Earlier today, the company behind the National Broadband Network (NBN) presented its half-year results to shed more light on the rollout. In a bid to keep costs down, fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) continues to be the main technology used, despite being demonstrably inferior to FTTP and HFC - both in terms of speed and reliability. Which begs the question: how much money does an FTTN installation actually save?
During its half-year results presentation, NBN Co released a graph showing the installation and construction costs associated with its multi technology mix approach to the National Broadband Network. As you can see, FTTN is indeed less expensive - but the amount it saves is largely dependent on location:
As you can see, the difference in cost between a greenfield FTTP site and an FTTN site is $332 per premises ($2504 vs $2172.) Likewise, HFC costs just $87 more per installation compared to FTTN. The costs associated with brownfield/previously used FTTP sites are significantly more expensive however, at $4405 per premises.
Obviously, most locations on the NBN rollout map are classed as brownfield, which helps to put the decision to reduce FTTP installations into perspective. HFC is slightly more baffling, though.
Last year, NBN Co decided to move 1.2 million premises that were on the HFC footprint to FTTN. Based on the above graph, this works out to a potential saving of $147 million. Not exactly chump change, but it could be argued that a faster, better NBN was an investment worth making. C'est la vie.
You can check out the rest of NBN Co's half-year results in graph form here.