Eleven years ago the Rudd federal Labor Government announced the intention to build a National Broadband Network delivering super fast broadband to Australian homes and workplaces: 93% via Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) and 7% via Fixed Wireless/Satellite.

Several years later the Liberal Party came into power and the Abbott and Turnbull governments promised that the NBN would be built faster and cheaper with a multi technology mix including FTTP, FTTC, HFC, FTTN, FTTB, Fixed Wireless and Satellite.

The CEO of NBN now says that the NBN is on track for completion in 6 weeks at the end of Q2 2020. NBN’s completion target is 11.5 million residences ready to connect and about 300,000 of these were not done by the end of Q1 2020.

Sydney Trains says it has achieved “on time running” when at least 92% of peak services arrive within 5 minutes of when they’re supposed to.

In a similar way NBN will count their initial rollout as “complete” mid year even though 100,000 residences have been put in a too hard basket and left to try to connect them again at a later date.

Of the residences that can connect to the NBN about 63% have done so. This is because of various reasons — eg. the people who live in the other 37% are still connected to ADSL and the copper lines in that area haven’t been cut off yet, or they can’t afford to connect or they only use their mobile phone for the internet.

NBN’s Chief financial officer Philip Knox told AFR that the cost per premise of the rollout was higher than projected in the corporate plan, because of more work required at some locations than expected.

This will not come as a shock to Ausdroid readers who are unlucky enough to have troublesome FTTN or HFC connections where the poor quality of their neighbourhood copper phone lines or old deteriorated Telstra cable network has caused NBN to do constant remediation work to keep things running.

Regardless of whether you’re in the group of people who wish for the “full fibre” approach or think the multi-technology mix has been a good enough solution, no one can deny that the NBN is better than the decaying old Telstra ADSL copper line network.

Don’t forget that if the NBN project hadn’t started and it had been left to the private sector to do what it wanted the best Australia could have hoped for is super fast broadband for those lucky enough to live in richer areas of our big cities, like the TPG FTTB rollout.

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NBN is more expensive than ADSL. NBN in new buildings aren’t FTTB, which sucks.

Tim Chef

Neerav, when I type your name in, it was autocorrected to Bereaved. Given you have never owned an Apple product, it seemed an apt auto correction. If you have never owned an Apple product, can you truly say Android is better? How do you know? Asking you about Apple would be like taking an Amazonian tribesman and asking their opinion of Japan. I guess you know a lot about Android, but it’s a shame you put up with second best, and simply have no true experience, presumably beyond fleeting, of what being an Apple user is like. Re: the NBN,… Read more »


I’m a tech for a large Telco. I have seen some good connections and some bad ones. The problem is bad workmanship, poor customer service and false promises. If a small business was to act in this way they would be locked up or shut down. Pathetic and once again the Australian consumers have been let down.


You can blame this on NBN Co being established as a monopoly to replace Telstra, Bureaucrats in a monopoly are rewarded for increasing the size of their personal empire not delivering value. Labor could have set minimum service requirements (e.g. 100/40Mbps) and sold rights to build and run the wholesale network in 121 locations. In some localities (e.g. inner city) companies would have paid for the rights. In other locations the government would have subsidised the costs. Institute a ban on wholesale companies also being retailers and limits on percentage of the network and that would have solved the monopoly… Read more »


Had both fibre to the node and curb and have both been able to connect to Telstra NBN 100 with speeds around 95mbps so pretty happy with the network. Was a constant battle to even have 2 people online with ADSL 2. NBN was meant to come to our place sometime 2020 but liberals got it in 2017 so pretty happy sincd


You’re lucky. My place was supposed to be RFS on the Real FTTH NBN q3 2014. That was killed off after the Liebrals got in. The Real NBN was replaced with the NFN, my area stripped off the books, yet across the street it went live on the Real NBN, on schedule. In q2 2015, the construction start date for the NFN was pencilled in for q4 2015 and then taken off the books again before that date. Then in 2017, put back on the books for q4 2018 with nothing actually being done. Then put back on the books… Read more »

Tim Chef

That’s one heck of a lot of books you had to go through. I hope you recycled them!


I’d not be surprised to learn the NFN had said books recycled into shredded paper packing materials, sold for use to overseas originated corporations.

Damien Robinson

NBN’s been active in our area for 3 years. A node is 50m from our house. There is nothing exceptional about our street/house that should put us in the too hard basket but for 3 years NBN Co have postponed our ability to connect off 3 months at a time. We keep getting junk mail from internet providers each month saying we’re about to be connected but no, we’re not. Our current ADSL provider keeps disconnecting us each month saying NBN say we can connect. When you check with NBN, they say not for another 3 months. Thankfully they reconnect… Read more »

Damien Robinson

We’re going to today. This article convinced me they’ll keep putting us off

Neerav Bhatt

best of luck. I suggest using this guide about how best to complain to parliamentarians and government departments https://www.crikey.com.au/2009/12/16/dont-waste-your-time-waste-theirs-a-guide-to-writing-to-ministers/

Damien Robinson

Thanks Neeraz

Tim Chef

I suppose calling Neerav Neeraz is near as good enough… but not really. The Bhatt Man deserves better! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Tim Chef

I just realised you are the “Bhatt Man”! You need to launch a few Bhattarangs over at NBN headquarters to wake them up a bit. I’m guessing you have a heckuva Bhatt cave!! I am jealous.


Totally agree that the private sector would never have delivered even half of the NBN fibre coverage in about 15 years. There was never any incentives to do so. It’s just a pity, and frankly a national embarrassment, that the Liberals screwed the network, and the Australian public, so badly.


We know that by how many ISP’s put their own ADSL DLAMS in exchanges. The majority of the country was left out.


The reason that many country locations were left out was the cost of back haul charged by Telstra when it was the only provider. If you tracked the progress of Labor’s Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP), you would see ISPs rolling out DSLAMs to cities connected by competing fibre for the first time.


The Liberals stopped Telstra from building a FTTN network which was designed re-establishing Telstra’s physical monopoly.
Labor failed to structurally separate Telstra when they had the opportunity and gave them $90 billion for access to Telstra assets.


I was getting about 12Mbps with ADSL+, now I am on 45Mpbs. So its a success for me.

I did hear ages ago that Musk is going to put up a global internet satellite services, and he said would be better than what we have here. Not sure how that is going, or if it was just hot air again from him?


What projects has he done that have been epic failures?

Tim Chef

That’s a good question. Even Musk’s hairplugs have been an amazing success – look for pics of Elon in his younger years and you’ll see he was balding.


I went from ADSL1 (~1Mbps) to 48Mbps on FTTN NBN. So like you, whilst not happy, I am getting better experience compared to what I had.


Public beta is scheduled for later this year, although it is not clear if that will be in Australia or only North America. There have been 7 successful launches of 60 Starlink Satellites each (420 in total) with the next scheduled for Tuesday 19th May at 7:10am UTC, which should make the YouTube livestream at a very watchable time 5:10pm in Sydney. Current launch cadence is 60 a month. When Starlink starts offering a service in Australia expect to see people migrate off SkyMuster very quickly even if it is more expensive, because the low latency (<30ms) compared with SkyMuster's… Read more »