Govt unlikely to hit NBN deadline: Report

Summary:A leaked report provided to the Coalition casts doubt over the government's promise to deliver 25Mbps download speeds to all Australians by 2016.

The government's 2016 delivery deadline for the National Broadband Network (NBN) looks likely to be blown out, according to a leaked internal NBN Co document.

The Coalition has promised to deliver 25 megabits per second (Mbps) broadband services to all homes by 2016, but a brief to the incoming government, obtained by Fairfax Media, says construction and technical issues mean that may not happen.

"There are a number of conditions that will impact on NBN Co's ability to undertake a volume (fibre-to-the-node) network rollout," the report states.

"Given the complexity of these conditions, it is unlikely that NBN Co will meet the 2016 deadline to upgrade the fixed network to enable Australians to have minimum download speeds of 25Mbps."

In addition to raising issues about timing, the document also cuts revenue projections by up to 30 percent by 2021.

A Senate hearing this week was told by communications secretaries that NBN Co will need to lower its revenue projections, because copper can't match the speeds of 250Mbps to 1,000Mbps of fibre to the premises (FttP).

The Abbott government campaigned to replace Labor's FttP model with the cheaper fibre-to-the-node (FttN) option that will rely on Telstra's ageing copper network to connect homes and businesses.

But while FttN is estimated to be at least AU$15 billion cheaper and two years faster to build, the hearing was told that NBN Co will need to lower its revenue projections, as copper can't match the speeds of FttP.

NBN Co executive chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski is this morning appearing before a Senate Select committee, where he is facing questioning on the report.

Topics: NBN

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