NBN boss says Government to blame for slow internet speeds

The Coalition Government’s eagerness to rely on copper wiring has meant cheaper NBN prices at the cost of performance, more frequent dropouts and more maintenance feeds for users of broadband. According the now outgoing boss of NBN Co, Bill Morrow, it is entirely the government’s fault for thwarting the NBN.

Mr Morrow outlined in a NBN published paper all of the issues with the original rollout which he attributed to the MTM (Multi Technology Mix) that was favoured by the Turnbull Government. When the changes to the NBN were first announced, Coalition frontbenchers notoriously said that Australian’s “didn’t need” internet that was that fast.

The NBN model that was originally in place would have used fibre cables and meant higher speeds while having a larger upfront cost. Mr Morrow pointed out the stark difference in maximum possible speeds between fibre and copper NBN wiring.

While conceding that the MTM model is less expensive, Mr Morrow said that the difference between copper and fibre would not have been significant enough not to go ahead with the fibre option.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has shown that there has been a more than 200% increase in the number of NBN complaints. Mr Morrow said that “too many” people were dissatisfied with the little difference the NBN has made to their internet speeds.

Mr Morrow said that the most common service people have, FTTN (fibre to the node) is not as fast as FTTP (fibre to the premises). He said the FTTN has a higher rate of fault than FTTP.

Even though the Turnbull Government promised a base download speed of 25 MBS, Mr Morrow has said that this rate is not currently possible due to the “co-existence” period. This period means that other internet services like ADSL are still obscuring the total effectiveness of the NBN.

He said that during this period the top speeds people can get with copper are about half of what the Government promised. He also said that many of the problems with the MTM rollout are due to the problems with existing telecommunications infrastructure.

He said that the “physical condition” of the NBN is sometime much worse than they anticipate. He also said that some NBN databases about where networks are located are missing or inaccurate.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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