MEDIA RELEASE - CLOCK TICKING ON TURNBULL’S FAILED COPPER EXPERIMENT - 11 APRIL 2017

Labor predicted 18 months ago that Malcolm Turnbull’s second-rate NBN would be adjusted to push fibre deeper into the network.

There is nothing agile, innovative or technologically agnostic in today’s announcement by NBN Co that it will expand Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) to an additional 300,000 Australian premises.

 

It is proof that Labor was right, and Malcolm Turnbull was wrong.

 

While today’s announcement is welcome, it is cold comfort for the millions Australian residents and small businesses who are stuck with the copper-based Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) now, or will be in future.

 

In my speech today to the CommsDay Summit, I called on the government to abandon its FTTN rollout for all premises which are not currently in the design or construction pipeline of the NBN and replace this with FTTC.

 

This measure won’t fix Malcolm Turnbull’s flawed NBN, but at least it will salvage an improved broadband experience for these homes and small businesses.

 

Taking fibre deeper into the network and preserving the option of an economical upgrade to full fibre is an important step forward.  It delivers better value for consumers and modestly improves the economics of the NBN.

 

Week by week, Malcolm Turnbull’s copper NBN is unravelling.  Consumer confidence in his network continues to plummet, with a near 150 per cent increase in new complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) about NBN faults.

 

It is no surprise that the regions with the highest levels of NBN-related complaints are primarily those in the FTTN footprint.

 

Today’s announcement by NBNCo is further proof that a reliance on last century’s copper won’t deliver the quality broadband he promised all Australians.  

 

He promised that on his watch, the NBN would be faster, cheaper and more affordable. He’s failed on every measure.

 

Australia has now slipped out of the world’s top 50 rankings for broadband speeds.

 

Malcolm Turnbull would like to tell you that the constant changes to the NBN technology mix are examples of his agility.

 

It's not agility - it's evidence of failure.

 

Mr Turnbull is as confused about the NBN as he is with housing affordability and energy policy.

 

As he lunges from one stunt to another, the sober reality has now dawned upon him - that Australian consumers will not forgive his NBN failures.

 

The clock on the slow and expensive copper NBN is ticking.

 

Malcolm Turnbull needs to swallow his pride and adopt Labor’s sensible and practical policy.