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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Friday, February 15, 2013 1:49 - 246 Comments

    Turnbull confirms:
    ‘HFC areas’ last to get FTTN, if at all

    news Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that metropolitan areas of Australia in the HFC cable footprint of Telstra and Optus would not immediately receive the Coalition’s planned fibre to the node upgrade if it wins Government and did not commit to deploying FTTN infrastructure in those areas in the long-term.

    Both Optus and Telstra currently operate HFC cable networks in some metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with the total number of customers on the networks believed to be about a million, split relatively evenly. In total, the networks are believed to cover about 30 percent of Australian households, with speeds ranging up to a theoretical maximum of 100Mbps.

    However, many households in the regions are unable to connect to the infrastructure, due to complex legal issues around multi-dwelling units (such as apartments), and the HFC cable is broadly regarded as legacy infrastructure, due to its capacity constraints as a shared telecommunications medium. The overwhelming majority of Australian households and business premises — even within the HFC footprint — continue to use ADSL broadband over Telstra’s copper network, and both Optus and Telstra have shifted their marketing focus away from selling services on their HFC networks over the decade since the networks were built.

    Under the Government’s current NBN project, both Telstra and Optus will receive payments to shut the HFC networks down and shift customers onto the NBN fibre. However, in an interview late last night on the ABC’s Lateline television program (click here for the full video interview and transcript), Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed intimations by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday that the Coalition would in fact seek to continue to use the HFC cable networks and upgrade network infrastructure in other areas first.

    “An ideal scenario would be that you would – well what you would certainly do is you would not prioritise areas where HFC is,” said Turnbull. “You wouldn’t be overbuilding the HFC areas in the near term because they’re getting very good service already. The Government, however, is over-building the HFC areas.”

    “What they should be prioritising are the areas that have very poor broadband service now. So, our approach has got a couple of elements. We’ll complete the network sooner, we’ll complete it cheaper and we’ll prioritise the areas that have got poor service. And then as to what happens with the HFC areas down the track, that would depend very much on negotiations with Telstra.”

    Turnbull’s comments confirm policy the Member for Wentworth had laid out in a speech at the National Press Club in August 2011. “… 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.”

    The Coalition’s HFC policy is likely to cause uproar amongst residents and businesses in the HFC cable footprint, as they mean that some of the most heavily populated and highest broadband consuming areas of Australia will actually be last to obtain upgraded broadband infrastructure under the Coalition’s rival NBN vision.

    And Turnbull’s Lateline comments also appear to leave the question open as to the long-term fate of those areas, pending negotiations with Telstra over the fate of its HFC networks.

    Turnbull also addressed other NBN-related issues in the Lateline interview — such as the Coalition’s plans to conduct a cost/benefit analysis into both the Government’s and its own NBN plan, as well as the cost and projected timeframe for the Coalition’s proposal.

    Well, let me just say this right out: I am pretty disappointed by Malcolm Turnbull’s comments here, and I was wrong when I stated yesterday that I believed Turnbull had turned away from the HFC networks as a core part of the Coalition’s telecommunications policy.

    Let me remind the Shadow Communications Minister of a very common scenario for those who live in so-called HFC-serving areas around Australia. I personally live in just one such area. I live in an urban area of Sydney in a street which is composed of mid-level (three storey) apartment blocks.

    The HFC cables of both Telstra and Optus runs right down this street; right past my apartment. However, for the past decade that I have lived here, I have been completely unable to get this infrastructure connected to the two apartments in which I have lived, because to start with, the apartment owner of the entire block won’t get it connected to every apartment as both telcos require, and so I can’t get it connected to my individual apartment. I’ve asked several times.

    In recent years, the situation has gotten even worse. When you call Optus, the company basically won’t even admit that it even sells HFC cable anymore; it is so focused on ADSL. Telstra will sell HFC cable to customers, but strongly prefers to sell ADSL. It’s just so much easier to commission, install and maintain.

    I’d lay odds that every single one of the hundreds of apartments in my street is in exactly the same situation; we’re in a “HFC area”, but completely unable to get the cable as we’re in a MDU block. So we have to use ADSL — and when it rains, my ADSL has a tendency to go funny. Great. Far from “getting very good service already” as Turnbull said about HFC areas tonight … basically those in this inner suburb of Sydney are getting jack shit from the HFC network and not much better from ADSL.

    And of course, none of this is even considering the glaringly obvious issues with HFC cable which have been well-documented by ZDNet commentator David Braue: Namely, that when everyone in your street uses it, the service turns to shit. That’s been a phenomenon which has been evident for years; and it’s due to the shared medium nature of HFC. It’s a problem copper and fibre to the whatever networks do not share.

    What Mr Turnbull appeared to be stating in his oh-so-cheery Lateline interview tonight — ironic, given the grim subject matter — is that customers such as myself will be getting the short end of the stick from the next generation of broadband infrastructure; because we happen to live in an area which theoretically has great existing broadband networks. What Mr Turnbull is completely ignoring is the fact that most in those areas can’t actually use those networks in practice.

    I note that Turnbull has also left open the question of whether those in HFC areas will ever receive upgraded fibre to the node infrastructure under the Coalition’s plan. He stated: “We’ll complete the network sooner, we’ll complete it cheaper and we’ll prioritise the areas that have got poor service. And then as to what happens with the HFC areas down the track, that would depend very much on negotiations with Telstra.”

    Well, Mr Turnbull, if you are saying what I think you are saying, that you are not definitely committing to upgrading the copper broadband network in HFC areas at all … on any time frame … then I would have to say that that would make the Coalition’s rival NBN policy an ignorant and arrogant waste of paper; featuring a paucity of vision that not even an “arthritic snail” would envy.

    Labor is offering those in ‘HFC areas’ gigabit fibre to their premise within the next decade. If you are offering those areas what I think you are offering, Mr Turnbull — that is, nothing at all — then you have completely failed the test of leadership and I will forthwith abandon what little faith I have had in your ability in the Communications portfolio. God knows most of Delimiter’s readership has been begging me to abandon it for most of the time you have been Shadow Minister. Maybe it’s time I threw in the towel completely; this interview tonight has tested my patience severely. I’m not sure I have much left. And I am damn certain I will not be the only one in your hypothetical ‘HFC areas’ to feel this way.

    Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull

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    1. Daniel
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      Well we expected it all along, especially when he announced his mixture of old technologies….. People of whirlpool debated this for a long time….

      In my view, I don’t know what’s worse, HFC or FTTN….?

      • Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink | Reply

        “In my view, I don’t know what’s worse, HFC or FTTN….?”

        HFC. At least we’ll all be able to get FTTN.

        • Daniel
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:01 am | Permalink | Reply

          I dunno – I am thinking of BT example of congestion……

        • Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Very true mate, HFC will by far be the worst of the lot. Unfortunately, HFC in this country was laid with the bare minimum of network support and the topology was woeful – originally designing infrastructure for one function then trying to convert it to another was never going to end well – referring to original function of PayTV vs Internet.

          I gave up my faith some time ago, welcome to the light Renai. We have cookies and cake.

        • Adam
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

          You’re so wrong Renai. This is great for you.

          MT will reclassify your HFC zone as NBN enabled and you’ll be living the dream in one of the Lib’s faster, cheaper rollout.

          Can’t you see how this policy is completely full of win!!!

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Welcome to the circus, the puppets dance to the tune of the puppet master as the band plays on


        At least Australia was cheap and easy and to be delivered soon

        Poor Fella Australia

      • SW_Victoria
        Posted 18/02/2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

        HFC is a shared medium, FTTN is not. The speed you get should not change (much) with peak conditions only weather conditions.
        I would go FTTN over HFC any day but would still stick with my AirMax. Only FTTH will get me to switch.

    2. Hubert Cumberdale
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:32 am | Permalink | Reply

      You know what, I think this is actually a good idea; getting the most out of HFC in FttN patchwork scenario makes perfect sense. And by that I mean getting the most political mileage for the proper NBN build. If you think about it it’s just another nail in the coffin for the coalitions plan. Remember Turnbull said nodes will be able to take fibre connections too so that anyone that wants to pay for fibre can do so if they want faster speeds. So where does this leave people on HFC? What if they want faster speeds? Shouldn’t they be given the same private sector opportunity to pay for faster speeds too? Oh look at that, the build cost has just jumped and Turnbull has painted himself into a corner again :-(

    3. Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:55 am | Permalink | Reply

      I agree completely with you on this Renai- I’m very surprised Turnbull went this far in saying he’s basically left HFC out in the cold. No doubt after this article and several to follow along the same lines, he will try and twist and say that’s not what he meant. But I tend to believe the first thing that comes out of politician’s mouths in a live interview, rather than subsequent things, as they’ve reacted instead of thinking, making the answer closer to what they actually know will happen.

      There are nearly 3.5 MILLION premises in the HFC footprint. That’s almost 1/3 of our TOTAL premises in the country!

      I did this blog post a while ago:


      I’ve done a fairly comprehensive analysis of a likely scenario that includes:

      1- About 10% FTTH (already completed/cannot be stopped).
      2- About 30-40% FTTN (depends largely on FTTH completion)
      3- Approx. 20% on current Copper, with VDSL in the exchange (maybe)
      4- About 30% on HFC (but that doesn’t actually guarantee they’ll ALL be able to get it…)
      5- About 10% wireless/sat

      So, by that analysis, I came to the conclusion that the actual cost of such a network would be close to $25 Billion (taking into account Citigroup’s findings and other costings for bits and pieces along the way). That includes the latent hangover of Wireless/sat, any FTTH already done (and transit) and FTTN plus some “thrown bones” to Telstra and Optus to MAYBE node-split a bit on HFC. And that’s TO THE GOVERNMENT and on-budget (As far as we know at the moment- imagine trying to make a network like THAT open-access and wholesale to make it a decent investment….). So that’s, what, MAYBE $5 billion less?…oh, look at that- EXACTLY the number Conroy came up with and Nick Ross too. Seems we do know what their policy is and it wasn’t far from my guess nearly 9 months ago.

      In terms of timeframe? 5 years? Maybe. And that’s from 2014. So we’re looking at 2019/2020 earliest. That’s 2 years less than NBNCo….that’s pretty much crap for what we’ll actually be getting.

      Again I agree with you Renai:

      I would have to say that that would make the Coalition’s rival NBN policy an ignorant and arrogant waste of paper; featuring a paucity of vision that not even an “arthritic snail” would envy.

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

        “There are nearly 3.5 MILLION premises in the HFC footprint. That’s almost 1/3 of our TOTAL premises in the country!”

        I think it’s closer to 23% of Australia.

        But that explains why his plan with be installed faster, he’ll be ignoring 25% of the population. I wonder what other “gotyas” are hidden away in his “policy”?

        • seven_tech
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink | Reply


          Mmmm, no- According to the ABS in 2011, there were 9.1 Million households. Add approx. 2 Million business premises, and that’s 11.1 Million premises. 3.5 Million is almost 32% of that.

          • Tinman_au
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Ah, cheers, happy to be corrected with actual unspun “facts”, unlike some others around the traps :)

            • seven_tech
              Posted 15/02/2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Well, I have to admit, that 2 million businesses was a guesstimate. It was based on the number I read about a year ago on ZDNet.

              I can’t actually find a straight answer on total premises….likely only Telstra, NBNCo., Aust. Post and the like would know.

      • GongGav
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Couple of things. In your analysis, did you account for what the cost of FttH to date has been? $25b is the cost for FttN from the point it starts. Its not going to be a build for all of Australia, because its using existing builds as part of that process. Meaning the $25b cost should be $25b plus the FttH costs. Or, the comparitive cost of FttH should exclude costs to date.

        What I’m saying is that $25b shouldnt be compared to $40b, because part of that $40b ultimately forms part of the Liberal NBN as well. So compare future costs to complete the project, rather than total costs.

        Secondly, I think you’re a little light on for the FttH numbers, whatever happens. There are 3 years of contracts to be honored, which is going to account for a lot more than 10% of the population. At 2 million a year under contract, thats 7 million premises (1m to date, plus 2m per year for the 3 years)potentially passed by FttH, a lot larger amount than 10%.

        To add to that, a lot of areas not on the 3 year rollout dont have an exchange in their area, so should be leveraging off the exchanges that already have FttH equipment. Meaning that while they arent listed on the 3 year rollout, it would be cheaper to give them FttH than putting equipment in for FttN as well.

        Basically, I think the FttN is either a lot closer to the cost of FttH than they’re making out (less than the $5b you suggest) or that the FttN percentage is going to be considerably larger, with more to come.

        • seven_tech
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply


          In your analysis, did you account for what the cost of FttH to date has been?

          Yes. That was part of it. I estimated approx $6 billion spent on FTTH by then. Plus the $3.5 Billion on wireless and sat. That gives $9.5 Billion. Then, essentially, 3/4 of the Citigroup amount of $16.7 Billion, plus about $1 Billion on HFC “upgrades” (which may or may not happen).

          Thus, I came out with $25 Billion. That may or may not include any agreements with Telstra etc. There’s simply not enough information to judge on that point.

          What I’m saying is that $25b shouldnt be compared to $40b

          I didn’t compare it to $40 Billion. And I wouldn’t. $40 Billion is the TOTAL cost of the NBN, not the cost to the government. I compared the $25 Billion, to the $30.4 Billion of the government’s cost of the NBN. The $25 Billion would HAVE to spent by the government as I cannot see any possible business case for haphazard arrangements like that.

          Secondly, I think you’re a little light on for the FttH numbers, whatever happens. There are 3 years of contracts to be honored, which is going to account for a lot more than 10% of the population. At 2 million a year under contract, thats 7 million premises (1m to date, plus 2m per year for the 3 years)potentially passed by FttH, a lot larger amount than 10%.

          Mmmm, no, I think you’re overstating what NBNCo. will get done and what contracts can get renegotiated (IF Turnbull actually tried, which I’m still not convinced he would). They plan on passing around 3.5 Million premises by 2015. 286K by June 2013, 1.5 million by June 2014. By June 2014, any “renegotiations” on contracts would likely have been completed (I’m talking contractor contracts, not the Telstra deal) and FTTN could be evolved from them starting in around June or Sept. 2014. That would make it 1.5 -2 Million premises passed by FTTH. That’s around 10-15%.

          To add to that, a lot of areas not on the 3 year rollout dont have an exchange in their area, so should be leveraging off the exchanges that already have FttH equipment. Meaning that while they arent listed on the 3 year rollout, it would be cheaper to give them FttH than putting equipment in for FttN as well.

          You mean a FAN? Possibly, yes. There are still ALOT of variables in this, but that is one possibility. However, that would assume that the Coalition do actually allow the NBN to continue in some form AND that they would be ok with that coming off the budget….neither of which I find likely.

          Basically, I think the FttN is either a lot closer to the cost of FttH than they’re making out (less than the $5b you suggest) or that the FttN percentage is going to be considerably larger, with more to come.

          No, I disgaree. 4 SEPARATE people- Myself, ABC, Senator Conroy and Rob Oakshott have ALL come up with the same numbers I have. That lends weight to the idea. I think the MAXIMUM savings would be $5-6 Billion, but alot of that is eaten by the extra copper maintenance in the meantime ( I didn’t include OPEX, only CAPEX).

          My point was not to make FTTN look as bad as possible, it was looking at a realistic likelihood on FTTN. Many of your comments are unrealistic, particularly in regards to total FTTH premises passed before contracts are renegotiated and including costs to date.

          • nonny-moose
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

            your point re fttn likelihoods is a good one. the figuring ive used is based on the fact that there are two consecutive LNP terms – single termers are not that common (tho possible) and my estimate rings slightly higher at 30 bn to account for that. a single term administration will probably be less for obvious reasons (less gets done). if anyone doesnt like my estimate – i admit on the pessmistic side – im more than happy for them to go with you and the other three. the terms and caveats are reasonable; im just pessimistic they are achievable.

            i still think it worth considering fttn at its ‘bad as possible’ mark particularly given theres no recoverability of costs/% return. by that i mean to say any hits on cost are immediately on the balance sheet rather than trimming back % return until 0% is hit, at which point they then hit the balance sheet. the former is much more concerning than the latter, so i prefer to start from the other end as it were.

    4. dave
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 4:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hooray. Shit upload speeds and contented downloads for 50 years. Awesome. Thanks Malcolm. Apparently building infrastructure is a bad thing if it’ll kill the newspapers and foxtel quicker.

      • Posted 18/02/2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink | Reply

        UH um Ubiquitous Broadband and cheap wholesale prices is BAD MMKay

        • RocK_M
          Posted 18/02/2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink | Reply

          But at least it’s not a monopoly!

          We have “market competition” which is good mmkay!

          (Just ignore the big monopoly elephant already in the room called Telstra!)

    5. Karl
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink | Reply

      In that interview, Turnbull says that the government’s reasons for insisting on fibre to the premises are “purely political”. This is a clear-cut lie.

      (Choir-preaching time)
      The original plan from Labor was to do FttN, and this was changed on expert advice, clearly NOT for political reasons – when has changing a policy because the original one was untenable ever been a good political move?
      So the insistance-on-FttP policy was set several years ago, on expert advice, long before Turnbull (let alone any other Liberal) made any mention of a half-assed, oops sorry I meant to say “less ambitious”, FttN policy.

      • Karl
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink | Reply

        And given this lie was told as part of his attempt to avoid detailing possible savings of FttN, it’s all just another example of Turnbull not practicing what he preaches wrt. political honesty.

    6. quink
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Renai, and welcome to the club of millions of Australians for whom the coalition will do exactly nothing in the field of communications. Now you know what it feels like.

      I’ll send you some copper wire I’ve got to act as your membership card :)

      I’ve also got some coax, but that’d be too fancy for you to have.

      • quink
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink | Reply

        I’ve taken stock of some random people and businesses I know and I’m guessing that two, maybe three out of about a dozen – none of the businesses and none of those who need it as urgently and none of those where FTTN just wouldn’t be viable – will see improvements in broadband under the coalition.

        But thinking about it in those terms is a stupid and quasi-religious argument by a keyboard warrior zealot, according to Turnbull, so never mind me.

        • alain
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

          What is the nature of the business where FTTN would NOT be viable?

          • seven_tech
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink | Reply


            What is the nature of the business where FTTN would NOT be viable?

            Any business that requires uploads. That’s at LEAST 50% of them. FTTN does not significantly improve uploads. Every business I’ve worked at over the last decade would suffer under FTTN.

            • alain
              Posted 15/02/2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

              So what are they using now?

              • seven_tech
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink | Reply


                Many are using Annex M symmetrical DSL. That gives 5/5 for only $350 a month! Bargain!

                FTTN has MAXIMUM 20Mbps upload. But uploads are more highly contended than downloads (like on FTTH). It would be entirely dependent on backhaul as to whether the uploads were capable under FTTN for business in the coming decade. We do not and WILL not have that info before the election.

                • alain
                  Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Yes but all infrastructure types including FTTH is reliant on backhaul capacity in some form including wireless, to glibly say we don’t have that information but until we do we assume FTTN backhaul will therefore be deficient is grasping at straws to downplay FTTN capability.

                  • seven_tech
                    Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink | Reply


                    Who said anything about backhaul?? I was not referring to backhaul. I would ASSUME any decent engineer would provision the FTTN nodes properly for backhaul. That’s a given.

                    The ACTUAL VDSL1 standard ONLY gives upstream 3Mbps. VDSL2 DOES allow for 100Mbps upstream (at maximum 300m), but that is dependent on the frequencies adopted for upstream transmission. BT for example have only allowed enough frequency for 20Mbps upstream. Why? Because higher frequencies attenuate more and therefore make the connection more unstable, hence restricting the frequencies used.

                    In other words, the limiting factor of upstream speeds on VDSL is line quality and speed….oddly enough, just like ADSL….

                    • alain
                      Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

                      ‘Who said anything about backhaul?? I was not referring to backhaul. ‘

                      Umm what? – you did.

                      ‘It would be entirely dependent on backhaul as to whether the uploads were capable under FTTN for business in the coming decade.’

                      • Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink |


                        Indeed, I did. It was another Delimiter article I thought was commenting on.

                        I retract the statement about backhaul- as I said afterwards, one would HOPE the engineering team organised sufficient backhaul for FTTN’s requirements. The problems with uploads come from the technology, not the provision for it. Just like 3G and 4G.

          • Tinman_au
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

            A business of more than 5?

            • alain
              Posted 18/02/2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

              There are no business’s with more than five in Belgium?

    7. Brett Haydon
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink | Reply

      If I was writing coalition policy, I’d simply amend the FTTP to guarantee FTTN for existing apartments that would otherwise need to be re-wired (or don’t agree to access), and FTTP for everyone else. That would allow them to save face and possibly save some money and time, and given the cabinets would be very close to the apartment achieve almost parity with FTTP.

      I would still prefer the simplicity of Labor’s blanket approach though…

      • quink
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink | Reply

        Let’s assume there’s an area with a lot of houses.

        In amongst those houses, there’s three blocks of townhouses, not next too each other, but not too far away either, with let’s say four townhouses each. You’d make it so that the government is legally obliged to build a new DSLAM for a grand total of twelve premises and maintain the copper over the required hundreds of metres, etc., parallel to perfectly good fibre that every other premise is on.

        And, to repeat this once again, you’d have the government guarantee that this copper service would be provided and maintained forever?

        Can you please confirm, because I’m not sure I’m hearing this right.

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I’d assume they’d be using VDSL2 for a situation he’s describing, so it would be using the GPON, not a DSLAM?

      • Chris
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

        You have to be joking.. It would save them bugger all. And if a strata refuses access, I’m sure the residents would complain when the CAN is turned off..

        • Cameron
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

          You have to be joking.. It would save them bugger all. And if a strata refuses access, I’m sure the residents would complain when the CAN is turned off..

          Access to MDUs is not a legal issue in the least, the Australian constitution enables the government to do this for telecommunications. It is precisely this power that legally enabled the switch build drops. The ability to opt-out of a build drop is not necessary, the government and NBNco just don’t want to upset a bunch of Alan Jones retards and cause bad publicity.

          Personally, I wish they would proceed with build drops for all premises whether the owners wanted them or not. Once an owner that opted out sells the premise NBNco will probably be up for another truck roll which is a unnecessary expense.

      • MikeK
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

        (That would allow them to save face and possibly save some money)

        It might save the coalition some money but all those ten of thousands of cabinets require electicity to run it, aircon to keep it cool and a battery backup incase of blackouts (phone), who is going to pay the electricity bill, the end user thats who. And we will still be left with a substandard comms system.

        If you want the best comms system, your choice is simple, VOTE LABOR

    8. Greg
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Renai,

      I think you’re forgetting that there are still large parts of suburban Australia that are unable to get ADSL (myself included), making fixed or mobile wireless is only option.

      There is an even larger demographic that are on FTTN in the form of a RIM that enjoy massively degraded throughput and latency during peak times.

      I would be happy with ADSL that was “funny” when it rained :(

      • quink
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink | Reply

        And you’re getting FTTH, probably even sooner than FTTN, probably not. But you’re basically guaranteed to get FTTH if Labor wins this election. You’re amounting to maybe 5% or thereabouts of the population.

        Furthermore, there’s no guarantee by MT that you’ll get FTTN. It may be that you’re in a small area of 40 or 50 premises somewhere far out and FTTN would just be considered not viable because a node would cover too few premises.

    9. CMOTDibbler
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink | Reply

      Why is the HFC footprint any more or less dependent on negotiations with Telstra than any other area? Surely the whole idea of FTTN is dependent on negotiations with Telstra. Is Turnbull suggesting Telstra will not negotiate access to the copper for FTTN within their HFC footprint?

      Is Turnbull suggesting the NBNCo can afford to ignore the 70% of people within the HFC footprint who do not use HFC? Let alone ignoring all those within the HFC footprint who, like you, cannot use HFC. I think he might be crazy.

      • Mr Creosote
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink | Reply

        Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. There was no way Turnbull could do FTTN in the HFC and been seen as promoting private sector investment and competition. He also would not be able to pull off the “faster broadband faster” promise without using existing HFC. He sung HFC praises for too long so he couldnt then knock it out of the equation.
        He said in the Press Club speech he wouldnt build FTTN in the HFC footprint. He has confirmed it again now. Its the only thing he can do to save face.

        • alain
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

          ‘He said in the Press Club speech he wouldnt build FTTN in the HFC footprint. He has confirmed it again now. Its the only thing he can do to save face.’

          He has a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

          ‘Well, we’d obviously have to reach some agreement with Telstra. Optus I think is right out of that HFC business. They have no interest in going back into that. And you’ve got to remember the Government has paid both of these companies a lot of money not to use their HFC in future for broadband.”’


          • seven_tech
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink | Reply


            Yep. Turnbul has been spinning again. EXACTLY what he preached against several months ago.

            Glad you recognise that he’s now going completely against what he says he stands for.

            • alain
              Posted 15/02/2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

              But the Coalition plan as it stands in the pre Telstra negotiation stage requires two key approvals by Telstra.

              1. They are interested in extending the life of HFC BB and wholesaling it.
              2. They are interested in either rolling out FTTN either solely or as a construction partner overseen by the Coalition version of the NBN Co.

              Two mighty big IFs I would have thought.

              • seven_tech
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink | Reply


                Precisely. They DON’T KNOW. But instead of saying things like “the Coalition will endeavour to find the most cost effective way to provide ubiquitous fast BB to all Australians” They’re saying “yes, the negotiations won’t be an issue, Telstra have already said they’ll work with us. No problems.”

                Turnbull is spinning the amount of control the Coalition may or may not have over Telstra in negotiations and hence, CANNOT guarantee anything. But he won’t say that. He refuses to admit the reason FTTn broke down in the first place for Labor WAS TELSTRA. And yet the same company (albeit with a different CEO) is now in the way AGAIN for FTTN.

                • alain
                  Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  ‘ They’re saying “yes, the negotiations won’t be an issue, Telstra have already said they’ll work with us. No problems.”’

                  I think you are ad libbing there, I don’t remember Turnbull or Telstra saying that , I remember Telstra saying FTTN would be a quicker build and they will work with any Government that is in power (well they have to don’t they?), but that’s not the same as saying post September – and we are interested in building FTTN extending the life of HFC BB and ripping up the Telstra NBN Co agreement which was approved by the Telstra Board and Telstra shareholders in October 2011.

              • Mr Creosote
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Two MIGHTY big ifs indeed!
                Turnbull is selling HFC and FTTN to the electorate before he has even spoken to Telstra and before he has done his all important CBA (or CBAs as it is apparently more than one now).
                If he were to expect any credibility at all, he would have spoken to Telstra, and done his CBA first. .
                As it stands now Turnbullis Telstras bitch. Telstra may want to do an Optus and not use their HFC network. Turnbull then has to build FTTN to an extra 30% of the population at Telstras set price for copper access/ownership – a price which you can guarantee wont be cheap. Faster and cheaper suddenly fly straight out the window.
                Telstra is the big winner if the Libs win in September. Thodey will be rubbing his hands together!

        • CMOTDibbler
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

          “Hate to say I told you so …”

          Haha, I bet you do :)

          I’ve read the transcript and it’s still as clear as mud. I don’t think we’ll find out for certain until after the election.

          • Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink | Reply


            It’s pretty clear to me- They won’t be doing anything to HFC areas in the short term. What “term” that is, we’ve no idea. And what they’ll actually do after that “term” is also unknown.

            Point is, in the next 3-5 years minimum, nothing will happen in HFC areas under the LNP. That’s what Renai’s pissed about and I don’t blame him.

            • alain
              Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

              The point is we don’t know what Telstra’s reaction is to not rolling out FTTN in HFC areas is, at the moment the best credence we can give to that is the Coalition will discuss that option with Telstra if they gain Government.

              • Mr Creosote
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

                If Turnbull expects any credibility, he would have discussed it with Telstra BEFORE making all sorts of promises about what he is going to deliver using Telstras infrastructure.
                There is also the elephant in the room – spearation. Turnbull needs to explain how he is going to acheive the structural separation of Telstra that he is seeking, when Telstra will be pulling the strings. Separation will be on Telstras terms biatch!

          • Mr Creosote
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Dear oh dear.
            We can only go off what he has actually said. That was clear enough in the press club speech. Its also clear enough from what he has said today. No FTTN in the HFC footprint, and he will build out FTTP where contracts have been signed and do FTTN after those contracts are done.
            It is what it is.

    10. Belinda
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink | Reply

      >> “If you are offering those areas what I think you are offering, Mr Turnbull — that is, nothing at all — then you have completely failed the test of leadership and I will forthwith abandon what little faith I have had in your ability in the Communications portfolio.”

      See what happens when you “Want to Believe” instead of waiting to see what the Coalition will actually deliver.

      Sorry to say it but you were sucked in Renai.

      (Kudos to you for having the balls to acknowledge it)

    11. Belinda
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink | Reply

      The other reason why HFC sucks is that only its only Optus or Telstra.

      • quink
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink | Reply

        But who could ever possibly need a static IP.

        Oh hang on, I’m in an HFC area and I do, and so does the company I work for. NEVER MIND.

        • midspace
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink | Reply

          Who could possibly ever need IPV6?

          • quink
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink | Reply

            Why should Telstra have to provide multicasting on their wholesale network. People might actually provide a service that could compete with FOXTEL and we can’t possibly allow that.

            • alain
              Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

              But then if HFC is the ONLY fixed line solution it becomes monopoly infrastructure and the ACCC determines how it is wholesaled and at what price.

              • Dean
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Luckily both Optus and Telstra cover exactly the same areas then, so that’ll never happen. Phew, that was a close call!

                • Tinman_au
                  Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  They don’t in my area. I wonder how many areas are similar?

              • Abel Adamski
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Cable pairs will be left in situ so dial up of ADSL is available = not monopoly
                There are technical limitations that preclude competitive services (Shared Medium designed as multicast Pay TV with telephony capability). The ONLY competition possible is as resellers.

                Plus HFC is only capable of servicing less than 25% of that 30% of premises and upgrading will cost far more than a few hundred Million, especially as it is ageing and not well maintained

                • Abel Adamski
                  Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Should read Dial up “or” ADSL

                  DUHH thick fingers again

                • NBNAccuracy
                  Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  That also means all the copper in those areas needs to be maintained in those area. So in HFC areas status quo.

              • quink
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

                The network is not and cannot practically be made available for wholesale access by a competitor.

                That’s not me talking.

                • Abel Adamski
                  Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply


                  • Alain
                    Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    The CCC does not have Australia’s two biggest Telcos’s as members, their comment is no surprise.

                    • seven_tech
                      Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink | Reply


                      The CCC is a combination of almost ALL Teclo’s OTHER than Telstra and Optus. You’re right, it IS no surprise in their comment. Telstra and Optus don’t want competition, so it’s no surprise they haven’t said anything about the Coalition’s plan.

                      Thanks for confirming you’re not interested in competition in these HFC areas though.

                      • alain
                        Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink |

                        But we are not talking about Optus or Telstra comment about Coalition plans at all, but what the CCC and others say about the Coalition plan.

                        That is the plan the Coalition have not presented as pre election policy yet but let’s not bother about that we will make up the plan for them from press sound bytes from programs like Lateline and last years sound bytes from various sources run them all together in and of context doesn’t matter and hey presto one fully detailed Coalition BB Policy to throw to the lynch mob!

                      • seven_tech
                        Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink |


                        The Coalition have not released a BB policy. That is fact. Yet you’ve been saying for months we KNOW what their policy is FROM the soundbites. Which is it?

                      • Tinman_au
                        Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink |

                        “Thanks for confirming you’re not interested in competition in these HFC areas though.”

                        Yeah, apparently only 75% (66%?) of the population is allowed competitive telecoms access….as dictated by the Australian Liberal Party once they form their new Reich, Sieg heil!

                      • alain
                        Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |


                        ‘The Coalition have not released a BB policy. That is fact. Yet you’ve been saying for months we KNOW what their policy is FROM the soundbites. Which is it?’

                        I know enough of their policy at this stage to know the way they want to head but whether in fact that’s what is the final outcome I doubt very much.

                        I am a realist I don’t believe what political parties say before an election to get themselves voted in, but then again BB policy is not of key importance to me in determining who should govern us until 2016.

                        If I did vote Coalition based on what counts as BB policy in September I would vote on the understanding what is actually implemented in 2013-2014 as BB Policy may be totally different and it would come as no surprise at all.

                      • Tinman_au
                        Posted 15/02/2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink |

                        Seems more like Malcolms making policy “on the fly” rather than actually sitting down with actual experts in the field….actually, even some of his “on the fly” policy points seem to change around.

                        About the only thing you can guarantee with “the direction he’s heading” is it’s looking more and more like “business as usual” and not actually that much of a step forward for the country…

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 16/02/2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink |

                        @ alain…

                        You pretty much know what the Coalition plan?

                        Strange because only a few weeks ago here, you admitted you really don’t know too much about the Coalition’s plans at all nor what Turnbull has said about them…



                        And WTF you accept that politicians say one thing before elections but can change???? So why the endless posturing about the change from FttN to FttP and talk of 83 seats won on the back of an (inferred) FttN lie…

                        Once again you simply contradict at will, to suit the FUD required at that time… a realist…ROFL

                      • alain
                        Posted 16/02/2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink |

                        There is no contradiction, and simply sprinkling your post with lots of ????? or !!!!!! or WTF or FUD or ROFL doesn’t add any extra credence at all.

                        If you wish to believe what a political party says before an election in terms of a policy is what they will do after the election good for you, but history shows that not is the case, this is at State level as well.

                        This is especially pertinent this time around because we are in the midst of the Labor NBN rollout, so where it is at by September in part determines Coalition policy.

                        It was easy for Conroy to cancel the Coalition OPEL project because it really had not got beyond the party pies and balloons announcement then it was Kevin 07 election time.

                        I repeat what I have stated before, I think the Coalition Policy will eventually have a much higher mix of FTTH than they are alluding to now.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 16/02/2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink |

                        No contradictions… there’s another contradiction how ironic.

                        To say you know the Coalition’s plans when you said you didn’t isn’t a contradiction?

                        To say you accept that political party’s can alter what they said pre election, following an election yet carry on like a impudent child about this government changing their minds about FttN and going to FttP post election isn’t a contradiction?


                        1. A combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.

                        2. A person, thing, or situation in which inconsistent elements are present.

                        Certainly seems to be so alain… but then you do see things strangely differently to those of us residing in reality, as I’m sure we have all noticed…!

    12. JT
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink | Reply

      This is actually not a bad idea, but Telstra/Optus must be forced to wholesale the HFC if that’s the case.

      I have a choice at present – 3Mbps Internode ADSL2+ or 100Mbps Telstra Cable. Because I don’t want to pay Telstra prices and be forced to have a telephone service with them (or pay beyond what a phone line costs) which costs significantly more than my ADSL service, I’m using a horribly unreliable ADSL service.

      • jasmcd
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink | Reply

        but that would be government interference in the private sector and the church of abbott dictates that you should just let the private sector be free and do what they want when they want.

      • midspace
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink | Reply

        Structural separation of the HFC. :)

        • nonny-moose
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

          wasnt the complaint that was difficult to do wholesaling of HFC? iirc in the case of optus the argument was that if the govt forced it it would cost them money, and therefore they sought an exemption? (search “optus presentation – HFC exemption – public version(may 08).pdf”). my reading of that position is that the alternative would be that govt would have to compensate for the work done to make HFC wholesalable? (i.e. more cost).

          from the PDF:
          – There is no HFC wholesale product available today
          – Any HFC wholesale product would be unattractive to wholesale customers due to:
          • costly and time-consuming work required at customer premises, and
          • reduced coverage / scale

          they also stated:
          – some premises unserviceable by HFC
          – HFC unable to meet business SLAs

          i am assuming even though Optus has bailed on HFC (as even Malcolm notes), these would still apply to Telstras holdings? and given Foxtel would still want to operate its Pay TV over the Telstra portion, structural separation would be a bastard to implement?

          • midspace
            Posted 18/02/2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink | Reply

            This is why MT’s policy doesn’t make sense.
            The HFC doesn’t provide for consumer competition AND costsavings to the government.

    13. Paul Thompson
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink | Reply

      This would affect me also. Currently I am in a Telstra cabled area. I can’t get the cable though, as the previous homeowner concreted over the pit… I am actually relying on the NBN pullthrough technique to get anything through the ducting.

      So I can’t get cable unless I am willing to jackhammer up my driveway. And I wont get anything under Malcolm’s model. I am subject to the temperamental crappy copper servicing my property.

      Luckily it looks like I will be getting NBN sometime soon (am scheduled for commencement within the next 12 months). Fingers crossed; as MT’s ideas would be useless to me.

      Renai, I think it is important to contrast Malcolm’s definitive screwing of people in your (and my) position with the current NBN FTTP model’s lack of clarity on how it will handle MDUs as well.

      Now more than ever we need to know how exactly those who are living in MDUs will be served by the real NBN.

      • midspace
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink | Reply

        “So I can’t get cable unless I am willing to jackhammer up my driveway.”
        In the same situation, but not on any rollout.

        “I can’t get the cable though, as the previous homeowner concreted over the pit… I am actually relying on the NBN pullthrough technique to get anything through the ducting.”

        I’ve made a suggestion before (on another site), about using air pressure to get something through.
        No one has commented back on how plausible it is.
        Not sure if it would work, but using an air compressor at one end, with a long piece of string, with a plastic tag secured on the end.
        The plastic tag should catch enough of the air to drag the string through the conduit and not damage the cables already present.
        Once the string is through, you can drag through a heavier gauge cord.

        • Paul Thompson
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink | Reply

          The pit that has been concreted over has two exits, one for my property and one for my neighbour.

          A cabler came out to install bigpond cable, and he had a pushrod which was able to reach the pit from the road, and also reach the pit from the mouth of the duct near my wall, but there was no way for the end of the rod to locate the exits from the pit.

          I don’t know if air pressure would do it. Apparently though, it might be possible to float a small cable down, with (something on the end to make it bouyant) as water would be able to find the exit and drag through something with it. This could then be used to drag through a bigger cable.

          Of course, this poses risks as flooding the pits can cause its own issues.

        • nonny-moose
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

          you are talking about Blown Optical Fibre, blow through or cable jetting


          Pauls situation shows the limited utility – its only good for a direct run. any t intersections will need extra work to block off the end you dont want it going down and making sure it doesnt get stuck at the t joint. if you have a straight run all to one cable it might be possible to use.

          im pretty stunned at concreting over the telco pit too BTW. im not sure if thats legal either!

          • midspace
            Posted 18/02/2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink | Reply

            Wow, so I’m not nuts in making the suggestion. :)

            With the T-intersection, as long as all the alternate routes are sealed up tight (duct tape?), the air should pull any string down the only path out.

            BOF isn’t exactly fool proof.
            “The stress on the fiber optic cable, caused by the installation crew pulling it through the ducts and around curves”.
            If you blow through the fibre itself, you risk the fibre whipping about inside the conduit or pipe. This could potentially create the same stress as pull through.
            That, and the fibre has to be light enough to blow through. Hence a string lead-in.

            • Paul Thompson
              Posted 18/02/2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

              I’m looking at buying a 15m long endoscope from a cheap chinese online seller, it might allow me to have a look inside the conduit and find exactly where the pit is.

              I can probably tolerate jackhammering up a few feet of driveway in the name of a greater good :)

              Blowthrough would be an interesting technique to try out – I wonder if the local cablers have got the necessary equipment (or will have by the time my area gets rolled out?). I suppose I have to think of my neighbour as well as my own property, as the concreted over pit is also preventing them from getting cable (not that they have said anything – that might change if it stops them getting NBN though)

      • Bern
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink | Reply

        What kind of effin’ moron would concrete over a telecommunications pit?
        (sorry about the language, but I’m just flabbergasted at that!)

        Luckily for me, my pit is readily accessible (though probably half full of dirt, because runoff from the schoolyard next door flows straight across it, carrying a lot of soil with it). I’m on Telstra cable, because it was my only broadband option (on a RIM). While the speed is acceptable (~21Mbps down, and a crappy 1Mbps up), the quota & pricing aresignificantly inferior to what I’d get on the NBN. And then there’s the fact that the installer lost the end off his push rod when he was installing the cable, somewhere in the duct between the house and the pit. I rather suspect the NBN fibre is going to be difficult to get up that duct… assuming I get that opportunity, as our area isn’t scheduled to start until the end of 2014.

    14. Ivan
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink | Reply

      I have HFC thanks to Optus and its nothing special.
      Best i got on speedtest is 30Mbps and i average ~10Mbps..
      Two nights ago i couldn’t get more than 4Mbps!
      And yes i am subscribed to the super fast option.

      The shared medium nature of HFC is the killing factor.

      • Hugh Jaas
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink | Reply

        I can max out my Bigpond 100Mbit cable service with downloads from Usenet, now problems during pek hours. Seems that Optarse just has an inferior network.

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Yes. Of course you can, as I am sure you can with bit torrent. It’s know as “use multiple streams to max out my connection and bugger everyone else”

      • Tom
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Any chance you might have a Cisco DPQ3925? Or have you already upgraded to the Netgear CG3000?

    15. Tony Brown
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink | Reply


      The problem here is that the same issues which stopped HFC from being installed into MDU’s in the 1990’s will very likely be repeated when NBN Co. tries to install FTTH into the same MDU’s in the 2013-2020 period.

      Go talk to the folks at OpenNet in Singapore about the problems they have had getting access to buildings for deploying their network – and that’s in a tiny market like Singapore where everyone lives in an MDU so they should be used to dealing with these issues.

      Taking fiber right up into every apartment is a huge project, if you look at what PCCW are doing in Hong Kong, they offer free installation if you take a FTTB service (with VDSL as last-mile in-building) but charge a sizeable installation fee for subscribers who want full FTTH installed.

      The issue for MDU’s are numerous but basically boil down to clashes between building owners/residential owners and others over who should foot the bill for capital works inside the building to facilitate the installation of FTTH wiring.

      Some buildings are quite simple to do (usually modern ones) but others require a complete re-fit of the entire cabling system so can be extraordinarily expensive to conduct – this is a very tricky issue!

      In Europe some of the big telcos (Telefonica and DT) are looking to use existing in-building TV wiring to use as their ‘last-mile’ connection in order to save on MDU installation costs.

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink | Reply

        Tony, it isn’t just getting access to install to MDUs. I am one of 3 seperate strata titled units on my block. No shared anything. Seperate phone line, water, power, etc. But they will not connect HFC.
        My girlfriend is in a similar situation. There are 4 houses on her block. She lives in a front 4 bedroom, double story, cable right in front, cannot get ADSL2 as she is too far from the exchange, cannot get wireless because being in Metro Melbourne she isn’t covered by the black spot plan, she uses a combo of what 3G she can afford and dialup, yes, a 56K Womera modem for bad country lines, because it’s the only thing they stays connected.
        There is more stopping HFC connecting to MDUs than access, it’s that they just really don’t want the customers.
        Even people I know who did get it went through months of them making excuses why they couldn’t have it.
        Neither Optus nor Telstra are interested in new customers, they are congested enough already. If they can put and extra cost speed boost in for existing customers, that is about it.

        • Tony Brown
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I think its important to differentiate between ‘not being interested in extra customers’ and ‘being wary of how much you spend on gaining those extra customers’ – the two are quite different.

          For ‘stranded’ ADSL customers (outside HFC footprint) the rationale that any incumbent operating under ULL regulations takes is to work out how much it will cost to ‘light up’ the area with DSL and then work out what will be possibly recouped once they take into account rival ISP’s taking their own share under ULL – the economics rarely add up.

          From the HFC/MDU perspective it really comes down to a similar dilemma for Telstra, that being do they really want/need to get into a lengthy deployment in MDU’s, wrestling with landlords/strata owners etc to install HFC in these buildings? The answer came back as ‘no.’

          In other markets, naming no names, telcos often have to ‘sweeten’ the deal for building owners to actually get access to buildings (and to block their rivals from doing so) – unfortunately this is not an option readily available to Telstra for obvious reasons.

          • NBNAccuracy
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

            “I think its important to differentiate between ‘not being interested in extra customers’ and ‘being wary of how much you spend on gaining those extra customers’ – the two are quite different”
            It has nothing to do with cost. The premises I am talking about are closer and easier to run to than ones they hooked up over 10 years ago, they just would prefer ADSL2 for BB, dish for Foxtel.
            Already most areas the HFC is congested.

            They WERE insterested in people going onto HFC, they aren’t now.

        • Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

          How hard would it really be to just enforce external conduits on the buildings.. it woudl be ugly but electricians do it all the time when its a small roof space…

          • Tony Brown
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

            It’s not a question of how ‘hard’ it is to run the conduit – its getting permission to run it that’s the problem – especially INSIDE the buildings – although outside can be a problem too.

            I appreciate it sounds crazy – but the ‘actual’ world often is – but in Singapore there were stories of NGNBN installers getting chased out of building by building managers (or often just plain refused access before they even got in).

            From the building manager/owner POV they see a bunch of guys arrive and start running conduit all over their nicely new (or re-painted) building and it freaks them out (even if they have been given prior permission), they want to be sure that it will all be ‘made good’ and want to know they’re not going to be out of pocket for patch ups etc.

            Anyone who has ever had to deal with a Body Corporate to get permission to make changes to their property or building will understand what a nightmare process this can turn into.

            • Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

              @Tony Brown

              Your points are all valid. But you’ve missed the main one IMO. NBNCo. are a BIG stick. Bigger than Telstra would ever have been and ever could be for HFC. Why? NBNCo. has a mandate to install FTTH at a cost to them. Telstra have no such mandate. They need to ensure they can make a profit off it. NBNCo. do not have that issue. They MUST install FTTH by government mandate or declare the MDU frustrated. They have an INCENTIVE to ensure installation of FTTH to MDUs, compared to Telstra which only has possible profit.

              This is the biggest point. Any subsidy to Telstra to install HFC to MDUs under the Coalition plan would cost NO LESS than putting FTTH in from NBNCo. Telstra would do it at cost plus (say) 10% and that may even be MORE expensive than NBNCo. because of their contracts. Unless you are suggesting HFC areas get left entirely to their own devices, it would actually be CHEAPER to install FTTH than HFC for MDUs in HFC areas because of the scale of NBNCo. Ironically, it’d be cheaper again to do FTTB in these areas because of the removal of the requirement to run extra cable internally in many MDUs. But MT has ruled this out.

              They just backed themselves into a more expensive and delayed situation in HFC areas than the NBN. THAT is what Renai is pissed about. They’ve essentially abandoned HFC areas. Its irrelevant making it open access as the MDUs CANNOT access it without a subsidy to Telstra which would cost MORE than installing FTTH.

              • Abel Adamski
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Comedy Central
                HFC was run in high value areas, is not business capable, suffers contention and upload problems, can only service approx 25% of premises within their footprint satisfactorily – well sort of.
                Odds are most residents in those high value areas and the business owners will be Liberal Voters, more than likely rusted on ones.
                They will be ecstatic watching the fibres run through their neighbourhoods to service the neighbouring low value areas leaving them with ????.

                Even worse will be those neighbouring areas that actually have FTTH.

                How to win friends and influence people Part 1

                • Posted 22/02/2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  I suspect you just make stuff up rather than doing real research.

                  I’m living in Western Sydney and we have a long history of voting for the ALP in this area (including myself in times gone by) but frankly there’s no one I can find around here who has a good word to say about them these days. The people haven’t changed, the ALP just decided to abandon working people. They also abandoned the self-employed and anyone who wants to make an honest effort and achieve something.

                  Anyhow, two different types of HFC run past my house, one box is already mounted on the house (the Telstra one) but when I talked with the Telstra sales people they had no idea what it was and offered me ADSL instead. The optus HFC runs past on the power poles and when I talked to their sales guys they only offer 1.5M uplink speed (slower than ADSL) and even that is somewhat contended. So I use ADSL which is still the best option (but not a reliable option because no guarantee on faults, which is the same for all of them, no guarantee on faults, same for the NBN, no guarantees, take your chances).

                  HFC in principle can easily handle a gigabit, but in practice it was badly implemented and DOCSIS is great for watching movies, but that’s about all it’s good for.

              • Tony Brown
                Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink | Reply


                That’s a pretty reasonable argument in that NBN Co. do not have the ‘profit’ motive that has hamstrung Telstra in recent years, so that’s a big point of difference.

                However, if we look to comparable FTTH deployments to MDU’s in Singapore and Hong Kong they have both experience serious problems in getting last-mile access to many, many buildings.

                If you look at the Singapore model OpenNet got into all sorts of legal troubles with building owners and then with rival telcos who accused it of dragging its feet on the rollout – they still haven’t ‘lit’ large parts of the Singaporean NBN (although its connected to most buildings) because in-building wiring remains incomplete.

                So, yes, NBN Co. have more leverage than Telstra but will it be enough? Can they actually achieve this within time/budget? Moreover, if a building is ‘frustrated’ then how long are they entitled to free connection before NBN Co. makes them pay?

                Once you end up with multiple truck-rolls to the same suburb to re-connect ‘frustrated’ or incomplete premises then that is going to seriously add to the bottom line of the project, all of this has an end cost which will affect the financial projections of the network.

                The bottom line for me is that this is a huge project, far bigger than most people realise, I have seen these networks rolled out in other markets around the world and spoken to many of the people involved and many of them are very, very skeptical that an FTTH model can be deployed in a market like Australia.

                These are hard headed CTO’s who have been involved in network engineering for a long, long time and understand how hard it is to deploy a completely new network that ‘touches’ every residence in the country.

                If NBN Co. complete the network under the current design then that will be an incredible achievement but my view is that the odds are stacked against them for a number of reasons.

                • Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  @Tony Brown

                  I agree that MDU’s are still a challenge. But a couple of things:

                  – NBNCo. have a specialised department JUST for dealing with MDU’s.
                  – MDU’s make up only 18% of Australian dwellings, compared to, what, 70% in Singapore and Hong Kong? (more in Hong Kong I think)
                  – Each MDU has a defined process now to go through and NBNCo. will contact them as the rollout progresses in their area. They’ll be dealing with them one on one, not all at once.

                  I don’t see this as a massive impedance to the NBN FTTH project at large. A challenge, yes, but considerably less so than somewhere like Singapore and HK where Federal legislation doesn’t allow the telecommunications providers automatic access to buildings for telecommunications provisioning.

                  The problem remains for HFC however, as there is NO current provisioning for the USO along HFC. That would be a HUGE regulatory hurdle if HFC is to be kept and upgraded….otherwise the copper would ALSO have to be maintained in that 30% and that’s ridiculous and defeats the purpose of upgrading HFC as an alternative provisioning service. Therefore, the MDU challenge is larger for HFC than for FTTH.

                  • Tony Brown
                    Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink | Reply


                    I will have to check the MDU figure for the NBN, I thought it was higher than 18%, but am not sure.

                    Larger point is that if ALP lose in September, which looks very likely right now even with an unpopular leader in Abbott, then the NBN as it currently stands will be off the table anyway.

                    By September there will still be only be a relatively small number of active subs and homes physically connected to the network, rollout will probably be at around 1-2% in terms of homes passed and that won’t be enough to save the NBN.

                    Given Julia Gillard’s chronic inability to ‘cut through’ with voters it looks like the only person who might save the NBN – by winning the election – is the guy who created it, a certain Mr. Kevin Rudd.

                    If Labor gets three more years in power then they can ‘cement’ the NBN but at the moment the network remains embryonic in terms of last mile deployment.

                    • Posted 16/02/2013 at 1:46 am | Permalink | Reply

                      @Tony Brown.

                      You are correct. Its actually closer to 35% in terms of total premises it turns out. But there are only actually 550 000 MDU buildings (not premises, but actual complete buildings), compared with over 7.5 million detached dwellings.

                      What you say about last mile is true. That’s why I’ll be voting Labor. The NBN as it is is too important to abandon. And it could cost another $10 billion and still be worthwhile. I don’t think it will, but it could and still be worth doing.

                    • alain
                      Posted 16/02/2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink | Reply

                      @Tony Brown

                      ‘Given Julia Gillard’s chronic inability to ‘cut through’ with voters it looks like the only person who might save the NBN – by winning the election – is the guy who created it, a certain Mr. Kevin Rudd.’

                      Well to be true to the FTTH ideal we actually need the ‘expert panel’ to be the next PM.


                    • Tinman_au
                      Posted 18/02/2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

                      “Given Julia Gillard’s chronic inability to ‘cut through’ with voters it looks like the only person who might save the NBN – by winning the election – is the guy who created it, a certain Mr. Kevin Rudd.”


