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Crowdsourced campaign scoops $AUD40k for pro-FTTP NBN ads

Comms Minister Turnbull's local rag to get fibrous promotion

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A crowdsourced campaign that aims to buy advertisements calling for Australia's national broadband network (NBN) to stick with its original fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) plan has soared past its $AUD15,000 funding target and now has a war chest of over $40,000 to splash.

The campaign's original aim was to raise enough cash to pop an ad on the front page of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's local newspaper The Wentworth Courier.

Turnbull took a policy for a a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) NBN to Australia's September election, which the Liberal/National coalition of which he is a member won. The Minister advocates FTTN as cheaper and faster to build, and probably as scalable as optical fibre if future technologies advance as expected.

That position has been challenged by a great many pundits and has also been the subject of a change.org petition that gathered over 250,000 signatures.

The campaigners are clearly aware of that effort, as they write “Already over a quarter of a million people have signed the largest change.org petition in Australia asking Malcolm Turnbull to listen” to their preference for FTTP. They also assert “every major poll sends the same message too”.

Turnbull's reaction to the petition has been to point out that his NBN policy was made available well before the election, so should come as no surprise. There's some chance the policy will change, as he has ordered a review of the NBN, but it's hard to see the new Minister backing away from his core plan.

The campaigners, meanwhile, are chuffed with the level of support and plan to use the cash to buy ads beyond The Wentworth Courier. “We’re going to get ads in other papers too - we’re currently working out where we can get the best placements,” the campaign page says.

The Reg has attempted to contact the campaigners and will update this story if they reply. ®

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