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  • Featured, Opinion, Telecommunications - Written by on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 12:02 - 218 Comments

    Sorry Mr Turnbull: We’re not convinced

    opinion Last week Malcolm Turnbull delivered a series of very strong, evidence-based answers to key questions about his rival NBN policy, demonstrating that he would be a safe pair of hands to steward the nation’s broadband future. But, despite his eloquence and depth of knowledge, the Liberal MP has still failed to convince Australia’s technical community that his policy is better than Labor’s.

    As some readers may remember, in late July this year Delimiter put a series of questions to Turnbull, in an effort to get the Shadow Communications Minister 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. When it took power in November 2007, the current Labor administration also had a FTTN-based policy, but it switched to a more comprehensive FTTH-based policy in April 2009 after a panel of experts rejected private sector bids to build the NBN and recommended the Government go it alone with a more ambitious rollout.

    Last week, four months later, Turnbull finally responded to those questions, and reading through them, I found it very hard to fault most of his answers. If I examine most of them, Turnbull has responded convincingly and well.

    Let’s go through a few examples. Delimiter’s first question asked Turnbull what international examples of FTTN-style deployments did the Shadow Communications Minister consider most pertinent to the Australian situation, and why. Turnbull’s answer to this question was extremely brief, but salient, citing the US and the UK, where major telcos AT&T and BT are indeed focusing on using FTTN-style deployments to upgrade their existing copper networks.

    Turnbull is right in that these are solid examples relevant to the Australian situation. In the US, AT&T’s so-called “U-verse” fibre to the node build was scheduled to hit some 30 million homes by the end of 2012 (consisting of some 55 to 60 percent of the company’s addressable footprint). The platform provides speeds up to 24Mbps, although such speeds are generally much more guaranteed at various tiers, compared to the so-called “up to 24Mbps” speeds which Australia’s current ADSL2+ footprint offers. In the UK, BT is rolling out fibre to the node in a number of areas and plans to achieve 80Mbps download speeds and 20Mbps upload speeds this year, while in Germany, Deutsche Telekom is also rolling out fibre to the node to millions of homes.

    These examples aren’t vendor hype on paper – they’re examples where real-world telcos, incumbents like Telstra, are deploying FTTN networks, as Telstra itself proposed back in 2005 under then-chief executive Sol Trujillo. The sheer truth of the matter is that if Telstra and the then-Howard Government had been able to agree on regulatory settings the best part of a decade ago, then Australia would very likely have a national fibre to the node network right now – and probably the overwhelming majority of residents and many businesses would be quite happy with it.

    In other answers to different questions, Turnbull also demonstrated a strong, evidence-based approach. Asked about the fact that many believe a long-term shift to FTTH will be needed anyway, Turnbull pointed out that current technology allowed FTTN networks to be built with a long-term shift to FTTH anyway, meaning that you can have “the best of both worlds”.

    Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has described Turnbull’s FTTN policy as a technical “dead end”, claiming that the technology used to deploy FTTN can’t be upgraded to support FTTH in future. But the truth is that Conroy’s wrong about this. AT&T in the US, for example, is using Alcatel-Lucent Intelligent Service Access Manager (ISAM) devices which the vendor explicitly notes on its website can support both FTTH and FTTN, including a “smooth evolution” from a copper-based network to a fibre-based one.

    On other points Turnbull also demonstrated a strong, evidence-based approach. It is true, for example, that FTTN can be deployed faster and at lesser cost than FTTH. It is true that Telstra, for example, has publicly said it doesn’t see many obstacles to working with a Coalition Government on a different type of network deployment. It is true that lessons about FTTN and its sister technology, VDSL, can be garnered from Europe particularly, where the deployment style does appear to be gaining ascendancy over the FTTH style supported by Labor.

    Overall, after reading through his answers with a calm head and following up the evidence that he referenced, I walked away with the belief that the Coalition’s NBN policy is workable, achievable, and supported by international examples. It would deliver a fundamental improvement to broadband service delivery in Australia that almost every Australian would welcome, and it would finally bring Australia’s telecommunications infrastructure in line with an upgrade path followed by many other countries globally. It’s a good policy, and very well-researched.

    What I like about Turnbull’s policy is that it would focus on continuing to use much of the nation’s existing telecommunications networks, while kickstarting development in areas where better infrastructure is urgently needed. It’s not a revolutionary policy, but an evolutionary one, based on lessons both from within Australia and internationally. Of course, there are caveats; Turnbull hasn’t actually produced a formal policy document yet, and doubts remain about whether Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and other senior Coalition politicians are fully behind Turnbull’s vision, but I’m prepared to take Turnbull at face value on these issues for now, and accept that we’ll know more closer to the next Federal Election.

    At this stage of this article, many readers are no doubt questioning whether I’ve turned to the dark side and have started to drink Turnbull’s kool-aid.

    I can just imagine the comments that would be posted on Delimiter if I concluded the article at this point. “Bias!!!!” several of the more shrill readers would scream. “Renai is bias! He’s succumbed to Turnbull’s reality distortion field! He’s a Liberal stooge!” Others would merely accuse me of sacrificing my intellect at the altar of journalistic respectability and claim that I was trying to achieve some spurious notion of “balance” by alternately praising both Conroy and Turnbull, in a promiscuous attempt to keep both sides happy with me. But I digress; this article isn’t going to finish at this point; so read on as I feebly attempt to redeem myself in your jaded eyes.

    The truth of the matter is that Turnbull’s NBN policy, as it stands, is the second-best telecommunications policy I’ve ever seen presented in Australia. It’s better than the threadbare vision which Kevin Rudd and Stephen Conroy took to the 2007 Federal Election. It’s better than the half-baked OPEL vision which Howard-era Communications Minister Helen Coonan was pitching before that point. It’s better than the deregulation-era policies which were around in the 1990’s, as it blends both market competition and government intervention together usefully (although they were needed, they weren’t comprehensive), and it’s obviously a damn sight better than the tripe which then-Shadow Communications Minister Tony Smith took to the 2010 Federal Election – you know, the policy launch Tony Abbott didn’t even both to turn up for and couldn’t even explain when asked about it.

    Yes, friends, Turnbull’s NBN policy has evolved into a worthy, achievable, well-thought out telecommunications policy. But it’s not as good a policy as Stephen Conroy’s NBN vision – the best telecommunications policy which Australia has ever had.

    It’s easy to count the reasons why. It doesn’t really matter that FTTN is a solid technology which will deliver better broadband to Australia. Labor’s vision uses fundamentally better technology than the Coalition’s – technology which will future-proof the nation for the next fifty years, instead of the next dozen. Technology that allows both upload and download speeds which better the Coalition’s model, and where that fibre technology is simply ridiculously expensive to deploy, wireless and satellite technology which is already providing huge service delivery improvements to the bush.

    It doesn’t really matter that the Coalition’s FTTN rollout will “cost less”, because Labor has pretty exhaustively demonstrated that its FTTH vision will eventually pay for itself. It doesn’t really matter that the Coalition’s FTTN rollout will be delivered a handful of years sooner, because Labor’s vision will see much better broadband delivered over a much longer period. Don’t do it halfway – do it right the first time, and benefit for the next 50 years.

    It doesn’t really matter that countries such as the US, the UK and Germany are delivering FTTN networks, because Australia shouldn’t want to be equal with those countries on any front. We should want to exceed them – and the NBN is one massive way in which we can do that as a nation. It doesn’t matter that it’s possible to re-work Telstra’s $11 billion contract with NBN Co to support a FTTN network build, and it doesn’t matter that that might not take that long. Because Labor has already negotiated extensive contracts with both Telstra and Optus; those contracts are in place right now and are delivering on their aims.

    Do you get where I’m going here? The sheer fact of the matter is that Labor’s NBN vision uses better technology than the Coalition’s, it represents a better long-term vision for Australia’s telecommunications needs, it will be delivered in a time frame which on a long or even medium-term scale is pretty indistinguishable from the Coalition’s and it won’t cost more because it will pay for itself. Plus, it will vault Australia past our rivals in terms of our telecommunications capacity – and all the private and public sector benefits that entails – instead of merely bringing us up to speed.

    Often in life we’re faced with choices. I like Carlton Draught beer, for example (on some nights I’ve liked it a little too much and ended up with a headache the next morning). But I prefer to drink Coopers Pale Ale – in my view it’s a better beer. Similarly, I usually prefer Thai food to Chinese food – there’s something about the Thai combination of spices which I love.

    But these are matters of opinion; there isn’t really one right answer. Some people will prefer a certain option over another one, and it’s impossible to say that they’re wrong, just that you disagree. When it comes to government policy, this is often the case. Vast disagreements exist between different political views on the efficacy of different types of policies.

    But when it comes to technology, it is usually always the case that there are better and worse options. Fixed broadband technology can almost always be empirically shown to have better latency and bandwidth than wireless broadband technology. Flash SSD drives can be shown to have better read speeds than traditional magnetic optical drives. LCD screens are just … better than the old CRT alternatives. As the march of technology progresss, old technology is replaced by new – sometimes, as in the case of national telecommunications networks, once every 100 years. Sometimes, as in the case of mobile phone handsets, every year like clockwork. If you can afford it, everyone who works in technology knows that you should go for the best technology available. And in the case of the NBN, Australia can definitely afford to roll out fibre around the nation.

    Turnbull has convinced me personally – and no doubt many other Australians – that the Coalition has a solid, workable and achievable broadband policy. But it’s not the best policy out there. That policy belongs to the Australian Labor Party, and that’s the Coalition’s real battle right now – to convince the everyday joe on the street that what it’s offering is better than what the next guy is. That, after all, is what politics is all about. Not showing that you’re good enough — but that you’re better.

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    1. Cameron
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |

      Last week Malcolm Turnbull delivered a series of very strong, evidence-based answers to key questions about his rival NBN policy, demonstrating that he would be a safe pair of hands to steward the nation’s broadband future.

      I’m sorry Renai, it appears you have left off the sarcasm tag.

      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink |

        I agree, Renai is totally biased — he’s just writing this article in an attempt to provide “balance” in the NBN debate. What a schmuck, his editor should fire him.

        • Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink |

          Actually Renai, I am going with Cameron on this.

          While answers were provided, the Earl of Wentworth did not answer the questions put to him. He did give us some insight yes, but if you are seriously suggesting that to the question:

          How long will your plan take to implement?
          Faster than Labor’s plan

          is actually answering the question, then I have actually lost quite a bit of faith in you.

          Provided answers: Yes.
          Answered the question: Oh hell no.

          • ungulate
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink |

            Turnbull totally evaded the fact that fibre is the end game, regardless of the path taken.

            Renai failed to pick up on this or mention the obvious conclusion – that if you build FTTN first, then you’ve spent more money overall.

            As I said below, this is the blackest kind of humour.

        • Cameron
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink |

          Renai, I think your response is biased and you seem to jump to the author’s defence very quickly.

          I don’t see Turnbull’s plan as being fully formed, it seems to be design by google…
          * He has googled and found that there are some hybrid MSANs
          * He has googled the theoretical sync speed charts for VDSL and drawwn a line at 80Mbps
          * He has googled where FTTN is being used in other countries

          There is no engineering rigour in anything I have seen from him on this alternative plan.

          What is the guaranteed minimum line speeds we will get under his FTTN/VDSL version of the NBN?

          What happens if my line condition is so poor I can’t meet that minimum? Is it best effort?

          What happens if my line drops out in bad weather?

          What will be the cost implications of bringing everyone’s copper up to spec, including ducts and pits?

          Who will own to network? Will it be the current incumbent or a mix of various private companies?

          What will the wholesale access regime look like? Will any service provider be able to access the wholesale network on equal terms?

          Will multicast or other similar technologies be available, or will we see it “design out” to ensure network owners protect their current business interests?

          In all seriousness Renai, Turnbull’s response raise more questions and provide no real answers. In fact they are an alarming red flag, it creates more doubt than it clarifies.

          In many ways you can describe engineering as minimising risk and managing that risk that remains.

          Turnbull is failing badly in his LNP NBN policy. (This is from someone that has never voted Labor, ever.)

          • Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink |

            “Renai, I think your response is biased and you seem to jump to the author’s defence very quickly.”

            Fair call — I’ll stop defending the author in future. What he wrote is indefensible anyway.

            • Cameron
              Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink |

              :D

            • ungulate
              Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink |

              Renai,

              Instead of trying to be funny, how about simply going into more analysis about the two key points.

              Is fibre the end game, or not? Go ahead, its worth an article or two.

              How long would it actually take the Liberals to direct NBNco to redesign and to through all the necessary process such that FTTN began to roll out. 2 years? 3? Longer?

              Again, I’ve challenged you repeatedly to write on this subject.

        • damien
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink |

          “I agree, Renai is totally biased — he’s just writing this article in an attempt to provide “balance” in the NBN debate. What a schmuck, his editor should fire him”.

          Couldn’t agree more, though firing is not necessary. It’s amazing how sensitive you are to criticism of flip-flopping and false balance reporting that you would trot it out in your piece supposedly to deflect such criticism.

          It won’t work because every time people see you reporting inconsistent positions, they will pick you up on it.

        • tinman_au
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink |

          “I agree, Renai is totally biased — he’s just writing this article in an attempt to provide “balance” in the NBN debate. What a schmuck, his editor should fire him.”

          I dunno, he can’t be all that bad if he like Coopers Pale!

          • ungulate
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink |

            I’m not sure if Renai is really “attempting balance”. He’s basically his own boss.

            Rather, what’s going on here is a good example of what I’ve written about before. That Turnbull’s approach is basically to put up a narrative and try to fool as many Liberal leaning voters as possible that it’s “safe” to vote Liberal. That the Liberals might not have the best solution, but its on “ok” solution. This is precisely what you’re seeing here.

