NBN technology choice doesn’t matter, says Switkowski



news NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski has declared that the specific technology chosen by the company in its network rollout “does not matter”, as long as that technology can deliver the “speeds” that Australians need today and that it can be upgraded as demand required, in a controversial statement which appears to fly against conventional wisdom in the telecommunications sector.

Under Labor’s NBN policy, some 93 percent of Australian premises were to have received fibre directly to the premise, delivering maximum download speeds of up to 1Gbps and maximum upload speeds of 400Mbps. The remainder of the population was to have been served by a combination of satellite and wireless broadband, delivering speeds of up to 25Mbps.

Originally, the Coalition’s policy was to have seen fibre to the premises deployed to a significantly lesser proportion of the population — 22 percent — with 71 percent covered by fibre to the node technology, where fibre is extended to neighbourhood ‘nodes’ and the remainder of the distance to premises covered by Telstra’s existing copper network. The Coalition’s policy was also to continue to use the HFC cable network operated by Telstra and would also target the remaining 7 percent of premises with satellite and wireless.

However, NBN Co’s Strategic Review published in December last year changed the paradigm, with the company recommending (and the Coalition supporting) a vision in which up to a third of Australian premises will be served by the HFC cable networks of Telstra and Optus, and Fibre to the Node and Fibre to the Basement used in other areas not already covered by Labor’s FTTP approach. Trials of FTTN and FTTB are currently underway.

Critics of NBN Co’s new approach have consistently pointed out that both the HFC cable and copper networks planned to be reused as part of the new version of the project offer significantly degraded capabilities compared to Fibre to the Premises. Copper cable is inherently less reliable than fibre, especially when wet, and cannot be upgraded to offer the same speeds in the long-term, while while HFC cable is inherently a shared medium that has suffered congestion when deployed in Australia, and also cannot be upgraded to the same extent as fibre.

Speaking to the NBN Senate Select Committee in Sydney this week, Switkowski acknowledged that the Committee had visited the Central Coast earlier in the week, and had been met with disappointment from local communities who had expected the previous Labor Government’s NBN project to deliver better broadband to their area.

“The frustrations of people in areas like the Central Coast are real, but it is not my job to continue setting unrealistic expectations,” Switkowski said. “It is my job and the job of everybody up here and everybody at NBN Co to get the company and the project back on track. The recently completed strategic review provides a road map to do this. As you probably heard yesterday, the Central Coast happens also to be the site of some of the technology trials that will help the company incorporate this broader mix of technologies and significantly speed up the rollout. We are installing the first node in Umina this week as part of the construction trial.”

“In the context of these trials there has been a suggestion that a mix of different technologies will somehow create a digital divide in places like Gosford and Woy Woy. The claim goes to the heart of a great misunderstanding, which I fear is being somewhat exploited and which was a key point of the strategic review. It really does not matter what technology is used to provide fast broadband to your home—any more than it matters what frequency your television programs are broadcast on or where your electricity was generated.”

“The important issue is that it delivers the speeds people need today and has the capacity to be upgraded as demand requires. So it is not helpful to tell people they are not getting the NBN when in fact they will. It is not helpful to tell people that 50 megabits per second or 100 megabits per second is not enough for their needs when in almost all cases it will be. And it is not helpful to say that the project has ground to a halt when it certainly has not.”

Switkowski’s comments, however, run directly counter to conventional wisdom in the telecommunications industry. The reason for this is that there are specific characteristics of different fixed-line and mobile technologies which make them inherently different from each other, and deliver different results to customers which go beyond the measurement of baseline broadband speeds.

For example, it is theoretically possible to deliver base download speeds up to 100Mbps using different technologies such as Fibre to the Premises, Fibre to the Node, Fibre to the Basement, HFC cable and mobile broadband.

However, most technologies have other technical disadvantages which impact performance. Anywhere copper cable is used, for example — in the Fibre to the Node or Basement deployment styles — will be subject to lesser reliability and limited long-term speed development than where fibre is used. It is very common in Australia for the copper network to suffer outages and speed degradation during periods of rain.

Both copper and HFC cable (a hybrid medium using both fibre and coaxial cable) suffer from problems offering high-speed upload services, and HFC cable and mobile broadband have also suffered congestion problems in Australia, due to their nature as shared mediums. For this reason, each technology is typically used in different settings globally.

