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NBN less competitive than Chinese broadband market: Turnbull

Calls government spending "lavish" based on latest Economic Intelligence Unit report

Opposition communications spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull has again slammed the National Broadband Network (NBN) as overpriced with too much government intervention, saying that China has a more competitive broadband market than Australia thanks to the project.

Citing new results from the Economic Intelligence Unit's Government Broadband Report Q3 2011 report, Turnbull said that the NBN is "lunacy" because "no other country around the world is intervening in the private market to the extent to which the Gillard government has".

"Whereas Stephen Conroy is investing only in FTTH [fibre to the home], the rest of the world will invest in competition, affordability and in innovation."

Turnbull said the NBN must be means tested by an independent body before any further development takes place.

"Labor is entitled to argue that it knows better than the rest of the world," he said.

"But it should at least do the responsible thing and have its assumptions tested by an independent body such as the Productivity Commission."

Citing the EIU report, Turnbull said that the Labor investment of 249 per cent of annual fixed line revenues on the NBN project was "lavish".

"[This is] more than two and a half times more than the next most lavish spender, Greece," Turnbull wrote.

"In the current circumstances, being two and a half times as extravagant as Greece speaks volumes for the recklessness of the Gillard Government."

Last month Turnbull said the NBN will fail to encourage greater competition in the telecommunications sector.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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