            • tinman_au
              Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink |

              Well, 10-15 years ago, Malcolm’s plan would have been the best solution (FttP would have been too expensive back then). The big problem for Malcolm is that his plan is against one that was formed with current tech/prices, so even though it _was_ a good plan, there are better available now.

              The attraction for the Liberal Party is, that for conservatives, it was a “great plan from a great era”, so politically and ideologically, it’s a winner for them, while technically and financially, it has a range of pretty large issues.

              • ungulate
                Posted 05/12/2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink |

                Kinda sums up the conservative side of politics.

                Always the best policies – for 20 years ago.

                :)

        • djos
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink |

          The sheer fact of the matter is that Labor’s NBN vision uses better technology than the Coalition’s, it represents a better long-term vision for Australia’s telecommunications needs, it will be delivered in a time frame which on a long or even medium-term scale is pretty indistinguishable from the Coalition’s and it won’t cost more because it will pay for itself. Plus, it will vault Australia past our rivals in terms of our telecommunications capacity – and all the private and public sector benefits that entails – instead of merely bringing us up to speed.

          Well said Renai! +27Billion

          :-)

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

        That was an awesome way to start the article, it both thanked Turnbull for taking time out of his day to answer the questions presented to him over 4 months out of him, and took the piss out of his pathetic answers.

        Re the article in general I agree with your Renai, Turnbull is in a solid second place. It’s just that his second place is days behind first.

        • Cameron
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink |

          @knightkaos

          Re the article in general I agree with your Renai, Turnbull is in a solid second place. It’s just that his second place is days behind first.

          The problem for Turnbull is second place is also “first last”.

          • Posted 04/12/2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink |

            “The problem for Turnbull is second place is also “first last”.”

            Not so — we could go back to the Tony Smith or Helen Coonan days.

        • ungulate
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink |

          It doesn’t qualify for second place if its fundamentally not a policy as such – in the sense of being a plan that they sincerely wish to execute. So the only way I can understand solid to mean is “solidly mendacious and deceptive”.

    2. Gwyntaglaw
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

      Some of your readers may be familiar with the “dormitive principle”, coined by Molière. I am certain that Mr Turnbull is aware of the term. [See http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dormitive_principle ]

      Molière used the term to describe a way of explaining things by using big, elegant words that don’t actually explain anything. Why does opium make people go to sleep? Because it contains the Dormitive Principle! Ah, yes! [Except that the term simply means, roughly, "something that makes you go to sleep".]

      How long will FTTN take? Less time than the other thing!

      Where will you use FTTP instead? Where it is cheaper or prefereable to do so!

      Which international examples are most pertinent? The ones from overseas!

      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink |

        Hehe I think this is how most politics these days is done :(

        • Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink |

          Even more than a FTTH NBN, I would love to see a voter backlash against this kind of politics.

          apt quote:
          “See, this is why we cant have nice things anymore.”

      • ungulate
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink |

        To be honest, Turnbull reminds me of Tokien’s Saruman.

        http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0000149/bio

        “He was known as Curunir (the Cunning) by the elves, and his greatest power was his voice, which always sounded like the voice of reason to any weak-minded listeners”

        So when I read Renai’s article the first thing to pop into my head was a certain scene from Lord of the Rings

        • Gwyntaglaw
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink |

          Bang on!

          And I don’t actually dislike the guy – certainly the prospect of Turnbull leading the nation would make me far less likely to wake up in the night screaming than Abbott.

          But the Saruman reference is exactly what I mean. Turnbull can cast a spell over those who don’t really know what he’s talking about, but think he sounds AWFULLY reasonable. And his charm, his eloquence and his breadth of knowledge make it all the more likely that he is hardly ever challenged.

    3. Paul Grenfell
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

      We still dont have costings, details, coverage and a host of other unknowns about the alternate,, until such is provided, its all fairy floss..

    4. Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink |

      Wouldn’t rolling out a FTTN network, which reuses the last mile of copper mean that every single existing ADSL customer would suffer a service outage during it’s deployment?

      That’s ok for residential, but how much would that cost a business, especially small business? $$$$$

      • Karl
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink |

        That’s something I hadn’t thought about actually. I mean, sure, the ideal houses which have 2 working copper pairs that the database accounts for accurately would have no problem; they’d just cut over the cable once the node is finished, 1 day interruption max. Heavens knows what the interruption will be for houses where new cable needs to be laid or other difficulties.

        Every week there’s a new reason FttN isn’t as good.

    5. NBNAccuracy
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink |

      I think you were very generous to Mr Turnbull. I don’t think he actually provided any more information that he had already. He continued to mislead on the 1/3 to a 1/4 the cost claim. There is a lot more to the NBN than just FTTH, there is the POI, backhaul, pits, ducts, satilites, wireless. If he can bring FTTN in INCLUDING the satilites, wireless, and all the rest for the $15B he states the contractors must be paying him to roll this out and he has already exceeded the $15B before he starts.
      I would be very surprised if the rollout saves even $10B in the short term and sure it would cost more in the long term. He is dreaming if he thinks it will be at least 20 years before there would be an upgrade needed.

      • Anthony Wasiukiewicz
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink |

        http://whrl.pl/RdoNy5
        Conversation follows down..

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink |

          Very good, someone has done the math. It seems there is $25B spent before FTTH or FTTN ever begines to roll. I guess Telstra will have to pay NBNCo and roll out FTTN for free for Mr Turnbull’s plan to work.

    6. Dave
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink |

      Sorry Renai, but I have to disagree that Turnbull has defined a policy that is workable. Sure FTTN is a workable technology and it’ll certainly be an improvement over what we currently have, but there are fundamental details that he has not specified or is misleading the public about.

      One of the most fundamental questions that I haven’t seen an answer too is what percentage of the country will get FTTN? Now maybe I’ve missed this in one of his speeches but it’s an important point. We know 93% are due to get fibre under the Labour policy. But as far as I know Turnbull hasn’t specified whether they’ll be doing more or less than 93%? For all we know they might only plan to do 1%!

      Also I want to know about the deal with Telstra. Will they be buying or renting the copper from Telstra or will Telstra be running and maintaining the last mile copper? Will Telstra still be responsible for voice services? Will consumers still have to pay line rental? I don’t understand what they envisage the deal with Telstra actually being. And with such a complex deal and changes to the current deal why do they think it won’t take long to arrange? And surely with such fundamental changes to the deal, it will need to be voted on by their shareholders and looked at by the ACCC again?

      I’d also like to know about the operating costs of FTTN. With the higher running costs of FTTN than FTTH or even current ADSL and with the higher maintenance costs compared to a FTTH network, at what point will the cumulative ongoing and construction costs of a FTTN network surpass the cumulative ongoing and construction costs of a FTTH network? Can they show us some actual figures? Surely this will make the consumer price of services over FTTN higher than service over FTTH in the medium to long term?

      Given the choice my preference is obviously labours FTTH policy. Given that VOIP is much more usable on fibre and everyone will basically be on VOIP I believe the cost savings of voice alone to the consumer will save more than the network build costs and that’s before we even get into data benefits. But I’d take FTTN over what I have at the moment, but I don’t trust the coalition. They’ve lied so many times during the NBN debate that I honestly think there plan is to cancel the NBN and do nothing if they win the next election. Certainly that’s what Abbott has implied and he is the leader of the coalition after all!

      • tinman_au
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink |

        I think you’ll find that what Renai means is, as a plan, Malcolms FttN could actually be done (and it could, there aren’t really any technical hurdles to it), if there weren’t all the other issues with it. At the end of the day, he’s not arguing “could it be done”, he’s arguing “should it be done”.

        And I agree with him, if John Howard had done the deal with Sol/Telstra back in the day, Malcolms NBN would have been a wonderful upgrade for the time (circa 1998-2002), but in 2013 with a separated, independent Telstra and all the other things Renai listed, I think it would be a huge step backwards from the one that’s already being implemented.

        • tinman_au
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink |

          And just to be clear, his answer to “should it be done?” is “No, not with a better plan in operation”.

          • Dave
            Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink |

            My point was that I don’t believe Turnbull has done enough to show that their policy is workable which is what I was disagreeing with Renai about. I understand that Renai prefers Labours policy. Technologically there is no reason FTTN can’t be done but then there’s no technological reason why the coalition can’t just doing nothing. I just feel Renai has been too generous to Turnbull by even stating that the policy is the second best communication policy presented to Australians when in actual fact there is nothing that Turnbull has stated that is worthy of even being considered a policy!

        • ungulate
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink |

          The problem would have been that had we seen a FTTN build commence in (say) 2007, it would have only completed a year or so ago.

          And some of it would still be relying on sub-standard copper.

          And Telstra would instead be focused on gradually converting its new monopoly position to a fibre to the premise monopoly. And all the while we’d be paying “reasonable” prices.

          And there would be no way out.

    7. Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink |

      I agree- the policy, as Turnbull has explained is viable, workable and achievable.

      But I’ve said before- until it is written in stone (and even then, after all the almost outright lying the Coalition have done on the NBN) and committed to by ABBOTT, I’ll not even consider it a policy. I still see the Coalition’s end game overall (as a party- not necessarily Malcolm Turnbull’s) as negating the NBN as a political issue. (as recent polls have shown, they are succeeding, which is what makes me so angry)

      And even IF they accept it as policy….I still won’t be voting for them. Because, like you Renai, I believe we deserve to have the best telecommunications in the world and we can (and must) afford it. And that ISN’T the LNP FTTN policy.

    8. CMOTDibbler
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink |

      “It doesn’t really matter that the Coalition’s FTTN rollout will “cost less”, because Labor has pretty exhaustively demonstrated that its FTTH vision will eventually pay for itself”

      They haven’t really demonstrated anything. What they’ve done is forecast that it will pay for itself but only if ARPU doubles over the next 6-7 years and doubles again by 2040. Until we see some evidence this is happening then I think this is still a significant risk in the corporate plan.

      Where I think Turnbull’s case can be broken is on cost. I think we can leave aside the value of the debt required to build the NBN because in both cases that’s offset by the NBNCo as an asset. I suspect if we consider the reduced cost of (lower) debt for FTTN and the increased operational/maintenance cost of FTTN and the likely reduced revenue on FTTN, We might find FTTP is actually cheaper. That could be a wildly inaccurate guess but I’d like to see it tested.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink |

        “I suspect if we consider the reduced cost of (lower) debt for FTTN and the increased operational/maintenance cost of FTTN and the likely reduced revenue on FTTN, We might find FTTP is actually cheaper.”

        At $800M a year maintenance for the CAN, I don’t think you’d be far wrong…

        Actually, considering how much Telstra spend a year maintaining it, and that that’s only to guarantee voice for the USO, it wouldn’t surprise me to find they’ll need to spend a lot more to support high data speeds.

      • ungulate
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink |

        You are quite right CMOT

        Turnbull’s case does not stack up on cost, because the cost of FTTN, whatever that is, can only be additional to the cost of then finishing the job with fibre.

    9. Bruce H
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink |

      There is, of course, the 800 pound gorilla in the room, Telstra. How Telstra would react when handed an almost total monopoly on home and business Internet would be very interesting. Assuming past performance is an indicator of future performance they would lock everyone to a speed 18.75% of the technology’s full speed and then demand huge payments for anything above that standard or claim that the it just isn’t possible for the technology to go any faster. This would continue until a competitor came along and offered an alternative when magically not only will Telstra offer full speed but actually implement significant technological upgrades to 75% of all installations overnight. Of course the other issue with FTTN is that there is no way a competitor will get access to the cabinet and won’t be able to fund a stand-along-side FTTN cabinet – so we are way screwed.

      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink |

        @Bruce H

        If NBNCo. built FTTN, there would be no issue. The “no-competition” for cabinets is the same as “no-competition” for GPON in the NBN. It would be a regulated wholesale bitstream service. No issue like with Telstra days, because NBNCo, is wholesale only.

        We THINK Turnbull would use NBNCo. But I PERSONALLY think the Coalition would rather go to a money burning party than maintain ownership of NBNCo. for a single second longer than they have to…

        • tinman_au
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink |

          From the coalitions perspective, it’d make sense for them to give, or sell cheaply, NBNCo to Telstra to avoid the cost of buying/renting the copper (which would be a lot more than the ducts cost). And all they would have to do is get a guarantee off Telstra that they’ll build an FttN.

          it’s a win/win for the Liberal’s way of thinking, Australia gets a network upgrade, Telstra shareholders finally see the share price go above what they paid for them originally.

          Theres a few issues like RSP access prices and such, but I’m sure the market could sort it out *snicker*

        • Bruce H
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink |

          I am firmly convinced that Telstra has a hand in what the Coalition are putting up as a plan. In fact, I reckon there are two hands invovled and they are firmly on the steering wheel, driving Aunt Malcolm onward to this policy.

          I have no doubt that the Coalition would hand NBNCo to Telstra on a platter and we would return to the ‘good old days’ of 1.5mb ADSL1. This one fear will stop me voting for the Coalition.

    10. tinman_au
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink |

      Excellent article Renai, and *two thumbs up* for the Coopers Pale Ale!!

      Just one small quibble, it’s actually Fibre to the Premise (http://www.nbnco.com.au/about-us/our-purpose.html), not Fibre to the Home. Businesses get it as well ;o)

    11. Snow_Crash
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink |

      “AT&T and BT are indeed focusing on using FTTN-style deployments to upgrade their existing copper networks.”

