Cost of canning the NBN at least $2.3 billion

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Cost of canning the NBN at least $2.3 billion

Half a billion dollar rise within months.

Taxpayers face an estimated $2.3 billion bill should the National Broadband Network be terminated, a half billion dollar increase on figures from May, according to the Department of Broadband's annual report.

The report (pdf), released quietly over the weekend, shows the rise in Federal Government liability under the equity funding agreement with NBN Co.

"As at 30 June 2012, NBN Co's termination liabilities were estimated at $2.3 billion," the report stated.

The Federal Government previously noted in 2012-13 Budget risk statements that taxpayers would be liable for at least $1.8 billion should a future Coalition Government cull the NBN.

Part of the increased estimate covers the inclusion of "amounts specified in relation to the Telstra Financial Guarantee".

The guarantee underpins NBN Co's financial obligations to Telstra for the gradual migration of the latter's customers onto the NBN.

"As at 30 June 2012, NBN Co has generated liabilities covered by the Guarantee estimated at $210 million," the report noted.

Spends on IT security

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy's (DBCDE) annual report also reveals considerable spending on IT projects.

"These included implementation of single sign-on for the Department’s corporate systems, deployment of Web 2.0 tools to support online engagement, development and internal hosting of 20 websites, development of an Identity Management System and a suite of standard templates," the report stated.

The department is also piloting a new version of an information management system that is designed to aid the migration from paper to electronic record-keeping. 

It also put its business continuity plans to the test in March and April, engaging PricewaterhouseCoopers to provide an independent report on its readiness.

Though the report noted recommendations were being implemented, it did not go into detail.

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