Revised model: NBN construction.
Only one-quarter of Australian homes and businesses will receive a fibre-to-the-premises connection under the government's revised national broadband network (NBN) plan.
The NBN initially aimed to connect 93 per cent of Australian premises directly to the fibre network, but this target was scrapped by the Abbott government as part of a promised strategic review of the NBN project.
The new ''multi-technology'' NBN model, unveiled by Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull, will continue to rely on the copper and hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) networks to service most Australian premises. These networks were scheduled to be decommissioned under the previous national fibre-to-the-premises plan.
The NBN will now use fibre-to-the-node to reach at least 40 per cent of premises, relying on the existing copper telephone lines to cover the final few hundred metres of the connection. Of the remaining premises, about 25 per cent will receive broadband via direct fibre, 28 per cent via HFC cable and 7 per cent in remote areas via fixed-wireless or satellite.
The revised NBN model fails to meet the Coalition's election promise to provide a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps to all Australian premises by the end of 2016. Instead, the new plan says that only half of premises will have access to at least 25 Mbps download speeds by the end of 2016.
By the end of 2019, 91 per cent of premises are expected to have access to download speeds of at least 50 Mbps. At least two-thirds of these are likely to receive the 100 Mbps download speeds which would have been provided by a national fibre-to-the-premises network. The revised plan makes no commitment on upload speeds.
The NBN is now expected to be completed by 2021 and will cost about $41 billion, with the Coalition's review claiming the fibre-to-the-premises network would have cost $73 billion and taken until 2024 to complete.