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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Thursday, March 21, 2013 15:58 - 77 Comments

    NBN revises June forecast to 190k to 220k

    news NBN Co today revealed it would substantially downgrade its forecast figure for how many premises its fibre network will have passed by the end of June this year, with the figure shifting down from an initial 341,000 premises (including green- and brownfields premises) to between 190,000 and 220,000 premises, as construction delays have continued to bite the company.

    “Following a board meeting today, NBN Co has revised down its forecast for the rollout of fibre optic cable to reflect a delay of about three months,” the company said in a media release late this afternoon, ahead of a planned teleconference with chief executive Mike Quigley. “Some of NBN Co’s construction contractors have progressed work on the ground at a slower rate than forecast, but this delay will be recovered.”

    “The June 2013 Corporate Plan target of passing 341,000 premises with fibre is now expected to be achieved about three months later. Between 190,000 and 220,000 premises are now forecast to be passed by fibre by end June.”

    NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, said: “We are accountable for the delay and are disappointed it has occurred. “We work closely with our suppliers across all parts of our network to build and monitor their progress to ensure each individual element is ready within the required timeframe.”

    “In the case of the volume fibre rollout, NBN Co’s public projections have been underpinned by commitments from our four construction contractors that they would meet the June 30 target. The problem is we are just not seeing the ramp up of construction workers on the ground that would be needed to deliver these targets.”

    “This lack of mobilisation, combined with some of our contractors recently lowering their forecasts, has led us to make the judgment call to reforecast our end-of-year projections. That is why we have taken immediate action to address the delay.” NBN Co said it had taken the following actions to remediate the rollout:

    • NBN Co will directly manage the Northern Territory rollout to ensure the delivery of fast broadband to the NT and to allow contractor Syntheo to focus on WA and SA. This will see NBN Co create up to 200 jobs in the NT at the peak of the rollout
    • NBN Co and its construction partners will train and employ additional specialist telecoms workers (“fibre splicers”) to help recover lost time in the rollout of the network
    • NBN Co’s fibre construction contractors will increase their investment in equipment and manpower as well as technology to accelerate on-the-ground design and planning.

    According to 
Quigley, other major deliverables for the NBN’s fibre network were tracking well. ”We have more than 40 telephone and internet service providers selling NBN packages to consumers,” he said. “The rollout of the transit network is on track. We are having no problems with the availability of equipment including the manufacture of fibre, and the implementation of the complex IT systems (OSS/BSS) that underpin the running of the network, also continue to be delivered as expected.”

“I should be clear, this short-term issue will not affect the long-term delivery of the NBN or the overall cost of the project. NBN Co remains on track to deliver fast, affordable and reliable broadband to every Australian by 2021 as set out in our Corporate Plan.”

    Image credit: Delimiter

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    1. Michael
      Posted 21/03/2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

      Slight correction Renai, the revision is on the overall target of 341. The 285k target (brownfields) is dropping to around 140k.

    2. andyrob
      Posted 21/03/2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink |

      Tic, tic, tic wait for it, after today’s events Abbott and co will jump on this.

    3. jayz
      Posted 21/03/2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink |

      While it is regrettable to hear of this sad news and while I’m confident it’s only a short term set back, this pretty much handed a loaded gun with a silver bullet to Malcolm Turnbull. I can already hear the champagne corks popping at the liberal headquarters and this may be difficult to recover from.

      Can anyone explain why, according to the AFR figures, NBNco plans to scale DOWN construction for a few months after June before starting again in October? It just makes no sense…unless it is just a reflection of the fact that they don’t want to over commit on paper until later in the year when they get enough crews trained up and can actually deliver……I’m sure they are keen not to have a repeat of the current situation

      • Hubert Cumberdale
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink |

        “I can already hear the champagne corks popping at the liberal headquarters and this may be difficult to recover from.”

        Keep in mind we’ve been told by the coalition clowns that fibre is not needed so a few people getting theirs a few months later than expected shouldn’t really be the drama they’ll make it out to be. What’s the rush? They’d be happy with a FttN patchwork but why do they want it sooner when they claim “wireless is the future”? Why is it so critical that they get FttN? Surely they can cope with ADSL2+? No doubt they want FttN for porn, gaming and illegal movie downloads.

    4. SimonC
      Posted 21/03/2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink |

      We’re accountable – but it’s all our contractors fault.

