OPPOSITION communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull is opposed to putting fibre-optic cables all the way into households - but that is what he is investing in.
It was revealed this week that Mr Turnbull owns shares in France Telecom, which plans to connect 60 per cent of French households to fibre by 2020.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy leapt on this as proof the opposition spokesman secretly supports fibre-to-the-home technology, despite calling for the National Broadband Network to be changed to a fibre-to-the-node model.
"This is rank hypocrisy by Mr Turnbull,'' Senator Conroy said.
''He is trying to lock Australians into an inferior broadband network, while investing to future-proof France's digital economy.''
But a spokesman for Mr Turnbull said he bought the shares because ''he thought they were good value''. France Telecom's shares currently yield about 12 per cent and recently hit historical lows.
"France is utterly unlike Conrovian Australia,'' the spokesman said. ''There is no government monopoly building a near-universal fibre-to-the-premises network.
''Private telcos are building fibre to the premises where they think it is viable and, to date, take-up is not very high.''
France Telecom says it started its fibre rollout in 2007 and is investing €2 billion ($2.3 billion) to cover 15 million homes by 2020. Some areas will get fibre to the node, while remote villages will get satellite broadband. A spokesman for NBN Co said ''pas de commentaire''. That is, no comment.