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Can Turnbull do a two step?

If Malcolm Turnbull sees fibre as the ultimate solution, will he ensure his fibre to the node network is designed for what follows it?

We know deploying fibre to every home is complicated. The ACCC’s involvement in copper pull- throughs is an example of that. Commissioner Ed Willet helps explain in this week’s podcast just how many parties are involved when the only way to connect a home is to hook the fibre to the copper wire and pull it through the duct. It’s one example of why delivering such a vast network is a massive undertaking.

From that point of view the interim step of building a fibre to the node network might make sense. After all, it’s good enough for the British. Andrew Ferguson, editor of thinkbroadband.co.uk, says there’s only a small proportion of evangelists demanding a full fibre solution.

For those who want fibre all the way they can choose fibre-on-demand – something included in the coalition’s proposal here. But the UK is only at trial stage and the cost is prohibitively expensive. The problem, says Benoit Felton from Diffraction analysis, is that individual households will be paying a one-off truckroll and fibre circuit that would be shared with a full fibre deployment.

Even if whole communities bandy together it’ll still cost more if the initial fibre to the node network hasn’t been designed as a stepping stone to a full fibre solution. If Turnbull sees fibre as the future he could at least be considering paying a little extra for a design that will save costs down the track.

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