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  • Blog, Telecommunications - Written by on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 15:58 - 80 Comments

    Google Fiber shows what the NBN is capable of

    blog We’ve always been a personal believer in the fact that if you build awesome technology infrastructure around the place, people will find cool things to do with it. Sounds logical, right? Sadly, not to everyone. Well, the argument that the construction of the NBN will engender great things for Australia has just been bolstered by closer examination of what’s happening in the areas in the US where Google has already laid its own fibre to the premise network.

    There’s been a few articles about this, but we really like commentator Michael Wyres’ blog post today which pulls some of this stuff together, along with a coherent argument about why the Coalition’s fibre to the node-based alternative won’t have quite the same effect. Wyres writes (we recommend you read the whole thing):

    “Google Fiber has been around for a little over six months in Kansas City. And it has already invoked “crazy momentum” for new digital/internet-based startups, and presumably existing businesses too. It’s actually stimulating investment – with almost identical technology to our NBN.”

    We’re sure this kind of thing warms the heart of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. After all, Conroy has been banging on about this “digital economy” stuff for quite a while now; the Google example shows that not all of the Senator’s particular brand of hype is … well, hype. Some of it is real. And while we make not like the term “digital economy” (the Federal Government’s obsession with labelling everything ‘digital’ and ‘cyber’ really gets our goat), the point still stands. Improve basic underlying telecommunications infrastructure and industry will spring up to take advantage of that. Good times.

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    1. Daniel
      Posted 12/02/2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink |

      My email must of got to them – probably sent it in November last year :D

      • Daniel
        Posted 12/02/2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink |

        Opps I read the article incorrectly – my mistake :D

    2. Posted 12/02/2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink |

      “Massive White Elephant Gold plating waste of our taxes whilst Rene is jumping sharks.”

      Said no technical minded intelligent person ever.

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 13/02/2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink |

        +1

    3. Dan
      Posted 12/02/2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink |

      “make not like” should be “may not like”

    4. Posted 12/02/2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink |

      Mmmm…digital cybers…

      http://avomnia.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/drooling_homer.gif

    5. Marcus
      Posted 12/02/2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink |

      why don’t they just use a standard unit of “laymans speak” measurement to let the masses understand just how awesome Fibre is.
      “Can transfer 1000 football fields per second of information”

      Even a Carlton supporter could understand that!

      ***Disclaimer***
      I don’t follow football, but my wife is a Carlton supporter…

      • RyanH
        Posted 12/02/2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink |

        .. and hope the wife doesn’t secretly read Delimiter forums in her spare time!!

    6. Stephen
      Posted 12/02/2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink |

      That’s the thing about paradigm shifts, the entrenched interests barely see them coming and when they do try to fight against an incoming tide.
      The NBN is a huge opportunity for Australia, it’s probably one of the rare occasions where being against government policy *is* unAustralian.
      The main stream media fear their rapidly approaching irrelevancy (see how their profit margins have evaporated in the last decade), the LNP don’t understand that it’s a huge pro-free enterprise base, just like free highways were in the dawn of the automobile age.

      The value of a network increases exponentially with the number of nodes. I’d imagine that the people decrying the NBN are the same ones who used to deride the internet in general as a bunch of nerds doing nothing with benefit beyond email. The only thing we do know is that the real killer app for the NBN won’t exist until some time after it’s competed.

      We’d be robbing the future of this country if we didn’t keep going down this path.

    7. Brendan
      Posted 12/02/2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink |

      You’ll be well and truly struck off Turnbull’s christmas card list now, Renai.

      Jumping the shark yet again for, you know, pointing out how FTTP might actually have some sort of ongoing benefits.

    8. Hubert Cumberdale
      Posted 12/02/2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink |

      “The value of a network increases exponentially with the number of nodes”

      Poor choice of words because those against the NBN will assume you are talking about FttN nodes (yeah, sadly they are that ill-informed) regardless if you try convincing those whose brains are only capable of thinking in a linear fashion of the completed network worth vs a few random patches across the country I think you’ll find much like building a FttN patchwork it is a waste of time.

    9. Tinman_au
      Posted 12/02/2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink |

      Is that a digital goat, or a cyber goat Renai??

      It’s sort of amusing that pollies always love to add adjective like they do…even when they don’t really fit (“Digital agenda” wtf is that, an iPad with a meetings minutes???).

    10. Mathew
      Posted 12/02/2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink |

      Except that we aren’t getting Google fibre. One big difference – Google fibre is either $300 install for 5Mbps or $70/month for 1Gbps.

      NBNCo’s tiered pricing for speed means they are planning for 50% to connect at 12/1Mbps, easily achievable by FTTN. I don’t think FTTN is the right solution, but the Labor plan is arguable worse for all but an elite.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 12/02/2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink |

        Just to save the other long suffering readers from for the umpteenth time rebutting your obsessive mantra.
        Yes in the original business plan it was ASSUMED 50% @ 12/1
        Real world results indicate that was INCORRECT, in fact over 80% have chosen above ADSL2+ 24Mb.