In addition, over the long-term, only Fibre to the Premises offers very long-term upgradeability, with the other technologies being limited by the copper portion of their networks, or by the availability of wireless spectrum, in the case of mobile broadband. The nature of light as a data transmission medium (used in fibre-optic cables) has been shown to be inherently superior to other mediums. The main disadvantages inherent in FTTP broadband rollouts are that they tend to be costly and slow, compared to other forms of broadband rollout.

Former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was quick to point out some of the technical facts to Switkowski at the committee hearing.

Referring to Switkowski’s time leading the local division of camera company Kodak, Conroy said: “Did it make a difference to the functionality of a photo if it was taken with an analog or digital camera?” Switkowski responded: “Digital photography became popular well after I left Kodak, unfortunately.” And Conroy shot back: “So it is not something you ever had to worry about coming along and being a problem?”

“… when you make the points that it does not matter what technology delivers as long as you get the speed, that ignores a number of basic facts about the laws of physics,” Conroy continued. “You can deliver the same speed on a satellite, a fixed wireless, a 3G/4G network and a piece of fibre, but them all having the same headline speed does not mean you get the same quality, does it?” The Labor Senator additionally mocked Switkowski for what he said was the NBN Co chief’s claim to be “an expert in the laws of physics and copper”.

Switkowski acknowledged that there were inherent differences between broadband technologies, but added that he was not sure the point was as strong “when it comes to comparing copper and fibre.” “I have not accused anybody of being ignorant of the facts or of physics; but, if you are a household and you are being delivered 50 megabits per second via a fibre-optic cable or a combination of copper and fibre-optics, I do not think it matters what the technology is,” he said.

The news comes as one of Australia’s neighbouring countries has explicitly rejected the approach outlined by Switkowski in his comments about the nature of different broadband technologies.
Like Australia, the New Zealand Government is currently engaged in a wide-scale broadband deployment project dubbed the Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative. Like the Australian Labor Party’s National Broadband Network project, the effort is based around the deployment of Fibre to the Premises technology throughout the country. New Zealand has a stated aim of delivering broadband speeds of 100Mbps to 75 percent of the population by 2019.

In March Vodafone NZ chief executive Russell Stanners wrote to the government company overseeing the rollout, Crown Fibre Holdings, proposing that the company substantially modify its rollout to take advantage of existing HFC cable assets owned by Vodafone.

However, according to a report by popular website Stuff in NZ, the NZ Government rejected the HFC cable approach. The site reports: “Communications Minister Amy Adams said Vodafone was ‘obviously pursuing its own commercial interests’ and the Government ‘will not be stopping the UFB build in any of the candidate areas’.”

Non-profit group InternetNZ, which promotes adoption and development of the Internet in New Zealand, said in a separate statement that it was strongly opposed to Vodafone’s proposal. InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter said that HFC networks ccould deliver decent speeds, but were not “future-proof”.

The news also comes as Australians continue to strongly demonstrate that they prefer Labor’s all-fibre model for NBN Co’s rollout, rather than the so-called ‘Multi-Technology Mix’ approach of the Coalition. In mid-February, Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare presented to Federal Parliament the signatures of 272,000 Australians who want the new Coalition Government to adopt Labor’s model.

In mid-January, an attempt by Malcolm Turnbull to leverage a visit to Facebook’s headquarters in the US to communicate with Australians about the future of the digital economy via social media backfired, with the Communications Minister’s official Facebook site filling up with hundreds of comments slamming the Coalition’s broadband policy.

And also in February, a comprehensive study of public attitudes towards Labor’s National Broadband Network project found the initiative still enjoyed very high levels of widespread public support from ordinary Australians, despite what the study described as an “overwhelmingly negative” approach to the project by print media such as newspapers.

Image credit: Parliamentary Broadcasting


  1. Love Conroy’s Kodak jab. That’s pretty funny.

    It continually amazes me that the party of the ‘free market’ has determined that the market isn’t ready for fibre even in the face of customers who continually purchase the top tiers of fibre in areas where it’s available.

    • Dr Switkowski: “The early adopters who took up the highest speed were a high proportion of the first generation of customers. I think at the moment the percentage of take-up of the highest speed of 100 megabit per second service is 22 or 23 per cent. It will settle in at maybe that number or a little bit below. Whether that is representative of the mainstream as more people come on board is less clear. But the point that I made is still correct, in my view—that is, what people subscribe to and what they actually use. It is hard for me to see how a typical, or even an atypical, household gets to consume 100 megabits per second. I say this given what I know about certain devices and appliances and applications that are available now and those that will be developed over the next five or so years.”