      FALSE

      “In the US, AT&T’s so-called “U-verse” fibre to the node build was scheduled to hit some 30 million homes by the end of 2012″

      FALSE

      • tinman_au
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink |

        “In 3rd quarter of 2012 AT&T President John Stankey announced that U-Verse deployment was ‘virtually over’.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_U-verse#History)

        That went well!! Rolled out to 14 million people and it’s “virtually over”!

        I wonder what the other 300 million Americans are connecting with??

        • Snow_Crash
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink |

          We have a choice of over 700 ISPs who can deliver FTTH

    12. Sathias
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink |

      I agree with the premise of this article, in that if the Coalition were voted in next year, with Turnbull’s current broadband vision I would feel much more rested than with their policy from the last election. But I suspect that it isn’t Turnbull’s job to provide an alternate policy, it’s his job to make soothing noises so it isn’t an election issue.

      I suspect that an Abbott government would not do a damn thing to improve broadband in this country, because the leader is a spiteful Luddite who would prefer to count the pennies (which aren’t on the books anyway) than provide anything even remotely similar to the policy that arguably cost him the 2010 election. In fact, we could even end up with a worse system, with the possibility of Abbott selling NBNCo to Telstra to inflate the balance sheet, and us turn back to the dark days of predatory Telstra monopolistic pricing.

      • Simon Shaw
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink |

        Tend to agree here, my big fear if the coalition wins is that they will do the minimum contracted on the NBN, then let it all stall whilst they “negotiate” to save pennies and blame Labor in some way. I can just hear Barnaby Joyce blaming waste and massive debt now.

      • ungulate
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink |

        The reason why Abbott won’t do a damn thing is that the Liberals have other more important “quests” to pursue and don’t want broadband to get in the way.

        Consider this.

        If The Liberals were to direct NBNco to build FTTN the whole process would stall for 2 to 3 years whilst we go through much the same processes all over again.

        The politics of this are a disaster for the Liberals. Not just the years of delay but the fact that ultimately people will come to understand that this is just an exercise in spending more for nothing but more delay. Imagine the people stuck on dodgy copper whilst their friends in the next suburb have fibre. Imagine those on the 3 year roll out map being told sorry you’ve been busted down to rotting copper and it’ll take a few years before that build even commences.

        Its such a disaster that Abbott and Turnbull will have the common sense to hold a few dodgy inquiries and instead announced they will sell NBNco off after the 2016 election.

        No matter how you look at this, what you see is a situation that is so obviously untenable that the only reasonable conclusion is that Turnbull is as big a liar as Abbott.

    13. Sathias
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink |

      I was searching for some information about how FTTN is affected by RFI, as this is something that greatly affects my ADSL connection. When I found this link about U-verse

      http://adslm.dohrenburg.net/uverse/

      Of note:

      “VDSL/2+ is very sensitive to interference. Thunderstorms, strong or nearby radio stations (commercial and HAM), electrical noise and other sources of interference can cause severe service disruptions.”

      That would be my area screwed under a FTTN

      “Due to strict error correction schemes used by VDSL/2+ Uverse FTTN will add a considerable amount of latency to the system. Some uverse subscribers say that the latency is around 25 ~ 30 ms more than comparable services, others have experience latency of 65 ~ 95 ms or more. It depends on who you ask but latency is definitely a significant part of Uverse FTTN the only question should be: How much?”

      Gamers will just LOVE an extra 25-95ms on their reaction times in online games, I’m sure!

      • Snow_Crash
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink |

        That is only if you on an old AT&T U-Verse FTTN connection area. AT&T U-Verse DOES have FTTH connections available especially if you live in an area with recent rollouts.

        7th November 2012 Announcement
        AT&T to Invest $14 Billion to Significantly Expand Wireless and Wireline Broadband Networks, Support Future IP Data Growth and New Services
        http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=23506&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=35661

        • Sathias
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink |

          I was referring specifically to the FTTN areas, as that would be the most relevant comparison if Turnbull’s plan becomes a reality.

      • Brett
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

        As would businesses who are planning to run on cloud terminals. 100ms delay when typing out puchase orders, sales orders would be a pain in the ass. (we’re currently on adsl2+ and have a 50ms delay, and it is noticeable)

        • bern
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink |

          A twentieth of a second is noticeable when typing things out in cloud apps?

          Assuming you’re a reasonably fast typist, and can do 60 words per minute, and assuming you have an average of 10 letters per word (I know, the real average is probably more like 5 or 6), then it’s a tenth of a second per letter. You’re telling me a 20th of a second latency causes a noticeable lag? You’d expect the characters to be appearing on the screen before you’ve even touched the next key, when typing full tilt.

          Any other lag / latency you’re seeing is most likely due to the app itself, and nothing to do with the latency of your connection. Especially if you’re running Citrix or some other virtual desktop type application, where the entire screen is continually refreshed, rather than just sending the actual information required (such as the letters you’re typing). My experience of those sort of applications, is that they work just fine if they’re hosted on the other side of the office via fast ethernet. But put the server in Sydney, say, while you’re sitting in Brisbane, and things slow to a crawl. My employers deployed a similar system, with the servers in London. Now, in addition to low bandwidth, we had 300ms ping times – that starts to get noticeable… especially when the application has a short time-to-live for it’s connections. It was timing out on a regular basis for us, making entering the weekly timesheet an hour-long chore. (And I felt sorry for the accounts people who were supposed to be working in it all day long)

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

            Remember that when it comes to ‘noticing’ something, the brain can be a bit faster than the body can react.

            For instance its not unheard of for people to be able to notice flicker on a 75Hz CRT, or even the equivalent refresh rate on LCD under the right viewing conditions. Noticing the discrepancy between what you expect and reality is something hardwired into cognitive pathways honed for survival.

            Just like a trained martial arts black belt will react faster than a novice, an experienced user has a built in cognitive feedback loop while entering data that will alert them if ‘something is wrong’ by the smallest amount. Its just how the brain works.

    14. Anthony Wasiukiewicz
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink |

      http://whrl.pl/RdoG4G

    15. Anthony Wasiukiewicz
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink |

      whrl.pl/RdoFE1

    16. Anthony Wasiukiewicz
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink |

      Sorry, I’ll try again..

      http://whrl.pl/RdoFE1
      http://whrl.pl/RdoGHo

    17. Anthony Wasiukiewicz
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink |

      http://www.afr.com/p/technology/nbn_is_valuable_arrow_in_gillard_DZhrGeuO1Swrn4Lo1kPxEL

      “While we know that this alternative plan involves the use of fibre to the node, rather than the home, and the use of existing HFC infrastructure, it doesn’t answer questions that many in the telecommunications sector have raised about future upgrade paths and changes to the existing “fibre to the home” (FTTH) roll-out plans.”

      “Turnbull has claimed a coalition government would build the NBN cheaper and faster, with project costs around a third of Labor’s policy, or about $15 billion, if started from scratch. But, as he conceded on Lateline, he cannot produce a fully costed policy document unless he gets greater access to NBN Co financial information.”

      ‘Nuf said..

    18. Snow_Crash
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink |

      BT’s 300Mbps FTTP broadband trials a success, rolling out in 2013
      http://www.techradar.com/au/news/internet/broadband/bts-300mbps-broadband-trials-a-success-rolling-out-2013-1060132

    19. Snow_Crash
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink |

      City of 85K in San Francisco Bay Area about to enter the future…….at 10Gbps

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SnQI7cQ0UY&feature=youtu.be

    20. Snow_Crash
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink |

      Poor Malcolm!

      He Lowers Himself To Misrepresent The National Broadband Plan of United States
      http://www.broadband.gov/

      • GongGav
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink |

        Thats how The Turnbull operates. He chooses his examples very carefully, and in general neglects to mention the aspects that dont agree with his stance.

        New Zealand is a prime example.

        In the early days of this debate he would gush about their FttN plan, citing it as a key example of how it was the better option. Since they have publicly come out and stated it was a bad idea, and that they were changing to a FttP plan instead, The Turnbull has been amazingly quiet about New Zealands rollout…

        Cant imagine why.

        When he DOES stick with a foreign example, like the UK, he does the same. He conveniently fails to mention that their approach is now geared to FttP, or that where FttN is still the main option, its because the Telco controlling the copper is the one doing the build. So naturally coming in at a cheaper cost.

        When it comes to the US though, its a prime country for him. And for Conroy for that matter. There are just so many examples, for both sides, that its not hard for The Turnbull to find one that fills his needs, while ignoring the ones that dont.

        Thats how The Turnbull operates.

      • ungulate
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink |

        And despite this kind of dishonesty, Renai basically says “Yes, Malcom, of course I can trust your words”

    21. Ryan
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink |

      Very nice article. Agree with almost everything you say. The Coalition policy is workable and is sensible. It is an evolution versus a revolution. For me it all comes down to money. If the juice is worth the squeeze then we would be silly not to go for FTTH.

      I freely admit I don’t know enough about the cost vs benefit of FTTH vs FTTN in a monetary sense. Your article clearly states that Labour has demonstrated the network will pay for itself. If that is true then FTTH is a no brainer. However, up here in Brisbane, we are about to see the private company behing a toll based tunnel fold because they got their projections wrong. It is the second such company to do so recently. I hope the predications being made by Labor about the ability for their policy to pay for itself are accurate. I don’t have the time or inclination to go through the figures and the business plans to see if they are accurate or not. I rely on journalists like yourself to do that for me. This is where I would like to see the powers of investigative journalists focused for this particular debate. The technologies themselves aren’t really debatable. They are what they are.

      • ungulate
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

        Ryan,

        Its very simple. What Turnbull proposes to do (but has no intention to actually do) is to spend money on something that will in turn be replaced by fibre to the home.

        In other words, whatever FTTN costs, you’re not saving the cost of FTTH, you’re merely delaying it.

    22. Zok
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink |

      Hehe I think this is how most politics these days is done :(

      Only because they are let off the hook easily… by only people who can hold them accountable: journalists.

      Saying that Turnbull’s latest collection of comments is “a second best policy” on broadband is like saying that turboprop engine is the second best airplane engine. Also, turboprop driven airplanes are much better than hot air balloons. Hence, all is good.

      Surely that’s good enough for a comedy sketch, but not serious analysis of a “policy”. :)

    23. NBNAlex
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink |

      Going on a tangent here…

      I see Telstra were forced to compensate another $8m, this time for overcharging iiNet!

      Now relate that to MT’s broadband plan, with Telstra being pivotal by again holding the reins, re: copper.

    24. The lone gunmen
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

      You are NBN fanbois, of course cold hard evidence is not going to convince you.

      • Murdoch
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink |

        You are the NBN naysayer … repeat end of last sentence.

        Now we’ve established that, how much is the argument worth?

      • Paul K
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink |

        What isn’t there can’t convince.

      • Rhys
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink |

        A wild troll appears! With nothing to contribute in the way of facts…

      • stoffs
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink |

        I see Abbott and Co say one thing about the NBN , and then this political speak response from turnbull …

        not sure which evidence of the “cold hard” variety you are talking about

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink |

        Look, if there WERE some cold hard facts from Mr Turnbull they would be looked at, his plan evaluated to see if it had merit and opinions formed. Since those cold hard facts are sketchy one liners or FUD there is very little to work with. Without those details the technically literate cannot see how he can do it and not cost Australians more in the long term. So sue us for not jumping on the Turnbull Bullshit Bandwagon.

      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink |

        “You are NBN fanbois, of course cold hard evidence is not going to convince you.”

        Am I also an NBN fanboi?

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink |

        @ TLG..

        If you supplied evidence, we would peruse it.

        But you haven’t and don’t…

        Until then, we will refer to the actual evidence which clearly suggest you are wrong and the NBN a winner.

        Thank you.

      • ungulate
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

        So, Mr lone gunman

        You’d rather spend more money overall?

        That’s clever. I too can buy a piece of junk from ebay, toy with it for a few weeks before it breaks, before going back and finding something of lasting value. Of course, that simply costs me more overall.

    25. arcc
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink |

      So MT finds an AT&T U-Verse comparable? U-Verse does not offer download speeds greater than 24Mbps even over VDSL (see http://www.att.com/shop/internet.html#fbid=bHV3Bpx-Yzj). This does not mesh well with MT’s claim of up to 80Mbps for VDSL.

    26. Gordon Drennan
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink |

      The “technical community” is still not convinced his is better?

      That’s the nature of technical communities. They will never be satisfied with anything short of the technical best. Because people who are close to something, whose whole lives are tied up in it, think it is the most important thing in the world. But the wider community looks at things using a wider range of critieria. Like price. They don’t think it, whatever it is, is the most important thing in the world. So they are not willing to pay whatever it costs, no matter what, for it.

      The experts – the relevant technical community – is the best place to go for an assessment of what is technical best. But the wider community doesn’t have the distorted perspective that comes from being too close to it, whatever it is, and is better able to come to a good decision about whether something is worth it. This is true for everything. It is a general principle that any good technical manager, and politician, needs to remember to make good decisions. You ask the experts, then you go do a cost-benefit assessment.

      The less than 20% takeup rate of the very high speed FTTH NBN indicates how many people in the wider community think it is worth it.

      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink |

        Gordon,

        I’m not sure whether you realise this, but you just put you hand into a pit of live vipers, all of whom will be baying for your blood in about 2 minutes :D

        Do you realise that Delimiter … is a technical community?

        Renai

        • GongGav
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink |

          Oh, he realises Renai. This isnt his first ride on this roundabout.

      • djos
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink |

        Yeah so dont take your Doctors word that you have easily removed but potentially fatal cancer, go see a homeopathy practitioner and throw some purified water at the problem and see how well that works out for you?