        So do you go with reality or stay with fantasy, your choice

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 12/02/2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink |

          I’d say anyone in the fully taxpayer funded, already outdated, FTTN camp would choose the fantasy option.

          I’m wondering what they’ll do when the Liberals actually invest some thought in the policy process and actually come up with some of their own rather than digging up old dead Labor ones and declaring “This is the way forward for Australia!”.

          FTTN is “The Walking Dead” of Australian policies….

        • Hubert Cumberdale
          Posted 12/02/2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink |

          “obsessive mantra”

          I think the phrase you are looking for is “background noise”.

          “in fact over 80% have chosen above ADSL2+ 24Mb.”

          yep 80%, I guess that’s one prediction NBNco are glad they got wrong… I think it’s safe to assume the rest (20%) must be comprised of laggards and the clueless. Oh well at least with the NBN they have that choice of wallowing in mediocrity unlike a FttN plan which dooms all of us to it…

        • Mathew
          Posted 12/02/2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink |

          > Yes in the original business plan it was ASSUMED 50% @ 12/1

          It is interesting that while NBNCo adjusted the percentage choosing 100Mbps up in the 2012-2015 Corporate Plan, they barely adjusted the 12/1Mbps prediction.

          > Real world results indicate that was INCORRECT, in fact over 80% have chosen above ADSL2+ 24Mb.

          Do you have a reference for this? I did a search on Google and couldn’t find one. If you do find a reference, what percentage of premises were connected? The corporate plan predicts that 70% of premises passed by fibre will actually connect. It would be reasonable to assume that the early adopters would predominately choose the higher speeds and that the late adopters are likely to choose the cheaper, slower speeds.

          The spin that NBNCo place on figures they publish is well documented.

          • seven_tech
            Posted 13/02/2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink |

            It is interesting that while NBNCo adjusted the percentage choosing 100Mbps up in the 2012-2015 Corporate Plan, they barely adjusted the 12/1Mbps prediction.

            I like how you spin your OWN interpretation of the CP.

            The 2010 CP showed 12/1 services starting at 52%, rising to around 58% and then falling to approx. 42% by 2028. At the same time, it showed the 100Mbps services starting at about 8% and rising to about 25% in 2020.

            The 2012 CP showed 12/1 services starting at 52% and FALLING to 40% in only the first 4 years and plateauing off. At the same time, it showed the 100Mbps services starting at 12% and STILL only rising to about 25% in 2020.

            A whole 4% increase on 100Mbps, while 12/1 DROPPED 15% in the first 5 years over the 2 CP’s. Yes….that’s BARELY an adjustment of the 12/1 while 100Mbps definitely skyrocketed….

            Do you have a reference for this? I did a search on Google and couldn’t find one.

            Do you even READ Delimiter’s articles??

            http://delimiter.com.au/2012/10/18/huge-100mbps-demand-44-of-nbn-users-take-top-speed/

            “Overall, 38 percent of active services on our fibre network have been on the fastest speed tier, which is 100Mbps down,” he said. “Only 16 percent of the active services on our fibre network are for the entry-level speed tier of 12Mbps.”

            If you do find a reference, what percentage of premises were connected?

            I believe at the time it was approx. 15% overall. With the highest sign ups in Wilunga and Kiama on 100Mbps of 35% and 38% respectively ALSO showing the highest OVERALL takeups of over 40%.

            It would be reasonable to assume that the early adopters would predominately choose the higher speeds and that the late adopters are likely to choose the cheaper, slower speeds.

            It would also be reasonable to assume, considering early adopters are considered to usually be the first 15-25% of people that take a product, that many of these people ARE NOT early adopters (especially considering 80% of them chose higher than 12/1). What % is enough for you to show this is what Australians want? Will you continue to say this until the NBN is complete and shows you utterly wrong the entire time?

            The spin that NBNCo place on figures they publish is well documented.

            Really? I’m not aware of any spin they produce. They produce metrics which some people disagree with, but are valid nonetheless and they produce detailed takeup and tier split numbers. What spin are you referring too? I remind you your own spin, as shown above about 12/1 and 100/40 predictions on the CP’s changing, colours your own ability to call into question NBNCo’s judgement.

            • Mathew
              Posted 13/02/2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink |

              > Overall, 38 percent of active services on our fibre network have been on the fastest speed tier

              Which means that 62% of services (50Mbps and slower) would be just as fast on FTTN.

              > Really? I’m not aware of any spin they produce.

              The fact that they only highlight figures where the highest connection rates are. Have you noticed the complete absence of connection rates from the first sites connected in Tasmania? Have you noticed that Quigley didn’t provide balance by stating that in sites A & B, the connection rates are only much smaller number. In anyone’s book this is considered spin.

              You should also be aware of the absence of a response to FOI request and inability by NBNCo to provide details to the Senates Estimate Committee to Questions on Notice from October. Senator Conroy then suggested that Senator Birmingham was ”too lazy” to look for the detail himself on the NBNCo website. I guess by implication Renai has also been too lazy.

              Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/senators-trade-barbs-at-nbn-hearing-20130213-2ebn2.html#ixzz2KkvbRp7I

              • skywake
                Posted 13/02/2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink |

                The problem is that FTTN connection speeds are determined by Geography while FTTH connection speeds are determined by customer demand. So, to oversimplify it, even if only 50% want more 50Mbps or more and FTTN can deliver 50Mbps or more to 50% you’ll end up with a good 25% wanting more than 50Mbps who can’t get it. That’s before you consider the impact of people wanting migrating to higher speeds as time goes on.

                …. and before someone says “who cares what the end user wants” consider this. With FTTN you will have a fair amount of people who would have gladly paid an extra $10-40. FTTN can’t pull in the same sort of revenue and the revenue it can pull in won’t be able to expand. If it does it’ll only be able to do so by charging people more for less. Any analysis of the cost needs to take this into account instead of only focusing on CAPEX.

              • Posted 13/02/2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink |

                Which means that 62% of services (50Mbps and slower) would be just as fast on FTTN.

                And there you go with your own spin. FTTN provides 50Mbps ONLY within 500m of a node. That means, with nodes every 1km (assumption based on Telstra’s plan, it could be 1.5Km) a MAXIMUM of 50% of people could receive 50Mbps or more. Of course, that doesn’t take into account bad copper, so the number would likely be lower than that.

                The fact that they only highlight figures where the highest connection rates are. Have you noticed the complete absence of connection rates from the first sites connected in Tasmania?

                I see. Because Quigley didn’t have connection rates on hand for EVERY location in Australia, he is automatically spinning? And it has been reported before- in October it was 17% in Tasmania. That’s 7% higher than they were predicting at this early stage.

                Have you noticed that Quigley didn’t provide balance by stating that in sites A & B, the connection rates are only much smaller number.

                Have YOU noticed Quigley is there to provide an overview and yes, a POSITIVE one and ANSWER QUESTIONS. Not recite the entire datasheet of the NBN? It’s called Senate ESTIMATES for a reason.

                You should also be aware of the absence of a response to FOI request

                You mean Renai’s? That was answered with their latest figures 2 weeks ago….hence why they said wait…

                I believe he has yet to make another about how they collate their info on rollout figures.

                inability by NBNCo to provide details to the Senates Estimate Committee to Questions on Notice from October..

                Do you even listen to answers to Coalition questions, or do you just assume if NBNCo. or Conroy don’t answer, they’re hiding something? ALL the answers to those questions are publicly available. Answering them is a waste of time and taxpayers money when the answers are readily available with a Google search. Seriously, find me one and I’ll get the answer for you.

                By the way, here is NBNCo’s response to those Questions on Notice for October: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=ec_ctte/estimates/supp_1213/bcde/nbn.pdf

                Senator Conroy then suggested that Senator Birmingham was ”too lazy” to look for the detail himself on the NBNCo website.

                Indeed….or even at the Senate’s OWN website where they were answered….

              • NBNAccuracy
                Posted 13/02/2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink |

                That is today mathew, today. What is with the problem that you cannot work out people in future will want faster speeds. At 50% minimum growth in downloads a year it will happen.

          • Hubert Cumberdale
            Posted 13/02/2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink |

            “It is interesting that while NBNCo adjusted the percentage choosing 100Mbps up in the 2012-2015 Corporate Plan, they barely adjusted the 12/1Mbps prediction.”

            Stop embarrassing yourself, it’s not interesting at all, that is exactly what was expected: http://delimiter.com.au/2012/06/20/abbott-hockey-mislead-again-on-nbn-funding/#comment-472695

            “Do you have a reference for this? I did a search on Google and couldn’t find one.”

            Page 7 of the product road map dummy. You were told about this last time. The total on connections 25/5mbps and higher is listed as 87%, the corporate plan predicted 48% for the same period, so that is almost double. Predicted vs real world. You lost. NBNco won.

            “It would be reasonable to assume that the early adopters would predominately choose the higher speeds and that the late adopters are likely to choose the cheaper, slower speeds.”

            Right so exactly what what point in time (and on the graph) do you say these are no longer early adopters and these are late adopters? Remember the corporate plan predicts 52% on 12/1mbps for the same period (2012-13), surely if that were set in stone as you imply then wouldn’t NBNco have also predicted the early/late adopters too? Should the graph be modified for the 2012-2013 period to reflect the 87% on 25/5mbps and higher and then after that have it simply drop to the old prediction of 48%?

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink |

              87% on 25mbps or higher HC?

              So only 13% on lower?

              So not 50% on 12mbps, as per the “conservative estimate” we have been preached to about daily for over two years?

              My… that’s many dozens of eggs on that one preaching face, isn’t it ;)

              • Hubert Cumberdale
                Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink |

                “87% on 25mbps or higher HC?”

                “So only 13% on lower?”

                Yes. Well those are the real world figures from lasts years product roadmap anyway. I think it is safe to assume the numbers have changed since. My guess is the top three plans (25/5, 50/20mbps & 100/40mbps) would have shifted a bit and if any gains on the 12/1mbps plan exist it would not be significant. Certainly not the 52% the corporate plan indicated as a minimum they would need for the same period. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this stuff out. Of course people will gravitate towards the higher speed plans. “Early adopter” as some would suggest wouldn’t even come into it. It’s obvious that people are paying X amount of dollars on ADSL2+ (or whatever) and seeing what they can get on the NBN for the same price. The result is of course people are simply getting better value for their money.

                “My… that’s many dozens of eggs on that one preaching face, isn’t it ;)”

                I’d say about 50 dozen ;-)

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 14/02/2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink |

                  Indeed one might say (as you just did) 50/12 ;)

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink |

            @ Mathew

            “Do you have a reference for this? I did a search on Google and couldn’t find one. If you do find a reference, what percentage of premises were connected?”

            I think the answer 7T deserved by clearly answering you question was “thank you”… not, but, but, but…

            Alas we have seen it all before and too often.

            *rolls eyes*

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 12/02/2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink |

        “but the Labor plan is arguable worse for all but an elite.”
        Considering the FTTN lotto, and the fact that to actually have a half baked FTTH (Active board, max FTTH speed from that active node is 350Mb) from the FTC cabinet will cost the user many $thousand.

        So lets rephrase

        but the LNP plan is arguable worse for all but an elite.

      • Posted 12/02/2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink |

        *waves* Hi Matthew!

        I’ve just gotta say this though….

        So you don’t agree with FTTN….or FTTH (GPON). You want….PTP FTTH?

        Ok. Cool. Sell that to the electorate :)

        I’d be onboard….but I don’t think it’d be a long trip….

        • Posted 12/02/2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink |

          Oh and by the way, you know GPON has a direct upgrade path to PTP right?

          And that’s assuming residential premises are going to need higher than 10Gbps across their GPON connections (each) in a decade or so time. But hey, why not give a single fibre to everyone FAN to premises. We’ll definitely need it in the next 10 years….

        • Mathew
          Posted 12/02/2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink |

          > So you don’t agree with FTTN….or FTTH (GPON). You want….PTP FTTH?

          FTTH (GPON) is a reasonable compromise, however applying speed tiers is not. The reality that based on NBNCo’s predictions, performance on FTTN will be similar. Pretty stupid isn’t it? We are building a fibre network only to needlessly hobble it.

          • seven_tech
            Posted 13/02/2013 at 7:09 am | Permalink |

            The reality that based on NBNCo’s predictions, performance on FTTN will be similar. Pretty stupid isn’t it? We are building a fibre network only to needlessly hobble it.

            Where is your evidence for this? On the NBN, 93% of Australia has access to 100Mbps (and beyond in the coming years) for LESS than what you pay now for it (Telstra $90 a month standalone cable, 50GB, Optus cable $75 a month 120GB. Exetel $60 a month 150GB, iPrimus $90 a month 200GB). Even with the absolute BEST scenario on FTTN, some 25-30% of Australians would have access to 80Mbps.

            I know you enjoy assuming because the NBN isn’t providing 1Gbps to all Australians from day one by default, it is therefore completely pointless. However, the actual reality of the situation is even someone like myself, who would be in the top 10% of internet users, would NEED 100Mbps only 10-15% of the time at the moment. In 5 years time, that might be 20-30% of the time and in a decade it might be 50-60% of the time. Isn’t it fortunate then that NBNCo. are using a pricing model which will see 100Mbps wholesale cost fall from $38 a month to $30 a month as data usage rises. And even better, 1Gbps from $155 a month to less than $90 over the same period….

            • GongGav
              Posted 13/02/2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink |

              To be fair to Mathew for once, there is a hobbling of the FttH build. But its also at the users discretion, not the technology’s.

              The build is for a 100Mps/1Gps line for everyone (ok, 93%). If someone doesnt want to pay for that top end speed, they can CHOOSE to hobble their line to slower speeds, and save a little money. For those people, FttN would be enough, which is what Michael is saying. I think.

              But it is a hobbling, albeit a voluntary one.

              For most of us here, its not about people connecting to 50Mps or lower, its the 100Mps or higher. Future needs, not current ones. Thinking about ADSL2 needs from dialup days.

              • Mathew
                Posted 13/02/2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink |

                > But it is a hobbling, albeit a voluntary one.

                That would be voluntary in the same sense as I don’t drive own a Merc; What you don’t have a cleaner? Haven’t been on an overseas holiday this year; etc.

                • GongGav
                  Posted 13/02/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

                  I have a cleaner, though he tends not to clean much, and I’m planning a month overseas mid year. Why? Not enough travel time? :)

                  But yes, in pretty much the same way someone chooses not to drive a luxury car – a cheaper option is good enough. People can CHOOSE to hobble their internet connection, and if that lower level is all they need, then a FttP build is more than their needs.

                  Today.

                  In around 6 years, the current build wont be enough. Thankfully the FttP build has improvments available. When households are wanting 50/10 as their MINIMUM speed, FttN wont deliver. And that date is coming around faster than you seem to want to believe.

