More FTTC for NBN still a possibility, Morrow says

Company focused on cutting the cost and time of rolling out FTTC, NBN CEO says

NBN CEO Bill Morrow

NBN CEO Bill Morrow

Credit: NBN Co

NBN CEO Bill Morrow says the company is “very well focused” on seeing how it continue to cut the cost of fibre to the curb, leaving open the possibility that the company will pursue a broader rollout of FTTC.

“We have been technology agnostic from the onset here,” Morrow said during a question and answer session following a National Press Club Address. “Our criteria is to get it to every Australian as soon as possible at the least possible cost and make sure it has a minimum performance level both now and with upgrades going into the future.”

FTTC is an “exciting technology” but “it’s still more expensive and it still takes longer to do than the alternative technologies”.

“So we don't want to wait, and we don't want end users to have to wait longer than they already are to be connected to the NBN,” the CEO said.

Earlier this month NBN revealed it had expanded the number of premises it would connect to the National Broadband Network using the technology.

NBN said it would connect an extra 440,000 households and businesses using FTTC, reducing the number of premises it had planned to hook up using fibre to the node (FTTN) and hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC).

Most of the additional premises were within the planned HFC footprint but did not have existing HFC lead-ins.

NBN last week formally launched commercial FTTC services.

As it stands, the company is planning to use it to connect around 1.5 million premises.

NBN in its results for the six months to 31 December revealed that the cost per premises for FTTN was running at $2222, compared to a $2403 CPP for HFC, $2264 for greenfield fibre to the premises (FTTP) installation, and a CPP of $4392 for brownfield FTTP installations. The company hasn’t yet published an initial CPP for FTTC.

Morrow has announced he will leave NBN before the end of the year.

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