Australian taxpayers have bought enough copper wire to tie a nice bow around the earth for the National Broadband Network.
While NBN Co won't say how much this costs, Labor believes it's more than half-a-billion dollars, based on previous copper purchases by the network.
The company has revealed it's purchased 49,620 kilometres of copper to date.
That's more than the circumference of the earth, at 40,075km.
But while the company answered media questions on this point, it did not give a figure in response to a Senate estimates question asking how much had been bought.
The copper is used to connect houses to their closest fibre-to-the-curb or fibre-to-the-node points, as well as replacing older, degraded copper wires in the network.
In the case of Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) connections, the copper usually only runs from a pit in the front yard to the house.
"Fibre to the Curb technology is an important part of the multi-technology mix that has enabled NBN Co to connect more Australians, more quickly than using a full-fibre rollout," an NBN Co spokesman told AAP on Monday.
These new connections have used more than 19,770km, NBN Co told the Senate in a written answer to questions from March.
"The great irony of this statement is the significant stockpile of copper hasn't even been used to remediate the already deteriorating copper in the ground," Labor's communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland said.
She was concerned the company didn't give an overall quantity to the Senate, saying it seemed to be an attempt to withhold the information.
"Taxpayers have spent $51 billion on the NBN, which is $21.5 billion more than what the Liberals promised their model would originally cost," she said.
"The parliament has every right to know where this money is going."
The company has laid more than 300,000km of fibre optic cable for its high-speed network.