"I'm gobsmacked - in a good way!" he said. "If they do what they promise, they've actually got it right and Australia might just turn into a broadband front-runner country 10 years from now."
"This is exactly the outcome I've argued for, for ages - most recently at a national telecommunications conference in December 2008 (see http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/videos/atnac08/)".
"So while I'm naturally pleased that the Government has decided to opt for the right technical solution - a Fibre to the Home network on a wholesale-only basis, independent of Telstra - I'm astonished they've been brave enough to do it. In these challenging economic times, such nation-building investment is exactly the right response to the telecommunications challenges Australia faces for the next decade."
"If they take industry advice and build the new network 'outside in' - fixing blackspots first and installing where ADSL2+ is present, later - then everyone wins, because people with no broadband get it, while people who already have broadband can use the ADSL2+ competitive landscape in the meantime."
"This allows companies that have invested in that landscape to recover their investment before the new network renders it obsolete. But even then, like dialup access, that old access technology may stay around for years - and no one loses."
"It is a great relief that the Government has abandoned the Fibre to the Node (FTTN) delivery model which would have cost it $4.7 billion without cutting the mustard. Rather than squander its cash on FTTN or do nothing, it has the guts to build a Fibre to the Home network that will cost more than $40 billion."
This morning, the Federal Government announced it had abandoned its National Broadband Network tender in favour of leading an eight-year, $43 billion project to build a much more ambitious network that will deliver fibre-based broadband connectivity to the majority of premises throughout the country.
Mr. Hackett said although the project could take as long as 10 years to build, it would deliver a "future-proof" broadband service that could operate for decades. "Just as copper served Australia well during the 20th century, fibre will provide the country's nervous system for the 21st century," he said.
"The project announced today is good news for Australian consumers. Firstly, Telstra has no grounds to stop or delay it as the wholesale network is completely separate to Telstra's existing copper network."
"Leaving the copper network in place will maintain the current ADSL2+ competitive broadband environment, so that Internode and its rivals have many more years of useful ADSL2+ network building ahead. As the new network emerges, we'll have access to it on an equal footing with everyone else. Bypassing the copper network also avoids the need for regulatory changes - this means the existing access regime can continue unchanged while the new network is put in place, in parallel."
"Progressively replacing the copper network over a long period will allow the industry to recover its copper-based broadband investments in a smooth manner. Existing customer services will remain in place in parallel, providing competitive pricing tension, rather than cutting off ADSL2+ abruptly."
"Telstra can't complain because it has ignored the chance to be a nation builder by building its own FTTH network. Instead the Government will build a new, wholesale-only, end-to-end fibre network that every carrier, including Telstra, has equal access to. Significantly, although the Government will be the majority owner, it intends to privatise the network five years after building it, which I think is exactly the right idea."