          • Harimau
            Posted 13/02/2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink |

            “The reality that based on NBNCo’s predictions, performance on FTTN will be similar.”
            Uhh, no it won’t. My friend who doesn’t live far from the exchange nevertheless only gets a 2Mb/s connection. The line near his house has aluminium apparently. FTTH means he’d be guaranteed a 12Mb/s connection (though he’d likely opt for something higher), but FTTN would probably avail him nothing. So what are you going to do to improve his service? Would you replace the copper (and aluminium) for him, to provide FTTN? Would you do the same for all of the other places around Australia where the copper is unserviceable? Pretty stupid, isn’t it?

            For many, the gains in performance with FTTN would be negligible. For most, gains in stability there simply would be none. And businesses would see no benefits at all. And over the long run, Australia’s purse would see no advantage whatsoever.

            If the copper were pristine, if the copper were free, and if this was still 2004, I could see the benefit in FTTN as a “cheaper, sooner” intermediate towards FTTH.

            As an important aside, you seem to be focused on NBNCo’s predictions for the FIRST FEW YEARS (which have also been shown to be /very/ conservative) – but the NBN is about providing telecommunications and internet services in Australia for the next, what, 60 years? 60 years of increasing demand. Demand that will outstrip the ability for any copper network, full or partial, to provide.

          • PeterA
            Posted 13/02/2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink |

            Its ok Mathew, we aren’t building this network to cover today’s demand and need. The model used is one where we end up with a network far more capable of any speed.
            The tiers already provide 50% of Australians a better internet connection for cheaper. (where 12 megabits is about the current average) and for someone willing to pay the same amount they do now they will get 50 megabits plus.
            The speed tiers is part of the cost recovery mechanism. I don’t know what you would prefer.

            Can you please propose an alternative?

            Ps. If you are against speed tiers, can you please speculate how the government will differentiate pricing in an fttn world?

            Telstra already do speed tiers on cable. Why do you think any network provider will behave differently when the average speed of their clients goes above 12megabits?

            • seven_tech
              Posted 13/02/2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink |

              @PeterA

              Average at 12Mbps? ;P We WISH!

              Average is 4Mbps according to the latest report.

          • Hubert Cumberdale
            Posted 13/02/2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink |

            “We are building a fibre network only to needlessly hobble it.”

            False. The 87% on 25/5mbps and higher plans would disagree. They chose the un-hobbled plans all on very their own without any coaxing from NBNco or the NBNco corporate plan btw.

            • Mathew
              Posted 13/02/2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink |

              > False. The 87% on 25/5mbps and higher plans would disagree. They chose the un-hobbled plans all on very their own without any coaxing from NBNco or the NBNco corporate plan btw.

              Considering the article is comparing this to Google Fibre which is 1Gbps and that the NBN is capable of those speeds, I think most would consider a network running at 2.5% of the possible speed hobbled.

              • Hubert Cumberdale
                Posted 13/02/2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink |

                “I think most would consider a network running at 2.5% of the possible speed hobbled.”

                And yet a clear majority of 67% are choosing speeds higher than that 2.5%. Are you seriously suggesting these people (the MAJORITY) think their connections are hobbled? If that is the case and you consider 25/5mbps hobbled when the highest speed possible is 1000/400mbps wouldn’t 100/40 also be considered hobbled? Why limit the hobble factor to 2.5%? 100/40 is only running at 10% of the max (you should run with that). It too is hobbled too by your retarded logic (wait it gets better). Did you know NBNco are considering a 5gbps service? In this scenario the 1000/400 service is then running at 20% of the max. So it too then is hobbled because it’s not the maximum speed possible.

              • NBNAccuracy
                Posted 13/02/2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink |

                It’s the model they chose to distribute the cost of the network between those who benefit the most and those who are happy with what they get now, live with it.

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink |

                Once again applying NBN only rules… they are hobbling, but the current situation isn’t?

                Pay for 20-24mbps and get 3 or 4?

                Oh but that’s not intentional… great it’s accidental (so let’s not improve it) that we get shit speeds and by NBN improving them, you still whinge?

                Seriously if you consider FttP hobbled, WTF is FttN?

          • NBNAccuracy
            Posted 13/02/2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink |

            “FTTH (GPON) is a reasonable compromise, however applying speed tiers is not. The reality that based on NBNCo’s predictions, performance on FTTN will be similar. Pretty stupid isn’t it? We are building a fibre network only to needlessly hobble it.”
            Maybe so the cost of the network can be paid for equitably by those who benefit the most from it paying the most. Every post you make seems like you want the fastest connection possible to suck down as much as you can and be subsidised by those that don’t need those sort of speeds yet. That seems even more selfish than supporting FTTN on political grounds. At least that’s some sort of belief system and not just pure selfishness.

            • Mathew
              Posted 13/02/2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink |

              > Maybe so the cost of the network can be paid for equitably by those who benefit the most from it paying the most. Every post you make seems like you want the fastest connection possible to suck down as much as you can and be subsidised by those that don’t need those sort of speeds yet.

              I don’t have any desire to suck down tera-bytes of data. It is the data that costs, not the speed it is transferred at. In Australia we are limited by quota and will be especially as speeds increase. At 1Gbps only people with large quotas will actually tax the network. People with 30GB quotas will just be a blip. The point is those people on small quotas will actually be able to experience everything that the NBN is capable of.

              As for not needing the speeds? The promotion of the NBN has focused around the services that are only available at 100Mbps like HD video conferencing.

              All the arguments about wireless being competitive? Without speed tiers, we wouldn’t even be having the conversation.

              • seven_tech
                Posted 14/02/2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink |

                @Matthew

                People with 30GB quotas will just be a blip.

                Not restricting speed will end up with people chewing through quotas so fast there will be a huge influx of complaints to the TIO about overcharging. Or, alternatively, a huge number of people who are shaped every month…..which defeats the purpose of having no speed limits.

                The point is those people on small quotas will actually be able to experience everything that the NBN is capable of. As for not needing the speeds? The promotion of the NBN has focused around the services that are only available at 100Mbps like HD video conferencing.

                Evidence? HD Videoconferencing will work VERY well on 25/5. It is the Uploads that allow that sort of application, not the downloads. Otherwise we would’ve been doing it already- many hundreds of thousands of Australians have access to 25Mbps downloads or more. The fact is, “people”, by which we mean the average Joe, don’t NEED 1Gbps. They MAY need 25/5 or even 50/20. Some small and medium businesses might NEED 100/40. And SOME business may, JUST may, need 1000/400. But you know what? I’ve no issue whatsoever with them paying for that requirement.

                While access to the internet and the ability to have DECENT access (speed and cost), should, IMO, be a basic right, the ability to download at whatever speed you want should not. It’s no different from a business paying extra to have 3 Phase electricity installed or needing a second gas meter or a high flow water valve.

                There may come a day in the future where true high speed (whatever that may be considered- 100, 1000 or even 10 000Mbps) internet should be a basic right due to its’ role in our lives. But we are not a Communist society. While I agree with a government built NBN (because it gives all Australians the decent access to the internet that should be their right) I DO NOT agree with a single charge for speeds OR quota with the Internet’s current role in society.

              • Dean
                Posted 14/02/2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink |

                It is the data that costs, not the speed it is transferred at

                That’s not true, bandwidth is typically what’s charged between ISPs (i.e. they purchase “X” megabits per second from their peers). International links are also charged on a megabits per second basis.

                Data caps are an artificial mechanism that ISPs use to try and limit the amount of downloading you do and to try and “even out” the average usage (this is why they often have off-peak times, because they’re still paying for X megabits per second and they want to encourage you to use that bandwidth evenly throughout the day).

                Google can connect everyone at 1Gb/s because they own all their own backbone. It’s the same reason TPG can offer unlimited data caps: because they own PIPE.

              • NBNAccuracy
                Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink |

                Why do you even bother. You have been flogging this speed thing forever and it’s obvious no one is interested. Why don’t you post “Are we there yet?” all over the place, it would be just as effective.

      • Brendan
        Posted 13/02/2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink |

        ADSL was “planned” to offer 1500 kbit by Telstra. It’s since offered up to 24 mbit and, guess what? Most people are now leveraging that speed.

        Things change. NBNco has been conservative with numbers. Reality is that a lot more people are taking up the faster speeds than expected.

        Also, FTTH happens to offer 100mbit, right now. Does the FTTN alternative support 100mbit, right now? Nope.

        Context is everything.

        • Mathew
          Posted 13/02/2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink |

          > Context is everything

          Yes it is. Telstra didn’t magically start offering uncapped speeds. Uncapped speeds only occurred because Internode installed it’s own DSLAMs into exchanges and offered ADSL2+ with no speed tiers. Telstra took many years to offer ADSL2+, let alone remove the speed tiers.

          NBNCo are replacing Telstra as a monopoly. NBNCo will be privatised as quickly as possible and so the cycle will repeat. The difference is there will be no opportunity for an RSP to make a game changing move like Internode and bypass the NBNCo tolls.

          • Posted 14/02/2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink |

            1) The greens, who hold the balance of power in the upper house are against eventual privatisation.

            2) NBNCo aren’t Telstra. Telstra were never mandated to provide Internet service. Telstra’s primary purpose was to deliver phone service under the USO. Telstra have been badly regulated when it comes to broadband services because they weren’t considered essential.

            3) RSPs are not being prevented from engaging in Infrastructure based competition.

            4) NBNCo are in a much better position to be regulated in regards to Broadband than Telstra.

            5) You’re ignoring the fact that the market is already allowing NBNCo to push up speeds. They don’t have a profit motivate, their motive is, at least for the moment, to provide service and pay off the network. This means if people are using more than expected they can drop prices.

            6) You talk about the benefits of speeds then turn around and suggest QUOTA as a method of cross sub? Do you have any idea how retarded that is for a wholesale provider? What do you suggest to cross sub? I told you the best way would be to sink capital before.

