This Is How Much The NBN Spends To Hook Up Your House

This Is How Much The NBN Spends To Hook Up Your House

During its entire eight-year existence, the cost of pushing fibre all the way to the home has proved a political headache for the NBN. The former Labor government planned for almost universal fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) but the Coalition, citing excessive costs, sacrificed performance and scaled the rollout back to fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) — leaving old copper lines in place for last few metres.

In its latest half-year financial presentation on Thursday, the NBN revealed the cost of connecting each home to FTTP, FTTN and other technologies in its catalogue.

It costs $4405 for the NBN to hook up an existing house (“brownfield”) with fibre all the way to the premises. Fibre just to the node – a communal box in the neighbourhood – with existing copper connecting the rest of the way, costs the NBN $2172 per premise.

While that is a significant difference, there is a compelling argument to lay fibre-to-the-premises for new housing developments (“greenfield”). The NBN revealed that cost is just $2,504 per premise.

In some areas, the NBN uses Telstra’s old pay-TV cable – called hybrid fibre coax — and this cost compares favourably, at $2259.

In locations where physical NBN connections are difficult, fixed wireless technology is used to deliver broadband. This costs $3551 per premise.

The NBN is introducing a new technology, fibre-to-the-kerb – or “curb”, as the company calls it – which runs fibre to the front of the property, allowing less copper to be used and provide faster performance than FTTN. There are no costs available on that method yet, as deployment has not yet started.

Accompanying those statistics were the latest financial figures for the NBN, which saw its revenue for the half-year ending December 31 more than double on the same period in 2015 – going from $164 million to $403 million as the network progressively covered more premises.

However, the organisation copped yet another heavy loss — $1.83 billion for the six months ending December 31, up 48% from the same period in 2015.

Joel Clarke, chief information officer of NBN rival Fiber Corp, criticised the agency’s losses, questioning whether the sacrifice of FTTP was worth it.

“Not only has NBN failed the Australian public and business by not delivering fiber to the home to brownfield, or new builds under 100 dwellings, they managed once again cost the Australian taxpayers,” said Clarke.

When told that NBN chief Bill Morrow called the latest financials “impressive”, Clarke said that “it’s impressive he still has a job”.

The NBN is now covering 3.8 million premises, which is about one-third of its target, with more than 1.6 million of those actively using the network through retailers. The organisation had previously stated a goal of reaching the halfway mark — 5.4 million premises – by the middle of this year.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider.


  • They had a chance to do it one time and do it right. But no. Cause of this Australia will suffer for years to come.

    • Hard to understand how a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project can deliver a slower, more expensive internet connection to me over the same connection I have now. It almost seems like a government intentionally punishing me for living in a safe Labor electorate. I now call the crushing of a dream by a greedy babyboomer getting trumballed.

  • There are no costs available on that method yet, as deployment has not yet started.Is the NBN seriously trying to say that they don’t know how much a particular technology is going to cost on a per house basis before they start rolling it out? No wonder it’s in such a mess.

    When the original FTTP NBN Labor scheme was being introduced, I commented something along the lines that 10 years after it was finished we’d say, “It was over-budget, over-time and we will look back and wonder how we ever got along without it”.

    I suspect that in 10 years from now, we’ll be saying, “It’s way over-budget, still not finished and still hasn’t delivered what was promised.

    I hope I’m proved wrong.

    Edit: due finger trouble

  • “impressive he still has a job” LOL.

    Also “impressive” is that technical ignorami Abbott and Turnbull still have jobs.

  • And yet somehow NZ are rolling fibre out for $2600 per premise… The NBN figures are incorrect and Lifehacker would do best to look a little closer at why the FTTP figures are so wildly inflated before repeating the NBN numbers…

  • Wat a waste of time n money.
    Why even worry about doing it at all if their not going all the way to the premises, seriously,when it’s going to give u the same if not less results as they are now with the copper lines at best it will improve the speed a fraction on top of what is being delivered now, a fraction 3 to 5,7 mgbs more if ur lucky… Why would you do it the first place if it’s bout saving money now they should have never started if it’s bout saving money not spend money on a half hearted half acted performance .. Fukn dumb unfair it’s stupid..
    I’l explain why it is not fair how would one feel being connected via FTTN to the one that is connected via FTTP when we are all under the same change for communication & having the same experience in this new technology across the board. How is that FAIR

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