      Delays will be recovered – yeah right! It only gets harder from here boys, don’t know how you can say that with a straight face.

      NBN Co remains on track – no it most clearly does not, you just issued a press release demonstrating you’re very much off track!

      • TrevorX
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink |

        Actually you’ve just demonstrated how you fail to fundamentally understand the situation. A three month delay during the ramp-up phase is minor and not altogether unforseen – there’s a huge learning curve here for everyone involved, including project management and training. NBN Co are learning that they need to manage the contractors more tightly, too. But all that needs to happen to make up the time in the slower than expected ramp-up is to train a few more tech crews, so there will be more crews working during the major deployment phase.

        I believe the contractors are contractually responsible for making up the lost time and connection numbers at no additional cost to NBN Co if delays are caused by them, too. So far from ‘sky is falling’ colossal problems this is predictable, manageable and actually quite minor.

        It’s just a shame about the timing – if the election was a year later this would be a very different discussion.

        It’s also a little sad that most Australians seem to be so incapable of critical analysis and thought. I received the most ridiculous email yesterday laden with about 40 ‘points’ supposedly pointing out failures by the federal Labor Govt, but while each was patently false and so obviously designed to smear Labor the people who forwarded it are more than willing to both believe and distribute such tripe, to the point where they view any criticism as a personal attack…

    5. Adam
      Posted 21/03/2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink |

      to 190k “from” 220k

      • Posted 21/03/2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink |

        No, the headline is correct as is. The new forecast is between 190k and 220k.

      • Simon
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink |

        Mate, they have missed every target to date, and by significant margins. This is not a one-off, it’s a consistent trend. And the trend is what matters.

        • Posted 21/03/2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink |

          This is the only time where the forecast has actually be within NBNCo’s control. So I’ll disagree with that statement, the trend isn’t applicable here.

          • SimonC
            Posted 21/03/2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink |

            My comment was meant as a reply to TrevorX. Nevertheless, my comment on the trend stands. What surprises me is that anyone would ever have believed a Government-owned org, run by a guy who has no civil engineering major project experience, supported by a board of consultants, would ever have had a different outcome.

        • Karl
          Posted 21/03/2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink |

          one swallow does not a summer make

    6. Posted 21/03/2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink |

      And here’s Turnbull’s statement:

      NBN takes out the garbage under cover of Labor leadership drama

      The NBN has today announced that it will revise down its fibre rollout target by June 30 by up to 150,000 houses.
      This is just 14% of the December 2010 target and barely more than 50% of the target announced last August.
      It is also just another forecast.

      NBN Co CEO Michael Quigley has cynically used Labor’s latest leadership crisis to ‘take out the trash’ and avoid scrutiny of this announcement.

      The NBN Co also says its long term rollout schedule is unchanged and that the project will still be completed by 2021.
      The Coalition is justifiably sceptical of these claims and the timing of this announcement shows that the NBN Co is attempting to minimise scrutiny of it.

      Every time the NBN Co has missed its target it has responded by making the hockey stick of its ramp-up ever more steep. As every month goes by with disappointing roll out figures the “ramp up” in the out years gets steeper and steeper.

      But the NBN’s ability to meet pass 6,800 houses a day at its height is hard to believe when in the first 10 weeks of this year, it has been passing 140 houses a week.

      What the NBN needs is a thorough and objective analysis, verified by independent experts, of how long it will really take in years and dollars to complete the rollout. Given the repeated failures to meet their own targets the estimates of the NBN Co’s current management can have no credibility.

      • Nich
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink |

        It was only the other day that NBNCo seemed to have sorted out the new arrangements with the NT – or was that just cleverly timed ‘coincidence’ too, Mr Turnbull?

      • Angy
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink |

        Was certainly a good day for Conroy. NBN slashes rollout targets, Chairman quits and the media reforms couldn’t get numbers, but no, we’re all talking about how much nothing happened.

        At the same time, passing anything like 100,000 brownfields in the next 3 months should still be impressive. It’s still a big ramp up. They are looking to triple the coverage in 3 months. It seems like it’s worth questioning the target when signs suggest they can’t do it, but still, if it can be done it should not be disappointing.

    7. CMOTDibbler
      Posted 21/03/2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink |

      Achieving around 50% of the first year roll out target is an interesting definition of “on track”.

      Whilst the proposed actions may be enough to get the ‘ramp up’ to where it should already be, it is very hard to believe they will be able to get up to 6,000 premises passed per day.

