Lessons from the Australian NBN


In 2009, the Australian Federal Government launched the National Broadband Network (NBN), an ambitious infrastructure project to bring high-speed broadband to the entire country within 10 years. To make this happen, the government established a publicly-owned company, NBN Co, to design, build and operate the network. NBN Co offers an approach that balances the social priorities of the government and the commercial realities of the telecommunications industry.

In this report, Costas Troulos offers an in-depth examination of the Australian NBN, complete with economic pricing modeling and replete with recommendations for governments and private players.

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In 2009, the Australian Federal Government launched the National Broadband Network (NBN), an ambitious infrastructureproject to bring high-speed broadband to the entire country within 10 years. To make this happen, the governmentestablished a publicly-owned company, NBN Co, to design, build and operate the network. NBN Co offers an approach forexpanding access to high-speed broadband that balances the social priorities of the government and the commercialrealities of the telecommunications industry. Nevertheless, its strategy has often been criticized. This report explains thetradeoffs leading to the major business decisions, evaluates the commercial choices of NBN Co and critically reviews theimpact of the NBN Co operation on the Australian telecommunications market. (15 pages)