Progress report

Business case for the NBN and the experiences of small businesses

31 March 2021

View the report as a single document - (PDF 263KB)

On 22 July 2019 the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network (NBN) was established to inquire and report on the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN). Pursuant to the committee’s resolution of establishment, particularly paragraphs 2(a), (b), (d), (e), and (f), the committee agreed to inquire into the business case for the NBN and the experiences of small businesses, particularly in relation to:

  1. the economics of the NBN, including key operational and financial performance forecasts in the Corporate Plan 2020-23;
  2. current pricing structures, including wholesale pricing, affordability and take-up, particularly as they relate to low-income and rural and regional customers;
  3. network coverage issues; including reporting of outages planned and unplanned
  4. the delivery of the business segment strategy, including to enterprise and government customers, and small to medium businesses;
  5. the experiences of small and medium business in relation to the utilisation, accessibility, customer service and affordability of the NBN;
  6. compliance with the NBN Statement of Expectations and adequacy of that Statement; and
  7. any other related matters

Submissions on these issues were sought by 17 January 2020. In recognition of the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee resolved to call for further submissions on the following matters:

  • The broadband experiences of NBN consumers, including individuals, community groups and small to medium businesses, throughout COVID-19;
  • Network performance, changing traffic volumes, usage patterns and other issues due to COVID-19; and
  • NBN Co’s response to COVID-19, including measures to help internet service providers support affected customers

Submissions on these issues were sought by 15 September 2020.

The committee received 34 submissions and 13 supplementary submissions in relation to these issues. The Committee also held 11 public hearings in Canberra on the following dates:

  • 28 February 2020
  • 26 June 2020
  • 31 July 2020
  • 14 August 2020
  • 21 August 2020
  • 28 August 2020
  • 11 September 2020
  • 18 September 2020
  • 9 October 2020
  • 4 November 2020
  • 4 December 2020

The committee's establishment resolution requires it to report annually to each House of the Parliament. To ensure issues related to the COVID-10 pandemic could be considered, the committee agreed to seek an extension to its reporting timeframe. On 26 March 2020, the committee sought an extension to its reporting date from 22 July 2020 to 22 January 2021. On 20 October 2020, a further extension was agreed to 31 March 2021.

While the committee intended to table its report by 31 March 2021, the recent, catastrophic flooding in many areas of New South Wales has impacted upon committee members ability to meet and finalise the report. As such, the committee now requires further time to deliberate on the report. The committee intends to table its report by 30 June 2021 and provides this progress report in the interim.

Yours sincerely


Mr Tony Pasin MP