Albanese Government sets new Statement of Expectations for NBN Co
The Albanese Government has taken another major step towards delivering on its commitment of a better NBN for Australians, by releasing its new Statement of Expectations for NBN Co.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) forms a key part of Australia’s economic and social fabric by expanding opportunity, supporting businesses, and facilitating services to millions of Australians.
The Statement will guide NBN Co’s strategic direction following the Government’s decision to keep the company in public hands for the foreseeable future. It will ensure the company remains focused on keeping internet costs for families affordable while delivering upgrades and improvements to the network.
This Statement also contains the strongest focus on regional, rural and remote Australia to date. Consistent with Labor’s election commitments, the targets outlined in the Statement will ensure regional Australia is better connected than ever under an Albanese Government.
Furthermore, the Statement has a strong focus on supporting efforts to improve digital inclusion, especially by working in partnership with First Nations communities to enhance connectivity, equity and quality of life.
The Statement also emphasises that NBN Co must make network security and resilience integral to its operations, be proactive in preparing for and responding to climate change and natural disasters, and support the Government’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.
Finally, the Government has conveyed its expectation that NBN Co will continue working constructively with the ACCC to vary its Special Access Undertaking. This will support the long-term interests of consumers and promote greater regulatory certainty for industry.
The announcement of the Statement follows the Government’s October 2022–23 Budget which delivered on its commitment to invest $2.4 billion over four years to expand full-fibre NBN access to an additional 1.5 million premises by late 2025 including at least 660,000 premises in regional Australia. This is in addition to the $480 million provided to NBN Co to upgrade and extend its Fixed Wireless Network.
To read the full Statement, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au/nbn-soe
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“All Australians need and deserve access to high-speed, reliable, and affordable internet. It’s vital for the way we live, work and play in the digital age.
“This Statement sets out the Government’s expectation that NBN Co will deliver a world-class service to families, communities and businesses, making for a more connected and prosperous Australia.
“The Statement has a strong focus on NBN Co’s role in ensuring that regional and remote Australia including First Nations are better connected than ever, as these are priorities for the Albanese Government.
“I’m confident the Albanese Government and NBN Co can continue to work together to achieve these outcomes.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher:
“This Statement makes it clear the Australian Government expects NBN Co to be highly efficient to support affordability for consumers, and also promote competition and innovation.
“Following recent cyber-attacks on Australian citizens, and with bushfire and storm season well underway, it also highlights the importance of focusing on the security and resilience of our network.
“The Government has already welcomed NBN Co’s lodgement of a revised Special Access Undertaking with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, with public consultation to commence soon.
“I look forward to seeing Australians benefit from the strong expectations we have laid out.”