"So far the wholesale price charged by NBN CO to its retail service providers is such that truly high-speed services are not affordable to the majority of residential users. So this is still an area under contention," he told iTWire on Wednesday.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher announced in a statement this morning that fibre to the premises would be made available to about 75% of homes on the NBN, making a total of eight million in all, by the end of 2023, with the NBN Co to spend about $3.5 billion to upgrade connections.
This is in addition to the $700 million to be spent on business fibre zones in metropolitan areas and the regions, and $300 million to improve regional Internet services announced on Tuesday.
"The current Covid crisis is shown how important it is for businesses to be able to operate digitally as well as physically. "
But he cautioned that technology was only half the answer, with affordability being as important.
"We had a decade of denial from the government that fibre networks were not needed, and they instead used fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). After arguing that there was no demand for it, that it was not needed, and that it was too expensive, the government has now finally conceded that the future of communications must be based on fibre optic networks," Budde said.
"The current Covid crisis clearly shows the importance of good quality broadband and it has been argued that as much as a quarter of Australian households are having quality problems, so the promised upgrade will be very welcome for those users in particular. We all will need the best possible network both for social and economic reasons."