Send Me Your Speeds: The Next Step

Fibre to the node, fibre to the curb, fibre to the premise—three different technologies—and, under the Turnbull Government, it is the luck of the draw which technology is rolled out in your street. In a number of suburbs across Canberra, neighbours are pitted against each other when it comes to broadband.

On one side of the street, residents will receive fibre to the node; on the other, residents will receive fibre to the curb or, if extremely lucky, fibre to the premises. In Bottrill Street in Bonython, one side of the street will have fibre to the node; the other, fibre to the curb. Which house would you purchase in that street?

It's unacceptable that this government is creating a digital divide in Canberra. The majority of homes in Canberra are slated for fibre-to-the-node broadband relies on the existing copper lines to deliver the service from the node to your house or business. The existing copper lines are already a problem in Canberra. They are degraded, and infrastructure isn't being invested in because, just like winter in Game of Thrones, NBN is coming.

During Senate estimates in February, NBN Co conceded there was no capital set aside in the current 30-year NBN business case to upgrade the copper network. Internationally, other countries have moved away from fibre to the node in their rollouts. They recognise that a fibre-to-the-node network produces three times as many faults as a fibre network.

This government is doing everything it can to keep moving the goalposts to make a fibre NBN seem as unrealistic as possible. The government had an opportunity to scale up the rollout of fibre to the curb to homes and businesses that had not yet entered into an NBN design or construction pipeline. But, instead, it has ramped up its rollout of the copper network.

There will be many who think that fibre to the node is a better alternative to what they currently have, particularly here in Canberra where we are getting of speeds less than one megabit per second. I got an email today from Jenny and Steve. They are getting speeds of 0.15 megabits per second—this in the nation's capital; this in 2017. I ask you this, Deputy Speaker, and I ask Canberra: for the many hundreds of Canberrans who have shared their broadband nightmares and sent me their speeds, so why would they settle for a second-rate NBN? And they shouldn't have to. While I represent Canberra, while I represent this community and while Labor represents you, Canberra won't settle for a second-rate communications infrastructure. If better broadband technologies, like fibre to the curb and fibre to the premises, are being rolled out in some streets to some homes and businesses, then it can be rolled out to every home and business in Canberra.

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