            7) You seem to forget we have no alternatives on the table. Would you refuse food just because it’s not a steak? We have bigger problems to deal with first.

            8) Google Fibre is not NBNCo. Please remember this.

            9) I humoured you before, but only because I thought you would understand things like priorities, and how focusing on energy on stopping Turnbull from demolishing the policy outright is more important than the issues, that everyone here acknowledges the short comings but as Renai has said, it is the best communications policy we have seen in Australia yet.

            In summary, grow up. Wrong time, wrong audience, wrong priorities. I want you to focus on the fact the house frame is about to be burned down before you focus on the fact that the electrician is only installing a 20A master switch. Because that is about the scale of the problem here, and you seem to be ignoring this. Because you think no one cares? Because you think everyone here a greedy and only care if THEY can get 100Mbps services? Well you’re wrong, and everyone here has been trying to tell you this with seemingly overly callous.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink |

              +1

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 13/02/2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink |

        And again Mathew…

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

    11. Paul Thompson
      Posted 13/02/2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink |

      Okay, I had a look through the articles, and I am wondering if people are seeing it the same way that I am.

      It looks as though these articles show that some people think they need the high speed connections for their startups.

      This isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, as it doesn’t demonstrate that these people actually need the high speed connection, and it doesn’t demonstrate that their startups are even viable.

      I would like to see some facts and figures which show actual success. Right now it looks like a group of dreamers chewing up resources with nothing to show for it. It is just as easy for anti-NBN people to paint this as an extravagent, wasteful indulgence.

      • GongGav
        Posted 13/02/2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink |

        I’m reading it more that because the fibre is there, its attracting people and/or businesses who want that future certainty.

        Rewind the clock 10 or so years when we were in the dialup era. Imagine being able to look ahead to the speeds we have today, and be able to get in to the first rollout areas.

        It might not be about needing it TODAY, but there is a definite trend towards needing it TOMORROW. So why NOT get in early?

        Personally, I’m openly admit that I cant see the NEED for such speeds at the moment. They are handy in specific situations, but a 25/5 speed is really all we need to cater for. For most people, thats a 400% to 600% leap in speeds.

        But what about next year, or the year after, or the year after that? By the time the FttN plan was completed, it would barely meet needs, and they’d be looking at the next wave of infrastructure anyway. Our needs double every year (or is it two?), meaning a 12/1 connection today will be 15/5 in 2015, 50/10 in 2017, and 100/20 in 2019.

        Its not today these startups are looking at, its 5 years from now.

        • seven_tech
          Posted 13/02/2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink |

          @GongGav

          Indeed- I’m on 9Mbps ADSL. I would only NEED higher than 9Mbps maybe 50% of the time. In 3 or 4 years though, that’ll be 80% of the time.

          And the same would be true of 25/5, 50/20 etc. We WILL use those speeds. Some will use them now. Almost ALL will use them later. And it’s not as much “later” as most people think. I used 1.5Mbps from 2002-2006. Then to 6Mbps, now 9Mbps. I couldn’t imagine having lower than this now and would actually happily pay for 50Mbps. And the same will happen with higher speeds.

          • GongGav
            Posted 13/02/2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink |

            Yup, and thats one of the many reasons I push for FttP instead of FttN – like you say, those future needs arent as far away as people think.

            Several typoo’s in my post, but the message should be clear – the peak the FttP build offers today (100/40) is going to be a fairly standard need before this decade is out, if statistical history holds true. A peak that FttN cant deliver.

            Enough people realise this that they are keen to get in on the FttP action while its still relatively easy to get a foot in the door. Here, its not so big a problem, as plenty of areas will have FttP before long, but in the US, somewhere like KC becomes a beacon. Relatively cheap access to the tech HAS to look good to quite a few SME startup’s.

            • Paul Thompson
              Posted 13/02/2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink |

              I am a firm believer in the need for FTTP. I can already think of applications which would use that sort of bandwidth.

              I think my comment was more that the article seems presented as some kind of proof of what the NBN is capable of. Yet the only result so far in Kansas is inspiration – we haven’t seen commerical success or definitive economic benefits (actually so far all we can see is costs).

              Which isn’t too far from where we are now with the NBN. A lot of people can see the potential, a lot of people are inspired in how they will use it, but with no net economic benefit yet.

              • GongGav
                Posted 13/02/2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink |

                Fair point, but I see the investment as part of the justification. Its a higher level of investment, supposedly because of the FttP infrastructure.

                I cant see the story from work, but from what I can gather its preaching that very thing – whats been built has been attracting people who were willing to invest in new business, but specifically went to Kansas City because of the fibre option.

                The spending was going to happen, but the fibre saw that spending happen in a specific location.

                We’ve seen a few spot examples of that here so far, but if the story is right, its something we’ll see more and more of. Which will be a good thing. Because the build is in rural areas first, its going to offer the option for digital based businesses to get out of the traditional areas (ie Sydney, Melbourne, etc) and start up in relatively cheaper places.

