Here’s How Much NBN FTTP Installations Cost Compared To FTTN

Here’s How Much NBN FTTP Installations Cost Compared To FTTN

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.


  • One question that’s just occurred – if FTTN is cheaper to be installed, why don’t FTTN customers get cheaper plans? Surely FTTNers aren’t (further) subsidising the FTTPers as well as having to put with unfit-for-purpose broadband?
    I think we should be told.

      • Hint: The RSPs (they’re not ISPs for nbn) offer nbn plans for the same price regardless of tech deployed… And at prices decided on when the rollout was going to be majority FTTP. Now that FTTN is the preference, and cheaper, why aren’t RSPs reducing their plan prices?

    • That’s like asking in reverse why isn’t Diesel pricing cheaper in Metro than it is in regional areas, given that the distribution cost would be cheaper … and/or why isn’t Diesel cheaper than unleaded given it’s a by-product of petrol fuel manufacturing. Gotta look at the bigger picture I suppose

      • Diesel pricing is cheaper in metro than regional areas by an average of 3.4c/litre. The variances in diesel and unleaded pricing is to do with government subsidising, taxing and supply & demand factors, it differs from state to state, country to country.

    • Typically setting up FTTP requires something like a $200 connection fee for a tech to come out and install the wall modem, battery, etc. In that sense FTTN users don’t subsidise FTTP users, the ISP outputs the same bandwidth to both users, it isn’t their problem if FTTN users don’t wish to purchase the proper equipment to use the full connection.

      • A tech needs to visit for fttn too, granted it’s an easier install. But i reckon anyone given the choice of fttp over fttn would take it.

        • Bloody Oath. But then again this is the service, designed and micromanaged by the LNP Overlord (I’ve never had so much fun) Bibi Malcolm. Johnny Howard should have tied the condom tighter when it came to letting Malcolm escape, #grannyknot.

  • So wait, FTTP Brownfields cost for NBN is $4405, and FTTP Brownfields cost for Chorus (NZ) is $2698?

    Clearly Chorus know a thing or two about laying fibre that NBN doesn’t!

  • So the chart only shows front-end installation costs? Excludes the costs of maintain the tens of thousands more active nodes that require rent, electricity, physical upkeep, cost of being forced to dump nodes in the future with fibre to the premises when the copper craps out and gets worse than ADSL.

    NBNCo, short -sighted as Malcolm under Marrow. Playing short term politics while they are in office, instead of understanding how infrastructure works that affects linger for decades after they are forced from office.

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