Friday, 05 April 2019 16:17

Labor asks why 183,000 cannot get even 25Mbps on FttN Featured

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Labor asks why 183,000 cannot get even 25Mbps on FttN Courtesy NBN Co

The Australian Labor Party has questioned why 183,000 households who have fibre-to-the-node connections on the NBN cannot get even the minimum speeds of 25Mbps as of March.

NBN Co made the admission in a written reply to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications, saying: "As at 4 March 2019, of the 2.4 million active FttN services approximately 183,000, or 7.6% were reporting a Layer 1 VDSL attainable synchronisation rate equivalent to less than 25Mbps downstream rate at Layer 2."

Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said this had occurred even though the government had promised that all Australia would have access to a minimum of 25Mbps by the end of 2016.

"Why is a network that is $21.4 billion over budget still not delivering minimum speeds?" she asked.

Rowland claimed this was one more case of a Liberal failure which accompanied the decision to abandon fibre in favour of copper.

Other such "failures" she listed were:

  • Three in four copper households unable to achieve speeds of 100Mbps;
  • The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government failing to meet its own low-ball national NBN speed mandate in five out of eight states and territories – including Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT;
  • NBN Co purchasing and stockpiling nearly 29,460km of new copper with taxpayers' money; and
  • A $600 million blowout in the copper remediation bill.

"It is 2019 and 183,000 households aren’t even receiving minimum speeds. This is a concerning revelation, and confirms Labor’s longstanding concern that the copper network is letting down too many Australians," Rowland added.

NBN Co said in its reply that cases like it had mentioned would be dealt with once the co-existence period — when ADSL was running alongside FttN — ended.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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