      It’s also very hard to believe this has no impact on the corporate plan.

      • aka Sam
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink |

        “Achieving around 50% of the first year roll out target is an interesting definition of ‘on track’.”
        I have to agree here. ‘3 month delay’ and ‘on track’ are mutually exclusive.
        Perhaps they can make up for the delay over the life of the project but there will surely be a cost somewhere. It doesn’t look so bad if you consider that the ramp up is not supposed to be linear, but the evidence so far is not conducive to retaining optimism.

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink |

        True, all of these hold-ups and revisions are of concern…

        But does that automatically equate to the NBN being a bad plan, simply because it’s rolling out slower than expected?

        Conversely, if 2 cans and a piece of string could be delivered to each household ahead of schedule, would that equate to it being a good plan?

        • CMOTDibbler
          Posted 21/03/2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink |

          The NBN is not a bad idea. How good a (corporate) plan it is depends on the NBNCo’s achievements.

          The reporting has been that they can’t attract enough people to roll out the network because they’re not paying enough. It’s hard to believe they’re going to train enough people to not only make up the current shortfall but to ramp up to 6,000 premises per day. They’re also going to be activating a similar number of premises per day.

          It seems logical to me that they will have to pay more to attract a lot more people. The NBNCo thinks otherwise. We’ll have to wait and see. For now though, I don’t believe the corporate plan still stands. I believe it’s all political. Fortunately, what I believe is irrelevant.

        • TheTruthHurts
          Posted 22/03/2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink |

          Apple Inc had some incredible technology behind them back in the 90’s.

          Unfortunately the company was run by a bunch of incompetents. Then Steve Jobs came back and sacked most of the upper management and the rest is history.

          We know NBN management is incompetent… we’ve seen it for a long time now. Apparently your solution? Do nothing. Yeah that’ll fix everything…

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 22/03/2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink |

            As a poster said at ZD…

            …”our favorite anti-NBN crusaders need to figure out how angry they are planning on being because they’re not getting something they don’t want fast enough, or if they should be angry at the private sector for not being able to deliver telecoms infrastructure as per a contract. What will it be?…

            • Non Puto
              Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink |

              Such a great comment!!
              + bajillions and Bajillions

            • Mathew
              Posted 23/03/2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink |

              > …”our favorite anti-NBN crusaders need to figure out how angry they are planning on being because they’re not getting something they don’t want fast enough, or if they should be angry at the private sector for not being able to deliver telecoms infrastructure as per a contract. What will it be?…

              How about an incompetent government that sets the requirements for NBNCo in a way that is delivering results contrary to Labor policy and ideals. Of course we really shouldn’t expect anything else from this government. A school building project that benefited private schools, a mining tax that has delivered almost zero revenue (especially after costs) are just a couple of recent examples.

              The people to really benefit from the NBN will be those able to afford the 1Gbps connections while the poor will abandon fixed connections for cheaper wireless.

              • NBNAccuracy
                Posted 23/03/2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink |

                LOL, it really is all about politics for you and getting a 1Gb connection for cheap.
                You want those who will not use 1Gb to have to pay more so you can get 1Gb cheaper.

          • Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink |

            I said you were being zealous before, but I don’t think you understood my point.

            This is the first delay that NBNCo has experienced that can be attributed to an error at NBNCo.

            That hardly shows incompetence. It’s akin to trying to fire someone in the Met service for getting the weather wrong one Tuesday in June.

            You just don’t fire. people over minor errors like this. You might put them on a performance track if you feel it’s adversely affecting the company, but that’s as far as most people will go.

            Even your precious Steve Jobs didn’t come in and fire everyone day one like you suggest. And I honestly don’t see how his cutthroat management style, such as it was, would be applicable to NBNCo either.

          • Hubert Cumberdale
            Posted 22/03/2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink |

            “Apparently your solution? Do nothing. Yeah that’ll fix everything”

            Doing nothing is what required the NBN to begin with. Let’s not forget that. Religious anti-NBN crusaders like yourself are always looking for reasons to justify your irrational opposition to the NBN, congratulations you now “have one”. Feel better now? Too bad it makes you looks like a raving hypocrite in the process however the main event will be if you get your wish in September after which the coalition will have to show us the “right way” to build a “modern” communications network with no issues or delays. Do you think they are capable of employing new people at their newly formed GimpCo and ensure zero hiccups for their rollout? Don’t forget their promises. I certainly wont.

