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  • Opinion, Telecommunications - Written by on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:12 - 394 Comments

    The Coalition’s policy is a sensible NBN alternative

    good-better

    opinion The Coalition’s rival policy is a sensible alternative to Labor’s National Broadband Network project, based soundly on its traditional principles of liberalism and support for the free market, but also pragmatically taking into account the situation which the the current Federal Government will leave the Coalition with if it takes power in September.

    Shortly after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott handed Malcolm Turnbull responsibility for the communications portfolio in September 2010, the Member for Wentworth called in about a dozen of Australia’s leading technology journalists for a private chat at his electorate office in Edgecliff. The point of the exercise, as I understood it at the time, was for Turnbull to achieve a degree of familiarity with key members of the press who would be covering his statements over the succeeding years in his new capacity as Shadow Communications Minister.

    A more diplomatic journalist than myself (and there were indeed several such there at the time) might have cut the former Opposition Leader some slack on the day. On such informal occasions, it is perhaps the usual practice to take a more gentle, more practical approach. After all, this kind of situation usually represents nothing more than the chance to establish some level of rapport with a figure who will be key to your work in the imminent future, and there will, of course, be many opportunities to question them about relevant issues on subsequent occasions.

    However, this wasn’t my approach on the day. To be blunt, I hammered Turnbull on the issue of the NBN. My question at that point to Turnbull (which I repeated several times; considering myself and my readers to be dissatisfied with his answers) went along these lines:

    “How could a Coalition Government possibly consider halting the rollout of the NBN after the next Federal Election, given that by that time the rollout of the NBN’s fibre infrastructure would be in progress at several million premises throughout Australia?”

    The Liberal MP’s answer at the time was to reject the idea that it was fruitless for the Coalition to oppose the NBN at that point, with fibre currently being rolled out around the nation. “The idea that we should just wave it through, because it’s politicially expedient, I mean — I wasn’t elected to Parliament to just look the other way when billions of dollars are potentially being wasted,” he said. In addition, Turnbull argued for the need for additional transparency into the NBN project and NBN Co itself.

    “I’m not seeking to wreck or destroy … my objective is to get some real transparency and accountability on this,” he said. “We need to have a more informed debate about it, the Government is talking about spending a really stupendous amount of money, and our job in the opposition is to hold them account to that.” Asked whether he thought it was politically dangerous for the Coalition to frame the NBN debate in financial terms, Turnbull questioned what other way it should be framed — given the obvious technical supremacy of fibre-optic cable over other broadband solutions.

    At the time, with public sentiment for the NBN still riding high 18 months after then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd first announced the Government would spend $43 billion rolling out fibre to almost every Australian premise, Turnbull’s answers seemed somewhat ludicrous. The Coalition had only months before that date produced a rival broadband policy for the 2010 Federal Election which had been laughably inadequate in scope, and the triumph of Labor’s ubiquitous fibre vision seemed inevitable. Along the way, many commentators guessed, the public would get a chance to laugh at the Coalition’s technological ineptness further, as it did during Abbott’s poor showing in the field during the election.

    Few could forget, at that stage, Abbott’s words on the 7:30 Report, when questioned by host Kerry O’Brien about the Coalition’s broadband policy. “I’m no Bill Gates,” he said. No kidding.

    But all jokes aside, it must have been hideously apparent to Turnbull even at that early juncture that he had been handed somewhat of a poisoned chalice by his erstwhile rival for the Liberal leadership. To oppose the NBN, Turnbull would have realised, would mean not only going up against an extremely popular Government policy — one which the Liberal Party’s own research had shown was instrumental in causing the election stalemate and helped lose it power, after independents like Rob Oakeshott cited it as a critical factor in backing Labor for government — but also one which would place the technologically adept Turnbull on the wrong side of the fence: Opposing innovation, trying to stop progress; halting new ideas in their tracks.

    At the core of the issue for Turnbull was still that same question which I had hammered the Member for Wentworth with when he took the portfolio up: What would the Coalition do, if Labor succeeded in deploying the NBN to millions of premises by the time the next Federal Election came along?

    As it turns out, Turnbull does not need to answer that question.

    You can argue the reasons for the current situation with the NBN forever — and God knows it’s always going to be a hot issue amongst the Australian public. You can argue that it was reasonable for the rollout of the NBN to be delayed because of NBN Co’s need to achieve a satisfactory outcome from its extremely complex negotiations with Telstra. You can argue that it was reasonable for the NBN to be delayed because the scope of its responsibilities was changed substantially as it took on responsibility for greenfields developments. You can argue that its latest three month rollout delay was reasonable, because it’s only a small, almost expected blip in a ten-year project. You can argue that its ongoing issues with its construction partners should also have been expected in a project of this magnitude. And in fact, I have argued for all of these concept.

    However, what you can’t argue with is the fact that the current Labor Federal Government has been in power long enough — almost six years, by the time the September election rolls around — that it should have been able to complete enough work on its NBN project to make it irrevocable at this time.

    In Australia’s Federal political system, it can be reasonably predicted that when a new government takes power after a long period in opposition, such as happened when Kevin Rudd took the reins from John Howard in 2007, that that new government will have at least two terms to implement its policies. The Australian electorate is willing to give politicians that chance to show us what they’re made of.

    If I can put it this bluntly, Labor has had its chance to demonstrate that it can deliver on national broadband policy, and it has flubbed it. Realistically, if you can’t do more than finish deploying a couple of hundred thousand premises with fibre in six years in office, there is no reason for the electorate to give you another three years to rectify your mistakes.

    Now, let me cut off the bitter criticism which many, many, readers are about to start flinging my way in the comments underneath this article. Yes: I know there are reasons for the current situation. Don’t you think that I, of all people, who has detailed the ins and outs of this project for most of the past decade, know those reasons? Of course Labor had to have its initial fibre to the node policy investigated from 2007 through 2009, and that took time. The NBN is a decade-long infrastructure project, and it takes time to get off the ground and ramp-up into its main rollout period. Yes, I know the delays have been reasonable from a project governance perspective, and yes, I know that fibre is the right technical solution for Australia’s broadband needs. I know all of this.

    But there’s also a political reality here; a reality that politicians of all backgrounds in all of Australia’s political environments acknowledge: That once a government (state, Federal or even local council) takes power, they have a limited time to enact their policies, or at least implement them to the point where they cannot easily be rolled back by political opponents.

    Labor, with its NBN project, has largely failed this test. There have been reasons, yes, but the truth is inescapable, that it has failed.

    In this context, the alternative NBN policy which the Coalition unveiled last week is precisely the policy which a party composed of conservatives (such as Abbott) and traditional liberals (such as Turnbull) should take to an election to oppose Labor’s traditional social welfare-oriented approach.

    As Turnbull rightly said last week, the Coalition can no longer simply walk away from the NBN. The superstructure of this project, involving the company of NBN Co itself, industry restructuring through its deal with Telstra and rural support through satellite and wireless, is all there now. For the Coalition to pull this comforting rug out from under the feet of the Australian public at this point would be ludicrous, and the general outcry would be stupendous.

    More than that, of course, is the greater issue that Australia’s telecommunications industry does not have a sustainable model for investing in upgrading its infrastructure at the moment, due to the ongoing regulatory uncertainty created by both sides of politics in this area. This issue must be addressed by a future Coalition Government; that is, after all, the Government’s fundamental role in a capitalist social democracy such as Australia enjoys: To provide stable underpinnings for the market to operate, and to prop up services in areas where it is not sustainable for the market to do so itself.

    And yet, for an Opposition dominated by a Liberal Party founded on traditional liberalist values of small government, support for free enterprise and individual endeavour to simply support the NBN as it stands — with the project broadly failing to deliver on its aims and spending billions of dollars in government funding along the way — would be absurd, as anyone who understands the fundamental philosophical differences between the socialist and liberalist ideologies would openly acknowledge.

    Australia’s technology sector can bluster all it likes about fibre to the premise being the future and Tony Abbott being a luddite — and we’ve certainly seen plenty of that over the past week under the amusingly naive #fraudband hashtag — but there is no escaping this fundamental truth: That a Coalition founded on liberalism would never organically develop the sort of big-spending fibre to every premise policy which Labor published in April 2009. That is the role of Labor — not the economically conservative other side of politics.

    Understanding these home truths, nothing in the Coalition’s policy released last week should come as a surprise to observers. The policy merely pragmatically retains the immutable bones of Labor’s vision, while aiming to transform it to deliver on its aims in a more economically rational way. And of course, the charismatic Turnbull has found a way to promise to deliver the policy faster and in a way that leaves future technological upgrades open to cashed-up private citizens and businesses, as well as the government itself, in the really long-term.

    And unlike Labor, the Coalition is clearly aware that it may have only two terms in power to implement its policy. That’s why Turnbull last week clearly articulated two sets of three year goals for the Coalition’s NBN rollout. Turnbull has also resolved a number of the ongoing chaotic issues which had plagued his policy over the past few months and has managed to get the Shadow Cabinet and Abbott personally staunchly behind and understanding the policy.

    If Labor had been able to deliver on its promises with the NBN, and even something like half a million Australian premises were already covered by the NBN’s fibre, then the Coalition’s rival policy simply could not exist. However in the absence of such project success, the Coalition’s approach is targeted precisely at Labor’s policy gaps, wrapped in the gleaming chrome marketing machine of Turnbull’s personal intellectualism and credibility with the electorate. Last week, the policy presentation by Turnbull and Abbott in Sydney was convincing and polished, and both were clearly singing the same tune; which hasn’t always been the case in the past. You all know that I have been a long-term critic of the Coalition’s NBN policy and Turnbull personally. If I found its launch largely convincing, then I have no doubt that many others will eventually come around as well, when exposed to it up close.

    So, do I personally prefer the Coalition’s policy?

    No. I don’t. Fundamentally, it’s a worse policy than Labor’s. Its critics are right; it betrays a tragic loss of long-term vision for Australia’s telecommunications infrastructure. Fibre to the node is a dead-end technology which will, in several decades, be already fading into memory. By investing in fibre to the node, the Coalition isn’t skating to where the puck is going to be, nor even where it is now. It is looking backwards, not forwards, and by doing so it is throwing away the opportunity for Australia’s economy to transition from digging things up out of the ground to a more sustainable knowledge-based export economy — you know, the kind of economy which countries such as Germany and Japan already have.

    Then too, the economics of the Coalition’s policy are questionable. Its claim that Labor’s NBN vision will cost $94 billion is, even by research conducted by Turnbull’s own office, not backed by evidence, and as Turnbull himself has admitted, it is possible that the Coalition’s policy will even up costing as much as Labor’s in the long-run.

    Plus, there’s the simple fact that the Government has a decent deal with Telstra right now to shut down its copper network; and I wouldn’t trust Telstra for a single second not to bend a future Coalition Government over a barrel to charge it through the neck for re-negotiating its extensive contract with NBN Co. There’s no arguing with a company the size of Telstra, which has historically produced enough legal work to keep law firms like Mallesons in caviar for decades.

    On almost any measure, Labor’s policy is a better one than the Coalition’s. It has technical, economic, financial and industry structure advantages, to say nothing of the end benefit to Australian residents and businesses. It’s a winner and I prefer it vastly over the Coalition’s much more modest vision.

    But the Coalition’s policy is not a bad policy, or even a neutral policy. It is a good policy, and fundamentally sound as pre-election policies go; considered, researched, very detailed, and backed by an informed and well-educated Shadow Minister on op of the nuances of his portfolio. It maintains the bones of Labor’s policy and will deliver on many of its aims, while offering the potential to be more financially astute and delivered more quickly; and it will maintain infrastructure competition in some areas due to the continued existence of the HFC cable networks. Your writer has always argued that the shutdown of the HFC cable networks — and the huge payouts to Telstra and Optus that were to result from the move — was highly anti-competitive, and even the ACCC had severe misgivings about the idea.

    From my perspective, although I know many Australians, including myself, will be disappointed by the Coalition’s vision in this area, I would encourage readers to recall where we’ve come from. Up until May 2007, neither side of politics had a workable broadband policy that would resolve once and for all the infrastructure deadlock which Telstra and its cluster of competitors found themselves in. At that stage, Labor’s then-$4.7 billion NBN plan to build fibre to the node nationally was seen as a watershed moment. Funny how it’s not too different from what the Coalition is proposing today.

    Fast forward six years and in 2013, both sides of politics have ambitious visions to spend tens of billions on broadband infrastructure to serve the needs of Australia’s population today and for the future. The two plans retain many common elements but also, fittingly, represent differing political philosophies, and to say Australians would be incredibly better off under either than they are today would be a collossal understatement.

    Many Australians have spent the past week protesting loudly in every direction about how terrible the Coalition’s NBN policy is. But I prefer to see it as it is: A sensible, liberalist alternative to Labor’s NBN and precisely, as Turnbull has been saying for some time, what we should have expected from the conservative side of politics.

    None of this, of course, will stop me or others from holding Turnbull, Abbott and company to strict account for delivering on their alternative NBN vision after September. Stephen Conroy will remember how much fun it was to bathe daily in the fire of public opinion over the years from 2007 when Labor was determined to implement its unpopular Internet filtering policy. If the Coalition fails to deliver on its NBN vision to the same extent that Labor has, there will be hell to pay, and I will personally be lining up to rip the Earl of Wentworth a new one. But then, given how we began our relationship, I would bet that he would expect nothing less.

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    1. Darryl Adams
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

      The problem with the argument was Kevin Rudd tried to get private companies to build the NBN. The answer they got was not that awe inspiring, hence the Govt intervening.

      On the money side of things, the Government is in a far better position to fund the construction of the NBN.

      1. Bond prices are very low, and the demand for government bonds are very high
      2. Unlike private enterprise, the government is immune from credit squeeze

      I would have thought the better option would be to allow private enterprise build the network, and use the Commonwealth as a lender. Even if the Govt offered 3% PA interest, it would still make money on the project

      I am not a fan to Fibre to the Node, as the last mile is the weak point. My phone and ADSL is impacted by bad weather, and there are people who can not even get ADSL due to Telstra splitting a line into two to save cost.

      If we could use the node for long range wifi, maybe I would change my mind. However the range needed may require a new frequence which is not avaiable.

      Fun Fun Fun

    2. TheNedKelly77
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

      The Coalition policy is better than, “rip up the NBN”. That’s for sure. It’s not as much of a step back as their initial reaction was. It’s still lacking vision for the future though.

      • Grump3
        Posted 17/04/2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink |

        They’re still ‘Ripping up the NBN” to be replaced by a patchwork substitute with different classes of service.
        From what I’ve read on the subject to date:
        The current NBN is set to deliver a uniform minimum service of 25/5 Mbps to all consumers be they on wireless satellite or fibre without price discrimination with the ISP of their choice.
        Turnbull’s “Cheaper” substitute offers Up To 25/1mbps depending upon distance & state of copper but at what price? & which ISP?
        VDSL apparently prevents multiple ISP service from each node due to noise so we lose the choice of provider?
        http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2013/02/13/3689280.htm
        So it would seem we’re to continue to have different classes of service availability all over the country instead & most likely higher charges due to continued ISP lockout by the copper node to home roadblock unless one pays to get a fibre connection but then what determines how much they get charged for what has become a “premium service” compared to the rest of the country?

        Malcolm Turnbull is opposed to putting fibre-optic cables all the way into Australian households – but that is what he is investing in.
        If Australians want to know what Malcolm Turnbull really thinks about investing in fibre to the home, they need to follow his money, not his mouth.
        Turnbull likes fibre to the home – in France & Spain
        http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2012/143

    3. Posted 16/04/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Renai.

    4. Posted 16/04/2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink |

      I think it depends on how you define “sensible”.

      On its own, the current FTTP NBN is completely “sensible”.

      On its own, the alternative FTTN NBN is completely “sensible”. It is also a significant upgrade to what we have now.

      But they are not on their own, and have to be compared sensibly against each other – and common sense tells me that spending $30b on a plan that even than man spruiking it understands will one day need an expensive upgrade – (low end estimates say $21b) – to the same product we would have for $37b under the current plan.

      FTTN = short term cheaper = long term expensive
      FTTP = short term expensive = long term cheaper

      I know which is “sensible” in the long term.

      • Posted 16/04/2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink |

        “…to the same product we would have for $37b under the current plan…”

        Should have read:

        “…to the same product we would have for $37b under the current plan, is not ‘sensible’…”

      • BuildFTTP
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink |

        +1.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink |

        That’s pretty well my position on it as well.

        The Coalition plan is a good plan, heck it’s even a great one, for ten years ago. I think a lot of folks can get 25Mbps even now (excluding issues with lines, distance from exchanges, etc), so I’m not exactly blown away with them promising “up to” 25Mbps in their first term. They are, in effect, just going to be fixing existing infrastructure so the “distance from exchanges” will apply to fewer people, the issues with lines, weather, etc all still apply.

        Given that world wide telcos are investing 82% of their funds into FTTP, FTTP isn’t actually the orphan that a lot of folks (LNP and the usual suspects around here) make out, only 18% is being put into FTTN. Even Malcolm himself knows this (as his investment in it shows). The reason the telcos are doing this, is that it is more expensive to roll-out FTTN, and then have to upgrade to what will be standard in a few years anyway (FTTP).

        So, yeah, a great plan, but it should have been implemented back before Telstra was sold… the ALP NBN is the tech that the majority of the worlds telcos are using now, not FTTN which is dead-end tech that should have been done at least a decade ago…

      • Bob.H
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink |

        Absolutely spot on Michael.

      • Arran
        Posted 18/04/2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink |

        Of course they look at the short term, all governments do. Why do u think Howard sold Yelstra, not for long term gain but short term money

    5. Lamul
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink |

      There is one element of the Coalition policy that you didn’t mention that was a gigantic relief for a supporter for fttp like me.

      The policy leaves open the prospect of future governments being able to complete the fttp roll out, while retaining the existing back haul and infrastructure. This is a great outcome compared to the old “rip it out of the ground policy.”

      Also the Coalition policy also considers that a delay in the fttp rolling may pay for the fttn infrastructure just simply by the time value of money.

      • RyanH
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink |

        There’s a number of assumptions in that time value of money yielding savings. If you take it back to basics, money coming in and going out, for those savings to be realised you are in effect saying we pay the same or more for an inferior service now.

        With a long term project which is how this should be treated, operational costs and finance costs should be given the highest priority. As a previous poster highlighted, bond rates are cheap now and the world’s financial markets are seeking stable long term investments. The arrangement to remove Telstra from wholesale and create a new wholesale provider gives that certainty and opens up retail competition that didn’t exist on anywhere near the same level previously. The Coalition policy, by including wholesale competition (we know very well how that works – eg Optus/Telstra HFC networks) it is reintroducing the biggest risk to the project. What stops Telstra now from overbuilding its own fibre network in the most profitable areas?

        I agree with Michael above. On it’s own the policy is better than what the Coalition came up with during its last period in government. In comparison to where we are currently at and the proposal currently on the table it is foolishness where the key elements are being justified on falsehoods.

        • Michael
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink |

          RyanH,

          It is an interesting argument,

          Another issue which was not raised was the difference in benefits between FTTP and FTTN.

          Does the marginal difference between the two technologies justify the additional impost, given that there are few household (not business) uses for the technology that cannot be done on FTTN.

          In addition FTTN has an advantage of potentially being able to be rolled out faster than the FTTP generating the economy wide benefits of universal internet faster which should also be accounted for.

          But yes, low credit costs make it an attractive time to begin infrastructure project now and 10 year bonds can be locked in at low prices.

          It would be great to see a proper CBA comparing the alternatives.

          • David
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink |

            It would indeed be great to see a proper CBA.

            The follow on question is: can a proper CBA ever be scoped and executed under a Coalition government given its history of flexible accounting to support its foregone conclusions?

            • Michael
              Posted 16/04/2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink |

              Both sides are guilty of dodgy accounting when it suits them in politics.

              That is why it is important to have it conducted by an independant organization with a fully transperant processs.

              None of this crap where governments can sit on the report for 6+ months after recieving it before the public can see it, it should be published once it is complete.

            • tinman_au
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink |

              The follow on question is: can a proper CBA ever be scoped and executed under a Coalition government given its history of flexible accounting to support its foregone conclusions?

              The problem is, a lot of the costs are missing from the LNP plan still (cost to buy/lease the CAN, maintenance of it, etc). Any CBA done with the figures they released would be meaningless.

          • Nick
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink |

            You say “Does the marginal difference between the two technologies justify the additional impost, given that there are few household (not business) uses for the technology that cannot be done on FTTN”

            What?

            Firstly, ‘marginal differences’? Last time I checked 100 is 4 times bigger than 25. Is a 4 fold increase in speed ‘marginal’? If the speed limit on the roads was increased from 50KM/h to 200KM/h would that be seen as a ‘marginal difference’?

            Secondly, how do you know there are not uses for it when you don’t have such a service at your disposal?

            There are untold large bandwidth applications for homes. Some exist today including streaming of entertainment (media/games etc) to comunication (video conference) and the ability for people to work effectively from home with remote access to business/school intranet services.

            Give people this resource and they will come up with many more ingenious ways of utilising it. There are huge potentials for educational and health benefits from such infrastructure.

            The NBN should be seen as an investment rather than a cost. It will unlock a lot of growth potential, especially in regional areas. Anything short of FTTP is selling Australia short. We need to catch up to the rest of the world not lag behind with decades old technology.

        • Slartibartfast
          Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

          People shouldn’t overlook that the Liberals’ presumption that savings in terms of time value of money in deferring FTTP is partly negated by CPI increases in materials and labour.

    6. Steve
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

      I think this argument might benefit from more analysis of the practicalities of the coalition policy. Its one thing to aim to have it all done in two terms, (25mbps by 2016, 50 by 2019), but is their timing realistic?

      Its not.

      The Coalition won’t get 25mbps to everyone by 2016. Not with all the unpicking and renegotiating they will have to do.

      We spent a decade under the howard govt watch broadband go nowhere (or backwards if you consider Telstra. It certainly went backwards for me – i moved from a location close to an exchange in inner-west sydney to a location vaguely close to the exchange (but long cable distance) in Marsfield, and saw my peak speed fall from 20mbps to 5mbps. We have seen labor take two terms to get the NBN to where it is now.

      There is enormous – ENORMOUS – policy,technical,contractual,institutional INERTIA in a project like this. If the coalition were to get in and try and change the direction of a project with this level of inertia, it would just result in another multi-year period of nothing happening before they had built up momentum.

      Your article argues the ideological soundness of the coalition’s policy, but I think you are inappropriately ascribing PRAGMATIC soundness to the coalition’s policy that it simply does not have.

