NBN is financially viable: Optus

Optus, owner of the second largest mobile network in Australia, has claimed that the $43-billion National Broadband Network (NBN) is financially viable.

Maha Krishnapillai, director of government & corporate affairs, said in an interview that wireless solutions are not the answer to country’s slow broadband speeds either; but NBN is the right solution for the sector in the longer term.

Commenting on the topic, Mr. Krishnapillai said, “We've been through years of modelling and work on this with the government and we know that the NBN, as it is characterised now, is commercially viable.”

Mr. Krishnapillai turned down reports that Optus is poised to sign on the NBN. He said that they are pursuing discussions with NBN Co on an entire raft of issues, but report that the telco is poised to sign on the network are premature.

Some analysts are claiming that the deal between Optus and NBN Co is crucial to the success of the NBN as it will do away with a competing network which already offers broadband speeds of 100 megabits per second.

On the other hand, the deal is significant to Optus as it could well face declining customer numbers on an old network with lower capabilities to the NBN and one that is becoming more and more costly to maintain.

Mr. Krishnapillai stressed that they will keep on promoting company’s 100 megabit HFC cable network in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but in the longer term only the NBN can solve the purpose.

Expressing his views on the NBN, Malcolm Turnbull said the Coalition will take a tough approach to the network if elected and will not rip out cable that had already been installed.