Australia is being left behind in the broadband race, with the country still debating a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network while the rest of the world is already planning for fibre-to-the-home (FTTH).
That’s according to Paul Budde, of analyst firm BuddeComm, who believes that the development of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is becoming bogged down in inquiries, leaving the Rudd government’s promise of fast broadband unfulfilled.
“The absence of decision making and the ongoing delays in the broadband market here are slowly but surely impeding the government from fulfilling its all-important election promise to get started with a 12 MBps broadband network before the end of the year,” Budde said.
This comes as the rest of the world invests heavily in FTTH, with countries like Japan, Korea, the US and Britain planning to launch broadband with minimum speeds of 20 50 MBps in 2010.
But Australia is only expecting to have speeds of 12 MBps by that time.
According to Budde, the delays stem from an unwillingness of the Rudd government to force incumbent Telstra to open its network infrastructure.
“Nobody will be able to build an alternative network without the full cooperation of Telstra, and nothing will be achieved until the government acknowledges this and makes a policy decision to force Telstra to cooperate,” he said.
In addition to this, the constant inquiries into the matter do little to help.
“Australia has had three times more government Inquiries than the USA, and most of the remaining countries involved have had one, maybe two. At the latest count we have had over 10, and we still can’t make a decision,” said Budde.