Talking up the virtues of copper yesterday, Mr Turnbull and his Communications Minister conveniently forgot to mention the failings of their second-rate NBN which continues to experience cost blowouts and delays.

It was supposed to be faster and cheaper.  It has turned out to be slower and more expensive.

In Perth today, Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, met with local stakeholders and residents in Wattle Grove who are frustrated with the lack of broadband access for their children's education needs, small businesses and residents.

WA Labor Candidate for Forrestfield, Stephen Price, and Councillor Brooke O'Donnell from the Shire of Kalamunda joined Ms Rowland in Wattle Grove to convey the lived experiences of local residents who are suffering due to a lack of broadband including:

  • parents who don't know how their children will be able to prepare and sit for NAPLAN testing when it goes online;
  • residents who can't work or operate their businesses from home;
  • dissatisfaction with the performance and reliability of fibre-to-the-node technology.

While Malcolm Turnbull was talking up his FTTN service, he also omitted to mention that under the latest Corporate Plan, up to 1.5 million more premises will now be connected to his slower copper network than the HFC network as promised:







4 million

2.4 million

4.5 million


2.5-3.2 million

2 – 2.5 million

5.1-6.5 million


2016 NBN Co Corporate Plan, page 39

 2017 NBN Co Corporate Plan, page 42

Mr Turnbull paid $800 million for the Optus HFC network, with a possible further $375 million blowout on top of that, yet less people will be using HFC and more stuck with his slower copper-based FTTN.

Mr Turnbull boasts that 854,000 premises can now access his second-rate network.  There's no mention of his 2013 election promise to all Australians that everyone would have access to minimum NBN speeds by the end of 2016.  That’s a blowout of just over 7 million premises.

"The area of Wattle Grove, visited this morning does not even appear on the NBN rollout map, with no timeframe specified for any construction to commence," WA Labor's candidate for Forrestfield,  Stephen Price said.

"Federal Liberal representatives, including the local member, continue to talk about how the NBN is delivering fantastic results without acknowledging the fact that it is not being rolled out in the areas which need it the most, including in new and regional suburbs. "

"After talking such a big game on his ability to deliver the NBN when in Opposition, the Prime Minister is delivering nothing but broken promises in government," Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland said.

Meanwhile, the lived experiences of consumers doomed to be stuck on this second-rate network continues to be one of frustration and disappointment.  It's a pity that by the time these Australians finally access Mr Turnbull's version of broadband, it will already be obsolete.