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The competition watchdog has criticised the rollout of the Australian national broadband network, which is expected to be completed by 2019.
The Communications and Media Authority (CMA) has also criticised the decision to deploy fibre optic technology for the first time in the country, and the decision not to use a fixed-line copper network.CMA chief executive Ian White said the government had made a “terrible mistake” by not building a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network that would have “more robust security, speed and reliability”.
“The Australian Government has a serious commitment to broadband and the roll-out of a FTTN network will ensure we can deliver a level of service to our citizens that is affordable and accessible for all,” Mr White said.
“The CMA has a clear position on this issue and we will continue to work with the NBN Co to achieve this.”
He said the CMA would work with NBN Co “to ensure this important infrastructure is properly deployed and used”.
But he said there was still “a long way to go” and that “fibre optic infrastructure” was not a good solution.
“It’s not a silver bullet for Australia’s broadband needs, but it’s an essential part of our future,” Mr Trump said.NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley said the rollout was “going to be a real challenge”.
“We’re committed to getting this right, and we’ll be working hard to meet that commitment,” he said.
The CAA said the network would “enable speeds up to 1Gbps”, which was slower than what was available in the US.
“We’ve been looking at the technology for some time and we think it’s a viable alternative to fixed-band and fibre-optic,” Mr Quigleys said.
But the CAA also said the upgrade was “not likely to offer much value” in terms of reducing the cost of accessing broadband, and “will result in significant network congestion”.
“In fact, we think this upgrade will make matters worse,” Mr McBride said.