NBN to cost Australians 24 times more than broadband in South Korea

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released a report saying the National Broadband Network (NBN) will cost taxpayers 24 times what South Korea’s comparable broadband network did and it will run at about one tenth of the speed.

The EIU reported: "Overall, the developed South-east Asian countries (Japan, South Korea and Singapore) are at the forefront of the move towards near-ubiquitous high-speed broadband. All three countries have official targets of providing 1Gbps services to more than 90 percent of households within the next two to five years."

The research, released yesterday by EIU who are a research group associated with The Economist, shows Australia is spending 7.6% of annual government budget revenues on the broadband network. In contrast, South Korea is spending less than 1%.

While the report recognised the lack of private sector interest in Australia, the opposition has used the report to demonstrate that the NBN is a waste of public funds.

"In South Korea, by comparison, the government is spending less than 1% of annual budget revenues to realise its broadband goals, achieving targets by encouraging the private sector to invest in the country's broadband future," the Economist Intelligence Unit said in a statement.

The government argued this attack, saying that comparing Australia and South Korea was "like comparing apples to oranges". South Korea is by comparison more densely populated and therefore it is less costly to provide high speed broadband to the area. It is uncertain whether this has been taken into consideration by the EIU.