It has been confirmed that there is no plan to upgrade the copper “Fibre to the Node” NBN, leaving Regional Australia stuck on this increasingly outmoded technology for the foreseeable future.
Answers to a question Shadow Minister for Regional Communications Stephen Jones asked of the Department of Communications in Sydney hearings of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network say:
“as nbn has previously outlined, there is no current plan to upgrade specific sections of the network”[Question No 10, Committee Hearing 1 August 2017, emphasis added]
This is bad news for Regional Australia for several reasons:
Regional towns will be left stranded on a second rate, copper NBN indefinitely – with no upgrade path planned.
Copper FTTN has been the main technology rolled out in regional towns in the past few years.
Very few of these regional towns will ever be able to make the business case to nbn for an expensive upgrade to fibre optic cable.
At the same hearing, nbn CEO Mr Morrow told the NBN Committee that:
“Those that are closer to the node will have 100 Mbps and those that are far from the node will have 25 Mbps” and “ shorter copper distance [which] raises your speed”.
These statements confirm Labor’s concerns about the copper NBN.
Regional Australia is waking up to the dud deal that has been forced on them by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his National Party and Liberal Party MPs and Senators.
Turnbull’s NBN has cost us billions in switching to outmoded copper technology – Regional Australians are right to be angry about this.
Senator Farrell said Malcolm Turnbull’s second-rate NBN plan meant the vast majority of communities in Barker would get copper FTTN technology.
“With no future upgrades planned, Barker businesses and households from Renmark to Mount Gambier and beyond will be stuck with a second-rate copper NBN indefinitely,” he said.