      • Brett Haydon
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        I don’t know how you can even compare the current flawed but awesome NBN rollout with something that has no detail on how it will be delivered in such a short time frame (the 25Mbps part).

        • tinman_au
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink |

          Indeed, Malcolm has fleshed his policy out more, but he didn’t address the issues I had with it before (Cost to access Telstra’s CAN, upgrade time frame to FTTP, who will wear the cost of CAN maintenance, how will he get competition going in the 23-30% of HFC coverage, how much longer will it take to pay back the FTTN network if a lot of folks (like me) decide to stay with the “faster than FTTN” HFC, etc).

    7. Karl
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink |

      You missed one important point Renai. Sure, the Coalition policy is workable there’s no doubt about it, I don’t think anybody doubts that they could get into power and do this, although not as fast or nor cheap. But the important point is this: it is not a better policy than Labor’s. Implementing it undoes 3 years of work on the NBN, and Turnbull has fundamentally failed to show that the NBN needs to be altered. On that basis the plan to change the NBN represents atrocious policy, any government which deliberately throws away years of work for political ends is a failure.

    8. jasmcd
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink |

      I would like to know what form of guarantees will be provided if properties do not meet the 25mbps mark.

      If the stipulated speeds are not going to be met with confindence for the majority of Australians, it will be too late to complain to the earl of wentworth. We will be stuck with what was promised to be a “sensible” alternative.

      In effect we are currently trading what can be considered a “sure thing” for what can be equated to as a roll at the roulette table.

      • Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |

        Do we think the 25mbs is based on satelitle ?

        how else can they cover the whole nation by 2016

        • TrevorX
          Posted 17/04/2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink |

          You can’t add more customers to the satellites than they were designed for or you lose the minimum service level. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Liberal plan did in fact include assumptions for greater use of the satellites, but it won’t actually work in the real world.

          • Michael
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink |

            No you are wrong, they state exactly the same number on satellite / wireless.

    9. Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink |

      only 7 comments in a hour, seems like everyone is completely bored by this topic…

      as the audience on #qanda showed last night, the public just want NBN

    10. Djos
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink |

      It’s a sensible policy ….. If you are a right wing ideologue!

      • djos
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

        @Renai

        I dont understand how you can call a plan based on lies (as you have already noted), deceit and FUD … a “sensible NBN alternative”?

        This is just a huge Logic fail for me!

        • Node4Me
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink |

          But you are comfortable with Labor NBN rollout targets constantly not being met in the NBN Co Corporate Plans, we are up to Plan No 2 2012-2015 which has already been amended significantly in March 2013.

          • TheTruthHurts
            Posted 19/04/2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink |

            Released in August 2012…. targets missed by March

            Perhaps we need a new corporate plan every month?

    11. Autocrat
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink |

      There’s nothing sensible about a broadband plan that doesn’t deliver broadband. What are the upstream bitrates of VDSL? What effect on the downstream bandwidth does an upstream channel at capacity have?

      But mostly, what’s the point of an NBN that isn’t actually broadband? I understand the political position Turnbull is taking, but his proposed solution doesn’t work.

    12. damien
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink |

      “The Coalition’s rival policy is a sensible alternative to Labor’s National Broadband Network project”.

      So the LNP’s Back To The Future NBN is now ‘sensible’? Flip-flop much?

      • tinman_au
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink |

        I think Renai is just taking a pragmatic approach to it. Considering the polls, FTTN will be the NBN “we have to have” :(

    13. Tom
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink |

      I understand what you were trying to do with this article, and how it was structured – broad praise for the “sensible alternative” of Coalition policy followed by a reiteration of your support for FTTP.

      But I worry about any reader who gave up at:

      “The policy merely pragmatically retains the immutable bones of Labor’s vision, while aiming to transform it to deliver on its aims in a more economically rational way.”

      The Coalition’s policy change is not about economics or ideology. It’s politically driven.

      In the face of strong continued public support for the FTTP NBN, it’s a step away from the “tear it up” policy to date. It allows the Coalition to refocus debate on Labor’s alleged inefficiency and waste and cite a cheaper cost in every speech. It allows them to appear not to be idiots. It reduces the chance of any votes changing as a consequence.

      And in government, it allows them to throw up their hands and build the FTTP NBN anyway.

      • Stephen
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink |

        Tom’s really correct – by praising the Coalition even lightly you simply let them achieve the realpolitik result they are after.

        NBN (Labors) is popular with voters. This is a plan to defuse that popularity.

        As election promises/policies go this will probably be one of the first to be gutted and sold off because the dollar figure estimates are risible (see their lack of opex) and they have too many vested interests who will pull them in directions the public does not want them to go.

        And much like the GST, once they’ve put their changes in we’re stuck with them, promises to the contrary be damned.

        • Tom
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink |

          Thanks, Stephen.

          I also think we need to accept that any logistical issues that affect either party’s policy implementation will probably be roughly the same.

          The Coalition is not going to replace the bureaucracy or the contractors in large part. No hypothetical Coalition minister is going to directly project manage an FTTN rollout.

          The $30bn Coalition policy estimate vs their much-mentioned $94bn ALP policy estimate is a best case (with huge lacunae – such as the ongoing copper opex and a possible renegotiation with Telstra) compared to a worst case without justification.

          Those figures are intellectually dishonest and should not be given oxygen, not even to debunk them. The $94bn figure is a classic example of a “talking point” – it doesn’t matter who mentions it, it harms the ALP’s cause and they have the better policy in this instance.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink |

        The Coalition’s policy change is not about economics or ideology. It’s politically driven.

        Exactly, it’s not policy to address the issues Australian broadband has, it’s policy to address Tony Abbott’s position politically, it’s “Fibre to the No”

      • Annoying Old Fart
        Posted 22/04/2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink |

        “The Coalition’s policy change is not about economics or ideology. It’s politically driven.”

        There’s a lot of that, but some economics too. The Coalition really wants the NBN to be a success… so they can steal it from us, sell it off to private business interests, and spend the proceeds on electoral bribes. Exactly the same as Telstra. Exactly the same Coalition.

    14. quink
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink |

      I said this in January:

      > FTTN is a viable solution, but it’s probably time to pack it in and stop calling it a pretty sensible solution from this point in time onwards.

      And I stand by it. It’s a viable solution. The whole plan (including FTTH in some areas, plus the fixed wireless and satellite) is sensible. But to call the whole thing, and especially FTTN, pretty sensible is out there. Very out there.

      I’ll just link to something Steve Jenkin has written: http://stevej-on-it.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/nbn-correcting-record-on-coalition-nbn.html

      Something that Simon Hackett has said: http://simonhackett.com/2013/04/09/cd-syd-2013-problem-with-fttn/

      And the simple fact that cheaper, more affordable, sooner, and fast are incorrect in the long term, misleading, hardly true and wrong.

      And I’m sorry, but when you base the claim of billions being wasted on an anonymous source and a single piece of equities research not available to the public hardly being supported by other sources, then you’re being dishonest. When you claim that 25 Mbps is more than fast enough for the average family and both completely gloss over upload speeds and don’t dare mention that the ABS just published stats showing a 35% growth in downloads in six months, then you’re being dishonest. When you’re saying that the NBN will cost users $90 a month, when in fact that’s an average and includes people on 1 Gbps then you’re being dishonest.

      And last, when you’re sitting next to Alan Jones and tell him that everything about wireless as an alternative to fibre being the future is correct, then you’re just about one of the biggest frauds ever to come along in this country’s history when you’re a federal politician of this calibre and know it’s wrong yourself.

      By all means, screw Labor and their progress. But when China can do 35 million FTTH connections this year, then that’s not a failure of the idea of FTTH, not even in this country. This country, Australia, did a rollout to 1.7 million HFC households annually. It’s a failure not so much of Labor but an endemically truly idiotic start to the project and a lack of vim in this project other than where politically motivated. You could have had people in the trenches laying fibre in 2008, Labor. You won an election and you could have just told Telstra hand over the ducts right then and there. Instead you dawdled when you knew from previous experience and all common sense that Telstra wasn’t going to play ball with FTTN. But if the Liberal party thinks they can do better, they should do better, and have a plan on how to do so. And that doesn’t include presenting an intellectually dishonest plan that will keep us at around position #100 in the worldwide upload speeds on netindex.com.

      Because when I go on there and see that Lithuanians do 30 Mbps upload, on average, or Japan 19 Mbps or Iceland 18 Mbps or Russia 16 Mbps or even China 5 Mbps and they come along with this crap and put a multi-thousand dollar barrier between the average Australian and ubiquity of broadband of at least similar quality as the one in bloody Russia, then it’s just indicative on how insignificant a society we will be in the future in a global context.

      But why should we be doing anything other than being News Ltd.’s passive consumers, right? It’s not like Australia should ever be a great nation, and seeing the irrational hatred of asylum seekers (they are seeking asylum, they’re not criminals!) and a bunch of other things makes me think why bother with this lot when I could just go to Scandinavia and buy three houses for the price of one here.

      • quink
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink |

        Also, if the coalition does get elected and they don’t spend every second working directly towards fulfilling all their election promises and more, I will personally ram a pitchfork across the frontbench since they’ve so publicly declared that they’ll do an oh-so-much better job. That’s not saying I don’t want my upload speeds.

        The noise if the coalition falls even slightly behind or if they face any delays in negotiating with Telstra or if people don’t see their “NBN” (for lack of a better word other than NFN) with 25 Mbps minimum by 2016 will be so incredible I should hope that it will be deafening and truly drowning out any other conversation in the public field. If we find even the slightest hint that ignoring a 35% growth in downloads in 6 months might have been an imprudent decision we’re stuck with for a decade, I will personally contribute to raise the water level in the pool of public discourse above their heads. And if anyone, even a single person, with bad copper doesn’t get either fibre or a wasteful idiotic investment in new copper by 2016, may the coalition burn in electoral purgatory for the next generation.

        If they think they’re so much better.

        • quink
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink |

          Also, it is almost inarguable that Telstra’s was the worst privatisation that telecommunications has ever seen, anywhere. It was almost beyond international compare. No separation happened and Telstra kept both its HFC and copper networks.

          The reason the government even needed to get involved with this NBN project showed how badly it was done. To propose that the Australian people give back the keys to the people who privatised Telstra so horribly is sheer lunacy when they say things like negotiating with Telstra won’t be a problem and, let’s face it, even had the policy launch at a FOXTEL (the TEL standing for Telstra) studio.

          • Node4Me
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink |

            ‘Also, it is almost inarguable that Telstra’s was the worst privatisation that telecommunications has ever seen, anywhere. It was almost beyond international compare. No separation happened and Telstra kept both its HFC and copper networks.’

            Separation doesn’t mean Telstra doesn’t still own the HFC or copper network, tell me about which international separation you are referring to where the incumbent lost ownership of its fixed line network?

            • quink
              Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink |

              Oh, I’m not really referring to that kind of separation. What I mean is that the layer between Telstra Wholesale and Telstra Retail was, and still is in many ways, quite thin.

              Even to this day, Telstra won’t allow you to get HomeLine Budget while also using a third party ADSL provider. Officially, even if not practice for any of us.

              • tinman_au
                Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink |

                Well…..you can see the position John was in

                1. Get top dollar for the sale of Telstra and maximize it’s sale price by keeping it together, though that’ll lead to a monopoly situation where basically everyone (even the Gov) gets bent over by them.

                or

                2. Make less money by separating the wholesale/retail divisions and/or even splitting those up more (as the US did with Bell).

                John chose to maximize his profits…apparently “good government” is about profit, not services…

              • Trevor W
                Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink |

                quink
                There are tens of thousands of people who are paying for a ‘phone service that they don’t want. VoIP rocks.

        • Michael
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink |

          quink,

          Just to put it in perspective of what we have had for the past 3 years,

          3 core promises; Refugee policy, Mining tax, Carbon Policy.

          None of the ALP’s policies on these issues have come to pass as they were stated before the election. None.

          So if you want a level playing field, the bar is not set very high.

    15. BuildFTTP
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink |

      A completely sensible policy.. When it’s not raining..

      In all seriousness though reliability and upload speeds are what concern me with this policy and I think they are the 2 critical components to see the growth in our economy and society that many of us think the current NBN will bring.

      With the end result being FTTP in 20 years and the majority of the cost being in the labor, I am struggling to see the point in messing with the rollout now.

    16. Dave
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink |

      My concern will be, where does this leave us when Telstra hands over the copper network, and is once again the monopoly of the ground? I have been fighting Telstra for over 6 months now trying to get any line repairs done, and the same result every time – “you are getting over 1.5mbps, and that is all we are required to deliver” is their response each time. Never mind the fact that when it rains, my connection manages 1.6mbps (sadly, this is still considered not necessary to fix); down from a maximum 4.6mbps once the ground dries out again. And of course, induced spikes of noise every 30 seconds, resulting in over 150,000 CRC errors every time is never captured nor diagnosed. I had to purchase an enterprise-class router just to handle the connection, as consumer grade simply crashes every few hours!

      I am in an area with no HFC coverage, and within a 3-year NBN zone. Once the coalition’s plan is in place, does this mean that I have no chance of ever getting fiber? I am in an apartment building with copper wiring that is 60 years old inside the building, with a body corporate that will not touch it. So does this mean I am expected to rely on 60 year old copper to deliver my “broadband” service? I might as well just tether to my phone, which manages 6mbps – far more than my wired connection! I know that I am not alone in this situation either, which is the worst part. For the inner suburbs of Melbourne – this is just pathetic to see such “service”.

      Whilst I agree that from a political perspective coalition is onto a winner; I work in IT, live it and breathe it, and feel that once again this country has proven that political points are all that matters to this government, and that the vision for this country is “not what the opposition wants”. Forget about what the opposition policy is… how about we just discredit it at every level through outdated data and manipulation of facts and figures, such as the overall cost? It simply represents that coalition has no vision for the future, no consideration for the detrimental effect that it will have on the development of the IT industry, and no thought whatsoever to the fact that in 10 years time – our demands for such access will once again outpace what can be delivered. So what then? We try once again to break up Telstra, once again need to get all the contractors out there to once again try and replace the by-then disintegrated copper from the ground? And at what cost? If we had just done it right the first time, we wouldn’t be forced to spend another $40b+ on the network in another 10 years time, not to mention the monumental costs in maintaining the rotten copper in the ground, nor the power usage and the regular battery replacements at the “nodes”. Not to mention, the upload speed is pathetic with both current ADSL and VDSL technology – truly forefront of our time. Oh, and one more thing – it has not been mentioned anywhere of the digital divide this approach will create. Buy a brand new apartment building, and get a new fancy fiber connection. Live anywhere in an old area with existing buildings, not a chance. If you want to buy in Brunswick of Melbourne, expect the house prices to have just that much more premium due to the connection.

      I have all but given up hope on ever having decent Internet. The copper network is a massive unknown, and a dead end in my case. The HFC is overutilised, and thus underperforming and not available in all cases (yes I had cable in my last property, average download speed maxes out at 3.3mbps). And where body corporates control the building – say goodbye to any chance of having any upgrades to the aeging copper infrastructure. I simply wish that for once in this country, our politicians would agree to disagree on a policy, and try for once to do something that benefits the nation rather than their political scoreboard.

      Call me biased, it’s because I am. Why? Because I actually care about this country and would for once like to see something that benefits all. What can I do about it? Nothing. We have all seen the polls, and we all know which party will win. What does the future hold? A guaranteed future that in our lifetimes at least, will never see such a courageous project ever attempted again. Turnbull would gladly expect everybody to pay for the priviledge of Internet; and would as sooner rather see this country plunge behind into darkness in the global economy as we push further into the digital age and find that once again, their lack of vision will forever see us lacking behind the technology of the world. For shame.

    17. Michelle
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink |

      I just can’t agree with you. It might have been sensible several years ago, but now I think it is a waste of time and effort to shift back to a FTTN policy.

      I also don’t see anyone talking about what I think is the “killer feature” of the FTTH plan…. upload. The LNP FTTN plan just won’t deliver anything close to what is needed for the future in terms of upload. Why isn’t anyone talking about this? As we move from being purely consumers to creators of content this is going to become a more critical feature of the plan.

      • Node4Me
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink |

        If FTTH upload is really important to you it is available on a 50% user pays principle, of course such a user pays scheme puts a whole new perspective on how important upload speed really is.

        • tinman_au
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink |

          Or, put another way:

          If upload speed isn’t important to you, you can stick with the fully tax payer funded “copper on life support” FTTN ;o)

          If the original CAN hadn’t been fully funded by tax payers, most folks “in the bush” wouldn’t even have had that…

          • Node4Me
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink |

            I don’t have a problem with FTTN speeds, but then again I might get FTTH anyway I’m in a old established brownfield area, I think most of the copper is crappy.

            • tinman_au
              Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink |

              I’ll be declining the LNP’s offer of FTTN, it’ll never (and I mean never) even get the speeds my current HFC gets (I’m already getting 50Mbps, and could get 100 if I do nother contract with Bigpond, so the LNP FTTN is like “ice to the Eskimos” for me). Shame there wont be any competition on that though, I was looking forward to 100Mbps for half what Telstra charges for 50Mbps :(

              • Node4Me
                Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink |

                I think you need to read the Coalition Policy, Telstra HFC will be wholesale open access to all ISP’s.

                • tinman_au
                  Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink |

                  Yeah? What page is that on? Good news if true!

                  • Node4Me
                    Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink |

                    Page 11 first paragraph.

                    • aka Sam
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink |

                      Haha, all it commits to is ‘we’ll think about it’.

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink |

                  Hmmm, how can an opposition promise to make a private companies HFC network, open access? Will they Telstra (and Optus for that matter) be offered an inducement, their networks purchased or will they simply be forced?

                  Sorry, I haven’t had time to fully read the Coalitions plan.

                  But I would suggest that if NBNCo made such claims in regards to a private company’s assets, the usual suspects would be here bleating about the big bad monopoly flexing it’s muscle :/

                  • David
                    Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink |

                    This is a key point in the debate. The Coalition has made grand promises about Telstra’s HFC network but offered no clarity on how it will accomplish them.

                    Can anybody offer some precedent where this has happened anywhere else in the world? The effective nationalisation of a private HFC network?

                    • Node4Me
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink |

                      We have the nationlisation of Australia’s copper network, what’s the problem with providing open access to the HFC network which is only in some areas of our biggest capital cities?

                      • Chris Watts
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink |

                        I understand there are significant difficulties in changing the existing configuration of the HFC networks to provide Layer 2 Open Access arrangements.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink |

                        I don’t think so Chris.

                        http://www.commsday.com/commsday-australasia/lynch-comment-get-a-grip-hfc-would-make-a-fine-interim-nbn-technology

                      • Chris Watts
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink |

                        Quoting Graham Lynch is not a good way to gain credibility.

                        Nevertheless, I am looking around to see what other information I can on the subject.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink |

                        I also look forward to your research that disputes these findings from that link as well:

                        “, iiNet, currently provides HFC services in Western Australia using an open access network operated by Opticomm as well as operating its own HFC networks in various Victorian towns which are the “superior” options in those markets. ”

                        “Not only do Opticomm offer it in Western Australia but it is also available on various cable networks in North America and Europe, notably in the Netherlands.”

                      • NBNAccuracy
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink |

                        Of course HFC can be used, the question is how much work is it for Telstra to make the changes needed and do they even want to. Throw enough money at them I am sure they will. It would have to be quite a lot to give up the high speed monopoly they enjoy now until such time as the Coalition put in something in those areas. Even then they may want to keep it if people are experiencing similar results to the NZ FTTN rollout. Why sell it if there is nothing that will compete with it?

                      • Observer
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink |

                        “But you are entirely comfortable with the thought that the detail that was contained in the original Labor NBN Business Plan was not released until well AFTER the August 2010 election, in December 2010. ”

                        The important thing to note about your “what about labor?” reply is that detail can vary in terms of it importance.

                        The problem with the LNP’s plan is that the missing detail, includes many if’s and but’s which could impact their plan in terms of cost and roll out timing.

                        As MT has acknowledged, in the end their plan could be just as costly as Labor’s. He also recognised that Fibre is the better technology but that it is too good for our needs and that FTTN will need upgrading eventually.

                        Should the cost and roll out turn out to be very similar, we are then left with a choice between the network that is “too good” with the network that is ” Not good enough in the long term”.

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink |

                        He also recognised that Fibre is the better technology but that it is too good for our needs and that FTTN will need upgrading eventually.

                        Shame Malcolm doesn’t think Australian’s aren’t good enough for it, Mexico and Slovakia think their citizens are…I guess he thinks the French are though, he supports their FTTP…

                  • tinman_au
                    Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink |

                    According to the section Node4Me pointed me to, it’s not a promise, but a goal.

                    Well, here it is here:

                    Subject to an equitable re-negotiation of these provisions satisfactory to NBNCo
                    and the Government, our goal would be to remove any contractual impediments to the use of existing HFC networks for broadband and voice. A key consideration in such negotiations will be ensuring open access to networks and scope for enhanced competition in the relevant areas.

                    The concern I have with this is that they not only need to re-negotiate with Telstra about buying access to the CAN, they’ll need to also do a deal with Telstra and Optus for access to their HFC networks.

                    I doubt that will be cheap as even under the current plan, the HFC networks still have value as pay TV is still delivered over them even in FTTP areas.

                    The use of “Subject to”, “equitable” and “satisfactory” make the whole paragraph rather rubbery and easy to back out of. I can just picture Tony saying something like “Well, it wasn’t a core promise Kerry, it was an aspiration” :/

                    • Node4Me
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink |

                      Well if you are going to get stuck on semantics of promises vs goals, the NBN Co Corporate Plan is a goal, the trouble is they keep moving the goal posts.

                      I don’t have a problem with the HFC deal in the Coalition Plan being labelled a goal.

                      • Observer
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink |

                        Here we go again “what about labor?” reply. This is not semantics, this is pointing out the obvious. You can’t promise something over which you do not have full control.

                        Try to move up from high school debating techniques.

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink |

                        “Well if you are going to get stuck on semantics of promises vs goals”

                        What semantics? I’m going of the Liberals/Tony’s well documented history…

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink |

                        the NBN Co Corporate Plan is a goal, the trouble is they keep moving the goal posts.

                        The difference is that NBNCo has had to change it’s plans because “Free Enterprise” basically screwed them over by not meeting their contractual obligations.

                        I don’t have a problem with the HFC deal in the Coalition Plan being labelled a goal.

