NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow has some frank advice for people complaining about fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technologies: if you want faster broadband speeds, you need to be willing to pay for it.
Answering questions in Senate Estimates last night, Mr Morrow told Senator Deborah O’Neill there needs to be a demand for superior technologies before NBN will consider them.
"When we see that people are willing to pay more than what they are paying today for 25 Mbps, then we will build a business case," Morrow said. "You have to be willing to pay above what you are willing to pay today." Well, that's us told.
The above statements were picked up by broadband advocacy group Internet Australia (IA) who understandably take a dim view of Morrow's views.
"Bill Morrow has effectively told four million of his current and future customers they will have to pay extra if they want to be upgraded from the copper-wire based FTTN service they will be provided under the current NBN rollout strategy," the organisation said in a statement.
Morrow said NBN Co is "constantly looking at reducing" the number of households on FTTN. However, late last year the company shifted one million premises from hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) to FTTN in its construction planning.
Internet Australia is calling on the Government to abandon FTTN and support a bipartisan NBN policy based on fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp) technologies.
“They’ve already announced they’ll use FTTdp in lieu of the Optus HFC (Pay TV) cables that have been found to be unusable. So why continue to roll out inferior technology that they know will need to be replaced?" IA's CEO Laurie Patton said.
"If FTTN isn’t considered good enough for Optus customers how can they expect anyone else to settle for an inferior product?."
In Morrow's defense, it's worth noting that the majority of Australians continue to opt for cheaper and slower plans in areas where higher speeds are being offered. At last month's half-year financial results presentation, NBN Co revealed that the vast majority of its customers were on low-tier 25/5mbps plans.
"There's a limited current need for higher products and lower awareness of their availability," NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said during the presentation.
Indeed, 100/40mbps adoption rates have actually dropped since 2015, while customers on the aforementioned 25/5mbps speed tier have increased by six per cent over the same period:
|Fixed Line speed tier mix (upload/download by Mbps)||As at 31 Dec 2015||As at 30 Jun 2016||As at 31 Dec 2016|
You can find out when your suburb is getting the NBN - and what technology you are likely to receive - on NBN Co's address checker tool.
NBN Co's address checker tool can now tell you when NBN services will be available for your home or business, instead of just letting you know when the network will be rolled out in your area. It's gives a more accurate view of when the NBN is coming to your neck of the woods and you can try it out now.
[Via Internet Australia]