MEDIA RELEASE - TURNBULL SHORTCHANGES TASMANIA ON NBN ONCE AGAIN - 20 JUNE 2017

With Senator Anne Urquhart, Chief Opposition Whip in the Senate.

Recent reports in Sydney Morning Herald that NBNCo will be deploying Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) in every state except Tasmania are the latest insult to the near 100,000 Tasmanian households and small businesses expected to be stranded on Malcolm Turnbull’s second-rate copper NBN. 

FTTC pushes fibre deeper within the network, and delivers faster and more reliable download and upload speeds compared to Fibre to the Node (FTTN).

Before the 2013 election, Malcom Turnbull promised the NBN would be delivered by 2016. He also committed to honouring all Tasmanian NBN contracts, which included a master contract for the full-fibre rollout. Instead of recognising his failures and making adjustments when he had the chance, Malcolm Turnbull arrogantly ploughed ahead with a copper rollout that is leaving Tasmania at a competitive disadvantage.

The Fibre to the Node rollout has been a complete failure with Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) statistics showing 7 out of the top 10 NBN complaint post codes in Australia were served by copper.

Recent evidence tabled in the Senate also affirms Malcolm Turnbull’s copper is the least advocated technology by consumers signed up to the NBN.

Product

February 2017 Advocacy

Fibre to the Node

41%

HFC

46%

Sky Muster

49%

Fibre to the Premises

61%

Source: Response to Question on Notice 362

Further, Mr Turnbull’s claims in 2013 that individuals could pay $3,000 to upgrade their NBN connection from copper to fibre have been exposed as a hoax. To date, the average quoted cost has been a shocking $15,800 with Australians quoted as high as $149,000.

In the midst of contradicting statements before a recent Senate hearing, officials were also forced to reveal the Minister appears to have been busy briefing Coalition MPs about which of their electorates would receive Fibre to the Curb.

 

Sen Urquhart: Do the more recent batch (of NBN electorate briefs) updates contain information about the deployment of fibre to the kerb?

Official: It is not available as a technology yet, so I do not think they do.

Sen Urquhart: So they do not?

Official: No.

Sen Urquhart: Why not? Haven't NBN Co announced most of the locations for this? Why would they not be in there?

Official: Some of the more recent briefs would include information on fibre to the kerb.

Sen Urquhart: So some of the more recent ones do?

Official: Yes

[Source: Senate Estimates, 15 June 2017, p. 9]

 

The Turnbull Government lacks vision when it comes to broadband infrastructure and the digital economy. Tasmania deserves first-rate fibre to reach its economic and social potential.