        • Hugh Jaas
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I live in a block of detached units. About 14 years ago Telstra ‘backboned’ the all these units at no charge to the body corporate (I am B/C secretary). They attached a box to the exterior wall on 1 unit, and ran coax through conduits over the garage roofs and parts of it underground. Each unit had a coax cable sitting inside the roof space, ready to be connected.

          It may have been costly for Telstra to do this work at no charge, but in the last 14 years I’ve probably payed Telstra 25K in Internet and PayTV fees and I’m just 1 of 5 people in this block of units.

          • Tony Brown
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

            @Hugh Jaas

            You answered the question in your last sentence, you are in a pretty small complex so it is much simpler for Telstra to negotiate access in those environments than in the much larger MDU’s that are out there.

    16. Hugh Jaas
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      I have Telstra HFC and the download speed is good. Under Turnbull’s NBN, as more people in my area will be put onto HFC the speed will go downhill meaning slower access than now.

      • quink
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink | Reply

        Or you can just stay on ADSL2+. It’s called freedom of choice. You can choose to have a Telstra copper line or a Telstra coax line! Isn’t the free market wonderful?

        • Daniel
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

          There is still congestion and other related issues (such was condition of your copper) that suffers.

          So yes, but as American’s finding out now with Cable companies, AT&T etc, there isn’t a free market.

    17. spazmanaught
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Has anyone ever asked Turnbull if the Govt was doing FTTN would he be beating his chest about FTTH as a better alternative? All I see from the Libs is if they say yes we say no or in this case if they say FTTH then we say FTTN even though it’s clearly inferior!

      • Bern
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink | Reply


        You’re giving away their sooper sekrit political strategy!

        Labor baaaaaaad! LNP gooooood!
        (think of the sheep from the animated version of “Animal Farm”…)

    18. Ned Kelly
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      Turnbull is missing the point when it comes to businesses. Download speed is one thing, but to ignore the max upload speed is ridiculous. The company I work at is needing more upload speed than what DSL/FTTN/HFC can offer. FTTP does offer the higher upload speeds needed to work effectively. 40Mbps is great, especially considering it’s going to cost about the same as what DSL costs. Then later going to 100 and then 1000 is going to make a massive difference!

      • midspace
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

        That, and NBNCo have symetric speed tiers on their roadmap for 2015+.
        “Symmetrical AVC and CVC from 50 to 1000 Mbps”

        100Mbps up and 100Mbps down sounds great to me!

    19. Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink | Reply


      why is it so hard for people to view the future of our telecomunications as a Utility.? having a National Utility, will provide all Australians with the same high standard of broadband at the same low wholesale price. built as an “Investment” that makes a profit.

      Mr Turnbull:- “that doesnt sit with the Liberal religious values of creating a free market for private enterprise”, “So we will bust up NBNCo, and pay more subsidies to get private companies to build it”

      Quasi religious, Zealot much.?

    20. Brendan
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink | Reply

      Abbott is claiming they can cut $50 billion from the NBN; at least that’s the latest sound bite I heard this morning.

      Given $50 billion isn’t actually being spent (but is the figure being thrown around) Abbott appears to be drinking his own kool-aid seeking to cut mythical amounts of funding to use (presumably pork-barrel?) elsewhere.

      Which reinforces the NBN will be slashed, FTTN is vapour–ware and NBNco sold off at the first possible convenience. Which dovetails into the above comments from Turnbull.

      If they’ll not go near HFC, does that mean Greenfields sites will be forever locked to Telstra? Who knows.

      Anyone thinking there will be a broad FTTN deployment under any Turnbull tenure, will be in for a rude shock.

      • Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink | Reply

        Where did you hear Abbott say this?

      • Dean
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Well, technically he said it’s “$50 billion less that the government would have to borrow”, but of course it’s still a whacky thing to say. Firstly, and most obviously, the government isn’t borrowing anything even close to $50 billion. Secondly, whatever you save here you still need to take out whatever they plan to borrow/spend on their own plan. And of course, you can’t just take the money you were going to borrow for the NBN and spend it on something else, anyway.

        • Brendan
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

          True, however his comment was directly related to NBN. He made a pointed note that they will save $50 Billion in debt.

          I’m not sure where this number comes from, because:
          – the governments total investment is circa $30 billion,
          – remainder funding will come from non-government sources

          Of which ~$13.5 is the actual debt figure.

          So we’re saving $50 billion from (lets round the numbers) out of $14 billion? I’m not a mathematician, Kerry, but there’s quite a bit of a gap between $50 and $14.

    21. simon
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink | Reply

      I live in a HFC area which will have NBN either at the end of the year or Early next year (either way it can’t be stopped now) and i can’t wait (i use DSL i would never touch HFC)

      I bet Optus will have a lot to say if they are going to missing out on $800 million and continue to run a next work they don’t want

    22. stoffs
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink | Reply

      I remember when Optus was rolling out down the street where i used to live…. going from dialup to optus cable was awesome..

      When i moved, my brother took over the contract – as my new house was in an area that couldn’t get cable (i could go a dish if i wanted!) … but i went with adsl1 .. (all i can still get)

      He’s still on optus cable – and it is that congested and crap , he is considering going to adsl instead.

      So i feel for anyone in this situation

    23. NBNAlex
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      If it wasn’t so serious one would LOL…

      Those who have asked why shut down HFC (even though this isn’t technically so anyway) or the government has to shut down competing technologies (older, obsolete technologies in many if not all cases) are now being shown exactly why…

      Piss it off now, while we have the chance… or we we’ll have it and nothing better forever :(

      It’s old shitty technology, it is currently being updated and the companies who own it (rather than being punished for having invested) are, as businesses do, being compensated for their networks, pits and of course customer migration (the biggy the nay-sayers always seems to omit)

      What were you guys also saying about what I have is good enough… well it had better be because HFC is as good as it ever gets for some of you :(

      • Hubert Cumberdale
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

        “Piss it off now, while we have the chance… or we we’ll have it and nothing better forever :(“

        yep, of course I’ve never been a big fan of NBNco paying money for this rubbish that would have died a natural death on its own but at least with the proper NBN plan it puts it out of it’s misery. The coalition of clowns however insist on beating a dead horse and in this case two horses. That explains their very vague FttN plan, it explains their insistence on keeping HFC, it explains why they have this “anything but fibre” mantra and it explains their general obsession with a patchwork network above all else. I’m not sure if they realise this but their failure to commit to any fibre rollout other than greenfields and contracts signed will come back to haunt them one day. They don’t even have to do 93%, I’ve said this many times before if they committed to even 51% that amounts to the same thing in the end. Fibre is without a doubt the future but they insist on wasting time, money and effort with squeezing a paltry few megabits out of HFC and the copper with FttN first and as you imply we will be stuck with that for a long time if their joke of a plan is allowed to be implemented.

    24. Phg
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Renai: What do you make of Malcolm Turnbull’s lateline statement last night of

      “Well, we’d obviously have to reach some agreement with Telstra. Optus I think is right out of that HFC business. They have no interest in going back into that. And you’ve got to remember the Government has paid both of these companies a lot of money not to use their HFC in future for broadband.”

      Appears to imply that Optus will hold the Coalition to the current Optus NBNCo HFC agreement, and that the Optus HFC will be shut down, to be replaced by NBNCo FTTP or Copper to the Node (FttN).

      • quink
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

        > Appears to imply that Optus will hold the Coalition to the current Optus NBNCo HFC agreement, and that the Optus HFC will be shut down, to be replaced by NBNCo FTTP or Copper to the Node (FttN).

        But HFC already exists in basically all the areas that Telstra is in with their HFC.

        That means that Optus HFC gets shut down and all those people will go onto Telstra HFC and ADSL2+?

        Jesus Christ, just when I thought this couldn’t get any worse, it does. The coalition will actually, literally, make Internet speeds worse for most Australians. I have no words.

        • Phg
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Many NSW Metro inner south suburbs around where I live have Optus HFC available, but definitely no Telstra HFC rolled out. Some of these (but not mine) are in the current 3 year NBN FTTP rollout schedule.

          So that will force many current Optus HFC customers already upgraded to DOCSIS 3.0 Optus HFC (theoretical 100Mbps down), back down to ADSL2+ unless they are lucky enough to still get FTTP under existing NBN contracts that the Coalition does not modify or cancel?

          At the moment, many of us in this area who can get Optus HFC, but not Telstra HFC, stick with ADSL2+ (where not too far from the exchange and with no copper issues) because of what is being reported in the tech media and from word of mouth of the performance of Optus HFC.

      • Brendan
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

        If this isn’t a statement towards “We’ll get Telstra to fix it..” I don’t know what is.

        Clearly Turnbull is lining up Telstra to do the needful, because they (LNP) will be yanking all funding elsewhere.

        This whole thing is getting a bit ugly.

    25. AJ
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Looks like many other people are not happy with this either.


    26. Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I t is my understanding that the roll-out has been planned by NBN Co ENGINEERS, not politicians, to meet ENGINEERING requirements, not political plans.

      So when did Turnbull pick up his ENGINEERING DEGREE?

      • Hugh Jaas
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        And somehow Rob Oakeshotts seat happened to be one of the first connected.

        • Abel Adamski
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Actually I don’t have a problem with that in fact I support it.
          1) Rural Aust has rubbish expensive B/B and as usual the Libs will shortchange them (Opel anyone)
          2) Without the indies there would be no NBN at all and the Indies went out on a limb for the NBN

      • Mud Guts
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Turnbull got his Engineering degree after sending in the bar codes off 3 specially marked packets of fruit loops.

    27. Terry
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      So what happens if your business is 3km from the exchange and has Optus HFC running past but not Telstra HFC?

      • Phg
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Possibly fixed wireless broadband.
        Alternatively, move business and invoice the Coalition for the business location change costs, and the decreased value in your business or business property value, caused by their Broadband policy.

    28. Mud Guts
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I live in an HFC area, but can only receive foxtel by satellite – buggered if I know why.

      So what does this mean for me under Turnbull’s craptacular Turnbull Bullshit Network (TBN)?

      Where I live now is in the 3 year build for the current NBN – construction to begin early 2014 so I am hoping that it means Turnbull will not cancel everything and I’ll get FTTH.

      • Phg
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Good luck, as there’s a good chance you’ll be part of the Coalition fantasy Network and end up with Copper to the Node (FttN), on a renegotiated supplier agreement for your area, or no change for a few years as the CCC and Optus take legal action against the Coalition (Taxpayer) to prevent the Coalition fantasy from being realised.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Sorry but dream on

    29. Peter
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      So now that its abundantly clear to anyone with half a brain that the Coalition have no plan and cannot be trusted with our future, how do we get this through to the great unwashed??

      New headline “Coalition gifts Taxpayer money to Telstra for purchasing coffee machines”

    30. Diachronic
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Malcolm….Malcolm…Malcolm…….you are way more intelligent than this.

      You are just creating an almighty future MESS that will forever besmirch your political career.

      Idiots can often forget stuff like this quickly, but the educated among us…..not so much.

      Nice going Renai….keep calling everyone out on their b/s.

      You are going to have a busy year!!! :-)

    31. Daniel
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I think Malcolm is blocking you Renai,

      My comment when linking your article is waiting on
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Post one:

      Daniel says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      February 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      I refer to you to the following articles:




      You have clearly ignored industry advise, and clearly ignored those who vote.

      This is even worse than Telstra’s attempt at a FTTN rollout that was only for 5 cities.

      This is Telstra 2.0, an attempt to minimize investment while looking good at a photo opportunity.

      The CCC stated today that your plan will be “doomed”.


      My advise, is to pack up your backs, move to some other party, before you are ridiculed even further by those in your own party.

      This plan and any other plan of yours is Telstra 2.0.

      Post 2

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      February 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Once again since my other comment was in moderation i will put these links here:




      Link #1 shows how much both Telstra and Optus spent on their Copper + HFC networks

      Links #2 & #3 also disprove what Malcolm said on Lateline.

      What Malcolm says on TV/Radio/Press isn’t what is happening on the ground, every single day of the week.

    32. Daniel
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Opps I forgot to post the link:

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Daniel, The secret is no more than ONE link, I too have one in moderation with several of the same links, in fact some in his previous item still “awaiting moderation”.

        So several posts is the only answer

        • Daniel
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

          So they trying to stop massive flooding of FACTS???


    33. tom r
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Oh I finally found this. Boy aren’t the liberals not getting my vote now. Thank you for posting this Renai.
      I live in a area serviced by both telstra and optus HFC. Optus can’t run a HFC network to save them though I used there phone and cable tv for only 13 months and had a heap of problems shudders to make me think what there internet service is like.
      Telstra the amount of problems I have in the past few years is horrible. Water damaged parts, complaints team that wanted to blame everything except for there network.
      So my choices are put up with a random good/bad HFC connection with telstra or get 4Mbit adsl 2+ that is known to drop out in my area a-lot. So I gain nothing I don’t mind waiting for a FTTH while they fix people on rims and would rather labor did that first. But I at-least want a fix eventually.

