NBN chief: Change of government won’t damage project

National Broadband Network (NBN) chief executive Mike Quigley says infrastructure built for the NBN will not be wasted should the Coalition win government next year and scale the project back.

The Opposition has says it will reduce the government’s involvement in the internet expansion project, if elected.

Quigley told Business Spectator in an interview that the transit network that connects fibre access nodes on the NBN would still be valuable if the coalition changed the project to a fibre to the node network.

“You would still need a transit network, yes, to reach all of the outlying places and with a fibre to the node network you obviously need tens of thousands of active nodes all over the country,” Quigley says.

He says the “fibre to the node” part of the project made up between 10-15% of the NBN.

“All of that infrastructure has to be put in place and that will take about three years,” he says.

Shadow communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull told the CommsDay Summit in Sydney last week that the NBN legislation passed last week made it hard for a future coalition government to sell down the network before it was finished.

The government was “creating a very complex Gordian knot of (Telstra) contracts and legislation that is going to be very hard to unpick,” Turnbull said.

Quigley said if the Coalition was elected NBN’s role would not alter greatly.

“They ask us to do certain things and we give them feedback on the costs and the technical feasibility of that,” he said.

“That would be what we would continue to do.”

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