Millions of homes and businesses are set to gain access to ultra-fast broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second in an upgrade to the national broadband network.
The $4.5 billion network investment plan will give up to 75 per cent of fixed-line premises across regional and metropolitan Australia access to ultra-fast broadband by 2023.
It will be financed through NBN Co borrowing from private debt markets.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said Australians have a growing appetite for faster broadband speeds.
“This is the right time for this network upgrade,” he said, ahead of a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.
“There is a long term trend of broadband demand growth with a very significant spike this year as COVID-19 has changed the way we use the internet.”
Fibre to the home for every Australian household was a central feature of Labor’s NBN plan but this was scrapped by the coalition in 2013 in favour of a mix of technologies.
The opposition has accused the coalition of butchering the NBN rollout.
“Paul Fletcher has today confirmed what many have always known: the Liberals have been lying to Australians about the NBN for the past ten years,” Labor communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland said.
“The web of untruths concocted by Malcolm Turnbull, and Paul Fletcher as his parliamentary secretary, have extracted a significant and unnecessary price on taxpayers and consumers.”
Mr Fletcher argues Labor’s plan would have built fibre everywhere before people were willing to pay for it.
His plan involves on-demand fibre to the node upgrades, capacity upgrades on the hybrid fibre coaxial network and work on the fibre to the curb network.
From an economic perspective, the NBN is estimated to increase Australia’s gross domestic product by $6.4 billion a year by 2024, including $1.5 billion in regional areas.