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  • Analysis, Telecommunications - Written by on Saturday, December 1, 2012 16:06 - 191 Comments

    Turnbull responds to FTTN concerns

    news It’s taken four months, but Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has finally answered a series of key questions regarding his focus on using fibre to the node (FTTN) technology to roll out the NBN. But has the Member for Wentworth provided enough details to answer his critics? Read on to find out.

    As some readers may remember, in late July this year Delimiter put a series of questions to Turnbull, in an effort to get the Member for Wentworth to further detail the Coalition’s rival NBN policy. The context at the time was that Turnbull was strongly pushing the idea of using a FTTN style of broadband rollout to meet the Coalition’s stated aim of completing the NBN “sooner, cheaper and more affordably for users”.

    FTTN is a deployment style which would see fibre extended from Telstra’s telephone exchanges located around the nation to neighbourhood cabinets, instead of all the way to premises as under Labor’s plan (Fibre to the Home, or FTTH). The remaining distance would be covered by Telstra’s existing copper cable. In July, Delimiter invited readers to fact-check Turnbull’s comments, in the interests of keeping the debate over the National Broadband Network objective and based on fact.

    What emerged from that process was a consensus from readers that Turnbull needs to provide more evidence that Fibre to the Node is the best style of broadband infrastructure rollout for Australia’s long-term telecommunications needs. In effort to provide a fair right of reply to the Coalition on the matter, a series of questions representing readers’ concerns with the Coalition’s FTTN strategy were sent to Turnbull’s office. Since that time, Turnbull has discussed many of the issues raised in those questions in a number of blog posts, speeches, comments to journalists and so on; we now know a great deal more about the Coalition’s viewpoint on this issue than we did in July. But the Shadow Minister hadn’t specifically answered the questions put in July; until now.

    In a new post on his site late yesterday, Turnbull noted that many of the issues raised in July had been covered “exhaustively” covered in other speeches and media commentary since. However, Turnbull noted, he would answer the supplied questions “so Delimiter will have something else to write about”. “More details are in the many speeches and blogs on my site,” the Shadow Communications Minister added.

    For now we’d like to invite readers to post their feedback about Turnbull’s answers and discuss them; early next week we’ll do some analysis, with a view to attempting to draw out a consensus about whether the Member for Wentworth has provided significant enough detail to make his case for FTTN; and if not, what further details would be required. The questions and answers are as follows:

    What international examples of FTTN-style broadband deployments do you consider most pertinent to the Australian situation, and why?

    There are many examples- UK and US are two obvious ones. But these technologies are rapidly evolving and there are useful lessons from many markets especially in Europe where VDSL is being used more widely.

    How long do you estimate it would take, if the Coalition wins the next Federal Election, to deploy FTTN to more than 90 percent of the Australian population?

    Much less time than via FTTP. We don’t know what awaits us in terms of commitments entered into etc, but we do know that FTTN is much faster to deploy – in the UK for example a quarter of time cf to FTTP.

    What, specifically, do you estimate would be the cost difference between deploying FTTN and FTTH as part of the NBN rollout?

    FTTN in Europe and North America has been described to me by those actually building new generation networks as costing between one third and one quarter of FTTP. Given our relatively high labour costs and the fact that FTTN’s main virtue is that it reduces the civil works which is mostly labour, the difference in Australia is likely to be even higher.

    Do you consider it possible to re-work the current Telstra/NBN contract to focus on FTTN instead of FTTH, and how long do you estimate this would take?

    Yes, and not very long.

    What broad details of this contract would need to change, and how long do you anticipate the ACCC would take to approve a modified version?

    Simply getting access to the D side copper (ie between the street cabinet and the premise). As NBN would remain a separate wholesale only network there are not any ACCC implications.

    Do you have a long-term plan to upgrade a FTTN-style network to a FTTH-style network, or a medium-term plan to allow ad-hoc upgrades of this network to FTTH?

    We would expect to use FTTP in greenfields and other areas where it was more cost effective. As to the longer term that depends on demand and technology.

    What do you consider to be the time frame on which a FTTN-style network would continue to be used without an upgrade to FTTH? Will there, in fact, be a need to upgrade in the long-term to FTTH? On what evidence do you have these beliefs?

    Long term predictions of technology are hazardous, but it is interesting to note that given the dramatic improvements in VDSL technology, there is in many markets a swing back to FTTN. The analysts at Informa, including Brisbane based Tony Brown, have written a lot about this recently and BT for example has increased the percentage of its NGN footprint which is FTTN from 75% to 90%. AT&T for example in the USA do not foresee a need to evolve to FTTP. But contrary to what was been said by others, most of the investment in FTTN is directly applicable to FTTP, and the modern MSANs can support both GPON and VDSL so an evolution is very feasible.

    How would you address the claim that FTTN is a short to medium-term technology that will be superceded over the next several decades by FTTH, and that Australia should only be investing for the long-term when it comes to this kind of telecommunications infrastructure? On what evidence do you feel this way?

    This issue involves a balancing of cost to build, time to build, service outcome delivered and service outcome customers want and will pay for. If FTTN is built with a possible expansion to FTTP in mind, you can have the best of both worlds. Get your network upgrade sooner and cheaper satisfying needs for today and the medium term and, if in the long term you do need to take fibre into the house you have given yourself a head start and in the mean time saved a lot of capital investment until it was needed.

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    1. Posted 01/12/2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink |

      I’m just gonna post what I wrote on his blog. I’ve added a bit since, which I’ll add in later:

      Mr Turnbull:

      Q.How long do you estimate it would take, if the Coalition wins the next Federal Election, to deploy FTTN to more than 90 percent of the Australian population?

      A. Much less time than via FTTP. We don’t know what awaits us in terms of commitments entered into etc, but we do know that FTTN is much faster to deploy – in the UK for example a quarter of time cf to FTTP.

      That is not an answer. That is a deflection and you have no idea, would be an equivalent answer. If your “1/4″ holds true, then your network should be COMPLETE by 2015. Will you promote that?

      Q. What, specifically, do you estimate would be the cost difference between deploying FTTN and FTTH as part of the NBN rollout?

      Note the word SPECIFICALLY. You have not answered that question. You have deflected it by using “other countries” as an example. Do you know of ANY country that has rolled BACK from doing FTTP to FTTN? (No, Verizon has not, they have simply stopped expanding FTTP and concentrated on their existing HFC) No, there isn’t, so you have NO IDEA how much it will cost. And “1/4 to 1/3″ is not relevant as they are FROM SCRATCH, which you know very well you won’t be doing.

      Q. Do you consider it possible to re-work the current Telstra/NBN contract to focus on FTTN instead of FTTH, and how long do you estimate this would take?

      A. Yes, and not very long.

      Did you make it through University with answers like those Mr Turnbull? I seriously doubt that.

      Q. What broad details of this contract would need to change, and how long do you anticipate the ACCC would take to approve a modified version?

      A. Simply getting access to the D side copper (ie between the street cabinet and the premise). As NBN would remain a separate wholesale only network there are not any ACCC implications.

      That is entirely incorrect. Telstra own the D Side copper and the ACCC are INTEGRAL to Telstra’s operations as are ALL Telco’s, being that they are regulated, including the NBNCo. You have given NO information on this, simply repeated “Telstra are happy to give us what we need for the same price” and assumed everyone will believe you. And “The same as what NBNCo. are paying” is not likely- you are getting access to both their infrastructure AND their physical copper lines, twice what NBNCo. are asking for.

      Your answers lack detail Mr Turnbull. Your standard answer is “the industry says”. The “industry” in Australia FAILED to give Australia what it needs, which is EXACTLY why the government has stepped in. I would not believe “the industry” at large in this country as a matter of faith, as you do. Most others will not either.

      The Australian people want DETAILS:

      - What will the estimated TOTAL CAPEX be?
      - What will the estimated TOTAL OPEX be?
      - What will the estimated wholesale price be?
      - How long, IN A INTEGER OF YEARS, will it take?
      - WHO will be covered?

      You cannot and WILL NOT answer those questions, because you do not know. And I’m sorry Mr Turnbull, but we DO know that from the NBNCo. So I will vote for details that may be a bit late and cost a bit more than thought, rather than X “unknown” amount and Y “unknown” time and Z “unknown” coverage. Why? Because I don’t believe that ANY government, Coalition OR Labor, should be trusted at all without a ON PAPER, detailed policy, which you do not have.

      Not only do Labor currently have that, IT IS BEING DONE.

      Answer the questions AS ASKED Mr Turnbull, not as you would LIKE to answer them.

      • Posted 01/12/2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink |

        Damn italic tags!

      • Duke
        Posted 01/12/2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink |

        “Answer the questions AS ASKED Mr Turnbull, not as you would LIKE to answer them”.

        A worthy but inevitably futile request, the turnbull being a humanlike lifeform commonly known as ‘politician’, or more formally by the subhuman strain ‘homopoliticus inhumanus’, a rare and protected species known for their danger to the general populace and therefore confined to a zoo like enclosure on a hill. Occasionally they are allowed to intermingle under observation when they are able to exchange warlike taunts in a strange format which demonstrates their inability to answer any question honestly and reinforces the need to treat them with contemptuous disdain, which they seem to somewhat enjoy, as they keep repeating the behaviour…

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink |

          ^This guy. The David Attenborough of Telecommunications politics!

      • myne
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink |

        Short-termism is standard Liberal ideology.

        It’s that ideology that gives us events like the GFC – where all the people who’s short term bonuses depended on short term figures gave us long term issues.

        We can see proof of this in the Liberal ideology when we look at the 11 year term of Johnny.
        The price of housing TRIPPLED under Howard’s First Home Owners Grant, the removal of mortgage interest from the CPI (1996), and CGT. Another factor was the unquarantined negative gearing, which was removed under Labor, but kept after mass complaints.

        What else did Howard do? The baby bonus! “Here Sally, you’re 15yo here’s 5k to pop out another child!”
        Nuff said there, really.

        Subsidised child support – which led to prices rising at 3x inflation consistently after a 2 year lull.

        How about the ever insidious bait tactics to get people onto private healthcare? You’ll save 3$ a year in tax!!! What they didn’t say is that it was one of their only long term plans – to get rid of Medicare and switch to the ever functional US model. Screw that for a joke.

        This “policy” and I use that term in the vaguest possible way, is nothing more than another quick-win.
        For a few quarters the average speeds in Australia will rise a notch or two, there’ll be a round of back patting and then the network will inevitably slow down as the rollout continues to the areas with the worst maintenance – the National’s voters.

        So in summary, the most provable ideology of the Liberal party is short-termism. The focus on short term figures at the expense of long term stability. They could care less about the long term. Hell, they don’t even care about their political partners, the Nationals, who floated a fully fibre network policy in 2005. If they can’t even respect their own political partners policies if it’s inconvenient, how on earth can anyone argue they’ll care about Australia?

        Any counter arguments?

        • midspace
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

          I agree.

          To put it bluntly, it’s a band-aid.
          They’ll fix what people are complaining about now, but leave no more money or funding to fix issues that will crop up in the future.

        • Trevor
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink |

          Couldn’t care less. If you could care less, that means there is a level of concern for the subject at hand, which goes counter to the point you’re trying to make. If you couldn’t care less it means there is no way you could be less interested, you have so little concern and interest in the subject. Please get this right – it makes otherwise intelligent people with interesting arguments seem stupid, because apart from just parroting American stupidity, the fact that you’ve said it suggests that you can’t follow simple logic…

          This is not a personal attack – I’m just trying to help because clearly no one else is willing to point out the error.

          • Fae
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink |

            Tell me about it.

            I believe it falls under ‘Sarcastic Inversion’.

      • p3ngwin
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink |

        totally agreed.

        the government stepped-in when the “industry” failed to provide solutions needed to upgrade Australia’s internet communications infrastructure to compete with the rest of the modern world.

        There is currently a plan on paper and in effect right now with costs and scheduling available for all to see.

        Turnbull’s vision is barely beyond his own mind and he expects us to invest in a plant hat does not exist.

      • Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink |

        I think you need to ask yourself mate – did you honestly expect anything less than a half-assed menial deflection by someone who honestly has little if no idea of what they’re talking about?

        He has understandings of what the technology IS and HOW it works; not its implementation.

