Turnbull asks how the NBN got that way

The Coalition will deepen its probe of the National Broadband Network, with the government announcing the appointment of a former Telstra official to investigate the public policy process behind Labor’s NBN.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the appointment of Bill Scales to perform the audit. Scales was previously in charge of regulatory matters at Telstra as group managing director for regulatory and corporate affairs.

Scales also served as chairman of the Industry Commission and secretary of Victoria’s department of premier and cabinet.

“The independent audit will investigate the advice, decisions and policy processes that led to the National Broadband Network policy and establishment of NBN Co,” Turnbull announced today.

The audit will cover the period from April 2008 when the government sought proposals for the NBN to May 2010 when the implementation study was released. Scales must report back to the government in four months, Turnbull said.

The audit is in addition to a review of NBN Co governance being conducted by KordaMentha and follows a strategic review of the NBN in December that recommended a new multi-technology approach to the national network.

The Coalition has also appointed a separate review panel to do a cost-benefit analysis and regulatory review of the NBN.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of a dystopian novel about surveillance. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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