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink |

        @ Gordon

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoS-MCnTPtQ

      • Sathias
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink |

        It depends whether you are looking at the straight “ticket price” or if you are looking at bang-for-buck. If 1Gb eventuates in the medium term as has been claimed, a difference of twice the price (IMO, I can’t see FTTN being 3-4 times cheaper) for vastly superior performance (20-80 compared to 1000) is a no-brainer.

      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink |

        @Gordon

        Take up? Again? OK, first, the average take up is about 7% higher than NBNCo. predicted. Second, the take up on speeds higher than 12Mbps are, cumulatively, approx. 45% above what NBNCo. predicted.

        And finally and most importantly, EVERY person who wants a landline will have to use the NBN. Which is fine, because it will save them money too as WELL as giving them a better service..

        Those are FACTS- if you have other ones the say NBNCo. will NOT make the take up required of the Corporate Plan, please present it here and I will happily debate it with you.

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink |

        The problem is not that the technical community want the absolute best. They don’t want a solution that will be inadequate, be obsolete well before 2020 and that simply delays what will be needed then and will just waste a whole heap of money. It’s not about the best. If it was 2007 and they got a decent proposal from Telstra rather the attempted extortion I am sure all the technical people would be saying, yes, go FTTN, it’s a good solution, has a useful life, it will probably need replacing by 2020 but it will pay for itself way before then. But it’s not 2007, it’s 2013, FTTN is end of life. It’s upgrade will need to start rolling out as or before it has even been finished.

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink |

          To give you an idea how old and out of date the VDSL2 technology is we need to take your computing back to 2005.

          Are you still happily running XP on a Intel P4? I had a P4, it used 70% of it’s CPU time just to play a SD mpeg. Modern processors? I play a HD video with 2-3% CPU useage.

      • ungulate
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink |

        Gordon,

        I think you’ve wrongly imagined a conflict between the technically best and only future proof technology, and the most economically viable technology.

        They’re actually one and the same – precise because of the fact that fibre will last 50+ years.

        You’ve got a basic problem. What are you going to do as the copper rots?

        Do you let it rot – leaving us with no fixed network?
        Do you replace ageing copper with new copper – leaving us no better off but having spent just as much as it would have to replace that copper with fibre

        or..

        Do we replace the copper with fibre – which is the only option actually left to us.

        You do the math :)

        • Hubert Cumberdale
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink |

          “You do the math :)”

          He already did the math and came up with this conclusion:

          “the majority of people who are quite well served by 8 or 6 or even the 2-3 Mb/s”

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink |

            TLG sounds like Earl over at Nick Ross’ blog.

            Old Earl told us WE only need 2-3 Mbps…to argue his political agenda. But later in the same forum to argue another point he said (and I quote)…

            “btw i’m already on 100mbps telstra ultimate cable”.

            Our old mate Mark who use to frequent here did the exact same thing too, telling us FttN is all WE need… later he said he paid for FttH

            D’oh and d’oh :/

          • ungulate
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink |

            I was well served by 1.5Mbps..

            And then by 1.2Mbps

            And then later I was well served by 0.8Mbps.

            Wasn’t so flash though when the copper finally died :)

            You’re utterly failing to notice the fact that when the copper is replaced – and will have to be replaced – it will be replaced by fibre, so there is nothing to gain by spending billions in the interim. Fibre is inevitable and so is the cost involved. FTTN merely adds to the ultimate cost.

    27. djos
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink |

      Last week Malcolm Turnbull delivered a series of very strong, evidence-based answers to key questions about his rival NBN policy

      I must have read a different response???? All I saw were a bunch of vague misdirection’s and no substance!

    28. Raymond
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink |

      /sigh, do you really have to post this level of drivel just to ensure youre seen as “balanced”?

      evidence based answers? seriously? perhaps you could explain it out to us technical boffins that cant see any?

      i dont see how any of those anwers would sway anyone, theres no data, no information, the whole coalition alternative is spin and vapourware – at least the nbn had some hard numbers by this time that we could argue/discuss/talk about.

      i would love a cheaper and faster nbn but both of those are in relation to its installtion, not its running costs, nor end users costs/speeds.

      youll also note that someone very high up in BT is already bemoaning the fact they went with fttn instead of ftth but im sure turnbull or anyone else wont want to know that and if it becomes too publicised im sure he’ll move on to the next country (although theres not many left that are sticking with fttn)

      but hey, dont let journalism get in the way of a story thats going to provide you with page hits.

      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink |

        “do you really have to post this level of drivel just to ensure youre seen as “balanced”?”

        I’m not posting it for that reason, I’m posting it because it’s actually what I think …

        • Raymond
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink |

          “Last week Malcolm Turnbull delivered a series of very strong, evidence-based answers to key questions about his rival NBN policy, demonstrating that he would be a safe pair of hands to steward the nation’s broadband future”

          that is your actual opinion? you saw those answers he gave as being evidence based?

          as far as i can tell mr turnbull didnt actually provide any evidence for his answers, it would appear that you have tried to justify them yourself. as an opinion piece thats perfectly fine, but as the original article was news, not opinion, dont you think you could have created a newsworthy version instead?

          btw, “the Coalition’s stated aim of completing the NBN “sooner, cheaper and more affordably for users” ”

          i have never ever heard that last part mentioned anywhere, cheaper and faster, installation wise, yes, but nothing about being more affordable – its going to be much harder to be more affordable than current nbn pricing when youve got the added extra of paying telstra a monthly fee to access the copper on top of all the existing fees.

          thats the problem with fttn, sure its cheaper to build but it costs more to run and generates less income for the government as most of that goes back to telstra, what little (if any) is left over is supposed to pay the opex and the capex payments – without any numbers at all i dont see how anyone can claim that its going to be more affordable – and i doubt its going to get paid off any sooner.

    29. nigel
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink |

      Renai, the copper is rotten. It won’t work. Also, just have a look at the nightmare the UK is having connecting power to the cabinets.

      Its not second best. Its terrible.

      • Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink |

        “the copper is rotten. It won’t work.”

        … evidence?

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink |

          Copper completely rotten, no. Well worn in many (most?) areas and obsolete technology (it was meant for phone, but did at the time – that time is now over)… yes.

          As we have mentioned in relation to distance from the exchange, the infamous “up to”… (which in my case means about 1/5 of max)…and has been illustrated by a reputable journo, here …

          http://delimiter.com.au/2012/05/01/worst-of-the-worst-photos-of-australias-copper-network/

          :)

          • Woolfe
            Posted 04/12/2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink |

            More importantly hasn’t it passed its original 30 year life span?!!?

        • Posted 04/12/2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink |

          @Renai

          Indeed, a lot is anecdotal. But there’s no denying it will cause issues, which will lead to increased time and cost to rollout, where it would not be relevant to FTTP.

          Saying that, dodgy lead-in conduits may cause NBNCo. a headache. Still, I’d prefer them to dig up my grass to get new conduit as well as FTTP, rather than deal with caved in (and therefore exposed) copper that will get worse, not better, under FTTN.

        • ungulate
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink |

          Evidence?

          My entire street doesn’t have DSL any more. The copper rotted.

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink |

        im actually interested in the bit about power problems for BTs rollout… got any linkage?

    30. Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink |

      Reading all of the comments it seems clear this journalist is bias and is trying to appear “balanced”. The state of modern journalism is appalling. How can this guy even call himself a “journalism”?

      • Sathias
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink |

        The irony is that Turnbull will continue to include Delimiter and its “bias journo” as squarely in the NBN Zealot camp.

      • Bob.H
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink |

        “How can this guy even call himself a “journalism”?” Yeah but not sure what they do. Is it dangerous?

        I thought that what I read was an opinion piece. I am sure that the author should be entitled to his opinion. It really doesn’t have anything to do with bias. As far as I am concerned so long as the writer is not presenting incorrect and deliberately misleading information he is welcome to voice his opinion. That doesn’t mean I have to accept that opinion.

        • Abel Adamski
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink |

          +1

        • Harimau
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink |

          You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.

          For instance:
          Last week Malcolm Turnbull delivered a series of very strong, evidence-based answers to key questions about his rival NBN policy, demonstrating that he would be a safe pair of hands to steward the nation’s broadband future
          > very strong
          > evidence-based
          > demonstrating that he would be a safe pair of hands
          If I examine most of them, Turnbull has responded convincingly and well.
          > convincingly
          > well

          “very strong” by what metric? better than most if “most” is “weak” is still “weak”.
          “evidence-based”? what evidence? poorly-related data is not evidence.
          “demonstrating that he would be a safe pair of hands”, how has he ‘demonstrated’ this?
          “convincingly”? no, it hasn’t convinced anyone (apart from you, apparently) – in fact what he’s managed to do is just convince me that he’s “just another politician” that will lie and mislead to get into power.
          “well”, well, that depends on what you’re after; was it comprehensive? no. did it answer the questions in any meaningful way? no. was it well-written? sure.

          It’s not a matter of agreement – agreement with an opinion, it’s a matter of correctness – correctness of facts, and correctness of an evaluation. “Turnbull is an upright bloke” that’s an opinion, and you could agree or disagree with that. “Turnbull has a good policy” that’s an evaluation, and that can be either correct or incorrect.

          What it comes down to is, can Turnbull, as he promises, ACTUALLY deliver it significantly faster and significantly cheaper? Based on how much he deflects and avoids key questions (where it’s clear what type of answer we want), I have no faith that he’s actually developing a policy, but that he’s simply playing Devil’s Advocate (in more than one sense of the term). What is incomprehensible is not that he produces such nonsense, but that you accept that nonsense.

      • BuildFTTP
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink |

        There is a difference between being balanced and turning a blind eye to outright crap. The responses given to the questions in my eyes were insulting, more of the same ‘trust me, cheaper, faster’.

    31. bob
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink |

      It would deliver a fundamental improvement to broadband service delivery in Australia that almost every Australian would welcome

      Not for me.

      I’ll still be stuck on congested dead end HFC. No chance they will build FTTN in areas that have HFC, they’ll just load it up even more.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink |

        They have promised to throw Billions of Taxpayer Dollars at upgrading HFC, so you may get a short term improvement (must look after Murdochs Cable TV investment)

    32. Althorian
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink |

      Hey can someone throw me a link to the liberal broadband policy? I want to read up on it in great detail!

    33. TimH
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink |

      TBH Renai you article highlights one major problem thus far, the bar for telecommunications policy pre 2010 was so pathetic that almost any coherent and plausible policy can beat it. We don’t just want an acceptable or workable solution, we want a solution that will encourage the development of the digital economy.

    34. M
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink |

      I, like many people, would love the high speeds of FTTP. However, people are forgetting a few hurdles that we cannot fix thus costs outweighing the benefits – 1. Our geography – do a simple place Europe in Australia and its easy to see our spread out townships which will have fibre optics makes it more expensive to start with when you run fibre optics to the premises from the node. 2. Our location compared to the world – a major limiting factor to speeds we achieve in Australia when accessing content via overseas servers is the undersea cables. 3. The clientelle – who is really going to benefit at the top tier speeds? Anyone that games, IT professionals/hobbiests, businesses, downloaders and streamers – however, if you look at it in depth, downloaders can surely wait a few extra minutes for their large files, streamers are more likely to be influenced at the hosting server end then the actual connection they use. So FTTP to every business owner would be reasonable and FTTN for residential would be reasonable for 80% of the population. 4. Mobility – yes, wireless networks aren’t upto speed yet compared to fibre optics, but the recent few years have seen wireless devices outstripping the conventional wired devices. Providing the backhaul to the node for residential areas with wireless repeaters from the node maybe possible within the next few years. Cell-to-Cell networking is currently being researched. So it could possibly be that the fibre from the node to the premises may become a white elephant to most households in a few years as theres another hidden benefit to wireless – a travelling internet service profile similar to current mobile phone networks using 3G & 4G but at greater speeds. So FTTP may seem the best plan for now, and will always be valid for businesses, but for residental environment, costs actually outweigh the future benefits which FTTN would provide.

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink |

        *sigh*

        As it has been said, it’s no good one end having blinding speeds and the other not. So the advantages of e-health etc are lost.

        Also, FttN as best we know will cost taxpayers via subsidies, FttP via debt repaid by patronage will not, so…

        Wireless has been argued about until we are blue in the face and the stats clearly show they are complementary services…

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink |

        M
        In case you weren’t aware fibre has to be run to all those rural towns.cities that aren’t already served by fibre anyway, especially to provide high capacity wireless and ADSL or FTTN

        • M
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink |

          Abel,
          I know it has to run to each township, but if you think of the distance of runs between the node and the house per capita against other countries, there is still large distances to cover.

          NBNAlex,
          FTTP is great for businesses, this is not disputed and should not be disrupted by any government. As for E-health, what speeds do the 7% achieve by satellite that aren’t on it which these 7% that benefit from E-health the greatest due to their isolated lives in remote areas? So saying the advantages of E-health would be lost due to not having 100Mbps connections is a farce. Agreed, wireless is a complimentary service, but only as it currently is. Like any technology, it becomes outdated fast. Yes, you will not beat fibre optics with speed, but with wireless technology outstripping wired technology in sales due to mobility, hardware companies are looking into capitalising on this through innovation e.g. cell-to-cell technology. Yes, having 100Mbps connection would be great (certainly I would love it), however, for general use of internet by many users (i.e. emails, surfing, streaming, downloading and some gaming to a degree), 100Mbps is overkill. For the hardcore gamer, hardcore downloader and IT hobbiests, 100Mbps is beneficial. Yes, at the moment using FTTN with copper from node to the residential home or wireless is slower meaning more time to download your media files or making it impossible to stream a few HD video connections at once, you won’t notice it on current websites as most of the issues are at the host server end – a great example is Click Frenzy. There has to be a trade off in life sometimes – if a $43bil package could be delivered for $16bil with some tradeoffs, $27bil could go elsewhere where it’s benifits outweighs its costs e.g. High Speed Rail along the Eastern Seaboard – this reduces flights hence reducing a need for extra airports and opens up extra headroom for freight and creates new jobs.