        He’s not an engineer, unfortunately we cant expect engineering based questions to be answered. What we can expect is SOMETHING to be answered which is a lot less than what Renai got in response. Most of this is deflection because he knows its sticking and the ramp-up to the next election is going to be brutal. If he doesn’t have something planned, he wont have a seat at the table.

        I know I’ve said this before guys – but were you REALLY expecting him to answer your questions with an actual plan?

        Out of the whole article what made me believe he has approximately zero plan is one partial statement;

        “so Delimiter will have something else to write about”.

        This speaks to me louder than anything he could, would or should have said. This says to me that you have him on the run Renai, as do many tech journalists. Hes stressing because he just cant sell the idea. The public aren’t paying attention. They know the NBN Project is rolling along. The more that the public works in innercity areas being to see this; the faster they’re going to back it even more.

        Then theres the also obligatory ‘You mad bro?’ you could be shouting from the sidelines…

        Because at this point, Malcolm Turnbull is really hurting.

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink |

          SOB. God damn Chrome, now I’ve got everything in italics.

          ><

      • Chris Schneider
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink |

        Wow so in opposition with out access to any of the data your are expecting a firm price (something the Labour party was NOT able to give) their price was 30 Billion to start with from memory. Give us a break these are the best answers he could give with the limited access to data to make the true costing which would of course be a priority for him once in office. Get off your high horse and look and the white elephant currently being built. The NBN is currently costing us speed! No upgrades are being done anywhere because no one knows where they are planning to roll out in the future and normal companies need ROI analyse before they expand. the NBN is a joke and you and I both know it but your I want attitude which is the reason for the GFC will cause even more issues down the raod for the governments paying of this stupid debit!

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink |

          If you think these are the best answers he could give you are extremely nieve.

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink |

          @Chris

          1- The original cost for the NBN MK2 (FTTP) was $43 Billion. There’s some debate about whether this was CAPEX or TOTAL CAPEX and OPEX, but it is reasonable to assume it was CAPEX as they were talking the cost to ‘build’ the NBN. It’s CAPEX is now $38.4 Billion, still well below the $43 Billion. Even using total debt required, it is $44.1 Billion, only $1.1 billion more and it covers 3% more with FTTP than originally planned. Your assertion it would cost $30 billion originally is entirely incorrect

          2- The costing on the NBN was a firm estimate in 2009- $43 Billion and then backed up in 2010 by the implementation study BEFORE the 2010 election. LNP STILL had no concrete costings of their ‘subsidy’ program in 2010. How is it not possible for the LNP to come up with a costing of FTTN when Labor did it ‘on the back of a napkin’ and it turned out to be pretty damn close?? Are you suggesting the LNP has NO WAY to cost policies? We know how that turned out in 2010 (black hole anyone?) No, the reason they ‘can’t’ get any firm costings is- they don’t want to. Why? Because they KNOW they have to pay for what Labor has already started, even if they were to cancel it ASAP when they get in (~$10 billion) and they KNOW that once they add FTTN to it, it will come in at or even slightly OVER the NBN. THAT is why they won’t release a costing. Because they know in sheer dollar terms, it will end up basically the same AND we get 1/10th of the product for it.

          3- The NBN is not preventing ANY company from rolling out ADSL. In fact, with the regional black spots backhaul program integrated in the NBN, the recent MASSIVE drop in price forced by the ACCC of Band 3 ULL and the CONTINUED upgrades of RIMs via top-hats (yes, that’s correct Telstra are CONTINUING to upgrade- go lookup their excel data sheet which shows what exchanges are being upgraded over the next 2 years) the bad areas in Australia are getting quite a decent investment. And then in less than 9 years, most will get FTTP too. So, once again, your assertion is not based in fact

          4- And finally, I think you need to look up the GFC- the GFC was a PRIVATE DEBT crisis caused by the subprime mortgage collapse in the US which meant governments had to BAIL OUT BANKS. Which in turn cause the sovereign debt crisis. EXCEPT IN AUSTRALIA where LABOR came up with an extremely good (if inefficient and slightly wasteful) stimulus package which out of ALL major western countries kept US out of the recession. And means we now have the STRONGEST western economy on the planet. Tell us more about how badly we’re doing? The GFC had nothing to do with the sort of debt spending the NBN requires and actually, spending debt that is RECOVERABLE through user pays internet (for less or the same price as ADSL) is actually much more responsible than borrowing money to build roads or hospitals. Doesn’t mean we SHOULDNT build roads or hospitals, but building them out of debt when they have no monetary return is reckless and irresponsible.

          Have I missed anything?

          • MikeK
            Posted 02/12/2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink |

            And the reason our banks didnt have a credit squeeze was because we have a trillion plus dollars in superfunds which banks could access, courtesy of the Keating Labor governemnt.

        • ungulate
          Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink |

          The “third to a quarter” Turnbull gave is in the context of a telco that already owns its own copper.

          Turnbull, quite dishonestly, said nothing to the question of what would it cost for the copper.

          In any case, the problem is whether FTTN costs $10B or $25B, that cost is wasted money, since it simply adds to the cost of the eventually fully fibre network.

          When we go out and do temporary highway fixes or “safety improvements” but later those works are rendered redundant by the motorway class road that follows, usually those fixes are a very small fraction of the cost of the eventual road.

          Sadly, with FTTN this isn’t the case.

          Worse, what you’ll find is that NBNco, seriously degraded by having to offer a product map that includes “location lottery” services over copper, will find its revenue decrease, its operational costs increase, and you’ll be the one paying for it in your taxes.

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink |

          Hi Chris,

          If “cost” is your main concern, then you should look closely at Mr Turnbulls plan, he’s actually breaking the costs over several different things so each individual “piece” is cheaper than the NBN , but the up shot is, once they are all put together, his plan is at least $55 Billion dollars (this is based on the $15B he said the fibre bit will cost, and the $40B it’s estimated Telstra will charge to access the copper required).

          The reason it’s cheaper for other countries to roll-out FttN is because the companies installing it already own the copper. That is not the situation in Australia, the copper here wont be “free” for them to access, they will need to pay top dollar to access “the golden mile”.

        • brutally handsome
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink |

          The FTTN would most likely cost around $4-5Bn for the cities, and take around 4-6yrs to complete. This is based on Telstra’s assessment of their own project built on their own network, with their existing suppliers & partners. So I think this is a pretty good estimate.

          To expand this Aus. wide it would probably cost double, and take slighly longer, but they should be done in parallel. Of course non city builds will consist of a technology mix.

          The benefit of the FTTN choice is that it is simpler with much few unknowns and does not committ us to a network for 20yrs. NBNCos plan needs to meet time and cost, and also its 7% return. its estimate of $40Bn build would more likely end up $80Bn, if not more, due to the much more complex nature of FTTP and also to the fact that it is run by government, and Labor for that matter.

          • Posted 03/12/2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink |

            First off the 4 to 6 year roll out schedule assumes that you can start works right away. You won’t be able too, meaning that the roll out time will take that plus whatever time it takes to reneogicate the deals. This therefore means that the time to rollout a FTTN network by Mr Turnbull may in fact be longer than continuing the pre-existing NBN rollout.

            Secondly, GPON based networks are actually well established practices worldwide, so I don’t know what “unknowns” you are referring to here.

            And finally, indications so far seem to indicate the NBN will cost less than originally thought, so I don’t know where you got this $80 billion figure from. Also NBNCo is run by NBNCo, not Labor. Government owned enterprises are not owned by the political party that formed them.

            • brutally handsome
              Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink |

              If you look at Labor’s 2007 plan for NBN, FTTN would take about 4-6yrs. And the cost estimate was about $10Bn.

              This closely mirrors Telstra’s original FTTN plan, that sol Trujillo brought to the ACCC.

              So 4-6yrs would be turning the first stone to putting the final touches on the concrete, full project lifecycle, done and dusted.

              • Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink |

                *facepalm* Fails to read reply comment, repeats original point.

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink |

                Sol T’s original FttN plan was for urban areas only.

              • nonny-moose
                Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink |

                Again, there is an already signed contract with Telstra that will need to be unpicked, then renegotiated BEFORE you can ‘turn the first stone’. That’s the point, at that stage when Sol was involved it was a start from scratch proposition – that is no longer so.

                I make it anywhere from 12 to 36 months to add to that “4-6 years”. At its worst you are looking at 9 – you may as well have done the ftth at that point. And every day the coalition cannot have its own way in the senate will likely extend that.

                And as noted both previous plans were for a large slice of the major metro areas, and certainly not anywhere near 93%. Its chalk vs cheese between those policies, they aren’t really comparable. to get near the same coverage numbers as the ftth running now, you’d need both more time and cash tacked onto that estimate.

                • The Brutally Handsome
                  Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink |

                  From my sources, Telstra already had contracts signed and were ready to go with FTTN in 2007 when Sol T. went to the negotiating table with the ACCC.

                  I agreed with the ACCC. Sol was sent packing. During that time Sol rolled out the successful NextG network.

                  FTTN is basically a ISAM rollout with VDSL2, so essentially Telstra would have been doing what it had spent the last 10yrs doing with ISAM/CMUX deployment.

                  For this reason, Telstra was able to offer a rapid roll out, and demanded some very unreasonable terms.

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 03/12/2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink |

                    Telstra were the one’s who withdrew from negotiations with the ACCC… Aug 2006 (iirc)

                    Also (iirc) Sol started with Telstra July 2005 and NextG began construction November 2005. So unless Sol came up with NextG on the back of a napkin, I’d say it was well and truly planned prior to his Telstra tenure. However he did preside over it’s roll out.

                    :/

                    • brutally handsome
                      Posted 04/12/2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink |

                      Sol Trujillo was the face of NextG, he didnt come up with the idea, this was planned long before he arrived, just as NBN version 1 was planned, served it purpose and was dismantled, just as NBNCo is planned, will serve a purpose and will be closed.

                      It’s all pretty obvious, its trying to educate dumb people thats difficult.

                      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink |

                        @brutally handsome

                        It’s pretty obvious comments like this show the dumb people are still yet to get out of their loop….

                      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink |

                        “Sol Trujillo was the face of NextG, he didnt come up with the idea, this was planned long before he arrived”

                        I was there when he built it, and I assure you he can legitimately claim credit for that one. He lit a fire under Ericsson’s ass over that one.

          • Hubert Cumberdale
            Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink |

            “The benefit of the FTTN choice is that it is simpler with much few unknowns and does not committ us to a network for 20yrs”

            What it actually does is waste a lot of time and money. Money that could be better spent on a proper FttP network. Hope that helps.

          • Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink |

            “The benefit of the FTTN choice is that it is simpler”

            You see, you’re actually wrong.

            FTTP requires less equipment – (and is therefore more reliable, with a significant number – (around 85,000) – less points of potential failure) – less power, and less configuration, and generates a smaller maintenance bill.

            Simpler?

            Yeah, no.

            (PRO-TIP: If you’re going to troll around here, you better sound convincing, or else you’re going to sound ‘brutality wrong’).

      • Michael
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink |

        Unfortunately I’m not sure Malcolm Turnbull can provide those exact figures. The big unknown is really Telstra.

        Hey, if the Coalition can really get FTTN (i.e. VDSL or maxed out ADSL2+ in the very worst case) to all by 2015, I wholeheartedly support them. I just don’t think that’s REALLY what’s going to happen. It’d probably be a year before they even get a new agreement with Telstra.

        • GongGav
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink |

          If they cant get an exact figure because of Telstra, get a figure without that included. Throw a number they CAN get, then put the sidepoint that the number doesnt include any extra Telstra costs.

          Not hard, and gives a number to discuss. If they came out and said “FttN will cost $15b, plus whatever extra comes from Telstra renegotiations”, then we’d be happy. It shows they have something.

          Right now, they havent shown anything but a half hearted effort to mimic what Labor came up with 5 years ago.

    2. Posted 01/12/2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink |

      There are many examples- UK and US are two obvious ones.”

      There are also many countries where signifcant FTTP rollouts are occuring, some through government funding, some through private funding, and some through public/private partnerships.

      A few countries such as New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, France, Canada, Kenya, South Africa, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Phillipines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Venzuela, and of course Australia.

      Yup, nobody is going the FTTP route at all

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink |

        Heck, Australia was even going that way even _before_ NBNCo decided to do it (TransACT and Telstra were just two companies that were installing FttP (but only in the areas where the cherries were worth picking).

