NATIONAL Broadband Network chief executive Mike Quigley has dismissed the NSW government’s claim the technology’s rollout could lead to increased electricity bills.
The state and federal governments are at loggerheads over the cost of access to NSW’s power poles, which is necessary to lay NBN fibre cables in areas where they can’t go underground.
But the NSW government insists it will be left $400 million out of pocket under the deal that’s currently on the table.
Acting NSW Premier Andrew Stoner said that amount would be passed on to electricity consumers unless a better offer was forthcoming.
“I call on Julia Gillard to listen to the residents of Sydney who are suffering as a result of the high cost of electricity, which is due to a number of state but also federal policies of the past,” he told reporters.
But Mr Quigley dismissed the claim and accused the state government of overcharging for access.
“Putting fibre cables on power poles in NSW brings in more money for the state, not less,” he said in a statement.
“Where we have an issue is that whereas we’ve negotiated fair and reasonable terms with other utilities in other states, the NSW government wants to charge us far in excess of anybody else.
“That’s unfair to taxpayers.”
Federal Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy said the NSW government was misleading residents and making “absurd and ridiculous” claims.