NBN to survive but not intact: Budde

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NBN to survive but not intact: Budde

Analyst urges Coalition to re-state its broadband policy.

The National Broadband Network appeared likely to survive a fierce debate over its immediate future but would not escape unscathed, said telecommunications analyst Paul Budde.

In a research note, Budde wrote he was "fairly confident that Australia would get its NBN, albeit with some alterations".

He based that confidence on "noises" from the Coalition about its willingness to change its $6 billion broadband policy.

Budde wrote that alterations to the network might include a "longer rollout period" for fibre-to-the-home and unspecified "rearrangements" of the draft heads of agreement between network architect NBN Co and Telstra.

Changes might also include some concessions to the Coalition strategy, such as use of the hybrid-fibre coaxial and DSL networks "a while longer" and more use of wireless "as an interim solution" until the home-fibred aspect of the network was ready.

Budde urged the Coalition to "make a statement that broadband is an important national infrastructure ... not just a Labor issue".

And he the Coalition should make a positive statement that "long-term, the future of broadband infrastructure is [fibre to the home]".

He wrote these were important steps to convince private sector investors to inject funds into the network.

"Private investors will not be persuaded by more of the same telecoms policies that the Coalition used between 1996 and 2007," Budde wrote.

"Who would want to invest in traditional telecoms, where the revenues are dropping?

"The Coalition will have to come up with a more attractive set of policies to tempt private investors."

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