Labor leader Anthony Albanese and acting shadow minister for communications Tim Watts say the NBN is failing to deliver the required minimum broadband speeds for up to 238,000 Australian household and businesses.
The pair took aim at Communications Minister Paul Fletcher recently declaring the NBN “built and fully operational” – but as we mentioned last week, those words were prefaced by “treated as” – and it does make a difference.
Anyhow, Messrs. Albanese and Watts have seized on a report they say NBN Co released “two days” before Christmas that reveals the extent of the problem.
“Scott Morrison’s dud National Broadband Network is failing to deliver the legally-required minimum broadband speed of 25 megabits per second to nearly a quarter of a million Australian homes and businesses.”
It actually looks like the NBN Co report was released earlier, but what was published just before Christmas was an article by IT News (and others) drawing attention to the issue.
Messrs. Albanese and Watts state the Morrison Government dumped the former Labor Government’s plan for a fully fibre-to-the-premises NBN, replacing it with a copper-based system not fit for purpose and now requiring a further $6 billion spend to bring it up to scratch.
It wasn’t quite like that – the Morrison Government opted for a “multi-technology mix”; which also been called a multi-technology mongrel by some. However, copper certainly still played a big role and this has been problematic particularly for many Fibre-To-The-Node (FTTN) users. FTTN is where existing copper lines are used to make the final part of the connection to the NBN network – and some of that copper is deteriorating to the point it has a significant impact on connection quality.
The pair note it’s a requirement of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer) Act 2020 and the NBN Statement of Expectations that all Australians have access to minimum broadband speeds of 25 megabits per second.
“The Morrison Government must set out a clear timetable for failing to deliver on their promise and statutory obligations to Australians, and apologise to taxpayers for wasting their money on an inferior copper network,” states their release published early Wednesday afternoon.