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 04/12/2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink |

            That 7% farce (your words) becomes pretty well 100% farce under your preferred FttN method, so please…!

            And you complain about the forgotten 7% not getting FttP, whilst also complaining about cost. of 93% getting FttP (today’s anti-NBN contradiction).. add the 7% to the bill and it would probably double, so please again…!

            No, no, no… the $43B package is debt which will be repaid… the $16B (unless we are told otherwise) is lost, no ROI… it is NOT cheaper, do you understand?

            • M
              Posted 05/12/2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

              NBNAlex
              “That 7% farce (your words) becomes pretty well 100% farce under your preferred FttN method, so please…!”

              E-health can work on lower speeds, so E-health itself is not a farce. What is a farce is saying it won’t work on a FTTN network when this system will be provided to 100% of NBN users (including the 7% who get it in other means). The speeds obtained by the 7% would be the speeds the other 93% of users obtain if on a FTTN. All users in the 7% category would benefit from E-Health due to their remoteness. If the NBN doesn’t provide the means for this services, then the E-Health concept is pointless hence a major flaw in the arguement of having a FTTP network.

              “And you complain about the forgotten 7% not getting FttP, whilst also complaining about cost. of 93% getting FttP (today’s anti-NBN contradiction).. add the 7% to the bill and it would probably double, so please again…!”

              My point there was that if they cannot provide the means of E-Health to these 7%, then the concept of E-Health is a failure as the ones who really do need this are those 7% who have to either drive a day to get to their nearest doctor or wait for a callout from the Royal Flying Doctor service. If it can be provided to the 7%, then the point of advantages of E-Health are lost is a farce.

              “No, no, no… the $43B package is debt which will be repaid… the $16B (unless we are told otherwise) is lost, no ROI… it is NOT cheaper, do you understand?”

              ROI will occur in either case, but in the exact opposite terms, it is cheaper. My arguement states FTTP for businesses, whom the majority of ROI will come from. ROI at a residential level is being smokedscreened – after all, NBN Co in a statement a month ago has previously admitted that it needs an increase of 1800% of the current uptake level to actually meet its projected targets for ROI. All of this would of been forecasted if a cost-benefit analysis was completed, however, this current goverment believed it was feasible so it didn’t. This is the same goverment predicting last year that we would be $22bil in deficit but found out that we were in $44bil deficit and believes it can turn it around to be $1.5bil surplus in 1 year because of a CPI increase since the world economy is recovering ……not only are they almost admitting they are wrong, their smokescreen taxes actually haven’t provided the funds they are squandering. In the mean time, all sectors are struggling, people are losing their jobs, youth unemployment is reaching 30% but we can provide a FTTP because its faster then FTTN??? Sorry, sometimes we have to say we can only afford to run a 6 cylinder car even though an 8 cylinder is better.

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

                *rolls eyes*

                M, do you also believe that we should build every 10 miles (yes miles) of roads with 9 miles asphalt and the last mile dirt?

                And that 1 mile dirt belongs to a private company, who can then (again) hold the rest to ransom…

                Because it would be cheaper and quicker, wouldn’t it?

                Ridiculous… yes… just like FttN!

                • M
                  Posted 05/12/2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink |

                  “M, do you also believe that we should build every 10 miles (yes miles) of roads with 9 miles asphalt and the last mile dirt? And that 1 mile dirt belongs to a private company, who can then (again) hold the rest to ransom…Because it would be cheaper and quicker, wouldn’t it?

                  Funny you explain it in terms of both my field’s of expertise – all I can say is, you are comparing apples and oranges here, as a road is a critical civil asset and the NBN Residential FTTP “AT RESIDENTIAL (HINT HINT)” as a communications asset gold plating. There is no arguement about FTTP at the business level.

                  “With FttP the debt used (not income taxes) will have a ROI, which will have the network repay itself, according to NBNCo’s Corp plan projections. If the opposition gift subsidies to private enterprise to build and own the network there will not be a ROI for taxpayers. Which is more valuable to Aussie taxpayers M…? $43B (your number) not from income taxes, with full return and a multi $B asset which can be resold. Or $15B (MT’s claim) from income taxes, with no return and no asset to sell?”

                  $43bil (my numbers) – so you accept that its going to be way more than $43bil it was first going to cost? If the asset is resold, it will never be sold at a profit, as its an item that will depreciate over time. So, actually you would be worse if the asset is sold as ROI would definitely be lost. If private enterprise is to build and own it, there would be some policy in place for ROI for the government to ever consider investing. No government would ever give out $16bil to private enterprise without gaining some ROI.

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 05/12/2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink |

                    You are aware that this is an evidence based forum and your claims of NBN cost blow out and guessing there will be a ROI on FttN is anything but.

                    Funny you’ll ignore the actual evidence and rely upon, what gut feeling?

                    BTW the road analogy is sound and you didn’t answer should we build 9/1 roads.

                    What you did was say (if I understand correctly) FttP isn’t needed to homes but asphalt roads are… why? I can just as easily argue we don’t need asphalt roads outside every home nd we do FttP. What makes your we don’t, any more pertinent than my, we don’t?

                    The whole argument against the NBN is cost (ignoring the NBN ROI and the alternative actually costing more)… so why do you not use the same rationale with roads?

                    Because it is ridiculous for roads (psst and just as ridiculous FttN).

                    • M
                      Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink |

                      “You are aware that this is an evidence based forum and your claims of NBN cost blow out and guessing there will be a ROI on FttN is anything but. Funny you’ll ignore the actual evidence and rely upon, what gut feeling?”

                      But there is no cost-benefit analysis in the first place to tell you that ROI is dependent on the subscribers to the service. Even if we are forced to take up NBN, users will still have the option to select internet plans hence the amount of subscriptions is key to ROI.

                      “BTW the road analogy is sound and you didn’t answer should we build 9/1 roads.”

                      Agreed its sound – should we build 9/1 roads? Depends on the road’s intended use that is why Australia still has unsealed roads. Using that analogy against the NBN, what is the inteded use of residential internet that needs this amount of bandwidth?? Please list away.

                      “What you did was say (if I understand correctly) FttP isn’t needed to homes but asphalt roads are… why? I can just as easily argue we don’t need asphalt roads outside every home nd we do FttP. What makes your we don’t, any more pertinent than my, we don’t?”

                      You can’t easily argue that, in fact, the EPA would have a heart attack over that and that without asphalt roads, we wouldn’t have any other infrastructure in place. FTTP can be done in two stages. Stage one – FTTN. Stage 2 – NTTP. Simple. Saying that it cannot be done is incorrect, as our FTTP is actually just that because of the vast land we have to cover from exchange to premises.

                      “The whole argument against the NBN is cost (ignoring the NBN ROI and the alternative actually costing more)… so why do you not use the same rationale with roads?”

                      Its arguing that we cannot live without 100Mbps but we can live without money. Roads actually could get us out of this downturn in economy – I like many people would benefit from the creation of mass jobs. What jobs does the NBN create when it requires smaller workforce. Even the Head of The Reserve Bank came out today firing that for our economy to kickstart, the government must invest in civil infrastructure. So is spending this amount of money right now on a desired want compared to the everyday need???? If this money was redirected for the meantime to civil infrastructure and the FTTN was built, we would be better of economically and could then do NTTP when its needed.

                      Because it is ridiculous for roads (psst and just as ridiculous FttN).

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink |

                        A CBA?

                        But according to people like you the C is the only part which matters…

                        Also, a CBA has nothing to do with subscriber numbers, per se`… It’s purely as the letters suggest.

                        However, the Corp. plan clearly has the numbers you ask for (and plan speed uptake projections) and outlines them “conservatively”. In fact the current actuals are much higher, which equates to a larger ROI than projected, but you ignore those :/

                        So your answer is yes build 9/1 roads to every Aussie home and asphalt to businesses, but the EPA, err so, no… we shouldn’t build them, very Turnbull-esque answer?

                        The roads are in place and unlike our telecommunications infrastructure are “NOT” obsolete, asphalt is current technology FttN is not. Yes we need new roads and existing maintenance as well as new comms infrastructure, not one or the other!

                        Ooh and BTW what’s the all important ROI going to be on those roads, since everything is about cost.

                        Its arguing that we cannot live without 100Mbps but we can live without money”

                        Err no it’s not, it’s giving people choice. You want 12Mbps and pay less do so, you want 100Mbps and pay more do so. BTW, whereas with FttN we are limited, with FttP we can go well beyond 100Mbps and if consumers have for example 1Gbps available and are willing to pay, it’s more choice!

                        So you say we should do FttN (what about funding, ROI, Telstra) now and later NttP (at what cost, especially once Telstra have the FttN last mile stranglehold again)… there are so many holes in this (silly, IMO) idea, I can’t believe anyone would seriously consider it an alternative.

                        Except of course those who simply blindly believe and repeat Coalition policy, such as FttN, not every home needs FttP, CBA, Roads :/

                        Anyway before Renai pulls the plug on us for hijacking the thread I will bid you adieu (for now). Keep flying that flag :)

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

                With FttP the debt used (not income taxes) will have a ROI, which will have the network repay itself, according to NBNCo’s Corp plan projections.

                If the opposition gift subsidies to private enterprise to build and own the network there will not be a ROI for taxpayers.

                Which is more valuable to Aussie taxpayers M…?

                $43B (your number) not from income taxes, with full return and a multi $B asset which can be resold.

                Or $15B (MT’s claim) from income taxes, with no return and no asset to sell?

              • Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink |

                @M

                What is a farce is saying it won’t work on a FTTN network when this system will be provided to 100% of NBN users (including the 7% who get it in other means).

                Patently false and demonstrably unprovable. That is nothing more than completely wild assumption. The Coalition, nor Mr Turnbull, have EVER said, nor even suggested, an FTTN network will go to 100% of premises. In fact, when asked about wireless and satellite, Turnbull has indicated they will likely KEEP that portion and perhaps expand it slightly. That means MORE people under FTTN (which I entirely disagree with- there are MANY levels of E-Health and Fixed Wirless and satellite are capable of many of them) will be left without E-Health, not LESS.

                after all, NBN Co in a statement a month ago has previously admitted that it needs an increase of 1800% of the current uptake level to actually meet its projected targets for ROI.

                That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. What you are talking about is going from a 15% takeup (the CURRENT average) to a 270% takeup (1800%). What NBNCo. ACTUALLY said, was that they need to increase the ROLLOUT speed by 1800%. And considering they went from 5 premises a week in June to 400 houses a week in September (and increase of 8000%, I don’t see another 1800% as an issue. Perhaps I’d suggest reading a bit more carefully. Finally, takeup is irrelevant- the Telstra and Optus deals GUARANTEE that NBNCo. will have 100% of all fixed line customers by 2023. And in fact, the current uptake of 100Mbps plans, at 38% of all tiers, is suggesting their business case for an ROI of 7.1% is quite conservative. Australians have been constrained by commercial greed on Internet for a long time and they are splashing the cash to get the speeds they actually need and want.

                In the mean time, all sectors are struggling, people are losing their jobs, youth unemployment is reaching 30%

                I’m afraid to say, this is a fact based forum and if you are not willing to deal in facts, rather than made up numbers, you will not last long here no doubt. Youth unemployment is slightly above 25% (25.1 in September) And it increased sharply during 2008 to around this average….oddly enough just after the GFC, when employers became much more skimping with jobs and confidence for new hiring. IS it good? No, but to say it is simply a result of this government’s policies alone, is foolish. The total unemployment rate has dropped from the high of 5.7% just after the GFC (I believe I see a pattern here…) to 5.5% currently. This compares with the unemployment rate of 7.9% in the US or 7.8% in UK, or even the 25.4% of Greece. Oh, did I mention Spain’s youth unemployment rate? Almost 50%. Please, tell me again how badly this government did to avert that sort of crisis during the GFC. Was it all them? Of course not- Howard’s $50 Billion cash (from the sale of most of our large remaining assets) helped demonstrably, as did the miners. But we narrowly avoided recession only AFTER the stimulus package- the stimulus package the Coalition voted AGAINST.

                You may vote whichever way you chose, but perhaps do a bit of research to make sure you are aware of all facts. I have no love of Labor or this government, but they have done a decent job over the past 5 years in trying times.

                • Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink |

                  Apologies Renai- Bold didn’t end in after 25.4%

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 04/12/2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink |

            M
            Considering that generally Rural Copper is in a poorer state, just what is your point.? New copper cable run for FTTN? maintaining the old exchange equipment with those costs? what standard of service would be achievable. ? , replacing the copper and POTS equyipmentwith fibre (After all the local community can provide the pits and ducts, possibly even fun the fibre if they wish) and getting NBN or a Greenfields operator to fit out and connect o the NBN. ?

            • Abel Adamski
              Posted 04/12/2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink |

              Also many smaller Rural Communities POTS services are provided by radio links with relatively limited capacity, what then ?

            • M
              Posted 05/12/2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink |

              M
              “Considering that generally Rural Copper is in a poorer state, just what is your point.? New copper cable run for FTTN? maintaining the old exchange equipment with those costs? what standard of service would be achievable. ? , replacing the copper and POTS equyipmentwith fibre (After all the local community can provide the pits and ducts, possibly even fun the fibre if they wish) and getting NBN or a Greenfields operator to fit out and connect o the NBN. ?”

