Under a Coalition government, Australians would have to pay a hefty fee for a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) internet connection to their business or home, with prices potentially exceeding $3000 per premises. Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband Malcolm Turnbull confirmed that while no fixed rate has been set, it would likely involve a charge of "some thousands of dollars”.
During an interview with Sky News' David Speers yesterday, Malcolm Turnbull indicated that Australians would be slugged with a significant premium if they wished to connect their premises to the NBN as opposed to a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) solution.
Everybody will be able to get connection to the network that we will complete once they have an account with a telco. If you are in an area where you have fibre to the node...if you’ve got that and you still want to have fibre to your house, yes, that is possible and that would be a charge of some thousands of dollars but that’s I don’t think many people will ask for that because the speeds available over the fibre to the node network are so high.
When questioned by Speers whether the final connection wouldn't exceed $5000 (as recently claimed by Labor), Turnbull failed to give any guarantees but indicated that the price was more likely to be in the region of $3000.
Well we haven’t set a rate for it but I can tell you that the typical distance from one of these nodes, the average distance would be around 500 metres. And I can only give you the example from the UK the cost of getting fibre on demand is around £1500 which I think would work out at around $3000. So it is not $5000.
The bottom line is people will be able to get 50 megabits per second or better under fibre to the node, no one will get less than 25, some people will get up to 100 mbps.
Whatever your thoughts on the NBN, it's hard to argue that being hit thousands of dollars for superfast broadband isn't a bitter pill to swallow. The facts of the matter are that many Australians who require an FTTP connection (for whatever reason) simply wont be able to afford it — and what do you do if you're a renter? Labor's broadband policy may have its issues but at least it wont cause a class divide when it comes to technology.
You can watch the full Sky News interview below: