[ad] The service leader for Cloud is now in Australia. Secure, reliable cloud and managed hosting all backed by 24x7x365 Fanatical Support. Create your free account now.
Buy an Seagate Business Storage NAS for your chance to win a holiday
[ad] Purchase a selected Seagate Business Storage NAS to receive a $20 cash-back AND go into the draw to win a $1,000 Flight Centre voucher so you can holiday in the destination of your choice. T&Cs apply.
Great articles on other sites
- Adelaide Uni on hiring blitz for tech transformation
- Human Services to cut 56 IT jobs
- Turnbull to release NBN review next week
- Canberra blitzes states with NBN take-up rates
- War on whistleblowers from Abbott, Turnbull as ICJ case arrives
- Stockland tech revamp at centre of growth plans
- Clare warns of Gonski-like backflips on the NBN
- Victoria seeks early buy-in to avoid past disasters
- Vtalk bucks the China trend with plan for Aussie build
- Booksellers bristle at Amazon's arrival
How mobile and social media affect your Customer Experience strategy
[ad] How will the adoption of mobile devices and social media affect your Customer Experience strategy? Are you reaching your organisation's customers through these touch points? Click here to download a whitepaper by Fifth Quadrant examining consumer and business attitudes to these new contact channels.
50 things top IT pros need to know
[ad] This 18 page TechRepublic whitepaper explores 10 things you should know to become an epic IT manager, 40 other essential tips to advance your IT career and practical guidance for starting an IT consulting business. Click here to access the whitepaper.
News, Telecommunications - Written by Renai LeMay on Thursday, February 14, 2013 16:11 - 96 Comments
Coalition FTTN would ignore HFC areas: Conroy
news Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has challenged Shadow Minister Malcolm Turnbull to confirm his rival broadband policy would not see fibre to the node technology immediately deployed to areas already covered by the HFC cable networks operated by Telstra and Optus, despite the fact that few use the ageing HFC networks.
The Coalition has not formally released its rival broadband policy yet, although Opposition Leader Tony Abbott several weeks ago confirmed the Coalition would take Turnbull’s fibre to the node-based broadband plan to the Federal Election as its broadband policy, stacking it up against the much more comprehensive fibre to the premise-based model already being implemented by the current Labor Government.
Speaking to the press in Sydney this morning, Conroy pointed out that some key details of the Coalition’s FTTN vision as put together by Turnbull could already be anticipated.
For example, he pointed out that in August 2011, Turnbull gave a major speech to the National Press Club regarding his preference for fibre to the node technology. In the speech, Conroy reminded journalists, Turnbull had stated that the Coalition’s approach in rolling out fibre to the node technology in Telstra’s existing copper network would see those areas outside the HFC cable footprint prioritised.
“… one must ask why on earth Labor and NBN Co want to overbuild and decommission the HFC pay TV cable network that passes 28 per cent of Australian premises,” said Turnbull at the time (the full speech is available online). “The network is already providing up to 100Mbps in Melbourne. It could do so elsewhere if Telstra is provided with the certainty required to make the modest investment needed.”
“Our approach to what I will call, for want of a better term, suburban and regional Australia – those areas that are neither so built-up that they are within the HFC footprint, nor so remote that fixed wireless and satellite are the only real option – will be to invite private sector companies to deliver wholesale broadband services within the designated areas.”
Conroy said the Coalition’s fibre to the node model essentially represented it adopting Labor’s original FTTN NBN policy, which it took to the 2007 Federal Election and then abandoned on the advice of a panel of experts as being unviable.
“But there’s a lot of questions that Malcolm Turnbull won’t just answer,” Conroy added. A very simple one: He said at the Press Club that they wouldn’t build fibre to the node in the HFC footprint. Is that still their policy? Because what they’ve got at the moment is a copper to the home policy. They’re going to keep the copper in the ground, and keep using the copper.”
In a broad sense, Labor’s own FTTP policy will also see areas outside the HFC cable networks (which extend through select parts of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) focused on first, as part of a deal with independent MPs at the 2010 Federal Election which is seeing the NBN deployed from the ‘outside in’ to rural and outer metropolitan areas first.
However, it will ultimately see all areas covered by the HFC cable infrastructure upgraded as the NBN’s FTTP cables replace the ageing HFC network in the years to 2021. All those customers currently using HFC cable will be migrated to the NBN.
The HFC cable infrastructure is capable of supporting speeds up to 100Mbps, and Telstra and Optus have upgraded the infrastructure to a certain level in order to support these kinds of speeds. However, the technology is considered by many to be broadly unsuitable for Australia’s future telecommunications needs, as it does not function well under heavy shared utilisation, and many renting so-called multi-dwelling units such as apartments are unable to have it connected as it requires a whole block of apartments to be hooked up.
Turnbull’s office has been invited to respond to Conroy’s claims; this article will be updated with any response the Coalition provides.
In general Conroy said it was time for the Coalition to release its full broadband policy so that proper debate could occur regarding its details before the September Federal Election. “Malcolm Turnbull told the Financial Review that he had a fully costed policy,” Conroy said. “We keep hearing it’s going to be released, but this is a big infrastructure project. Tey should do the decent thing. If they’ve got a fully costed policy, as they keep boasting, they should release it … Malcolm Turnbull continues to spin, and spin and spin. He says there should be less spin in politics. Well, he should start with himself. He should come clean and release the broadband policy. Lets release it; let’s have a debate about it.”