      In fact, he openly questions his highest paying customers. The CEO is trying to change the basics of market forces!

      Not only that, but he is a technological Nostradamus, who knows that even in 5 years time they won’t need this product!

      • Exactly,

        “I think at the moment the percentage of take-up of the highest speed of 100 megabit per second service is 22 or 23 per cent. It will settle in at maybe that number or a little bit below. Whether that is representative of the mainstream as more people come on board is less clear”

        This is totally counter-intuitive economics as we know it and as the “free market” operates. Who cares if the household’s don’t use the speed. 22% of the user base wants to PAY for 100mb speed today, in 2014. Hello!!! let me repeat the good bit: Are willing to pay for it!

        This is like the good old days when T$ decided what sort of internet speed was appropriate for us. Madness. Market Forces my arse.

    • Actually, what would be really interesting to ask is what is the movement of customers amongst the tiers of service. Both up and down, that would indicate how many people are finding more uses for more bandwidth as they start using it or that the value is to expensive vs performance so they downgrade.

      IINet, Anyone know?

  2. “as long as that technology can deliver the “speeds” that Australians need today and that it can be upgraded as demand required” — OK. The speed I need today is 24 Mbps. Under the LNP rollout, I cant be guaranteed of getting that before 2019, probably later.

    So if my needs are 24 Mbps now, what are they going to be in 2019?

    Example I give starts off with a single person. You cook your meals, you’re cooking for one person. Probably cheap pasta and sauce, because you’re on a tight budget. A couple of years later, you move in with your girlfriend, and suddenly you’re eating the same amount, but cooking twice as much. Step up a little to spag bog, to impress her with your mad kitchen skills.

    Several years later, you’ve married and had a couple of kids. Suddenly, you’re still eating the same amount, but cooking for 4 people. You’re probably eating meat and 3 veg instead of pasta, but still eating the same amount.

    Thats how the internet has grown. Its not just about whats being used, but the contention. And right now, what I signed on for 7 years ago, when there was only 1 PC using the connection, cant provide for the needs of 2 PC’s, a TV, 2 phones, and an iPad all using the connection at once. That doesnt include the other laptops, PS3, etc that can also access the network.

    The network TODAY is slated to provide up to 24 Mbps for ADSL2. Where does it make sense to provide just 1 Mbps more, for billions in cost? Or even just doubling the guarantee to 50 Mbps by 2019? Our needs are going to have moved beyond that by the time we get there, so to say technology choice doesnt matter is incredibly short sighted.

    Sorry Ziggy, you’re wrong.

  3. “that it can be upgraded as demand required”

    So… how does he plan to get a FTTN connection above 100mbps?
    The only tech that “can be upgraded as demand required” is a full FTTP – HFC and FTTN can’t!

    I have ~20mbps on ADSL2_… it’s not enough for my family’s needs currently… 50 would be enough that the 4 of us wouldn’t interrupt each others activities, and that’s today… if the projections are even vaguely close, that means in ten years time we’d need around 400mbps which is about the time the MTM rollout might get us up to 50mbps!

    Such fail.

  4. The way they talk about speeds is insanity. It’s like the future will never happen, that what is needed now is all that is ever needed. The whole “25Mb is more than enough, there since both copper and fibre can each deliver that, there is no difference” is so dumb. Does Ziggy think everyone is a moron?
    Yes, there is no difference now, in a few years when copper cannot deliver the needed 50 or 100Mb speeds, THEN it matters. Then all the billions plowed into copper, that by that stage hasn’t been paid back matters, all the years delay to run the fibre to get passed the brick wall, that’s what matters.

  5. It has to be said, all our neighbours appear to be moving to FTTH, be it NZ or Indonesia, a lot of our neighbours in our Asia-Pacific area are already either at FTTH or moving to it.

    I like how they try to justify that it doesn’t matter what the technology is, but we do need to compete with our local neighbours.

  6. Its not just speeds that should be considered, its quality and longevity of the infrastructure. Everyone knows this, or to some extent agree with it.

    I just don’t understand why we are going around in circles like this. All the while the rest of the world is progressing forward with fiber.


    “34 cities in nine metro areas laying groundwork for Google Fiber”

    Australia is getting left behind and its all our own doing.

  7. Renai,

    Something else that gets glossed over with a FTTN is that the sync rate you get today, might well not be the sync rate you get tomorrow, next week or next week. As I detailed in my submission to the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network.