      • Hubert Cumberdale
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink |

        “It’s also very hard to believe this has no impact on the corporate plan.”

        So the question becomes is it a major impact or minor impact? Which do you believe it is?

        Should the NBN be completed as planned are these delays really something you’ll be bitching about in the future?

      • TheTruthHurts
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink |

        I don’t believe NBN will reach 50% of their Brown fields target of 282,000 by the end of June. This new 140,000 target is yet more SPIN from the masters of SPIN, NBN Co.

        Leaked numbers from the middle of this month show current brown field Ready-For-Service number is 47,500 premises. NBN has been adding about ~1500 a month.

        Based on that information we can expect around 52,000 total brownfield fibre connections by end of June.

        This is well off the *NEW* 140,000 “prediction” *cough cough* by NBN. Of course i’ll be screamed down as being an idiot by the blind NBN supporters… that is until NBN tells us their numbers in July. Then the NBN’ers will disappear again and tell us it’s only 6 months behind on a “10 year project”(sic)

        • alain
          Posted 22/03/2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink |

          The problem is the published shortfalls in the rolled passed premises figures is at present overriding in the media the negative flow on effect this has to that other what I feel is a more important figure, active connections.

          Delays like this will have to affect NBN Co revenue figures because RSP’s cannot sell NBN Plans to residences that are not connected yet, not only that anticipated Telstra exchange area shutdowns based on the 90% of premises passed figure in the agreement also blow out.

          This obviously has flow on implications in meeting the 7% ROI figure and payback of all debt by2033.

          More importantly Telstra exchange shutdowns are the key to getting punters on board ‘en masse’ , at this rate there may not be any Telstra exchange shutdowns by September, what this effectively means is that for the vast majority of voters their vote when it comes down to Labor vs Coalition NBN policy is about which ‘connection’ choice they think they will get sooner.

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 22/03/2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink |

            Oh I thought you said voters don’t care about broadband per se` and it wouldn’t be an issue at all?

            I’ll simply add this flip-flop to the looooong contradiction list.

            *rolls eyes*

          • Posted 22/03/2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink |

            Your assumption here is that the delay in revenue increases is not coupled with a delay in expense increase.

            This is false. NBNCo will have paid the contractors less because they are rolling out slower than agreed.

            There might be a knock on affect, yes, but I doubt it’ll be significant. Just like the delays due to Telstra didn’t significantly affect long term revenue projections in the 2012 revised corporate plan.

        • Posted 22/03/2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink |

          They’re in a ramp up phase. The number of connections they add per day is set to increase. This has not changed.

          The problem is due to a labour shortage the contractors couldn’t hire enough people to meet the original target.

          Or haven’t you been paying attention?

          • GongGav
            Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink |

            So, they are 140k behind for whatever reason. Spread over the 8ish more years the rollout is expected to take, thats about 48 more a day they need to average.

            Huge leap from 6k a day, which even Telstra has agreed is more than doable.

            Still disappointing, but 48 more a day is hardly a project killer. If the rollout takes an extra year, its still worth it for the better product.

          • alain
            Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink |

            If I hear they are in the ‘ramp up phrase’ one more time……

            How much longer is that cliche excuse going to be used , the rollout commenced in 2009, to state they are still in the ‘ramp up phase’ well into 2013 makes it the longest ramp up phase in the history of all ramp up phases!

            When does this ramp up phase actually finish – 2023?, or do we invent a new term soon, something like a ‘ramp up phase extended’ sounds good.

            • Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink |

              *facepalm* They started trails in 2009. Trails. They didn’t start the ramp up phase until last year, when they’d finally secured the Telstra contract. You know how that wasn’t finalised until March last year?

              I believe you’ve just crossed the line from ignorance to deliberately misrepresenting the facts of the situation alain. I’d advise, if you want to stay as a commenter on the sight, you watch that line very carefully.

              I’m sick and tired of correcting your deliberate misrepresentation for your occasional valid comments.

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink |


                “I believe you’ve just crossed the line from ignorance to deliberately misrepresenting the facts of the situation…”

                The only thing I would suggest correcting is “just crossed”… IMO that line was crossed many years ago and is still crossed daily :/

                • Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink |

                  I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. So maybe I was more tolerant than you. Not important.