Turnbull has said that the full cost of the Coalition’s rival NBN policy could not be calculated until the Coalition was able to get full access to NBN Co’s finances, so that it could know what contracts the company had locked future governments into.
“As for this claim that you need to open up the NBN books, the cost of a fibre to the node policy is relatively well-known,” said Conroy. “It’s not hard to cost how many cabinets, how close will those cabinets be to individual homes, it’s not a matter of needing the NBN books open to answer those questions.”
Conroy had a huge spray at Turnbull and the Coalition this morning, as is his want, and if you watch the video above, I think you’ll agree it’s glorious to behold. This is a Communications Minister who, after more than five years at the top, is pretty much the complete master of his portfolio. He knows how to needle the Coalition on this issue where it hurts, and who can blame him? It’s true the Coalition’s rival NBN policy (such as we’ve seen of it) is full of holes, and we’ve also seen a variety of inconsistent statements from senior Coalition politicians on the issue.
Right now, Labor is onto a popular winner with the NBN, and Conroy knows it.
However, I should also say at this point that I don’t expect the Coalition’s rival NBN policy to focus on the HFC cable networks. I don’t really have any evidence for this (damn me for that if you will!), but my strong suspicion is that Turnbull understands, and Abbott increasingly understands, that the Coalition will not be able to walk away from NBN Co or the company’s superstructure as a whole.
I think what we’ll see from the Coalition in terms of its NBN policy is a very similar policy to Labor’s FTTP NBN program, but featuring FTTN, as fast a rollout as possible (including to city areas) and similar wireless and satellite provisions for the bush. A lot has happened since Turnbull’s 2011 Press Club speech about his rival broadband plans; and I think the Member for Wentworth understands now the futility of focusing on HFC cable. Upgrading the HFC cable networks may be a part of Turnbull’s plans; but I doubt they’ll be the centrepiece, and I doubt Australia’s major cities will go long without a FTTN upgrade, as Conroy suggested this morning.
Conroy’s right; Turnbull needs to release the details of the Coalition’s NBN policy. But I suspect those details won’t reveal the complete mess Conroy is expecting.
Latest Delimiter 2.0 articles (subscriber content)
|Politicians from Australia’s major parties need to stop issuing ludicrous blanket pardons for the intelligence community’s ongoing misdemeanours and start applying a basic modicum of transparency and accountability to this important national security function.|
|The independent pro-fibre National Broadband Network movement is doing a far better job of promoting Labor’s Fibre to the Premises-based NBN policy than Labor itself. When is Labor going to wake from its slumber and start supporting this scrappy but energetic grassroots network of activists?|
|Ziggy Switkowski's first substantial public appearance since being appointed NBN Co chief executive has starkly demonstrated just how different he is from his predecessor, Mike Quigley, and just how strictly he will adhere to the guidelines which his patron, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has set for him.|
|Australian technology companies have been virtually absent from the the nation’s public stockmarket over the past decade as the stigma of the dot com bust took its toll on investor confidence. But a clutch of new listings planned for the closing months of 2013 shows renewed interest in the sector and that local entrepreneurs are smelling money in the air once again.|
|NBN Co’s Strategic Review process gives the company an unmissable opportunity to re-evaluate the early decision to deploy its FTTP network primarily through Telstra’s underground ducts. The company and its new Coalition masters must now seriously consider deploying more fibre aerially on power poles in an effort to speed up its rollout substantially.|
|That moment which many Australian technologists fervently hoped for but never expected to see has come to pass: Simon Hackett has been appointed to the board of the National Broadband Network Company. But what questions should the Internode founder be asking NBN Co’s executive management team? Here’s five ideas to start with.|
|The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experienced with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.|
Enterprise IT, News - Dec 6, 2013 12:50 - 0 Comments
More In Enterprise IT
- Payroll disaster: Queensland sues IBM
- End of an era: Oracle Australia’s ‘safe hands’ leaves
- Qld launches whole of government IaaS panel
- Defence finally allows staff iPhones, iPads
- NSW Govt refreshes ICT Advisory Panel
News, Telecommunications - Dec 6, 2013 11:54 - 144 Comments
More In Telecommunications
- NBN Co internal FTTN analysis: Turnbull refuses to retract inaccurate claim
- Defying the Senate: Turnbull to release NBN Review by end of 2013
- Senate to force Turnbull to publish NBN Review
- Get on with FTTN job, Quigley tells NBN Co
- Senate circus shows politics has no place in NBN
More In Industry
- Xbox One goes off with a bang … but will the PS4 launch eclipse it?
- It’s not just Freelancer: Aussie tech IPOs are back in general
- Freelancer’s IPO: A billion reasons to care
- Australian retailers online: Late to the party and much to do
- DesignCrowd picks up another $3m
Digital Rights, News - Dec 5, 2013 14:08 - 25 Comments
More In Digital Rights
- Global privacy group files formal ASD complaint
- Labor open to surveillance discussion
- Snowden an “American traitor”, says Australia’s Attorney-General
- ASD goes rogue with Aussie metadata
- It’s live: Delimiter publishes AGD FoI mirror