NBN technician splicing fibre in a van

NBN Co willingly provides ‘inaccurate’ info to RSPs and Minister

NBN Co has gone to the extraordinary length to claim that documents provided to Retail Service Providers, a weekly briefing document to Shareholder Ministers as well as the current NBN Co rollout map displayed on the NBN Co website as being “inaccurate information”.

In a recent answer to Question on Notice for the Additional Estimates Hearing in February 2014, NBN Co revealed that because of the “inaccurate” nature of the data, they can not provide numerous documents to the Senate including the “Weekly Program Summary Report” which is produced weekly to Shareholder Ministers (Malcolm Turnbull and Mathias Cormann) as well as other documents provided to Retail Service Providers including the Monthly Ready for Service Report and a computer-readable format of the network rollout boundaries — identical to those provided on the NBN Co rollout map.

The specific question, put on notice by Senator Urquhart, asked for the release of several documents in parts a-f — most of which were made readily available on the NBN Co public website prior to the change in Government. Rather than providing the documents as requested, NBN Co simply responded that the data was in fact “inaccurate”:

[…] NBN Co is currently not posting some information to the website until such time as the company has increased confidence in some forecasts. Based on past experience, providing inaccurate information—such as continually slipping RFS dates— is frustrating to all stakeholders (including citizens).

However, Ziggy Switkowski directly contradicts the notion that the data was inaccurate at the actual hearing:

Everything that we have done upon the change of government, board and management has been in the direction of, firstly, ensuring that the information and the data we have is accurate and meaningful […]

While NBN Co is more than happy to describe this data as being accurate and meaningful to the Minister and Retail Service Providers, when asked to actually provide them to the Senate, NBN Co claims that they simply provide “inaccurate information”.

It appears that either: they have failed to inform neither the Ministers nor Retail Service Providers that in fact the data provided to them may be highly inaccurate or they have in fact lied to the Senate. This would not have been the first time when NBN Co had failed to provide meaningful data to the Senate, even though it would have been as simple as copying and pasting.

Furthermore, contrary to NBN Co’s claims, recent analysis of Ready for Service dates provided by Telstra Wholesale show that in fact, these dates are increasingly accurate.

Kenneth Tsang

I'm the author of jxeeno™ blog and co-founder of HSCninja.com. I'm a bit of an #NBN and public transport geek. You can normally find me juggling work and my studies at UNSW where I'm currently completing a degree in Geospatial Engineering.