        • Justin
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink |

          Yep and the cherry picking is the real issue. Transact skipped my suburb altogether, because it has underground power. Although I note they are building all the greenfields ACT sites with fibre. Not sure how that works with NBN. Surely they won’t roll out fibre in competition? Does that mean pricing differences on transact fibre vs NBN fibre?

          • Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink |

            Those areas are ‘recompensed’ by NBNCo. and become a part of the the NBN (greenfields that is). TransACT’s own brownfield fibre they’re trying to flog to NBNCo. For about 4 times what it’s worth…

          • GongGav
            Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink |

            Greenfields companies can choose who puts the fibre in. At the moment, NBNCo says “we’ll do it for free”, with a little * next to that, which most companies cant compete with. But the catch is there is a reasonable time delay before they put it in.

            Cant remember the details around that asterix, but I’m pretty sure theres still a cost involved. Less than other companies, but still a cost.

            Point being, they mention the free word, and for developers that gets attention.

            As for Transact, they have to meet exacting criteria with what they roll out, so it meets NBN standards. I expect they have the monopoly in the ACT region, and possibly sub-contract to NBN for simple efficiency.

            There wont be any competition, its simply business. Other companies roll out the fibre in other places around the country as well.

          • brutally handsome
            Posted 03/12/2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink |

            Greenfield sites are ideally supplied with fibre, and since Telstra is no longer the only provider, developers can choose to build their own telecoms through their suppliers.

            There have been FTTP estates in Aus from as early as 2004-2005 but as stated they were for the purpose stated above, and were built by Telstra and other providers.

            NBNCo just decided to do 93% of the the country with this stuff.

    3. Bob.H
      Posted 01/12/2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink |

      Nice to see that Mr. Turnbull has a dream. He is to be thanked for sharing it. As he is obviously limited by two cans and a bit of string it is understandable that it has taken months to reply to the original query.

      Pity that he and the Coalition are unable to produce something that even looks like a policy on the National Broadband roll out . I suppose that is hardly surprising if your knowledge of technology hasn’t evolved from the two tins and a piece of string level.

    4. Posted 01/12/2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink |

      To answer your implied question Renai, that is, will these answers provide enough details to answer his critics?

      No, they do not. And frankly Mr Turnbull I am insulted. It seems to me you are expecting us to accept that you are a legitimate authority on broadband technology with no motives other than what is best for the Australian people?

      Frankly from my perspective all I am seeing a bunch of temper tantrums whenever people don’t agree with you. I’m sorry we don’t agree with you, I really am, but you need to understand something: technology experts and media are not your enemies here. You provide us a better policy than the NBN, and we will vote for it. The problem is I think you are confusing “better” with “cheaper”. You need to go back to the drawing board.

      You continue to claim that you want a technology agnostic solution, but I don’t think you actually know what that means. Technology agnostic says that “no one size fits all”, it does not mean, as you seem to think “we should use as many technology options as possible”. The NBN acknowledges that no one size fits all by only rolling out fibre to 93%. So the NBN is actually technology agnostic. The fact is, a technology agnostic person still strives to use the best technology for the job where possible.

      • Posted 01/12/2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink |

        “The fact is, a technology agnostic person still strives to use the best technology for the job where possible.”

        This.

      • ungulate
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink |

        This is not about answering his critics.

        This is about convincing Liberal leaning voters that it’s “safe” to vote Liberal. The entire construction is a fraud.

        The only thing you can regard as certainly true is that the Liberal will want to sell off NBNco.

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink |

          With respect, Renai and his audience, that is, the readers of Delimiter, are Turnbull’s critics. So if he answers questions asked by Renai, he is answering to his critics. Therefore your premise is wrong.

          Turnbull should understand who his audience is when he addresses a certain media, he is a politician after all. If he wanted to tell the Liberal’s it save to vote Liberal from a technical perspective he would give a press release to the Australian.

          • ungulate
            Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink |

            On the contrary, Turnbull does understand what he’s doing.

            He’s not talking to us, his critics. He’s talking to a wider audience.

            Further alienating his “critics” is a necessary part of his strategy. We’re the fanatics after all.

            • Posted 02/12/2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink |

              Look, you’re on my side, but that was a strawman argument and I don’t appreciate it. I never said he doesn’t know what he’s doing, I just said that if he’s going to answer Delimiter he should know that the given answers won’t fly with us.

              • Zok
                Posted 02/12/2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink |

                Turnbull surely does know that he can’t properly answer those questions, in as far as the views of technologically-literate pro-NBN audiance is concerned. What could he say that would satisfy people who understand the benefits of FTTP, without breaking the commitment not to implement FTTP? Nothing, pretty much. And he knows it; hence the non-answers provided.

                He can’t hope to win back support from the tech-savvy crowd. All he can do now is attempt to minimise the losses of middle ground voters (who may care about technology and telecoms enough so that it influences their vote, but don’t have the level of understanding of the details nor of the long-term differences between capabilities of technologies on offer), by utilising standard political techniques: double speak, weasel words, dog-whistling, etc.

                • brutally handsome
                  Posted 03/12/2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink |

                  Well this has turned into political and marketing spin, when Rudd upped the spend to an astronomical $43Bn it had lost any remnance to reality. Whats happening is this,they are promoting fibre as a miracle technology (like railways and dot.com boom) and this magical 100Mbps number.

                  If you can get people to believe that spending $43Bn to get this 100mbp number is justified – then that trumps anything else anyone can offer, unless of course they make that $80Bn and 1000mbps, and can be convince THAT is a better alternative. So its easy for Conroy to say that Labor has a better plan and a better network, once people have adjusted to the $43Bn number, because FTTP is a better network, if you accept the cost to build it.

                  This is why Turnbull looks like selling an old rusty inferior piece of technology. But Labor is running a over-promise-under-deliver strategy which it has no way out of. Labor’s NBN is built around 2 things – Its $43Bn++ spend and a magical arbitary number of 100mbit/. As long as most people have no idea what which means, which they dont, Malcolm Turnbull’s alternative will always look inferior, despite costing only $4-10Bn.

                  A likely scenario if NBN goes ahead, and the only way people will learn, is by example. Build the NBN and then write it off after 5yrs. But the thing is, there will still be Technophiles like Renai who will post articles in support of more money into crappy technology.

                  • Brendan
                    Posted 03/12/2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink |

                    You’re correct, apart from pretty much everything stated.

                    Nearly half (and the percentage keeps climbing) of the new connections are 100mbit.

                    http://delimiter.com.au/2012/10/18/huge-100mbps-demand-44-of-nbn-users-take-top-speed/
                    http://delimiter.com.au/2012/11/04/pyne-wont-retract-false-100mbps-nbn-claim/

                    I cannot see how you can build both a copper based FTTN and a fibre based FTTH network, for less than the NBN, without considerable sacrifice.

                    I don’t believe Malcom knows quite how much it would cost, to build both networks. And please, understand that it is two major deployments. And since we know how frequently Malcom turns to british examples for how FTTN is great, we can also use their examples for the FTTN > FTTH upgrade cost.

                    All of which, would come out of taxes because, unlike the NBN, it’s not an investment with a return. The eventual cost of the NBN is amortised through returns.

                    The eventual cost of Malcom’s plan? Beuller?

                    Please.. this notion that Uncle Malcolm can do better, faster, for cheaper, is just a bed-time story.

                  • quink
                    Posted 03/12/2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink |

                    > Well this has turned into political and marketing spin, when Rudd upped the spend to an astronomical

                    It’s a less than $40 billion investment.

                    > If you can get people to believe that spending $43Bn to get this 100mbp number is justified – then that trumps anything else anyone can offer, unless of course they make that $80Bn and 1000mbps

                    I think you will find that that investment is getting us 1000 Mbps. With the fibre you’d put in the ground you don’t have to pay an extra cent to replace it if one day you want 1 Tbps instead of 100 Mbps. The equipment in every household is capable of about 2.5 Gbps.

                    > Malcolm Turnbull’s alternative will always look inferior, despite costing only $4-10Bn.

                    It has a cost of (or maybe is an investment, we still don’t know) $15 billion.

                    > Build the NBN and then write it off after 5yrs.

                    Why would it be written off? If the projections for bandwidth increases are even remotely accurate and copper is being shut down with customers transferred to the NBN, then the NBN would be paid for on those two premises alone. How would it be written off – even in the worst case you still have a massive and massively useful asset – it’s not like that suddenly disappears…

                    But when you’re living in a fact-free world what do these things matter.

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 03/12/2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

                    @ brutally handsome

                    http://www.zdnet.com/au/base-coalition-nbn-would-cost-au15b-7000007994/

                    • brutally handsome
                      Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink |

                      Even if it does cost $15Bn, it aint that bad, the extra $5Bn could be risk + widening the reach that originally they did not plan for.

                      But lets look at NBN, lets start off at $40Bn, given it has a flawed plan, it runs over every year, after 10yrs, its a dead white elephant, costing already $60Bn, and needs another $40Bn to finish. But even before its finished, its redundant. chances are, it will never finish.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink |

                        Flawed plan – “evidence”?

                      • nonny-moose
                        Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink |

                        At the moment it is nowhere remotely near 60 bln tipped in. Try again, at about one tenth that. Less, I think you will find…. (Note I’m talking equity input to date, not the final figure. But even that isn’t 60bn, sorry).

                        the corporate plan lays out a route to payback even in the dire case that half the connections would be 12 mbit. at 7%. so given near half the connections so far are instead the top tier plans, I would take that as an indication it will not blow out but in fact be paying back the equity stake at a brisk pace.

                        Your chicken-littling is risible.

                  • Hubert Cumberdale
                    Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink |

                    “If you can get people to believe that spending $43Bn to get this 100mbp number is justified – then that trumps anything else anyone can offer, unless of course they make that $80Bn ”

                    Ever heard the phrase “size is relative”? 43 billion is a large amount of money but 43 billion is an acceptable price for a FttP network covering 93% of Australian premises. The amount the government will contribute per year (about 3 billion) is a mere drop in the ocean compared to other government spending. The anti-NBN zealots want to convince us that this is an “astronomical” amount to be spending despite the facts they are desperate to make this number sound real scary. Of course the big problem (for them) is when they exaggerate that number further, in this case the your number is 80 billion. The reason for these exaggerations is pretty simple. They (and you) know that in actuality ~3 billion per year over nine years is not scary at all so you have to come up with scarier numbers to prove your “point”. Sorry but you have nothing. If you did you’d stick to the facts in which case compared to a FttN network for $17 billion is a rip off and the money spent on FttP a relative bargain.

                    “This is why Turnbull looks like selling an old rusty inferior piece of technology.”

                    He’s trying to convince us that the old rusty inferior piece of technology is up to the task despite the limitations and the condition the copper just like a used car salesman would. You cant cry foul when people are not suckered into it then call him out on the odometer that has clearly been tampered with.

                    “Its $43Bn++ spend and a magical arbitary number of 100mbit/.”

                    Speaking of arbitrary numbers who said “12Mbps enough for all applications”? (Hint: Turnbull. Of course he has changed his tune since 2010, now the new “magical arbitary number” is 50-60mbps. Funny that, have you noticed how his “magical arbitary numbers” all have one thing in common?

                    “there will still be Technophiles like Renai who will post articles in support of more money into crappy technology.”

                    I’m pretty sure he is in favor of a FttH network not a FttN network.

                    • brutally handsome
                      Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink |

                      When you realise that Terria/FANOC and NBNCo share the same creator, you will see why the bigger brother is as equally retarded as the younger.

                      • Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink |

                        Terria was headed by Optus.

                        Optus have a total of ZERO to do with NBN Co.

                        Thanks for playing.

                      • Hubert Cumberdale
                        Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink |

                        “When you realise that Terria/FANOC and NBNCo share the same creator”

                        I don’t give a flying fuck who started what. I am in favor of a FttP network not an useless waste of a network such as FttN…

                        “you will see why the bigger brother is as equally retarded as the younger.”

                        You have a younger brother? Who cares?

                      • Austcc
                        Posted 04/12/2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink |

                        Unlike your factually wrong statement, try this one for size:

                        When you realise that Telecom Australia, Australia Post and NBNco all share the same creator, were given similar objectives, and are all communications based companies, you will see why the little brother is likely to shine as brightly as the bigger brothers and give the government lots of financial dividends to boot (until the coalition government sells it off, of course).

