Nationalized broadband

A damning report on Australia’s National Broadband Network was published yesterday, citing outrageous costs per subscriber.

In his article “Australia’s failed experiment in government-owned broadband” on, Jeffrey Eisenach says that Australia has made fibre available to only about 260,000 premises despite having spent AU$7.3 billion. Of those, only 78,000 subscribers have actually signed up, resulting in costs of $93,000 per subscriber.

Less than a quarter (23%) of the subscribers are signing up for fibre optic type speeds of 100Mbps/40Mbps. The rest are taking more conventional 25Mbps/5Mbps (or slower) services.

The article is an important read for those calling for government intervention into Canadian broadband markets. Recall last summer, a major union was leading a call for the government to create a crown corporation to offer communications services.

As I wrote last August, as much as Canadians love to kvetch about our communications companies, do we really want a government agency to take their place?

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