MEDIA RELEASE - ONE YEAR ON AND OVER 1 MILLION HFC HOUSEHOLDS STILL IN NBN LIMBO - 27 NOVEMBER 2018

One year ago, to this day, NBNCo broke news of the HFC rollout halt with a mind bending press release that was entitled:

“NBN Co takes customer experience improvement program to new levels”

Mitch Fifield also tried his hand at reality distortion when he declared:

Australia will have a fast broadband network that will be the envy of the world.”

Fact: The reliability problems with the HFC network have cost taxpayers $900 million and delayed NBN access for up to 2 million households.

Fact: The latest NBN weekly report indicates 1.3 million premises in ‘NBN ready’ areas are still not able to order a service.

Fact: Despite the passage of twelve months the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s HFC rollout remains nothing short of a national embarrassment:

  • The abandonment of the Optus network in 2016, and the halt of the remaining HFC rollout in November 2017.
  • A $900 million hit to taxpayers as a result of the November 2017 HFC halt.
  • ACMA research reporting consumers on HFC are five times more likely to complain than consumers on FTTP, and 3.6 times more likely to experience a fault.
  • NBNCo reliability data reporting the average HFC connection experiences 30 times more network downtime relative to an FTTP connection.
  • A Government which only met 6 per cent of its own HFC rollout target in the NBN Strategic Review.
  • The build cost of HFC increasing by 64 per cent since 2015.

Meanwhile, New Zealand, the US and the UK have reduced the cost of deploying Fibre to the Premises by between 40 and 50 per cent.

On every measure the Coalition’s HFC debacle has cost taxpayers more and delivered less.

Just as he has failed to explain why he betrayed Turnbull, Mitch Fifield needs to explain why he rejected the proposal from Bill Morrow to dump the entire HFC network and instead deploy Fibre to the Curb.