The Federal Government is set to expand full-fibre broadband access to 1.5 million premises across Australia by 2025, through a $2.4 billion equity investment over four years in the 2022-23 Federal Budget.
The expansion will aim to deliver a faster and more reliable NBN to more families, communities, and businesses, allowing more Australians to take advantage of an increasingly digital global economy.
Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said, “This is the NBN Australians voted for and it is the NBN my Government is delivering.
“Australians deserve the same access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet access regardless of whether they’re logging in from the bush or the ‘burbs.
“I want to bring Australians together and we’re doing that by better connecting neighbourhoods and communities.”
Under the Federal Government’s planned upgrades, Australians who currently rely on copper connections will have the choice of adding full fibre connections to their premises for a faster NBN service than their current copper wire can deliver.
The investment aims to benefit 660,000 premises in regional Australia, and mean around 10 million homes and businesses across Australia will have access to speeds of up to 1GB per second by late 2025.
An economic analysis commissioned by NBN Co estimates the additional Fibre to the Premises connections will deliver an additional $20 billion uplift in GDP by 2030 through connecting communities and businesses to faster and more reliable broadband services.
The construction and installation phase of the expanded fibre roll out will support an additional $2.6 billion in economic activity through to 2026.
In addition to powering the digital economy, this project is expected to create thousands of jobs for construction workers, engineers and project managers in our regions and in our suburbs.
NBN Co welcomed the Federal Government’s investment and said full fibre connections will help deliver faster broadband speeds, better reliability, are more energy efficient and support the provision of additional data capacity across the NBN network.
NBN Co Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Rue, said, “We welcome the Government’s additional $2.4 billion investment in the NBN network.
“The NBN network is Australia’s digital backbone and the performance of the network underpins Australia’s global competitiveness and the economic future of our nation,” Mr Rue said.
“The measure of this success hinges on NBN Co’s ability to grow the capability and capacity of the network to keep ahead of the nation’s digital demand.”
Around one in five Australian premises are connected to plans based on nbn wholesale speed tiers offering peak wholesale download speeds of 100Mbps and above. With more connected devices and more simultaneous data usage in homes and businesses, NBN Co expects to see growing demand for faster broadband services.
“Fibre is inherently more capable of delivering faster upload and download speeds, is generally more reliable than copper connections and reduces our maintenance and operating costs,” Mr Rue said.
“Today’s announcement allows us to set a goal of enabling around 10 million premises, or up to 90 per cent of homes and businesses on the fixed line network, to access nbn’s highest residential speed tiers with wholesale download speeds of 500Mbps to close to 1Gbps by the end of 2025.”
Federal Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, said, “So much of what we do at home depends on reliable, high-speed internet – things like study, entertainment, working from home or running a small family business.
“The Federal Government will deliver a better NBN which will improve speeds and reliability, including for regional communities, and enhance equity of access to quality broadband infrastructure.
“This commitment will help to ensure no one is left behind, including in regional, rural and remote communities, and many vulnerable Australians.”