                        You’re being rather naive considering your usual “hard headedness”. The Liberal’s “plan” with the HFC is for something they don’t own, don’t currently have access to and will add a considerable cost that they haven’t even acknowledged yet. They also left lot’s of nice “out” clauses.

                        If you nailed Tony down on it, even he would telly you it’s “an aspiration”…

                    • NBNAlex
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink |

                      Indeed tinman…

                      I just read the clause N4M claimed as factual and it certainly is not factual at all :/

                      The words WILL BE WHOLESALE OPEN ACCESS are not written anywhere in the policy, as claimed?

                      So for anyone to claim this”, when the Coalition them self admit negations need to take place and it is not factual… is not discussing the issues in good faith or is intentionally misrepresenting what is written.

                      This is an important competition issue and for anyone to misrepresent the actuals with their own rose coloured interpretation and claim something as definite when it is anything but, is disingenuous.

                      This commenting style is a no, no on this evidence based forum. http://delimiter.com.au/comments-policy/

                      Comments which inject demonstrably false information into the debate (for example: “Fibre broadband only offers speeds up to 50Mbps”). Often I will leave these be, if other readers correct the record. But if it’s done consistently, it’s a problem.

                      The honest wording would be ‘the Coalition intend on negotiating wholesale open access to Telstra’s and Optus’ HFC networks, but at this stage this is all conjecture “.

        • jasmcd
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink |

          Lack of people signing up for decent upload speeds will not be due to a lack of a desire or need, but rather the huge hurdle placed by means of a $4000 odd connection fee.

          Many people have to go without private health for their families each year to make ends meet and the LNP really expect the average household to pay this sort of fee upfront. Further to this, after the installation of the FTTN average Australian families will get to listen to people like yourself get on your soap box and make statements like “Very few subscribed to the user pays system so I guess no one really needed fibre to the home after all.”

          Can you answer this. Why should the two choices the public be left with be
          1. Pay a comparable amount for a far inferior service ; or
          2. Fork out thousands of dollars in order to receive a comparable service.

          • tinman_au
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink |

            This is basically along the same lines as “The glass is half full/empty”, as it comes down to ideology – right/conservative/individual versus left/progressive/society outlooks.

            Conservatives look at the NBN and see “Why should I have to pay for everyone else to get it, I’ll get my own if I need it” while progressives see “The funds spent on the NBN are worth it as its a great step forward for Australian society”.

            Considering the length of time the left/right have been “discussing” things like this (thousands of years?), I can’t see it being firmly resolved any time soon ;o)

            • TrevorX
              Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink |

              But with FTTH you don’t really pay a comparitively larger amount for others to have high speed broadband. Remember the funding model for FTTH NBN means no direct impact to the budget and tax payers, as the ROI delivered because of the commercial viability of the ALP NBN covers the whole build.

              Compare this with the LNP FTTN model which delivers an inferior product at a higher cost (they’re talking about minimum $50/month plans, while international examples such as those cited by M Turnbull indicate maybe 20 to 30% higher than DSL) basic economics suggests that they will have a significantly contracted market. Fewer customers means lower revenue. The very fact that the LNP FTTN NBN includes large parts of the existing Telstra copper network we know to cost a billion dollars a year in repairs (which only covers critical repairs, no preventative maintenance) and the inclusion of at least 60,000 nodes that will require power, means FTTN must cost substantially more to operate than FTTH. If it costs more to operate and has fewer customers, the only way it can even hope to meet ROI targets is to dramatically increase prices. Which will force a further contraction in sales…

              All that means two major things. Firstly, instead of people getting a very high speed, reliable fibre network under Labor’s FTTH for their money and yes, helping to pay for and subsidise the whole network, under LNP FTTN they will pay more money for a slower, less reliable service, without anyone seeing the benefits of any so-called subsidies. That sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face to me…

              The other major problem that becomes evident here is that it seems impossible for the FTTN model to achieve a positive ROI. You may dismiss this analysis as pure speculation – then please, explain how FTTN will attract the same income as FTTH would have given their inferior product? Explain how FTTN plans can be as cheap as FTTH plans with higher operating costs and fewer customers? Please. Because from where I’m sitting the economics of the LNP FTTN not-broadband-network don’t come close to adding up, and this is before you even get into speculation about negotiation, planning and training delays and increased costs of the CAN.

              • Trevor W
                Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink |

                Absolutely spot on.

              • aka Sam
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink |

                Very well said.
                I know this is deviating a bit from the original post, but I wanted to expand a bit on what TrevorX said.

                “Because from where I’m sitting the economics of the LNP FTTN not-broadband-network don’t come close to adding up, and this is before you even get into speculation about negotiation, planning and training delays and increased costs of the CAN.”

                When you then consider that the LNP is advocating infrastructure competition things look even worse. Was it not Telstra who said that if you paid them to build FTTN they would then take that money and overbuild it with FTTP? Regardless, it’s a very significant risk. Private enterprise would be stupid to provide services where it is unprofitable. Those ares will be left to FTTNCo. Yet if MT has his way private enterprise will be competing where it is profitable thus eroding FTTNCo’s only profitable revenue base further! The cross-subsidisation will be crippled. Is MT going to provide tax payer handouts/subsidies? He has suggested it in the past. Because transparency. If not, will he operate FTTNCo at loss forever and a day? Which is the same effect with different accounting. Will they just jack up prices where there is no competition? Rural and regional Australia be damned? To raise prices where there is competition will just invite churn and feed the downward spiral.

                The next fallacy is MT’s assertion that FTTN now + FTTP later is more cost effective than FTTP now. It’s wrong on at least 3 levels.
                Firstly, his numbers are wrong. His $900 FTTN is arguably optimistic but the main issue is that he takes a value of $4000 for FTTP less $400 (how generous?) which is from a completely separate rollout which does not bear much resemblance to the current NBN connection costs. The number was said to be $1200-$1500 in a senate hearing, though that is generally accepted not to represent the full cost, which is somewhere in between.
                Secondly, he assumes all costs are up-front. Which does not reflect the fact that the funding for FTTP is acquired over a long period (whereas the funding for FTTN would be over a shorter period; so he says).
                Thirdly, he relies upon the general principal that when considering investments now vs investments in the future you must consider the interest your cash would earn in the meantime if you delay your investment. (See his comments reported here: http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/459033/turnbull_nbn_could_cost_same_long-run/ ). Which is a fine principle but it’s not relevant to the way the NBN is funded.
                Finally, the whole scenario is contrived. He must have spent quite some time finding numbers he could use to show the result he wanted. The comparison should have used the headline costs of each alternative and also accounted for the time dimension. Given the gymnastics required for him to falsely claim that FTTN + FTTP is the cheaper option, I don’t see how a true analysis could possibly come to the same conclusion.

                And then, when you add these points: http://stevej-on-it.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/nbn-correcting-record-on-coalition-nbn.html
                The Liberal’s plan is looking a lot like Swiss cheese. I seriously do not understand how you could even call it a good plan. Not with so many glaring flaws, any number of which could spell disaster for FTTNCo’s viability. How can you call it detailed when the details are sadly absent? I’m not convinced that it’s better, even, than doing nothing. Turnbull needs to address these issues for his plan to become a credible alternative.

                Renai, how do you respond?

                I’m keen on getting Michael’s thoughts, too. If he’s out there?

                • Node4Me
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink |

                  ‘How can you call it detailed when the details are sadly absent? I’m not convinced that it’s better, even, than doing nothing. Turnbull needs to address these issues for his plan to become a credible alternative.’

                  But you are entirely comfortable with the thought that the detail that was contained in the original Labor NBN Business Plan was not released until well AFTER the August 2010 election, in December 2010.

                  So if the Coalition release more detailed plans in January 2014 that’s ok?

                  • aka Sam
                    Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink |

                    “But you are entirely comfortable with the thought that the detail that was contained in the original Labor NBN Business Plan was not released until well AFTER the August 2010 election, in December 2010.”

                    The Implementation Study was released in May 2010. And, yes, I was comfortable with the level of detail therein.

                    “So if the Coalition release more detailed plans in January 2014 that’s ok?”

                    No, by then it is too late. The LNP plan as it stands has too many risks/flaws to be viable (as listed above). What happens in January when they figure out it won’t work?
                    It’s no longer a question of something vs nothing. It’s a question of something that will work (but probably over time/budget) vs something that looks dubious at best.

                    • David
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink |

                      “what happens in January when they figure out it won’t work?”

                      Sadly, I think what happens is they throw up their hands, roll up what’s left to do on Labor’s NBN, and say “sorry, Labor started this and it’s just too expensive and difficult to finish.”

                      They will be in office, after all. Which can be broadly said to be their major operational goal at this point in time.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink |

                        Well they may find out it all won’t work which is the point of the NBN Co review to be finished after 60 days of the Coalition gaining power, so what? – look at the back flip with double pike Labor did after the 2007 election on NBN Policy change.

                      • aka Sam
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink |

                        “Well they may find out it all won’t work which is the point of the NBN Co review to be finished after 60 days of the Coalition gaining power, so what?”

                        The 60 day review of NBN Co is simply for the LNP to get a hold NBN Co’s books and understand them, then make their own projections. The fact that it’s only an audit, and the CBA they plan on doing is scoped to their own Liberal plan, suggests that the 60 day review will have little impact on determining their future direction.
                        The question is what they are going to do next. When they do figure out that the current LNP plan is untenable they are just as likely to sell the work in progress off (firesale style) as they are to continue the Labor plan. The only other choices are to continue with LNP plan with or without modification. Which would likely mean cutting back rural/regional services, or taking a hit on the budget.

                        “look at the back flip with double pike Labor did after the 2007 election on NBN Policy change.”

                        Changing your mind in the face of new and better information is not a bad thing. This is about what’s best for the country, not which party said what when. Would it not be stupid to continue with a plan against your better knowledge simply because that’s what you said you would do earlier?

                      • aka Sam
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink |

                        Correction to my above post. The following is incorrect:
                        “The 60 day review of NBN Co is simply for the LNP to get a hold NBN Co’s books and understand them, then make their own projections. The fact that it’s only an audit, and the CBA they plan on doing is scoped to their own Liberal plan, suggests that the 60 day review will have little impact on determining their future direction.”

                        See page 13 of http://lpa.webcontent.s3.amazonaws.com/NBN/The%20Coalition%E2%80%99s%20Plan%20for%20Fast%20Broadband%20and%20an%20Affordable%20NBN.pdf

                        As noted by Node4me here: http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/16/the-coalitions-policy-is-a-sensible-nbn-alternative/#comment-606786

                        The question still remains as to what the LNP will do in the event that their FTTNCo is unworkable.

          • Rudeigin
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink |

            Why not have a policy that reads for all of those who want FTTP you can have it under the same conditions as the current labour policy and all of those who want FTTN you can have that and all those who dont want to change you can keep what you have. Then lets see what people really want.

            My guess is that there will be a lot of people out there that act just like the state liberal governments, who say we don’t want or need this but why are we missing out on it and when are we going to be connected to it

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink |

          So the rationale to such logic would be, if I and perhaps the majority are currently happy with ADSL, why should you expect us to pay for your FttN…? Shouldn’t you fund your own FttN?

          This is the laughable part about those who accept FttN, but not FttP!

          Why is it ok to only go so far? I can only see one reason and unfortunately that has to (typically) do with ones ideology, masquerading as some strange dollar voodoo :(

          Of course my facetious first paragraph was exactly that, facetiousness and as such, hopefully not what MT will end up doing?

          • RyanH
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:46 am | Permalink |

            To raise you one on facetiousness but to demonstrate a principle. What if I’m happy for our defense force to be along the lines of New Zealand’s, why should my tax dollars pay for your fancy submarines, JSF, Seasprite helicopters etc.

            “I don’t need any more than ADSL” = “Who would really invade Australia anyway”

            The point I’m trying to make is it’s a stupid argument to demand user pays on an individual level (which ironically the current NBN is) when it is apparent to anyone with a brain that doing the whole thing as one project, in one go, is much more economical.

            Government is there for a reason and is supposed to provide infrastructure for people for the benefit of us all. Of all of the things our governments have done in recent years, fibre NBN is the one project that stands out as the type of project that government should do and for all of the right reasons (long term infrastructure that yields social and economic benefits) and yet we piss money away on so many questionable things and this project gets caught in the politics.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink |

              +1

              Yes it seems those who oppose love to make NBN only rules, which defy logic and common sense.

        • Kevin G
          Posted 17/04/2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink |

          No-one in their right mind should pay for the FttH upgrade. It still provides a speeds “Up to” scenario that’s dependent on the load on the node. The problem is the design of a FttN network in this modern age., it’s just not sufficient for future needs and we know xDSL research is slowing down with some manufacturers pulling out of hardware manufacturing all together.

          Pay up to $5000 to have FttH installed and see a downstream increase from 25mbit to 35mbit worse case.
          That’s a huge gamble given the cost outlay required. Why on earth would anyone want to do that? I’d rather stay on a broken FttN network and educate future generations on what happens when political ideology trumps common sense.

          After putting all the facts together (taking away all the misinformation associated with the NBN), the absolute ONLY reason to support a FttN build over FttH is purely a political one.

    18. Haderak
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

      I get your point Renai – and it’s a well-reasoned one.

      Here’s my biggest problem with the whole NBN tug-of-war.

      If we (as a nation) are making a choice between two policies, particularly when they are as technically focused as the NBN debate, most citizens (me included) lack the technical expertise to make a fair judgement.

      Now that we have a Coalition policy that is at least within shouting distance of sanity, it becomes even more critical that we are able to make a valid apples-for-apples comparison.

      Instead, this issue will be decided based on how many people believe the most outlandish of the claims being made (I’m looking at you, $94B). It’s still about who shouts the loudest, not about which idea is going to work. It’s still about who is best able to hide their costs and inflate their benefits.

      Sure, that’s life in the real world. But until we come up with a better way to assess and inform the people who make the voting decisions, we can’t expect good policy to be recognized and enacted in any context.

      For my two cents, we need to make policymakers more terrified of the voting public. We need to be able to enforce some kind of sanction when ridiculous claims are shown to be so. I’m not necessarily talking about putting Joe Hockey in the stocks (let’s not rule it out though), but in a country where Question Time is a televised forum / game show there should be some way to make public naming and shaming sting.

    19. Paul Thompson
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      You are about as wrong. Indisputably, factually, wrong.

      Your premise totally ignores the reality that we have a better policy already being implemented. So what happens to the conclusion when we include this little thing called ‘reality’?

      We see that the Coalition alternative costs much more, provides a much worse service, makes the regulatory framework a nightmare. So why are you conveniently ignoring this reality?

      Destroying a golden opportunity to get a silver one is not a sensible alternative. It is stupidity. Ignoring that golden opportunity and pretending it didn’t exist in the first place, in order to say that the silver opportunity is somehow good is stupidity. Reality is we have a golden opportunity. Replacing it with an equally good one is sensible. Wasting it is stupidity.

      Who cares about whether Labor should have got things happening sooner? That is irrelevant to whether or not the FTTP is good policy. Who cares if the proposed alternative is pretty much typical of a conservaitve approach? That is irrelevant to whether or not the FTTP is good policy. Why would you be throwing around such blatant red herrings that have nothing to do with the relative merits of the proposals?

      Frankly you should be ashamed of yourself for publishing this type of rubbish. You took your time to think about your response, it looks like you didn’t take long enough.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink |

        We see that the Coalition alternative costs much more, provides a much worse service, makes the regulatory framework a nightmare. So why are you conveniently ignoring this reality?

        He didn’t ignore it, he said himself the FTTP NBN is the better policy.

        Given the reality of the ALP position in the polls though, the FTTN ‘NBN we have to have” is the more sensible of the alternatives that have been put forward from the LNP ;o)

      • Alan Kennedy
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

        Paul, the real economic argument is yet to be entered on the Coalition NBN. It is primarily a user pays model for anyone wanting fibre beyond the node. Reasonable guesstimates I have read range from $4k to $10 for each fibre connection. Let us suppose that $5 k is the average connection fee from the node.

        For each 200,000 connections there will be an after tax cost to the users of around $1 billion from their disposable income. Income that would reasonbly be spent on consumtption, schooling, etc. This disposable income would disappear from our economy to some extent as profit for the telcos. SMB would suffer more as this money is effectively withdrawn from the broader economy.

        Let us suppose that there are 200,000 such connections each year over 5 years for a total loss of consumption income from the economy of $5 billion. One can easily do simple maths to work out the loss of productive economic consumption costs. 1 million connection per year = $5 billion less money people have to spend on other sectors of the economy per year.

        That will be an own goal hit to SMB by the Coalition for no real gain in national productivity. It is one of the opportunity costs of the Coalition NBN. It may be about choice, but there is a definite downside to the general economy.

        I would also like some technically minded person to write an in depth, common person descrition of the value/use/need for greater upload capacity of all NBN networks. It is mentioned but not well understood.

        • tinman_au
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink |

          Basically, the upload speed is really important (but not limited to) to content creators. it doesn’t matter that you have a 100Mbps download speed if your trying to push/transfer a 2Gb file out to someone.

          As well, when it comes to things like Cloud Computing and HD Video conferencing, even 100Mbps connections will only be as fast as the upload the connection has. In effect, FTTN will limit those types of interactions to 5Mbps, regardless of if you have 25Mbps (or 50) down.

          • Michael
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink |

            In the household would they be using those services for a business or for personal use?

            If they require the upload speeds from the premises then the LNP does allow for this in a purchasable upgrade to FTTP. As Renai points out it is consistant with the theory of user pays instead of spreading the cost onto people who do not need it.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink |

              Why is it it ok to accept governmental involvement to the node but vehemently oppose it to the premises?

              There is only one reason and it isn’t $’s…

            • TrevorX
              Posted 16/04/2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink |

              But your economics don’t work. If you have a massive infrastructure project that you want to be profitable, you need as much money coming in as possible. That either means making it sufficiently expensive for a smaller customer base, or cheaper per customer if your subscriptions are higher. By eliminating a key feature from your product mix you end up with an inferior product. By pricing everything higher and requiring both a large upfront connection fee and much higher ongoing subscription costs your best product is prohibitively expensive, effectively pricing it out of the market for a huge number of people who would otherwise been on that premium grade service. So with an inferior product at a higher price, you end up with a market contraction. Result: substantially lower profitability and substantially higher prices for everyone left using your services.

              Under ALP FTTH NBN people will pay less because there will be a much larger customer base. People on the premium grade service will, in fact, be paying for their service through substantially higher subscription fees than their slower speed contemporaries. Everyone will be paying less because operating costs of FTTH are significantly lower than FTTN. Under LNP FTTN NBN everyone pays more because there will be fewer customers having to foot the bill for greater operating costs. Then those who actually want a decent 21st century service will be thoroughly screwed for the ‘privilege’. I don’t know about you but paying less to get more with a far stronger business case sounds like a much better deal to me.

              And this is just looking at short-term economics – I haven’t even touched on the medium to long term benefits saved by having to deploy FTTH in a decade, or benefits to creative and IT industries and the overall economic stimulus.

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink |

                +1

              • aka Sam
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink |

                +1

                But it should also be noted in the example above from Alan that the $5 billion is not simply removed from the economy (unless the entire amount was somehow taken offshore by a foreign parent). It eventually gets distributed again, just in different areas. It would have some effect on disposable income, though.

                I am most worried that the $5k upgrade fee will effectively price FTTNCo out of the market for premium services.

                • Node4Me
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink |

                  Where does the $5k upgrade fee come from?

                  • aka Sam
                    Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

                    It’s a guesstimate based on the price BT charges for such an upgrade. We don’t yet have a better idea of what it will cost. The LNP plan is light on details.

                    • Node4Me
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink |

                      $5K certainly is a guesstimate, but if you want to make it look bad always quote the top end of the guesstimate, not what the majority will pay.

                      “BT has revealed prices for its FTTP on Demand plans which show that prices for full fibre broadband start at £700 per installation.

                      The one-off cost to upgrade an FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) line to the full FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) service will include a £500 fixed fee with an extra cost based on distance – to reflect the cost of building the last mile connection to your home or business.

                      This distance-based cost will vary but will start at £200. Openreach estimates that in most cases (55 per cent), people will incur a distance cost between £200 and £1,000.”

                      http://recombu.com/digital/news/bt-fibre-broadband-on-demand-prices-revealed-700-for-fttp_M11381.html

                      So using current conversion rates and similar distances it is $A1035 to $A2200, the end user pays 50% of the cost under Coalition Policy so it is $A517 to $A1100.

                      So how about we use $500- $1100 as the guesstimate?

                      • aka Sam
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink |

                        “but if you want to make it look bad always quote the top end of the guesstimate,”
                        And if you want to make it look good always qutoe the low end?

                        The co-funded fibre does not read as if it will be available to the general public. Page 11 of the policy document. It seems to refer to “state or local governments, utilities or investors” who are interested in building/owning network infrastructure cooperatively.

                        From your own link, 55% of customers will pay between (i’ll convert all values to current AUD) $1038 and $2224.
                        The remaining 44% will pay between $2817 and $5931.

                        There is then an assumption that distances will be greater on average here than they are in the BT footprint. Which is supported at least by the relative densities. Unfortunately the LNP plan is short on those particular details. There’s also an argument as to what effect BT being the incumbent has on those prices.

                        The crudest calculation, assuming an even distribution across each bracket of the BT customers, gives an average of $2417. A min of 1038 and a max of 5931. What the actual cost would end up being all depends on those details that are lacking!

                        So, how about we settle on $3k? I think that’s generous based on what we currently know.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink |

                        @Node4alain,

                        “So how about we use $500 – $1100 as the guesstimate?”

                        As you wish…

                        FttN $30B + between $500 – $1100 (per household for FttP) != $94B

                        and

                        FttN $30B + $500 – $1100 (per household for FttP) = between $34.5B – $39.9B

                        Thanks for doing the sums to prove MT’s figure incorrect (a total fabrication) and demonstrating FttP the sensible, cost effective way to go.

                        :)

                      • Michael
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink |

                        Just as a heads up NBNAlex, on your numbers it is below the cost of the ALP policy,

                        The 29.5bn figure you are using as the starting point is the total funding required which is the equivalent of the 44bn for the ALP policy.

                        The number in the LNP policy which is closer to the 33bn is 20bn.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 6:10 am | Permalink |

                        You may have missed the bit where alain asked us to use his figures as to FttP costs to the user.

                        By using his figures the cost of the actual NBN should be less than $40B and certainly far less than $94B.

                      • GongGav
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink |

                        Why cant worst case scenario numbers be used? Thats what LNP has been using for 6 years.

