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Tuesday, 28 April 2020 11:40

When will the NBN Co reveal plans for upgrading the network? Featured

When will the NBN Co reveal plans for upgrading the network? Image by Daniel Dino-Slofer from Pixabay

The NBN Co, the venerable entity that has put in place the national broadband network, was in great spirits on Monday. proclaiming that it was ahead of its targets as far as activation of homes for connecting goes.

Is that cause for celebration or mourning? Many Australians who give up their ADSL connections and switch to the NBN often regret doing so because the new connection proves about as bad or even worse than the old one.

Add to that the difficulty of getting various devices that were operating on the old system to work as they should.

The NBN Co can break out the champagne if it so wishes. One question that haunts me is: what is the next step? Are we stuck with this horrible mess of copper and fibre?

When will an upgrade plan be announced? Will we have to wait until the last day, when NBN Co deems its work has been done (whatever that means) to know how the network is going to be upgraded?

The minister who is tasked with the communications portfolio, Paul Fletcher, a former Optus executive, was on the record on Monday claiming that the importance of fast, affordable broadband delivered quickly has never been clearer than during the ongoing epidemic.

Is he talking about the NBN. If so, why is he using adjectives like "fast" and "affordable"?

The best (theoretical) speed that most users can get is 100Mbps. You'd have to wish on a couple of four-leafed clovers for that.

Is that what Fletcher considers fast? If so, we are doomed, for the likelihood of any improvement appears to be close to zero.

Is $99 a month considered affordable for a 100Mbps connection? (That's what I pay). One of the major reasons for people taking slower connections has been the cost – so how can Fletcher claim that the upper end of the available spectrum is affordable?

If the NBN is such a work of art, why is Aussie Broadband rolling out its own fibre network? Why is the state of NSW doing something similar?

I suspect that if Fletcher stopped patting people on the backs for rolling out this wreck of a network, he might have a little more time to apply his mind to fixing the mess that exists.

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Sam Varghese

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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