Monday, 31 August 2020 11:10

ALP asks why FttN users still cannot get promised minimum download speed Featured

Michelle Rowland: " we are in 2020 and many Australians on copper NBN infrastructure are still not receiving the most basic broadband capability that was promised." Michelle Rowland: " we are in 2020 and many Australians on copper NBN infrastructure are still not receiving the most basic broadband capability that was promised." Supplied

The Australian Labor Party has questioned why 139,963 household and business users of fibre-to-the-node connections on the NBN still cannot get the mandated speeds of 25Mbps.

The ALP's shadow communications minister Michelle Rowland cited the promise made by the Coalition Government in 2013, when it said at its election policy launch: "Our goal is for every household and business to have access to broadband with a download data rate of between 25 and 100 megabits per second by late 2016."

Rowland also cited another statement from the same document which said: "We will issue a revised statement of expectations directing NBN Co to provide broadband services with a minimum download data rate of 25 megabits per second by the end of of 2016 in all areas of Australia."

The ALP obtained the statements after submitting a question on notice.

Rowland asked why a $51 billion network that was $21.5 billion over budget and four years behind schedule could not deliver the promised minimum speeds.

The NBN rollout officially ended on June 30, but there are still many premises to be covered. Only a shade over seven million premises have connected to the network as of that date, though 11.7 million are said to be ready to connect.

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Of these 11.7 million, about 4.75 million are connected through FttN connections, as per the NBN Co's annual results for 2019-20.

Said Rowland: "It is both a requirement of law and the current NBN Statement of Expectations that all Australians have access to minimum broadband speeds of 25 megabits per second.

"Yet here we are in 2020 and many Australians on copper NBN infrastructure are still not receiving the most basic broadband capability that was promised.

"The ongoing lack of transparency is incredibly frustrating for impacted consumers and businesses.

"[Communications] Minister [Paul] Fletcher should set out a clear timetable for delivering what Australians have been promised, and rule out shifting copper households onto the NBN satellite service."

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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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