Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Don’t get your hopes up for a major NBN revamp under Prime Minister Turnbull

Don’t get your hopes up for a major NBN revamp under Prime Minister Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull might be more opened-minded than Tony Abbott when it comes to the benefits of high-speed broadband, but don’t expect the new Prime Minister to embrace the original plan to run fibre optics to every home.

Australia’s National Broadband Network has always been a political football and it’s frustrating that politicians seem more interested in point-scoring than ensuring we have the right broadband infrastructure for the 21st century. Rather than judging broadband technologies on their merits, our politicians turned the NBN into an ideological battlefield.

The initial NBN plan under the Rudd/Gillard Labor government was for a nationwide Fibre-to-the-Premises network, running fibre optic cables to 93 percent of Australian homes and serving those in remote areas via satellite or fixed wireless.

In terms of broadband technologies a nationwide Fibre-to-the-Premises network was a great solution, but it felt like an off-the-cuff ideological decision designed to break Telstra’s stranglehold on the country’s communications infrastructure. There wasn’t the detailed cost-benefit analysis that you’d expect with a project of this magnitude.

The Abbott government came to power promising a more conservative approach to the NBN. Prime Minister Tony Abbott ordered his then Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to “demolish” the NBN – even though the tech-savvy Turnbull clearly has a better appreciation than Abbott for the merits of high-speed broadband.

The Abbott government’s long-awaited cost-benefit analysis of the NBN also felt tainted – designed to favour rolling out as little fibre as possible. Once again it was an ideological exercise rather than an evaluation of the various technologies on their merits alone.

Some observers speculated that Turnbull secretly favoured the all-fibre NBN model, even though he put forward a passionate and well-considered case for the new Multi-Technology Mix NBN – keeping the fibre already in the ground but also using existing HFC cables and phone lines via Fibre-to-the-Node (which only runs fibre to the end of your street and still uses the phone lines to reach your doorstep).

With Tony Abbott out of the picture, there’s the temptation to hope that the new tech-savvy Prime Minister might steer the NBN back towards an all-fibre rollout. This is wishful thinking. At best the Prime Minister might quietly grant the NBN more freedom to tweak the mix of fibre, cable and FttN – scrapping some of the more decrepit copper phone lines. The nature of the rollout may also be tweaked to make it easier to deploy more fibre in the future.

We might see a subtle shift in policy, but Turnbull is certainly not going to declare that his support for the MTM was all a ruse – even if it was. Hopefully the new government will take a more pragmatic and less ideological approach to the NBN, but don’t expect a major change of heart.


Recent News

I’ve not had a standard landline in my home for quite some time now. Partly that was because I very much did switch over to using my smartphone a great deal more over time. Mostly, however, it was because getting rid of it was one of the simplest ways to cut off those interminable “support

Social media can be a huge force for change, and in these times where many of us are bouncing in and out of lockdowns, also a vital lifeline for communication on everything from important matters to the wildly trivial. We’re all allowed our personal obsessions, after all. However, many of us don’t think about the

Microsoft recently released its first public-facing beta version of the Windows 11 operating system that it will ship later this year. You’ve got to be signed up to its Windows Insider program to get it – and be willing to accept a little risk in terms of unstable operating systems – but then this is

Telstra recently announced that its 5G coverage for its mobile phone network covers around 75% of the Australian population. It’s also announced the “longest” (as in range) 5G phone call in the world, spanning some 113km in Gippsland. Meanwhile, rival telco Optus has claimed that it’s hit 300mbps upstream on trials of its emerging mmWave

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More