i3 Group weighs into NBN costs

Claims its network could be deployed at a cheaper rate

Brisbane-based fibre infrastructure provider, i3 Group, has claimed that the National Broadband Network (NBN) could be built at a fraction of the current cost estimates of $40 billion if alternative broadband systems were deployed.

i3 Group chief executive, Elfed Thomas, said in a statement that its technology which runs fibre through sewer or water networks could provide broadband to homes 70 per cent cheaper and 60 per cent faster than the NBN, without the disruption of laying new channels.

He also said the company has plans to accelerate its expansion in Australia, following the temporary halt to construction of the NBN.

The company was involved with a project to provide a sewer fibre broadband network to Brisbane. However, the project was cancelled by outgoing Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman, who cited due diligence concerns.

“We believe i3 is now in a strong position to help the Federal government, and local and state public sector bodies to meet the needs of their business and community stakeholders, by licensing our fibre cabling systems to them,” Thomas said.

"Our financial model, based on substantially lower cost, is attractive to private investors, and network construction partners," he said.

Thomas also said that the advantage of its fibre optic technology was that there was limited disruption to traffic when the system was deployed.

An NBN Co spokeswoman said in a statement that the NBN Co has outlined its network architecture and approach to design and construction in its corporate plan.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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