                  Anyway, I think we should leave this alone for now. I’m sorry for snaping at you alain.

                  • alain
                    Posted 22/03/2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink |


                    ok I didn’t mean to insinuate the ramp up phase started on the day first trials started, although on a re-read it does look that way.

                    It was mainly meant to be be a play on the opening sentence, see the subtle spelling shift (boom boom – oh nvm). :)

                    The question about when does the ramp up phase end is still a valid one though, it cannot last forever.

            • GongGav
              Posted 22/03/2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink |

              I’m curious to know what happens if you hear the term ‘ramp up phase’ any more.

              With respect to the NBN, the term ‘ramp up phase’ is still justified, as its only recently started progressing from its trial phase towards its full rollout phase. As it hasnt reached that full rollout phase of around 6000 premises a day, its still in its ‘ramp up phase’ portion of its rollout.

              What is it about ‘ramp up phase’ that you dislike alain? Is it the ‘ramp up’ part, or the ‘phase’ part?

              I kind of like the term ‘ramp up phase’ myself, it shows progress towards a final goal, and forms a key part of any infrastructure rollout. Indeed, the term ‘ramp up phase’ should be used more often, so we can get a better feel for how projects are going.

              If you personally dont like the term ‘ramp up phase’ then there’s little any of us can do about it. How about getting off your little soapbox, and learn what the term ‘ramp up phase’ actually means.

              There, I’ve tossed out the term ‘ramp up phase’ ten times now. Perhaps you can tell us if that upsets your precious sensitivities or not.

              By the way, what happens under a Liberal government when they have to effectively start from scratch again, and go through their own ‘ramp up phase’? Eleven.

    8. Simon Shaw
      Posted 21/03/2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink |

      Told ya so :)

      Yeah damn shame, I think this is a massive blow.
      The NBN is supposed to be massively ramping up right now, not falling behind schedule.

      Damn shame.

      And the leadership challenge fizzle today, what an absolute mess.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 21/03/2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink |

        The supposed Leadership challenge was a media and Coaltion construct.

        So believe spin and false constructs if you will, your problem for the future

        • alain
          Posted 22/03/2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink |

          Well it was a Simon Crean construct in reality, the last I heard he was a Labor MP.

          • jasmcd
            Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink |

            It funny how often, particularly in the political sphere, that if a particular issue is reported repeatedly and reinforced daily in the media, said issue comes to pass.

            The media is great at setting self fulfilling prophecies.

        • Posted 24/03/2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink |

          Chris Bowen, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research : In office
          4 February 2013 – 22 March 2013

          Martin Ferguson, Minister for Resources and Energy : In office 3 December 2007 – 22 March 2013

          Kim Carr, Minister for Human Services : In office 2 March 2012 – 22 March 2013

          I know, cutting and pasting from Wikipedia, lazy man’s research but at least I admit it. Does make you think something must have happened, presumably Ides of March must be running late this year. Blame it on Global Warming… all the seasons are in disarray.

    9. Abel Adamski
      Posted 21/03/2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink |

      I still have serious concerns re the pit, duct and conduit remediation by Telstra. Not only does it hold up the rollout, but also creates issues for the contractors and subbies who are left hanging wasting time and money. IMO a contributing factor to skilled Labour shortage, creating work load insecurity and in addition to payment rate factors the inter related time factor is also important.
      I have noted many comments on different sites re issues with Telstra’s in ground infrastructure, remediation and resultant delays to rollout of areas.

      Latest clearly identified

      “Ashley of Adelaide Posted at 5:05 AM Today

      It has taken over a year to have my local 15 year old in ground pits enlarged (for NBN) at Seaford, NBN website says it will be ‘connected’ by October 2013 originally, however the workers doing pit upgrades says it will be 2 years before it is connected, or longer?…I am less than 150 metres from the Seaford Phone Exchange!”


      Obviously the NBN and the Contractors cannot comment or raise this point. It does however raise questions and also issues going forward, especially to the FFTN quicker, cheaper claims.

      Can anyone find out the actual extent and contribution of this factor.?
      It is Telstra’s responsibility to make fit for purpose and they have accepted very substantial payments to do so

      • GongGav
        Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink |

        I believe that yes it is Telstras responsibility, and no they havent received any payment. As far as I know the $11b covered the costs of making the rented/purchased pipes appropriate for use. There was a story over on ZDNet some time last year about delays caused by Telstra needing to upgrade a fair chunk of the pipes to be usable.

