Internet Australia, the NFP peak body representing Internet users, wants the Government to allow nbn to abandon its copper (FTTN) rollout in order to help minimise the amount of money it will need to borrow to complete this vital infrastructure project.
This follows the announcement that nbn is to borrow almost $20 billion from the Government, repayable in 2020/21.
CEO Laurie Patton pointed to community concerns about the limited speeds being delivered to customers on the FTTN network and to advice from IA's technical experts that FTTN will need to be replaced in 10 to 15 years' time if not sooner.
"nbn must be encouraged to use future-proofed technologies that will provide for our long term broadband requirements without the need to incur massive upgrade costs even before the business becomes profitable", Mr Patton said, "The way it looks now, at the time when they have to repay the Government they will need to borrow more money to rebuild the FTTN network".
Internet Australia believes that nbn should move to new technology options that weren't available when the Government instructed it to abandon its fibre-to-the-premises model in favour of copper.
"nbn recently acknowledged that it cannot use the Optus Pay TV cables and has decided instead to deploy more advanced fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp) technology, also known as fibre to the driveway or, as nbn is now calling it, fibre to the curb (FTTC). If they have decided that FTTN is not good enough for the people who were to have the NBN delivered via Optus cables then surely they should use FTTdp for everyone? Otherwise, we will be creating a new digital divide - people with the fastest up to date service and others stuck back in the 20th Century".