Socio-spatial patterns of the national broadband network revealed: Lessons from greater Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane

Tooran Alizadeh, Tony Grubesic, Edward Helderop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The National Broadband Network (NBN) is the largest public infrastructure project in the history of Australia. The goal of the NBN is to provide Australians with broadband internet access by using a mix of technologies, ranging from fibre and hybrid fibre-coaxial to fixed wireless and satellite platforms. Although the NBN is a public project, one of the more vexing aspects of its evolution is its lack of data transparency. There is virtually no information on platform use or footprint distribution throughout the country. Not only does this drastically limit evidence-based telecommunications policy analysis, it also limits the ability to evaluate equity in the spatial distribution of broadband connectivity and infrastructure quality. The purpose of this paper is to uncover the geographic presence of the various NBN technologies using data mining techniques and census-based socio-spatial data (SEIFA). The results portray the complexity of the NBN footprint across three metropolitan regions of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane – with a focus on how the mixed-technology platform adopted divides major Australian cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101941
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Australia
  • Broadband
  • Equity
  • NBN
  • Telecommunication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Management Information Systems
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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