                I’ve heard of a few businesses eyeing off Wollongong already as an example, because of the early access to fibre, and the Uni pushing out 4000 IT grads a year. Thats got to be an enticing combo to a lot of IT savvy startups.

      • Brendan
        Posted 13/02/2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink |

        Depends on the start-up; scaling out web hosting via data centers is potentially a very expensive proposition.

        It’s a different story when you can run your own stuff hanging off a high speed, low latency fibre connection. Suddenly the barrier to getting your concept out there, is a lot lower.

        It also means the end user also now potentially has higher speeds, so stuff that was harder to do (VoD, rich web, etc) is a lot more viable

    12. Kevin Cobley
      Posted 13/02/2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink |

      My phones and ADSL have been down for nearly 3 weeks due to birds damaging the overhead wire, Telstra was not fixing the problem until I rang both my local member and the minister for communications to speed up the process.
      I was very pleased to find that Louise Marcus unlike other coalition members fully supports the NBN and is doing her best to pressure the Government to bring NBN services to the Blue Mountains ASAP.
      This member is one of the few coalition members that realises the importance of FTTH and the desperate need of these services by all Australians, she should immediately replace Malcolm Turnbull as opposition communications spokesperson and preferably Abbott as opposition leader.

      • Posted 13/02/2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink |

        Impressed you went to the trouble of ringing your local member and the minister.

        From someone who’s worked in the industry for ages, it’s quicker to call Telstra, and ask them to life their game.

        After a short period of zero action, call back and ask for a supervisor, and suggest you’ll call the TIO if they don’t get onto the problem quick smart.

        You need to do the double call, because the TIO won’t help unless you’ve tried to “address” the problem with your provider first – you don’t usually end up calling the TIO, because the threat to call them usually gets them moving.

        In my experience, it is remarkable how quickly “10 day jobs” turn into “1 day jobs” when the spectre of the TIO rises.

        I’ve also seen things described as “not currently possible” suddenly happen “quickly” when the TIO are involved.

        *2 cents*

        • GongGav
          Posted 13/02/2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink |

          Thats how it worked for me. I was getting stung an extra $30/month for 15 months, tried to get it sorted through Telstra for no result. A call to the Telco Ombudsman, and 24 hours saw Telstra refund $360 to me. That paid for my net for 6(ish) months, after which I left.

          Their attitude towards wanting to sort problems out was ridiculous. You shouldnt HAVE to make that second call to get basic issues sorted.

      • Brendan
        Posted 13/02/2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink |

        This is the thing; if you step outside of the federal opposition (LNP) and look at where LNP hold local governments, almost all are demanding the NBN.

        It’s a huge double-standard.

        We’ve all seen the rants from Victoria and other states demanding to know why their slice of the NBN pie isn’t at x-y-or-z, or isn’t happening fast enough.

        Turnbull might stand there and claim “FTTN, it is the golden path!”, but local representatives of the exact same party are singing a very different tune.

        Which is why, realistically, the opposition could quite safely continue the NBN project (under protest, blame labor, etc) and not really risk any votes. There would be a bit of howling from MSM, but they know they are better placed under a Liberal government and would of course be keen on whatever LNP decided to do, regardless.

        The constituency is clearly keen on it, otherwise why would local governments be agitating for it?

        • Paul Thompson
          Posted 14/02/2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink |

          Sadly I don’t think they want to continue the FTTP model.

          They don’t want to find an excuse to allow them to keep rolling out FTTP. They want to roll out something much inferior and costlier to Australia. Thier blinding ideology makes them think this is a good idea.

          They are not only lying to Australia about the NBN, but to themselves as well.

      • Mathew
        Posted 13/02/2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink |

        > My phones and ADSL have been down for nearly 3 weeks due to birds damaging the overhead wire, Telstra was not fixing the problem until I rang both my local member and the minister for communications to speed up the process.

        Guess what NBN will be installing overhead cables and I’m not aware of them having special anti-bird protection.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 13/02/2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink |

          So you won’t be any worse off, but will actually receive the same product cheaper or a better product for the same price as you currently pay…

          Errr so WTF is your problem?

          Once again, people are making NBN only excuses *rolls eyes*

        • Posted 13/02/2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink |

          Guess what NBN will be installing overhead cables and I’m not aware of them having special anti-bird protection.

          Have you even SEEN the overhead cable NBNCo. are using?? It takes 45 pounds of force to remove the drop cable from the street port and the distro cable itself is 2 inches thick. Yeah….bird damage….

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 13/02/2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink |

          “and I’m not aware of them having special anti-bird protection.”
          Why am I not surprised?

    13. NBNAlex
      Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink |

      Only 50% of birds will peck at 12/1 mbps (mauling beak peak speed) according to the Aves corporate plan page 82…!

      Yes it is becoming even more ridiculous :(

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 14/02/2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink |

        Sorry that was in reply to Mathew (of course)…

    14. Posted 14/03/2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink |

      It would be like all of Australia working on a local network.

      What do you imagine an entire nation could do then?




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