The opposition will be in a difficult position over the NBN over the next three years.
It seems a majority of the population believe it is a wonderful thing the government is giving us and Turnbull is unlikely to change anyone’s mind in the short term. So the opposition is going to look and sound very negative. At the next election voters will be told by the government that the coalition wants to snatch their broadband away. If in three years some people have got fibre and the rest are waiting, a threat to stop the rollout will not be popular.
Perhaps by then the early adopters will have seen that they have lost their ADSL connection. Presumably phone and pay TV will also be delivered by the fibre. If they are charged anything like the real cost there should be some grumbling. Even rioting in the streets perhaps. But more likely the NBN company will be told to hold wholesale prices down for some time. That will be popular politically but will make it just about impossible to get private investors. (Of course the government could require super funds to contribute to nation building by investing in NBN but I don’t think they would dare).
So if the coalition wins government in three years time it will inherit the problem. With all the delays, cost overruns and the usual cockups we see with governments executing major projects.
What does the coalition do then? Seal it off ? Sell it (or give it away) as an unfinished project? Finish it then sell?
Not easy. I hope someone is thinking about all this.