylan Bushell-Embling
19 Aug 2010

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley has weighed in on Australia's broadband debate days before the national election, slamming the opposition party's wireless broadband scheme.

Quigley said the government’s NBN project was “a much better option” than the opposition's plan of “giving billions of dollars of taxpayer funding to subsidize commercial companies to marginally improve today's broadband networks.”

Speaking at the 2010 Charles Todd Memorial Oration, which commemorates the arrival of the telegraph to Australia, Quigley said the opposition's policy was flawed because “wireless can't, on its own, serve all our long term broadband needs.”

Quigley, who was appointed head of the state-owned NBN Co. by the current government, said some of the biggest operators in the world - including Verizon, AT&T and DT - were investing in fiber access despite extensive mobile networks.

Two of Australia's three major historical telecom projects, including the copper network now owned by Telstra and the telegraph system rollout 140 years ago were successful because they were handled by the public sector, he added.

The third - HFC rollouts by Telstra and Optus – were inefficiently handled and involved much duplication, because they were led by the private sector.

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