The Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network has recommended to the Federal Government that debate on the high-speed network "not proceed" until after its implementation study was completed.
The 178-page report proposed ways the Government could implement the national network.
The committee requested more time "to examine the findings of the National Broadband Network implementation study, the Government's response to the implementation study and any subsequent implications of that report for the National Broadband Network policy."
Committee chairman Liberal senator Mary Jo Fisher put forward a motion today to examine the findings of the NBN implementation study due to be completed early next year.
Fisher won the support of the Senate, with 36 senators for and 34 against the motion.
There were 11 other recommendations in this, the third report, which was to be the final report before the motion was passed to extend its reporting capability on the NBN implemenatation study.
The report recommended:
- The Government's implementation plan state its intention to prioritise the needs of "underserviced communities".
- The Government release a "detailed business plan" for the Tasmanian build by December 31 that was to include Commonwealth funding details and price details for consumers and the percentage of aerial versus underground fibre connections to premises.
- The Government "expediently" bring forward legislation to provide the governance and funding framework for NBN Co.
- The government conduct a "rigorous" cost-benefit analysis of its NBN proposal before the NBN Co bought assets for deployment.
- The Government provide an interim implementation study report by December 31.
- The Government "immediately" undertake a skills audit for the NBN, detailing the training courses required, the timeframes and institutions available to ensure there is a "fully skilled" workforce ready to deploy the NBN.
- A cost-benefit analysis, the interim implementation study report and the final implementation study, are released for "public scrutiny" within 14 days of completion.
- The government ensure the Productivity Commission undertake an annual evaluation of the impact on productivity from broadband uptake with the first report to be tabled in Parliament before the last sitting day next year.
- If the implementation study was to conclude that the NBN project specifications were "unrealistic, not practical or uneconomical" the Government "reassess" its policy.
- The Government provide more opportunities for commercial viability of broadband networks by advocating the development of new applications that will facilitate economic development and improvements in health, education and energy efficiency.
- Further consideration of the bill "not proceed" until after the NBN implementation study was completed, the Government had tabled its response to the implementation study and the Senate "has certainty" about the network structure of the NBN Co and the regulatory framework.