    34. nonny-moose
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      that lateline interview seriously angered me. it wasnt just the bits to do with the whole NBN /Alternate BN kerfluffle. it was also his discussion about what (he believes) President Obama said re: carbon in his SOTU speech. now one expects politicians to be liars. but one doesnt expect them to put words in someones mouth – an overseas figure no less, who already has his own obligations and wont be able to defend his statements as a local figure would – in the way Malcolm just did.

      there was a time i thought the libs were a decent counterweight to the other side of parliament. and i would have given them my vote given well considered, thoughtful policy. that time is not now and until the current crop either retire or are removed at elections i will not reward them with my vote: for all the bluster you are exactly what you accuse others of. no more. Wreckers is the kindest thing i have to say, and wreck you will, should you ever attain power. full warning people: these pollies DO NOT have your interests at heart. Power is their game and you should encourage everyone you know to not reward them.

      if you are in an HFC area letting neighbours know how little they think of you would be something to do; i know from personal experience few people happy with the stuff given the congestion that occurs when a whole swathe of people start to use it at the once. (and no, Braue, it is not necessarily ‘bt o’clock’ but simply ‘too many users o’clock’). these jokers have utterly burnt any chance i will support them. i WILL NOT reward you with a vote for your behaviour.

    35. Goresh
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well, that’s a couple of million votes they just chucked away.

      HFC customers would be those to whom their data rates are most important .

    36. Observer
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The very fact that Turnbull preaches honesty but practices lies means one thing: You can’t trust him

    37. Daniel
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink | Reply


      when asked to substantiate the $50 billion in savings given that the Coalition has promised it will still build a national broadband network – albeit one using cheaper fibre-to-the-node technology – Mr Abbott’s office declined to say precisely how the claimed savings will be made.

    38. Goresh
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It’s pretty clear that the coalition plan for delivering the NBN “faster” will be to simply declare all areas currently receiving a peak download speed exceeding 12mb/s as already being serviced by their new, mix of technologies, NBN.

    39. God's Truth
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Most illuminating quote:


      “The competitive carriers are keen for the Telstra HFC to be switched off and replaced by a government owned wholesale carrier [but] they have never shown any concern about how many billions of taxpayers’ dollars are spent to achieve this,” he said.

      “Their only objective is to eliminate Telstra as a wireline infrastructure operator so that they can compete on what they believe will be a level playing field.

      “The consequence of the Government’s NBN policy, egged on by the competitive carriers, is that there will be one government owned monopoly broadband wireline provider … which will be able to charge higher and h

      • Posted 15/02/2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

        @God’s Truth

        Illuminating, how?

        If you mean that operators want the chance to decently compete in high density areas that are currently monopolised or duopolised, then yes it is illuminating….except it’s not special.

        Or do you mean some other way? As in because NBNCo. could apparently charge “higher and higher prices”? Well, in that case, it’s not illuminating….because it’s entirely untrue. The ACCC controls what NBNCo. charges and any increases in charges.

        • God's Truth
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Here are the various vested interests:

          Whirlpool netivists — they want nothing less than FTTP (ever since Labor said cost isn’t an issue)… any other option is shite.

          CCC — they want Telstra decapitated as an infrastructure provider… fully government-owned FTTP/FTTN/HFC will do, as long as Telstra is completely dispossessed…. but Telstra will not give up HFC for strategic reasons… so they favour either all-FTTP or all-FTTN…

          Malcolm — protecting taxpayers

          tech blogs — ad clicks and free beer

          cheerio :-)

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink | Reply


            A paid up member and servant of the Cult of Murdoch

            Psst. The real God may get a little pissed at you calling Rupert God

          • Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

            @God’s Truth

            Whirpoolers often comprise many who work in these industries. I’ll not deny there are many “zealots” there, but most of us want what is good for the country. If you go back in the Archives (one of the reasons Whirlpool is so good) you’ll find many people supporting FTTN in 2007 before it became obvious it wouldn’t work as NBNCo. don’t own the copper. Then many people saw the obvious advantages of FTTH.

            People are allowed to change their minds when presented with evidence that disproves their point.

            Telstra is keeping HFC because they wrote it off and then partnered with Foxtel. It has nothing to do with internet provisioning.

            Malcolm…protecting taxpayers….yeah, like the Coalition protects them from Telstra’s price gouging thanks to it being vertically separat….oh wait, that’s right, they didn’t do that. And it took them 12 years and Malcolm 5 years, before he’d admit that.

            If you believe that about tech news sites….why are you even reading it?

          • Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

            tech blogs — ad clicks and free beer

            In the words of Renai:

            Your comment is invalid.

            • alain
              Posted 16/02/2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

              whoa wait up there – I want to know where the free beer is.

          • Hubert Cumberdale
            Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

            “CCC — they want Telstra decapitated as an infrastructure provider”

            Good. Decapitate them. This is the best option and the best way to protect retailers and customers from exorbitant prices. Telstra have proven they cannot be trusted with Australia’s communication infrastructure. There is no reason for us to be held hostage thanks to the NBN plan now.

            “Malcolm — protecting taxpayers”

            By rolling out FttN and wasting billions of taxpayers dollars in the process? LOL

        • Mark Tartano
          Posted 15/02/2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I am shaken at how two dimensional Turnbull is portraying NBN. NBN has no retail or alternative networks to balance. Telstra has used its market power, its split retail and wholesale and mule like intransigence to slow down access to its network by competitors even in the face of government and ACCC intervention.

          The NBN has none of this baggage its role is only as a wholesale network provider. It wants as many people on its network as possible. Telstra have only given the appearance of accepting being relieved of the last mile wireline responsibilities because its only alternatives are to become the NBN it self and have wholesale separated or spend the vast majority of its profits in the next decade fixing the deteriorating CAN.

          There are no savings. Abbot is killing the NBN and relegating it to a size where it will never be profitable. The addition of FTTN if its rolled into the same company gives it all of the negatives of the terrible copper which the coalition is just ignoring. The funniest thing is that there is only one way that HFC is going to be brought into better repair, the CAN is going to brought into better repair and FTTN rolled out and that is with higher prices.

          So lets recap. HFC users higher prices, NBN FTTP users higher prices and FTTN users higher prices. All courtesy of idiots that have an un-losable election and don’t look now to be the Dr Hewson plan of electioneering.

      • WhatsNew
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Telstra could certainly do with some competition. These are their own internet plans according to broadband choice:

        On NBN – Up to 100000 / 40000 kbps (http://bc.whirlpool.net.au/bc/isp-1-10/telstra-bigpond-nbn.htm)
        200GB Ultimate NBN 200 GB Shaped Counted $22.95 Dynamic $79.95 /mo = $102.90/mth for internet and phone combined

        On HFC – Up to 100000 / 2048 kbps (http://bc.whirlpool.net.au/bc/isp-1-1/telstra-bigpond-cable.htm)
        Ultimate 200GB Cable (Telstra Phone Discount) 200 GB Shaped Counted $22.95 Dynamic $99.95 /mo = $122.90/mth for internet and phone combined

        NBN fibre plan is $20 per month cheaper than the equivalent HFC plan, and it is also 20x faster with the upload speed.

        Even if Malcolm persuades Telstra to allow wholesale access to their HFC network (not sure if he has even said this) how is he going to persuade Telstra to lower their current retail prices for it? Afterall, he has said that internet prices will be lower under the Coalition because there is less upfront capital to pay off.

        I think this will actually end badly one way or another. I can just imagine the pricing disparity across the country and trouble relocating your service if you move if he ends up with different wholesalers all selling access to different products. So much for the ubiquitous NBN.

        • alain
          Posted 16/02/2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink | Reply


          The Whirlpool site is out of date on the Telstra NBN Plans.


          It is hard to compare like for like anymore, because you can only get the 200GB NBN Plan as a bundle (T-Bundle Extend 200GB) and at the 100Mbps (now called a Speed Boost option 1 or 2) you quoted it is $120/mth.

          BTW the NBN Plans require a 24 month contract so the Cable Plan you quoted on a 24 month contract is $79.95 (+ $22.95 phone) per month not $99.95.

    40. God's Truth
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      If you truly want to divine Coalition policy, you need only ask Malcolm Turnbull a single question:

      “Will the Coalition repeal the provisions in Labor’s NBN legislation mandating any new superfast networks to be subject to regulated open access requirements?”

      A definitive answer to this question will resolve a thousand others.

      • Posted 15/02/2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

        @God’s Truth

        Actually, the real question is:

        “Even IF the Coalition win the next election, would they BE ABLE to repeal any of Labor’s legislation regarding super fast broadband?” Just like “Will they BE ABLE to repeal the Carbon Impost?”

        And I know the answer to that one.

        • alain
          Posted 16/02/2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink | Reply


          ‘And I know the answer to that one.’

          So do I, if the Coalition have the majority in the Lower and Upper Houses the answer is YES.

          • Posted 16/02/2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink | Reply


            Good to see your the world’s largest optimist when it comes to a Coalition victory. Not only do you already know that the Coalition will win the election, which I concede at this stage is more likely, but apparently you also think they will have control of the Senate….even though, if I’m not mistaken, NO first term government ever has….

            • alain
              Posted 16/02/2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

              No I don’t assume the Coalition will gain power that is what the meaning of ‘if’ is in front of that statement.

              You are correct even if the Coalition gain majority in the Lower House the half Senate election in September is not likely to mirror that majority but it also depends a great deal on how the non Labor and non Coalition senators vote this time around also.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Existing networks of course are exempt such as the Telstra/Murdoch Pay TV/Broadband HFC network. Even if the taxpayer forks out Billions to upgrade and extend the the tyrants network it is still not a new network, but an existing one.
        Do you have comprehension issues?

        • alain
          Posted 16/02/2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink | Reply

          Yes, the Labor Government and the ACCC allowed Telstra to keep the HFC for Foxtel, the ACCC has also approved the 50% share Telstra and News Corp has of Foxtel.

          If you have any issues take it up with your Federal MP and the ACCC.

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 17/02/2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

            alain, and how legally could they do otherwise, PAY TV is NOT Broadband

    41. Stephen H
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      This really sounds like something Labor can use as a vote-winner.

    42. Abel Adamski
      Posted 15/02/2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Rupes Truth
      Consider if which is very likely The Coalition Hands it over to Telstra to bend the Nation over ( Sorry build the FTTN network ) with Billions of taxpayer dollars.
      Technically it is extending their network as they own the facilities, ducts, pits conduits and the last mile of copper. So technically it is an existing network and also exempt from those pieces of legislation

      • alain
        Posted 16/02/2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink | Reply

        It is exempt from what piece of legislation?

        • nonny-moose
          Posted 16/02/2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

          scroll up to the bit where you were asked if you have comprehension issues.

          and tho you havent answered, its clear you do. Abels post was detached from the thread he meant to reply to – the one started by ‘gods’ truth – you can see by his post who he was responding to. reread that thread and you have your answer. its only a page or two up atm.

          its pretty sad we have to spoonfeed you all this. and i have to say thats an apt description, since just like a baby you like to spit it back out and behave badly while we are trying to have an adult discussion…. most kids grow out of that phase pretty quickly. its a pretty sad reflection on the merits of your position when you feel thats the way for you to advance it. if anything, it takes away from it.

    43. CT
      Posted 16/02/2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink | Reply

      This is all about propping up the past privatisation of Telstra by the Coalition, nothing else.
      This country will never be rid of the monopoly Telstra menace!!!

      • alain
        Posted 16/02/2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink | Reply

        Telstra doesn’t need propping up as shown by the recent half year results, record share price and continuing healthy dividend payouts, all of that is under the banner of the on going NBN rollout and Structural Separation, the latter of which the Coalition supported.

        If you want to look at a prime example of the need for ‘propping up’ for decades to come you need look no further than the Labor NBN rollout in all its missed rollout targets and low activation rates glory.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 16/02/2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Record share price????

          I didn’t realise TLS were over $9 again ;)

          • alain
            Posted 16/02/2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Four year high then, the point remains.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 16/02/2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

              No I think your entire point was blown with that untruthful and misleading embellishment… because TLS aren’t even trading at half all time highs… which tells you what?

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 16/02/2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Actually (iirc) they are around half, maybe a tad over half…

                • alain
                  Posted 16/02/2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  ‘Telstra shares hit four-year high’


                  That was July last year.

                  ‘… which tells you what?’

                  Telstra closed at $4.63 yesterday, so it is trading higher than when it was trading at the four year high.

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 17/02/2013 at 12:28 am | Permalink | Reply

                    YES HELLO…


                    Sorry to the humans for yelling but…

                    THEY ARE NOT ALL TIME HIGHS … WRONG ONCE AGAIN (at least you are consistent)…,

                    • alain
                      Posted 17/02/2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink | Reply

                      I changed it to ‘4 year high’, you really need to give CAPS lock a rest and move on.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 17/02/2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink |

                        Ooh sorry about that, I forgot you are blind not deaf ;)

        • Stephen H
          Posted 16/02/2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

          If Telstra doesn’t need propping up, what’s the problem with removing its monopoly?

          Telstra has made some incredibly short-sighted business decisions since privatisation, but it’s okay because the Coalition will support them and ensure government funding as well as continued monopoly control.

          The NBN doesn’t need “propping up”. It is a government-owned asset. It will provide value to taxpayers for decades (or until Tony Abbott sells it to Telstra for a song).

          Think Snowy Mountains Hydro. It displaced hundreds of people from their homes. It cost enormous amounts of money. It also provided enormous employment opportunities, and continues to provide 37% of the nation’s electricity. It also provides the ability to manage river flows and water. Is it a project the private sector would ever have gone anywhere near? No. Does it provide value to all Australians? Yes, and will continue to do so for several decades or until another short-sighted government decision to sell it off. How long did this nation-building project take? Decades. That is the kind of project the NBN is, and yet people are criticising it for not being live in their neighbourhood yesterday.

