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Syntheo not off the hook after playing hooky

Stephanie McDonald | April 22, 2013
The Joint Commitee on the National Broadband Network (NBN) is likely to ask Syntheo to front up to another hearing after the construction company failed to appear before the committee on Friday, said independent MP Rob Oakeshott.

"From time-to-time the company looks at ways of doing things perhaps more cost effectively in line with what we think the government policy is. Then we may put those options before the government," Quigley said.

"We looked at the option of running fibre into that basement, putting [a] small DSLAM into the basement and then using the existing copper. That has certain attractions, obviously because you don't get into separation questions -- structural separation issues -- because normally that copper is owned by the building owner.

"There's no question there's a saving to be had by not [doing] fibre [to] a multi-dwelling unit, but there are some other issues that need to be dealt with, such as how do you ensure you get analogue voice, which is a tricky issue."

Bipartisanship to help fifth committee review

Oakeshott has previously lambasted the Joint Committee on the NBN for becoming more about party politics than about the roll out of the network.

He has accused the committee of being stuck on a "policy dispute" about which technology was the most appropriate for the rollout of the NBN.

Oakeshott said while the committee may not get past "adversarial issues", he is open to the committee discussing different technology options now the Coalition has committed to continuing with the NBN and not demolishing it.

"There's certainly a policy dispute around how to get there and I think this fifth report will end up reflecting on those different policy options. I'm okay with that [because] previously there wasn't a Coalition alternative position.

"That was proving problematic, so almost in a counter intuitive way, the fact that they've released a policy document has allowed all options to now be explored quite openly and that may assist in the production of a fifth report."


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