NBN Co ready to work with any political party

NBN Co will adapt to the broadband plans of a new government regime if the Coalition wins the September elections, NBN Co head of product and sales, John Simon, said at the CommsDay conference today in Sydney.

NBN Co has not developed any contingency plans for a Coalition win because it’s yet to see the Coalition’s plan, he said. The Coalition revealed its NBN policy today.

Simon refused to take sides in the political debate over the right approach to delivering the NBN.

“We don’t make policy,” he said. “The government does. We implement the policy. Whatever the policy will be of the party that wins the election, we will work closely with them.”

Simon said debate should be over the practical outcomes for Australians rather than the broadband technology involved. Those include minimum speed commitments, structural separation and uniform wholesale pricing to prevent a service divide between rural and urban areas, he said.

“We’ll work with whatever government is in place to deliver the right outcomes that they’re directing us to deliver.”

Earlier in his remarks, Simon noted that the political debate around NBN may have misled some Australians on the cost of the NBN.

“We have to improve, working with our [resale service providers], about the misperception in the market about the cost of the NBN,” Simon said.

“Obviously a lot of the political banter that is occurring in the press and newspapers about the cost is translating into people’s perceptions that all this will mean they will pay more for their NBN plans, when in fact they’re paying about the same as they pay today for ADSL service but getting a fast, superior service.”

Earlier at CommsDay, Vodafone Hutchison Australia CEO Bill Morrow said there's no way the private sector could build the NBN on its own.

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