    My home is located approx. 100 metres from the Tophat that services our Distribution Area. The Distribution Area cable feeding my home runs almost directly from the Tophat to my home. When the Tophat was first installed by Telstra in May 2012, my ADSL2+ Broadband Service was syncing at
    the max sync rate of 24Mbps. However as time passed, that sync rate has decreased. At the present time my ADSL2+ sync rate is approx. 18Mbps, sometimes less. This is a fairly new estate (less than 10 years old) and fairly new copper cables. The drop in ADSL2+ sync rates could be a combination of noise inducted from other telephone, ADSL1 and ADSL2+ Services in adjacent cable pairs in the same Distribution Cable, and/or fault conditions on our copper pair, affecting the electrical properties of the copper pair used for our ADSL2+ Service.

    I am not alone in suffering the decrease in ADSL1 and ADSL2+ Sync rate as time passes on a FTTN. I know you don’t think that a Tophat and other “Node” feed by fibre in Telstra’s existing Network is a FTTN because it doesn’t provide VDSL/VDSL2. But the simply facts are they are:

    Fibre to the x (FTTX) is a generic term for any broadband network architecture using optical fibre to provide all or part of the local loop used for the last section of telecommunications infrastructure.

    FTTN is Fibre terminated in a street cabinet, which is located some distance away from the customer premises, with the final connections being copper.

    Just because these nodes don’t provide VDSL or VDSL2 doesn’t mean they are an example of FTTN. Granted some of these nodes are feed by copper, so technically these aren’t FTTN.

    Telstra has been using FTTN in Australia for some time using a variety of different technologies. Most recently they have used the Alcatel Lucent 7330 ISAM’s to provide ADSL2+ Services. Telstra hasn’t however provided either VDSL or VDSL2 Services using the Alcatel Lucent 7330 ISAM’s. The Alcatel
    Lucent 7330 ISAM’s are capable of providing ADSL2+, VDSL & VDSL2 with Vectoring and Pair

    Details regarding the Alcatel Lucent 7330 ISAM’s are available here in this link:


    Also see:


    Telstra originally deployed FTTN using Remote Integrated Multiplexer (RIM), fitted with a Mini-CMUX (aka Minimux) that provided ADSL1. The Mini-CMUX is related to the Customer Multiplexers(CMUX) unit and was designed for installation in RIM cabinets to provide ADSL1 capability. Most of these are/were feed by Fibre Backhaul. However some are/were feed by Copper Backhaul and not Fibre.

    Telstra later deployed FTTN using Customer Multiplexers (CMUX) to also provide ADSL1 with Fibre Backhaul. Some years later Telstra then deployed FTTN using Alcatel Lucent 7330 ISAM’s to provide ADSL2+ Services with a Fibre Backhaul. Telstra ISAM’s could also provide VDSL/VDLS2 if fitted with
    required upgrades including Fibre Backhaul upgrades.

    Telstra began a project in 2011 to retrofitted approx. 1854 RIM’s, RIM’s fitted with a Mini-CMUX, and CMUX’s with what they called a Tophat. The Tophat would allow Telstra to upgrade these existing units from Dial-up or ADSL1 to ADSL2+. This could be done without having to build new infrastructure at the same location as the existing infrastructure. The Tophat was simply installed onto of the existing infrastructure (RIM or CMUX Cabinet). The Tophat is an Alcatel Lucent 7330 ISAM which Telstra was already deploying in it’s Network to provide FTTN ADSL2+ Services. The Tophat was simply mounted on its side, housed in a custom housing and attached to the top of an existing RIM or CMUX Cabinet. Again it should be noted that the Alcatel Lucent 7330 ISAM is cable of providing ADSL2+, VDSL & VDSL2 with Vectoring and Pair Bonding if upgraded.

    Many people on the Whirlpool web site have reported similar experience. This is experience is not just restricted to FTTN. It happens on almost any xDSLx Broadband Service in Australia using Telstra’s copper network. This highlights the fact that no one (including NBN Co can guarantee any constant sync rates using copper cable pairs in a FTTN, because the electrical properties of each copper pair don’t remain constant. The electrical properties are in a constant state of fluctuation because they are subject many external factors, such as faults from moisture ingress, inducted noise etc. etc. It’s just physics. Telstra has not been able to prevent moisture entering their Copper cable network and causing fault conditions. They have tried many different solutions over many years without success.