                        Now when its time to showcase their plan, suddenly we all need to use best case? Give me a break.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink |

                        @aka Sam

                        “And if you want to make it look good always quote the low end?”

                        It’s not the low end, it is the range that Openreach stated the majority of residences in the UK will pay.

                        “The co-funded fibre does not read as if it will be available to the general public. Page 11 of the policy document. It seems to refer to “state or local governments, utilities or investors” who are interested in building/owning network infrastructure cooperatively.”

                        It does actually, you need to look further up where it states:

                        “NBN Co will provide for fibre on demand at individuals premises as soon as possible where fibre does not extend to the premise”

                        ‘There is then an assumption that distances will be greater on average here than they are in the BT footprint. Which is supported at least by the relative densities.’

                        You have no idea about the assumptions on distances between Telstra pillars and residences and exchanges and BT pillars and residences and exchanges.

                        ‘ Unfortunately the LNP plan is short on those particular details.’

                        Yeah I know it is because until Telstra come back as part of the review process with the NBN Co on the details of how many FTTN cabinets are needed which is also influenced by exchange areas that may overlap areas that are so copper poor quality wise that they will get FTTH.

                        ‘There’s also an argument as to what effect BT being the incumbent has on those prices’

                        I’m not sure what you mean by that incumbent point, the UK prices are too high or are they too low? – you are also overlooking those upgrade prices are approved by the UK regulator Ofcom because the Openreach wholesale FTTN product is open access and resold by other UK ISP’s like Sky Broadband and TalkTalk not just BT retail.

                        Remember the wholesale fibre on demand upgrade prices provided by a wholesale only Coalition NBN Co will have to be approved by the ACCC, with the 50% off it may end up being a hell of a lot cheaper than any BT guesstimates.

                      • aka Sam
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

                        @Node4Me

                        “It does actually, you need to look further up where it states:

                        “NBN Co will provide for fibre on demand at individuals premises as soon as possible where fibre does not extend to the premise” ”

                        That is under a separate heading: Fibre on demand. It talks about individual premises.

                        Under the heading “Co-funded fibre” it talks about options for governments, utilities or investors interested in owning or funding fibre rollouts.

                        The two are not direclty related.

                        “You have no idea about the assumptions on distances between Telstra pillars and residences and exchanges and BT pillars and residences and exchanges.”

                        I gave you my basis for the assumption: average density of dwellings. There is ofcourse no way to know until the LNP business plan (assuming we get one) identifies these details. Hence the assumption in the interim.

                        “I’m not sure what you mean by that incumbent point”
                        A person might assume that an incumbent telco would have ready access to the people required to do such an upgrade. Access at a more cost-effective rate than FTTNCo could achieve.

                        I specifically left it at a comment that the point could be argued because I don’t have the research to properly make a case. I thought it noteworthy.

                      • aka Sam
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

                        Oh, and significantly, have you seen the quotes from NBN Co that have been revealed so far?

              • Michael
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink |

                “If you have a massive infrastructure project that you want to be profitable, you need as much money coming in as possible. That either means making it sufficiently expensive for a smaller customer base, or cheaper per customer if your subscriptions are higher.”

                The underlying assumption here is that the CAPEX cost for the two projects is the same; they are not. If you have half the CAPEX you need less revenue to meet your IRR targets, if you gain revenue faster through a faster rollout you can meet your IRR target with lower prices as well.

                “So with an inferior product at a higher price, you end up with a market contraction. Result: substantially lower profitability and substantially higher prices for everyone left using your services.”

                This is where you have something called trade off’s. They have decided that the addition time and capital expenditure is not worth the extra potential revenue gained by the fraction of users who require those services currently.

                “By pricing everything higher and requiring both a large upfront connection fee and much higher ongoing subscription costs your best product is prohibitively expensive”

                They have explicitly said that they will use the agreement with the ACCC as a price cap. That means that the prices will be the same as or lower than those under the ALP.

                “Under ALP FTTH NBN people will pay less because there will be a much larger customer base”

                There are a fixed number of customers in Australia. The reach of both plans is the same. The only reason to have fewer customers on the LNP plan is due to competition, but that means that it is not a monopoly and generally prices are lower in competitive markets than monopolies. Given that they have said they will be building HFC area last this means that more people have faster internet faster spreading those positive externalities which you refer to earlier. As prices will be the same or lower there cannot be any price effects.

                “Under ALP FTTH NBN people will pay less because there will be a much larger customer base. People on the premium grade service will, in fact, be paying for their service through substantially higher subscription fees than their slower speed contemporaries.”

                That may work in certain circumstances but it is not what is written in NBN Co’s business plan. Average revenue per user is projected to grow due to the CVC charge. In other words, under the ALP NBN Co will increase fees per user if current trends on data usage continue prices are planned to INCREASE. The LNP plan currently projects a constant average revenue per user in real terms.

                Despite wishful thinking, what is spelled out in their economic / business plans is the opposite to what you claim.

                “Everyone will be paying less because operating costs of FTTH are significantly lower than FTTN”

                So what? If the CAPEX is lower you do not need massive profit margins to meet your IRR. It is all relative.

                “I haven’t even touched on the medium to long term benefits saved by having to deploy FTTH in a decade, or benefits to creative and IT industries and the overall economic stimulus.

                If it is a business that requires FTTP, then they are more than capable of opting for the co-investment. It would be a business expense so fully tax deductible. As for the economic stimulus – is that direct stimulus? or through positive externalities?

                If it is through positive externalities then I would be interested in seeing the difference between the marginal benefits of having FTTP over FTTN. What can be done on FTTP that cannot be done on FTTN in a residential setting that would generate these massive economic benefits? There will be some but is it enough to offset billions of CAPEX?

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 18/04/2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink |

                  “If it is through positive externalities then I would be interested in seeing the difference between the marginal benefits of having FTTP over FTTN.”

                  The fact that you have already decided the differences are marginal, would suggest otherwise :/

                  • Michael
                    Posted 18/04/2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink |

                    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/marginal_benefit

                  • Michael
                    Posted 18/04/2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink |

                    Marginal benefits is an economic phrase

                    If that explanation is not explicit enough in this circumstance,

                    A marginal benefit for FTTP vs FTTN is the benefits derived from upgrading to FTTP from FTTN, nothing more.

                    Only benefits that you can obtain on FTTP but not on FTTN.

                    • NANAccuracy
                      Posted 18/04/2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink |

                      Yes, I guess there are no marginal benefits really. Except being a future proof more reliable connection that would be needed anyway by the FTTN is completed. What’s a wasted $20B when you can grab some political points from it.

                    • NBNAlex
                      Posted 19/04/2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink |

                      Fair enough Michael, I assumed you were using the term marginal literally…

                      :)

          • David
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink |

            yes, Yes, YES! This is what people are not understanding, and Turnbull is simply ignoring: network effects mean that no matter what download speed you promise over a connection, the effective utility of that connection is limited by the upload capacity of the server you’re accessing – or, in the case of direct-communications applications, the upload speed of the other guy.

            Current HFC uploads are in the order of 512Kbps-1Mbps so a policy built around FttN and existing infrastructure is going to deliver an incredibly slow user experience for anything that’s not straight downloading-from-a-Web site. Doctors are already running into this when they try to do telehealth consults and get a video hash because the other side’s upload channel is so badly limited.

            Turnbull has said nothing about uploads, for obvious reasons.

            • Node4Me
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink |

              So if it’s a deal breaker Telehealth facilities and Doctors get FTTH – problem solved.

              • djos
                Posted 18/04/2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink |

                Showing your ignorance as usual, there’s no point your doctor having FTTP with 20mbps+ UL speeds and you having 2-5mbps UL speeds because the quality of the video you’ll be sending will be complete crap and probably drop out as other ppl in your house try to use the net themselves!

                • Node4Me
                  Posted 18/04/2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink |

                  Every residence in Australia is a Doctors surgery or a Telehealth facility is it?

                  • djos
                    Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink |

                    The fact is Ubiquitous FTTP makes Tele-health fully viable but that fact is inconvenient for you isnt it!

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink |

                    No every house is not and you are well aware of this… you are again just being unnecessarily, argumentative, alain…

                    http://www.zdnet.com/nbn-key-for-royal-childrens-hospital-1339334344/

                  • tinman_au
                    Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink |

                    “Every residence in Australia is a Doctors surgery or a Telehealth facility is it?”

                    That’s actually what Telehealth is all about…

                    • Node4Me
                      Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

                      So which Telehealth product/s that is available to any residence do you have in mind that will not work under Fibre to the Node?

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink |

                        With less than 5MBp/s upload, you can rule out anything involving HD Video…or anything involving large files for that matter (medical files with x-rays, etc).

                      • aka Sam
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink |

                        It is not simply about whether a single service is possible on either technology. For a service to maximise uptake it has to be reliable and easy to use. Especially when the service does not have a dedicated line.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 19/04/2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink |

                        I wonder if the people who are arguing FttN is just as good as FttP for everyone’s needs, are willing to apply their same logic to 3G & 4G?

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 19/04/2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink |

                        The frenetic desperation to justify Labor FTTH and ONLY Labor FTTH gets more and more bizarre every day.

                      • Observer
                        Posted 19/04/2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink |

                        “The frenetic desperation to justify Labor FTTH and ONLY Labor FTTH gets more and more bizarre every day.”

                        In don’t see any frenzy but the only desperation I can see is the coalition (and you) trying to convince most of those who support FTTH, labor voters or otherwise, that the full of holes, depending on many untested assumptions (eg cost and state of copper, cost and timing of upgrade….), lottery that is the coalition alternative, is superior. If you read beyond the coalition propaganda, you would soon realise that the majority of people and ,amazingly, the majority of MSM and 41% of your kindred spirits, prefer labor’s offering. So, suck it up and accept that you are in a minority and more than likely let astray by your ideology and love of anything Coalition.

                        In the end, I really wonder what your purpose really? Are you : Trying to convert us to you ideologically based rationalisation? Trying to reassure yourself that you are right? Trying to show them? Trolling?

                        Whatever it is, it is high time you realise that it’s not working.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 19/04/2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink |

                        +1 Observer…

                        If the NBN was as bad as they suggest and FttN so much better, why do they need to resort to lying about both FttP (negatively) and FttN (positively)?

    20. Node4Me
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink |

      I think the doom and gloom merchants need to take take a step back and take a pragmatic view of the Coalition NBN Policy, which Renai has done.

      There are two key statements in the Poilcy which provide the Coalition with an easy exit strategy from FTTN.

      The first one is on Page 7.

      “Fibre generally should be deployed in new (‘greenfield’) housing estates and wherever copper has to be replaced (unless there are particular commercial reasons not to do so).
      There will also be established areas where high maintenance costs or the condition of the copper renders FTTN unattractive and the best alternative is FTTP.”

      The second is contained on Page 13 headed the : NBN Co Strategic review.

      “The estimated cost and time to complete the NBN if variations are made to the current plan,
      such as FTTN in established (brownfield) areas as proposed by the Coalition.”

      The outcome from both reviews may point the way to minimal changes to the Labor NBN Plan in terms of the FTTP rollout itself, the key changes will therefore be in the NBN Company structure and private/Government partnerships in bankrolling the rollout beyond September.

      • Brett Haydon
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink |

        It sounds reasonable, but it raises more questions. What if one cable is substandard but others in an area are not. The point of doing FTTH in one hit is that the expense is in rolling out cable, so it just multiplies the cost of the network if you have to keep coming back to replace individual copper with fibre.

        • Node4Me
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink |

          Well that’s the point of the reviews, if Telstra come back to the NBN Co after reviewing an established brownfield exchange area and state that the majority of the copper needs to be replaced to sustain FTTN speeds the cost effective decision could be to go with FTTH.

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink |

            Or we could, since it’s apparently recognised a large portion of copper will be rooted, cut out the middle man and just do it properly…

          • TrevorX
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink |

            How will cable quality be determined? Testing per line for every premises? Or wait for customer to be connected and complain that their service is useless? What assumptions have been made with respect to the amount of testing that will be required in costing the LNP FTTN NBN?

            Brett makes an extremely good point that once you have to run one fibre strand down a street, you may as well running fibre for every premises on that street as the additional cost of the fibre pales in comparison to the cost of laying it.

      • Observer
        Posted 19/04/2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink |

        “I think the doom and gloom merchants need to take take a step back and take a pragmatic view of the Coalition NBN Policy”

        It is not doom and gloom. If you are correct and if the coalition take the escape you suggest and instal fibre to the home in larger proportion, then we could end up with a network costing as much or more but with still a large amount of premises left with an inferior service.

        Quite honestly, I find it amazing that you find that the justifications supporting FTTP are bizzare. Now,this is projection at its best.

    21. Peter
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink |

      Sorry Renai, you lost me after the title.

      • Posted 16/04/2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink |

        But you made it to the comments …

        • Stephen
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

          Renai perhaps you should refer to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 2 Scene 2:

          Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
          I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him…

          http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/julius_caesar/10/

          Mark Antony deals with this situation rather more eloquently…

          Here, under leave of Turnbull (Brutus) and the rest,
          (For Malcolm(Brutus) is an honourable man;
          So are they all; all honourable men)
          Come I to speak in the NBNs (Caesar’s) funeral …

    22. Kevin Davies
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      I am not going to rant. Far from it, you have some good points but you have made a mistake on one aspect of your article. The sheer size of the undertaking of a project of this size means its taken nearly most of that six years to get the rollout underway. Given the preparation required for a project of this magnitude, calling that a failure is an overly simplistic and quite unfair assessment of the current project.

      The term of government is six years and, yes I am sure they are would like to be in a better position now but you just can’t rush things. Negotiations take time, with the ACCC breathing down your neck things take even longer. Look at the SAU for example, there are many complex factors with taking over the wholesale market and not destroying Australian businesses in the process if you don’t do it carefully. If you rush things, you make mistakes and then you end up in court with even more expenses. Personally, given the frustrations and set back they have had to deal with, they are doing rather well for project that deals with a range of issues from setting the right price for business to legislation required to get it deployed. All of it in a hostile baptism of fire courtesy of News Ltd.

      I think your acceptance of the Coalition policy is short sighted and the Australian public should demand more.

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink |

        Also Kevin, yes the process has taken 6 years, but considering following the RFP’s and the advice to alter the nature of the build… the current NBN was announced April 2009 (iirc), making it 4 years old.

    23. OtherDave
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink |

      Renai backs FTTN the way my 9 year old backs a footy team, 10 minutes before the whistle, picks the team in the lead.

    24. Anna
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink |

      Oh, my sides, they be hurting from laughing at the last paragraph. You’re very good at evocative imagery, Renai. :)

    25. Sean
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink |

      Well that is an awesome flip-flop Renai. :)

      I have come to accept some basic facts about this whole NBN fiasco:
      1. This country is incapable of managing any type of national infrastructure project.
      2. Telstra will win the war no matter the outcome.
      3. As the previous Optus/Telstra cable rollout has shown this country will continue to be host to those that have and those that do not have. Our bush buddies will continue to be part of the later.
      4. The copper network will continue to deteriorate and no one will want to foot the bill to fix it.

      My RIM box finally got upgraded to TOP HAT ADSL2+ last year after a 12 (!) year wait. I spent a major portion of my life suffering crap internet. It is a sobering thought.

    26. Brendan
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink |

      The coalition policy would have made sense when Telstra first optioned FTTN as a technology during 2005-2006. Some seven years ago now.

      Granted, at the time it was perhaps more interested in stranding early infrastructure competition, than anything else, but times, well, times have moved on.

      It’s 2013. The smart money is now on Fibre. It’s the go-to technology for wide-scale deployment. Google isn’t building FTTN. It’s fibre right through the last mile. This is a commercial company, doing commercial things.

      We are seeing an increasing number of countries wrangle the broadband equation and FTTH is really the option of choice. It’s where the world is moving. It’s where we, as a country should be moving.

      And yet, the Coalition seeks to reverse an active FTTH build to replace it with Copper for the last-mile. Further, it’s policy still does not address the rent/ ownership situation.

      The Coalition policy is not a sensible alternative, in that it has built in obsolescence, covers less people, with slower technology over a network that is currently owned by a non-Government enterprise.

      Sensible, would be continuing the FTTH build, with perhaps stronger stewardship, to ensure the project isn’t subject to profiteering and other shenanigans that ANY such huge project would be susceptible to.

      Labour and NBNco has struggled to hit the numbers. News flash – the Coaltion will also struggle. They also have to negotiate a solution that will see access to the CAN; this cost is absent from the policy.

      As is the upgrade path – apart from “user pays” option, where several grand will, supposedly, secure a fibre connection, there’s no future plan to upgrade.

      No, Renai, the policy isn’t sensible. It’s a re-hash of Telstra’s FTTN proposal that was subsequently knocked back, and doesn’t align with pre-NBN investigation and reports that clearly define FTTH as the preferable solution.

      There is nothing sensible. It’s a lazy approach, with huge budgetary discrepancies and continues the mistakes of the past.

      • quink
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink |

        > The smart money is now on Fibre.

        Case in point, Malcolm Turnbull’s investment in France Telecom, which is now doing 100% FTTH to Paris.

        • Michael
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink |

          We can just wait,

          Google is rolling out direct fibre to the home as a private business in the US.

          They must come to Australia at some point since all countries demographics are the same.

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink |

            So while the rest of the world progresses with open arms (Japan apparently offering speeds of 2Gbps now/soon) we wait on our average of <12Mbps (probably real world more like 5) and dick around arguing over ideologies, whilst triumphantly planning to keep utilising prehistoric copper for a 25Mbps FttN nirvana.

            Really?

          • Node4Me
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink |

            Ironically such privately funded high speed fibre rollouts are feasible under the Coalition Policy because they allow competing private fibre infrastructure rollouts to take place.

            High speed fibre rollouts like Google in part of Kansas USA and Sony in areas of Tokyo Japan would not be allowed under the Labor NBN policy draconian exclusion of infrastructure competition.

            It would help if pro NBN supporters actually read the Coalition Policy document, they may actually read something that is good!

            :)

            • Chris Watts
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink |

              Are you serious? Show me an example where infrastructure competition has worked in a natural monopoly environment.

              • djos
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink |

                The Telstra HFC and Optus HFC roll-outs in the 90’s are a great example of what private sector infrastructure competition can deliver for customers.

                Oh wait, that was a complete cluster F’K and lost both companies combined nearly 1 Billion Dollars!

              • Node4Me
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink |

                What overseas countries have or did have ‘natural monopolies’ or is Australia somehow unique?

                • djos
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink |

                  All of them, show me one country with multiple PSTN systems deployed over the top of each other! Doesnt happen even in the USA!

                  HFC is also rarely duplicated in the USA, local counties usually award a “Cable Franchise” to one Cable company to cover their county.

                • djos
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink |

                  The exception is High density cbd area’s where multiple HFC systems are rolled out but there is still only 1 PSTN system from the local “Baby Bell”.

                  There are 2 main Satelite TV providers tho but these dont count anymore than multiple Mobile Phone Networks do.

                • Chris Watts
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

                  ‘last mile’ Natural monopolies – roads, electricity, water, rail, fixed line telecomms
                  location – Anywhere on earth.

                  Now, answer my question.

                  • Node4Me
                    Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

                    The Virgin Media fibre rollout in the UK taking on the British Telecom incumbent.

                    • djos
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink |

                      Virgin media even when you combine their entire fixed BB network dont even cover half of the UK and this is a country whose land mass fits into Australia’s more than 31 times!

                      Aus = 7,686,850 km2
                      vs
                      UK = 244,820 km2

                    • Chris Watts
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink |

                      Virgin Media is just a HFC network, comparable to Telstra’s and Optus domestically. The reason that your scenario does not fit into the natural monopoly theory is that the HFC footprint is not ubiquitous, ie it cherry picks. It also was not rolled out to be a direct competitor to broadband, it would have been for tv broadcast, similar to pretty much all HFC networks globally.

                      Take note that the criticism of HFC networks duplicating infrastructure domestically was not that there was a HFC network taking on the CAN/DSL market, it was that there were TWO HFC networks trying to compete.

                      Different markets, at least initially.

            • Observer
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink |

              “It would help if pro NBN supporters actually read the Coalition Policy document, they may actually read something that is good!”

              So much for your rational and objective discussion. I, for one, have read the coalition policy document and I have difficulty finding it good but then again I am not blinded by a devotion to the coalition’s ideology. What I read was a document full of holes, exaggerations, omissions, undue pessimism about the current NBN and equally undue optimism about its own plan.

              • RyanH
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink |

                Agreed.

                The Coalition document is highly optimistic about its own timeline and costs, let alone feasibility. It talks of using equipment belonging to a private company, designed for a different purpose and believes it will magically fall into place and work smoothly. The technicians and associated skills that were made redundant by Telstra 10 years ago will magically appear again to ensure a smooth and rapid transition to FTTN expansion. Training programs for technicians don’t happen overnight.

                Another consideration is the value of the asset at the end of the build. The fibre network will be of much more value in the event of a sale when compared to FTTN (Why? – lower operating costs, easy upgrade, no wholesale competitors).

                Coalition plan comes short on all key areas when you start to include context.

              • Node4Me
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink |

                Which document are you reading? – NBN Corporate plan No 1, NBN Corporate Plan No 2 which downgraded NBN Plan No 1 or the March 2013 amendment which downgraded Plan No 2 which was only released in the second half of last year?

              • David
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

                Well put. That about sums it up.

            • Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink |

              A common misconception is that the NBN disallows competing networks to be built, it doesn’t.

              • Node4Me
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink |

                So what do you call competing fibre rollouts locked out until 2040?

                • Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink |

                  Honestly? I’d call that a lie unless you’re willing to provide supporting evidence? Because believe me I think I would have noticed something like that.

                • djos
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink |

                  Spot on NK, as I think I provided you via twitter, the law says you can build your own Fibre network but must provide open access to all comers on the same terms as NBN Co do – which means you cant undercut the NBN Co as part of your cherry picking excercise!

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 18/04/2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink |

                    Yes and to go one step further… since according to those who champion private enterprise…the NBN is apparently going to be a complete white elephant, it’s strange that private enterprise (who can do it so much better) haven’t?

            • NBNAccuracy
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink |

              Ditto, read the document several times and the back ground document. Have you read all the NBN documents?

      • Idryss
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink |

        What is left out of the title is kinda covered in the article. Is it a sensible alternative? Yes. But only when COMPARED to what they took to the polls last time. It actually has detail in it.

        Is it a sensible policy when compared with the alternative offered by Labor? No. We can see this. Those who would look at it as a LONG term project, with long term goals.