              • Tinman_au
                Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink |

                I think you’ll find a lot of Mr Turnbulls “answers” are directed at Delimiter, but they are actually aimed at Alan Jones and his ilk.

                It’s called Dog Whistle politics ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics ), not because anyone is though of as a “dog”, but because the “real” message is on a different frequency…

    5. Tailgator
      Posted 01/12/2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull has continued to respond with the same vagaries, half truths, and selective use of stats as he has in the past. As a result, his credibility and that of the Coalition policy remains the same. = 0

      And for the life of me I can’t understand why he continues to do it. Is it a private joke or some such? Is he trolling? Or is it as so many suspect, that his arguments simply don’t stack up. That he can’t mount a credible case for FTTN driven by Govt subsidies and the private market.
      In my opinion it is most definitely the latter. Otherwise we would be inundated with hard facts and figures instead of the current game of sharades.

      • ungulate
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink |

        Turnbull’s greatest weakness is seeming to be concerned more with what is good for telcos and grasping at selective examples which if anything merely show you what is best for the particular telcos involved.

        He continues to do this because there are a large number of people out there who are not only gullible but wishing to be fooled (oops reassured) into thinking he will come up with the goods and everything will be “ok”.

        He continues to do this because of the political tactic of negativity. A strategy that requires total negativity.

        He continues to do this because underneath its not actually a policy. Its merely a distraction thrown up to keep the argument going. Underneath is the reality that FTTN is a smokescreen. Its there to keep us from realising that the Liberal have no positive policy at all and there only strategy upon being elected would be to sell NBNco as soon as possible.

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink |

          No shit sherlock. I think everyone here knows exactly what Turnbull is doing, just the majority of us are not happy about it because we know that we are probably the only people with the experience and expertise to call him on it.

        • ungulate
          Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink |

          I should have added, the weakness in Turnbull’s “pick an example” tactic is shown in his present reluctance to mention New Zealand :)

          • Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink |

            That’s because New Zealand used to be his primary counter example to FTTP. However, he obviously didn’t read the brief on CFH and what Chorus intended completely (I did, because I have a vested interest in my home country).

            The fact is although Chorus wanted to roll out FTTN based technology CFH determined that FTTN would not meet the specified mandate of CFH, and overruled Chorus, and told them to install GPON.

    6. Jeffrey ONeill
      Posted 01/12/2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink |

      My gosh MT. You must have been reading some Orwell recently. I can see some 1984 thought speak in there, along with a bit of animal farm equality.

      I’ve pretty much lost aall respect for you over this year. You’re weaving and dodging of answering questions is just pathetic. total lack of respect for the voters.

      You can’t even tell me how many cabinets will need to be built. I mean if you don’t have a few basics like that in your policy, then what gives you the right to say cheaper and faster???

      How about a blood promise you will resign if the FTTN gets bogged down with Telstra re-negotiations and the rollout is delayed due to this??

      • ungulate
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink |

        But its not about FTTN though is it?

        Its about creating a false debate. People can argue endlessly about FTTN so in the end they forget that fibre is the end game. And in so doing forget that no matter what FTTN costs, its still money we didn’t have to spend.

    7. Posted 01/12/2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink |

      August 21st, 2012:

      “Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull has given the clearest indication yet of his broadband policy, saying he has a fully costed policy document ready to go which would save taxpayers billions of dollars by following the lead of BT’s fibre to the node rollout in the UK.”

      http://www.afr.com/p/technology/turnbull_cut_price_broadband_plan_cyno2UoMeEYk6G1E5KrCDM

      September 24th, 2012:

      “But opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull says it will not be able to provide full costing for the alternative service until after the next federal election.”

      http://www.heraldsun.com.au/technology/malcolm-turnbull-promises-cheaper-broadband-sooner-but-no-costings/story-fn7celvh-1226479972456

      November 27th, 2012:

      “If you were starting from scratch without any of their existing contracts we know it would cost about $15 billion to do the whole job.”

      http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3642412.htm

      August – fully costed, ready to go.
      September – not fully costed, and we’re not telling.
      November – vague costing, still no details.

      Will the real opposition broadband policy and Malcolm Turnbull please stand up?

      Or shut up.

      I can’t trust a man who flips on the same issue to suit the audience he’s speaking to.

      • ungulate
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink |

        You can see the inevitable end result of this.

        The Liberals show up 2 weeks before the election with a “costing” that echoes the same process they used for the last election. Employ a 2nd tier accounting firm (who later on got busted for doing this). Given them some dodgy assumptions but refuse to answer questions about the assumptions. Voila. Rely on the lazy and complicit media.

        We’re wasting our time drawing Turnbull out over a costing.

        What we should be pointing out is that whatever the cost, it doesn’t actually save anything since fibre will have to replace copper sooner or later.

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink |

          We tried to do that ungulate. Arguing technology, i.e. that FTTN is a deadend, is the one area where Turnbull can come up on top because of his ability to play with the words “Technology Agnostic”. In fact that is exactly why he has so much political clout in this arena.

          If we true and argue this angle, which we have done to death, he will start trying to pull apart the premise that FTTP is a good technology choice because usage patterns may change (yes, I am aware that Turnbull would be making a nirvana fallacy in this case, but the point is, last time he did it, it worked). Remember “wireless is the future?”

          • Tinman_au
            Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink |

            For a gentleman thats “Technology Agnostic”, he sure likes investing his own money in FttP!!

            Malcolm Turnbulls investment portfolio so far:

            FttP: 2

            FttN: 0

            Money, meet mouth ;o)

            • Zok
              Posted 03/12/2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink |

              Maybe he wants FTTN for Australia so that he can diversify his portfolio a bit… :P

    8. Dean
      Posted 01/12/2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink |

      It was better when he didn’t bother answering the questions. I assume these answers were just given to get Delimiter off his back, since Renai was reminding him that he hadn’t answered them at pretty much every opportunity.

      I think the crux of the issue is that Turnbull seems to think it’s still 2007. I don’t think anybody is suggesting that FTTN is the wrong choice, when made in a vacuum. If we were still 2007 and we were deciding between FTTN and FTTP then I definitely think Turnbull would be making an excellent point. But this is 2012 (well, 2013 really) and the choice is not “FTTN or FTTP”. The choice is to continue with the NBN as it’s currently rolling out, or halting it and switching to FTTN instead. There’s no evidence here to suggest that’s a wise move.

      • Dan
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink |

        I think this is the more pertinent argument at this stage of the construction;

        Stop building FTTP and switch to FTTN vs. continue FTTP as per NBNCo business plan.

        Anything else is moot because there is virtually no (inexpensive) way to back out of contracts signed that will construct the FTTP version up to 2015.

        So maybe the questions should be updated for the 2013 election scenario, as in, include the fact that there is already a significant portion of FTTP back haul in place, plus close to 10% of premises with fibre in the street out front. That figure should rise to nearly 25% by 2015 too.

        Personally I found MTs answers typically political; answers that aren’t answers, or only address the question for the sake of answering and providing no detail. Eg “how much is an apple” answered with “half the price of an orange” (political answer) vs. “apples are $5 per kg, so an apple is about a dollar” (expected answer)

    9. NPSF3000
      Posted 01/12/2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink |

      “Long term predictions of technology are hazardous,”

      Yep, look at how ineffective Moore’s law has been!

      Remember, the suggestion that FTTN is in any way suitable for even *this* decade directly contradicts all the trends.

      • ungulate
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink |

        Yep,

        Can you imagine the response if you went to the RMS and told them sorry, we need to build the next highway bridge out of wood, because its cheaper than concrete, and predicting technology is hazardous?

        You’d be lucky to escape with just being laughed out of the office.

    10. Elijah B.
      Posted 01/12/2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink |

      A number of people over the many months have thought that if Turnbull were confronted directly with tough questions he would fumble or stumble or have to admit the truth.

      His reply shows that he would just keep deflecting, glossing over, or alluding to other empty comments and generally not addressed the issue at hand. The evidence is that absolutely nothing that will compel this man to present anything other than the misleading line he has always presented. I am very disappointed in him.

    11. Daniel
      Posted 01/12/2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink |

      Interestingly Malcolm get’s his terminology incorrect.

      BT UK is FTTC (Fibre to the Curb) where as AT&T is FTTN (Fibre to the Node) as well as New Zealand which at the start was FTTN but moved to FTTP.

      Perhaps you should also point out to BT UK atm, where thinkbroadband suggests issues with openreach performance.

      http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/5603-openreach-performance-slipping-again.html

      http://www.offta.org.uk/charts.htm

      “Tales of half completed FTTC installs, with them then not being completed for a week or two are appearing, plus a rise in complaints about how an install was carried out. Of course this is largely anecdotal, as people tend to complain only when things go wrong, but based on our experience the volumes appear higher than normal.”

      Literally as we were about to press publish on this news item we found out that Openreach has issued a new MBORC (Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control) notice, covering: Coventry, Derby/Nottingham, Exeter, Humber, Newport/Worcester, North Wales, Stoke/Chester, Swansea, Swindon, Taunton and Truro. The problem being the flooding and continued rain, that is restricting access to infrastructure and of course flooding much of the underground chambers/ducting.

      Continuous rain is a problematic issue with FTTC and FTTN as copper and water do not mix.

    12. Mike K
      Posted 01/12/2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t really understand Turnbull’s obsession with what everyone else is doing, but he seems to define everyone else as “private FTTN operators”. How many times has he compared the NBN to overseas FTTP builds? Not many, as I recall.

      Apparently, not knowing what NBNCo’s current commitments prevents him from estimating the build time AT ALL. He hasn’t even said “assuming they have 2 years of FTTP contracts, we can finish with FTTN in X years”. He just says “X company did it Y times faster”.

      Again, not knowing NBNCo’s current commitments apparently prevents him from estimating the cost AT ALL. He hasn’t even said “assuming they finish FTTP to 1/3, we can roll out FTTN to the rest of the 93% for X”. He just says “X company did it Y times cheaper”. It is unclear why this should impact his estimates; he should be able to come up with a simple formula where you put in the number of premises not yet under contract, and out comes a build cost for FTTN to those premises.

      He doesn’t bother saying how long “not very long” is.

      He seems to think that getting access to (and getting Telstra to maintain) something that is currently not in the contract at all will be easy. Optimism is dangerous; he should be open with where his policy could be delayed, and explain how he will mitigate this.

      He talks about improvements to VDSL, even though there is no indication that any more will ever take place (it looks like vectoring was the last rabbit in the hat). This suggests that he doesn’t understand the limitations of copper. Again he talks about some company overseas which apparently doesn’t need FTTP for short term profits (he doesn’t say it like that though; apparently private companies now have the same goals as federal governments).

      He appears not to see fibre as inevitable, strongly believing that FTTN will last for as long as we need it.

      He overestimates the time saved for FTTN and ALMOST admits that it’s an interim service.

      He talks about FTTN being a stepping stone to FTTP since they “support” GPON, even though having active equipment near the customer defeats the purpose of GPON. FTTN cabinets support GPON in the same way that cars support rockets. It’s POSSIBLE to strap a rocket onto one, and it will “work”, but it isn’t really a good idea.

      Finally, there is this:

      “…in the mean time saved a lot of capital investment until it was needed.”

      He’s openly supporting procrastination here. Apparently, he thinks that it’s a good idea to delay an expected capital investment and waste money on an interim solution.

      He REALLY needs to explain this. What is the benefit in delaying an investment AND increasing the total cost by making a smaller unnecessary investment? FTTN is a detour, not a stepping stone – if you know the destination, why not head straight to it?

      So then, what can we learn from his answers?

      It seems that he really really WANTS to believe that he has an alternative, but wanting something really badly doesn’t magically make it real. No amount of believing in Santa will cause reindeer to fly.

      If he REALLY believed that FTTN would work, then why hasn’t he tried as hard as he possibly can to come up with some figures (based on what he has available) to try and prove that it would work? He could even make a political stunt of demanding more details from Conroy (if Conroy gave him the figures, he could use them to help form his policy; if Conroy refused, he could accuse the government of having something to hide). He hasn’t done this. From the way he acts, it would seem that he anticipates that FTTN will not work.

      From above, we know that he likes procrastinating, so maybe he plans to form a “real” policy only after forming government. Once he has all the data, he will no longer be able to believe that he believes in FTTN, so he is likely to fall back to the idea that it’s the private sector’s job, and sell off all NBNCo’s assets. Who could afford that other than Telstra?

