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  • Blog - Written by on Sunday, February 24, 2013 18:44 - 58 Comments

    Is the Coalition’s NBN policy fundamentally different?

    blog ABC Technology & Games Editor Nick Ross has earned himself a certain … reputation in Australia’s telecommunications sector. If you believe Ross, he’s an evangelist for the truth; one of the only local journalists to have actually gone into depth investigating the differences between the NBN policies of Labor and the Coalition. If you believe Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Ross makes a habit of using the ABC’s platform for pro-NBN “propaganda”. Well, it’s never easy being a journalist reporting on a politically charged area.

    Whatever your view, it’s true that Ross continues to go into extreme detail in his articles regarding the NBN debate, and his articles on the subject are worth reading and very though-provoking. That’s why we highly recommend you check out Ross’s latest opus on why the Coalition’s NBN policy is fundamentally different to Labor’s vision. This piece, entitled “The vast differences between the NBN and the Coalition’s alternative”, clocks in at 11,000 words: You’ll need a block of time to finish it. Probably a key summary paragraph:

    “The Coalition’s NBN alternative is different by almost every measure. It uses different technologies to connect the bulk of the country; it has different uses and applications; it affects Australia’s health service differently; it provides different levels of support in emergencies and natural disasters; it requires a different amount of power to operate; the cost of maintenance is different; the overall cost, the return on investment and the re-sale value are different; the management, ownership, governance, competition and monopoly factors will be different; it has a different life-span and upgradability issues; the effect on businesses (of all sizes) and GDP is different; the effects on television are different; the effect on Senior Citizens is different; the viability and potential for cost blowouts is different; the costs of buying broadband will be different; the reliability is different; the effect on property prices will be different; the timescale is different; the legacy is different. Ultimately, it has completely different aims.”

    If you want an alternative view (and alternative views should always be welcomed by open-minded people), we recommend you check out this similarly massive piece from Communications Day publisher Grahame Lynch. Entitled “A riposte to Nick Ross and slipshod NBN advocacy from the ABC”, it digs down and attempts to rebut Ross’s 11,000 opus sentence by sentence. Wow. A key paragraph:

    “… in reading this opus last night, I was struck by Nick’s loose construction of research, argument and expression. Not only is the piece unbecoming of acceptable editorial standards regarding bias, but also those of accuracy and logic. It is a disservice to both the ABC’s audience and the cause of NBN supporters.”

    I’ve made my way through both massive pieces — it took the better part of an hour. Frankly, not only do I want that time back, but I would encourage both Ross and Lynch to be somewhat more brief in their articles on this subject in future. Even a magazine feature will usually only run to between 2,000 and 3,000 words; 11,000 is just too much, in my opinion — although I did just finish re-reading the entire Wheel of Time fantasy series … so what do I know ;).

    With this in mind, I’ll be publishing my own (much briefer) view of the situation in the next day or so. The points Ross and Lynch make are too big and too important to ignore. It’s true that there are neither beginnings nor endings to the NBN debate. This kind of stuff goes on forever. But I would like to provide one ending, if I may. I will not be the only judge of this situation. But I would like to hold the privilege of being one judge ;) See what I did there? Yup. That’s how I roll :)

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    1. Posted 24/02/2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink |

      It’s true that there are neither beginnings nor endings to the NBN debate. This kind of stuff goes on forever. But I would like to provide one ending, if I may. I will not be the only judge of this situation. But I would like to hold the privilege of being one judge ;) See what I did there? Yup. That’s how I roll :)

      After the election, the memory of the NBN debate will fade to legends of who said what. The legend will fade to the mythical figures of who pioneered it. And even that myth will be long forgotten when the debate that gave it birth comes again for our communications future…….that’s right :D

      RIP James O. Rigney. You will be missed….and I still can’t bare to look at AMoL yet…. :P

      Oh…and I had a rather interesting debate with Grahame in the comments….I can’t say I was all that impressed with his “communications” knowledge. Although I will at least give him kudos for discussing with me fairly rationally.

      • Karl
        Posted 24/02/2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink |

        I liked the part where Lynch said Turnbull could make his policy cheap simply by setting a budget.

