Australia has dropped a further three places and now ranks 62nd in the world for fixed broadband speeds, in the latest update to the Speedtest Global Index.

In comparison, Australia was ranked 43rd in the world for average connection speed in September 2013 by Akamai, when the Liberals were elected. 

Consumers and small businesses in New Zealand are now reported to be experiencing average speeds two and a half times greater than Australia. 

New Zealand successfully stuck with its plan to deploy fibre to the premises, and reduced the cost of deploying fibre by 44 per cent. 

In contrast, the Liberals abandoned fibre on the false pretence that halting the rollout and switching to copper and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) would be cheaper and faster. 

This calculation failed – as the copper and HFC rollout is now $21.4 billion over budget and four years behind what they promised to deliver. 

Moreover, at $51 billion, the multi-technology mix costs more than the original fibre plan, and has destroyed significant consumer and taxpayer value. 

No wonder the Liberals and their mates inside NBNCo tried to deny the existence of trials which showed NBN had significantly slashed the cost of deploying fibre

There are also 183,000 households currently on the copper NBN who cannot achieve minimum speeds of 25 megabits per second, and the HFC rollout had to be paused in November 2017 due to reliability problems

After a year of withholding data from the Senate, in April 2019 NBNCo finally revealed households on copper and HFC were reporting, on average, between 2.4 to 4 times more faults than households on fibre to the premises over 2017-18. 

Only Labor has presented a credible strategy to steadily improve speeds and reliability on the NBN. 

This election is a choice between a Shorten Labor Government with a plan for improving the NBN, or more cutting corners from the Liberals. 

Our plan will improve reliability and speeds for up to 750,000 Fibre to the Node households, by addressing in-home cabling issues that degrade NBN service quality, at no cost to the end user.  

A trial by NBNCo found addressing in-home cabling issues improved attainable NBN speeds by an average of 11 megabits per second in households affected by the problem. 

We will also undertake fibre upgrade trials to validate costs and inform options for future co-investment to deliver more fibre.