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NBN Rollout Costs More Than Most Other Countries

The price of rolling out NBN fibre-to-the-premises connections in Australia could be the highest in the world, the Senate committee overseeing the NBN has heard.

Professor Rod Tucker, who advised the Labor Government on its original NBN plan, told the committee that the average per premises connection cost for FTTP in Australia was almost double the US.

“Australia’s FTTP rollout is likely to be one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive, in the world,” Tucker said (via The Australian), and claimed there were “many countries with high GDP per capita, like Australia” that had “much lower” costs.

Tucker quoted figures from NBN’s half-yearly report that put the cost of FTTP connections at an average of $4,405 per premises, compared to about $2,256 per premises in the US and $2,678 per premises in New Zealand.

While highlighting that NBN has claimed this cost remains fixed throughout the rollout, Tucker provided examples of FTTP rollouts overseas that had seen a reduction in costs over time, including in the US where Verizon cut its connection costs in half.

NBN did not respond to The Australian‘s questions about the costs of the FTTP rollout, but a spokeswoman said “The extremely high cost of deploying FTTP to every single premise is why almost every country around the world is deploying a mixture of technologies to deliver better broadband.”

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