        What I would love, is for the information to come to the fore of the costs we will face in the future of upgrading to fibre. Will the FTTN be properly upgradable so it is competative with a dedicated FTTP rollout? How long will the nodes HAVE to be in service to be able to pay for themselves and then possibly fund the upgrade to FTTP? What about those who take up Mals ‘generous’ offer of paying for the fibre themselves, will their fibre be purchased or even affect it?

    27. Dong
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink |

      Well Renai, you are way ahead of me in technological knowledge. You can put up a case but how is it reasonable to ditch a good policy already underway for one delivering a lot less at probably the same cost http://www.cio.com.au/article/459033/turnbull_nbn_could_cost_same_long-run/ ? How is it sensible to renegotiate with such nice people as Telstra? How is it reasonable to assume that a Coalition NBN won’t have the same difficulties in getting enough workers? How is it sensible to cancel a plan that covers all premises to take on an adhoc fix only places with bad connections (bad defined by coalition).
      The other thing that bothers me is how can I trust Abbott to actually go ahead and not can the whole thing? Turnbull also had an agreement on a carbon price overridden by Abbott. I question whether it is sensible to put anything but destruction in that mans hands. When will Australia actually believe in itself that it can do the big things and do them well. When will the Coalition have a vision for being in front not playing tag?
      Yes I am a Labor supporter. They are looking ahead on more than NBN. It may not have all worked but better to aim big than always put ourselves down.

    28. Mr Creosote
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink |

      “At that stage, Labor’s then-$4.7 billion NBN plan to build fibre to the node nationally was seen as a watershed moment. Funny how it’s not too different from what the Coalition is proposing today.”

      This says it all about the Coalitions plan really. Still pushing something that was valid 6 years ago! Japan has just released 2gbps internet services to homes, Google fibre is serving up 1gbps. Turnbull is hanging his hat on aging copper, locking us into delays of decades before we get fibre.
      Dont believe that? Renai says that the Libs will likely get 2 terms, so that will be at least 6 years before Labor will get another crack at fixing Turnbulls copper mistake. More years of negotiation and squabbling to follow, and then the best part of a decade to actually build something. Puts a fair hole in 2 decades! In the mean time, the world will have continued its push away from copper and onto fibre, and Australia will go from potenial leader to definite laggard.
      Welcome back to the broadband backwaters, Enjoys your stay and look out for the crocodiles!

      • kentlfc
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink |

        Of course Wireless tech won’t advance in the next 10 years will it? Nooooo that won’t happen!

        • Tom
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink |

          I hope that you’ll take the time to read this.

          http://nbnmyths.wordpress.com/why-not-wireless/

          I personally think it’s a thorough and convincing argument that wireless does not now, and will not in the foreseeable future provide an alternative to fibre for an upgrade to national internet infrastructure.

        • Tom
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink |

          Wireless networks have physical limitations. Information Theory says they will never be as fast as a wired network.

          Some more relevant links:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shannon–Hartley_theorem
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_theory

          • Node4Me
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink |

            kentlfc didn’t say wireless would replace fixed line, he didn’t say it will be faster than fibre either.

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink |

              No, but he sarcastically inferred it and as such was corrected.

            • Tom
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink |

              kentlfc was clearly imlying that we should hold off on Fibre rollouts because wireless networks will someday advance enough to allow everyone to connect via wireless. People like that are living in a dreamland. Basic physics and Information Theory will tell you that it’s not possible, unless you have a single wireless network cell for each house, at which point the airwaves would be saturated with EMF.

              tl;dr The NBN will never be able to run solely on wireless connections.

    29. NPSF3000
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink |

      “The Coalition’s rival policy is a sensible alternative to Labor’s National Broadband Network project, based soundly on its traditional principles of liberalism and support for the free market, but also pragmatically taking into account the situation which the the current Federal Government will leave the Coalition with if it takes power in September.”

      At the end of the day, I disagree. Sure, I understand how much of an improvement the policy is compared to their previous position, and I understand that it meets many of the metrics and conditions it is under surprisingly well. However, at the end of the day the suggestion that one should spend $30Bn on broadband infrastructure, that if rolled out today would *already* fail to meet our needs, isn’t a ‘sensible alternative’.

      • Brendan
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink |

        This is exactly it.

        The Coalition policy is better than it’s previously woeful efforts in providing something more than Turnbull’s “ideas”. But it’s not better than the current NBN.

        There are delays, there have been delays and like there will be so in future. This isn’t just installing a wireless access point at your Grandmother’s house. It’s a massive project that has seen huge delays from an initially hostile infrastructure owner, had to see legislation changes and ACCC involvement.

        It was never, ever going to be a quick process. As would be the exact same case for the Coalition plan.

        Rather than patting Turnbull on the back, people should hold the exact same red-hot poker against the Coalition as they have Labor and NBNco.

        Turnbull can do better. Unless people make this crystal clear, we will face a butchered outcome, with obsolete technology and a Policy that has a bunch of $$ missing.

        That’s not a “sensible alternative”.

    30. Frank Miller
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink |

      Laughable and disgraceful conclusions Renai!

      It’s obvious and you yourself admit that Liberal’s NBN vision is superior in every aspect. So where is the discussion?

      Given the above premise, it’s obvious then, in my mind, that the only reason Liberal’s NBN policy even exists is because in politics today the opposition can not agree with the current government on election winning policies for fear of losing votes. And so from day one, Coalition has half arsed together the 2nd best policy and instead of pushing the best solution for this country has played the defamation game. A reminder that in politics dirty tactics still prevail and “persuade” even the “most balanced” journalists.

      This political stunt will set this country back several decades!

      • Frank Miller
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink |

        I meant Labour’s NBN vision is superior :)

        • Node4Me
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink |

          There lies the main problem with the Labor rollout, it is just a vision.

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink |

            I’d prefer vision to visionless?

          • Non Puto
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

            Sorry Node4me, it’s not a labour NBN vision it’s an in progress infrastructure project which whilst it is behind schedule is happening now, unlike the Liberal vision which is little more than a dream.

            • Node4Me
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink |

              The vision is 93% coverage by 2021, but it’s more like a mirage where you see shimmering water in distance in the desert but you never really get there.

              :)

              • djos
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink |

                A mirage which is getting built right now – in fact there is activity happening in the suburbs around me right now that started in feb of this year!

              • Observer
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink |

                Hey, what is happening with the reasonable and objective discussion?

                Is being a smart arse prophet part of it?

          • tinman_au
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink |

            There lies the main problem with the Labor rollout, it is just a vision.

            No, the main problem is private enterprise not filling it’s contracted obligations…

    31. Observer
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink |

      Renai

      I think you have confused ‘sensible” with “predictable”. It is true that one would expect the coalition to release such a plan but that does not make it sensible.

      Given all the question marks to numerous to reiterate here, the LNP policy is far from a complete document.

      Furthermore, you acknowledge that the current NBN is the better plan. What you fail to address is the many issues that are likely to make the coalition’s policy unworkable. There so many areas that need to be addressed before the plan can get off the ground, not least, an affordable price for the copper network or it suitability for FTTN.

      This last issue alone can make this “sensible” plan more expensive that the current one. Based on Turnbull’s rubbery figures, for each 1% where fibre needs to be installed instead of FTTN, the cost of its proposal will increase by around 330 million. Now, considering that Turnbull claims that areas with poor internet will get priority, many of those are likely to require fibre. So, not only would the cost go up but the deployment would also be slower, at least in the early stage.

    32. Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink |

      I would like to see the Coalition promise to keep the Tasmania FTTH plan intact, and have the mainland on FTTN and then watch and learn.

      I also suspect that a cost benefit analysis might show fibre is the way to go….

      See my attempts at a cost benefit analysis – http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/NBN#nbn_evidence.

    33. Tailgator
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink |

      So many words that say so little ;-) Can I be so bold as to summarize it? (Well I am anyway.)

      ‘The Coalition policy is fundamentally worse than Labor’s, but if we have to have the former then its better than anything else they’ve put forward and on that basis you support it. And you will also be holding Mr Turnbull to account.’

      Anything else? I don’t think so.

      But if you feel I’ve misinterpreted your position and you want a little more ‘nuance’ then correct me by all means. :-)

    34. Marcus
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink |

      Renai, your unusual lack of comments on comments makes me think you’re trolling..

      I cant believe you’d back the LIB plan of spend ALMOST as much as the NBN and take ALMOST as long as the NBN to get only SLIGHTLY better than what is available today…

      • Djos
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        The other option is Malcolm sent the goons around and they “had a word” to him?

      • Michael
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink |

        Just to help out those who are incapable of reading the article properly;

        “So, do I personally prefer the Coalition’s policy?

        No. I don’t. Fundamentally, it’s a worse policy than Labor’s.”

        • Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink |

          There are a lot of people who didn’t read that paragraph, in my opinion :)

          • Richard
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink |

            Sensible compared to nothing at all but only by the narrowest of margins, I think you need to work on you article tiles unless of course you new exactly what you were doing.

          • Marcus
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink |

            this form of journalism is pretty slimy if you ask me.

            Big Title about how good the product is, expound a few paragraphs about how cautiously positive you are about it then one line of how you don’t support it and expect that to absolve you of your sins.

            Its misleading, its dishonest and I expected better. It’s fundamentally the same thing as the coalitions “94 billion” stunt.

            Its a dog. even if the Gov’s version of the NBN policy never existed, if the coalition had been the first to pop this out and use it as a piece of vote buying policy. It’s a Dog and which way you look at it.

            Its just NOT WORTH it to out lay just a half arsed network for such a huge amount of money and time. its not future building and if you’re not future building what the hell are you doing?!

            • damien
              Posted 16/04/2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink |

              Agree 100%. It must be a troll post to generate site traffic. If so, mission accomplished!

              • Node4Me
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink |

                Of course a troll post is defined as anything that in anyway shape or form even with conditions attached supports the Coalition Policy.

                Delimiter headlines and Renai’s comments criticising Coalition Policy which are in the overwhelming majority if you care to look at the archives are not trolling because that’s how it should be in the media.

                It is obvious that when it comes to taking a rational, objective and pragmatic view of a National Broadband Network for Australia many pro Labor NBN supporters are not interested in such discussions and prefer to criticise the messenger.

                • Observer
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink |

                  “It is obvious that when it comes to taking a rational, objective and pragmatic view of a National Broadband Network for Australia many pro Labor NBN supporters are not interested in such discussions and prefer to criticise the messenger.”

                  And putting all NBN supported in the same basket is OK? This is hardly a rational, objective way of describing comments on this thread.

                  I, personally do not agree with labeling the article, a troll, nor do I think Renai’s political views matters. What does, is the soundness or otherwise of his argument. As usually, it is fair to attack the argument, not the man.

                  • Node4Me
                    Posted 17/04/2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink |

                    ‘And putting all NBN supported in the same basket is OK?’

                    That’s not what I said Observer.

                    ‘many pro Labor NBN supporters are not interested in such discussions….’

                    many is not all.

                    • djos
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink |

                      ‘many pro Labor NBN supporters are not interested in such discussions….’

                      That’s right, we are only interested in what is good for the country in the long term!

                    • NBNAlex
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink |

                      I’d agree Labor NBN supporter (as opposed to NBN supporters) aren’t interested… just as nuch as pro-Coalition NBN detractors aren’t either.

                      Thing is (and the surveys done saying that even though the Coalition has overwhelming support, nonetheless, somewhere between 63%-78% of Aussies support Labors NBN) that non-political pro-NBNers out number the non-political NBN detractors.

                      To be honest, I believe have never corresponded with an NBN detractor who hasn’t at some stage shown their true colours.

                • tinman_au
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink |

                  “It is obvious that when it comes to taking a rational, objective and pragmatic view of a National Broadband Network for Australia many pro Labor NBN supporters are not interested in such discussions and prefer to criticise the messenger.”

                  You do realise that between the two NBN’s, one is a working project that is being rolled out right now, the other is a document for a plan that, as is, cannot work, right?

        • Tom
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink |

          Or helping Renai out for not writing it properly. When so many people misinterpret you it’s hard to claim it’s all their fault.

          The lead of a story, typically the first full paragraph, should contain all pertinent information in the article – journalism 101.

          • Tom
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink |

            Actually, I suppose I’m forgetting the very first lesson of journalism 101, 2013 style – troll the sh*t out of your audience.

            • David
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink |

              Sometimes it’s interesting to throw a bowl of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.

    35. Dan
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink |

      This isn’t 100% article related, but I thought I’d leave this here.

      Besides the lack of upload and everything else not brilliant about the FTTN alternative, there’s one thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet: NTD capability.
      One of the (many) good ideas about the current setup is that the NTD allowed you to have up to 4 different broadband services at once – great for houseshares/flatmates. Another benefit would have been the ease of moving connections between houses, as it would only have been a simple config change at NBNco – a brilliant benefit for renters. FTTN trashes both of these tangible benefits.

      Random related question: would you have been able to get 2-4 connections and load balance or equivalent to get up to 4gbps?

      • Russ
        Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:43 am | Permalink |

        Technically, you could receive 1Gbps or more on the Labour NBN, right now (assuming you are already connected).

        The GPON system chosen has a 2.5Gbps stream sent out, which is received by up to 32 premises. With this system, your FTTP “modem” receives the 2.5Gbps signal, but can only decrypt 12/25/50/100Mbps of it, however much you decided to pay for, and it is the same for everyone else.

        If your FTTP “modem” had a change of firmware, or maybe you would need a higher-quality modem, you could decode ten of the 100Mbps streams simultaneously, and put them out over the same ethernet port on the modem. Result:1Gbps without the need for a multiplexer.

        This would limit how much speed the other 31 users on your GPON splitter would get, but if they all choose 25Mbps, then they have only used 775Mbps of the 2500Mbps available, and you would only be using the “spare capacity” of the link. No slowdown for them or for you!

        A more likely scenario would be an upgrade of the modems to achieve a guaranteed throughput of whatever plan you are signed up to, but with unused capacity allocated out to whoever is currently transferring data. So in the wee small hours, maybe only two people on your GPON splitter are actually using the internet, and each of them get 1.2Gbps, with 100Mbps still left as spare capacity for telephone calls and the like.

    36. skoll
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink |

      You sold out, Renai

      Throw out the baby and bath water. When your sensible fraudband get sold after its finished who will pay for the Ferrari with wooden wheels.

      Another thing, if some-one furthest from the node has to be upgraded to fibre because the copper pairs aren’t up to it , does that mean under fraudband that 800m of fibre is pulled though the duct and all the houses it passes stay on copper?

      I live in RIM no man’s land ; no ADSL for love nor money . what do people like me get from Mr Fraudband

      • TrevorX
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink |

        On a RIM you are essentially no worse off than anyone else on copper going to FTTN – multiple premises share a single fibre optic cable from the RIM back to the exchange. Your RIM will simply be replaced with a Node.

        There’s a different form of pair gain that shares copper back to the exchange between two or more premises (AML), but that’s older and doesn’t include a RIM as it’s functionally different technology.

    37. Richard
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink |

      Nothing sensible about an NBN plan that uses not only outdated technology but also worn out copper which will cost billions in upkeep, my last residence was 250 mtrs from an exchange and I had super fast ADSL2+ 21.5 MBit until it rained then it would drop to almost dial-up speeds for upto a week and then be flaky for another week , then it would rain again and the whole cycle would begin again.
      Over the years Telstra was out numerous times digging in the streets as all the locals had the same problem.
      The problem never went away , a chain is only as strong as its weakest point and a very expensive useless chain the coalition NBN it will be
      Sensible? far from it, short shortsightedness with contempt for future generations what it is.

    38. Ninja
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink |

      Excuse my ignorance if this has been answered here or elsewhere. Malcolm has been throwing around figures in relation to the cost for the consumer, which let’s be honest is more important to the average voter, particularly when the Coalition plan is now costing way more than previously claimed, and has stated figures which place Coalition NBN being up to $30 less a month. This is of course still, for most, accessing the internet via copper, so presumably there will still be a line rental fee. Is this a correct assumption?

    39. Duke
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink |

      Sorry, but all the political realism, fair and balanced assessments, or personal bias fails to obscure the fact that the coalitions alternative is fatally flawed by the copper, the upload speed and the conservative bullshit.

      Rather sad day for the site really, but I guess we all sell out in some ways, except that this is a really, really big sale, and any further discussion about Turnbulls fraudband is now fatally comprmised here.

    40. Bob
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink |

      Coalition, Sensible.

      Nope, this stories not for me.

    41. John
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      I’ve greatly admired your writing up to now, but suddenly you do a gigantic back-flip.

      One thing I’ve been puzzled about is why Renai has rarely mentioned the single big issue:

      That a universal FTTP NBN would bring radical changes to all forms of broadcasting, especially to FTA and Subscription TV. Suddenly we would have access to thousands of large and small TV producers and streaming video. True random access delivery with pause and rewind, no waiting, no timetables, no adverts (if we subscribe).

      But the big issue is that Murdock and company would loose their incredible power over politicians and political parties.

      By keeping the choke-point of last-mile copper, the delivery of media over broadband is largely crippled.

      So we are left with the question of just why has Renai done this back-flip. Was he always in Murdock’s pocket?

      • Paul Thompson
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink |

        I don’t think he is in Murdoch’s pocket. However he is quite happy to shill Liberal party nonsense. He waxes lyrical about Turnbull; not only about how intelligent MT but you will also see Renai throw in comments about how physically attractive MT is (I kid you not!)

        Whatever credibility Renai may have enjoyed is gone. He is a Liberal shill, nothing more.

        • Tom
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink |

          This reads more like a sole proprietor media outlet trying hard for faux editorial balance than LNP propaganda.

          • Paul Thompson
            Posted 16/04/2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink |

            This article may read that way to you. Seen in isolation that is a reasonable conclusion.

            However, given the history of Renai’s articles, it is clear that it is shilling under the guise of attempting to be balanced.

            Renai is happy to call a spade a spade when it comes to FTTP, but very reluctant to do so with Turnbull. On the contrary, he is extraordinarily quick to gush praise for Turnbull, and every time he is forced to criticise Turnbull (due to Turnbull doing or saying something blatantly wrong) then Renai lavishes any criticisms with caveats.

            It is really painful to watch for anyone who wants to keep an eye on current developments and who likes to have things kept factual.

            • Posted 16/04/2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink |

              “However, given the history of Renai’s articles, it is clear that it is shilling under the guise of attempting to be balanced.”

              hey Paul, you don’t get to come on my site and accuse me of being a shill without being banned for a month, as per our comment guidelines:

              http://delimiter.com.au/comments-policy/

              See you in mid-May.

              Cheers,

              Renai

      • Posted 16/04/2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink |

        “Was he always in Murdock’s pocket?”

        Um … right. I own my own site, dude, and I am not affiliated with News Ltd. Keep the personal insults to a minimum and stick to the issues, please.

    42. bobsie
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink |

      I have a problem with this cliche: ‘based soundly on its traditional principles of liberalism and support for the free market,’ That is a cr*ck of shite and sounds like a platitude from a LNP website. The actual policy is based on keeping the cosy media club in Australia free of that nasty high speed broadband and turning voters into cash cows. Yuk!!

    43. Observer
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink |

      Renai

      “there is no escaping this fundamental truth: That a Coalition founded on liberalism would never organically develop the sort of big-spending fibre to every premise policy which Labor published in April 2009. That is the role of Labor — not the economically conservative other side of politics.”

      So, essential, you are suggesting that Australian should never expect any infrastructure spending by the LNP. And that Labor should fulfill that role.

      “as anyone who understands the fundamental philosophical differences between the socialist and liberalist ideologies would openly acknowledge.”

      I think you differentiation between the two sides of politics are a bit out of date. It has been a long time since Labor represented the socialist ideology, likewise for the LNP representing true liberalism. What we have is this country,are two shades of economic rationalism.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink |

        So, essential, you are suggesting that Australian should never expect any infrastructure spending by the LNP. And that Labor should fulfill that role.

        Up till now, the only real infrastructure the LNP spends on is roads, they usually try to sell anything else off.

        I think you differentiation between the two sides of politics are a bit out of date. It has been a long time since Labor represented the socialist ideology, likewise for the LNP representing true liberalism. What we have is this country,are two shades of economic rationalism.

        And yet here is Labor spending $37B on a National Broadband infrastructure project, which effectively made the LNP cook up a half-baked plan that throws most of the ALP gains out, to make up for the even worse one that lost them the last election…

        The melody may have changed but the song remains the same ;o)

    44. Mike Johnson
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink |

      2/3 the cost for 5% of the speed? What a great deal!

    45. Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t have an issue with it as a POLITICAL policy. It’s quite reasonable.

      I have an issue of it as a PROJECT- it’s a joke.

      Yes, Labor’s NBN was in 2009 too- but they did the work and part of the reason you’ve written this article is because of the extreme lengths of time they had to spend to get all this sorted out meaning they’ve taken much longer than hoped.

      So we want the Coalition to go through EXACTLY the same thing to figure out exactly what they CAN do and stall all this again….just because they have a good POLITICAL Policy?

    46. Delta
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink |

      People give the Coalition too much credit and put waaaay too much faith in their promises. 25Mb for everyone by 2016? You guys know that’s only 3 years away, right? Even if Telstra were to simply roll over and say “yes you can do anything you like and re-write our contract as you see fit” it would take way longer than 3 years to roll out enough FTTN to provide 25Mb nation wide.

      I’d be surprised if Libs can even get Telstra to agree to a new deal of any kind.

      My prediction is that we’ll be back to square one circa late 2014 early 2015 with the Coalition proceeding with Labor’s original FTTP plan and blaming Telstra for not co-operating.

      The Coalition is not dumb enough to sign a new deal with Telstra that would allow Telstra to build their own last-mile fibre network and create a new monopoly and Telstra is not stupid enough to not try that or ANYTHING else considering the ball will be entirely in their court once again.

      Bring on 2015 I say, the year that FTTP resumes.

      • Paul Thompson
        Posted 16/04/2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink |

        “The Coalition is not dumb enough to sign a new deal with Telstra that would allow Telstra to build their own last-mile fibre network and create a new monopoly and Telstra is not stupid enough to not try that or ANYTHING else considering the ball will be entirely in their court once again.”

        Yes, yes they are.

        The ideological stupidity which caused them to sell of Telstra in the first place is still making them act in insane and destructive ways.

        • djos
          Posted 16/04/2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink |

          Exactly right, they think Infrastructure competition in Fixed line comms is a good thing – we saw the cables wars of the 90’s prove that to be utter bollocks, but the LNP still refuse to acknowledge Fixed Line Comms is a Natural Monopoly just like power lines, water mains and gas mains!

