CHOICE membership

The cost of FTTC


Unfortunately for many FW has been a poor outcome. The NBN Co had said it needs more money $800M to address current FW performance issues.

Our Federal Govt is refusing to provide more funding to the NBN Co, which will now seek an external loan of up to $2B extra to pay for this FW work and other expenses due to delays on the program, mainly with the HFC roll out.

The NBN Co is not providing much public information about individual service areas. It appears impossible to find out what the NBN Co is planning or acting on for any area tower/service.

It does’t address you issues, or those of any one on a congested FW service. I’ve been making greater use of mobile data, which can be an option if you have good coverage and lower usage, although many NBN FW service areas also have poor mobile access.

I started sharing my NBN concerns with our local Federal Member, because only the Govt of the day can change the direction of the NBN.

I know that the promised FW may not come to us because there is currently no approved tower site. There is a simple expediency of not delivering FW, and offering a small number of us satellite, to which we will mostly say no! I will stay on ADSL at no added cost to the NBN as will the small number of neighbours down the next road. The NBN Co will tick a box and save another $1M in money it does not have to spend!


NBN co has no impetus to fix anything, given that ACMA has decided that 2 up is an acceptable speed, this is a massive con being perpetrated on consumers.


It’s up to the Government. (Which ever one we choose?)

The NBN Co has previously stated that 6Mbps is it’s target minimum. That’s only half the speed of our ADSL based service today.

Choice has run some very effective consumer campaigns for change. Hopefully we will not need another one?


My mother is on FW but the FO cable runs through the property to the school behind our land (past the house and up the paddock). Sensible? Worthwhile? good planning? efficient?

This came out of the recent ACMA review and has been somewhat publicly addressed by the Minister & the Review.

From the report “As at September 2018, Telstra provided approximately 4.9 million retail fixed voice services nationally, largely in fulfilment of its USO obligations. Of these, we estimate approximately 600,000 services (12%) were provided to premises located outside the NBN fixed line footprint. In addition, there were
approximately 235,000 ADSL broadband services still in operation on Telstra’s copper network outside
the NBN fixed line footprint.3”

The cost of USO, USG, and NBN has been/was always going to be a shared cost of all consumers where those in larger centres pay more than the real cost of provision so that those in more remote areas have/had the costs subsidised by the larger centres.

Again this was looked at in the review and the USO obligations/requirements and the answer was a solid YES “In this context, we are proposing that the broadband component of the USG be primarily delivered via the NBN, bolstered by the proposed statutory infrastructure provider (SIP) legislation currently before Parliament. The voice component of the USG would be delivered using the existing USO contract with Telstra for the foreseeable future. Given the USO contract has a limited life, a more robust long term USG solution is needed. In the interim, there will also be a sustained focus on continuing improved management of the USO contract.”

And finally from NBN Co page on SkyMuster (same goes for FW areas)

"Will my existing copper services remain active when I connect with nbn?

The existing copper lines and services at your premises will not be altered or changed by an nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite installation."


I should clarify that I am not out in the scrub, I am living in a country town.


In our situation the circumstances are equally confusing.

What appears to have been followed by the NBN Co design is to provide FTTN plus some FTTC to reach all of the footprint of the local council town village planning zone.

The zone is shaped a little like a peanut.

Consequently the NBN Co is connecting premises between 2km and 3km from the town centre to fixed line services. However there are other instances of properties close to town, but not in the peanut missing out. Some are as close as 1,000m to the township centre (1,500m or less copper distance to exchange). Future FW service to be provided. We can look across the rows of pineapples, several hundred meters to properties on good FTTN. There is no simple answer under the current rules The NBN Co has been set by government.

FTTC could service our property and another 25 premises.
3500m of fibre cable and 8-10 DPUs all connected back to the main fibre connection point in town.

A rough guess is that would cost all up between $3,000 and $4,000 NBN dollars per connection. This is potentially a lower cost than the FW service planned for the area.

The catch here is that if the NBN Co were to extend FTTC in similar situations, it is robbing the local FW of customers. The NBN Co will not short term recover any more income from making a change to FTTC in these situations. The total number of customers stays the same. Providing FTTC is simply an added cost the NBN Co can too easily avoid. Achieved by dumping customers onto FW or satellite.

And in our area, it also appears to be possible to be ‘in town’ while not really being ‘in town’.