Malcolm Turnbull has revealed speeds the Coalition’s National Broadband Network (NBN) could achieve, with speeds of 25Mbps to 80Mbps expected on its version of the NBN, based on the broadband experience in the UK.
Turnbull, the shadow minister for broadband, told 7:30 last night the Coalition would use a mix of technologies, such as fibre-to-the-premises for new developments and what Turnbull is calling fibre-to-the-cabinet, a term used in the UK to describe fibre-to-the-node.
Turnbull said most people will achieve speeds of 50Mbps, while those farthest away from the node will experience speeds of 25Mbps and a third of people will achieve speeds of 80Mbps, based on the experience in the UK.
“I'll be very conservative and I would say three quarters [of people] would be either between 50 megs and 80 megs and … those people at the edge may be in the 25-megabits-per-second area,” he said.
Turnbull was reluctant to put a definite price against his proposal, but stated using copper for the last mile to homes 1000m or less from the node could save three quarters of the cost of the NBN.
“The cost differential between fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-node, on the one hand, and fibre-to-the-premises, which is what the government is doing … [has] a ratio of about four to one,” he said.
However, when asked whether this would mean the policy would be $10 to $12 billion, Turnbull reiterated previous comments that the Coalition was unable to cost a figure for its plan unless NBN Co was transparent about contracts.
Turnbull also labelled the current NBN a failure, stating new housing estates do not have infrastructure in place to be NBN-ready, with homes in new estates still without an NBN connection eight months later.
“So the project is failing…” he said.
“The problem is it is costing far too much and it's taking far too long. So my challenge is to find a way of recalibrating it so that you achieve the objective of giving people broadband that's fast enough to do everything they want to do, now and foreseeably, and will cost a lot less and be much faster to deploy.
“And so that's why we're saying [is], ‘Don't be hung up on one technology. Use fibre-to-the-premises where it makes sense, in new estates [and] in geographies where it's cost effective. But don't be hung up on that as the only way to go. And if you can get very high speeds with fibre-to-the-cabinet then – as indeed you can and telcos around the world are doing that – then why not do that?’”
Turnbull yesterday launched a broadband survey to determine where the worst performing areas are in Australia for the Coalition to determine which areas need to be prioritised for the NBN roll out.
Communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy, lambasted Turnbull for launching a broadband survey without providing a firm NBN policy.
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