Aside from the cost of fibre to the premises, can we actually put a tangible value on the benefits?
The Federal Government and NBN Co do so based on economic modelling.
In the real world the benefits may be very different household by household.
For a home business there is a cost that might easily be determined by each owner,
For a family with teenage students and a regular movie habit (streaming instead of a trip to the movies or video store) the costs are about education and convenience.
For my mother-in-law who at 90 plus simply just wants a working phone the NBN is more of a liability than a benefit. FTTP or FTTN etc they all come with a modem and need for power. There is a penalty in the cost of adding battery backup and an added mobile phone account or builtin fall over SIM.
For the average property owner, a different view on the cost of not having a full speed NBN connection.
What will the loss in average property value be at sale with sub-standard NBN compared to one with a full fibre or equivalent solution. (If anyone was to suggest just 1% less it is between $3,000 and $10,000 depending on where you live).
Nationwide a loss in property value of between $12B and $40B just for the approx 4M FTTN connected premises. This may be an exaggeration, it may be short of the mark. Nobody really knows yet.
As background our local real estate agents are all very convinced that not having the NBN or a quality NBN
service is irrelevant to a property values. However having town water, reticulated sewerage, access to power, and mobile phone coverage do have an effect! In past times FTA TV reception was also a game changer for many sales?
Guess they are wasting money listing on line then?
The discussion of the cost of running fibre more than a km or two is challenging. Consumers do not have access to the source data or costings of the NBN Co. There are no independent reviews to refer to. There are a number of published senate inquiries and an ACCC report and the earlier NBN proposals/assessments.
We are not alone in seeking answers to the costs.
Northern California, 2018, a small community in nowhere (well 13,000 and it’s the USA), $100US pm for uncapped plans >250GB pm.
It might be worth considering that the approx 400k premises in the satellite footprint mostly have mains power often by SWER. The electricity network providers know how many properties and also the exact supply distances of their networks. A simple base case cost estimate of providing a fibre solution to all these more distant properties could be based on the average cost of aerial strung FO over the installed lengths. No access issues other than getting on to the poles. Add also a factor for nodes, and interconnection etc. If going in ground is lower cost and there are no access issues to negotiate then even less than the base case guess. This estimate would also pick up a portion of the more rural FW network.
For the FW coverage areas there are approx 2,400 towers covering less than 100sqkm each. One figure suggests as little as 20% of each footprint has access to the FW towers. For 700,000 maximum customers, that’s an approx density of between 3 and 15 premises per square km. Back in 2013/14 the NBN Co estimate cost of FTTP up until then was more than $20,000 per premise including the furthest high cost connections. An adjusted cost of approx $10,000 per premise excluded the more distant properties. The exact historic numbers are now a poor guide, however it is likely a reliable upper cost guess. It suggests that most of the FW network could also be history for under $7B. There is a CAPEX (total cost) within the NBN Co reports for the total cost of rolling out both the FW and satellite solutions.
Both these options would likely need to accept that some of the network could still be on FW or satellite. Both remaining services would perform much better with far fewer customers, although the economics would need that they are provided on the public purse, and not as a profit making enterprise?