As Four Corners prepares to cover the NBN tonight, we need to brace ourselves for another onslaught of “what’s wrong with the NBN” stories including questions about the cost, effectiveness and delivery of the NBN.

So while Four Corners looks like doing nothing positive (the blurb on their website is titled “What’s wrong with the NBN?” and has nothing but quotes which appear to be anti-NBN) perhaps we need to remind ourselves why the original Fibre to the Premises model under the previous government just wasn’t adding up.

Cost and time.  Both were going to be an issue when you dig up every single street and every single yard in the Fibre footprint that covered 93% of Aussie homes.

Today, a whole suburb can be switched on using the existing HFC (Pay TV cable) or Copper phone lines, and anyone arguing that isn’t cheaper is kidding themselves.

So here’s a great example – the NBN have published a list of the top 50 installation costs for NBN – and surprise surprise they all have one thing in common:

Suburb State Technology Activation Cost ($) Property Type
RAVENSWOOD TAS FTTP 91,196 Residential
INVERMAY TAS FTTP 86,533 Commercial – Sports facility
KINGSTON TAS FTTP 55,766 Residential
BALLARAT CENTRAL VIC FTTP 51,464 Commercial – Business
RELBIA TAS TAS FTTP 44,157 Residential
CARWOOLA NSW FTTP 41,714 Residential
STRATHFIELD NSW FTTP 41,304 Commercial – Business
MOUNT COTTON QLD FTTP 40,063 Residential
RIVERSIDE TAS FTTP 39,166 Residential
RELBIA TAS FTTP 34,923 Residential
RIVERSIDE TAS FTTP 34,734 Residential
RELBIA TAS FTTP 34,608 Residential
BALLARAT CENTRAL VIC FTTP 30,573 Commercial – Business
PINKENBA QLD FTTP 27,382 Commercial – Industrial
PORTSMITH QLD FTTP 26,829 Residential
LONDONDERRY NSW FTTP 26,071 Residential
KNUCKEY LAGOON NT FTTP 25,665 Residential
KINGSTON TAS FTTP 25,154 Residential
LAKE WENDOUREE VIC FTTP 22,094 Commercial – Sports facility
MASLIN BEACH SA FTTP 22,049 Commercial – Industrial
BAKERY HILL VIC FTTP 21,669 Residential
MIDDLE RIDGE QLD FTTP 21,574 Residential
CARWOOLA NSW FTTP 20,741 Residential
CARWOOLA NSW FTTP 20,560 Residential
BALLARAT CENTRAL VIC FTTP 20,550 Commercial – Business
LONDONDERRY NSW FTTP 20,488 Residential
UTAKARRA WA FTTP 19,919 Commercial – Sports facility
BAKERY HILL VIC FTTP 19,911 Commercial – Community
BALLARAT CENTRAL VIC FTTP 19,858 Commercial – Business
SOUTH MACKAY QLD FTTP 19,732 Commercial – Sports facility
WINNELLIE NT FTTP 19,422 Residential
YARRAWONGA NT FTTP 19,406 Commercial – Industrial
BALLARAT EAST VIC FTTP 19,020 Commercial – Business
REDWOOD QLD FTTP 18,429 Residential
WINNELLIE NT FTTP 18,251 Residential
NORTHGATE QLD FTTP 17,893 Commercial – Industrial
THE RIDGEWAY NSW FTTP 17,824 Residential
TENAMBIT NSW FTTP 17,765 Residential
CARWOOLA NSW FTTP 16,380 Residential
GERALDTON WA FTTP 15,054 Residential
BRENTWOOD WA FTTP 14,886 Commercial – Sports facility
UTAKARRA WA FTTP 14,800 Residential
WONTHELLA WA FTTP 14,658 Commercial – Industrial
EAGLE FARM QLD FTTP 14,599 Residential
MOULDEN NT FTTP 14,583 Commercial – Community
GREENFIELDS WA FTTP 14,424 Commercial – Industrial
KNUCKEY LAGOON NT FTTP 14,387 Residential
KNUCKEY LAGOON NT FTTP 14,269 Residential
WEBBERTON WA FTTP 13,993 Commercial – Industrial
KNUCKEY LAGOON NT FTTP 13,862 Residential
MARRARA NT FTTP 13,559 Commercial – Sports facility
BARRAGUP WA FTTP 13,385 Residential
MERU WA FTTP 12,721 Residential
NUNDAH QLD FTTP 12,647 Residential
PORTSMITH QLD FTTP 12,532 Residential
MURRUMBA DOWNS QLD FTTP 12,260 Residential
SILVER SANDS WA FTTP 11,820 Commercial – Business
SEAFORD SA FTTP 11,279 Commercial – Business
ALDINGA BEACH SA FTTP 11,208 Residential
LYNTON SA FTTP 11,071 Residential
NAILSWORTH SA FTTP 10,955 Commercial – Industrial
VICTOR HARBOR SA FTTP 9,832 Residential
SELLICKS BEACH SA FTTP 9,306 Residential
YANKALILLA SA FTTP 9,210 Commercial – Industrial
KALBEEBA SA FTTP 9,011 Residential
STRATHALBYN SA FTTP 8,916 Residential

Yep, they all got the original Fibre to the Premises installation.


While we’d all love to have Fibre, we need to be realistic and see the 25mbps minimum as a benefit to many, and the bulk of the homes getting much higher speeds.

But we could debate this for days and days and days.  In the end, it’s time (again) to leave the politics out, and just let NBN get on with the job of finishing the network.