    Another point that should be made (which was pointed out to me on Whirlpool) and which I’m just going to repeat here verbatim because I have researched this and found it to be true.

    “…in England where BT have rolled out their FTTN network the issues with sync rates are well known!

    What isn’t well known is that BT don’t consider that a “fault” condition exists on the line unless:-

    The line speed drops to 25 percent of your original connected sync that was determined at the time you upgraded from ADSL to their FTTN service!

    So to put that into context!

    You were originally connected at 24Mbps and therefore unless your service drops below 6mbps then a fault condition doesn’t exist which BT would have to address with an additional priviso that if the service drops below 5Mbps then that would also be a fault condition but wait there’s more and your going to piss yourself laughing here!

    If they decide that you can’t receive at least 5Mbps then your not provisioned with a service and get bumped off the network!

    Nothing in FRAUDBAND addresses these very real issues here and one must note specifically here that Turnbull has stated quite publicly that he has modelled FRAUDBAND on what BT in England have deployed!~

    This is an issue that very much deserves further investigation with respect to the Senate’s inquiries as to what type of SLA’s they will provide on Turnbull’s noodle network to nowhere with practical examples of what will be fixed and when the service will be withdrawn from customers due to the very many issue’s that impact the copper network!”

    So where does that leave all of us here in Australia?


    • +1. A year ago my ADSL2 synced at around 14Mbps, now 8Mbps. After heavy rain sometimes 0.7-2Mbps, not that it matters because it drops out so much that it is unusable.

      • Since ADSL2+ came out, I have gradually drop from 16Mb down to 8Mb. Whereas I could run on very tight profiles, now I have to run on high stability profiles to avoid the connection dropping every 10 minutes. If it continues to deteriorate another year or two I won’t be able to get a stable connection. I know the exact age of the copper I am on as they ran new copper to the area due to some new houses and I got it a line on it because I had a crossed line they couldn’t fix. 20 year old copper and it is now near rooted.

  8. This from a guy that ran a company that would only guarantee line speeds of a dial up modem on their copper.

  9. Looks like they might have got the retail pricing wrong. Currently, ‘cheap’ plans with 30/10 speeds are $70/month. Up take is about 3%. Seems like it’s too expensive.

    Are there other comparisons out there? UK? Singapore? South Korea?

  10. No mention of 2nd rate upload speeds in the article. You simply won’t get the same upload speeds on FTTN & cable as you would FTTP.

  11. What about latency? Doesn’t VDSL and vectoring introduce a whole bunch of latency that never gets a mention?

    Man this whole situation make me want to tear my eyes out and puncture my ears in frustration. I can’t believe we are ignoring the technical and economic arguments which make so much sense, just to adhere to some pathetic ideology and the liberal mantra of never letting the public see anything positive about labor or labor policy.

    They had a good policy, just fucking accept it and show us how much better the liberals can execute it, don’t fuck it up just for the sake of it!!!!! I can’t believe these people get to make such long lasting decisions.

  12. Great, NBN Co is being run by a guy who doesn’t have a bloody clue about telecommunications infrastructure. Great news!

  13. Whilst Ziggy’s assessment of the capabilities of the various proposed technologies may be at odds with it’s actual performance, his core argument is correct.

    If two or more sets of technologies can deliver the same performance it doesn’t matter which one is chosen, you pick one with the best cost/benefit.

    Bit like arguing the toss between Java/JSP – C#/ASP.

    • But he didn’t say performance, he said speeds. Speeds are obviously not the only factor in performance.

  14. You could make a similar argument about people not caring about their power supply – but we still don’t have nuclear power here, Ziggy, and solar power is becoming more and more common. Why? …because people DO care about things like OUR FUTURE, not just the present. Give us tech that most easily caters for the future, not half-arsed FTTN.

  15. Typical maximum attainable save/upload speeds:

    Floppy disks – 0.5 Mbps
    Most common technology on the coalition NBN – 4 to 6 Mbps, according to Turnbull himself
    ZIP drives – 12 Mbps
    Most common technology on Labor’s NBN – 1244 Mbps

    But, yes, sure, apparently it doesn’t matter what we sink down $40 billion odd into as long as it’ll do 50 Mbps download or whatnot.

    I hope that just within a decade from now that even the most regressive coalition voters and MPs and senators will realise what a complete, awful and expensive mistake this is and that, further along, everyone involved in this will be utterly forgotten except for a footnote subject in damnation by our descendants once we’ve paid back for the mistakes they have made.

