Malcolm Turnbull called for NBN Co board's scalps
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated Huawei's ban from the NBN will be reviewed. Photo: AFR
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will release an interim statement of expectations to NBN Co on Tuesday afternoon, likely to include new instructions for the government-owned enterprise.
NBN Co has been operating under an existing statement of expectations issued by the former government. These instructions called for a fibre-to-the-home network connecting 93 per cent of households.
On Monday Labor said the "trashing" of the national broadband network had begun after Mr Turnbull asked NBN Co board members to resign last week.
A spokesman for Mr Turnbull confirmed late on Monday night the had made the request ahead of the board meeting last Friday.
The spokesman declined to confirm NBN Co chairwoman Siobhan McKenna and all but one of her board colleagues have since offered their resignations. The spokesman said there may be an announcement about new board members soon.
It is understood the matter will be considered at a meeting of the federal cabinet as early as next Tuesday.
"And so the trashing of the national broadband network has begun," Labor communications spokesman Anthony Albanese said on Monday.
The resignations may relate to Mr Turnbull's comment earlier this month that while he had no criticism of individual members "it is remarkable that there is nobody on that board who has either run or built or been responsible for building or managing a large telecommunications network".
"Given that is the core business of NBN Co, that is a singular deficiency", Mr Turnbull said.
Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten said the Abbott government would stack the NBN Co board with its "friends".
The Abbott government has flagged at least three examinations into broadband: an independent audit of NBN Co's books, a review of its commercial progress and a Productivity Commission inquiry into broadband policy.
It wants to cut down the cost and speed up the rollout by changing from a fibre-to-the-premises to a fibre-to-the-node model.
NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley, who also sits on the board, announced his retirement in July but remains in the job during the transition. Former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski has been flagged as a possible replacement for Mr Quigley.
The NBN Co website makes no mention of the resignations, but states: "This website is currently under review, pending the introduction of new government policy."
Liberal frontbencher Mitch Fifield said the government would ensure there was "good and appropriate governance" of the NBN.