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

Google recently updated the smaller of its two smart displays, the Google Nest Hub, with a 2nd generation model that doesn’t change much visually if you’ve ever seen the original model. For those coming to the party late, Smart Displays are effectively smart speakers – think devices like the Google Nest Mini, Amazon’s Echo speakers

As our lives become increasingly more remote and location independent, the need for mobile devices is on the rise. Many Australians enjoy using multiple mobile devices – such as a smartphone, tablet and computer – to live their lives. Whether it’s responding to work emails, transferring money to a friend or tracking your steps on

Ever since Microsoft released Windows 10 – which was, astonishingly, all the way back in mid-2015 – the company has resisted the urge to shift to Windows 11, or indeed any other full “update” to Windows over that time. That’s a long time in the Windows world; after all, the predecessor version of Windows 10,

Samsung recently sent me one of its lower-cost SSD drives, the Samsung SSD 980 NVMe M.2 to test out. Drives like this one are designed for PC builders and upgraders looking to eke out as much performance from their PCs as possible, but I was curious to see what kind of impact it might have

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