    Maybe one day they’ll realise that the creation and transfer of data alone will increasingly be equivocal to the flow of money and that the pinprick of a hole we’ll be trying to shove it through will utterly and completely pale next to the funnels so many others will have before too long also. Whatever prosperity you sit on, if all you can do is to look at it through the keyhole from the other side of the door and fish it out that way one coin at a time, it may as well be not be there.

  16. The most important question still unanswered by Ziggy, is if the LNP will provide KY for each CBN connection….

  17. So Ziggy Switkowski ran Kodak in Australia? Funny how Kodak folded after not adapting to a changing market, embracing new technology and giving consumers what they want. Seems like Ziggy wants to make those same mistakes here with out internet Infrastructure. Go COOPER NETWORK!!

  18. wow! It doesn’t matter that Government policy in a minimum of 25Mbs , but Wireless Towers deliver a curious “UP TO 25Mbs”.

    *Telephone line sold separately.

    No discount if your final speed is perhaps 1 or 2Mbs.

    Can it be upgraded to something ….like 50Mbs if needed? Nope.

    What is wrong with these people are they all completely retarded?

  19. It’s all about keeping control by the big Telco’s !
    How many shares does ziggy have in Telstra ?
    It’s is always $$$$$ with these morons ” Cheapest way to Rip off the Customer ”
    They don’t care about how fast it goes , just how much they can CHARGE for it !!

  20. It’s not only the future you have to look towards… it’s also the past.

    With each advance in technology, we (as consumers) have demanded the best available. As faster dial-up modems were released, we upgraded and demanded that our providers support the faster speeds.

    When ADSL was launched, we jumped on board. The “guaranteed” speeds offered by Telstra (1.5Mbps) soon became a limitation and we demanded that Telstra open up the restriction and provide the “up to 8Mbps” that ADSL offered – even though many wouldn’t attain the full speed.

    When ADSL2 was rolled out, we again jumped on board – abandoning Telstra for the ISPs that had forethought and rolled out their own DSLAMs in exchanges. (How big are iiNet and TPG now!) We didn’t even bother with speed restrictions. It was provided as “up to 24Mbps” – with some households receiving a lot less (or not being able to get it at all), creating the great digital divide.

    Then came cable – with so many jumping on board, contention became the issue – so much so that at certain times in some areas, it’s worse than ADSL.

    With the initial rollout of FTTP, some are already jumping at the faster speeds. For the first time in the history of the internet, people were on a level playing field – attaining the connection speed they chose, rather than a speed a modem could negotiate based on line quality – or a speed limited by how many people in the street are using the internet. As technologies advance to support the faster speeds, more and more people will upgrade their plans – and that will be long before any upgrade is rolled out under the Coalition plans.

    Neither this government nor Ziggy understand technology. (Ziggy has proven that with his time at Kodak and Telstra.) Both refuse to learn the lessons of the past or see the potential in the future.

  21. Of course everybody wants a nice cheap fibre service (at least initially) paid for by someone else’s taxes. Who wouldn’t?

    • “Of course everybody wants a nice cheap fibre service (at least initially) paid for by someone else’s taxes. Who wouldn’t?”

      So who is paying for Turnbull’s fraudband?

      Fraudband costs 75% as much, is likely far less profitable and will need a $40 billion upgrade to fibre in 10 to 15 years time.

      Now that’s what I call value for money.

    • Aparently you’re not aware that under both plans the amount of tax revenue at risk was about the same. The rest was funded outside of the budgetary system.

      Actually, from what I can tell, as the LNP plan sits, there is more tax revenue at risk, because a) they have no plan to raise more funding when it goes over budget, and b) have no effective plan to get either the tax dollars or private funding returned in any sort of time frame.

      So any more money needed beyond the $29.5b amount they’ve listed will come out of budget dollars, not private investment.

    • “Of course everybody wants a nice cheap fibre service (at least initially) paid for by someone else’s taxes.”

      Why wouldn’t I want something back for the (excessive) taxes I pay??? What are you, a communist?? Should my taxes just go to people on welfare???!

      And considering it was all going to be paid back, it was actually a “tax payer investment” exercise, not a “tax payer funded” one like Tony’s carbon plan…

  22. it think the choice of technology still matters, because the types of cables going to homes will differ the quality of the connection.
    copper cables has a lower bandwidth range compared to fiber optics..

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