The FTTN Failure

Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott began spruiking a Fibre To The Node (FTTN) network prior to winning power in the 2013 election. Despite pretty much every industry expert deriding it as obsolete technology (one even described it as a ‘shit network’), soon after the election they ordered NBN Co to begin rolling out the “Multi technology mix”, incorporating a high proportion of FTTN. By the time of completion, it will represent the majority of NBN connections.

As predicted, FTTN has proven to be an unmitigated disaster. Complaints about the NBN have gone through the roof due to poor performance, relentless dropouts and connection problems. FTTN has failed on every front. It is slow, unreliable and expensive.

Speed and Capability failure

Turnbull promised that FTTN could easily deliver 100Mbps (and up to 1Gbps). In reality, data has revealed that the average speed possible over NBN FTTN is just 67Mbps. 35% cannot even reach 50Mbps.

Rollout time failure

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull promised in 2013 that by the end of 2016, they would have completed the network so that 100% of Australians could receive at least 25Mbps.

In reality, only 37% of premises were passed by the end of 2016.

Cost failure

When launching their policy, Abbott and Turnbull promised the cost of their ‘cheaper’ NBN would be just $29.5bn. By December 2015, that had blown out by 66% to $49bn. That’s more than the 2013 projected cost of continuing the FTTP rollout.


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