The NBN Just Got A $20 Billion Top-Up From The Government

Funds for the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout had been drying up and NBNCo looked at wooing private investors to help finish the project. Now the Federal Government has revitalised NBNCo’s coffers with a $19.5 billion loan to help complete the NBN rollout. Here are the details.

Back in May, 2016-17 the Federal Budget indicated that an additional $16.5 billion to $26.5 billion was needed to finish the NBN rollout across the country. The Federal Government has now stepped in to provide the money. NBNCo estimates the total cost of the network rollout will be least $49 billion by 2020.

Here’s what Communications Minister Mitch Fifield had to say about the loan:

“To help ensure that [NBN Co] can fully focus on the remaining rollout as it significantly ramps up, the government has decided to provide the remaining funding required to complete that rollout through a government loan to NBN Co Ltd on commercial terms. A government loan on commercial terms represents the most cost effective way to raise the debt and secure funding to complete the rollout of this important national infrastructure project.”

NBNCo recently announced that it will be rolling out ‘fibre-to-the-driveway‘ to a number of areas after its plans for repurposing Optus’ hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) assets fell through. Leaked documents revealed NBNCo had admitted that the Optus HFC network, which the company paid $800 million for in 2011, was not fit for purpose and considered overbuilding it.

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