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$51bn NBN completed at a cost of $4,500 per premises but we’re lacking Gigabit speeds

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The $51bn NBN will be completed this week which averaged out to a connection cost of $4,500 per premises but, according a report from the Telecommunications Association, more than 70 per cent of homes will still not be able to access world-class Gigabit speeds.

And for those that can access Gigabit speeds – they are paying the third highest prices in the world for the service.

The Gigabit Gap report, put together by Huawei Australia and the Telecommunications Association (TelSoc), revealed that after 10 years of construction of the NBN only 28 per cent of premises can access Gigabit speeds using either FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) or FTTC (Fibre to the Curb).

This places Australia way down the list of countries with access to Gigabit speeds behind countries including Italy (30 per cent), Finland (35 per cent), Sweden (77 per cent), Spain (80 per cent), South Korea (81 per cent) and Singapore (99 per cent).

New Zealand will reach 90 per cent Gigabit capacity for homes and businesses by 2022.

France, Spain and the UK will hit 100 per cent Gigabit capability by 2025.

Meanwhile, Australia has no current plans to extend Gigabit capability with some customers stuck on lower speeds. Some homes on the NBN can’t even reach 25Mbps.

“Unlike many of our trading partners Australia has not adopted an aspiration to be a Gigabit enabled nation,” said Stephen Myers, principal consultant, OMDIA.

“Gigabit services may not be an end in themselves but ensuring the NBN can continue to be a platform that facilitates Australia’s digital evolution requires an expansive, and growing capability.

“Building universal high-speed broadband to a large nation like Australia was an ambitious undertaking, with the completion of the volume NBN rollout it is timely to consider the next steps in the development of the NBN as a platform for Australia’s digital future.”

OMDIA research also shows Gigabit pricing on the NBN are the third most expensive of 26 global markets.

The only markets charging more than Australia’s NBN is Norway and Canada.

“Although nearly all Australians now have access to 25Mbps broadband the fact is that there is now much more work to do to get Australians on a much more level playing field,” says Jeremy Mitchell, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Huawei Australia.

“It is simply unfair – and frankly un-Australian for taxpayer dollars to deliver an outcome where, for example, Coffs Harbour in NSW gets Gigabit Fibre-to-the-Premises and Bundaberg in QLD gets speeds forty times slower with 25Mbps on Fibre-to-the-Node – it’s time to put that right.”