    2. NBNAccuracy
      Posted 24/02/2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink |

      Well, I think Nick Ross went a little overboard. He made claims for FTTH that would also be possible under FTTN. Equally I think Lynch’s reply was a little petty. He tried to find fault with everything. Picking sometimes on small issues and ignoring larger ones.

      Personally, the real big difference I see is FTTH is something that once in place can quickly and easily upgraded as we need faster speeds and more capacities. FTTN hits a wall, if they can maybe improve the capacity to a small degree over the 80Mb, I’ll assume they will be able to as 7 years, something must inprove it to some degree. Then we hit the wall, FTTH needs to be rolled out. Sure on demand upgrades may delay this for some time, at a higher cost per premises than a fibre rollout to the whole street. But as time goes on and more and more need to move to fibre, because they need it, because the copper has just rotted beyond usability there will likely need to be a FTTH upgrade beyond the on demand upgrades.

      What I find the deciding factor if FTTN would be worth rolling out rather than going straight to FTTN is when do we need the capacity only FTTH can give? Major network companies including Alcatel (inport point here as they are the developers of vectoring and other DSL techs, so they will hardly want to say fibre is need before it really is) say it will be around 2017-2018. Obviously not everyone needs it right then, but when will it be more commonly needed? Common enought that on demand is just too inefficient? Will it be long enough for the FTTN rollout to have paid for itself? That is the deciding factor.
      Turnbull says 20-30 years we will maybe need a rollout of FTTH, but is that the case? Or is it like his $100B rollout cost for FTTH, purely politically motivated?

      • Posted 24/02/2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink |

        @NBNAccuracy

        Well, I think Nick Ross went a little overboard. He made claims for FTTH that would also be possible under FTTN. Equally I think Lynch’s reply was a little petty. He tried to find fault with everything. Picking sometimes on small issues and ignoring larger ones.

        Pretty much my exact thoughts. Much of the stuff Nick was going on about would indeed be very possible on FTTN and indeed would add economically to the country with FTTN. And also that some of those points require much more work than just the NBN, which he needs to acknowledge. But much wouldn’t. And much would be enhanced significantly by FTTH. Lynch ignored these points when I made them.

        Nick’s point I think was to show how much FTTH would ACTUALLY affect. And even if FTTN DOES affect many of the same points, many would be affected MORE by FTTH and the culmination of all those small points adds up to billions of dollars a year in indirect additions to the economy. I find it difficult to listen to Lynch when he flatly refuses to see that FTTH WILL add significant quantities of money to the economy through many small million dollar additions on each point- points that HAVE been publicly tested in small studies around the world. He ignored that every time I tried to get that point across.

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 24/02/2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink |

          On Lynch. I don’t really get why he takes the stand against fibre he does. His arguments against it are like Turnbull’s, mostly unsubstantiated. You look at some of his examples and quotes, and he is cherry picking situations or a line here or there from a document, and ignoring the overall thrust of the documents. He constantly points to countries rolling out FTTN, but never goes on to say they are doing it bacause they can’t afford FTTH and that FTTH is there end goal. He points to countries saying it will take them up to 30 years to finally migrate to all FTTH and then presents that as a figure for when it is needed.
          I really don’t understand why he is doing this. I can only think he is a strong supporter of the LNP or just balls up with his FTTN argument ages ago and cannot admit he was wrong, so his claims get more rediculous. I am not saying he doesn’t have some points, he does. But the whole good verus evil, black vs white stuff, it’s just obsessive.

        • Mathew
          Posted 24/02/2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink |

          > Pretty much my exact thoughts. Much of the stuff Nick was going on about would indeed be very possible on FTTN and indeed would add economically to the country with FTTN. And also that some of those points require much more work than just the NBN, which he needs to acknowledge. But much wouldn’t. And much would be enhanced significantly by FTTH. Lynch ignored these points when I made them.

          While FTTP is technically faster, FTTN speeds are unlikely to be capped, meaning better performance on FTTN for the average person.

          > Nick’s point I think was to show how much FTTH would ACTUALLY affect. And even if FTTN DOES affect many of the same points, many would be affected MORE by FTTH and the culmination of all those small points adds up to billions of dollars a year in indirect additions to the economy.

