The Federal Government’s decision to go ahead with the rollout of the national broadband network was hailed by the big five internet providers (BHOPs), and a lot of them are big internet players.
In its submission to the Federal Parliament, the ISPs argued that the NBN is vital to Australian business.
The ISPs argued the rollout would provide a level playing field and improve the internet as a whole.
But they also argued the NBN’s primary aim was to deliver high speed broadband, not to build new internet infrastructure.
They said the NBN would be able to deliver broadband at the speed needed to reach the most users.
“The Government’s NBN will deliver high-speed broadband, but the Government’s broadband rollout is not limited to high-capacity network nodes,” the ISPs said.
They also argued that there is no need for the Government to build fibre to every home, because Australians already have the capacity to access the NBN via their mobile phones and Wi-Fi hotspots.
They pointed out that the Government is already investing billions of dollars in broadband infrastructure, including the $30 billion that will be invested in the next three years in the Northern Territory.
“There is no other country in the world where the Government has invested $30bn on broadband infrastructure at a time when the Government of Australia has been struggling to pay back its debts,” the ISP submission said.
The Government’s plan to build more fibre to the node is called fibre to all, and it is expected to be rolled out by 2025.
However, the Federal Court has ruled that the Federal government cannot proceed with this plan because it does not have the resources to do so.
The Federal Court of Australia will consider whether the NBN should be rolled up to all Australians, and whether the Federal Cabinet’s proposal to require the rollout to be made in every Australian’s backyard is legally sound.
“It is the Government who is trying to put Australia’s economy at risk by putting billions of taxpayer dollars into the construction of infrastructure that is likely to be built by third parties,” the Federal Opposition said in a statement on Tuesday.
It added that the plan to move forward with the NBN “cannot be justified on the basis of economic efficiency”.
“If the NBN were to be implemented in every local community, the Government would have to pay billions of extra dollars to subsidise the construction and operation of the network.”
The Government argued that it would be possible to build the NBN to every house in every town and city, but there was no evidence to suggest this would be an option.
The NBN rollout will require the NBN company to build a total of 10,000km of fibre optic cable across Australia.
It will also require a lot more investment from the private sector than was required in the last federal election.
The first phase of the NBN will be completed in 2020, with the second phase completed in 2022.