In his own words: Tony Abbott on the NBN

Tony Abbott, Australia's new prime minister, is a self-confessed non-tech head.

His position on Australia's largest infrastructure project, the National Broadband Network (NBN), has wavered from completely demolishing the network to building a broadband network for much less and faster.

Computerworld Australia has compiled a selection of Abbott's quotable quotes about the NBN.

Report: After the election: What next for the NBN?

“Do we really want to invest $50 billion of hard earned taxpayers money in what is essentially a video entertainment system?”
- Press conference, 20 December, 2010

“[We] are absolutely confident that 25 megs is going to be enough, more than enough, for the average household.”
- Joint press conference, 9 April, 2013

"I've already described it as school halls on steroids, and we can be certain the NBN will be to this term of government what pink batts and school halls were to the last term of government."
- 14 September, 2010

“As far as I’m concerned it is far more important to get the Pacific Highway duplicated than it is to spend $50 billion-plus doing what the private sector could easily do with vastly less money with the National Broadband Network…

“I’ve got to say to the government in all candour that it would be so much easier to do this if they weren’t wasting money on the greatest white elephant this country has ever seen, the National Broadband Network.”
- 9 January, 2012

“Of course I appreciate the importance of these things. But let's not assume that we should put all our eggs in the high fibre basket either.

“I mean all of the people who are making daily use of telecommunications services, increasingly they're using wireless technology.

“All those people who are sending messages from their iPhones and BlackBerries, all those people sitting in airport lounges using their computers, I mean they do not rely on fixed line services.”
- On Insiders, 15 August, 2010

“If you're gonna get me into a technical argument, I'm going to lose it, Kerry, because I'm not a tech head.”
- On 7:30, 10 August, 2010

“The National Broadband Network is a luxury that Australia cannot now afford. The one thing you don’t do is redo your bathroom when your roof has just been blown off.”
- Calling for the NBN to be scrapped to help with flood recovery efforts in Queensland, 18 January, 2011

“Speeds of up to 100 megabits are already potentially available to almost every major business and hospital, to most schools, and through high speed cable already running past nearly a third of Australian households.

“The smart way to improve broadband is not to junk the existing network but to make the most of it. It’s to let a competitive market deliver the speeds that people need at an affordable price with government improving infrastructure in the areas where market competition won’t deliver it.”
- Reply speech to the 2011-2012 federal budget, 12 May, 2011

“I want our NBN rolled out within three years and Malcolm Turnbull is the right person to make this happen.”
- A letter to Australians, 7 September, 2013

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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