THE company responsible for rolling out the national broadband network has rejected allegations that connections to as many as one in eight homes could be faulty.
The allegations, published in The Australian newspaper yesterday, say that 21,000 of the 163,000 existing NBN connections to homes and businesses are affected.
But NBN Co chief operations officer Ralph Steffens said that claim was grossly overstated, and that not all ``faults'' identified by the company actually blocked connection.
In a statement, Mr Steffens said finding - and fixing - defects was part of any major infrastructure project, so even if the one in eight figure was correct it would not be a problem.
``The actual number of defects is substantially lower than that reported by the newspaper,'' he said.
Mr Steffens said defects ranged from the fibre needing to be re-spliced to lawn on the verge being replaced incorrectly, and not all caused connection difficulty.
``It is a measure of the thoroughness of NBN Co's construction process that these defects are carefully categorised so that we can continue to improve the quality of the work on the NBN as it is rolled out across more parts of the country,'' he said.
The claim is the latest problem to plague NBN Co, after an oversight in asbestos training requirements caused the rollout in Tasmania and Victoria to be delayed more than two months while Telstra put a stop to remediation work in its concrete cable pits, leaving hundreds of sub-contractors out of work.
Tasmania was the first state to receive the NBN, and the rollout was scheduled to be completed by 2015.