      • Mike
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink |

        Quote: “From above, we know that he likes procrastinating, so maybe he plans to form a “real” policy only after forming government. Once he has all the data, he will no longer be able to believe that he believes in FTTN, so he is likely to fall back to the idea that it’s the private sector’s job, and sell off all NBNCo’s assets. Who could afford that other than Telstra?”

        My point entirely. This IS the real end game of the LNP.

        Turnbull’s answers are so wishy-washy and half hearted that I cannot accept he actually believes in them. He merely wants to get this particular ‘Delimiter’ monkey off his back. In fact, on Lateline the other night, he looked tired and somewhat haggard. He certainly didn’t come over as someone who was passionate about his policy. This constant carping,lying and discrediting a policy we know he really believes in – because he invests in it, albeit overseas – must be getting to him. He was looking like a sad, tired old man……

    13. Paul K
      Posted 01/12/2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink |

      Q What international examples of FTTN-style broadband deployments do you consider most pertinent to the Australian situation, and why?

      A There are many examples- UK and US are two obvious ones. But these technologies are rapidly evolving and there are useful lessons from many markets especially in Europe where VDSL is being used more widely.

      #British Telecom uses copper of higher quality then that used in Australia (reducing their costs to provide FTTN because they can have a greater distance between cabinets), in addition, they are now rolling out FTTH. The US is a country, not an example. Which roll-out by which company do you suggest we use as an example? Is it a vertically integrated company similar to Telsta that already owns the copper? Is there an example of a telco selling it’s copper assets to competition doing FTTN?#

      Q How long do you estimate it would take, if the Coalition wins the next Federal Election, to deploy FTTN to more than 90 percent of the Australian population?

      A Much less time than via FTTP. We don’t know what awaits us in terms of commitments entered into etc, but we do know that FTTN is much faster to deploy – in the UK for example a quarter of time cf to FTTP.

      #You say “We don’t know”. This is true. We do know that the UK has ~255 people per square kilometre while Australia has 3 people per square kilometre. But hey, lets use the UK as an example of speed. Does your quarter the time include time to change legislation, and negotiations with telstra and getting ACCC tick of approval? Did BT in the UK have to jump through those hoops?#

      Q What, specifically, do you estimate would be the cost difference between deploying FTTN and FTTH as part of the NBN rollout?

      A FTTN in Europe and North America has been described to me by those actually building new generation networks as costing between one third and one quarter of FTTP. Given our relatively high labour costs and the fact that FTTN’s main virtue is that it reduces the civil works which is mostly labour, the difference in Australia is likely to be even higher.

      #Did those companies include as part of their costs purchase of the copper?#

      Q Do you consider it possible to re-work the current Telstra/NBN contract to focus on FTTN instead of FTTH, and how long do you estimate this would take?

      A Yes, and not very long.

      #Thank you for your explanation of the steps you feel will be necessary, and time frames expected for each stage. To be fair, the question did only ask for an estimate, but “not very long” could be 3 months or 3 years.

      Q What broad details of this contract would need to change, and how long do you anticipate the ACCC would take to approve a modified version?

      A Simply getting access to the D side copper (ie between the street cabinet and the premise). As NBN would remain a separate wholesale only network there are not any ACCC implications.

      #Since the NBN took years getting telstra to agree to allow access to its ducts, shareholder approval and ACCC tick, I’m glad that getting Telstra to now sell its copper as well is all that needs to happen.

      Q Do you have a long-term plan to upgrade a FTTN-style network to a FTTH-style network, or a medium-term plan to allow ad-hoc upgrades of this network to FTTH?

      A We would expect to use FTTP in greenfields and other areas where it was more cost effective. As to the longer term that depends on demand and technology.

      #You answer seems to read as No, you have no plan.

      Q What do you consider to be the time frame on which a FTTN-style network would continue to be used without an upgrade to FTTH? Will there, in fact, be a need to upgrade in the long-term to FTTH? On what evidence do you have these beliefs?

      A Long term predictions of technology are hazardous, but it is interesting to note that given the dramatic improvements in VDSL technology, there is in many markets a swing back to FTTN. The analysts at Informa, including Brisbane based Tony Brown, have written a lot about this recently and BT for example has increased the percentage of its NGN footprint which is FTTN from 75% to 90%. AT&T for example in the USA do not foresee a need to evolve to FTTP. But contrary to what was been said by others, most of the investment in FTTN is directly applicable to FTTP, and the modern MSANs can support both GPON and VDSL so an evolution is very feasible.

      #The improvements do not seem all that dramatic. Your example (AT&T) has already built VDSL networks, naturally incrimentally upgrading them is cheaper then throwing them away and converting to FTTH. I’m glad we will not make that mistake… oh wait, we might.

      Q How would you address the claim that FTTN is a short to medium-term technology that will be superceded over the next several decades by FTTH, and that Australia should only be investing for the long-term when it comes to this kind of telecommunications infrastructure? On what evidence do you feel this way?

      A This issue involves a balancing of cost to build, time to build, service outcome delivered and service outcome customers want and will pay for. If FTTN is built with a possible expansion to FTTP in mind, you can have the best of both worlds. Get your network upgrade sooner and cheaper satisfying needs for today and the medium term and, if in the long term you do need to take fibre into the house you have given yourself a head start and in the mean time saved a lot of capital investment until it was needed.

      #This would make sense if done in 2005, for the reasons you have stated, and only with Telstra’s willing involvement. The expert panel, when evaluating the FTTN proposals, in 2009, found that FTTN offered poor value. Can you show that their expert opinion was wrong, and why you are right?

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:36 am | Permalink |

        WRT “it reduces the civil works”

        HOW Malcolm? how is that possible? given that backhaul to both policies is essentially identical, and moving to the last mile:

        you will need a cabinet, for which you need a power co engineer involved, a concrete slab, a data line to cab and a power line to cab. none of which needed under the alternate plan

        you need works to cut into the Telstra copper at ~600 m max from any given house, identify copper runs and which line serves which premises, none of which are necessary under the alternative. if the copper is shot, im guessing the MT policy is instead of replacing with a higher quality line, it will be replaced with more copper?duct and pit remediation will still be needed so that cost is equally applied to both. but over and above the pit and pipe remedial theres the need for copper remedials as well, which despite denials to the contrary i expect will be a substantial charge on the billing docket.

        you need all that repeated for as many line and cabinets as there are needed, between 65 and 85 thou estimated cabs and gods knows how many lines.

        none of that work is necessary for fibre. yes, you have to lay the stuff all the way from the premises to the exchange – but cutting 600m off that and adding on all those works ive listed is not going to deliver you radically different (i.e. cheaper) numbers for the finished item, and adding in local council bureaucracy to the mix for siting of pads and any resumptions needed – if anything will result in further costs.

        i actually thought that was the most important few words in that particular answer and feel it deserves a lot of scrutiny as really the whole FTTN hinges on it. if the civil works are no cheaper then practically all the purported savings fall away and there really is no point in considering a dialback to FTTN. i know at this juncture MT will beg off and say he doesnt have access to contracts or figures but this looks to me a scoping exercise – you dont need to have contracts in hand to have a scope put together for a ballpark figure for each node install. there are only so many houses you can fit in a 600m run after all. i grant that without further data it will be difficult to nail down how many expected connections you can cut tag and fit to the fibre – copper junction in a given day, assuming best efforts, but again its an upper number bounded figure, in terms of physical connections you can fit to the cabinet and how many pair will be available for use.

        i simply do not find the civil works will be reduced claim is at all believable, absent evidence otherwise.

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink |

        oh and note he said in the last A you had there: ‘possible expansion’ (of FTTN to FTTH).

        yep, i read that as he has no plan for upgrades as well. only gotten as far as crossing his mind (and being dismissed as a possibility immediately), from the sound of it…….

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink |

          We already knows he thinks it will be at least 20 years before we’d have to do anything more:

          “Well, if they’re different in 20 years time, we’ll make some further investments in 20 years time.”

          http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3572973.htm

          • nonny-moose
            Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink |

            Ah yes I forgot about that one… Well at least there is one aspect of coalition policy that is crystal clear, if nothing else….

    14. Francis Young
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink |

      The cowardly Mister Turnbull effectively answered “No Comment” to each one, because we still don’t know – as seven_tech noted – how much money, how much time, how much coverage and how much speed.

      Despite Labor being as badly on the nose with the electorate as its stench before the August 2010 poll, in 2013 there will be even more regional and outer urban seats electing candidates with a pro-FTTP policy. This leakage of votes away from the coalition will deliver another large cross bench, though I suspect more will be wary of the Greens than happened last time.

      Unless the coalition credibly adopts Labor’s technically excellent and appropriately funded all-fibre NBN, the result will be minority government with independents holding the balance of power. Is this what Liberal and Nationals supporters want?

    15. Daniel
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink |

      http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/5594-european-broadband-coverage-summary-for-2011.html

      France 96% DSL, 0.3% FTTP, 39.6% Standard Cable, 28.2% Docsis 3 Cable, 87% HSPA, 0% LTE, SAT 100%.

      Germany 51% DSL, 12.6% VDSL, 0% FTTP, 2% Standard Cable, 2% Docsis 3, 30% HSPA, 41% LTE, SAT 100%

      Spain 90.1% DSL, 7.2% VDSL, 9.4% FTTP, 0.4% Standard Cable, 88% HSPA, 0% LTE, SAT 100%

      Sweden 84.4% DSL, 7.2% VDSL, 9.4% FTTP, 1.7% Standard Cable, 1% Docsis 3, 98.8% HSPA, 13.9% LTE, SAT 0%

      England has 100% DSL, 17.4% VDSL, 0% FTTP, 2% Standard Cable, 2% Docsis 3, 88.5% HSPA, 0% LTE, 100% SAT

      These stats were for 2011.

      • Daniel
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink |

        As you can see here, DSL still has the greatest Coverage in Europe, so it made sense for the Australian Goverment to upgrade the DSL Network.

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink |

          I’m sorry, what? What precisely are you trying to say here? These figures don’t tell us much.

          If you’re implying that because these European countries have high DSL coverage we should focus on that technology do I really need to point out the argumentum ad numerum logical fallacy with the proposition?

          • Bob.H
            Posted 02/12/2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink |

            I think that Daniel may have been taking the piss out of Turnbulls argument about what is happening overseas,

            • Austcc
              Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink |

              no no no, according to what is used in Europe, we need abandon all other technologies and switch to satellite entirely. They have 100% coverage in almost all the countries in Europe with satellite technology!

              • The Brutally Handsome
                Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink |

                Satellite is not fixed line.

                We should be comparing fixed line technology, xDSL, FTTP, HFC and Direct Fibre, ISDN, Dial Up

                Satellite has near 100% world wide coverage, considering international shipping liners use them.

      • drone
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink |

        Daniel, you posted the same argument on the Turnbull blog. I did answer to it there and I will here.

        Just pasting:

        @Daniel,
        I suspect, those DSL were set up years ago over the quality copper network where optic fibre was not option money wise.

        In Australia, we are facing bit different copper network and thanks to Liberals Telstra’s total monopoly.

        As a result, we have bad quality network and Telstra ripping off every customer to make the shareholders happy.

        It is misleading to compare Australia to other countries. Every country has its own, unique circumstances like present copper quality, population, population density, distances, economical situation and so on.

        We have to change the present mess, so everyone has access to quality network and all competitors have an equal opportunity to provide its services. Present Government’s FTTH approach is logical and is addressing above problems the right way I believe. It is logical as it fixes two major problems, the Telstra monopoly and carrier quality. When completed, NBN will create true competition between ISPs. It is futuristic and will benefit all Australians, in many ways, for many decades to come.

        Few days ago, I was listening to Abbott book introduction. He was talking about modern infrastructure his party is going to build in Australia. Guess what, no mention about National Network, just roads, roads and more roads. I suspect he believes that scrapping NBN will give him the 40B to build them. Stupid as it is, many people still believe in this false injected to unsuspicious voter mind.

        Personally I believe that LNP does not give a damn about National Network, in the best scenario it has very low priority on their list. It is puzzling me, why on earth they try so hard to leave Telstra at its present position. There is a saying that if nobody knows what is going on, it is about the money….

        As someone said in previous post, M.Turnbull behavior is a smokescreen, and I think this is to cover that they are not going to address present situation, they are responsible for. The arrogant “answers” Mr. Turnbull provided here just confirm this to me.