          Low activation rates? Well yes, people are locked into other contracts. It takes time, but some people just don’t understand the concept of nation-building and the concept of patience. Stop sniping from the sidelines, and provide some positive contribution to a project that Australia needs if it is to be at all competitive in coming decades. A project Telstra won’t do, and no other telecoms company has the resources for (unless they can run a monopoly).

          • alain
            Posted 16/02/2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

            @Stephen H

            ‘If Telstra doesn’t need propping up, what’s the problem with removing its monopoly?’

            There is no problem, Telstra was operationally separated in 2006 it is now to be structurally separated approved by the shareholders and Parliament, and all their monopoly infrastructure access and pricing is controlled by the ACCC, I don’t know what else you think needs to happen to remove its ‘monopoly’.

            ‘Telstra has made some incredibly short-sighted business decisions since privatisation, but it’s okay because the Coalition will support them and ensure government funding as well as continued monopoly control.’

            Telstra receive Government funding from Labor NOW, and re monopoly control I keep repeating the Coalition are not disbanding the ACCC in fact they want to give it extra powers and I wouldn’t call fast tracking the NextG rollout or the LTE rollout which is making up fast falling PSTN revenue short sighted at all do you?

            ‘The NBN doesn’t need “propping up”. It is a government-owned asset. It will provide value to taxpayers for decades (or until Tony Abbott sells it to Telstra for a song).’

            Well we won’t know that until 2033, if you can provide me with the Tattslotto numbers for 2033 or even 2013 for that matter then I will believe you.

            ‘Think Snowy Mountains Hydro.’

            Yes I have got that image but sorry I don’t equate it to the NBN rollout at all, you see the NBN rollout requires existing infrastructure to be shut down to ensure residents are forced to use it, I don’t get that sort of image about the SMH.

            ‘Does it provide value to all Australians? Yes, and will continue to do so for several decades or until another short-sighted government decision to sell it off.’

            So the sell of the NBN Co to private interests as specified by the Labor Government that is going to happen you would be against?

            ‘ How long did this nation-building project take? Decades. That is the kind of project the NBN is, and yet people are criticising it for not being live in their neighbourhood yesterday.”

            Well some people want it yesterday, I think most residences couldn’t give a stuff, well not until there is no choice at least.

            ‘Low activation rates? Well yes, people are locked into other contracts.’

            You know this is a statistically significant factor how?

            ‘ It takes time, but some people just don’t understand the concept of nation-building and the concept of patience.’

            Well people do understand the concept of Nation Building, perhaps they don’t think that HDTV to multiple points in the home is a method that will achieve it.

            ‘Stop sniping from the sidelines, and provide some positive contribution to a project that Australia needs if it is to be at all competitive in coming decades.’

            I don’t agree that just providing FTTH to the residence is all Australia needs to be competitive in the coming decades.

            ‘A project Telstra won’t do, and no other telecoms company has the resources for (unless they can run a monopoly).’

            You mean like the NBN Co monopoly? – I am sure Telstra, Optus or any consortium would like it if they knew they could have all competitor infrastructure shut down as a condition of their rollout.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 17/02/2013 at 12:24 am | Permalink | Reply

              Let’s all spot the Telstra employee and Coalition fanboi…. ready point

            • Posted 22/02/2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Yes I have got that image but sorry I don’t equate it to the NBN rollout at all, you see the NBN rollout requires existing infrastructure to be shut down to ensure residents are forced to use it, I don’t get that sort of image about the SMH.

              You know there’s a town under Lake Jindabyne don’t you? But I bet there’ s not many people living there.

    44. Mikhail Bulgakov
      Posted 16/02/2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Why do we need to pay more money to Telstra and all of it’s rich, caviar eating shareholders? The current infrastructure was built by the government using the funds of the Australian people. It belongs to all of Australia. Just socialize this evil company and give these capaitalist thieves absolutely nothing in return.

    45. Chris NG
      Posted 16/02/2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi all I have created a survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SZ2LWHG

      The purpose of the survey is to gauge the publics reaction to the coalitions broadband policy and how it will influence their vote at the next election.

      Please complete the survey and have your say.

      Renai if you could promote this survey to your readers that would be great so that we can get a good cross section of the public to complete the survey.

      Hopefully we can then have some valuable data that can be given to the coalition

      • alain
        Posted 16/02/2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Wow Chris I have seen some loaded surveys in my time but that one is tipping over so far it will never right itself.

        It starts with the heading:

        ‘Convincing The Coalition Fibre to the Home Is The Right Way Forward For Australia’

        You have already reached a loaded conclusion that FTTH IS the right way forward and that the Coalition therefore needs to be convinced.

        ‘1. Which of the following broadband policies do you support and think will future proof the broadband needs of Australian into the future:

        Labors Fibre to the home / fixed Wireless & Satellite NBN Network

        The Coalitions Fibre to the node network (Except in current HFC rolled out areas)’

        The Coalition option is loaded, it should say Fibre to the Node (the except in HFC areas should be deleted because it unknown if Telstra will agree to that yet), Fibre to the Home/fixed wireless & Satellite network.

        ‘4. If the Coalition was to change its broadband policy to complete the NBN using its current mix of technologies would this cause you to consider changing your vote for the Coalition ?’

        The question is ambiguous, the ‘change its broadband policy to complete the NBN’ is superfluous, change from what exactly?

        ‘5. Taking into consideration what is publicly known about the Coalitions broadband policy what issues can you see with it ?’

        ‘ Relies on existing aging copper network’

        Take out aging that loads the question, I am sure there a many new bits as well , but if you put in aging copper except for the bits that are not it creates confusion, you need to create the impression that the much shorter copper link is not up to a FTTN rollout.

        You could have said relies on fibre/copper network as well , but you don’t want fibre clouding the intent of the question where the loaded emphasis is existing AGING COPPER.

        ‘Speeds won’t be as fast as fibre to the home (both download / upload speeds)’

        You should have quoted the up to speeds of FTTN then asked would this be sufficient for your needs, but you don’t want them ticking FTTN boxes.

        ‘Every one of the “nodes” will require electricity connection to operate’

        The point of the question is? and are going to mention the FTTH NTU in each and every home requires electricity as well and optionally a UPS?

        ‘Broadband speeds won’t be uniform across suburbs (depending on condition existing copper)’

        Of course FTTH BB speeds won’t be uniform across suburbs either it depends on other factors like the quality of your chosen ISP’s links, the loaded question insinuates only FTTN has this problem because it has that C word in there.

        ‘6. If you had the benefit of either Tony Abbotts or Malcolm Turnbull’s ear which of the following statements would you be more likely to convey to them:

        The fibre to the home will be good for Australia’s future and its more economical to continue the roll out now than to build a fibre to the node network and upgrade it to fibre to the home in the future.

        Your fibre to the node policy is fantastic and I wish you the best with it.’

        The FTTH gets a loaded 40 word promotion and the FTTN gets only 16 words, half of which is a glib throwaway ‘and I wish you the best with it’ .

        ‘Hopefully we can then have some valuable data that can be given to the coalition’

        I doubt it.

        • God's Laughing
          Posted 16/02/2013 at 9:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Laugh Out Loud

          Tearing apart NBN supporters’ rhetoric is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. (Except your trigger finger gets sore after awhile.)

          • seven_tech
            Posted 16/02/2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

            @God’s Laughing

            Funny….I didn’t actually see you doing so?

            Talking about animals, you know the Coalition are looking for sheep on their “NBN” policy if you’re not busy….

            • God's Laughing
              Posted 16/02/2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

              That is the most atrocious survey design I have ever come across.

              If that survey was seriously meant to inform policy decisions, it would ask survey respondents simple questions such as: what are your current and future broadband requirements; how much are you willing to spend on broadband per month, etc. Questions that the average Jack or Jill on the street can directly relate back to their personal experience with broadband usage.

              I will bet you my left nut that at least 95 percent of people that you stop on the street won’t even know what “fibre to the node” or “fibre to the premise” is. I’ll even go further: 95 percent of students (across all disciplines) at any leading tertiary institution in Australia will not know the technical difference between FTTN and FTTP.

              Try this: print out the survey sheet, go stand in the middle of your main street and ask Joe Bloggs passing by what his lay opinion is on obscure issues such as “electrification of street cabinets”. Survey questions like that will guarantee people handing the sheet back to you and quickly walking away with a puzzled look on their face.

              • Chris NG
                Posted 16/02/2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Sorry the survey isnt upto your exacting standards but to give you some background I am an everyday aussie concerned with the coalitions policy on broadband and I am actually getting off my blurt to try and do something about the situation. My goal is to demonstrate the fact that ordinary aussies do care and that its an issue. I would welcome your input if you wish to contribute so if you want to send through your suggestions for a survey by all means do so .

                • alain
                  Posted 17/02/2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink | Reply

                  ‘I would welcome your input if you wish to contribute so if you want to send through your suggestions for a survey by all means do so .’

                  You have plenty of input and suggestions already, I am waiting for your response to them.

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 17/02/2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink | Reply

                “That is the most atrocious survey design I have ever come across.”

                In that case check this… a new champion eh, God’s laughing?


                • Hubert Cumberdale
                  Posted 17/02/2013 at 12:51 am | Permalink | Reply


                  Destroyed with one URL.

                  No need for an inefficient shotgun and in-nutritious barrel fish.

                  We have a star sniper here taking out deer.

                • alain
                  Posted 17/02/2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink | Reply

                  But you didn’t address the valid points God’s Laughing made (or mine for that matter) about Chris’s survey all you did was point to another survey as if by merely doing that makes the loaded questions in Chris’s attempt all ok.

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 17/02/2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

                    Err that’s because Chris’ was a hypothetical survey… as opposed to a disgracefully dishonest, circulated politically motivated, actual survey.

                    Q. Can you see the difference?

                    A. ?

                    BTW – I did as intended and addressed the most valid first point in Gods Laughing’s comment… by disproving his claims that’s Chris’ was the most atrocious survey.

                    Please at least try to keep up :)

                    I look forward to your typical silence or some further typically evasive rubbish along the lines of “yes I thought you’d back pedal with it all becoming too hot” :/

                    • alain
                      Posted 17/02/2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

                      So it’s a ‘hypothetical’ survey now is it, so that survey site doesn’t really exist and you cannot really answer the questions?

                      I’ll just check to see if it is a ‘hypothetical’ link to a ‘hypothetical’ form:


                      Nope it exists with no change to any of the loaded questions, and you can fill it all in and click done when finished.

                      In that case we can all play the meaningless semantics game, the MP survey you linked to was just as ‘hypothetical’ survey as well.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 17/02/2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

                        As I said… “I look forward to your typical silence or some further typically evasive rubbish along the lines of “yes I thought you’d back pedal with it all becoming too hot” :/

                        And voila…!

                        Gee how about that, a site where people can make surveys actually “exists” (thanks for pointing out the bleedin’ obvious) and a poster here even used it! Wow?

                        Err there was never an argument that the site doesn’t exist (usual strawman *sigh*)…

                        Interesting though, that you seem to believe because Chris, a confessed everyday Aussie, did a “hypothetical/mock” survey (a survey not intended to be circulated, just an exercise) that that in some way legitimises George Christensen’s ridiculous, electioneering survey, which was circulated and described as Nth Qld’s biggest survey???

                        OMG you will argue over anything, no matter how ridiculous to support “the cause” and you will take it past the point of rationality pretty much always, won’t you?

                        *shakes head in pity*

              • Tinman_au
                Posted 18/02/2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

                “That is the most atrocious survey design I have ever come across.”

                you must have missed the one from the LNP guy in North Qld last week ;o)

    46. robinp
      Posted 16/02/2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Any chance of seeing a site similar to adsl2exchanges.com.au that instead allows you to look up an address, and work out what you are likely to end up with broadband wise, post Labour or Coalition win in September ?

      • seven_tech
        Posted 16/02/2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink | Reply


        Problem with this is, we just don’t know what the Coalition will do, where, yet. So it’s impossible to make a map like that.

        The best that could be done is assume all those now in the Commenced areas would get FTTH.

        • alain
          Posted 17/02/2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink | Reply

          Well we don’t need to assume that’s exactly what will happen.

          ‘Shadow communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has confirmed a Coalition government would honour existing contracts for the National Broadband Network (NBN).’


          Also seven_tech note the subtle shift from an all FTTN rollout has started.

          “You might complete the contracts that you’ve already got for fibre-to-the-premises and then enter into new ones for fibre-to-the-node,’

          Note the key word ‘might’ creeping in now.

          As I have said the eventual Coalition rollout will have a much higher FTTH rollout percentage, the shift has started.

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 17/02/2013 at 11:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

            As has been mentioned the Foxtel/Sky/Telstra Pay TV plus B/B network only services approx 25% of the premises it passes, If Rupert’s Alan Bond has the Taxpayer pay to upgrade and ensure ability to service 100% of premises in footprint, maybe even extend somewhat or take over the Optus HFC, maybe an extra Million or more Foxtel/Sky subscribers at no extra cost to him courtesy of taxpayer gifts and after that substantial a gift that HFC won’t ever be overbuilt.

            The Dire Straits song Money For Nothing, maybe an extra Billion a year income ?, motivation???

