The head of Internet Australia has described the release of a highly critical report on the NBN as being 'the last nail in the coffin of the Federal Government's National Broadband Network.'
Laurie Patton, the executive director of Internet Australia, the peak body representing the interests of Internet users, said the report recommended that NBN abandon its current mixed technology rollout plan in favour of a “minimum” of fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC).
"The NBN is extremely unpopular in regional Australia; We regularly hear complaints from our members in the bush.
“Given my close connections with Young, I'm very aware of how unhappy many locals are when it comes to broadband access".
The NBN is extremely unpopular in regional Australia.Laurie Patton
Mr Patton said “IA applaud's the work of the Joint Standing Committee on the NBN made up of seven Labor MPs, five MPs from the Liberal party and one MP each from the Nationals, the Nick Xenophon Team, the Greens and One Nation and the independent Cathy McGowan.
“This report vindicates the calls we’ve been making for more than two years now. Australia needs a 21st Century broadband network, and this is just not being delivered," he said.
"Three years ago our policy favoured returning to a full-fibre NBN.
“This remains very much the preferred position and what’s occurring in 80 percent of new broadband rollouts globally.
"Our stance is based on our members’ belief that fast, affordable and reliable broadband is essential to our economic and social development. IA has consistently called for a bipartisan rethink and an agreed plan to solve a looming crisis facing NBN Co.
"The Joint Standing Committee is correct. We need to abandon the FTTN rollout immediately”.
However, a dissenting report from five Liberal MPs, including chair Sussan Ley, commending the current rollout means the government is unlikely to agree to the changes.
A statement from NBN Co said it welcomed the work of the Joint Standing Committee and will look closely at the recommendations.