Former NBN Chief Says Full Fibre Would Be Just As Cheap As Fibre To The Curb

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One of the former bosses behind the original build of the National Broadband Network has said that if the government-owned company is going to upgrade from the current fibre to the node tech to a more future-proof fibre to the curb, it may as well go all the way and connect fibre to everyone's homes — without spending significantly more money.

Mike Quigley, the former chief executive of NBN Co has told iTWire that in his "considered opinion", fibre to the distribution point — sometimes known as FttDP or fibre to the curb (FttC) — would "cost about the same" as a full fibre build-out. iTWire also says that Melbourne Uni academic Rod Tucker, who has published many pieces on the NBN, holds the same opinion.

Advocacy group Internet Australia's outspoken head Laurie Patton has been pushing for fibre to the distribution point as superior to fibre to the node, but Quigley says that NBN's quoted costs of $4400 per fibre to the premises install are outdated — and that if it tried, it could bring costs down. Talking to iTWire, the former NBN Co CEO said that Chorus — one of the companies behind New Zealand's fibre roll-out — brought costs down by 44 per cent over a few years.

There's also a distinction being made by academic Mark Gregory at RMIT, who says that the common definition of FttDP sees full fibre cable rolled effectively to the driveway of each home, but FttC is usually rolled to within 300 to 400 metres from each home — a significant improvement over FttN, but still relying on a significant distance of existing copper cables. [iTWire]

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