            Then News Ltd. would approve of FTTH under the Coalition of course. Pity the NBN would only cover less than 70% of premises, but then who cares Rupe has his money for nothing

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 18/02/2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink | Reply

            With respect alain may I suggest you are a tad naive, it is about Power and Money

            • alain
              Posted 18/02/2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink | Reply

              With respect I don’t think you know what is going on in the real world, then conveniently blank it all out when it is pointed out because as shown by multiple post content you are on a political crusade.

              First of all the HFC infrastructure is owned and maintained by Telstra you purchase Telstra cable BB plans not News Ltd BB plans, what happens with HFC under a Coaltion Government is between Telstra and them.

              Secondly as I have pointed out to you numerous times the ACCC oversees all of Telstra’s market dominance and its effect upon competition, as well as overseeing Telstra’s monopoly infrastructure and dictates to Telstra what they will charge for it.

              Any plans that the Coalition has for Telstra in a future FTTH/FTTN/HFC mix must be approved by the ACCC first because any adding to Telstra’s already dominant position in the market would be looked at very closely indeed.

              • Abel Adamski
                Posted 19/02/2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink | Reply

                I stated “Foxtel/Sky subscribers “, the broadband is Telstra’s, once into premises, many the bundles include Foxtel and Sky (which do not come free and carry advertising and news and current affairs commentry as well as entertainment and sport), Foxtel after all is 50% Telstra, 50% News Ltd. Sky is 100% News Ltd.

          • Tinman_au
            Posted 18/02/2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

            “Well we don’t need to assume that’s exactly what will happen.

            ‘Shadow communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has confirmed a Coalition government would honour existing contracts for the National Broadband Network (NBN).’ ”

            What a trusting little fellow you are Alain.

            Unfortunately, Malcolm doesn’t decide for the party, and it isn’t a “signed in blood, oath” for Tony (heck, he hasn’t even acknowledged it)….

    47. Justice4All
      Posted 16/02/2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Only a monkey would connect fiber to a ancient copper mess. enough said.

    48. Abel Adamski
      Posted 17/02/2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I know it is not in relation to HFC, rather FTTN.
      But I was just reminded of a factor I had forgotten (been out of the loop too long, didn’t think they would have been dumb enough to continue when it caused so many problems in the areas in the 70’s-80’s either close to the sea or with high salt level ground water0

      Telstra has been doing a bit of cost savings over the years with apparently quite a lot of aluminum cable’s. A bit more subject to corrosion issues but I guess the gel filled connectors were going to handle that.
      The issue is conductance and transmission characteristics, fine for 600 Ohm Telephony, sort of OK for fax. But different frequency/attenuation characteristics to copper, unlikely to be pure aluminium runs, would be copper sections in there as well, so at higher frequencies greatly increased Z mismatches with reflections, standing waves , phase shifts etc. possibly a major reason why even with short cables under 1Km . ADSL can be so crap, imagine with VDSL carriers. Regardless the final subs run usually copper.

      Poor old M’T the bubbles keep deflating

      Maybe someone with more current info can expand on this

      • alain
        Posted 18/02/2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink | Reply

        So FTTH is rolled out in those areas, the problem is what?

        • Paul Thompson
          Posted 18/02/2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink | Reply

          Well the FTTN model, amongst its numerous other deal-breaking faults, is subject to the quality of the ‘last mile’.

          Telstra has typically kept their service to the bare minimum required to deliver a telephony service. This is a far cry from what is needed to deliver VDSL. The use of aluminium is another example of this.

          • alain
            Posted 18/02/2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink | Reply

            In your rush to respond you missed what I said, I said FTTH.

            • Paul Thompson
              Posted 18/02/2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink | Reply

              Oops, so you did.

              I might have misread it as FTTN because I don’t think there are any proposals on the table to do what you are talking about.

              As I understand it, the Coalition’s plan to keep the HFC in use would also mean that a lot of ‘brownfield’ would be getting FTTN wouldn’t they? I know that they have talked about using the most appropriate technology for each situation – are you reading that to mean that they would deploy FTTH in those places where aluminium would prevent VDSL from being practical?

              • alain
                Posted 18/02/2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink | Reply

                ‘are you reading that to mean that they would deploy FTTH in those places where aluminium would prevent VDSL from being practical?’

                That’s exactly what I’m saying, if Telstra or the Coalition NBN Co contractor looked at those areas as part of a CBA analysis and stated the cost to replace all the aluminum with all new copper runs for FTTN is $xxx and the cost to replace it with FTTH is $xxx , and remember (if Abel is correct BTW) we are talking about areas where ground salt is major corrosion factor, you may decide FTTH is the smartest choice for that area.

                • Brendan
                  Posted 18/02/2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink | Reply

                  No offence, but you’re making a number of assumptions.

                  Not the least of which is FTTH, which Turnbull hasn’t discussed beyond stating there’s policy (which we now won’t see till after the election, how convenient).

                  We also know HFC won’t be over-built. We don’t know if FTTN or FTTH is on the table because Turnbull hasn’t got a costed solution (remember, he claimed he had one, then he suddenly didn’t because he couldn’t see NBNco’s books) or even a policy at this point.

                  And before you exclaim “but labor !!”, remember they actually had policy; it may have been updated to match recommendations post election, but the party has gone to at least two elections so far with policy.

                  Compare that to LNP. Their policy is? <insert the sound of crickets, here>

                  You don’t know (I presume you don’t speak with the member for wentworth on a regular basis?) any more than apparently he does; certainly no more than the rest of us.

                  The only recent information we have, is as follows:

                  – LNP will have a conversation with Telstra (Turnbull).
                  – circa $50 billion will be stripped from NBN investments (Abbott)
                  – LNP will not have HFC overbuilt (Turnbull)
                  – Optus won’t be involved in anything (Turnbull)
                  – NBNco to be paused (turnbull, abbott, hockey and pretty much the entire party)

                  Note there is zero discussion of policy. I don’t see too many facts on the table, right now. I do see an awful lot of conjecture though.

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 18/02/2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    + 1 Exactly Brendan…

                    What’s worse IMO… those who oppose the NBN apparently willing to accept any possible scenario in relation to the Coalition as being factual, when the Coalition haven’t even outlined them in any detail. Whilst simultaneously bagging everything that NBNCo actually does or has estimated via transparent analysis, within their actual documentation.

                    Blind faith eh *sigh*

                • Paul Thompson
                  Posted 18/02/2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  I wonder how granular they can get with the rollout. For example, if they look at an area and find that 25% of it needs the copper relaced, could they choose to use fiber for just that 25% instead?

                  I would imagine that there would be logistical issues in doing so, and that the default would be to continue with the run of FTTN in the whole area. After all, replacing 25% of an area’s copper would be cheaper than running 100% fiber.

                  So I guess that you would be saying that those areas with Aluminium would either be replaced by FTTH or have it’s copper replaced. Of course, that copper would then be affected by the apparent affects of the salt. This would lead to an area having reliability issues – however if the cost via CBA comes in lower, then they will just have to suck it up.

                  FTTH seems to be just a plain better solution.

                  • alain
                    Posted 18/02/2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    Well like a lot of discussions this ‘aluminum/salt’ problem is total conjecture in terms of percentage, even Abel where the original story came from admits ‘he has been out of the loop too long’, who knows what the situation is in 2013.

                    It may be a problem that is not even statistically significant anymore.

                    • Paul Thompson
                      Posted 18/02/2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

                      If it ever was statistically significant. Who knows.

                      If it ever was, I would assume it still is – for the basic reason that the aluminium is put in as a longer life alternative to copper.

                      It does raise other questions though. Let’s ignore aluminium; what is the level of granularity for FTTH mixed with FTTN? I would assume it was reasonably good… with the nodes in necessary areas perhaps having the GPONs and running fiber to the premises.

                      Just conjecture of course.

                      • Abel Adamski
                        Posted 19/02/2013 at 1:47 am | Permalink |

                        I was hoping someone on the ground could have more current info, the matter was brought up on a post in ZDNet.
                        The reason Telecom experimented with aluminium was that it has been used for HV Power Transmission, this at a time when aluminium was far cheaper than copper which was at ridiculous prices. I never had much to do with local loop cables and was only aware of limited use and that the coastal stuff was largely replaced, however the poster intimated that there was a lot in use, hence my request for current info.
                        ( Ever come across Cat 4/5/6 Aluminium cable , even Cat 3 ?)

                      • Abel Adamski
                        Posted 19/02/2013 at 1:53 am | Permalink |

                        A bit more to it than that, the cards used for the FTTN cabinets can be used for FTT runs also, yes. But the average best performance from it as trialled by BT and also on offer in the US FTTN scenarios is about 350/?, compared with NBN of 1G/400Mb
                        oils ain’t oils Sol

        • Brendan
          Posted 18/02/2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply


          FTTH doesn’t exist under any Liberal Government. Abbott has made it clear he will scrap the project; he has to, in order to drag the billions of dollars in investments back out again.

          Unfortunately, it’s also clear the current leadership does not walk in tune with Turnbull. GIven there is to be no official policy prior to an election—

          .. never mind how horrified I am that a political party running for a federal election will not be drawn on, or even bother with policies. What the actual f**k? How are you supposed to make a reasoned voting choice when a party doesn’t even tell you what the hell it intends to do?

          — we cannot make any ‘safe’ assumptions. Because there’s no policy to tack that assumption to.

          Abbott is going to take a very large axe to the NBN. He’s already said so on multiple occasions; they’re going to magic $50 billion out of it. I can’t see how they can do that and honour existing contracts.

          Welcome to the real world of politics.

          No, I fully expect the Liberal Party, if elected to govern, will blame Labor for the default costs, the winding down and selling off of the NBNco and so forth. FTTN isn’t an alternative, because there’s no policy to make it one.

          Until someone fronts up with some pre-election policy; we cannot assume a damn thing. Contracts don’t mean anything to Abbott. Never have.

          • alain
            Posted 18/02/2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply


            Abbott recently stated:

            ‘However, in a major speech delivered this afternoon to the National Press Club, coming after the formal disclosure of the September 14 date for the upcoming Federal Election at the same venue yesterday by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Abbott backed Turnbull’s fibre to the node model for the first time publicly. The full text of Abbott’s speech is available online.

            “Between now and polling day, we will be constantly developing our policy commitments so that you know exactly what will happen should the government change,” said Abbott.’


            ‘We won’t throw good money after bad BUT WE WON’T DISMANTLE WHAT’S BEEN BUILT”.

            My caps.


            Turnbull has recently come out and said AGAIN they will honour any existing NBN Co contracts


            ….. including I assume even one as recent as this one signed on the 15th of this month:

            ‘The work will build on the previous $66 million contract Downer EDI signed with NBN Co last December, which saw it selected to handle the connection of residential apartments and flats to the network in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.’


            I think you and others really need to move on from the Coalition wrecking ball bogeyman mentality, not even Labor uses it anymore, the debate has moved on from that.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 18/02/2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Of course you’ll accept the Coalition’s procession of ifs, ands, buts and maybes like a child to it’s mother teat, whilst never accepting anything NBN positive, in fact trying to always discredit even the most postive NBN aspects with childish irrationality IMO :/

              I think it’s time you stopped electioneering… because although the election is in essence a 6mth + campaign, you seem to have been campaigning already, for over 2 years.

            • Tinman_au
              Posted 18/02/2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Once again alain, you are mistaking press releases for policy, the two are not the same thing…especially where Tony “Blood Oath” Abbott is concerned…

    49. Mathew
      Posted 21/02/2013 at 12:24 am | Permalink | Reply

      > The HFC cables of both Telstra and Optus runs right down this street; right past my apartment. However, for the past decade that I have lived here, I have been completely unable to get this infrastructure connected to the two apartments in which I have lived, because to start with, the apartment owner of the entire block won’t get it connected to every apartment as both telcos require, and so I can’t get it connected to my individual apartment. I’ve asked several times.

      So Telstra and Optus should be gently persuaded to “do the right thing”. Unfortunately too many Australian companies simply won’t “do the right thing”.

    50. Mathew
      Posted 21/02/2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      If Malcolm Turnbull is saying HFC areas should be last on the list, then I agree with him. Currently those areas should predominately have access to 100Mbps – not as good as fibre but much better than your average ADSL connection.

      The fact is that this is a national roll-out, and those areas in most need should be prioritised first. I would argue that the newer the suburb, the more likely that Telstra either installed RIMs or the distance between the homes and the exchange is much further. Inner city areas are typically much closer to exchanges so on average should experience faster speeds.

      In each of the above examples, I’m sure you could find exceptions but the NBN is a nation building project so the areas of highest need should be focused on first. Currently what we have is areas with HFC being built over as a priority to remove competition.

      • Posted 21/02/2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink | Reply

        Currently what we have is areas with HFC being built over as a priority to remove competition.


      • tinman_au
        Posted 21/02/2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink | Reply

        I think you’ll find the areas being built are effectively random when it comes to any favour being shown. Can’t recall who, but someone did a check on the areas Vs marginal seats (and proved no bias). NBNCo is building out from the POI’s, and the POI locations were decided by the ACCC, and I’m not sure why you’d think the ACCC would have it in for HFC anyway…

      • Posted 22/02/2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

        not as good as fibre but much better than your average ADSL connection.

        No it isn’t, unless you want to watch movies.

    51. ahmad
      Posted 19/04/2013 at 12:16 am | Permalink | Reply

      is there hfc area in canberra ?

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