Senate debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018


Broadband; Order for the Production of Documents

4:52 pm

Photo of Deborah O'NeillDeborah O'Neill (NSW, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Innovation) Share this | Hansard source

I ask that general business notice of motion No. 995, which relates to NBN Co, be taken as a formal motion.

Leave granted.

I move:

That the Senate:

(a) notes that:

  (i) on 15 August 2018, NBNCo conceded before a hearing of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network (the Committee), that it had made a decision to charge regional Australians $20 more per month than what a user who lives in the city would have to pay for access to the same 50 Mbps broadband speed,

  (ii) according to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission data, this price increase would impact 9 in 10 regional Australians on the fixed-wireless network if they sought to order a 50 Mbps service over the NBN,

  (iii) on 16 August 2018, at 10 am, NBNCo retrospectively modified an online record of its statement to the Committee, that had been posted to the NBN website, to include a new passage, which did not previously exist, and was not spoken by NBN executives at the committee hearing,

  (iv) on 16 August 2018, at 11 am, the Minister for Communications claimed the regional price increases were still under consultation and had not been decided, and

  (v) on 17 August 2018, media reports sighting NBN documents reported NBNCo had presented the price increase to industry stakeholders as a done deal;

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

  (i) stop unfairly pushing up broadband prices on households, and

  (ii) improve the unacceptable lack of transparency in relation to NBNCo decision-making;

(c) requires the Minister for Communications to table, by 2 pm on 23 August 2018:

  (i) a statement concerning the alteration of the NBNCo opening statement on the NBN website, including why NBNCo altered its statement on its website but has not notified the Committee of a change to its evidence, and

  (ii) a copy of the presentation and materials given by NBNCo to the telecommunications industry on the afternoon of 15 August 2018, in relation to charging $65 per month for a 50 Mbps fixed-wireless plan; and

(d) requires NBNCo to either formally correct the evidence that was given to the Committee, or ensure its website accurately reflects the evidence that was given to the Committee.

Question agreed to.


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