Plan floated to buy Tasmanian portion of the NBN

Launtel chief Damien Ivereigh. Picture: Scott Gelston
Launtel chief Damien Ivereigh. Picture: Scott Gelston

Launtel chief Damien Ivereigh has been labelled a “real visionary” for his push to get a conversation started about buying the NBN in Tasmania.

Former premier and IT expert David Bartlett said sometimes it takes radical ideas from left field to create real change.

“Damien’s idea for Tasmania to go it alone and complete the original vision of fibre to the premises everywhere is great,” he said.

“The opportunity still exists. Just as hydro power fueled the last 100 years in growth in Tasmania, this idea could fuel the next 100 years.”

Mr Ivereigh clarified that he never intended to ask the state government to put money towards the proposal but to be bridge in negotiations with the federal government.

“The NBN itself, particularly when it is upgrade to full fibre, is a very commercial viable product, it is a very good infrastructure project that will earn a return for investors,” he said.

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TASICT chief executive William Kestin said it was unlikely that the NBN would be for sale until “well after” its completion.

“There has been some very offhand comments about the NBN being for sale many years in the future but it’s not something I could see in the foreseeable future,” he said.

“If a state or private entities had the responsibility there would need to be a strategic plan to continue the upgrades.”  

IT Minister Michael Ferguson said the state government had no interest owning or running a communications infrastructure company.

“The NBN is correctly owned and operated by the federal government, what we’re focused on is providing the best internet service for Tasmanians,” he said,

“It is now up to the people and organisations of Launceston to take advantage of these benefits.”