    10. Goresh
      Posted 21/03/2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink |

      The thing that everyone overlooks is the REASON the Labor Party is such an easy target with regards to their initiatives is that they HAVE initiatives.

      It is hard to criticise coalition projects when the last one they had of any significance was when Bob Menzies was Prime Minster.

    11. Matthew
      Posted 22/03/2013 at 1:31 am | Permalink |

      I support the NBN and the people running the NBN haven’t the competence to implement it.

      Last time I said here that NBN Co. would not meet their latest target, most of the commenters here said I was wrong. Turns out I was right.

      One can support the NBN without supporting the way it is being done. If this continues, and unless NBN Co. is held accountable, we will spend much more than 40 billion dollars and have no National Broadband Network at all.

      • alain
        Posted 22/03/2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink |

        Well stated M, if the Coalition win I for one look forward to a proper review of the Labor NBN rollout.

        • GongGav
          Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink |

          Do you look forward to a rollout that will be out of date by the time its finished?

          • Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink |

            *started. There’ll be at least six months before the transition is complete. By this time Chorus, for example, will be well underway with their UFB project.

          • alain
            Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink |

            Which one are you referring to?


            • GongGav
              Posted 22/03/2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink |

              Well, if you’re implying that the Labor FttP rollout will be outdated by the time its finished, then I can only assume that you fully agree the weaker FttN rollout the Liberals appear to be wanting will be outdated as well.

              At best its only going to be done a couple of years faster than the FttP version, and has a speed cap of 80 Mps, which wont be fast enough for our needs of 2019, let alone the decades beyond that. If you disagree, look at how our basic net speeds have increased from the 56k dialup days of the late 90’s.

              They pretty much double every 2 years, and right now its universally agreed we need 12 Mps. Double that every 2 years, and we’ll be wanting 100 Mps by 2019. Which is more than FttN can deliver, hence it will be outdated and need replacing. Its also around when The Turnbull expects to finish it.

              So to answer your question, obviously I mean the Liberal FttN rollout. Labor’s FttP rollout is able to be scaled up, with no clear upper speed limit, so as our needs grow, the capability will be there to develop the technology. Just like copper did for the past 30 years.

              • alain
                Posted 22/03/2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink |


                Well if you think that FTTN will be obsolete by 2019 and assuming a Labor win in September what do you say to the residences waiting for FTTH from 2019-2023, ‘hang in there with ADSL2+ or slower we will be with you real soon now’?

                If after a Coalition win and assuming we can extract some sort of rollout timetable out of the refurbished NBN Co in a timely manner and your area for example is targeted for FTTN in 2014-2015 where previously you had to wait until 2020 and beyond for a Labor FTTH, you think those residences would too cut up if they got a higher speed connection from a cabinet nearby in a lovely shade of Liberal blue? :)

                As for your scaling up approach I understand the argument, the counter argument is I don’t think most residences are using the speed capacity they have available to them today, so I don’t necessarily agree that FTTN will be obsolete in a partial rollout by 2019 and will have to scrapped.

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 22/03/2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink |

                  @ alain

                  In that case I’ll ask you again, for the 3rd time….if FttN etc is better, answer the questions, if not please ignore yet again.

                  It’s all good and well to talk the talk… now walk the walk.

                  So in relation to the Coalitions plan (including FttN)…

                  * What are the technologies to be use %ages and where are these technologies to be used
                  * Total cost
                  * Funding – who pays and from where
                  * ROI – who gets it taxpayers or private enterprise
                  * Ownership – who owns the finished product, taxpayers, private company/companies or a mix
                  * Telstra – the need of their CAN, how will that work
                  * If they need to pay for the CAN, how much (to purchase or lease)
                  * Since the copper is required for national infrastructure, should the government simply seize the CAN from Telstra for the good of the nation
                  * If not, why not – considering it would reduce the most important (to some) cost, significantly
                  * HFC isn’t open access, will Telstra and Optus be forced to provide wholesaling to competitors
                  * ACCC – regarding access for other Telcos/ISP’s, to the Gov/Telstra’s network, how will that work
                  * Maintenance of the old copper – who pays
                  * What about copper repairs or replacement when FttN is rolled out and they find the copper no good?
                  * Do they replace copper with copper or fibre?
                  * If fibre why (since fibre is apparently overkill and a white elephant/waste)
                  * What if they find the copper in the majority of areas needs replacing?
                  * What benefits will we see, considering we will still have a copper bottleneck
                  * FttP – will it ever be needed
                  * If not why not
                  * If so – please repeat the first 5 dot points
                  * Wireless – where does this come into it (remember all those towers)
                  * What happens if FttN is held up legally because of Telstra’s CAN (either by Telstra or competitors).
                  * Ditto regarding HFC but with Telstra and Optus