          Except that not everyone on FTTP will be on speeds of 100Mbps or faster due to a political decision. For a reasonable evaluation we have to use NBNCo’s predictions of take-up meaning that average speeds are likely to be slower on FTTP than FTTN.

          > I find it difficult to listen to Lynch when he flatly refuses to see that FTTH WILL add significant quantities of money to the economy through many small million dollar additions on each point- points that HAVE been publicly tested in small studies around the world. He ignored that every time I tried to get that point across.

          I hope you aren’t using Google Fibre studies, because the 1Gbps speeds are so much faster than you cannot compare with what will be happening in Australia when 50% connect at 12/1Mbps. The money added by FTTH versus FTTN can only be that portion added by people taking up speeds faster than what FTTN delivers. The impact depends on the effectiveness of Government policy.

          • Posted 24/02/2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink |

            @Matthew

            Oh dear…I see you’ve come to push your “The NBN is evil because it caps speeds” mantra again.

            Here’s a hint- I can get 100Mbps and 400GB quota (same quota as now) for $30 LESS than I pay for ADSL and line rental….

            While FTTP is technically faster, FTTN speeds are unlikely to be capped, meaning better performance on FTTN for the average person.

            This stretches incredulity to its’ limits. Even if FTTP is “capped” at 100Mbps by some imaginary line you’ve drawn you assume people can’t afford or don’t want to, FTTN is capped BY ITS’ NATURE. FTTN is “up to” so when people really DO want to use the 80Mbps they’ve paid for…oh sorry, you’re too far away, you only get 40Mbps….bzzz, you lose.

            For a reasonable evaluation we have to use NBNCo’s predictions of take-up meaning that average speeds are likely to be slower on FTTP than FTTN.

            Really? So with NBNCo’s current average speed of, about 70Mbps I think I worked out and assuming that drops to, say, 50Mbps at a VERY conservative guess once early adopter bias is worked out, you believe that FTTN can provide enough bandwidth to enough people to produce a HIGHER than 50Mbps average? When Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t even believe more than 1/3 of people could even GET 80Mbps….

            The money added by FTTH versus FTTN can only be that portion added by people taking up speeds faster than what FTTN delivers. The impact depends on the effectiveness of Government policy.

            One would think the world had ended when Google decided to fibre up 2 cities in America as an experiment and brand recognition….When FTTN delivers, in REAL WORLD studies ACROSS THE PLANET, about 1/3 of its’ maximum speed of 80-100Mbps, depending on type of deployment (see UK, NZ and Verizon average peak speeds) you believe that because you’re grumpy at the government for mythically directing NBNCo. to charge for higher pricing tiers, everyone else will be and will refuse to spend money for the speeds they want?

            Seriously Matthew, take a look at your argument? I’m well aware FTTN provides a significant speed boost to what we have. But it will STILL have speed tiers. If it’s anything like Turnbull wants (UK) it’ll be 30, 50 and 80MBps. Considering only some 16% are choosing 12Mbps, that’s some 16% possible difference (currently) between the NBN and a theoretical FTTN scenario (25Mbps is not far enough from 30Mbps to make a difference). While businesses can SAVE money on 100Mbps symmetrical plans not even VAGUELY possible on FTTN. Hell, even NBNCo’s medium business symmetrical 40/40 would be stretching the very limits of FTTN.

            • Hubert Cumberdale
              Posted 24/02/2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink |

              “Considering only some 16% are choosing 12Mbps, that’s some 16% possible difference (currently) between the NBN and a theoretical FTTN scenario”

              Indeed. Not forgetting the most popular plan is already 100/40mbps. Just the think how disgruntled these people would be if you told them you were replacing that and giving them FttN with no chance of even higher speeds later. Of course that’s not going to happen but one should consider those not yet connected to the NBN. With most people already choosing the higher speed plans it pretty much speaks for itself, it’s a pretty good indicator about what people are expecting and it’s something that FttN simply wont deliver.

