Conroy assaults broadband alliance

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Conroy assaults broadband alliance

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has dismissed the Alliance for Affordable Broadband as a group of "ten CEOs who represent almost no customers".

The alliance sent an open letter to NBN Co chief Mike Quigley earlier today that critiqued the NBN Co business plan summary and questioned whether the cost of the network could blow out to over $50 billion.

The Government has said today the math was incorrect.

Conroy said he had "not seen" the letter from the alliance because he had "been in the chamber [Senate} for most of the day."

But he gave the alliance members - which included the chiefs of Vocus, BigAir, AAPT, EFTel and PIPE founder Bevan Slattery, among others - a spray.

"Does anyone know how many customers they've got?" Conroy told journalists following an announcement on anti-siphoning laws.

"[AAPT chief] Paul Broad doesn't have any customers - he's wholesale only. He doesn't have any retail customers at all.

"So 10 CEOs who represent almost no customers are one voice in this."

Conroy backed the judgement and analysis of the NBN Co board, whom he described as "not [being] Mickey Mouse figures".

And he said the Government was not interested in the alliance's aims.

"They want me to build a rival wireless network to compete with the 3G networks which we are distinctly not interested in," Conroy said.

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