Jul 25, 2013

Turnbull confirms plan to slug Australians up to $5,000 to connect to superfast broadband

The Coalition has confirmed that Australians would be forced to pay up to $5,000 to connect fibre direct to their home or business if they win the election.

Labor’s National Broadband Network will deliver fibre to the home to 93 per cent of Australian premises with no connection cost.

Malcolm Turnbull told Sky News that if Australians wanted the same superfast broadband under the Coalition: “that would be a charge of some thousands of dollars”.[1]

When asked directly to guarantee that the charge would not be as much as $5,000, Mr Turnbull said:

“Well, we haven’t set a rate for it.”[2]

Mr Turnbull went on to give an example of a fibre-on-demand service from the United Kingdom:

“The cost of getting fibre on demand over that distance (500 metres) is 1500 pounds, which I think would work out about $3000.”[3]

This confirms that Mr Turnbull’s plan is modelled on BT in the UK, which charges up to $5,000.[4]

Mr Turnbull also admitted that most households would not want to take up this service. That is not surprising seeing that they would be slugged ‘several thousands of dollars’ to connect to superfast broadband.

Labor believes access to high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband is an essential service, like water and electricity. It shouldn’t be a lottery that depends on how much money you have or how close to node you live.

[1] Malcolm Turnbull, Sky News PM Agenda, 24 July

[2] Malcolm Turnbull, Sky News PM Agenda, 24 July

[3] Malcolm Turnbull, Sky News PM Agenda, 24 July