          • Karl
            Posted 24/02/2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink |

            “Except that not everyone on FTTP will be on speeds of 100Mbps or faster due to a political decision.”
            Due to a business decision, not political. NBN Co made the decision, not Conroy.
            http://www.zdnet.com/au/speed-tiers-designed-to-drive-take-up-nbn-co-7000009868/

          • NBNAccuracy
            Posted 24/02/2013 at 11:46 pm | Permalink |

            *groan* do you have to repeat yourself all the time? How many times do we have to read that you believe there should be no speed tiers. Could you just post “argument as per usual” and save time?

          • Brendan
            Posted 25/02/2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink |

            While FTTP is technically faster, FTTN speeds are unlikely to be capped, meaning better performance on FTTN for the average person.

            I’m just going to pull you up on this, for making a misleading statement.

            ADSL still has speed tiers. FTTN speeds are highly likely to come in various speed tiers, to offer various pricing options. An unrestricted VDSL2+ service (assuming it becomes a ratified standard and approved for use over Telstra-owned copper) will most certainly cost more than a reduced speed service.

            Why? Because the underlying charging model used by Telstra would likely require this to allow cheaper plan alternatives.

            HFC speeds are variable, due a combination of shared access and potential for contention. People are receiving everything from top speeds, down to just a few mbits/ sec.

            You are basing your answer on an assumption. Turnbull hasn’t announced a policy, or FTTN technology choice, so you’re making claims even he can’t at this point.

            Also, it’s not a political decision (FTTH speeds) it’s personal choice based on available options. Not everyone wishes to spend for a full speed connection. Continuing to claim it’s politically driven is, frankly, bullsh*t and I do wish you’d fact check more.

          • tinman_au
            Posted 25/02/2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink |

            “While FTTP is technically faster, FTTN speeds are unlikely to be capped, meaning better performance on FTTN for the average person.”

            FTTP not just technically faster, it’s also technically more reliable. If someone gets a “max speed” plan, thats what they’ll get. If someone gets a “max speed” plan under FTTN, the actual speed they get could be anything from 12mbps up to 80mbps, depending on several factors.

            Distance alone can introduce a lot of variation as you can see here: http://nbnmyths.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/fttn-speed-graph.gif. How many people do you think will be living 300 Mtrs from a cabinet? how many cabinets do you think FTTN will need to give the coverage that Malcolm is “promising”?

          • Stephen H
            Posted 25/02/2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink |

            Why do you suppose that FTTN speeds will not be capped? How else do you expect carriers to differentiate their top-tier and bottom-tier products? There is absolutely no reason for FTTN NOT to be capped and tiered.

            But if you want to go with a slower internet, then you will have that choice with FTTH – where FTTN would stick us all with slower internet.

    3. NBNAccuracy
      Posted 24/02/2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink |

      I should also think that in any change, just saying 1/4 the cost is rubbish. It maybe of the FTTH portion, but they should give the cost of the whole thing and then show ongoing cost to upgrade over the next 30 years. Ignoring the cost of a FTTH upgrade is fudging the numbers.

    4. Tony Brown
      Posted 24/02/2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink |

      I think we can all agree on one thing about the NBN, its already proving a massive drain on Australian productivity in the Oz IT, telecom and journalism communities!

      If we’re not reading 11,000 word articles we are spending time on here and (sorry Renai) elsewhere arguing the toss about the bloody thing…..

      • Posted 24/02/2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink |

        @Tony Brown

        It’s draining the entertainment sector too (mine)….

        My productivity these days is mind-boggling shocking….thanks Renai :P

      • quink
        Posted 24/02/2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink |

        It’s the damn election more so than anything else. It’s a political football that shouldn’t be one. But at least it drives up the page views. Speaking of things that need page views, here’s a shameless plug for my reddit on the NBN, and related overseas news: http://www.reddit.com/r/nbn/

