In October Malcolm Turnbull announced the appointment of former Tesltra boss Ziggy Switkowski as NBN Co to lead a three-person board overseeing the national broadband network.
In his inaugural appearance at a senate estimates hearing, Switkowski said Telstra’s copper network is ‘robust’ and has been well-maintained for decades. Concerns expressed about the network not being up to being the basis for a FttN NBN, he added, were “misinformed”. He stressed that:
The copper network has been in place for a long time. It’s constantly being maintained, remediated, upgraded.
Readers here will be all to well aware of the criticism of the government’s plan to provide the NBN through Telstra’s copper network; an antiquated alternative to Rudd’s NBN, the future of which is now in doubt.
But it’s remarkable to hear Switkowski’s glowing praise of the copper network when compared to what Telstra had to say about it in 2003 while he was chief of the telco:
Telstra will replace its century-old copper wire phone network with new technology within the next 15 years, saying the ageing lines are now at “five minutes to midnight”.
Telstra executives revealed the problem at a Senate inquiry into broadband services on Wednesday.
I guess it’s easy to change your mind when the government pays you lots of money to do so.
(Thanks to Kaye Lee and Bacchus for this post).