The National Broadband Network (NBN) has received a $19.5 billion loan from the Turnbull government to allow it to complete the rollout. The NBN was unable to raise enough funds on the open market to complete the infrastructure project.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield released a statement acknowledging the loan and expanding on the benefits for the Australian public. The Ministers assured the public that the NBN is a good candidate for such a hefty loan, as the project is on schedule, meeting all rollout targets for the last two years, and is ahead of its revenue forecasts. The Ministers also noted that the strong credit ratings the NBN has received make it a good candidate to repay the loan in 2020-21. The government expects that the loan will be repaid on the open markets by that time, before the privatisation of the business.
NBN Chief Executive Bill Morrow was pleased with the outcome.
“NBN welcomes the decision which is in the best interest of the Australian taxpayer. With security of funding in place, we are focused on the job at hand of building the network and providing fast broadband access and universal connectivity to all Australians by 2020,” he said.
The total contribution of the government to the NBN infrastructure project now totals nearly $50 billion.