Local NBN provider worried about policy change
IT WILL be a nail-biting 60 days for NBN providers across the nation, including Wayne Inglis of ANT Communications who has grave fears for what will come of the Federal Government's network review.
The Copmanhurst-based provider said rumours had surfaced that the government would appoint former Telstra CEO Ziggy Switkowski as the leader of the NBN Co board.
"We're concerned that we're going to go back to a couple of large players who have control of the system rather than a transparent one layer where everyone has a footing," Mr Inglis said.
"The other thing that is a real concern is the way the NBN model was put out to providers, like ourselves.
"We were on a direct playing field with the likes of Optus and Telstra and we bought it for the same price.
"So with the Coalition model, they look to hand over a lot of infrastructure to the big players and all the medium providers won't be able to compete."
Mr Inglis's concern follows Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull putting a halt to all proposed NBN installations across the country, not including those already under construction, to conduct a 60-day review of the system.
While Mr Turnbull's office failed to respond to The Daily Examiner by time of print yesterday, he earlier said the review was to determine the cost of the NBN to complete and how long the project would take under the current system.
Grafton's NBN will continue to be constructed as per the original plan, but places where a shovel had not been put to dirt - like Maclean - would be up for deliberation as to which system they will follow - the current fibre to the home plan followed by Labor, or the Coalition's cheaper fibre to the node version.
"There will be places where you will have people on one side of the street with fibre to their home and a really good product, and their neighbour directly across the street will have a crap service," Mr Inglis said.
"But we won't know until the 60 days are up."
Mr Inglis feared politics was smothering what was best for the country.
"Turnbull is going to steamroll on his political agenda rather than the real facts which affects everybody," he said.
A new NBN Co board will be appointed in the coming weeks.