          • Node4Me
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink |

            So you think the fibre rollouts like what Sony is doing in Tokyo and what Google is doing in Kansas is not a good thing and should be stopped?

            • djos
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink |

              Ah but this just shows you haven’t done you homework – Telco XYZ is allowed to overbuild the NBN ….. BUT ….. they have to provide full open access on the same terms as what you get from the NBN.

              This was done intentionally to prevent cherry picking from undermining the NBN business case!

              • Node4Me
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink |

                Sorry you are moving the goal posts, so is fixed line competition a good thing or not?

                • djos
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink |

                  Im not moving anything – the whole point of the NBN is to make Comms a utility like Power or Water and you dont see multiple companies rolling these down you street do you?

                  The problem with building competing networks is simple, it kills the cross subsidization model and makes providing services more expansive due to the added expense of building more than one network and all the support systems required whose costs need to be recovered and profits be made on – this is just simple economics!

                  • Node4Me
                    Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink |

                    The NBN is not a comms utility like power and water.

                    http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/16/the-coalitions-policy-is-a-sensible-nbn-alternative/#comment-606758

                    • djos
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink |

                      That’s a rubbish argument, it’s directly analogous:

                      1x Power distribution network vs 1x FTTP network
                      Multiple Generators vs Multiple content providers
                      Multiple energy retailers vs Multiple ISP’s

                      and so on

                    • tinman_au
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink |

                      Noun: utility

                      1. A company that performs a public service; subject to government regulation
                      3. The service (eg. electric power, water or transportation) provided by a public utility

                      NBNCo sounds like a utility to me…

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink |

                        It didn’t say it wasn’t a utility, I said BB it is not a utility in the same category as power and water because there are alternatives to BB access at the residence other than just a fixed line to the residence.

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink |

                        Verb: backpedal

                        3. Modify one’s opinion, make it less strong

                      • Lachlan
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink |

                        “It didn’t say it wasn’t a utility, I said BB it is not a utility in the same category as power and water because there are alternatives to BB access at the residence other than just a fixed line to the residence.”

                        So, mobile wireless is an alternative, like rainwater tanks, and diesel gensets are alternatives for water and power. Does that make BB, power and water any less of a utility?
                        It’s just that they are more expensive and rather less reliable and effective when you do a half assed job of supplying them.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 19/04/2013 at 12:17 am | Permalink |

                        @Node4alain…

                        To quote you… “Sorry you are moving the goal posts”.

                • tinman_au
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink |

                  Sorry you are moving the goal posts, so is fixed line competition a good thing or not?

                  I don’t think it’s a good thing when it’s a one-to-one duplication like the HFC networks that Telstra/Optus rolled out, duplication of fixed-line like that is a waste of resources, time and money.

            • Chris Watts
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink |

              That is actually a pretty good question. The Tokyo one seems to be cherry picking, which can only damage the system as a whole. Certainly, if it were applied in Australia, the same tactic would lead to only very small footprint. Additionally, this system has a large upfront cost to end-users, so it is not directly comparable to the NBN.

              The google one in kansas is much more a demonstration system to showcase what fibre can do as a spur to other regions and governments doing it (more bandwidth available to the masses can only benefit Google’s core business). I recall Google saying that they did not want to get into the fibre business long term.

              I guess my conclusion would be that a nationwide fibre plan would be preferable to piecemeal private investment and that , if I were in a position to do so, I personally would not permit them to proceed and concentrate on the comprehensive plan. Once started however, I would be hesitant to stop them, it would open a can of worms.

            • aka Sam
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink |

              More to the point. Tokyo has the density to support private enterprise. And Google doesn’t care about the cost; they want to prove a concept and figure out how to make their money out of it later.

              Your examples are not applicable to Australia as a nation.

              • Node4Me
                Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink |

                So after all of that if a investor decided to rollout ultra high speed fibre in high density areas of Sydney and Melbourne and took on the NBN Co you would be ok with that?

                • djos
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink |

                  No, you dont see utilities rolling duplicate power lines down your street because it makes no sense, so why would it make sense to have multiple fibre networks rolled out past your house?

                  • Node4Me
                    Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink |

                    Sorry I don’t equate essential services like power and water utilities where there is no alternative to a fibre BB service, I could actually survive without fixed line BB or even fixed line telephony because wireIess is a alternative for BB and telephony.

                    • Chris Watts
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink |

                      That is disingenuous . The point is that power and telecomms are both natural monopolies and hence it is not efficient for these mediums to use infrastructure level competition.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink |

                        So you have no comment to make on this overseas example?

                        http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/16/the-coalitions-policy-is-a-sensible-nbn-alternative/#comment-606756

                      • djos
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink |

                        n4m:

                        Virgin media, even when you combine their entire fixed BB network, dont even cover half of the UK and this is a country whose land mass fits into Australia’s more than 31 times!
                        Aus = 7,686,850 km2
                        vs
                        UK = 244,820 km2

                      • djos
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink |

                        oh and one more stat for you n4m:

                        The UK has 248.25 persons per 1 km2, while Australia has only 2.66 persons per 1 km2

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink |

                        Your point about coverage has nothing to do with the assertion that natural fixed line monopolies should not have fixed line competition of any size because it is inefficient to do so.

                        Virgin Media see it as being profitable even though they have to take on the established natural monopoly of BT’s (Openreach) FTTN and FTTH massive coverage.

                        Ofcom the communications regulator in the UK (roughly equivalent to the ACCC Communications section regulator here) don’t see it as a problem.

                      • djos
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink |

                        Virgin Media Cherry picking the profitable areas of the UK does not prove your point!

                      • aka Sam
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink |

                        @ n4m

                        You clearly fail to comprehend what a natural monopoly is in the context of a nation.

                    • djos
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink |

                      BB is is already considered an essential service, all major government and private enterprise services are now delivered over the net and it’s almost impossible to get anything done without a net connection!

                      eg, medicare, centerlink, banking, utilities, shopping (even groceries from Coles and Woolies), Super

                      All those services above are far easier to manage/use over the net than by lining up at the branch office or post office 30mins at a time or contacting the OS call center staffed by low paid folks with heavy accents no Aussie can understand!

                    • NBNAlex
                      Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink |

                      @ Node4Me

                      “Sorry I don’t equate essential services like power and water utilities”

                      That’s an interesting debating technique you have there. Anything ‘you’ deem inadmissible, is therefore not able to be discussed, simply you say, nice…

                      I also note that you really aren’t addressing the topic and in many ways, imo, instead just being NBN nit-picky and rather childishly argumentative.

                      Almost identical to another who used to frequent Delimiter… now what was his name…anyone?

                      Just a bit of friendly advice, so as you don’t get yourself in commenting hot water – http://delimiter.com.au/comments-policy/

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink |

                        Interestingly, while you don’t equate broadband as an essential service the Coalition do…

                        “Broadband and the Internet are essential services”

                        The internet’s pervasive presence in our economy and daily lives has transformed broadband into an essential service.

                • aka Sam
                  Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink |

                  I believe national infrastructure is and should be a natural monopoly.
                  I wouldn’t be 100% ok with the wholesale competition you describe, but I could possibly accept it under the open access rules.
                  The NBN is an economic enabler which grows more valuable the wider it is available. The unprofitable areas therefore must be provisioned (only to the extent reasonably attainable) by the government. Whether or not that ends up being a GBE, regulation or some other arrangement. The current NBN is a workable solution that is well under way. Why abandon it for a half-baked second-hand FTTN network that doesn’t make economic sense?

    47. Daniel
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink |

      As I have noted previously there has been talk of doing upgrades to the Copper Network since 2003.

      Everytime a Coalition Communications Minister and the Leader of the Coalition Party have open their mouths, they drop the case, simply painting as a too hard basket case.

      I have no faith that the Coalition Party will deliver their promises, as we seen it all before.

      The more talk that we have from both parties, the less action we take, and we will be further from behind from the UK, who has already moving to Fibre-to-Demand systems.

      Also the conditions of Telstra conditions of it’s network like, fault reporting, etc should have been public information.

      Things like how many times something has been replaced for example should have been recorded.

    48. Generic Person
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:55 am | Permalink |

      Nice to see Renai finally holding Labor to account for its dismally slow roll-out of the NBN.

    49. Alex
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:10 am | Permalink |

      I see a lot of problem with the coalition plan.

      1. Coalition plan said that if the copper is not well enough to delivers fttn (25M minimum), then it will be replaced with FTTP.
      — what if out of the whole street of 40 resident, 3-5 coppers are bad, would they replace everyone with fiber?
      — if later a neighbor pay to upgrade to FTTP, and during the upgrade, a cowboy contractor for whatever reason, make the copper cable worse for a few residents whose fttn connections are already not very good. Would these resident get their fttn upgrade to FTTP or the copper replaced with another copper? What if these residents not all reported the fault at the same time. The contractor need to come out many times to replace each connection.
      — If bad copper means you get free upgrade to FTTP, then expect a lot of ‘accidental’ damage to the copper.

      2. On the infrastructure competition side, if Telstra and Optus are to keep their HFC, they have to sell plans that are competitive to the fttn. What is the ratio of customer on HFC vs FTTN will the HFC network be profitable? One way is to lower the price to better compete with FTTN. If HFC takes a lot of market shares from FTTN, then FTTN can not make enough profit to subsidies the rural areas. Thus the cost will be on the budget.

      If HFC can’t make a profit, the why would Telstra or Optus keep it?

      These are just two things that make the coalition plan very uneconomical. And there are a lot more holes in their plan.

    50. David Jeisman
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 1:32 am | Permalink |

      Some great comments here. Everyone is rightly cynical of the Coalition’s promises of 25mbps by 2016. They’re promising to do a cost benefit analysis first and the Productivity Commission (also Infrastructure Australia) was mentioned as a possible candidate so that’s going to take 6 to 12 months.

      After the CBA, if they insist on pursuing FttN they need to negotiate with Telstra. If you read the Grant Samuel report Telstra commissioned into NBN’s proposal in 2011 you will see that Telstra considered every possible, conceivable angle including (among other things) the probability of the NBN being abandoned if they rejected the proposal. The Coalition seem to be claiming that because the copper network is approaching its end of life Telstra will give it up on the cheap, but Telstra will consider not only their potential lost future income but also the value of depriving a major competitor from entering the market and what effect that will have on their future market share.

      All this has to be done before they can start fleshing out a proper plan. This could easily take the majority of the next term, by which time we’re in an election year and who knows what the situation is. They might just put it off altogether. In any case, they have zero chance of making their 2016 deadline.

      There is too much concentration on minimum download speeds and initial cost. What about future costs in 20 or 30 years when everybody needs FttP and we need to go over to full GPON? What about upload speeds? What about Coalition uptake projections being not nearly as robust as NBNCo’s because the massively inferior service opens up the possibility of LTE stealing more market share, or more worryingly if they allow rival fixed (HFC) networks?

      Nobody is happy about the delays the project has had and is still having. But if they have taught us anything it is that nothing happens quickly and we shouldn’t think the Liberals will go any better. After 15 years in broadband wilderness, the rollout has commenced. The electoral terms are too short and the public too fickle to chance a policy change. Let’s stop thinking about the next 5 years and start thinking about the next 50.

      • Magus
        Posted 30/04/2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink |

        Telstra’s copper will be cheap for NBN Co to buy. After all, they are being paid with a monopoly on small stage developments, and likely larger developments also.
        They will be paid to remediate the lines, or replace with fibre. As they just manage contractors for this, they are just another level of project management that can take their percentage.

        At the end of the day, they get subsidised to build a FTTP network in new estates, paid some for their copper, paid to maintain their copper (from a different pocket though, not LNPNBN), rental of space in every exchange in australia for 30 years (which will still be needed in most FTTN to FTTP upgrades, due to FTTN origins)

        So between being handed a vertical monopoly and all the extra rental, they have been paid.

    51. Chris Watts
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink |

      If (when) the Coalition take power after the election, it is indeed important to note that, based on their current policy, broadband in Australia will not suddenly implode. It will not go backwards. It may even advance a bit.

      This is a very long way from saying that their policy is ‘sensible’.

      Sensible, in this case, would imply that given a range of options a sensible person would choose the option that makes the most sense. I cannot begin to believe that the Coalitions version of the NBN would make the most sense.

      Lets not mention either, Renai, that the Coalitions policy is based on a lie. A lie based on competition, cheaper, faster… maybe even better. This cannot be tolerated. It certainly should not be called ‘sensible’.

    52. Observer
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink |

      Renai

      “Labor, with its NBN project, has largely failed this test. There have been reasons, yes, but the truth is inescapable, that it has failed.”

      This is one part of the argument you are putting forward that is difficult to accept. We do not live in a black and white world. Just as you don’t need to be rich to be poor, we do not fail because we don’t succeed. In this instance, most of the reasons have been beyond the government’s control. It had little power to speed up the process involving Telstra and its shareholders, it did not impose the 121 poi, it did not create the labour shortage.

      The test you describe, achieving a sufficient target within a given electoral cycle, surely does not apply to projects of this magnitude. The important issue is not to get things done as quickly as possible, to overcome the lack of vision of your political opponents, it is to get them done right within the circumstances.

      You say ” that it should have been able to complete enough work on its NBN project to make it irrevocable at this time.” How do you propose that could have been done, given the obstacles it encountered?

      The other part of your argument, I have difficulties with, is that the coalition’s plan is the sort of plan a conservative party “should’ take to an election. Expected, perhaps, of an opposition hell bent on demonstrating that Labor is completely useless, no matter what. Expected from an opposition, at time even pettily, refusing to engage in any bipartisanship, but “should” have. Are you suggesting that a conservative party “should” be so blinded by ideology that it “should” have no vision, or no interest in what is ultimately good for the country?

      • Node4Me
        Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink |

        Observer,

        ‘The test you describe, achieving a sufficient target within a given electoral cycle, surely does not apply to projects of this magnitude.’

        Well it does because the target has nothing to do with the electoral cycle, it has everything to do with the Business Plans produced by the NBN Co that tell us what the rollover targets are and in what time period they will be met, you and others may want to turn a blind eye to missed targets as if they are of no consequence but those residences who voted for Labor at the last election expecting FTTH as per the original plan well before now might not be so happy about it.

        ‘You say ” that it should have been able to complete enough work on its NBN project to make it irrevocable at this time.” How do you propose that could have been done, given the obstacles it encountered?’

        Well the NBN Co and Labor should not have been so optimistic in their plans, or are you saying the obstacles were so random they were not predictable, so what figures are believable in the Corporate Plans? we are on to Plan 2 amended already at the beginning of this year, or are they all just feel good guess figures for the Labor NBN supporters who don’t want to ask awkward questions?

        ‘The other part of your argument, I have difficulties with, is that the coalition’s plan is the sort of plan a conservative party “should’ take to an election. Expected, perhaps, of an opposition hell bent on demonstrating that Labor is completely useless,’

        Well that’s not hard is it, the Labor Party are doing that themselves without any Coalition intervention.

        ‘Are you suggesting that a conservative party “should” be so blinded by ideology that it “should” have no vision, or no interest in what is ultimately good for the country?’

        I have read the 18 page Coalition Policy it looks to have plenty of vision and the good of the country in mind to me, I especially like the independent CBA to be done on the Labor ballsup rollout and the user pays if you want FTTH over FTTN.

        The last one really gets up the noses of the ‘I want the hamburger with the lot as long as I don’t have to pay for it’ Labor NBN supporters.

        • aka Sam
          Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink |

          “Well it does because the target has nothing to do with the electoral cycle, it has everything to do with the Business Plans produced by the NBN Co that tell us what the rollover targets are and in what time period they will be met”

          Um, Renai specifically framed it in terms of electoral cycles…

          “you and others may want to turn a blind eye to missed targets as if they are of no consequence but those residences who voted for Labor at the last election expecting FTTH as per the original plan well before now might not be so happy about it.”

          I can’t speak for everyone, but I do not turn a blind eye to the missed targets (and I think Observer is in the same boat). The Telstra delay was unfortunate but understandable. No one could have known how long the negotiations would drag on for and an assumption had to be made. The greenfield handling was a change of plans. The current lag in connections is very concerning and will likely take more time and/or money to resolve. It is the impact of this that is in question and provides the most cause for concern. If it were restricted to a 3 month delay that would be almost negligible in the grand scheme of things but I think the delay will turn out to be larger. We need to see how they are tracking in June/July and again just before election time.

          “those residences who voted for Labor at the last election expecting FTTH as per the original plan well before now might not be so happy about it.”
          If they were expecting to have FTTH by now they were a bit daft, frankly. A ten year plan with the bulk of the rollout weighted to the back end…

          ” I especially like the independent CBA to be done on the Labor ballsup rollout and the user pays if you want FTTH over FTTN.”
          The problem here is that there is only an audit planned for the Labor NBNCo, not a CBA. And the CBA they are planning is only for their LNP plan, not a CBA on finding the best solution.

          • Node4Me
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink |

            The CBA intent is the opposite to what you state, it is all about finding the best solution.

            Page 13 of the Policy under the heading.

            “Independent cost-benefit analysis and review of regulation

            This review will analyse the economic and social costs and benefits (including both direct and indirect
            effects) arising from the availability of broadband of differing properties via various technologies, and to
            make recommendations on the role of government support and a number of other longer-term industry
            matters. The study (which will be conducted at arms-length from any any previous NBN activities”

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink |

              Is there a reason why you cut the 6 month CBA and “regulation” (and interesting addition) timeframe at the end off?

            • aka Sam
              Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink |

              You’re right, I was confusing the ‘NBN Co strategic review” with the audit of broadband policy. I’ve not been able to find where I got the idea that the CBA was only on the LNP plan. Thank you for pointing that out.

              I look forward to seeing the results.

            • tinman_au
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink |

              The CBA intent is the opposite to what you state, it is all about finding the best solution.

              Shouldn’t they have held off on the rest of the rest of the document then, or do they already know that the solutions FTTN and just need to do a CBA to keep “people” happy?

              • Michael
                Posted 18/04/2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink |

                What would the outcry have been if their only policy had been to conduct a CBA?

    53. Alan Kennedy
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink |

      aka Sam, whilst I agree with you in principle that there is a basic presumption in economics that the money will be re-distributed within the economy, I think this is a special case (and for better ec onomists than me). Perhaps in this case the money will be re-distributed within superannuation funds, share dividends from telcos, etc. However, it is money foregone, as connections thru fibre consme very little apart from the fibre and the cost to put it in the ground. Some as wages, salaries etc , but my economic argument (not political) is that in the grand scheme of things it is money taken from household discretionary incomes that would otherwise be used as optional consumption spending.

      Do we, as a family, spend the $5k on fibre or upgrade our computer system, buy another car, spend money on holidays. The free market argument is that is what ought to happen. However, I argue that it would have an adverse impact on other spending within our economy, for little/no technological gain.

      • aka Sam
        Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink |

        I have slightly different opinions on where and when the money would be re-distributed (I was merely seeking to add more realism), but they are ultimately beside the point.
        Broadly speaking, we are in agreement.

    54. Justin
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink |

      My only issue with the coalitions plan is its not 100% clear how much it will cost for a person to choose to have fibre. I’d hope a standard fee would apply for all who live within a 1km radius of a node.

      I still feel though the coalition has underestimated things like upgrade and maintenance costs. I’d guess if say a certain percentage of people on a node wanted fibre, scale of economies would say, just convert the whole node to fibre, rather than continually upgrading individuals etc. Or worse still it could be like my current exchange where there are no DSLAMs other than telstra because the exchange has mostly commercial users with 2 small residential suburbs on it.

      There are just so many cases and i think the coalition would have been better adopting the NBN as is, however prioritising FTTP to some places and FTTN to others and suggesting they could make savings by doing that, with a longer term goal of FTTP in say 20 years.

    55. Simon Shaw
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

      Will ADSL modems still work? Or will we require a VDSL modem?
      If so, will Mr Turnbull be buying one for me?

      • aka Sam
        Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

        “Will ADSL modems still work?”

        No. They are very different.

        “If so, will Mr Turnbull be buying one for me?”

        Ha!

        • Node4Me
          Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink |

          My wireless router doesn’t have a WAN port will Conroy buy one for me?

          • djos
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink |

            99% of ADSL routers with WAN ports cant route data at more than ADSL speeds (WAN/LAN port speed is not the same as routing speed) anyway so you’ll still need to replace it no matter which network you get in your area!

          • aka Sam
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink |

            You’re right. My derision was at the thought of MT being generous when not even Conroy would be handing out free routers.

            Nor should they. Most RSPs will bundle the necessary router if you need one.

        • TheTruthHurts
          Posted 17/04/2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink |

          Do you have any evidence of this?

          From what I understand(and logically) the VDSL2 hardware will be backwards compatible with ADSL1/2/2+

          There will actually be a speed increase if this is the case as your connection will be with the node which is much closer than the exchange building.

          • aka Sam
            Posted 17/04/2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink |

            “Do you have any evidence of this?”

            That a router that supports VDSL will be required?
            Only things I’ve read, for example: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2265486
            I was fairly sure that if you only had a simple ADSL router you would need to get one that supports VDSL. Yes I know some support both but I didn’t assume everyone had such.

            “From what I understand(and logically) the VDSL2 hardware will be backwards compatible with ADSL1/2/2+
            There will actually be a speed increase if this is the case as your connection will be with the node which is much closer than the exchange building.”
            This I can’t make sense of.

            • tinman_au
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink |

              I think he means the nodes will be closer to people/buildings than the exchange.

              The fact he’s missing though, is every increase in speed with that FTTN _requires_ that the node actually be closer. Thats why VDSL2 100Mbit/s is only over 300Mtrs max.

              That’s also one of the reasons places like Mexico and Slovakia are deploying FTTP. There really aren’t that many deploying FTTN these days:

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber_to_the_x#Deployments

            • TheTruthHurts
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink |

              Sam inside those “Node Cabinets” that NBN’ers hate so much is VDSL2 hardware. This communicates with your VDSL2 modem at your house via the copper cables. Then the node connects to the telephone exchange via Fibre optic cable.

              The assumption would be that the VDSL2 hardware would be backwards compatible with your ADSL1/2/2+ Router and still be able to communicate with it. That means the claim you couldn’t use your ADSL1/2/2+ modem is false.

