Malcolm Turnbull's insistence that copper will be good enough for broadband has been met by Labor claims that the election of an Abbott government would result in the "haves and have nots" of super-fast internet.
The shadow communications minister said yesterday the coalition's less costly policy - to replace Labor's fibre-to-the-home with a system that limits the optic fibre rollout to cabinets in the street - had been vindicated.
Mr Turnbull cited the example of a Sydney apartment block that achieved speeds of 93Mbps using existing copper wires. "The reason why it's been so cost-effective is they haven't had to rewire the building," he said.
Under the National Broadband Network, speeds of up to 1000Mbps are possible if fibre is connected directly to the home.
The coalition's policy would force homeowners to pay thousands of dollars extra if they wanted to replace the last stretch of copper lines to their homes with optic fibre. Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the policy would split Perth.
He said the NBN had already been connected to 2900 homes and businesses in Mandurah, Victoria Park and South Perth.Under the coalition's policy, 232,000 homes would have to rely on existing copper.