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NBN has purchased over 61,000kms of copper and six times as much optical fibre

Company responsible for the National Broadband Network also looking to purchase enough renewable energy to cover itself in four years.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: MiaoMiao Lv, Getty Images/iStockphoto

The company responsible for Australia's National Broadband Network has once again revealed the amount of copper it has purchased in its existence. However this time, NBN decided it would add the amount of optical fibre as additional information.

"As of 26 October 2021, NBN co has purchased 361,451.33 kilometres of optical fibre," it said in Senate Estimate Questions on Notice.

"The relatively small amount of copper purchased (61,102km) is largely used to connect the new optical fibre to existing legacy networks."

In October 2015, NBN kicked off with 1,800kms of copper, subsequently increased to 15,000kms and 16,600kms, and by February 2019 was sitting at almost 30,000kms.

NBN has previously said the copper is used for links between existing pillars and new nodes, as well as for extensions on fibre-to-the-curb deployments (FttC) for lead-ins to reach the FttC distribution point unit.

Last week, NBN revealed it replaced 21,000 FttC connection devices in the six weeks to mid-November, as lightning has continued to fry the boxes.

On Monday, NBN released its second sustainability report and pledged to purchase 100% renewable energy by December 2025, as well as have 20% renewable energy, around 80GWh annually, by the end of fiscal year 2023. It also said it would reduce energy use by 25GWh annually in the next four years, and would use electric or hybrids vehicles where it could by 2030.

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