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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Page: 11100

NBN Rollout

(Question No. 966)


Mrs Elliot asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications and the Arts, in writing, on 9 May 2018

MRS ELLIOT: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Communications and the Arts—1) In respect of the NBN rollout in the electoral division of Richmond, will the Minister advise a) when the Government will abandon fibre to the node, b) when the Government will commit to providing fibre to the curb for all residents as a minimum technology, c) how the Government will manage the surge of NBN complaints being received by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, d) when the Government will ensure that all NBN customers can receive a speed of 100 megabits per second, and e) how the Government will stem the cost to businesses caused by inefficiencies of the NBN.2) In respect of the electoral division of Richmond, a) how many premises are connected to the NBN (reported separately by suburb), and b) how many premises were connected to the NBN in i) 2014, ii) 2015, iii) 2016, iv) 2017, and v) 2018 (reported separately by suburb).3) How many NBN complaints were received from constituents in the electoral division of Richmond, a) by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, and b) at the office of the Minister for Communications, in i) 2014, ii) 2015, iii) 2016, iv) 2017, and v) 2018, (reported separately by suburb and nature of complaint).


Mr Fletcher: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

1)

a) NBN Co Limited (NBN Co) is building and operating the network on a commercial basis and at arm's length from the Government in line with the Statement of Expectations, which is available at www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco2/documents/soe-shareholder-minister-letter.pdf. NBN Co has flexibility and discretion in operational, technology and network design decisions, and uses the technology best matched to each area in Australia. This approach will see the network finished by 2020 and enable nine out of ten Australians in the fixed line footprint to get access to download speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) or more.

b) NBN Co determines which technologies are most cost-effective and should be utilised on an area-by-area basis to minimise peak funding, optimise economic returns, and deliver broadband upgrades sooner. Fibre to the curb (FTTC) is being selectively deployed where it is cost-effective and practical to do so from a rollout perspective. When the network is complete, all Australian homes and businesses will have access to a minimum wholesale download speed of 25 Mbps, with nine out of ten users in the fixed line footprint able to access download speeds of 50 Mbps or more. NBN Co's 2019-22 Corporate Plan states it will offer services to 1.4 million premises via FTTC by financial year 2020-21.

c) The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) does not record (or report on) complaints it receives from consumers according to electoral division.

The TIO's six-month update for July to December 2017 reports that during this period 22,827 complaints were recorded about services delivered over the NBN. The overwhelming majority of these complaints relate to retail service provider issues, such as billing and customer service. Comparing the TIO complaint statistics to the preceding 6 month period, total complaints have declined by 7.75%.

d) The Government is continually working with NBN Co to meet the needs of Australian homes and businesses while ensuring that the network being rolled out is affordable. When the network is complete, all Australian homes and businesses will have access to a minimum wholesale download speed of 25 Mbps, with nine out of ten users in the fixed line footprint able to access download speeds of 50 Mbps or more. This objective is in line with the Statement of Expectations, which is available at www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco2/documents/soe-shareholder-minister-letter.pdf. NBN Co advises that it expects 72 per cent of premises will be able to access peak wholesale download speeds of 100 Mbps in 2020. As at 30 June 2018, only 11 per cent of fixed line premises were ordering 100 Mbps services. The Bureau of Communications and Arts Research has also forecasted that the maximum peak bandwidth requirement for 98 per cent of Australian households will be 49 Mbps by 2026. For these reasons, the Government remains confident that the network provided by NBN Co will be fit for purpose.

e) Recent research shows the benefits to Australian businesses from the rollout of the NBN network. AlphaBeta's report from April 2018 confirms that the rollout helped to drive an estimated $1.2 billion in additional economic activity in 2017 by creating new jobs, new businesses and improving productivity. This impact is expected to increase to an annual impact of $10.4 billion from 2021. NBN Co is continually working to improve service experience for end users and in late 2017 accelerated the launch of products designed to help broadband providers meet business needs.

2)

a) NBN Co rolls out the network in Service Area Modules (SAM). SAM boundaries do not necessarily align with suburb boundaries so it is not possible to provide this information at the suburb level. For the electorate of Richmond, approximately 32,101 premises were connected to an active NBN service as at 6 September 2018.

b)

i) Not comparable as electorate boundaries changed in 2016.

ii) Not comparable as electorate boundaries changed in 2016.

iii) There were approximately 722 premises connected as at 30 December 2016.

iv) There were approximately 19,863 premises connected as at 29 December 2017.

v) See answer to 2(a).

3)

a) See answer to 1(c)

b) It is not possible to provide an accurate breakdown as not all constituent letters provide a street address. Analysing correspondence records to determine which letters were complaints and the nature of any complaints would be an unreasonable diversion of resources.