                  As you can see, the Coalitions Plan has more holes than Swiss cheese. And while the NBN isn’t perfect, it of course has issues (and I have always said this) it is IMO, nonetheless, clearly, far and away the best option… as all of the above problems have been addressed, even if not to everyone’s liking.

                • GongGav
                  Posted 25/03/2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink |

                  Took the afternoon off on Friday, lets see if you’re stuborn enough to keep replying with stupid comments.

                  It seems a waste of money to roll out FttN ANYWHERE, if its obsolete in 6 or so years. You will have a technology in play that simply has zero role in the decades to follow.

                  And yes, that means some people will miss out. I feel sorry for them, but when the naysayers scream that FttH is a waste of money, its incredibly hypocritical to them preach an alternative that IS a massive waste of money.

                  Its one or the other. One involves a build that needs to be replaced. If that had started in 2005 like it should, things would be different and I’d have no problem with a FttN build in the slightest. The other bypasses that tier of technology, and helps future proof our comm’s for decades to come.

                  What do you think about wasting billions on FttN alain? Where’s the justification, when one of the key arguments about the technologically superior alternative is its cost? How can the FttN cost be justified when there is absolutely zero plan to get the money spent back?

                  I feel for people that will miss out. But a small delay now is better than a waste of $20b of taxpayer dollars for a product thats been superceded. Isnt it?

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink |

        @ Matthew,

        Last time when there were early figures we said, let’s wait and see… now they have indeed come in under, as we all feared (or some others I’m sure, wished for) which is a concern.

        I think you may be confusing your other pet pg x,y,z 12mbps, where NBNCo are exceeding… but that’s another argument ;)

        Again I reiterate 2 things –

        1. Does it automatically equate to the NBN being a bad plan, simply because it’s rolling out slower than expected? Conversely, if 2 cans and a piece of string could be delivered to each household ahead of schedule, would that equate to it being a good plan?

        2. As a poster said at ZD…

        …”our favorite anti-NBN crusaders need to figure out how angry they are planning on being because they’re not getting something they don’t want fast enough, or if they should be angry at the private sector for not being able to deliver telecoms infrastructure as per a contract. What will it be?…

        Funny how these contracted companies are getting of scot-free from any criticism. I’m sure if this was a Coalition initiative, they’d be more adept at pointing the finger where it could or should be being pointed…

        But I’d suggest Quigley is as qualified as anyone…but if Quigley isn’t the man who is?

        Sol, Ergas, Morgan and of course, it goes without saying Turnbull/Abbot/Fletcher? Or on a more serious note maybe Hackett needs to be approached for involvement?

        It all seems superfluous considering it doesn’t really seem to matter about policy anyway, looking at the polls and Labor shooting themselves in the foot at every opportunity. Ergo, we’ll soon enough be able to see if Tony is as good at being a positive elected leader as he obviously is at being a negative opposition leader and if he can come up with good policies (including broadband) when, as it seems inevitable, elected.

        Hopefully TA has more ticker than his trusty followers here, who never have positive answers only negative questions and childish, antagonistic comments.

        My prophesy… once the Coalition are elected the usual suspect NBN detractors/FttN supporters/posters who bombard us daily with FUD, will disappear from Delimiter and other forums.

        *** Those last two sentences were not levelled at you per se` Matthew ***

      • Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink |

        I don’t recall anyone ever saying, explicitly, that they’d meet the June targets.

        They said that we don’t have much evidence pointing towards that yet. That we should reserve judgement. That we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

        That’s different to telling you that you’re wrong.

        Further, you seem to forget that not all of support the NBN exactly as implemented, but unlike you we understand why certain decisions have been made. Like the constant arguments we have about speed tiers. You’ll note no one was trying to paint them as a good thing, we were trying to explain why they were required, and the lack of viable alternatives.

        For example, I have stated that the best outcome for NBNCo would be for the government to subsidise some of the rollout in order to allow prices to drop and therefore speeds increase. This will also solidify the uncertainty associated with the ROI.

