Despite technical problems, the federal government is heralding the connection of the national broadband network via pay-TV cables as terrific technology.
NBN Co has announced it will temporarily suspend rollout of the hybrid coaxial-fibre (HFC) network, warning of six to nine-month delays.
‘There’s no problem that’s been identified that can’t be fixed. They will be fixed,’ Communications Minister Mitch Fifield told ABC radio on Tuesday.
But Labor senator Jenny McAllister said it was an ‘arrogant decision’ to shift technologies in the middle of the project.
‘If it was a terrific technology it would be rolled out by now,’ she told reporters in Canberra.
‘If they were using terrific technology their promise to complete the NBN by 2016 would have actually happened, and it hasn’t.’
Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm said blame for the poor rollout lay with Labor for initiating the project, then with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for continuing it.
‘The NBN is a croc, an absolute croc,’ he said.
‘It’s putting lipstick on a pig. The idea that the government can provide us all with high-speed broadband better than the private sector can is just fanciful.’
Greens senator Rachel Siewert said significant improvements were desperately needed.
‘I think a lot of members of this place get complaints about the NBN,’ she said.