Tuesday, 14 July 2020 18:07

Fletcher says govt will upgrade NBN as needed but omits to mention how Featured

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Paul Fletcher: "One thing we know about broadband demand is that it does not stand still." Paul Fletcher: "One thing we know about broadband demand is that it does not stand still." Courtesy YouTube

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has said the government will continue to upgrade the national broadband network in line with emerging demand in the years ahead – but offered no concrete plan as to how this would be done.

In a blog post issued on Monday titled Australians well served by NBN as data demand grows, Fletcher traversed well-worn territory, outlining how the multi-technology mix of technology adopted by the Coalition Government in 2013 had "allowed us to roll out the NBN much more quickly than the original plan we inherited in 2013".

He claimed this decision had been strongly vindicated by the unexpected arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If we had still been using the old plan, which rolled out the network over a considerably longer time period, millions of Australians would have been unable to access the NBN during this period," added Fletcher, a former Optus executive.

He said the Bureau of Communications and Arts Research had forecast that peak household bandwidth demand would more than double in the next 10 years.

"In 2018, 95% of Australian households had peak bandwidth demand of up to 24Mbps or less. This is forecast to rise to 56Mbps in 2028," Fletcher said.

"All of the fixed line technologies available on the NBN are capable of delivering these speeds. Once all services on Telstra’s old copper network cease operating - which in turn would allow NBN services to be turned up to maximum speed without causing interference – 90% of fixed line premises will have access to 50Mbps and 70% will have access to 100Mbps."

He claimed that Australians connected to the NBN through FttN had a median attainable speed of about 77Mbps adding that the technology could deliver speeds of up to 100Mbps depending on a user’s distance from the node.

"The BCAR’s research shows that household data demand is forecast to increase almost fourfold over the next decade, increasing from 199 gigabytes per month in 2018, to 767 gigabytes in 2028, representing an annual growth rate of 14%, Fletcher added.

"The main factors behind this will be video streaming and the uptake of higher resolution formats, such as 4K and 8K television, as well as streamed gaming and virtual reality."


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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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