        In seriousness though, I hope that this whole discussion will be seen as a triumph for online journalism driving policy discussion. The details and investigations and sum total of relevant content done by people on Delimiter or Whirlpool or ABC Tech or by sortius or Steve Jenkin or by the usual gaggle of fanboys and anti-fanboys rival by four orders of magnitude anything News Ltd. could ever put out and it is the sheer quantity that contains an incredible depth and a quality that isn’t driven, for most, by money, politics or anything other than seeing the best possible result. It’s not investigative journalism with resources behind it, on average, but it might be as close as we can hope to come in the Internet age of keyboard warriors with short attention spans and not much else. There is plenty that’s wrong, from mistakes made by Nick Ross to mistakes made in the rebuttal by Grahame Lynch, but the sum total of discussion that’s gone on online is nothing less than a project of this magnitude deserves and needs. And that’s worth the reduced productivity. Even when a certain someone says that the vast majority of points in the argument here are stupid an quasi-religious, it’s holding up a mirror.

        As for productivity drain, yes, that’s true. As for the value of the discussion when contrasted with proper studies with millions in funding behind them, sure, it will not be able to go as quantitative as is it should. But if the end result is that people like Renai can get quality honest and non-sensationalistic journalism and analysis out there with a guaranteed audience that is the best possible thing for the otherwise dangerously poor standard of journalism we see here in Australia. Maybe this drain in productivity only represents the same amount of effort a big news organisation like News Ltd. or Fairfax should be putting out there as a voice in the people’s interest and yet aren’t due to ulterior motives.

        • quink
          Posted 24/02/2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink |

          Note to self: stop draining own productivity.

    5. Michael
      Posted 24/02/2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink |

      That riposte was brutal.

      I read the nick ross article a while ago and picked up on a few small things.

      * nearly every telehealth study has been done using dsl/3g
      * “access every television channel” – not legally you cant

      but the response article found so many!

      I wonder what the chances of media watch running a story is :P

      • Posted 24/02/2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink |

        @Michael

        Did you read my comments on the rebuttal? Several of those points he made were:

        1- Completely unfounded and no better than several of Nick’s points
        2- Petty for no other reason than being so
        3- Completely untrue

    6. Posted 24/02/2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink |

      Don’t need to read it, the real main difference will be from a last mile delivery type point of view, one is fibre to the home the other is fibre to a node and then copper to the house. From a carrier type perspective it doesn’t matter, both will be a handoff at a POI and then the NBN delivers to the end customer.

      So from a carriers point of view it doesn’t matter which is installed because the handoff will be the same, from the end customers point of view it can be the difference between being able to get 100/40 now and something quite a bit slower.

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 25/02/2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink |

        “So from a carriers point of view it doesn’t matter which is installed because the handoff will be the same”
        I don’t think so actually. ISPs operate on thin margins and a few support calls can cost more than they are making. I am not saying FTTH won’t have issues, but the nature of copper will generate way more calls. I wonder if they have stats on that already?

        • Posted 25/02/2013 at 1:12 am | Permalink |

          What exactly does the POI have to do with the number of support calls?

          I’m not commenting on which last mile delivery is better, I’m saying that for the NBN proposed from both major parties from a carriers perspective the handoff at the POI will be on a high bandwidth (most like Gigabit or 10Gigabit) connection with the individual services VLAN tagged. So from a carriers point of view it doesn’t matter which NBN type is rolled out, so long as one is they can simply plan to rollout similar equipment for both.

          • Posted 25/02/2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink |

            @Tezz

            So from a carriers point of view it doesn’t matter which NBN type is rolled out, so long as one is they can simply plan to rollout similar equipment for both.

            Yes and no. You’re quite correct that the bitstream ends/starts at the POI. And that the last-mile architecture would make little difference to this. But it WOULD make a difference to the sort of services that can be offered (like speeds and quotas). And supposedly, the industry is meant to not ONLY work for profit, but also the improvement of comms in Australia in general….I know…that one’s a stretch :P

            So in that regard, seeing as ISPs have no control over what speeds are available in FTTN and when or if it is upgraded….then FTTP would be mildly preferable to them as it opens up possible innovation.

            • Abel Adamski
              Posted 25/02/2013 at 1:48 am | Permalink |

              Let us not forget service desks, FTTN depends on that last bit of copper with xNo of gel filled joints .
              In my area with my last fault I was given the last useable pair recovered from a unit up the street which no longer had a phone service. The Teltra Linesman laughed at the NBN stating the ducts in the general area were stuffed and choked, no way the fibres could be run. So much for VDSL2 with 2 pair required. VDSL would even be an issue, and imagine the costs to run a fibre on demand especially if approx 1Km run.

