Australia’s ranking of 40th in the world for broadband speeds “doesn’t seem right” given the country’s prosperity and needs to change, says NBN Co’s executive general manager of government relations, Jim Carden.
Speaking at Connect 15 in Melbourne, Carden told delegates that 4.6 million Australians currently have access to speeds of 9 megabits per second or less.
Meanwhile, 700,000 Australians have no fixed broadband. The country is currently ranked 40th in the world for broadband speeds by the OECD, he said.
“You have to agree this time in history and our prosperity, that doesn’t seem right. We have an opportunity to capitalise on our prosperity to change that and do it in a way that is sustainable for a lot longer,” said Carden.
He added that NBN Co was on track to connect 8 million premises to the NBN by 2020 and achieve annual revenue of $4 billion.
It also has a stated goal of spending less than $30 billion of taxpayer’s money on the rollout.
According to Carden there are 926,758 serviceable premises and 394,881 premises activated as at April 2015.
This compared with 749,000 serviceable premises and 322,000 premises activated respectively as of 31 December 2014.
In April 2015, NBN Co announced that it was preparing a pilot of 50 Mbps download speeds on its fixed wireless service.
Previously, NBN Co had capped fixed wireless download speeds at 25Mbps.
Hamish Barwick travelled to Connect 15 as a guest of Alcatel-Lucent.
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick