Internet Australia has called for an urgent re-assessment of the Government’s Multi-Technology-Mix (MTM) model currently being used for the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The call came during Senate inquiry proceedings last Friday; just days after a claimed leaked report stated the rollout was facing significant difficulties and cost blowouts.
When asked what the government should do with regard to the National Broadband Network, Internet Australia’s vice-chair, Dr Paul Brooks, simply said: “Deploy fibre”.
Currently the MTM approach usually involves just running fibre to a neighbourhood node and from there using Telstra’s existing copper network to each premises. This was meant to be faster and cheaper than Fibre To The Premises (FTTP), but the leaked report claims things haven’t turned out quite that way.
Former Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, agreed with Dr. Brooks, stating “You do it once, you do it right, you do it with fibre.”
One of the complaints of the current approach is that upload speeds do not match download speeds – and by quite a margin. For example, an NBN plan with a 100 Mbps download speed may only have an upload rate of 40 Mbps.
The NBN is already being left in the dust by other alternatives that can provide NBN speeds or faster; with upload speeds as fast as download rates.
Further supporting the case for “fibre everywhere” is the fact fibre has rapidly dropped in price over the past few years and fibre networks will continue to be upgradable long after copper-based services will need to be replaced.
A limited survey of Internet Australia members revealed only 4% were satisfied with the current government’s MTM model and 78 percent believe current NBN speeds would not be sufficient over the next five to ten years.
“If the Internet is to reach its potential for good it is essential that we make it available to everyone,” said Internet Australia CEO Laurie Patton. ” In the 21st Century to be without access to the Internet is like not having other basic services like water and electricity. The ability to participate in our digitally enabled future is a basic right of all Australians.”
Internet Australia is the not-for-profit peak body representing all Australians who uses the Internet.