              However for NBN it is Telstra’s problem to make the ducts fit for service, so no issue as providing for all premises not just one

              • Posted 25/02/2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink |

                Are you suggesting Telstra would need to do some work for that $11B they’ve been contractually paid to provide conduit space rather than just sit around and scratch themselves?

                • NBNAccuracy
                  Posted 25/02/2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink |

                  I think he is saying they would need to do work they haven’t been paid for. They were paid for the ducts, backhaul, etc, but not copper or it’s maintenance.

                  • Posted 25/02/2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink |

                    Which is exactly my point, if they were paid for the ducts, and they are unable to provide the ducts in their current condition (ie. they are full of cables to capacity), then they would be required to provide a new duct. This is exactly the same situation as would occur if Telstra need to lay new cable for themselves.

                    • NBNAccuracy
                      Posted 25/02/2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink |

                      Sorry, re-reading your posts I still have no idea what your point is. The bit about ducts being full just doesn’t seem to relate to anything previous.

                      • Posted 25/02/2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink |

                        Quoting Abel Adamski .. “The Teltra Linesman laughed at the NBN stating the ducts in the general area were stuffed and choked, no way the fibres could be run”

                        Telstra are as part of their contractual arrangement required to provide conduit for the NBN fibre, if the current conduit is full then part of that arrangement would be to provide conduit so NBN fibre can be run.

            • Posted 25/02/2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink |

              Which is exactly what I said in my first post, the FTTH setup would give end customers speeds of up to 100/40, a FTTN setup would give consumers much less.

              And in this regard it wouldn’t be up to the RSP (aka carrier) to provide better last mile service, they are restricted by whatever it is the NBN will give to them, so they will have to base their services around that.

              • NBNAccuracy
                Posted 25/02/2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink |

                Yes, but as I said above, and it’s not to do with the POI as you replied above. The quality of that last mile can significantly change costs to the RSP. The RSP is the point of contact for the customer. The RSP won’t fix the copper but would need to do hours of work talking to the customer and the wholesaler to get faults fixed.

                • Posted 25/02/2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |

                  Well yes and no, and you seem to be concentrating on one cost centre to the RSP. I’d much prefer the FTTH proposal, but cost benefits to the FTTN would be ..

                  * Reduced length of copper, meaning less prone to faults, albeit they will still occur
                  * Reduced equipment costs, as RSPs are only required to delivery to 120 odd POIs instead of the exorbitantly larger number of individual exchanges now
                  * Greater handoff of faults to NBNCo as the vast majority will on the last mile, meaning less support staff required to fix individual customers services at the RSP level
                  * Number of call centre staff shouldn’t effectively change from their current levels, or if any direction they will go down. As the delivery method (more fibre less copper) is less prone to issues so their should be less faults

                  Point fimly, the argument that costs for RSPs will suddenly go up under FTTN from the current situation is pretty flawed, but FTTH is better.

                  • Posted 25/02/2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink |

                    Point fimly = Put simply

                    I know it’s not autocorrect, but I’m blaming autocorrect :)

                  • NBNAccuracy
                    Posted 25/02/2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink |

                    I can’t really see how it would be different to now. FTTH would obviously be less error prone. It’s like a switch, it works or not. FTTN with copper can be intermitant.

                    Reduced copper length is offset by high speeds on the copper so it could be better or worse. The worst copper is in the last mile.

                    Agreed on POI vs exhange backhaul.

                    Greater pass off? Wouldn’t it be the same as passing off to Telstra? Very few problems are other than copper faults. Sure, the odd faulty DSLAM port, if they own the DSLAM.

                    See above, I will reserve judgement on copper faults reducing, higher speeds, older copper as time goes on, could even be worse.

                    • Posted 25/02/2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink |

                      Well no, you’re still talking about ADSL2+ speeds, so nothing over about 20M down for the end customer, you’re not talking about bonding pairs.