              Agreed. Copper is in a poor state. The question is, how much longer before the copper lines actually deemed unserviceable and what to replace it with? Obviously, you would replace it with the same material i.e. Fibre if the copper is deemed poor to very poor. However, is it possible that these lines can last another 10-15 years? That is anyone’s guess. One major thing in considering FTTP vs FTTN is its maintenance. Any statement that FTTP is cheaper to maintain in the long run is wrong. The people who could tell you this are Dial Before You Dig. The reason why they can tell you – people cut cables all the time. Cut a copper cable, it can be repaired quite easily. Cut a firbe optic cable, and that whole cable from the exchange to the premises has to be replaced. In FTTP terms, this could be many km’s of cable.This brings me to a major flaw in FTTP – who pays for the accidental cutting of a fibre optics cable with a cost (including labour) at $10/m? The resident. Could the resident 5km away afford $50k in a short time? No. It’s simple, FTTN would save that hassle.

              • Abel Adamski
                Posted 05/12/2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink |

                M
                Maintenance of fibre/copper

                Hmm
                I suspect you may need to do some more research
                A) Cut Optic Fibre Trunks are cut on a fairly regular basis (feel sorry for the cutter) and are repaired in situ quite rapidly, in fact quicker than a Trunk Copper cable. Fibre has been around for years and they are run allowing for such eventualities.- Look up Verizon Sandy – Verizon has to replacing the entire copper infrastructure that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Their FTTH FIOS product was back and running in a week or so, it’s issue was Verizon had no power and some of the terminal equipment had to be replaced. Running on temp truck mounted generators. To have repaired the copper network would have been close to a year with streets in New York Closed and holes cut in roads and footpaths.

                B) Copper maintenance vs Fibre maintenance, do some more research. AT&T and Verizon for example are flogging off their copper networks due precisely to that issue, Verizon states copper has 4x faultman callouts/repairs over fibre and is more time consuming thus more expensive to repair, that is why they prefer fibre longterm, however the cost in a highly competitive infrastructure environment when Federal Regulation requires them to allow open access is one their shareholders are not prepared to accept untill current installs have been paid for, their issue is lack of suitable media offerings for the triple play when they are competing with Cable Companies.
                .
                Do your research

                • M
                  Posted 05/12/2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink |

                  A) Agreed, optic fibre can be repaired but you will have some loss in bandwidth. Copper, on the other hand, can be soldered and a way you go. Doesn’t matter what communications network, a natural disaster has unknown consequences thus cannot just state its because its fibre.

                  B) Agreed, copper callouts are more frequent than fibre optics callouts.

                  However, with your answers in A) and B), do I ever say we shouldn’t have Fibre. No. Do I know that Fibre is a better product than copper? Yes. Do I argue that FTTP shouldn’t exist in the business environment? No. What I am saying is that if you did a cost-benefit analysis on RESIDENTIAL use, you would find that costs outweigh the benefits. List all the benefits in your next argument back.

                  • ungulate
                    Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink |

                    You really are making a fool of yourself there M.

                    When someone cuts a fibre and its repaired, the join incurs a fraction of a dB power loss. However fibre systems are designed with an overhead to account for this and the fibre continues to run at exactly the same modulation – no loss of bandwidth.

                    When someone cuts a copper cable, you do not get someone sitting there individually soldering wires. Rather its done with insulation displacement connectors. They’re good, but not perfect. You still lose a fraction of a DB and this lowers the signal to noise and that can result is lowered bandwidth.

                    • Abel Adamski
                      Posted 05/12/2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink |

                      ungulate.
                      Not only that but at frequencies in the Mhz and up the skin effect begins to be the major conductance, insulation displacement disturbs that, but is still better by far than soldered joints with the high incidence 9of dry joints, wire wrap would be hopeless. Ever heard of wave guides
                      Ye treusty RJ connector was designed for telephony yet has survived into broadband because its construction maintains the precise wire lengths even if the twist is lost for that short distance, an observable reflection can be identified on test.
                      Every joint on cable disturbs and unbalances the pair and its twist, introducing increased EMR and interference in other pairs, especially if they too have been field terminated and are now slightly umnalanced, the effect is cumulative and contributes to noise and will be an issue with VDSL, depends how many joints and terminations between node and user

                • Abel Adamski
                  Posted 05/12/2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink |

                  P.S
                  The NBN network is a ring network with some spurs, a break in the ring and service is provided from the other end, yes some loss of service, but very limited, break in the spur, yes they are off but only those on the spur, unlike the copper network which is radial, as Warnambool discovered.

                  Do your research, not only in those areas, but also the other areas you have commented on. Are you aware with current implementation the NBN NTU has 4 Ports plus uni-V and as such 4 different providers could be used, parents and children with their own accounts/servicesd – shared households, business and private, multiple business.
                  Which raises the point
                  The Enterprise and Educational aspect.
                  The FTTN ADSL/VDSL/FTTH solution in it’s current implementation appears to have a max of 300Mbs when in our Asia Pacific Economic Zone 1Gbs is readily available , we need to be at least on a level footing with our economic partners, they are achieving better educational outcomes so why should we foolishly limit our future, genius and inate ability in a child does not recognise post codes.

                  China has been educating many thousands of young Africans in their universities, hosting them with local families. They become fluent in Mandarin, form freindships both socially and academically. in Beijing in the 90’s I saw thousands of young Africans, some females, not only Beijing but also in all the Major cities. China was educating and hosting them for FREE, guess who has the inside running in many African Nations. In discussions at the time I was advised this was a long term investment by the Chinese Government since the late 70’s, they understand investing for the long term future unlike our greedy short term business an media and politicians.

                  Do you give a damn about our economic or social future?

                  • M
                    Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink |

                    We don’t have a future the way the current government is acting. Australia is no China or USA or Europe – our geographical location is the major reason behind this. If the content being accessed is based overseas, the transfer will only be as good as the connection via the underground sea cables (research them). We pay more for resources compared to the return in investment. So comparing other countries to us without considering this is crazy.

                    • Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink |

                      @M

                      Once again, you haven’t done your own research. We have approx. 4Tbps of overseas connectivity now and are soon to have more than double that (2 cables are being upgraded in capacity as we speak). Over 60% of normal consumed content is cached locally- Renai’s own articles here show there has been hundreds of millions sunk into data centres in Australia over the last 5 years.

                      Trying to use our “geographic location” to say the NBN will fail as it allows people to access data from overseas faster, is poor logic- undersea cable capacity is demand driven. If and when demand from the NBN speed increase demands more overseas capacity, it will be added. After all, that is the beauty of fibre- the fibre laid 15 years ago for the Sydney-US cable is capable of 100 times what it was then, simply by changing the electronics. It will be capable of 100 times more in another 10 years time. Isn’t it good fibre was used for those…

                    • Abel Adamski
                      Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink |

                      M
                      “We don’t have a future the way the current government is acting”

                      That comment saddens me, not because I am a Laborite which I am not, I am a progressive but more a small L Liberal, very much for innovation, enterprise and excellence, but I also recoognise horses for courses.

                      The Australian History we “know” reminds of the facade on a movie set, a lot of illusion. Remember those in power write the history books and the analysis’s. I wonder were you obtained the basis for your belief system from.

                      I do not like destroying peoples illusions, but we must face the truth sometime

                      Read the following and the comments.
                      http://www.technologyspectator.com.au/emerging-tech/applications/what-if-bill-gates-was-australian?opendocument&src=idp.
                      There is a link to whitehat follow it and do some research, unfortunately the same excuses and subservient colonial attitudes are still presented as fact. Never how can we?, always a list of reasons why we can’t. – guess you know them by rote.

                      Then
                      Google “Q&a: ‘IPad Deconstructed’ Forum Makes Case for Federal Research”
                      Compare with our Colonial Conservative Post WW2 Government, but the the British and US Governments would claim any technology or scientific invention with possible military or security application no matter how tenuous in the name of National Security and the war against Communism with no recompense to the inventor/developer and the boot licking Libs allowed it. Note the Dearth of Australian Foundation scientific or technology patents.It took Whitlam to drag us into the 20th Century again and reinvigorate Science and technology research as well as provide the first funding os start up ventures – why they were hated, of course Fraser/Howard crushed that.

                      Now read my reply to Sandy Plunkett
                      http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/uncategorized/speech-to-innovation-bay-australian-business-in-the-online-economy/

                      IMO
                      As average as the current government is in some ways, they have achieved much of benefit for the Nation. To blindly believe on the basis of ideology that the current opposition will lead us to a better future is delusional, under Abbot and his Tea Party clones our future looks grim.
                      Guess you will have to learn the hard way.
                      P.S you were aware of course that Fraser/Howard actually trashed the economy, the only reason the last Howard Govt. looked good was they were boom times and rivers of gold from the GST.

                      We need the FTTH NBN more than you realise, we need new innovative blood, entrepreneurs, creative , builders of our future economy and they could come from any background, any post code. The old networks are becoming a handicap

              • Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink |

                @M

                One major thing in considering FTTP vs FTTN is its maintenance. Any statement that FTTP is cheaper to maintain in the long run is wrong. The people who could tell you this are Dial Before You Dig. The reason why they can tell you – people cut cables all the time. Cut a copper cable, it can be repaired quite easily. Cut a firbe optic cable, and that whole cable from the exchange to the premises has to be replaced.

                As Abel has already said, you need to do a bit more research. Fibre is no harder, in fact, often easier to repair than copper. There is a process called splicing which is done by a machine and, when trained, it is faster than crimping copper together. Fibre also is not affected by water, RF interference and line length- all things which copper suffers as a result of physics. Fibre is 1/5 to 1/4 the maintenance cost of copper in similar circumstances of networks around the world. That is a proven fact. Also, any repair in a copper cable will drastically affect its’ capable speed. In fibre, unless it is right at the edge of its’ range (15km) it will not affect its’ speed or quality whatsoever.

                As Abel has said, perhaps you need to read a little more before stating things as facts that are not so.

          • tinman_au
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink |

            /sigh

            Telstra currently pay around $800M a year in maintenance costs for the CAN, thats the same CAN that FttN will need to use.

            So, over ten years:

            FttN will _cost_ somewhere between $32.5B – $55B* + $8B for maintenance.

            FttP will _return_ $2.1B.

            -$40.5B Vs +$2.1B

            Tell me again which one we can afford?

            (*that’s $15B for the fibre/cabinets + what buying access to the CAN will cost, which will be between $17.5B and $40B, the $17.5B is what the ACCC estimates how much the replacement cost of the actual CAN would be, the $40B is what some industry analysts say it will cost).

            And in an attempt to correct a misconception, gamers don’t require a lot of bandwidth (the “100Mbps” part), they require low latency (which you didn’t mention, but would be seen in the form of “5ms”), most online games are optimised to not use a lot of bandwidth, but higher latency (via say, wireless and satellite) is a killer. As FttN needs to translate between digital and analogue systems, it has higher “built in” latency than FttP (though no where near as bad as wireless).

      • Hubert Cumberdale
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink |

        “So FTTP may seem the best plan for now, and will always be valid for businesses, but for residental environment, costs actually outweigh the future benefits which FTTN would provide.”

        LOL

      • ungulate
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink |

        M,

        Its not fibre to the sheep station.

        Its fibre to that portion of the population sitting on small, suburban or town sized lots.

        • M
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink |

          ungulate,

          My point of our large land mass was not to do with a FTTP to a sheep station. I was just mearly stating that the majority of the cost is the amount of runs having to be made to properties from a node/exchange. Also, I state that if these people actually don’t get E-Health, then the excuse that the goverment made about it is incorrect as out of the 7% of remote users, 100% would use E-Health services hence E-Health services has to match their bandwidth.

          • ungulate
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink |

            M,

            You’ve now lost the argument and moved on. I agree it would be lovely if we all had fibre, but the reality is that those getting NBNco’s fixed wireless and satellite solutions are getting the best that current technology can deliver and in most cases that’s a considerable improvement on the DSL they are currently getting. The NBNco fixed wireless system will be upgraded to 24Mbps speeds in the medium term and the satellite system has spare capacity. So, actually, you’re wrong. If it wasn’t for the NBN creating a singular network that can cross subsidise rural users they’d be worse off. And whilst E-health on a fixed wireless system won’t be the standard that you can enjoy on 100Mbps, it sure as hell is going to be a lot better than the E-health that can be delivered now.

    35. Marc
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink |

      As you rightly pointed out, why the hell do we want to be like everyone else? We should be aiming to set an example to be BETTER than everyone else!

      We want the NBN to provide an incentive for other companies to set up shop here because of our world leading infrastructure. It’s about time we stopped just trying to copy what others are doing and be leaders instead.

      FU Turnbull.

    36. Abel Adamski
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink |

      Lest we forget

      http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3642410.htm

      “The Opposition spokesman on Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, says that in government the coalition will continue the NBN in a reduced, privatised form rather than destroying it as previously promised.”

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink |

        So exactly what is their policy, and how do they plan to implement it. With Private SAector involvement and their high ROI and Profit requirements, just what will we end up with at what cost to both Taxpayer and user

        • tinman_au
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink |

          Basically, their policy is to roll back to the Howard era, only with newer tech, and give a lot of money/aid to “the bush” so they can afford the differential pricing (that will end up being the excuse needed to can the whole thing “outback”).

          it’s also very much along the lines of the US National Broadband Plan, you can read about some of the problems with that here: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/05/four-signs-americas-broadband-policy-is-failing/.

          Basically, even in the US, the private sector telcos don’t actually want to compete with each other and are much happier to cherry pick certain areas and let everyone else use two cans and a string, even when the gov hands them millions.

