Mon, 16 May - 13:33
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Fletcher questions NBN CEO Quigley about new overhead cable

There is the prospect of new overhead cables being rolled out in the federal electorate of Bradfield, it emerged in this morning’s hearing of the Federal Parliament’s Joint Select Committee into the National Broadband Network.

 

Member for Bradfield Paul Fletcher questioned NBN CEO Mike Quigley about his plans to roll out overhead cables – including in areas which already have overhead cable forming part of the Optus and Telstra hybrid fibre coax (HFC) networks.

NBN Co’s corporate plan assumes that 25 per cent of premises in the local network will be passed aerially.

“Mr Quigley has committed to review the rollout plans in Bradfield and come back to me with further information,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Mr Quigley also confirmed, in response to my questions, that if a telecommunications facility qualifies as a ‘low impact facility’ under federal telecommunications legislation, no local council planning permission will be required by NBN to build that facility.”

“I am concerned about the risk of additional overhead cables being rolled out through beautiful and historic streetscapes in the Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby municipalities – and in many other towns and suburbs around the country.

“I will be closely monitoring Mr Quigley’s further response to my questions,” Mr Fletcher said.

“In my view it is particularly troubling that we may see new construction in areas of Bradfield – and other electorates around the country – which are already served by the HFC networks of Telstra and Optus, networks which are readily capable of being upgraded to deliver the same 100 Mbps speed which the NBN is promised to deliver.

“It is hard to see the sense in this on economic grounds – and if it means there is the risk of additional highly visible overhead cables in many beautiful and historic streetscapes around Australia, that seems to me a further reason to question the wisdom of NBN’s strategy to overbuild areas already served by the HFC networks.”