              Not only this but instead of your ADSL1/2/2+ modem having to connect via copper cable all the way back to the telephone exchange is where the ADSL hardware is located, it now needs only connect to the Node which will be much closer. That means rather than possibly going 4km to the exchange it may now need only go 800 meters to the local Node, increasing your ADSL2+ speed from 4Mbit/s to 24Mbit/s

              You can see what distance does to ADSL2+ here:
              http://www.internode.on.net/residential/adsl_broadband/easy_broadband/performance/

              I see no reason why the VDSL2 nodes would not be backwards compatible with ADSL1/2/2+ hardware. Perhaps a little less hate from the FTTH crowd would be nice, there are potential benefits here for all users.

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink |

                Once again telling us what we hate…

                Again we don’t hate them… just like we don’t hate dirt roads, cassette tapes or typewriters… But like these obsolete items in 2013 -2019, building FttN is just dumb.

                Metta said it best –

                http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/08/90bn-nbn-wrong-oakeshott-tells-coalition/#comment-604328

              • aka Sam
                Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink |

                “Sam inside those “Node Cabinets” that NBN’ers hate so much is VDSL2 hardware. This communicates with your VDSL2 modem at your house via the copper cables. Then the node connects to the telephone exchange via Fibre optic cable.”

                Yes, I know how VDSL works.

                “The assumption would be that the VDSL2 hardware would be backwards compatible with your ADSL1/2/2+ Router and still be able to communicate with it.”

                Why would you assume that? It’s a bit like assuming that a DVD will work in a CD-ROM; after all, the information is just more densely packed…

                “That means the claim you couldn’t use your ADSL1/2/2+ modem is false.”

                I’m sorry, but I’m wrong when reality does not reflect my claim; I’m not wrong just because you assume I am. I have provided minimal evidence that supports my claim. If you have better evidence let’s see it. If it turns out that I am wrong I’ll readily admit it. I was simply trying to answer a fairly basic question.

                “Not only this but instead of your ADSL1/2/2+ modem having to connect via copper cable all the way back to the telephone exchange is where the ADSL hardware is located, it now needs only connect to the Node which will be much closer. That means rather than possibly going 4km to the exchange it may now need only go 800 meters to the local Node, increasing your ADSL2+ speed from 4Mbit/s to 24Mbit/s”

                I know how FTTN works, as well. The original question very simply asked whether a VDSL router/modem would be required. One can inherently assume that a VDSL signal can be attained in the context of the scenario and hence distance and speed are irrelevant to the original question. I don’t see the point of you adding superfluous information, information which is fundamental to the topic we are generally commenting on, especially when it forms part of a criticism of my response and is at the same time irrelevant.

                “You can see what distance does to ADSL2+ here:
                http://www.internode.on.net/residential/adsl_broadband/easy_broadband/performance/

                Completely irrelevant as this scenario is regarding VDSL specifically.

                “I see no reason why the VDSL2 nodes would not be backwards compatible with ADSL1/2/2+ hardware.”

                I do.
                The fact that VDSL requires different hardware in the node suggests that the consumer end would as well.
                The fact that when you purchase a consumer router it usually has, in friendly, large, bold letters, whether it supports ADSL or VDSL or both suggests that it matters.
                The fact that VDSL is a completely different standard (and usually they make those for a reason) suggests also that it significantly affects consumer end hardware.
                Aside from which I have shown corroboration.

                Now, none of that guarantees that a simple ADSL router won’t happily receive a VDSL signal but I don’t see how you could claim that it logically should. There is some overlap in the potential frequencies used by ADSL and VDSL but if VDSL were operating at its lowest frequency then you wouldn’t be getting the benefit of VDSL’s improved information density (unless you were to assume that an ADSL router will happily operate well above it’s nominal bracket) in which case I would suggest that a new router is indeed necessary.
                I don’t know where you got your logic from but I suggest you return it for a refund.

                “Perhaps a little less hate from the FTTH crowd would be nice, there are potential benefits here for all users.”

                I have not said anything hateful; I have in fact been perfectly reasonable and attempted to be helpful. If you have better information let’s hear it without the patronisation and irrelevant lectures.
                But hey, I’ll try to be nicer if you try to be smarter.

    56. Craig
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

      Renai, sorry to be pedantic, but “then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd first announced the Government would spend $43 billion rolling out fibre to almost every Australian premise,” is incorrect, as the link shows, “Government and the private sector will invest up to $43 billion “. We all know the break down was Govt $27b + private $16b

    57. Brendan
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

      Frankly the Party that sold of Telstra, probably aren’t the best folks to be “trusted” to work out a deal with Telstra again, putting it mildly.

      If Turnbull wanted to save money, simply downsizing the deployment scale to the same FTTN percentage for the current NBNco build would do that.

      Fundamentally changing the end mile, purely for idealogical reasons — there’s no financial advantage if the builder doesn’t own the copper — comes down to Turnbull having to work with Abbott.

      And that means there’s no real way an existing Labor triggered infrastructure build is likely to be completed. Captain No says No, so we all get to keep our degraded copper & see a policy that has the financial competency of swiss cheese.

      Again, remind me why that’s a sensible outcome?

    58. Hubert Cumberdale
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink |

      There is an error in this article. There should be a question mark at then end of the title “The Coalition’s policy is a sensible NBN alternative”.

    59. Humberland
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink |

      Bad headline. Fair enough giving it to Labor for not being more aggressive on roll out strategies. But saying the Coalition policy is a “sensible alternative” is way too generous. It does make one or two good points, e.g. opening up greenfield installs to private network operators and installers rather than one “preferred” installer. Things like that are very “Liberal” — if the Coalition, instead of this fraudulent policy, came up with a far simpler set of proposals to actually roll the NBN quicker and more effectively then I’d be saying, yeah, their policy is ‘a sensible alternative’. As it is, it isn’t.

    60. No_node_for_me
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink |

      So 5 years from now a “node” appears on my street corner. Do I jump for joy that the NATIONAL broadband has arrived? No. That cabinet dishes up to me down the street the same ADSL level service I will have had for about 15 years.

      Talking about nodes is about as exciting to the retail consumer as talking about upgrading the back haul capacity between exchanges.

    61. TheTruthHurts
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink |

      The FTTH NBN is a brilliant plan and absolute bargain for $37 Billion dollars to be finished by 2021 and indeed would outperform an FTTN network.

      BUT… and here’s the BUT… It won’t be $37 Billion and it won’t be finished by 2021. NBN Co is miles behind on construction rolling out their network. Passing 6200 premises a day is fantasy land. Only costing $37 Billion isn’t going to happen because there aren’t enough contractor’s and they aren’t being paid enough to attract new workers. There aren’t enough workers to actually fill the vacancies so it’ll take years to train up enough workers dragging the project out even longer.

      It’s the Never-Never NBN… nice on paper, but poorly planned, budgeted or implemented. The Coalitions NBN is a good interim solution that will actually be seeing large swaths of the Australian public getting high speed internet(50Mbit/s average) within years rather than decades. Labor has had 2 terms now, 6 years and they have connected less than 150,000 homes to the NBN. It’s a rolling disaster.

      • Hubert Cumberdale
        Posted 17/04/2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink |

        “The Coalitions NBN is a good interim solution that will actually be seeing large swaths of the Australian public getting high speed internet(50Mbit/s average)”

        LOL

        • TheTruthHurts
          Posted 18/04/2013 at 12:39 am | Permalink |

          Hubert BT is doing 80Mbit/s Down 20Mbit/s up as we speak on FTTN.

          Of course the further you get away from the node the slower it gets. That’s why I said an average speed of 50Mbit/s.

          If you can get over the FTTN hate you might actually see that the technology is quite good and quick to implement.

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink |

            @TTH.

            “If you can get over the FTTN hate you might actually see that the technology is quite good and quick to implement.”

            Because FttN is inferior and a silly idea, doesn’t mean it’s hated. People I’m sure don’t hate dirt roads, but they are inferior and would be silly to build in 2013, like FttN.

            I think what’s more to the point is if those who grab onto FttN for no reason but to oppose the current NBN could get over their political biases and not accept a vastly inferior product out of bigotry, the better off we would all be.

          • Node4Me
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink |

            The flexibility of the BT FTTN rollout is the user pays upgrade path to FTTH if you want higher speeds, like the Coalition approach.

            I think you will find that a user pays approach puts a whole new meaning to a residence making the decision that FTTN speeds are more than adequate for their needs, and they will have FTTH only when it is free.

            What is also notably absent from the pro Labor NBN lobby argument which was common in the past is that there is no upgrade path from FTTN to FTTH.

            • Djos
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink |

              I’m not a labor fan boi thanks very much, I’ve voted Liberal 10 times in the the last 20 years and only twice have I voted for Labor (last 2 fed elections).

              What you and the other LNP apologists fail to recognize is that a 93% FTTP rollout will transform the australian economy and give us a huge competitive leg up against the old powers of the USA and UK and get us in a position to compete with Asia without resorting to lowering wages!

            • NBNAlex
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink |

              Again one simple question.

              Why is it ok for the government to do “free” (as you call it) FttN but not FttP?

              • tinman_au
                Posted 18/04/2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink |

                Another simple question:

                Why do you guys (TTH and N4M) keep saying “25Mbps” and “50Mbps” like it’s hard coded?

                It’s actually “Up to 25Mbps” and “Up to 50Mbps”…

                • TheTruthHurts
                  Posted 18/04/2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink |

                  Actually it’s 25Mbit/s MINIMUM please stop spreading FTTN FUD.

                  I’ll assume Malcolm Turnbulls plan is for VDSL2 which we know for a fact does up to 80Mbit/s Down and 20Mbit/s Up based on results from BT.

                  He couldn’t promise 80Mbit/s Down because not everyone will live next to a node so that’s why he set a MINIMUM speed of 25Mbit/s

                  BTW Some might have missed the part of the coalition plan that covers 22% of the Population with FTTH.

                  • just_a_bloke
                    Posted 18/04/2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink |

                    The simple fact is the Coalition will struggle to provide a minimum of 25mbps simply due to the several different gauges of copper “tail” in use and the overall PSTN design – Telstra’s 12mbps FTTN proposal, as knocked back by the Howard Gov, involved significantly re-engineering the layout of the last mile network as the requirements to provide PSTN Voice services are very different to the requirements to deliver xDSL via FTTN.

                    As usual the Libs are ignoring the reality and pretending everything they will do is simple – if they do get in they’ll find reality biting them on the ar$e very hard on multiple fronts!

                  • tinman_au
                    Posted 18/04/2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink |

                    Actually it’s 25Mbit/s MINIMUM please stop spreading FTTN FUD.

                    True, but only to be achieved if you live near the node and/or have good copper. Most telcos (including BT) won’t guarantee a rock solid “X Mbp/s”, but then as Malcolm is a politician, not a telco, he can say what he likes I guess.

                  • Hubert Cumberdale
                    Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink |

                    “Actually it’s 25Mbit/s MINIMUM please stop spreading FTTN FUD.”

                    Noted. But tell me something Abbott said that 25mbps is more than enough for everyone so why would we even be bothering hyping these faster speeds? Why is it important that this fact is known, sounds to me like faster speeds are a better thing to have…

                    • Node4Me
                      Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink |

                      Well if it’s a better thing to have for you – buy it.

                      • djos
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink |

                        Typical right winger response!

                        All noise, no common sense, no ability to consider what the country needs to compete globally both now and in the future!

                      • Hubert Cumberdale
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

                        Sorry, what you said makes no sense. If I am further from the node and get 25mbps and I want the faster speeds others are getting like 80mbps who live closer to the node how do I “buy it”?

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink |

                        Well you will have to wait like everyone else does and see if after all the Coalition reviews to find out if your area is designated or not for FTTN, then you will have to wait to see how close to a cabinet your residence is and get a estimate of what speed you will get from your chosen RSP, if that’s still not high enough for you get a quote on the fibre to your premise upgrade from your RSP and make your decision.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink |

                        @Node4alain…

                        If you are going to keep saying, if you want it pay for it, at least have the decency to answer my quetsion…

                        http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/16/the-coalitions-policy-is-a-sensible-nbn-alternative/#comment-606874

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink |

                        if that’s still not high enough for you get a quote on the fibre to your premise upgrade from your RSP and make your decision.

                        Will they let me pay it off like the FTTP NBN does??

                      • Observer
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink |

                        “Well you will have to wait like everyone else does and see if after all the Coalition reviews to find out if your area is designated or not for FTTN, then you will have to wait to see how close to a cabinet your residence is ‘

                        In other words, you will have to wait to see how lucky you are in the coalition broadband lottery. Could not be fairer than that?

                      • TheTruthHurts
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink |

                        Good question about paying off FTTH over time.

                        Perhaps there could be 24 or 36 month contracts where you pay say an extra $100 a month to pay off a Fibre connection.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 19/04/2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink |

                        That’s how Openreach have structured it at the wholesale level, with the RSP building into the monthly plan figure a payoff under a timed contract for a fibre on demand service.

                        The product is not going to be officially released until the end of this month so it’s too early to see how UK RSP’s will market it.

                    • Hubert Cumberdale
                      Posted 18/04/2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink |

                      “if that’s still not high enough for you get a quote on the fibre to your premise upgrade from your RSP and make your decision.”

                      No. Please pay attention. We are talking about FttN speeds here not FttP. Specifically 80mbps. How do I get this speed on FttN if I live a distance from the node that achieves much less than this? Paying for fibre to get this speeds seems very unfair when those living right next to a node get 80mbps out of the box for free. Such inequity makes no sense when selling such a service. Especially in 2013 and beyond. You’d think technology would have improved to a point where distance does not matter.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink |

                        ‘We are talking about FttN speeds here not FttP. ‘

                        No that’s how you want to stack the argument, the topic we are talking about here in case you missed the headline is Coalition Policy which offers both FTTN and FTTP.

                        ‘Specifically 80mbps. How do I get this speed on FttN if I live a distance from the node that achieves much less than this?’

                        You cannot, it is the nature of the technology, you have answered your own question.

                        ‘ Paying for fibre to get this speeds seems very unfair when those living right next to a node get 80mbps out of the box for free.’

                        Still getting ADSL2+ speeds in 2013 when your suburb was promised Labor FTTH six months ago in 2012 is unfair also.

                        ‘Such inequity makes no sense when selling such a service. Especially in 2013 and beyond. You’d think technology would have improved to a point where distance does not matter.’

                        It is not compulsory to have FTTN, if the distance problems are a deal breaker for you and you expect them to be as you repetitively go on and on about it I guess your residence will be the first order in your area for a fibre on demand service, hey you may even get your picture in the local rag as being bold and visionary.

                        BTW I’ m not concerned that I may not get the top speeds FTTN offers but others will, just like I don’t really care that I don’t get ‘next door to the exchange on brand new copper’ ADSL2+ speeds, but then I take a more pragmatic approach that a hamburger with the lot for 93% of Australian residences costs a shitload of money when just having the hamburger bun with the burger is sufficient.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 18/04/2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink |

                        And yet again I ask you Node4alain…

                        http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/16/the-coalitions-policy-is-a-sensible-nbn-alternative/#comment-606953

            • Hubert Cumberdale
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink |

              “I think you will find that a user pays approach puts a whole new meaning to a residence making the decision that FTTN speeds are more than adequate for their needs, and they will have FTTH only when it is free.”

              Turnbull claimed that “the biggest barrier to internet access is not technology, it is affordability” so when according to Turnbulls all knowing timetable speeds faster than what FttN can achieve are needed, where does this leave people who cant afford to have fibre rolled out to their premises? Surely you would not suggest taxpayers foot the bill for them…

          • tinman_au
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink |

            If you can get over the FTTN hate you might actually see that the technology is quite good and quick to implement.

            It was good for 20 years ago, but now it’s a “budget” dead end tech used by incumbents to get the last bit of value out of their old CAN. That. Is. Not. The. Situation. In. Australia.

            Malcolm’s “cheap” network will be blown out of the water by Telstra when he tries to negotiate for the copper (which was not a part of the NBNCo deal, that was just pits and pipes) off them. I’m surprised that with all his gazing at the telcos overseas he didn’t spot that difference/cost in our situation…

          • Hubert Cumberdale
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink |

            “Hubert BT is doing 80Mbit/s Down 20Mbit/s up as we speak on FTTN.”

            80mbps is “impressive” but 25mbps is enough for everyone so no need to bring these numbers up any more unless it’s becasue you are a pirate/gamer/porn addict. Also why do you think what is happening in the UK has any effect on what speeds we will get here in Australia?

            “If you can get over the FTTN hate you might actually see that the technology is quite good and quick to implement.”

            It’s not a question of “hate” at all it’s a question of what is practical in 2013 and what makes more sense. FtttN had it’s chance to make a difference years ago. Now all it is simply a waste of time and money, if it is quick to implement that doesn’t change that fact. btw what you consider “quite good” others consider substandard with a $30+ billion price tag one has to question the value too… the good thing about the proper NBN is what you consider “quite good” can be accomplished on fibre whereas what others consider “quite good” cannot be accomplished on copper.

    62. Observer
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink |

      ‘BUT… It won’t be $37 Billion and it won’t be finished by 2021.”

      So, why don’t you tell us next week lotto numbers? You are kidding aren’t you? Straight out of Abbott’s book.
      Labor a major disaster, the coalition god’s gift to Australians. The current NBN, decades, the opposition’s years. Why stop there, go all the way. The NBN will take centuries and the opposition’s NBN will take weeks.

      The worst thing that could be said about the current roll out is that some of the issues were underestimated. The opposition’s version, on the other hand, is based on hope. Hope that the copper network is worth nothing. Hope that it is in good condition. Hope that demand for bandwidth will slow down. Hope that any upgrade will be decades away. Hope that Star Trek technology will become reality and improve on fibre. Hope that choosing to upgrade to FTTP will be so expensive that no one will want it. Hope that the cost of maintening the copper network will be negligible. But most of all, hope that enough Australians do not realise how unlikely their plan is work.

      • TheTruthHurts
        Posted 17/04/2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink |

        Labor made budget allowances for the Carbon Price in the EU being $29 a ton by 2015.

        It’s currently $4 a ton. This means there is a massive multiple Billion dollar black hole in their budget because they are paying compensation for the Carbon Tax without the revenues.

        Labor made a budget prediction of $3 Billion Dollars this budget for their mining tax. Then they downgraded it in the mid year budget update to $2 Billion. Then early this year they announced it had only made $120 Million Dollars after 6 months.

        Now we got the NBN. In the original plan promised 1.26 Million premises passed by July 2013. Then it got downgraded to 340,000 in the new Corporate Plan in August 2012. Then it got downgraded by NBN again just a week back to 220,000 Premises. This will be downgraded again before July(watch).

        Now you want to sit there and tell us that the NBN going exactly as planned. Come off it… we see a trend here. Poor judgement, poor decisions and poor predictions.

        NBN has never hit one of it’s own set targets. Not once. And they never will because the management is incompetent and in crisis. We’ll find more about this after the election.

        Anyone here who has a lack of decent internet speeds will be better off voting Libs at least their plan can be implemented quickly whereas the Never-Never NBN could potentially take decades.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 18/04/2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink |

          Herein lies the problem of being politically partial.

          Yes Labor makes mistakes but so too do the others. The Coalition have and will make mistakes …. Reality = shock/horror.

          For example, having previously sold 167 tonnes of gold @ $306 an ounce, selling assets such as Telstra (and botching it), having a $10B hole found in their 2010 election costings, etc…

          Does that sound like management that any more able?

          And having voted for the Howard, Rudd and Gillard governments and seeing how they governed, personally I’d prefer a government (ideology not important) who even if found wanting, are at least trying to do something positive for Australia and Australian’s.

          • tinman_au
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink |

            +1

            And don’t forget old Joe’s $70B hole in Tony’s election promises last go around…you could get two NBN’s with that!!!

            • Michael
              Posted 19/04/2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink |

              Well those numbers were definitely supported by the same Wayne / Treasury who until December last year told us that we would have a surplus; which has now morphed into a deficit predicted to be anywhere up to 20bn this year alone and stretching out into the forward estimates.

              Not to mention those wonderful estimates on the MRRT.
              Or how about those estimates on the carbon price in the EU being $29 in 2015, it is currently $3.50.

              • Michael
                Posted 19/04/2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink |

                Oops didnt see TTH post about those issues.

          • Djos
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink |

            Well said Alex!

        • Observer
          Posted 18/04/2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink |

          What does the price of carbon has to do with the NBN?

          Oh, I see. If something goes wrong here, then something goes wrong anywhere.

          You are so enamored with the coalition’s narrative that everything Labor does is wrong but anything the coalition will do turn to gold. You either have very little life experience or you suffer from tunnel vision if you have not yet come to the conclusion than politicians promise a lot and deliver little. I will tell you a little secret, their mission in life is not to do wonderful things, it is to get elected.

          I have had the experience of dealing with politicians of all parties, over a period of 9 years, in relation to a project I was opposing. None of them could be trusted. When in opposition, they showed concern and pretended to help. When in power, they were inapproachable and had changed their views.

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 19/04/2013 at 12:00 am | Permalink |

            Indeed…

            It’s a bit like me again reminding people that the Coalition when last in government sold 167 tonnes of our gold at $306 per ounce and suggesting because they fucked up big time there, that they obviously aren’t fit to manage a FttN project…

    63. Observer
      Posted 17/04/2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink |

      I have noticed that we have had a larger than usual number of supporters of the coalition’s plan and yet our two residents LNP men have gone missing. Alain is a notable absentee and Matthews has only made a brief appearance or two.

      Just wondering.

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink |

        Yes it’s as if they all sat around a table and decided it was prudent to change monikers so that anything said previously couldn’t be held against them.

    64. TheTruthHurts
      Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink |

      They are rolling out FTTH in my suburb as I speak and I will be joining up when it becomes available(probably another 6 months the way they are going).

      Does this make me a hypocrite for supporting the Coalitions plan? Possibly. The problem I see however is that as enticing as FTTH speeds are the rollout is grinding to a halt.

      There will be literally millions of people who will be stuck on ADSL2+ and slower speeds for possibly decades waiting for the FTTH to be rolled out. Is that good for our economy? Is that good for the people who need faster speeds now? There are still many stuck on 1.5Mbit speeds because of RIM connections(solved by FTTN).

      FTTN could potentially be rolled out to millions much quicker. The Telstra pillars simply need to be replaced by a cabinet and a single fibre connection run back to the exchange. This is exponentially easier than trying to run Fibre cables to 6200 Premises per day.

      Later down the track in 5 years or so we can then look towards an entire FTTH plan.

      • djos
        Posted 18/04/2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink |

        Seems like the usual Individualistic BS we’ve come to expect from Right wingers, Im fine and so I dont care about the rest of you!

