Microsoft urges NBN review to reconsider high-speed fibre

Microsoft's managing director wants the NBN to be as fast as possible and much prefers the previous Labor government's fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) plan over the Liberal Party's cut-down fibre to the node (FTTN).

The stalled roll-out of Australia's National Broadband Network has seen half a million premises thrown into limbo.
(Credit: Netgear)

Pip Marlow, Microsoft's managing director, has told AAP that the Abbott government should rethink its existing plan to cut the FTTP roll-out in favour of a largely FTTN scheme.

The recently elected Liberal government's strategic review of the NBN will determine a new scheme to roll the network out more quickly and for a lower cost, likely by transitioning away from the more expensive FTTP.

Previous statements from the current Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, suggest that a mix of optical fibre, hybrid fibre-coaxial (as used in Telstra and Optus' cable internet networks) and copper will be the likely outcome of the review.

But Microsoft is adding its voice to the groundswell of support for fibre to the premises. Speaking to AAP at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia event on Wednesday, Microsoft's Australian head Pip Marlow said that FTTP was the most appropriate solution: "Ultimately, if you don't get fibre to the home, the biggest impact really is the upload speeds."

"We're encouraging the government to be looking at all the options and really understanding how businesses, how schools, how individuals will be using this technology. We think that needs to be looked at," she said.

The strategic review of the NBN will be completed within a month, slated to be delivered on December 2.

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