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A cheaper way to roll out faster broadband

We have been presented with two ways of delivering faster broadband across our nation. One involves running fibre to the vast majority of properties in the country. The other involves deploying fibre to the node – not as fast, but cheaper and quicker to deliver.

Both ways involve a fair chunk of money from the taxpayer, even if the plan is to recoup that by selling the network down the track.

It seems the Coalition alternative is based on resolving one problem – getting fibre into the premises. We heard last week how OpenReach in the UK had basically abandoned the exercise because it was too difficult.

This week Mark Grgeory, senior lecturer in electrical and computer engineering at RMIT University, argues that it’s easy to abandon fibre to the premises when nobody has stipulated what the objectives are for a next generation network. What do we need it for and what should it look like?

It’s a view shared by Peter Cochrane, a 38 year veteran of British Telecom, who sees fibre to the premises as essential. But he has another, cheaper way, of getting us there. Listen to this week’s podcast and see if his idea is the answer for Australia.

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