The City of Sydney is concerned the rollout of the National Broadband Network will clog already crowded footpaths and cause visual pollution in the central business district.
NBN Co has told the City that 16 one-metre high ''NBN cabinets'' – or fibre distribution hubs – have been identified for installation on footpaths in the CBD, city south and Glebe. The City has asked NBN Co to consider exploring more expensive underground options.
The cabinets act as a connection point between the larger distribution network and up to 580 homes or businesses. In Melbourne, many of the cabinets were defaced with graffiti after being installed as part of the NBN rollout.
''The delivery of fast broadband services to residents and businesses is essential in the 21st century, but installation shouldn't result in the proliferation of above-ground infrastructure on footpaths,'' Monica Barone, the council's CEO, said in a submission to the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network.
A City of Sydney spokeswoman said: ''The City's primary concern about the FDH cabinets is their bulk and the visual and physical clutter they will create on narrow, crowded inner-city footpaths.''
A spokesman for NBN Co said the number of hubs was dependent on the final NBN rollout plan, which is being prepared.