      • Dan
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink |

        Dude, are you sure those numbers are not for land mass rather than population? Sweden has a very high percentage of the population covered by FTTP; The whole of Stockholm I believe.

      • Dan
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink |

        Are you sure those numbers are not for land mass rather than population? Sweden has a very high percentage of the population covered by FTTP; The whole of Stockholm I believe.

        • Dan
          Posted 02/12/2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink |

          No I re-read the heading for that table. “Rural coverage of access technology”
          Those numbers completely exclude all urban areas

    16. ozimarco
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 4:08 am | Permalink |

      It has taken five years of preparation for the NBN rollout. to get up and running. It won’t be until next year that the rollout will gain any sort of significant momentum, which will increase gradually as time goes by. Just as this colossus is finding its stride, the Coalition wants to stop it in its tracks and switch to a different technology. Pure madness! Imagine how many years will be lost while the new model is being developed! Turnbull’s dream would become everyone’s nightmare!

      • ozimarco
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 4:11 am | Permalink |

        Sorry about the full stop in the first sentence. Wish there was an edit function…

    17. Observer
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink |

      After 4 months, here we have it.

      Still back to it will be cheaper, faster and cost effective. Why? Because. How much cheaper? A lot. How much faster? A lot. How much more cost effective? A lot. But how much will it cost? Not much. When will it need to be replace? It depends.

      At long last, I feel reassured. Thank you Mr Turnbull.

      • Phil
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink |

        I’m not sure why anybody these days is interviewing MT regarding the future of communications in Australia.

        Our Good friends Clark and Dawes are perfectly capable of giving equally substantive replies to such questions.

    18. Posted 02/12/2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink |

      From the first answer. MT: “. But these technologies are rapidly evolving ”
      What I want to know is, if the FTTN technologies are rapidly evolving what comes after 80Mbps that he has been quoting and what quality of copper is needed to get those increased speeds above 80Mbps.
      Also another question to MT: What is the quality like of existing last mile copper lines now.
      Personally I know people who have trouble after it rains, I myself am down to 1pair out of 2 due to the old copper being damaged.

      • Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink |

        Here’s a question worth asking him:

        Q: Malcolm, what upload and download speeds can you guarantee me?

        If he was to be honest with the answer, he would need to say:

        A: It will depend on your distance from the node, and the condition of your phone line.

        Q: So, I could pay the same amount as the person across the road, and they may get a completely different speed?

        A: Yes.

        FTTN is not only inferior, it’s inequitable.

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink |

          Since MT won’t reply I can tell you what he will say

          Q: Malcolm, what upload and download speeds can you guarantee me?

          I guarantee Australians will have access to very fast broadband in less time than the Labor policy

          Q: So, I could pay the same amount as the person across the road, and they may get a completely different speed?

          Labor are producing a monopoly which will have high prices, we will offer competition to all Australians and do it cheaper and faster.

      • Austcc
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink |

        Every single advancement in DSL technology has mandated a shorter copper loop to increase speed. Is MT going to have the FTTN network completely redesigned and rebuilt to handle the “technologies that are rapidly evolving” or will we be stuck with a white elephant that cannot handle the evolved faster speeds for those on longer lengths of copper?

        • Posted 02/12/2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink |

          He knows that, but that doesn’t suit his message. So he doesn’t mention it.

    19. Patch
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink |

      It’s clear that if MT was responsible for designing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it would have been 4 lanes wide, and probably have a support pylon in the centre!

      The wider public need to understand the ramifications of deploying 50-60K curb-side cabinets, all requiring power, battery backup, ongoing maintenance and attracting vandalism.

      OPEX is really where FTTN falls over. Obviously the opposition is only focusing on CAPEX.

      If (God forbid) FTTN is ever deployed here, it will be obsolete within 7 years, and the upgrade path to FTTH is far from straightforward.

    20. Caffiene
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink |

      Nothing but meaningless politic-speak to see here. And, more to the point, insultingly obviously so.

      MT seems to think that only the apathetic or technologically illiterate should have any input, and gives only pointlessly vague answers to suit exactly that demographic even when speaking to technology journalists and a technologically literate audience.

      Q1: You werent asked for “the most obvious examples” Mr Turnbull. You were asked for the most pertinent to Australia’s situation. You havent in any way answered the question and, worryingly, if this was ‘supposed’ to be a legitimate attempt at naming the examples that are most similar to Australia’s situation then the naming of the UK and US suggests to me both a significant gap in ability to grasp nuance and detail and a lack of research and awareness. Especially given that no attempt was made to even justify the response.

      Q2: Despite having no idea of the commitments involved, MT is comfortable stating unequivocally that that Coalition FTTN can be completed from start to finish, including costing, planning, and legislation, in less time than it would take to complete the remainder of the existing FTTP plan? Again, no attempt is made to support the assertion in any way, and I have to question his judgement in making such a promise without being aware of critical information.

      And it just goes on from there… Dean said it best in his comment above. Mr Turnbull seems to think it is still 2007 and all of the time, cost, planning and commitments that have gone into the NBN will be able to be dismissed with the wave of a magic wand and have no effect on Coalition FTTN plans, while at the same time relying on blatantly vague and non sequitur misdirections in response to everything else.

      *waves hand* These are not the answers we’re looking for. We can go about our business.

    21. Austcc
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink |

      What I want to know is whether the time required for a FTTH pause + CBA + negotiation with Telstra + negotiation with ACCC + FTTN build is longer or shorter than the time required to finish the FTTH build.

      Sorry, rhetorical question :)

    22. Cameron
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink |

      Two very simple questions Malcolm.

      1. Who will own the wholesale network under the LNP NBN?

      2. What speeds will you GUARANTEE, under all weather conditions and line states?

    23. Rob
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink |

      I thought those were pretty good answers by Mr Turnbull. It would seem privately owned companies in the UK and USA prefer FTTN for their deployments. Inital capital investment is lower, you can’t deny this otherwise they wouldn’t do it. Naturally if NBN co wasn’t created FTTN would have been the natural progression of things and fibre used in green fields as is seen already for many new estate developments. The question would always remain how long would it have taken Telstra to move, I guess we will never know.
      The main difference though is this is a government build, and it would seem governments that have built networks have chosen FTTP, mostly in Asia, which is a much different economically due to density and sheer numbers of population.
      I think there is merit to using perhaps FTTN and FTTP as part of the NBN strategy. Once thing I’m annoyed with is I’m stuck on ADSL 1 and because other new estates in my area have fibre, it’s seems my area might be one of the last for FTTP. FTTN however would probably would work great in areas with new copper. It sounds like Turnbull might consider a more mixed approach.

      • Posted 02/12/2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink |

        Well you’re very easy to please. He hasn’t provided any new information with these questions and that is the problem. You do realise there is a very high it’ll take a few years to halt the NBN and start the FTTN roll-out, and you will probably be stuck on ADSL1 speeds for the same duration, and because of the nature of DSL technology, will not actually be guaranteed an increase in speed at all?

        That is why these answers were pathetic. That is why we, and you should too, are demanding more details.

        • Paul Krueger
          Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink |

          For Rob

          Some privately owned companies believe they can get more money from their customers by spending less when they go FTTN if they already own the last mile copper, is that what you means to say?

          Telstra was ready to go in 2005, if they were guaranteed no competition and were able to charge huge amounts and get a (from memory) 28% return on investment.

          Most Gov choose FTTN because it makes sound financial sense, not because of density, and many private companies are running FTTH. Even the companys doing FTTN in New zeal and and the UK have either completely stopped, or partially stopped and moving to FTTH.

          But you might have to wait a while before MT will mention that in a speech…

          • Rob
            Posted 02/12/2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

            Don’t get me wrong, with each passing day FTTP makes more sense, if the rollout began early in Labors first term then perhaps FTTN might have offered a decent middle range solution. With market forces/demand eventually it would be upgraded to fibre. Once again how long would it have taken to upgrade nodes to fibre? I think we’re at a point where if we had FTTN now, it would suit our requirements probably until the next decade. FTTP no doubt a slower deployment but there is no questioning the speed developments on FTTP will last several decades. That’s why I was thinking whether if there was any point mixing FTTN and FTTP to bring some areas up quickly while other areas FTTP due to things like bad copper or tougher deployment. I think Turnbull knows his stuff, but with his relationship with telco’s all over the world raises questions about vested interest in his FTTN proposal, and perhaps the more Telstra is involved the better it is for him. Under the table deal?

            • Austcc
              Posted 02/12/2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink |

              Did you forget that the original NBN plan Labor brought into government was for a FTTN network? Do you remember what happened to it? Telstra submitted a half-page “naa-naa, you aren’t going to play with our network” non-proposal, the expert panel looked through the other submissions and basically said that FTTN is not cost effective and suggested we look at FTTH instead.

              The coalition seems to ignore the advice of experts when it does not suits their rhetoric. There is the NBN, the budgetary inclusion of NBN funding, the BER waste, the home insulation fires. All these have been debunked by researchers or experts in the field. Yet they keep pushing the line. Pity quite a lot of mud has stuck.

              • Rob
                Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink |

                Yeah clearly there were the Telstra factor at the time that lead to the failure of the FTTN tender process. Also remember back then Trujillo was CEO of Telstra. Things might be a little more negotiable now considering Trujillo is gone and that the NBN is in full swing and replacing Telstra’s network. I’m sure in some way Telstra would be happy to come to the table to try and cement their incumbent status in partnering with NBN Co to build some if not the rest of the network FTTN. I’m not endorsing FTTN, I’m just saying the game has now changed compared to 2007.

            • GongGav
              Posted 03/12/2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink |

              There are question marks over whether you can upgrade FttN to FttH. Some reports say no, some say yes. Either way, its an extra cost that the Liberal plan incurs, and doesnt mention.

              So their “cheaper” claim very much depends on the time frame they base it on. Initial build costs, probably IS cheaper to build FttN. 20 years from now, the FttH build has paid itself off (so ultimatly zero cost), while the FttN build is suddenly hit with a second round of costs as its upgraded to FttP.

              So if you base it on ~5 years from now, FttN is cheaper, but if you base it on overall lifespan, FttH has no competition.

              • Posted 03/12/2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

                @GongGav

                I think you’ll find all reports say you can. It is a fact that, if designed correctly, there is a well known upgrade path for FTTH from FTTN- APON or Active PON. It’s what the UK are doing- FTTC.

                The catch is, the expensive part is the laying of the fibre between the cabinet and the home. Who pays for that? In Malcolm’s plan, us, directly. THAT is how he can say it is cheaper to the government, because the government only pays for half.

    24. Mike SC
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink |

      I’ll settle for FTTN in the next five years rather then FTTP in the next 20.
      Stick to your guns MT.

      • Bob.H
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink |

        If it is going to take you 20 years to get FTTP then you will never get FTTN from MT.

      • Daniel
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink |

        Why did you add 10 years to the project?

        Seriously, if you going to entire in a serious debate, about a serious project, enough with the blinded political love.

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink |

          He actually added 12. Completion is to be 2021 and we are knocking on the door of 2013. When the facts don’t suit your argument, distort the facts.

        • Mike SC
          Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink |

          “10 years to completion” – Yes that was quoted in 2010. It just moves one year each year. I think 20 years is probably more realistic, but really who knows.

          Related Facts of some importance: The country telecommunications system is suffering badly because of this ideological project. The gear is getting older. Investment ceased when the NBN was created, although now there is light at the end of the tunnel (MT), some carriers are starting to invest funds in sorely needed upgrades.

          • NBNAccuracy
            Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink |

            Investment cease a long time before the NBN was created and it’s completely understandable. The private sector had rolled out ADSL1/2 to every location that would return a profit. The only places seeing investment was FTTH in green fields, which still continues.

            As to the rest of what you had to say, your political agenda is showing.

            • Mike SC
              Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink |

              Yep you are right. Everyone, except the gov, stopped spending when Rudd got in. So long ago – 2007?

              • Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink |

                With respect his statement is slightly incorrect. He is trying to state that in most cases there was no profit to be made from continued investment and this status quo was established well before the NBN. This does not actually mean investment has ceased, it just means rolling out new networks and technology is rare, and would still be even if it wasn’t for the NBN.

                Remember Turnbull’s plan requires heavy subsides in order to get the stated network upgrades he is promising. Private investors will need a push no matter what we do.

