NBN Says Targets Are Being Met, Internet Australia Says It's Not Good Enough

Last night NBN chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski assured audiences of ABCs The Business that the company is meeting all of its milestones, adding that "the progress in terms of copper has been fabulously fast".

But internet users' lobby group Internet Australia says this is "hardly the issue".

Image: Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Stefan Postles/ Getty Images.

"Dr Switkowski is lauding the rollout of a service that is going to leave four and a half million homes — the NBN Fibre To The Node (FTTN) target he nominated — very disappointed when they discover that their more fortunate friends and neighbours have fibre going into their homes delivering speeds hundreds of times faster," Laurie Patton, CEO of Internet Australia said in a statement.

"That's because fibre has a virtually unlimited ability to be upgraded whereas the copper network has a limited upgrade potential and in any case will need to be replaced within 10 to 15 years"

"As Dr Switkowski conceded, the cost of implementing Fibre To The Premise (FTTP) broadband is continually coming down, so it makes sense to review the current plan now before we've gone too far with copper".

Internet Australia has historically taken a neutral public stand on technology. This week they launched a #FibreToTheFuture campaign designed to persuade both the Government and the Opposition to back fibre to the premises as the only viable long term option.

According to one leaked internal document, the NBN rollout has fallen well behind schedule, with construction completions to February reaching 29,000, against a target of 94,000.

NBN refused to be drawn on what it called the "alleged" internal documents, but said the project has met or beaten every key target for six quarters in a row. It pointed to figures showing the service is available to 1.9 million homes, and 850,000 customers are already connected.

"We have a series of milestones that will see all of this completed in 2020," said Dr Switkowski."And we have a very, very strong management team led by the CEO Bill Morrow, who continues to meet all of the milestones that the board has set him."

Patton says it's time to take politics out of it. "We need the Government and the Opposition to sit down and say 'what is in the best interests of the country?' What do we need if we are going to be a truly competitive innovation nation?"

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's sales pitch for fibre to the node NBN was that it was cheaper and quicker to deploy than Labor's fibre to the home plan.

But there are signs those arguments are coming unstuck, with another leaked document showing the NBN has been trialling a thinner and cheaper fibre cable, cutting the cost of fibre from $1,200 to $600 per connection.

Mr Patton said it was time for the Coalition to consider an about-face, and embrace fibre to the home.

"If we are going to be an innovation nation, how are we going to compete against countries that have already got internet speeds 100 times faster than ours?" he said.

NBN is due to appear before the Senate Select Committee on the NBN in Canberra today.



    This whole saga makes me want to scream.

    "But investing in cheaper-long-term, more upgradeable infrastucture is more expensive now!"


      I'm past screaming, now I just want to curl up in my little fetal ball and cry.

      I get so angry every time I read anything on this topic. Seriously I would prefer to bang my head against a wall, it would be less painful.

    [...] so it makes sense to review the current plan now before we’ve gone to far with copperWhat the actual fuck?? Stop contradicting yourself, you had the chance to do right by Australian's 4 years ago, stop trying to backpedal your way out of this shit storm.

    Last edited 15/03/16 10:09 am

      It's a pre-election promise to grab votes that they can renege on

      Last edited 15/03/16 2:33 pm

    2020! I might not be alive then as I have cancer. I want my NBN NOW, not for my grandkids. We live in a supposed town area, but we never even got ADSL2 here, they just say wait for the NBN. Whoever put politicians in charge of the NBN? It should be run by a business minded person who understands the NEEDS of users and can look more than 5 minutes into the future.

      FTTN is bullshit, and it's already costing more than the promised amount of FTTP. Malcolm Turnbull needs to be kicked in the can. Twice.

    Shifting the target and saying you hit it is infantile and short sighted.

    I wonder if the targets being meet are from the WiFi and Satelite roll outs, not from physical land line installations?

    Meeting targets on paper. My area is one of the areas which went live on the 28th of Feb, I signed up on that date as I had been watching the site for months. I still haven't even got an install date and every time I talk to my ISP they are still trying to deal with telstra to get access to the copper. My dad is also in the area and signed up the Monday after with a different ISP and hasn't got any further than I have.

    How did Telstra get invited back into this bulls#%t the who point of a government owned backbone was so no one company could control the whole thing, of course telstra are going to drag their heels they stop getting my line rental and my ISP's BS regional charge because it is not a wholesale dslam as soon as they cut me over to NBN why would they rush that process.

    Patton says it’s time to take politics out of it. “We need the Government and the Opposition to sit down and say ‘what is in the best interests of the country?’ What do we need if we are going to be a truly competitive innovation nation?”
    When you do this you get Labor's FTTP - Before these LNP lot Politicised the NBN

    Anyone can keep meeting a "target" when they are the ones shifting the goalposts all the time.

      This reply is purely to acknowledge the awesomeness of the name "muntedewok"

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