Abbott consciously lying on NBN costs

In a statement last week, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said Abbott's claim that consumers would pay three times more for broadband under the NBN was "just wrong". "Prices for NBN plans released to date are cheaper than, or equivalent to, existing ADSL plans, but with much improved quality of service," Conroy added. "For example, Skymesh is offering NBN services from $29.95 per month. Exetel's entry-level plan costs $35.00 per month. A number of other retail providers, including Optus, offer NBN services starting from $39.95 and $49.95 per month. Thanks to the NBN, competition between retail providers is increasing.""Tony Abbott should check his facts before delivering a national address in the Australian Parliament."Another aspect of Abbott's speech may also be incorrect; his statement that the funds being ploughed into rolling out the NBN could be invested instead in building transport infrastructure such as roads, whilst still leaving "$10 billion" to invest in broadband as well.Abbott made this same claim in February. However, at the time, analysis showed that the NBN is not an expense in terms of the Federal Government's annual budget, and cutting the project would not free up money to be spent in other areas. This is because the project is an investment expected to make a return for the government -- a long-term profit. That return is currently projected to be between $1.93 billion to $3.92 billion.