blog It was certainly a nice political manoeuvre last week by Malcolm Turnbull when the Communications Minister let himself be ‘persuaded’ by Tasmanian Opposition Leader Will Hodgman to conduct trials of overhead Fibre to the Premise broadband infrastructure in Tasmania. Hodgman gets to look like he’s got influence in Canberra and is pro-FTTP for Tasmania, while Turnbull gets to look like he’s listening to the people on the ground, leaving Labor Premier Lara Giddings (whose actual idea it was) out in the cold. However, as the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union argues today in an extremely valid point, there’s no real need for more overhead FTTP trials in Tasmania — those have already been done. Computerworld reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“The union said 17,500 Tasmanian homes had already been connected to the NBN using above ground electricity poles and wires, with communities including Deloraine, George Town, Scottsdale, Smithton, Sorell, South Hobart, St Helens and Triabunna.”
When you also consider that the TasCOLT trial from 2005 saw some 1,250 premises in New Town, South Hobart and Devonport connected to FTTP, also using Aurora’s overhead power poles, and that an extremely detailed report on that initiative is still available online (see the PDF here), you have to wonder why Turnbull actually wants to do more trials of FTTP in Tasmania that would lead to a full FTTP rollout in the state, or whether this move is just another soundbite akin to the misleading “honouring contracts” statement which the Liberal MP fed Tasmanians prior to the Federal Election.
I’d like to hear an answer from the Minister as to why we need more trials of overhead FTTP infrastructure in the Apple isle, when so much work along these lines has already been done. I’ll be calling the Minister’s office this afternoon to request a comment along these lines.
Image credit: Screenshot of ABC broadcast of Turnbull press conference