                • NBNAccuracy
                  Posted 02/12/2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink |

                  Well that is basicly what i was trying to say. Given a copper network and it’s limitations they had done about all they could

              • NBNAccuracy
                Posted 02/12/2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink |

                It had pretty much died before the 2007 NBN anouncement. There were government incentives to put ADSL into unprofitable places. Some ISPs took advantage of this but it was getting to be very slim pickings. There was no one who would or could invest in whole new networks, other than in green fields. In 2007 there was the attempt to subsidise Telstra to put in FTTN. But at their price of $20B and comments that they would use the money to then run FTTH in the same areas… it would have been dumb to do that then and even dumber for MT to try it nearly 6 years later.

              • Tinman_au
                Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink |

                “Yep you are right. Everyone, except the gov, stopped spending when Rudd got in.”

                Actually, MikeSC, Telstra still spends $800M a year maintaining the copper network, and if Malcolm’s FttN plan actually comes to fruition, that would be considered an investment for Telstra.

          • Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

            No, investment didn’t cease. Not even close. Networks are still expanding their DSLAM footprint to meet demand and will continue too right up until complete saturation.

          • Posted 02/12/2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink |

            @Mike SC

            Since when has completion time increased a year, every year? Since 2010, the first Corporate Plan, the estimated date has slipped 6 months behind the original Dec 2020 finish time. Seeing as it has been going for over 2 years now (even ignoring the fact that it was in trial stage for 18 months of that) at that rate, instead of finishing in Jun 2021, it will finish in Jun 2023 (Adding 3 months per year) or 10 years and 6 months from now. I’d hardly call that 20 years. And considering the delay was a once off from various delays including Telstra, Greenfields and scope change, that isn’t likely anyway.

            You can complain all you like, but the fact of the matter is, NBNCo. are now AHEAD of their own predictions on construction by almost 25% (see Monthly Ready for Service Sept, Oct and Nov). Do I think therefore they are going to finish in 2019? No, but I don’t see them finishing in 2025 either.

            Perhaps do a bit more fact checking before baselessly accusing the largest (in terms of scope) and most scrutinised company in Australia of tricking an entire country into believing they’re going to finish 100% earlier than they know they are…

          • ungulate
            Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink |

            Correction for you Mike,

            The country’s telecoms infrastructure has suffered badly since Telstra became privatised. The copper has been run down ever since.

            One has to wonder if Sol wasn’t planning to have a fibre to the home monopoly. After all he did speak highly of the benefits of fibre.

            Perhaps if Sol hadn’t tried to totally blackmail the government and instead merely asked for a high profit rather than a windfall profit, he might have got his wish.

            And gee whizh, since we’re talking alternate realities, if we had had a Telstra FTTH monopoly, you can guess who’d have bought shared in it. Malcom. Yep.

      • Austcc
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink |

        So you think that the time required for a FTTH pause + CBA + negotiation with Telstra + negotiation with ACCC + design the new FTTN network + testing to make sure that each premise has two pairs suitable for VDSL2 + pulling through new copper pairs to replace the non-working second pairs + building FTTN nodes with adequate power and cooling is shorter than the time required to finish the FTTH build?

        I think you need to justify your opinion.

        • Karl
          Posted 02/12/2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink |

          + time to test the planned rollout methodology

      • ungulate
        Posted 02/12/2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink |

        And then get stuck with FTTN, whilst one in three Australians already have fibre, while you wait another 10 to 15 years, and have to pay more for an upgrade?

        Why would you vote against your own best interest?

    25. Mike Johnson
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink |

      I’m only 600M from my “node” and I’m limited to 4mbit, the line also drops out when it rains heavily. Why are the Libs still even considering FTTN? Just get on with the job, with any luck and the way things are going with NSW & QLD Lib state Govt Labor will probably win the next election in their own right then come 2016 NBN will be way too far down the track to alter.

      • Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink |

        ” things are going with NSW & QLD Lib state Govt Labor will probably win the next election”

        The way things are going – Cambell Newman wont make it to the next election.

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink |

          lol, ^this.

          I think he’s been losing an LNP member at a rate of 1 per month since he got in…

    26. DinoTerrific
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

      It’s plain obvious now people if we want FTTH we must vote for Labor, Liberal cannot be trusted and will deliver a half baked service which will need to be upgraded again in 5-10 years. Lets face it both governments parties aren’t any good but we’ll take the FTTH. And incase you’re reading Malcolm if you do something in life do it properly or don’t do it at all but i guess you’re just for the party right?

    27. SaveTheNBN
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink |

      Truly Malcolm Turnbull has to get the award for the worst of the worst politician ever. He calls for truth and fact based policy discussions but continually comes up with useless weasel word answers devoid of anything approaching detail or fact. These non answers are the usual drivel that Turnbull spouts showing complete contempt for the Australian public. This act of honest Malcolm might wash with a lot of people but won’t pass anyone with any technical background and as the election approaches Malcolm will be shown up as the vacuous slime he really is.

      Turnbull may have accused John Howard of breaking a nations heart by using devious political maneuvers to kill the Republic yet he is doing exactly the same to kill the nations communication system. The man must be stopped.

    28. MikeB
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink |

      One of the key questions should be:

      Neither Abbott nor Hockey seem to share your views regarding your alternative to the NBN. Where is the proof that the alternative to the NBN that you describe is actually backed by any of the critical members of your party?

    29. ungulate
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      Just a bit of context here if I may. Turnbull’s responses to your questions are not intended to engage you in a discussion that he knows will go badly for him. Rather, Turnbull’s responses are pitched at the “wider audience”. The large numbers of people out there who are only partially engaged with the issue but simply want reassurance that “its ok to vote Liberal”. That’s Turnbull’s strategy from the start.

      You won’t get serious engagement from Turnbull. He knows he can afford to alienate the small community of well informed “tech heads” because in politics, its really all about, I’m afraid to say, the perceptions of the largely uninformed.

      If you wish to pick apart his responses, probably the weakest point is where Turnbull says:

      “Much less time than via FTTP.”

      Turnbull is engaged in intellectual dishonesty here because he’s preying on the perception that in government he merely needs to push a lever and magically, FTTN happens. He knows as well as I do that the process itself is likely to take 2 to 3 years. And he also knows that the construction process is likely to take 3 or more years beyond that point. In other words, a completion date around 2019.

      Of course, you’re welcome to take him to task over this, but first I suggest you do a well researched article on the process that would be involved in directing NBNco to redesign and the processes, technical, legal, commercial and regulatory that would ensue.

      Turnbull’s single biggest selling point is “you’ll get it sooner” yet he also knows that’s his weakest claim.

      Then he continues with the words:

      “We don’t know what awaits us in terms of commitments entered into etc..”

      Which tells you something about his thinking, and about his exit strategy. Its a theme that occurs and reoccurs through much of his most recent ruminations.

      Clearly there is a gulf between Abbott’s “pause, and halt” and Turnbull’s weasel words “we don’t know..”. That’s another line of questioning in itself. But what does appear to be the case (and Turnbull can probably do the educated guesswork too) is that even if he were determined, most likely fibre construction will spill over into 2015 and about a third of the country will be connected to fibre before FTTN can see a volume roll out.

      Turnbull is scared someone might pick up on this and merely ask “is it all worth it?”.

      Related to that is the obvious political question: “Turnbull, given that by the time you’re able to get FTTN rolling out, a quarter to a third of houses will either have the NBN or will have it under construction, don’t you expect some political backlash as people come to realise what they will be missing?”

      Of course related to that is the political backlash as people realise the full meaning of “band aid solution.” And a savvy journalist might want to press Turnbull on how politically unrealistic it all is.

      Now, if it were me asking the question, what I would really like to do is to drill Turnbull down on the implied “the future will never happen, we may never have fibre” aspect of his responses.

      Here’s a classic bit of deliberate dog whistling to the idea that fibre is not inevitable.

      “We would expect to use FTTP in greenfields and other areas where it was more cost effective. As to the longer term that depends on demand and technology.”

      To which one might ask of him: “Technology, Mr. Turnbull? What technology do you anticipate will be used to replace copper as it dies, if its not fibre?”

      Again, what this really is is a dog whistle to the subconscious “all there ever is and all there ever will be” – which again echoes louder in the minds of the conservative. He may as well have said “Well, when the copper dies, we don’t really know what technology we’ll replace it with”. But instead this form of words is exactly what suits his purposes. Its not just a non-answer, its a dog-whistle.

      He goes even deeper into his intellectual dishonest further down with this:

      “Long term predictions of technology are hazardous, but it is interesting to note that given the dramatic improvements in VDSL technology, there is in many markets a swing back to FTTN…”

      The first sentence is a classic attack of FUD. The next is simply the illogical argument that some telcos find it favorable to continue to profit from their copper – how this detracts from the conclusion that fibre is the end game I don’t know. Like I said, Turnbull, like the Liberals in general relies on preying on weak minds. And this is a classic example. I could go further into the rest of his non-answers but let me conclude.

      The fundamental point that Turnbull is refusing to be drawn on is that fibre is the end game. Its the technology that will replace copper, and copper replacement is as certain as the fact that oxygen is corrosive.

      He cannot be drawn on this because to do so, his mainline argument of “cheaper” suffers an inglorious death. After all, what is the cost of FTTN if not in addition to the cost of the fibre you will be running out afterwards. This is why personally I don’t care for nit picking about the precise cost of FTTN. It actually doesn’t matter, because it actually doesn’t save us from the cost of building a fully fibre network.

      A point that needs to be pressed on Turnbull, relentlessly. Its the core of the Liberals entire strategy. Its till an outrageously dishonest one – but then so is the Liberal’s “policies” on most things.

      Now, if you really feel like playing Turnbull’s game, Renai, you could always nit pick over Mr. Turnbull’s own examples. And ask him things like who pays for the copper?

      Even better ask Mr. Turnbull questions like “Given this example here.. Do you expect that will continue to use copper indefinitely?”.

      He’s given indefinite, indirect examples of certain telcos that “have gone back to VDSL”, but in the context that’s dishonest because he’s trying to pretend said telcos aren’t doing this on a temporary basis.

      Here’s one final point.

      If the Liberals were to seriously go ahead with directing NBNco to redesign (as you well know, I find this unlikely) then under that “atomic banana parallel universe” a Liberal government is much more motivated to slow or halt progress on fibre. So I guess you could ask Turnbull what he thinks this means to the millions of people in the 3 year roll out as at election time. Can he give those people a guarantee that they won’t find their fibre cut short? Can he explain to these people how they will get “sooner” when instead of under 3 years, these people will discover its become 3 to 7 years.

      Can’t wait for an clever, but dishonest response to that one too :)

      • Kevin Davies
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink |

        +1

      • GongGav
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink |

        Has The Turnbull ever said we’ll get their NBN sooner, or has he always stuck with faster? Reason I’m asking is that in standard political speak, faster may be correct*

        I stick that asterix in for a reason, because faster may simply refer to the rollout time. Not negotiating time, trials, etc etc, but pure full speed rollout. In which case, FttN would be faster.

        Very deceptive of course, but it could be a shifty claim he can say with all honesty is correct. And once the Lib’s are in power, who cares what real truths come out afterwards? Right?

        Its not like the general public could do anything about it anyway…

    30. h simpson
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink |

      Malcolm Turnbull is deliberately being misleading. He dodges evety question, and just gives broad answers which are either lies, waffle or buzwords (or all 3!).

      Anyone that doesn’t see that I question their intelligence.

    31. Mr Creosote
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink |

      Typical politician. A lot of talk, but didn’t say anything. The “answers” Turnbull provided don’t actually give any detail. It’s all generalisations, no specifics. E.g. It surely can’t be that hard to name some countries if there are really so many great examples of FTTN roll outs, instead of just saying Europe or even US.
      Sadly Turnbull is now going to say he has met the brief and he will claim to be the victim of a “biased” media if he is pushed for actual answers.

    32. Fourbypete
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink |

      Has anyone asked
      “Will the Liberal party’s FTTN plan will provide a return of 7.1% to the federal Government and in turn the Australian tax payer?”

      “Will the Liberal party will pay for the last mile from the node and the distance of copper to the exchange and for a lease or buy for the access to the pits for laying optic fibre to the node?”
      ,”Where will they borrow the money for this?”

      “Who will pay for the electricity to the node if no one is connected to a particular node yet?”