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink |

            Try Billions

        • ungulate
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |

          One thing you can be certain of is that no matter what Turnbull’s weasel words are or what’s written on the Liberal web site, we won’t be seeing a Liberal government using NBNco to build with FTTN.

    37. Mark
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink |

      Oh dear Renai seems to have had an bit of a turn.
      Its ok a lie down and a Bex will see you back to your senses.

      Mark

    38. JT
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink |

      Here’s a surprise – the NBNCo cheerleading squad otherwise known as Delimiter is not convinced by Turnbull’s response.

      Meanwhile, NBNCo spends more and delivers less…

      • djos
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink |

        Meanwhile one-eyed Liberal party supporters still cant open their eyes to what is good for the nation in the long term!

        For the Party that is supposedly the best friend of Business, you Libs are doing a great job of ignoring the benefits the FTTH NBN with bring to small and big business alike!

        Take your party supplied blinkers off FFS!

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 04/12/2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink |

          + many!

          Once again the only reason for opposing the NBN… political ideology… ho hum!

        • Harimau
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink |

          The Liberal party is only good to business in a very narrow sense. Giving businesses a lot of freedom to make money and keep that money, yes. Giving businesses the tools to improve themselves and creating an environment that allows business to benefit the public and vice versa, no.

          • Zok
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink |

            In other words, they are good for protecting the positions of established, monolithic big businesses… anything that threatens the status quo (as NBN does) is opposed by the current Liberals (they should really change the name of the party — there is nothing liberal about this mob.)

            The Liberals’ ‘vision’ is only good for protection of vested interests, rent seeking and economic stagnation. Innovation, entrepreneurship and development of new business sectors are things furthest from their minds.

      • GongGav
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink |

        Here’s a surprise, a Liberal troll posting on a tech forum to get some responses. A troll that never responds to questions, or provides any valid reasons for his stance, but merely repeats oft heard soundbites that have no basis in reality.

        How much is the NBN going to cost us this week JT? $90b? $100b?

      • tinman_au
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink |

        If your convinced by it JT, you have very low standards.

        Answer me two simple questions:

        How will Malcolm work around the fact that Telstra owns the copper and that copper was not part of the deal done to access the ducts?

        Considering just the pipes the copper runs through cost $11B, how much will the actual “golden mile” section of copper add to the cost of his plan?

      • ungulate
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink |

        JT,

        Is it wiser to cheer on something that makes good sense, or to vote against your own best interests?

    39. Simon Reidy
      Posted 04/12/2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink |

      I agree, that Turnbull probably does have the 2nd best broadband policy Australia has ever seen. Unfortunately there are only two contestants, which means its currently the worst at well.

      If the NBN hadn’t started being built and it was 2006, and Malcolm had presented us with something comprehensive and costed (or anything other than, short, vague answers), and had corrected shock jocks and his other party members from misleading people about everything going “wireless”, AND had the full support of his own party leader, then he might be in a slightly more credible position. However in 2012, to still be debating whether to proceed with the future proof and ubiquitous broadband infrastructure of the NBN, or return to the drawing board and waste time on a second-rate mish-mash of dated technology, is frankly ridiculous.

      If we end up with 2nd best best option, its not like its a minor difference. To me the NBN represents whether Australia will be part of the next generation of virtual businesses, web development, tele-presence, HD video conferencing, 4K IPTV, advanced medical treatment, and the countless other things that need tons of reliable high bandwidth and ubiquity across Australia to work.

      Or with Turnbull’s plan, we just get slightly better speeds, for a much smaller percentage of people, with no guarantees and no ubiquity. Therefore the lower speeds remain in usage, and in process will drag the rest of us down, limiting what high-bandwidth services end up being implemented by society.

      Those are two very different paths for Australia to take, and I’m only interested in one of them. The NBN must go on.

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 04/12/2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink |

        Indeed Usain Bolt won gold, who was that who ran second again…

        Oh that’s right Malcolm whathisname ;)

    40. drone
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink |

      I wander, what is different since 2009?
      As per 2009 Expert Panel:
      “Building an FTTN would be a waste of money and impossible without Telstra”

      http://stevej-on-it.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/nbn-coalition-vs-expert-panel-other.html

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink |

        And more:
        http://stevej-on-it.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/nbn-what-does-coalition-know-that.html

        • nonny-moose
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

          very interesting. the first one did remind me of something id been meaning to ask: if FTTN is not doable without Telstra, what are the competition implications for access seekers in the event they have to use a Telstra built (and presumably also Telstra managed and sold) Network? i have bad memories of Telstra gaming the system; the FTTH policy obviates that situation completely. will we be going back to the bad old days of ‘competition’ under a FTTN network?

          was Telstras behaviour detrimental to the sector then? id argue yes, to the point of economic damage given money wound up being tipped into endless ACCC rounds and the odd court case instead of being tipped into features and products to offer over the network. doing the same under a FTTN network could be even worse, if it uses vectoring then any access seeker is SOL straight up. for the party of business, championing free market competition, i dont see an awful lot of prospect for that to happen under their alternative network.

          with the FTTP – its open access, anyone can get a go. what will be the competition settings for the Coalition policy? what firewalls are in place to ensure no company gets undue advantage over another? again, especially if Vectoring is used? i get the distinct impression the expert panel viewed FTTN poorly on that subject…..

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink |

            Under a Telstra controlled NBN, considering their part ownership of Foxtel and close relationship with News Ltd. Would they actually permit or facilitate alternatives, media providers are considering setting up as providers just because the expect problems trying to provide their service using Telstra fibres to the POI’s.
            That amount of expenditure indicates their faith in Telstra

    41. drone
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 4:08 am | Permalink |

      OPINION:
      Turnbull’s NBN is not an alternative to ALP Policy at this stage (and possible at all).
      Reasons:
      A: There is no accessible LNP Policy to compare with.

      B: Whatever Turnbull say can not be treated seriously (therefore all discussions on the subject is only speculation):
      August – fully costed, ready to go ( http://www.afr.com/p/technology/turnbull_cut_price_broadband_plan_cyno2UoMeEYk6G1E5KrCDM )

      September – not fully costed ( http://www.heraldsun.com.au/technology/malcolm-turnbull-promises-cheaper-broadband-sooner-but-no-costings/story-fn7celvh-1226479972456 )

      In one of the above, he is simply dishonest (have your pick)

      Whatever his secret Policy (or no-Policy) is can be paused by Abbott. And whatever the LNP will do, there is a GREAT chance that Telstra will stay in controll for a long time. And this is what this country can’t afford anymore.

      http://stevej-on-it.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/nbn-what-does-coalition-know-that.html

      “The only low-cost FTTN solution available under the current Regulatory regime that will fulfil the Coalition tag-line of “Better Broadband: Cheaper, Sooner, More Affordably” seems to be a closed-access Telstra solution. i.e. an updated version of the 2005 and 2007 proposals, in parallel with competing Broadband solutions from existing fabrics: HFC (Optus) and the few small FTTN solutions, like TransACT.

      But overall, the central Expert Panel Observations that an FTTN couldn’t be economic, unless built by Telstra, and even then it is a dead-end investment, a throw-away, stands.

      In what world could the electorate want that Telstra-only FTTN as a Broadband solution?

      What other wrinkles can the Coalition add to wish away the fundamental Technical problem: an FTTN doesn’t provide a cost effective or efficient upgrade path?”

      FACT:
      I don’t give a f**k what he says anymore.

    42. H Simpson
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 4:08 am | Permalink |

      I just like the fact you mentioned “reality distortion field”, “stooge”, and “drinking kool aid” all in one article ;)

      • Oliphant
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink |

        That was the point. :-)

    43. The lone gunmen
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink |

      The self styled “technology community” is growing fat and lazy on the public purse. An industry, though first hand observation, that chronically over promises and systemically under delivers and often over budget. So at least it has that in common with the NBN.

      A community who thinks a cost benefit analysis is some form of torture.

      A community that criterises those who demand proper costs control, good project management and requiring the NBN adhere to the NBN’s own stated targets.

      A petulant community that carries on like a naughty 2 year old when it does not get it way.

      An arrogant community that thinks it has the sole right to sit in judgment of the NBN.

      • djos
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink |

        You have NFI what you are talking about ….. as usual!

      • Simon
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink |

        What the fuck are you talking about? We’re not the Borg. You’re talking about a ton of different people all with wildly differing opinions on all sorts of things in life, but as techheads and pragmatists, we simply recognise that the NBN is the best way forward for Australia. And not just for the IT industry. For all industry and entertainment sectors.

        What I find hilarious about all deniers of reality in geneal, is that they choose not to beleive the professionals who actually work and analysise the industry (as if they would know best right?) and blindly turn to right wing shock jocks and conservative politicicians for the answer. Just like climate change deniers who don’t beleive the multitude of professional climate scientists warning us all of disaster if we don’t act (what would stupid scientists know!). It’s exactly that kind of moronic conservative thinking that makes sure nothing ever changes (until it too late).

      • Simon
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink |

        “an arrogant community that think it has the sole right to judge the NBN”

        Isn’t it more a case of the arrogant lone gunmen, who hides under the shield of anonymity, but criticises and addresses an entire community as a whole, as though we’re incapable of individual thought and analysis? Yep that’s supreme arrogance.

      • GongGav
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink |

        Nice trolling. I’ll respond in the manner of The Turnbull

        “An industry, though first hand observation, that chronically over promises and systemically under delivers and often over budget.” — No, it is properly costed, and to date has delivered to stated expectations.

        “A community who thinks a cost benefit analysis is some form of torture.” — A CBA has no pertinance to the NBN, as per internationally accepted practices.

        “A community that criterises those who demand proper costs control, good project management and requiring the NBN adhere to the NBN’s own stated targets.” — The NBN has shown far more proper cost control and good management than any project the LNP party has ever started.

        “A petulant community that carries on like a naughty 2 year old when it does not get it way.” — The anti-NBN community has no facts to back up its claims, apart from wonderfully inventive partial views of the reality before them.

        “An arrogant community that thinks it has the sole right to sit in judgment of the NBN.” — a community that chooses to consider this nations future interests before the money grabbing desires of the privately run sector. A community that is still waiting to see specific details of an opposing plan, which to all intents and purposes appears to be at least 5 years out of date. A plan that, when costed and analysed, was found to be lacking. A plan that was not good enough for the cost, when that cost was around one third of what the Liberals now suggest.

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

        Hey, if the technology community irritates you that much, what are you going reading, and then posting, on a technology community site?

        Nobody is keeping you here, and you know where the door is.

        Trolls … easy to defeat with logic.

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

        I’ve never been paid by the public purse and know very few who have. Government IT is a place I wouldn’t want to be, too many incompetents. The over promising is a problem, but I have that it is the salesman and the politician that over promises. When do the actual technical guys sell or promise anything? They simply try thier best to deliver the exagerated claims of others. You will find there is always a huge comflict between the tech guys and the salesmen.

        I think the tech community demand proper costs controls and management too. But, they don’t buy in to using statistics for political reasons. Yes, the NBN deployment started late for various reasons, but using that delay to skew rollout speeds by not factoring it in is just BS.

        I don’t think they are the only community that should sit in judgement of the NBN. I do think if those who know the technology, have worked with it for many decades, tell you the solution you are proposing (FTTN) is a waste of money, will need to be replaced very soon, you should listen. It doesn’t mater if the account says solution B is cheaper if solution B doesn’t be the job and is just replace by solution A in short order. The money spent on B is mostly wasted.

        Next time you need an operation, go for the cheapest one, say get a toe nail removed or something. It’d be cheaper than the heart surgury you’d need. But you listen to your wallet and not the people in the field.

      • Hubert Cumberdale
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

        “An arrogant community that thinks it has the sole right to sit in judgment of the NBN.”

        Then there is the “the lone gunman”; one who posts on Andrew Bolts blog, agrees with everything he says and then expects people to take him seriously on Delimiter. When confronted on his ill-informed opinions will cower in a corner. Did I miss anything Michael?

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink |

          I don’t tend to read much of Bolt’s blogs. I just did a quick search through the blog. My goodness, the lone gunmen on there reads just like this one but the way he praises Bolt on nearly every article. If I was Bolt I’d be worried about he sitting outside my house like some stalker. It’s like he obsessed.

          • djos
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink |

            Lol, if TLG lent any further to the Right he’d be Horizontal !!!

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink |

        @ TLG

        “A petulant community that carries on like a naughty 2 year old when it does not get it way.”

        Q. Who are those not currently getting their own way?

        A. The NBN nay-sayers… those like, umm you.

        So yes, I agree ;)

    44. ungulate
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink |

      Renai,

      It is sadly disappointing to see your opinion piece stray heavily into suspension of disbelief.

      But, it does not surprise me. Its been clear all along that ultimately your political bias is going to prevent you from rational analysis of the political context. In short, you want to believe the Liberals have an alternate policy when in fact its a fraud. This bias has been pointed out to you and shows in your form of words on many occasions, and not just by me.

      What exactly is it that Turnbull has said, that is actually new? He says he wants to build with FTTN. That’s not new. Yet you’ve pretended to withhold judgement for all this time. But all you’ve done is say that FTTN is something that could actually be built. Well, yes, it could. And we could go back to building wooden road bridges, right? Is that a “solid” policy? Well, by your standards, it is.

      I find it beggars belief that you would be so uncritical of the fact that Mr. Turnbull has cited overseas examples, which, if you looked into them (and I know you’re quite capable of this level of analysis), merely tell you of what works, for that particular Telco in their particular circumstances. This is not hard evidence of FTTN being a sensible solution in our context.

