$51 billion NBN leaves Australia with huge ‘Gigabit Gap’

(Sydney, June 29th 2020)

The new Gigabit Gap report from Huawei Australia and the Telecommunications Association (TelSoc) shows that at its completion this week the $51 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) – costing $4,500 for each connectable premises – still leaves over 70% of Australian homes and businesses unable to access world-class Gigabit (1Gbps/1000Mbps) speeds and with our Gigabit broadband pricing the third most expensive in the world.

The Gigabit Gap report – conducted in association with global researcher OMDIA -shows that after ten years of construction the NBN can only offer Gigabit capability to 28% of premises – those on Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) and Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) – whilst markets like New Zealand will have Gigabit capability in place to nearly 90% of homes and businesses by 2022.

Gigabit capability in selected countries (% of premises)

Source: Omdia

More worryingly, whilst major European markets such as France, Spain and the UK are all planning to deliver 100% Gigabit capability by 2025, Australia still has no plan in place to extend Gigabit capability beyond current levels – leaving millions of homes and businesses stranded on slower speeds with some homes unable to still even reach 25Mbps.

What’s more OMDIA research shows that Gigabit pricing charges on the NBN are the third most expensive of the 26 global markets the firm studied with only operators in Norway and Canada charging more for Gigabit speeds.

The Gigabit Gap also examines the options for the NBN to be upgraded now that it’s ten year construction is complete with the report to be launched via a webinar today at 1100 with TelSoc President Professor Reg Coutts – a member of the ‘Panel of Experts’ formed by the Rudd Government to examine broadband options for Australia.

The Gigabit Gap report can be downloaded here:

Stephen Myers, Principal Consultant, OMDIA:

“Unlike many of our trading partners Australia has not adopted an aspiration to be a Gigabit enabled nation.

“Gigabit services may not be an end in themselves but ensuring the NBN can continue to be a platform that facilitates Australia’s digital evolution requires an expansive, and growing capability.

“Building universal high-speed broadband to a large nation like Australia was an ambitious undertaking, with the completion of the volume NBN rollout it is timely to consider the next steps in the development of the NBN as a platform for Australia’s digital future.”

Jeremy Mitchell, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Huawei Australia:

“Although nearly all Australians now have access to 25Mbps broadband the fact is that there is now much more work to do to get Australians on a much more level playing field.

“It is simply unfair – and frankly un-Australian for taxpayer dollars to deliver an outcome where, for example, Coffs Harbour in NSW gets Gigabit Fibre-to-the-Premises and Bundaberg in QLD gets speeds forty times slower with 25Mbps on Fibre-to-the-Node – it’s time to put that right.”

Professor Reg Coutts, President of TelSoc

“TelSoc is committed to fostering informed debate about NBN’s future and how we can leverage the best telecommunications technologies.

“This is the first in a series of joint activities with key industry players to provide their insights and recommendations to our members and the wider community.

“TelSoc welcomes technology from all over the world as long as it is safe and secure.”

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