                      The current pass off to Telstra is just for the ULL, that’s it, the RSP proves a fault on the ULL, they give it to Telstra. Proving a fault on a ULL can be tedious, running an MLT may not show a fault, so then you need someone to go to site and run a TDR/PSD, this takes time.

                      In the case with the NBN it would be much easier to prove a fault exists in NBN, because now the services are no longer crossing the POI as individual services, rather they are crossing the POI as a large connection with multiple services multiplexed together. Fault isolation for the RSP is simplified so for them handing off a fault to NBN Co will be easier (and if the service is FTTN then they can’t test the copper portion anyway since they don’t have access to the NBN cabinets). Isolating the fault down on the last mile would fall completely in the hands of NBN Co.

    7. CMOTDibbler
      Posted 24/02/2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink |

      “(and alternative views should always be welcomed by open-minded people)’

      +think of a number and double it

      Statement of the year, Renai.

    8. Fenixius
      Posted 24/02/2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink |

      “Neither beginnings nor endings” I see what you did there, Renai Sedai ;)

    9. Oliver Townshend
      Posted 24/02/2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink |

      Wheel of Time? You re-read it? I couldn’t even bring myself to read the last two books, and just went and read wikipedia. I bow to your superior intelligence, and look forward to your summary article.

    10. Kevin Cobley
      Posted 25/02/2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink |

      Nobody would ever want to be on my node, I’ve just had a 3 week break of non service after a month or 2 of on off slow some days faster on others.It took calls to my local member Louise Marcus who is doing her best to get NBN to the Blue Mountains and calls to Mr Conroy’s office to get Telstra to act.
      Telstra sent guys with gas testing equipment to test the cables, and a guy replaced overhead wiring.
      Didn’t do a lot of good service always slows in wet weather. 3 week outage is an annual event!
      I have a real pathetic upload speed of 503Kbs, which is always the case with ADSL it’s a irrefutable fact upload speeds can be lower than 10% of download speeds, people don’t seem to understand what asynchronous means and the Anti NBN politicians take advantage of this in discussing speeds. With ISP’s it’s a case of “don’t mention the upload speed”.
      I don’t want this node I want Fibre to my home!

    11. Abel Adamski
      Posted 25/02/2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink |

      Actually I find some of Paul Budde’s articles of real interest

      http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/broadband-the-american-way/
      http://www.technologyspectator.com.au/why-nbn-shouldnt-follow-atts-lead
      http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/how-far-will-us-regulators-bend-to-att-and-verizon/
      http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/impressive-lte-deployments-masking-fixed-line-broadband-crisis-in-usa/
      http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/the-end-of-hfc-and-fttn-networks-is-approaching/
      http://www.technologyspectator.com.au/why-bt-model-wont-work-nbn
      http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/productivity-gains-and-the-digital-economy/

      I may not always agree with his viewpoints, but I respect the actual research

      What I consider of special Note is M.T’s knowledge appears to be garnered from dealing with Senior exec’s in the Major Telco’s, so worth looking at the shenanigans they are up to and their goals, all that makes their excuses and justifications they feed poor old Merchant Banker MT unfortunately laughable

    12. Posted 25/02/2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink |

      Shameless self-promotion of my opinions on Nick’s opinions on telehealth:

      http://likeyoucarewhatithink.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/nick-ross-is-a-hypocrite-and-a-bad-journalist/

      • AJ
        Posted 25/02/2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink |

        For a HD stream on the internet you need about 3.8 Mbps (source Netflix) currently most households in this country have less than 1 Mbps and significantly less than 1 for example I am on a good line and I get 0.5 – 0.6 Mbps.

        On youtube 360P is 736 Mbps so if you want to have an idea of what we can do telehealth wise go on youtube and watch something at 360p then watch it at 1080p.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 25/02/2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

        Your response to Nick seems like nothing more than assertions of your opinion?

        Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s healthy for “the country” to discuss things like telehealth, but I’m getting sick of all the “he said, she said” arguments, where people just provide opinions as fact.

        I’d be a lot more interested to read something along the lines of “Nick is wrong because…” and cite some examples, rather than “Nick is wrong because he is a hypocrite and I don’t agree with him”.

