MEDIA RELEASE - FORGET TOP SPEEDS - MANY HOUSEHOLDS CAN'T EVEN ACHIEVE MINIMUM SPEEDS OVER COPPER - 18 JANUARY 2018

Scrutiny by Labor Senators has revealed that 3 in 4 premises on the copper NBN won’t be able to achieve top speeds of 100 Mbps.

This means 3 in 4 premises on Fibre to the Node – potentially spanning 6.8 million Australians - will be on infrastructure incapable of delivering those speeds. As many ADSL users have experienced, these speeds can also deteriorate over time as the copper ages.

Beyond maximum speeds, NBNCo has also revealed that 6 per cent of premises already connected over copper were unable to achieve even the minimum speed of 25 Mbps.

This figure suggests that over the course of the rollout up to 210,000 premises may not be able to achieve minimum speeds until either expiration of the 18 month migration window, remediation, or potentially replacement of their copper line.

When asked to explain what the Government was doing to ensure Australians with a copper line speed below 25 Mbps can have their NBN problems investigated in a fair manner, Minister Fifield said:

"That’s an area where we expect the ACCC to investigate. I have written to the ACCC asking them to investigate such cases." 

Yet when later questioned by the Economics Committee, the ACCC flatly denied the Government had made any such request, and further clarified that it was not responsible for investigating such complaints.

The all too familiar vacuum of accountability, process and oversight under Malcolm Turnbull has created conditions where consumers unable to achieve 25 Mbps are left stranded and face an excruciating and often uncertain process to get their copper line fixed.

It's bad enough 3 in 4 premises can't achieve top speeds over copper, but it’s simply unacceptable that there are many who can’t even receive minimum speeds once they are connected.

Malcolm Turnbull cannot keep kicking his copper can down the road. He needs to step up and take responsibility for his NBN mess.