      • TheTruthHurts
        Posted 22/03/2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink |


        I support FTTH, I don’t support incompetence.

        The NBN’ers here seemingly support incompetence because either:

        1. They are Labor voters(about 30% of the population according to polling these days) and they can’t handle admitting yet another Labor failure

        2. Want FTTH built in any time frame, at any cost to the taxpayer and therefore back their man Mike Quigley who has been a disappointing failure as CEO

        You’d think anyone who REALLY supports the NBN would be demanding accountability in management… but nope… we get nothing but spin. The reality is that the NBN will never be successful until Mike Quigley goes and MQ isn’t going until Labors gone because he’s their “man”.

    12. AJ
      Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink |

      I think the bigger issue is if this is a isolated problem or is it bigger?a

      In other word are NSW Vic and Qld on schedule?
      Is the problem with one contractor?
      Is the problem Telstra’s ducts?

      Will NBNCo be shifting rollout to newer areas that do not have the same remediation issues?

    13. Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink |

      By definition, a target is not a commitment, but not the best look…

      • Posted 22/03/2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink |

        You know how politics works. No one thinks of it like that. :(

        • Posted 22/03/2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink |

          After yesterday, no, I have no idea how politics works…

          • Posted 22/03/2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink |

            Fairies, unicorns and pixie dust, of course!

    14. Soth
      Posted 22/03/2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink |

      I would imagine it being hard to get your targets spot on when the mining sector is swallowing up a lot of workers. Nom nom nom money.

    15. the lone gunmen
      Posted 22/03/2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink |

      Some humble pie for Renai and the other NBN fanbois around here.

      The target figures were always fantasy and anyone with a bit of common sense could see that.

      • Soth
        Posted 22/03/2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink |

        Hey gunmen :) Peace my friend, peace!
        We’re all having civil debates here :)

      • Posted 22/03/2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink |

        What is ‘fantasy’ is speculating on rollout figures without hard evidence.

        • TheTruthHurts
          Posted 22/03/2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink |

          Exactly… so why did NBN do it?

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 22/03/2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink |

        Sad to see someone gloating about the destruction of a key element of Australia’s future.
        So what now hero gunmen. ? we all get screwed over for long term inadequte at great expense to the taxpayer over the years, that makes you happy?

        • Soth
          Posted 22/03/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

          Thank god I kept my 56k modem under the stair case, I might be needing it again! :o

    16. Stephen H
      Posted 22/03/2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink |

      It is presumably time for some senior players at NBN Co to fall on their swords (metaphorically, this ain’t Japan) for the good of the company.

      As an NBN cheerleader, there has to be change at the top before Tony and friends come in, or there is absolutely no hope that the organisation will survive. I still hold an outside hope that there will be an NBN in some form – but I’ll also be looking at homes in Gungahlin, the nearest locale to have been rolled out.

      • Posted 24/03/2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink |

        That’s just silly.

        There will certainly be changes after Tony gets in (only six months away) so the present management should do their best up to that time. Changing management at the last minute, just to prove a point is going to be even more expensive and even less productive. You can bet these guys all got onto contracts with juicy early termination clauses… I know I would in their position.

    17. Paul
      Posted 22/03/2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink |

      Ok what I want to know now is, since the roll-out forecast is down by lest just say 40%. What impact does that have on the forecast 7% return? Does it just push out the break even point by 3-6 months or has the revenue forecast on this been over promised and about to be under delivered by 40%?

    18. Lets bet
      Posted 23/03/2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink |

      I’ll put my money where my mouth is. I’d bet my yearly salary that the NBN won’t make it next its next estimate. Will Quigley stand up and resign if the NBN doesn’t make its next target? The biggest BS phrase for a CEO is “taking responsibility” or “being held accountable” – if he was truly responsible then he should quit for the incompetence of the NBN that it can’t even meet its own forecasts. Then to release the figures on the afternoon of Labor bloodletting tells it all – I’m guessing at the request of Stephen Conroy after his totalitarian media bill almost led to a no-confidence vote for the Labor party.

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 24/03/2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink |

        “I’m guessing at the request of Stephen Conroy after his totalitarian media bill almost led to a no-confidence vote for the Labor party”

        Do you realise how many times the Libs have called for a no confidence vote? Anything will get them to call one. I am sure they probably called one because it was Tuesday.

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