MEDIA RELEASE - TURNBULL’S TECHNOLOGY CHOICE IN TATTERS - 7 JUNE 2017

Reports today have revealed the sheer extent of the failure of Malcolm Turnbull’s Technology Choice Program. We are seeing a litany of issues, cost blowouts, and failures with the farcical Technology Choice Program and customers are being left worse off. 

On 24 May 2017, in response to questions from the Senate that were already 24 days overdue, NBN Co submitted evidence which stated the average quoted cost for consumers to self-upgrade their NBN connection from copper to fibre was $15,800 under the Technology Choice Program. This figure is five times – or a shocking $12,800 per premises - greater than the $3,000 Malcolm Turnbull said it would cost.

When asked by Sky News host David Speers in July 2013 if he could “guarantee that final connection if people want it won’t be as much as $5000” Mr Turnbull said:

“Well we haven’t set a rate for it but I can tell you that the typical distance from one of these nodes, the average distance would be around 500 metres. And I can only give you the example from the UK the cost of getting fibre on demand is around £1500 which I think would work out at around $3000. So it is not $5000.”

In a separate post which is still on Mr Turnbull’s website he states:

“For a customer living 500 metres from a node, for example, the charge is GBP1500 or about $2,250.”

In response to a separate question by Senator Urquhart, NBNCo also stated its highest quote to upgrade from Fibre to the Node (FTTN) to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) was $61,600. However a report in today’s Daily Telegraph revealed NBNCo has quoted consumers $149,000 to upgrade from copper to fibre. This is well in excess of the $61,600 figure provided to the Senate. 

This raises serious questions about what other information the Turnbull Government is supressing about the NBN rollout.

Labor calls on the Turnbull Government to review the design and pricing of its farcical Technology Choice Program and investigate how it came to pass that a consumer was told they must pay $149,000 to upgrade their copper NBN connection to fibre. For $149,000 it would be cheaper to pack up and move to New Zealand to get proper fibre broadband.

This is simply the latest insult to Australians who would have received a fibre connection under Labor at no cost.