      Indeed, to repeat myself. Nothing Turnbull has said here, changes the merits of his “plan”.

      Now, let me be brutally honest, Renai.

      You’ve been ignoring the political context.

      You’ve failed to mention or to examine the fact that a FTTN scheme would take years before it could begin to deploy.

      You’ve failed to mention yourself that given FTTH is the final outcome of this process, FTTN, whatever the cost, must by definition simply add to the final cost.

      In this context you’ve utterly failed to pursue the core issue. And that’s Turnbull’s evasion of the fact that fibre is the end game, no matter the path chosen. His response on this particular point was laughable. Well, if you enjoy black humour that is.

      Given those two points, any rational person must conclude there is no logic to Turnbull’s “plan”. Its core defense – that it saves money – is a lie. It merely spends more money in order to delay the inevitable. And you, Renai, need to state your own personal opinion on this.

      And given that a FTTN scheme will take years to get going, surely then, Renai, it is time for you to personally question it as a serious political policy, and not see it as the fraud it is. Its not a policy that the Liberal Party, when in power, would actually enact.

      For that reason alone Renai, please suspend your political bias for a moment and consider the mere possibility that the Liberal strategy is not honest. That FTTN is simply a convenient narrative. That the Liberals have no intent to implement.

      And as they say, you’ve been had, you turkey.

      Think about it.

      • drone
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink |

        @ ungulate:
        “It is sadly disappointing to see your opinion piece stray heavily into suspension of disbelief.
        But, it does not surprise me. Its been clear all along that ultimately your political bias is going to prevent you from rational analysis”

        The author is entitled to write whatever he wish to. If he is wrong, it will bite him sooner or later, I mean, he is making his own resume. That also shape the quality, professionalism, credibility and respect of Delimiter. If he have political agenda, it is bad for all above. If he wants to generate some traffic and discussion, it is good, but perhaps not the best way to achieve this. I do enjoy to read Delimiter, and I will. That is to the point when it turn to the Murdoch shit propaganda tool.

      • Posted 05/12/2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink |

        “your political bias”

        You’re actually completely correct about that. I’ve actually disclosed my bias in full here.

        • djos
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink |

          “polictical bias” is a bit harsh, i’d say it’s got more to do with Renai’s Man Crush on MT. ;-)

          Admittedly, despite all the misinformation he peddles, I have a hard time not liking him a lot myself. :-p

          • Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink |

            What can I say, the Silver Fox (as my wife refers to Turnbull) has style :)

            • drone
              Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink |

              “What can I say, the Silver Fox (as my wife refers to Turnbull) has style :)”
              ok… my Silver Fox has a wife. :)

          • ungulate
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink |

            I had some respect for Turnbull because of his position on Republicanism.

            But that faded when he got himself involved with Utegate and the Grech affair.

            For a moment he was willing to say it like it is over Abbott’s pointless “direct action” policy.

            But lately on Q+A he disgraced himself completely towing the Party line.

            After having read up on some of his more “interesting business dealings, and seeing him defend the indefensible on the NBN – pushing a narrative about something he will never actually build – I’ve got no respect for him at all. None.

            • drone
              Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink |

              I’ve got no respect for him at all. None.

              +1
              August – fully costed,
              September – not fully costed

            • Abel Adamski
              Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink |

              Yes some Business Dealings I as an ethical individual would not have touched even though highly profitable

        • ungulate
          Posted 05/12/2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink |

          Hmm.. following that link was another wasted 13 seconds of my life.. :P

          • Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink |

            Wasn’t wasted for me :) glad u read it!

            • ungulate
              Posted 05/12/2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink |

              Renai,

              You’re entitled to have your opinion just as I’m entitled to point out where you’re being blind to willful deception.

              In any case, I asked you a couple of direct and reasonable questions.

              And there are also a couple of major issues you’ve yet to explore.

              – Is fibre “the end game”, or not?
              – If it is, where is the rationality in spending more money on something else only to then build fibre?

              And finally..

              – What are the processes that the Liberal Party would have to follow in order to direct NBNco to redesign?
              – How long would those processes take?

              Stuff you haven’t written about and surely worthy of an article or two.

              Wouldn’t mind a sensible reply. Or even a well researched article on the above.

    45. skywake
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink |

      The main problem I have is still with the upgrade path. We will want FTTH eventually, I believe this is pretty much inevitable. Eventually we will want to upgrade Turnbull’s FTTN with FTTH. The evidence does seem to suggest that there is such an upgrade path BUT I don’t think it would be right to say it was cheaper or more elegant than simply building FTTH.

      FTTN requires building larger cabinets. I pointed this out to Turnbull on twitter and he gladly replied with the dimensions as if it made is point clearer. By those dimentions the FTTN cabinets would be the size of a fridge and the FTTH equivalent would be the size of a couple of 30 packs of coke cans stacked ontop of each other. Are the larger powered cabinets cheaper? I think not. I also doubt that such a migration would end up being cheaper than simply doing FTTH.

      So it might seem like the “best of both worlds” in terms of network performance. Indeed it probably is if they upgrade us to FTTH as soon as we demand more than FTTN. However in terms of cost and aesthetics it’s the worst of both. Especially if an upgrade to FTTH is as inevitable as many, including Turnbull on some occasions, seem to believe it is.

    46. Mud Guts
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink |

      The problem I have with people suggesting that Turnbull’s concept is a good second place, is that there’s no third or fourth option.

      To quote Jerry Seinfeld when he’s talking about the silver medal winners: “Congratulations, no one lost as well as you. Of all the losers, you were number 1 – you’re the number 1 loser.”

      The Atomic Banana is a very very ordinary tarnished silver medal.

      • Hubert Cumberdale
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink |

        “The Atomic Banana is a very very ordinary tarnished silver medal.”

        I wouldn’t even call it a silver medal, there is virtually an infinite amount of options between 93% FttP and FttN. The coalition of clowns however have decided “anything but fibre” with their “mix of technologies” mantra. They could come up with AT THE VERY LEAST a plan that involves rolling out fibre to 51% of premises and that would still be better that their current “broadband” “plan”. In fact I wouldn’t even call it a bronze medal either. It’s just so far removed from what we should be rolling out in 2012 it simply does not count.

    47. Tim
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink |

      Not a bad article there.

      1. You are missing the fact about the “quality of copper” in the country which i know you have mentioned before.

      2. What about the fact Bt is moving from fttn to ftth? You could just add a link to your previous article.

      The best solution would be to use both technologies in my opinion.

      Deploy FTTH to 1000 Premise areas and above.
      Deploy FTTN to 500-1000 Premise areas with fibre upgrade in the future or at household expense
      Deploy Wireless to 150-500 Premise Areas
      Deploy Satellite to <150 Premise areas and hard to reach areas. e.g. People in gulleys or far far outback with nothing for 100's of Km's.

      Also anywhere that is a commercial/industrial area of a town/city that does not already have fibre should be done first. e.g. Town main streets. As that would benefit the town area the fastest instead of deploying it to underprivileged areas that are struggling to pay there bills.

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink |

        the tiering idea has been floated before. on the face of it it is a good idea, and if fttn was to be added that would be the mode i would support. added i say, not replacing the FTTH.

        teh problem i see with it is that the 500-1000 premise areas – usually rural and remote yeah? – are likely to be quite spread out towns so for a tech that is already going to be variable on speeds, there could be some wide variations in terms of what you get for throughput.

        the thing i DONT want to see with FTTN in a country town is them winding up barely beating DSL2+ speeds. and im skeptical thats the right place to use it – i suggest MDUs instead. im skeptical of most use cases for FTTN tbh but the small backwater town is one case i really query its utility for.

        • Posted 05/12/2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink |

          @nonny-moose

          teh problem i see with it is that the 500-1000 premise areas – usually rural and remote yeah? – are likely to be quite spread out towns so for a tech that is already going to be variable on speeds, there could be some wide variations in terms of what you get for throughput.

          Actually, that’s not true in the VAST majority of cases. I’m putting together a list of towns (or specifically towns directly around an exchange) not getting wireless or fibre, but have ADSL already and about 110 of the 121 I’ve found (I’ve done all but TAS and NT) are all about 1-3SqKm where 90% of the populous is. FTTN would work in these cases. But many are quite a distance from their Exchange already- upwards of 2km to the town- (increasing the nodes required) and they are ALL under 500 premises (bar 3 anomalies, one of which I’ve already resolved)- meaning you’d need MINIMUM 3 nodes to get VDSL speeds to such a small number of premises, quite often, far from large towns.

          • nonny-moose
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink |

            okay that puts at a bit more ease wrt line length. the necessity for three nodes though…. thats another thing. it suggests its an expensive solution for those areas, so the skepticism is still warranted i reckon.

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink |

            Actually 7T, have you ascertained how Comms is provided to those towns, many smaller towns are provided by wireless links with limited capacity, don’t know if any are still provided by cable carrier systems. That would limit the broadband capacity available.
            It’s all about the backhaul

            • Posted 05/12/2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink |

              @Abel

              That was one of my focusses- finding backhaul. There are about a dozen of the 120 that I’m almost certain are microwave backhaul. There are maybe 10 more that might be. All are under 200 premises.

      • GongGav
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink |

        Just because you’re the easiest response to find, I figure its easier to respond here. The article isnt about what BT has changed to, but that the FttN option IS viable, but not the best option available.

        What BT is doing is pertinent elsewhere, but not for this article. Its broken into 2 parts – first, with whats been hinted and suggested so far, there is no reason why a FttN model cant be rolled out in Australia. And there is no reason it cant. Its perfectly viable, delivers on what the NBN charter states, and as an option its not a BAD option.

        Its just not the BEST option on the table. Which is what Renai is pointing out in the 2nd phase of the article.

        What Renai is trying to get across (I think – correct me if wrong Renai) is that there are now two good options in front of us that progress our comms quite markedly. In isolation, they are both feasible, its only when laid out side by side that the FttN idea falls away, and FttH clearly becomes the better option.

        Which has nothing to do with BT’s change of mind.

    48. Posted 05/12/2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink |

      1. Telstra finally decides to allow access to their conduits (on a rental basis) despite the fact that their monopoly will be destroyed.

      2. In 30-40 years, the NBN gets privatized. Telstra says “we’ll buy this brilliant all-fibre network for almost no money kthx” and the government is all like ‘hell naw’ and Telstra is all like ‘ ok then get your fibres out of our conduits, toot-sweet’ and the government is all like ‘touche’. Telstra endures 30 years ‘in the wilderness’ as a retailer-only, and then goes right back to monopoly status.

      3. Telstra sees this, realizes the long game works out better for them, agrees to participate full with FTTP.

      If MT comes along with FTTN, I could actually see Telstra making things hard for him. If I were Telstra, I wouldn’t want to commit to 30 years of the same old copper monopoly, with all the headaches (both technical and regulatory), when the original option sets me up to swoop in and buy a full FTTH network in a few decades – and that’s also a few decades in which the regulator leaves me alone and I can reform my image.

      Or have I gotten this wrong? Can anyone think of who else would be a viable candidate to take over the NBN after privatization?

      • Posted 05/12/2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink |

        @Adam at CBB

        1- If the government allowed it, it could be bought by multi-nationals (several countries have done so- not ALL of it by one, but several)

        2- Telstra’s lead in conduits and pits (not the street or transit conduits) become the property of NBNCo. after 35 years. So Telstra would have to PAY NBNCo. money to connect to people’s homes, even if they owned the fibre in the street.

      • drone
        Posted 05/12/2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink |

        I can see your point. However, in 40 years we might have “those lasers” shooting all around us … :)

    49. DinoTerrific
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

      Who the heck lays out a huge amount of fiber optic cable and then runs the last mile with old copper wire. I’m sorry Liberals NBN is a complete joke and a waste of everyone’s time. Clearly they are offering a second rate service and should be made to pay for every lie, every block in Parliament and for wasting everyones time.

    50. Adam
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink |

      The best thing that the Coalition can do is simply agree to finishing the existing NBN. Finish it faster, more reliably than Labor.

      I’m predicting that the Coalition is going to lose the unlosable election based on their boredband strategy. *Mispelt on purpose :P

    51. Daniel
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      Not sure if you were being sarcastic in your closing comments but it is poorly chosen.

    52. Marzer
      Posted 05/12/2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink |

      It would seem as though this article and the originally-promised article “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” are not one and the same.

      Renai, perhaps a more community-inclusive (and politically honest) article is warranted?

    53. Posted 06/12/2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink |

      All right, this has gone on long enough.

      I’ve had enough of being casually insulted and accused of bias and trying to create false balance. And I’m tired of the many, many posters here who are taking an irrational view towards the Coalition’s NBN policy.

      It’s fine to criticise Turnbull’s policy on rational grounds (of which there are many, as I detailed in the article) and to highlight the strengths of the Labor FTTH vision. That sort of discussion is what Delimiter is for. But right now the discussion on this thread has turned in a rancorous kind of “us versus them” mentality in which it seems that many commenters will never suffer themselves to admit that Turnbull could do anything right at any time — no matter what he proposed or how much detail he provided.

      It is a fact that Turnbull has provided more detail about the Coalition’s current policy than any other telecommunications policy I have ever seen in a decade of technology journalism in Australia — apart from the current, and I stress current, Labor NBN vision. It is a fact that FTTN networks are being implemented overseas and could very likely be feasible in Australia.

      Sure, FTTH would be better — we can all agree on that — but that doesn’t mean FTTN isn’t possible at all. It is. If you can’t even admit that much, then you have no business commenting on Delimiter — because you are not considering things from a technical perspective.

      Thread closed.




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