The Turnbull government has rejected a call to direct NBN Co to complete as much as possible of the remaining direct line network using fibre to the curb or premises.
The call came from a parliamentary committee which spent a year examining the rollout of the national broadband network.
The government’s formal response, tabled in federal parliament on Tuesday, said it remained committed to the ‘multi-technology mix’ approach to the NBN, which would deliver fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices and least cost to taxpayers.
However NBN Co would use fibre to the curb and premises where it was the ‘most appropriate and viable technology option’.
‘The cost to taxpayers of changing direction would be substantial both in terms of delay and in the estimated requirement of approximately an additional $30 billion to roll out a full FTTP network across the vast Australian continent,’ the government said.
It also rejected the committee’s idea of a new ‘regional and remote reference group’ to support the rollout of the network.
The parliamentary committee said such a body could analyse business decisions by NBN Co which impacted on user experiences and consider cases where the company was not meeting its responsibilities.
However, the government said NBN had a ‘comprehensive program of stakeholder engagements’ with rural and regional groups.
One example of how such feedback had been taken on board was the decision in June 2017 to double data limits for the Sky Muster service covering remote areas.