    13. Sage
      Posted 25/02/2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink |

      The Wheel of TIme turns, and NBN debates come and pass, leaving arguments that become legend. Legend fades to myth and even myth is long forgotten when the NBN debate that gave it birth comes again.

    14. Oliver Townshend
      Posted 25/02/2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink |

      When the Coalition wins, the NBN infrastructure will be sold to Telstra, who are the only telco who can do it (because they don’t have to pay for the copper network). In return they’ll build an “open” FTTH network, which will be FTTN in parts, and HFC in parts. and maybe even copper, as they see fit. If it’s as good as the NextG network, we’ll have a worldbeating network. If it’s like their cable/copper network, it will be business as usual.

      But either way the technical comparisons won’t matter. The Libs don’t have the funds for an NBN-lite, and would rather spend the money on roads.

      Oliver

      • tinman_au
        Posted 25/02/2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink |

        “If it’s like their cable/copper network”

        It’s not “like” their cable/copper network, It IS their cable/copper network ;o)

      • Tony Brown
        Posted 25/02/2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink |

        Not sure about the “sell to Telstra” part, that depends on so many variables like price and ULL terms under FTTN, but the rest I pretty much agree with.

        Bottom line is that the fate of the NBN lies with the Liberal Party caucus in Canberra post election, unless they agree to it then it ain’t happening.

        So, they will probably have to swallow NBN Co. – albeit a much slimmed down version with a much streamlined staff – but will use FTTN with FTTH in brownfields.

        I bet they still hate shutting down the HFC too but not much they can do about that unless Telstra play ball.

        As things stand the ALP are probably looking at losing about 15+ seats at the election – that’s being generous – so post election will be in crisis and unable to resist too much.

        I guess the Senate is a different matter but I would not rule out Liberals controlling too – might need DLP and KAP help.

        So, unless Abbott makes a monumental blunder the NBN is going to be re-designed no matter what any of us plebs say!

        • Posted 25/02/2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink |

          And how are they going to get the copper from Telstra in NBNCo’s control for FTTN? Bare in mind they spent around $9b just to lease the ducts.

        • AJ
          Posted 25/02/2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink |

          Cost of the copper is the elephant in the room yet Malcolm can not even see it , actually he can he just chooses to deceive rather than inform.

    15. Oliver Townshend
      Posted 25/02/2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink |

      Why would they bother? Roll Turnbull, sell the NBN to Telstra, put in some “Competition” clauses, take the money and run. The Optus HFC network will be sited as an example of competition.

    16. Posted 25/02/2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink |

      The Wheel of Government Politicsturns, and NBN policies come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one NBN policy, called the Third Policy by some, a policy yet to come, a policy long past, a wind rose. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Government Politics. But it was a beginning.

      yes I saw what you did there Renai

    17. midspace
      Posted 25/02/2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink |

      This is the way I see it.
      Ignoring political differences…
      Ignoring cost differences…
      Ignoring technological differences…
      Ignoring schedule differences…

      The LNP are offering faster internet.

      The ALP are BUILDING a wider range of services to more Australians, including faster internet.

    18. Harimau
      Posted 26/02/2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink |

      What in the world? http://theconversation.edu.au/the-army-should-rescue-the-nbn-12387

      • Posted 26/02/2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink |

        Yeah I read that and was like WTF …

        • Posted 26/02/2013 at 1:36 am | Permalink |

          HoOOOOLYYYYY Crap….

          That’s a BUTTload of ….of….I don’t even….

          I sincerely hope RMIT knows of this man’s….genius….and chooses to act accordingly…

          • Posted 26/02/2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink |

            Near the end of the .. eerr “article” he did make some interesting/ funny points…

            Its quite a contrast to the AFR which seems to be spewing articles about delays in contruction.. To the point where it critised the government for not spending more and contractors using staff who were previously unemployed.. Obviously with fisical stimuls/governmetn infrastructure we should only support the big firms and keep the poor in their place!

          • tinman_au
            Posted 26/02/2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink |

            Yeah, he seems pretty…random…in his style.




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