Cable chief Mike Fries queries NBN cost

THERE are fresh doubts about the government's ability to attract private investment to its $43 billion national broadband network after the head of the world's second-largest cable-TV operator said the project's costs were "baffling". Mike Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global and chairman of Australian regional pay-TV operator Austar, said the cost of connecting 90 per cent of Australian premises to a fibre-to-the-home network did not make sense when existing infrastructure could be upgraded to deliver the 100Mbps speeds promised by the NBN.
"Now, this is not as an Austar chairman. I mean, just looking at it as a business executive, I find it a bit baffling. But, presumably the political process will work itself out," Mr Fries told the ABC's Lateline Business.
"Baffling for several reasons: $43bn is an inordinate amount of money . . . Just take Foxtel -- 2.5 million homes in the capital cities (and) you could have 100 megabits to every one of those homes for less than $100 million. Read more.