      “Does Malcolm Turnbull consider his job safe if the Liberal party wins the next election?

      These are the questions I’d like answered.

    33. Fourbypete
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink |

      Also, “How will they add extra capacity to the next work when new people move into a neighborhood?”

      “Is it as easy as The GPON system to add extra capacity?”

    34. Kevin Cobley
      Posted 02/12/2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink |

      VDSL is the Gonorrhoea of broadband policy!

    35. Walter
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink |

      The heading should read “Turnbull FAILS to respond to FTTN concerns”

    36. paul
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink |

      I feel the greenfield vs brownfield approach suggested by Turnbull is more reasonable and thought out.

      The current NBN proposal smells of failure.

      The sheer amount of money the government is spending on this project is a joke.

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink |

        Malcolms $55b plan is the joke, Aussie taxpayers wont see a cent of return on that…

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink |

        Seems you know something about what he plans to do and the costings.
        Could you answer the questions put foward to Mr Turnbull?
        Or are you just bliding posting in support of something with not enough infotmation to tell if it is good or bad?

      • Bob.H
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink |

        Oh dear another troll. MT can’t even educate them properly it seems.

    37. SimonB
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink |

      I was genuinely excited to see the heading that MT had finally responded to these questions. What an utter disappointment the replies turned out to be. Completely deflective and devoid of detail. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but man… disappointed.

    38. Marc
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink |

      Mr Turnbull, Get it through your thick skull that Australia doesn’t want you wasting money building a network that is obsolete before you even install a single cabinet.

    39. Mark M
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink |

      Only politicians can answer questions without giving a single answer and this is a perfect example of that.

    40. Drew
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink |

      “Yes, and not very long.”

      … there’s a lot of “proof by assertion” in his response :(

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink |

        “Yes, and a lot.”

        • Posted 03/12/2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink |

          Lulz.

        • Drew
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink |

          Apparently the technical phrase is “ipse dixit”. Turnbull provided these responses because he was tired of Renee reminding him to address the issues. Now maybe Renee can just suffix each reference to MT with “ipse dixit” instead.

          e.g. “Malcolm Turnbull, ipse dixit, again accused the technical press of wilfully supporting the government’s long-term telecommunications infrastructure policy” …

          • Posted 03/12/2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink |

            Awesome. When can you start Renai?

          • Mike
            Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink |

            “In the field of Logic, the Latin phrase Ipse dixit (“He, himself, said it”) is known as the bare assertion fallacy, wherein it identifies and describes a dogmatic statement asserted, but unproved, which the speaker expects the listener to accept—on faith—to be true. The legal and philosophical principles of Ipse dixit involve an unproven assertion that the speaker claims is true, and therefore authoritative, because it was uttered by “an authority”. ”

            Wikipedia ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipse_dixit

            LOVE IT!! This sums it up perfectlY!

    41. Brad
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink |

      The Coalition seems to like using other countries as an example as to what we should do (despite those countries having very different geographies, etc).

      My question is, why are we using examples when we could be setting the example with FTTP?

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink |

        “The Coalition seems to like using other countries as an example as to what we should do (despite those countries having very different geographies, etc).”

        It’s not the geographies that’s actually the problem with his examples, neither are population densities and a bunch of other things, it’s who owns the copper there thats the real problem.

        Malcolm wants to use copper that he doesn’t own.

        All his examples are for people that own the copper.

        What will the copper cost him?

        Somewhere between $17.75B and $40B…

        His base network will cost ~$15B (for the fibre/cabinets part).

        So his FttN will cost somewhere between $32.75B and $55B.

        His examples aren’t possible in Australia without major changes and/or costs, thats the _real_ problem with them as examples…

    42. GongGav
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink |

      Little question. We’ve all been assuming that Telstra will be a big expense, but what if they arent?

      What if they lease the copper for $1 per annum, knowing they get their monopoly back in the process?

      I dont think it will happen personally, but you never know. Telstra might be satisfied with the current contracts, and “gift” the copper to the Lib’s to get control of the whole network again for the next 20 years.

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink |

        I guess anything is possible, but the value of the copper as scrap alone runs between $500 million and $1.2B, I’m not sure the shareholders would appreciate the Tesltra board for giving away that much as a gift.

        And considering the ducts alone got them $11B, I’m not sure that a public company wouldn’t try to get the best value it could from what is still a core system.

      • Posted 03/12/2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink |

        As an ASX listed company, Telstra has a fiduciary responsibility to deliver the best possible outcome for shareholders.

        Won’t happen, or the shareholders would go mental.

        • GongGav
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink |

          20 years of monopoly control is definitely a worthy outcome though. As I said, I cant see it happening either, but just tossing out there that we’ve assumed Telstra will be a stumbling block, when they might not be.

          If they arent, how does that change the Liberal plan? You know I dont want FttN, I think its a short term bandaid that is going to put us back 20 years compared to the rest of the world, but if it DOES mean FttN in 2 years (hah!) then there’s a perspective many of us wont consider.

          I’ll always argue the cost angle myself. If for no other reason than the FttN plan actually puts the costs back onto budget, which puts the Liberals into deficit… Thats going to be a tough sell.

          • Tinman_au
            Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink |

            No worries Gong, I get where your coming from on it, I just think the current Telstra board wouldn’t really consider something as risky as gifting the CAN to gain a possible/hopeful advantage sometime in the future, they’d be much more likely to want an “in the bag” cash settlement.

            But who really knows, they may look a the current maintenance bill (~700-800 million a year) and decide it could be better to ditch it (but then, who takes over that maintenance cost?).

            Even when you get some answers with Malcolm’s plan, it just generates more questions…

            • Posted 04/12/2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink |

              “Even when you get some answers with Malcolm’s plan, it just generates more questions…”

              This.

      • Paul Thompson
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink |

        We are also assuming that the contractors won’t work on the FTTP for free. We are also assuming that fibre won’t suddenly start growing from trees. We are also assuming that genetically engineered rats wont escape from their labs and start running the fibre through the conduits.

        I don’t think it will happen personally, but you never know.

        • GongGav
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink |

          Genetically engineered rats, you say… Link please! :p

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

        Thus proving once again, just how superior the ‘level playing field” NBN is…

    43. Brendan
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink |

      I’d like to know the actual quantitive value for “not very long” – is it less than 6 years, or is it ~20 years?

      I’d also like to know the costs to deploy both FTTN, and what Mr Turnbull believe the estimated cost is, in twenty years time, to unwind the FTTN and deploy FTTH, after previously unwinding FTTH.

      Heck, a policy on all this FTTN rambling might be nice; so we have something more than vague unsubstantiated, un-costed, un-disclosed policy-less bullsh*t.

      Because until the Member for Wentworth backs up the assorted claims with a substantive Policy, I’m pretty sure it’s just opinion; and should jolly well be treated as such.

      Is Mr Turnbull really, honestly suggesting that you can:

      - build both FTTN, and FTTH for less than the current cost of the NBN
      - hit the same saturation point, and do so faster, despite having to rewind the NBN
      - renegotiate with Telstra & the ACCC and change the fundimental deployment methodology
      - re-tender for hardware, etc etc

      — I am a little lost for words..

      • Zok
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink |

        Brendan,

        I’d like to know the actual quantitive value for “not very long” – is it less than 6 years, or is it ~20 years?

        Turnbull is not going to commit to a particular time period. That would be wasteful and irresponsible; something Labor might do. No, his approach is temporally agnostic™. :P

    44. Woolfe
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink |

      Wow….

      I am so embarassed for Mr Turnbull.

      He is my only hope for a decent leader for the liberals. And yet he comes out with tripe like this.

      Sigh…

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 03/12/2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink |

        I am actually embarrassed (and this is a generic comment, not aimed at anyone in particular) at the imbecilic logic forever displayed by those who oppose the NBN :(

        I’m yet to read one rational comment, that has any concrete basis for suggesting the NBN will not be successful or not easily the best “all round alternative”.

        The NBN covers all bases, whereas Malcolm’s alternative is full of holes, imo.

        And as soon as one fires back at these negative people’s lack of anything, they have absolutely no credible answers, to support anything they have said, They then either disappear or go off on an even sillier tangent :/

        Nothing any of them have ever blurted out makes me even remotely question my support for the NBN.

        In fact, following most of these negative, baseless comments, it reaffirms my thought that the NBN is a fantastic build for Australia and those who are opposed really have nothing but political ideology, as their one and only actual reason for opposing the NBN…

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink |

          Actually, out of most of the pro-MT NBN followers, I think Michael is the only one that tries to present an actual case for it, the rest just spout some Jonesisms or “pro liberal” talking points/ideology and move on to the next thread.

          It’s the interent equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and going “LALALALALALALALA”….

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink |

            Indeed but unless I am mistaken Michael will also add, he’s not against FttP per se`.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink |

              And ironically, Michael is one who has said, yes, I’m a conservative who votes accordingly…!

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 03/12/2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink |

          Here’s an example of what I was referring to, copy/pasted from above…

          “But lets look at NBN, lets start off at $40Bn, given it has a flawed plan, it runs over every year, after 10yrs, its a dead white elephant, costing already $60Bn, and needs another $40Bn to finish. But even before its finished, its redundant. chances are, it will never finish.”

          Totally unfounded waffle… so much for evidence based eh?

          And has anyone noticed that we have two (ahem) main anti-NBN posters here who both are telling us the NBN will take 20 years?

          *sigh*

          • Woolfe
            Posted 04/12/2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink |

            Waffle indeed. I used to think the only reason MT was so dead against the NBN was because 1 he was being told to be against it. and 2, it wasn’t his baby :-)

            Now I am not so certain.

            Ho hum.

            At least while Abbott is in charge there is a good chance of another hung parliament…

    45. hector
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink |

      I have to laugh at the anti NBNers. I assume most of them are rural conservatives – as usual these idiots will die in a ditch to work against their own interests. The murdoch newspapers are running a massive campaign against NBN to preserve their masters pay TV interests. The first people hit by the collapsing pathetic copper network will be rural customers, then no doubt they’ll bitch and moan about how its ‘labors fault’ and demand a fix. In fact this is happening now in Warrnambool, where the copper network has been burnt out.

      These are the same people that send their kids overwhelmingly to state schools while voting for parties that push private schools, and bitch about protecting the murray, but will be the first with their hands out when it finally snuffs it.

      Maybe we could have a system where the coalition morons are kept on the crappy copper network – I’m sure that will keep them, and Rupert, happy.

    46. hector
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink |

      Perhaps we could look at a system where individual murdoch journalists are held liable for crappy copper networks. Everytime the data stream is slow, we just recover the funds from one of the murdoch monkeys who stopped fibre to our homes and businesses from happening.

      In fact we could also extend this scheme to coalition supporters – they can pay up as well!

      I love how coalition supporters are always valuable little ‘useful idiots’ for the murdoch press.

      • Woolfe
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink |

        I’m of the opinion that Politicians and Publications should be held to a higher standard and areas where they are found to be incorrect (even if it is an honest mistake) should require them to formally correct the details.

        But maybe I am just getting old and tired of the shovelling…

      • Paul Thompson
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink |

        Whenever I hear anyone say that 12MBps is ‘sufficient’ I am tempted to ask them to sign a written contract that they will never, ever use a service that is faster for their business or their home.

        I really like the idea that those who try to hold the NBN back should, if FTTP goes ahead, be forced to live with the inferior alternatives.

    47. badM0f0
      Posted 03/12/2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink |

      Mr Turnbull has omitted a little contextual detail in his references to European roll outs of FttN at “1/3″ of the cost. He has previously cited Deutsche Telekom as an example of a telco who had chosen to switch strategy from FttP to a FttN/VDSL deployment, with the latter incurring around 1/3 of the cost of the former.

      What he omitted to mention in this example was that this was not DT’s preferred option and was not one made specifically on cost grounds. It was a political or policy choice made in the context of the regulatory environment; they were not prepared to continue building FttP when the European regulator put in place a regime which would force them to grant access to competitors at rates they felt would not provide a sufficient return on investment. (This not dissimilar to the pre-NBN stand-off between Telstra, the ACCC & the government.) DT expressed a preference for a straight FttP roll out as they believe a full fibre network is ultimately going to be required anyway.

    48. ewan
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink |

      Patch up broadband policy.
      If you do get right the first time it cost more in the future, Jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!! .




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