        • TheTruthHurts
          Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink |

          Mate,

          I am thinking of others that’s why I support FTTN which means people such as yourself will be able to get much faster internet in a couple of years rather than a decade.

          • djos
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink |

            Im getting the NBN regardless of if the LNp win gov in September BUT I want the rest of the country to get it too!

            I was Business Customer Delivery Manager for and ISP for several years so I know for a fact Biz are crying out for Fibre and the LNP’s FTTN is just a massive waste of money and time and will hold Aussie Business’s back in the dark age!

            • tinman_au
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink |

              By 2018 the FTTN will only be delivering 50Mbp/s and the FTTP would be only three years from completion…

            • Node4Me
              Posted 19/04/2013 at 8:05 am | Permalink |

              Biz’s crying out for fibre (FTTH) can get it under the Coalition Plan, problem solved.

              • Djos
                Posted 19/04/2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink |

                $5k for a small biz just starting out plus a likely massive premium on the monthly plan is not going to foster innovation!

                • Node4Me
                  Posted 19/04/2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink |

                  How do you know $5k is the fixed price for Coalition fibre on demand and is that with the 50% off? because if you really want to make it look really as bad as possible which is the intent of much stacked anti Coalition Policy argument by the pro Labor NBN lobby you could say it is really $10k and then use that in all future discussions over and over.

                  • aka Sam
                    Posted 19/04/2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink |

                    Please stop claiming that FoD will be 50% off. At least until you can justify it. The FoD and Cofunded fibre headings in the LNP policy document are talking about separate things. Unless you have some other evidence that I am unaware of you appear to be mistaken.
                    Per my post here: http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/16/the-coalitions-policy-is-a-sensible-nbn-alternative/#comment-606961

                    • NBNAlex
                      Posted 19/04/2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink |

                      It is quite startling aka Sam, how some can look at NBNCo’s corporate plan and or current reports and completely reject everything positive, which is written. Even facts (as opposed to estimations)…but not only that, then exaggerate negativity by inventing doomdsay scenarios which have no basis (think NBN will cost …. add silly inflated figure here…)?

                      Conversely however, with the new Coalition plan they now do the complete opposite, not only do they accept everything as gospel truth without question, but further rose colour it to suit, by saying such things as the Coalition’s plan says this WILL happen (like HFC open access and the issue you are discussing here), when it clearly does NOT say these things. It may suggest these avenues are to be considered or negotiated, which certainly doesn’t mean WILL!

                      I think now that we have the two plans to compare, there needs to be honesty. But it is quite obvious that a number of usual suspect NBN detractors, now using different names, will never be honest, as it doesn’t suit their objectives…

                      For the record although I think the NBN is so far ahead of the Coalition’s plan it’s like chalk and cheese, and I believe FttN is a waste in comparison… unlike the naysayers who are not allowed to ever say anything positive about the NBN, I congratulate the Coalition and especially MT for starting to take comms seriously, delivering a very detailed policy (which is certainly an improvement policy and tech wise, on what they have supplied up until now) and at least looking for some progression.

                      It’s just a pity their ideology won’t allow them bi-partisan support of the current NBN, IMO…

                      My thoughts, I believe, contrary to a lot of the flak he is receiving, is simply, pretty much in line with what Renai has been saying.

                    • Node4Me
                      Posted 19/04/2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink |

                      Djos was referring to a business connection, why wouldn’t a business qualify for co-funding under the terms of the link in Coalition policy you provided?

                      • djos
                        Posted 19/04/2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink |

                        Why should they be 2nd class netziens in the 1st place, the LNP “plan” is a farce!!!

                      • aka Sam
                        Posted 19/04/2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink |

                        “Djos was referring to a business connection, why wouldn’t a business qualify for co-funding under the terms of the link in Coalition policy you provided?”

                        Because, Co-funding is described as being available to organisations who are interested in building and/or owning fibre networks. Individual businesses in the sense that Djos referred to are simply consumers as per Joe Public.

                        Co-funding is for wide-scale fibre rollouts/upgrades on a commercial basis (or for a policy objective).
                        For example:
                        If a company secured commitment from enough customers, in a given area, that they would purchase a 4k Video on Demand service if it were provided reliably over fibre (so as not to interrupt other valuable services), then that company could go to FTTN Co and make a proposal to upgrade FTTN in that area to FTTP. Ownership and rights would be negotiated; likely retained by FTTN Co in this case. Company X would be liable for at least 50% of the net incremental upgrade cost, and FTTN Co would have to expect positive ROI as a result of accepting the proposal.
                        That is an example of how Company X qualifies for co-funding.
                        Another example could be a council where sufficient rates payers have agreed to cover the costs (again, FTTN Co would have to expect a net benefit from extra wholesale services).

                        An individual business requesting an upgrade is simply another consumer. Their best bet is for an RSP to cover the costs and make their money back over a longer term subscription.

                        Follow?

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink |

        If you were serious about your convictions, would you not hold off and pay for your own FttP, as per the Coalition’s plan you support?

        • TheTruthHurts
          Posted 18/04/2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink |

          I paid $5000 for my TV (a 47″ LCD Beauty with built in HDD recorder back in 2006)

          And people are whinging about a few thousand to get the top notch speed?

          • Observer
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink |

            Now, I get it you are an easy touch. No wonder you are buying the coalition lottery plan.

            And do tell us. You still haven’t replaced it? Now that would be a conservative in the true sense of the word.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink |

        Of course it makes you a hypocrite, that’s pretty well the definition of it ;o)

        There will be literally millions of people who will be stuck on ADSL2+ and slower speeds for possibly decades waiting for the FTTH to be rolled out. Is that good for our economy? Is that good for the people who need faster speeds now? There are still many stuck on 1.5Mbit speeds because of RIM connections(solved by FTTN).

        FTTN could potentially be rolled out to millions much quicker. The Telstra pillars simply need to be replaced by a cabinet and a single fibre connection run back to the exchange. This is exponentially easier than trying to run Fibre cables to 6200 Premises per day.

        Potentially, yes, FTTN could be rolled out faster. There is, however, a big problem with that that the LNP policy hardly touches on, let alone addresses: How much will “the Telstra pillars” and lines running from them cost?

        It wont be a trivial figure (the ACCC/ACMA put it at $17B, and analysts put the replacement cost of the whole system at $04B+, so $17B is about right, but may be slightly conservative) and it may take a lot longer than the deal NBNCo did where they co-use the ducts, as the copper is the real business of the system.

        I think I’ve also spotted an issue with the cost of the LNP plan. I don’t think they added the cost of the deals for equipment that have already been done (satellite/fixed wireless) on to their plan (why should they, they didn’t/don’t have to pay for them, but it’s not then an apple to apples comparison of the current NBN cost. According to “industry sources”, thats around $10 B of the ALP NBN, which makes the GPON fibre part of the NBN around $26.8B.

        I assume the real cost of the FTTN is actually more expensive than the fibre as they need to actually buy more equipment (lots of cabinets), not just fibre with a few FSAMS around the place.

        Sorry, but I don’t think getting the system in place faster justifies the extra cost…

        • tinman_au
          Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink |

          $04B+ should be $40B+

        • Node4Me
          Posted 18/04/2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink |

          ‘Potentially, yes, FTTN could be rolled out faster.’

          No it’s not ‘potentially’, it can and is being rolled out faster.

          ‘I assume the real cost of the FTTN is actually more expensive than the fibre as they need to actually buy more equipment (lots of cabinets), not just fibre with a few FSAMS around the place.’

          How about we put the great Delimiter pastime of ‘assumptions’ aside and get some facts from one of the largest world Telco’s Director of Network Investment that has experience rolling out BOTH FTTH and FTTN infrastructures.

          “Fibre to the cabinet is considerably cheaper. It varies from site to site, but in brownfields, it is typically four times cheaper, maybe even more,” he said.

          “We would not have a business case for doing that if we were doing fibre to the premises, simply because of the additional cost. Even as it is, it is a long-term investment with payback in the mid teens of years.

          “Fibre to the cabinet has made the deployment possible, as a non-subsidised deployment.”

          Galvin stressed that fibre to the home is best for new housing sites, but said that a cabinet deployment at a maximum of 1km from each premises significantly cuts down on the cost of deployment, and makes it roll out much faster. The company is currently passing over 100,000 premises per week.”

          http://www.zdnet.com/nbn-fibre-to-the-world_p3-7000012385/

          • NBNAlex
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 11:57 pm | Permalink |

            “No it’s not ‘potentially’, it can and is being rolled out faster.”

            Hmmm last time I looked there isn’t FttN being rolled out in our country… but of course you have found some backwater FttN roll out somewhere…

            Nice

          • tinman_au
            Posted 19/04/2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink |

            Nice, you totally ignore the reality of the situation here in Australia to suit your/LNP’s agenda.

            No matter how much you wish it, Telstra is the owner of the copper, not NBNCo or the LNP. It will need to be paid for for either entity to use it. That’s the big difference between us and the poster child BT…the big caveat for the LNP is “$29B + $XB” for the copper and HFC access.

            Until you and the LNP can accept that fact, the FTTN plan is just a fantasy…

            • Node4Me
              Posted 19/04/2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink |

              You put your head in the sand at this statement:

              “but in brownfields, it is typically four times cheaper, maybe even more,”

              So let’s simplify that in case you missed the significance, take the cost of a Openreach FTTH rollout and divide it by four or five or six, you then have the cost of a Openreach FTTN rollout in brownfields.

              So even taking your assumption as a given and it is nothing more than conjecture that Telstra will want more than the $11 billion they are already legally contracted to for the shut down of the copper and that was all approved by Telstra Management, the Board of Directors and the shareholders.

              What detrimental effect does that have on the ‘four times maybe even more ‘ deduction you take off FTTH for a FTTN infrastructure rollout CAPEX?

              Typically you ignored this statement as well:

              “significantly cuts down on the cost of deployment, and makes it roll out much faster. The company is currently passing over 100,000 premises per week.”

              Which is understandable because facts from the real world beats conjecture every time.

              • aka Sam
                Posted 19/04/2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink |

                “Which is understandable because facts from the real world beats conjecture every time.”

                We don’t need conjecture from general statements that FTTN rollouts are often 1/4 of the cost of FTTP rollouts. This is only useful for misleading people on what the cost of an FTTN rollout is likely to be in Australia.
                We don’t need the conjecture because MT has already provided a headline “real world” figure on what his FTTN rollout will cost. The comparative figures are 20 billion for FTTN vs 37 billion for FTTP. The claim that it would be 1/4 was bogus.

                The only remaining question is what it will cost malcolm to get access to the copper. It is not already forfeit, as you suggest, by NBNCo’s current agreement with Telstra. Malcolm intends to renegotiate that contract in order to gain the copper he requires. Telstra have already said they expect the same or better value, as we would expect. In order to gain the copper without paying more MT would have to give something else back. Perhaps he will require less of the ducts, or grant Telstra greater concessions under FTTN or the eventual sale of FTTNCo, who knows… But given the estimates of the value of the copper network (even if he doesn’t need all of it), the powerful negotiating position Telstra is in, and their legal requirement to exploit it, it doesn’t seem likely that he will get away without paying Telstra more.

                • Node4Me
                  Posted 19/04/2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink |

                  ‘We don’t need conjecture from general statements that FTTN rollouts are often 1/4 of the cost of FTTP rollouts.’

                  Oh I see, so the statement from the Openreach spokesperson on the cost of FTTN relative to FTTH is conjecture now, funny how you and others don’t have a problem with using the $5K figure based on Openreach fibre on demand when it suits the argument, neither does Conroy.

                  Perhaps you can enlighten me why the Openreach spokespersons statement on FTTN costs relative to FTTH is conjecture?

                  ‘Perhaps he will require less of the ducts, or grant Telstra greater concessions under FTTN or the eventual sale of FTTNCo, who knows…’

                  Perhaps none of those at all, who knows….

                  ‘But given the estimates of the value of the copper network (even if he doesn’t need all of it), the powerful negotiating position Telstra is in, and their legal requirement to exploit it, it doesn’t seem likely that he will get away without paying Telstra more.’

                  …..and that nullifies all CAPEX savings on a Coalition FTTN rollout over FTTH because?

                  Also like tinman you ignored this statement:

                  “and makes it roll out much faster. The company is currently passing over 100,000 premises per week.”

                  Telstra has also come out and said FTTN is faster to deploy, which in the light of repetitive missed rollout targets by the NBN Co is a key point, not only is a FTTN rollout cheaper to deploy because it is faster to connect residences up revenue flows accrue much quicker.

                  or is that premises passed figure and that it is faster to rollout conjecture also?

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 18/04/2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink |

        @TTH

        “They are rolling out FTTH in my suburb as I speak”

        http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/16/the-coalitions-policy-is-a-sensible-nbn-alternative/#comment-606937

        “I live in an area that had fibre ran down my street back in October last year and have heard jack all from NBN Co since.”

        http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/12/turnbull-openly-lying-about-nbn-says-conroy/#comment-606290

        :/

        • TheTruthHurts
          Posted 18/04/2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink |

          Alex,

          They’ve been running cable in this area(Currajong QLD) for about 12 months now… they came down our street in about October last year and now they are doing other streets in the area.

          What they aren’t doing however is connecting houses, they are simply running cables down streets. This area according to NBN Co’s rollout maps started roll out construction in September 2011.

          We are 18 months after “start of construction” and as far as I know, not a single house is connected to the NBN in this area. In fact not a single house even has the fibre cable ran to the house so they could order a service.

          NBN Co is running Fibre cables up and down streets without connecting houses. It would be like building a car without an engine.

          • Observer
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink |

            “NBN Co is running Fibre cables up and down streets without connecting houses.’

            Would it occur to you that perhaps they are running fibre to as many premises as they can, so that the coalition will have no option but to finish them? Of course not, you are too busy trying show how silly they are.

            • Node4Me
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink |

              So foregoing potential revenue from connected homes is not silly?

              Is the NBN Co awash with so much Government funding they don’t need revenue?

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 18/04/2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink |

                No, to use our friends analogy… it would be like Holden making 1000’s of separate cars, but completing each one, one at a time.

                Of course they wouldn’t do this, they’d start with multiple shells, then add engines, then interiors or whatever and simply do each stage of the mass production, step by step? Inevitable they complete 100’s or 1000’s not one…

                What you expect every home that is getting FttP to be completed one by one? What connect one, then go next door…LOL….

                Seriously?

              • Observer
                Posted 19/04/2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink |

                Never of losing the battle but winning the war. No, I guess that would be too subtle for you.

                Losing a few weeks or months of revenue to ensure that fibre is running past as many places as possible makes sense if you have vision, but you don’t nor do your political heroes.

                • Node4Me
                  Posted 19/04/2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink |

                  Yes but they are not rolling it out to as many as possible are they? the rollout targets have been massively downgraded, so in reality they lose out on both, ROI and locking Labor in.

                  • Node4Me
                    Posted 19/04/2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink |

                    *locking the Coalition in.

      • Observer
        Posted 18/04/2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink |

        “There will be literally millions of people who will be stuck on ADSL2+ and slower speeds for possibly decades waiting for the FTTH to be rolled out.”

        Looks like you have a real gift for predicting the future. Then, please tell us how much is the copper network going to cost? How many premises will end up with FTTP because of their crappy or inadequate copper? And since you are talking about an FTTP upgrade in 5 years, how much will that cost?

        Also, given you ability to foresee disaster, tell us, could anything possibly go wrong with the coalition’s plan?

        I am looking forward to you answers with trepidation. Please don’t let me down.

        • TheTruthHurts
          Posted 18/04/2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink |

          Exactly $11 Billion, the same amount they were getting paid by NBN to decommission copper. Any further questions?

          • Observer
            Posted 18/04/2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink |

            “Exactly $11 Billion, the same amount they were getting paid by NBN to decommission copper”.

            No, I did not want Malcolm wishful thinking, I wanted your prediction. Surely, you can have a mind of your own.

            “Any further questions?”

            Yes, I am waiting for their answers. Do I need to repeat them or are they too hard for you to comprehend?

            • TheTruthHurts
              Posted 18/04/2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink |

              I just gave you an answer.

              Whats the difference between Telstra:
              1. Decommissioning copper under Labors NBN Plan
              2. Decommissioning copper and handling it over to NBN Co

              If anything Telstra will be happier with the Coalition Plan because they will get $11 Billion + Copper Maintenance contracts (worth about $1 Billion a year according to the FTTH supporters here)

              Sounds like a jackpot deal for Telstra if you ask me.

              • NANAccuracy
                Posted 18/04/2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink |

                The difference is that under the Coalition plan the copper has value. In fact a case could be made to prosecute the Telstra CEO if he didn’t try to extract the maximum value he could from the copper. It is a legal obligation for him to do so.

              • Observer
                Posted 18/04/2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink |

                You obviously have a bad case of selective reading. To be sure, here are the questions you have not answered yet:

                “How many premises will end up with FTTP because of their crappy or inadequate copper? And since you are talking about an FTTP upgrade in 5 years, how much will that cost?

                Also, given you ability to foresee disaster, tell us, could anything possibly go wrong with the coalition’s plan?”

                If you can’t or don’t want to answer just say so.

              • Observer
                Posted 19/04/2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink |

                @thetruthhurts aka selectivetruth

                Still waiting for you to answer my questions.

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 19/04/2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink |

                  It’s appears to be an anti-NBN trait and a part of a dishonest smear campaign, IMO, Observer.

                  They come here and question our NBN support. So we in good faith, answer their questions genuinely and honestly. But as well as questioning us, they also make baseless claims.

                  So having answered them, we in turn ask them questions… and when the heat is on, they either disappear or rudely ignore us.

                  Pretty low I reckon :(

                  • Node4Me
                    Posted 21/04/2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink |

                    But of course you totally ignore the myriad of questions left unanswered of pro Labor NBN/anti-Coalition Policy supporters.

                    Many of the pro Labor NBN lobby absolutely LOVE a stacked argument riddled with double standards.

                    • Observer
                      Posted 21/04/2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink |

                      So typical, so childlike. I don’t because they don’t. Na na na.

                      The truth is you don’t answer the questions is because you have no answer. For instance, it is easy to say (as you did) the network will probably need to be updated in 5 years (or something to this effect) but when asked what the cost will be, all we get is silence. Why? Because either you wouldn’t have clue, or because you know that the answer will weaken claims that FTTN is cheaper, given its short term uselessness. Incidentally, in 5 years FTTN won’t even be fully rolled out..

                      The other annoying thing about people like you, (that’s you too, “thetruthhurts” ) is that everything you say is through the narrow prism of politics. In your eyes, people can’t just logically support the NBN, without being Labor pro-NBN. Is it because you know that you can’t be pro-FTTN unless you are a coalition supporter?

                      I, personally, have little time for politicians. In fact, I think they are the worst people to run a country but we are stuck with them. So, I support the NBN but not because of Labor but because it makes sense when everything is taken under consideration. I have listened to the argument from both sides of the debate with an open mind and come to my own conclusion, something that you seem unable to do.

                    • Djos
                      Posted 21/04/2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink |

                      @n4m you know the difference between FTTP NBN supporters and FTTN supporters? No, I’ll tell you:

                      FTTP supporters come from all parts of the political spectrum, Liberal, Labor & Greens
                      FTTN supporters are 100% from the Far right of the political spectrum

                      Many many FTTP supporters, like myself, used to vote Liberal but we see what 93% FTTP and decent sat/wireless for the rest will do for this country and will vote labor to support this policy.

                      FTTN supporters vote liberal because they are incapable of thinking for themselves and are opposing the FTTP NBN because their party tells them too!

                      • Bob.H
                        Posted 21/04/2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink |

                        Oooooh.

                        That sounds horribly like those nasty national socialist people and those dangerous communists.

                        I thought that they has become extinct because their ideology didn’t work for some reason. Well I suppose it takes time that to happen. ;-)

                      • Djos
                        Posted 21/04/2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink |

                        I’d have thought socialism would be the gov building a vertically integrated monopoly using FTTN with 12mbps to everyone and no independent ISPs allowed and no upgrade path for the next 20 years?

                        ;-)

                      • Observer
                        Posted 21/04/2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink |

                        The problem with politics is not the philosophies, it is the way human beings apply them to suit themselves or their own agenda,

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink |

                        Oooooh.

                        That sounds horribly like those nasty national socialist people and those dangerous communists.

                        I thought that they has become extinct because their ideology didn’t work for some reason. Well I suppose it takes time that to happen. ;-)

                        You mean the social democratic countries in Europe? You know, all the northern ones in the EU that are actually still doing well :o)

                      • Bob.H
                        Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink |

                        “You mean the social democratic countries in Europe?”

                        No I mean those that worship a guy called Adolf; or did until they were put in their place. I didn’t put the word “democratic” in what I wrote. ;-)

                      • tinman_au
                        Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink |

                        Oh, Ok, now I get it, you were referring to the Liberals :o)

                        It’s true that they have a lot in common (Anti-communism, racial nationalism and social conservatism), but they don’t have the level of distrust of democracy that Hitler had.

                        I now declare Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies in effect!

          • tinman_au
            Posted 19/04/2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink |

            “Exactly $11 Billion, the same amount they were getting paid by NBN to decommission copper. Any further questions?”

            With an FTTP network, yes the coppers just scrap metal, with a FTTN one though, it’s an integral, core part of it…

            So you think it’s worth nothing and the ducts are the only thing of value?

            Truly a laughable position for you to take, and one not supported by the ACCC, ACMA or the industry…

            • Node4Me
              Posted 19/04/2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink |

              Where has the ACCC, ACMA and the rest of the industry not supported that position?

              • tinman_au
                Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink |

                They did, by placing the replacement cost of the copper between $19B-$43B….keep up man…

    65. Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink |

      Renai, the gap here lies not in political management. It lies with Australia’s shortage of project managers; a shortage that a change of government will not, and in this case cannot, fix.

      Partly this is due to the rise of a political class that disdains any expertise but its own, and of those who fund it. Partly this is due to the fact that Labor is in government and no union covers ICT at all well, let alone one that has clout in party circles. Such professional bodies as there are have little clout among hard-to-organise ICT people, let alone among the upper reaches of government and business. But it is too late for that now.

      The LNP fantasy is that the effective project managers of Australia are all on some Galt-like strike against an incompetent and business-unfriendly government, and that on Monday 16 September they will all come out of the woodwork to join in the big plans for Abbott’s Day One. You have played into that fantasy and you were wrong to do so.

      Australia will not get the broadband policy spelled out in that policy, nor even an honest try at same. Look at the other policies that the Coalition has and try to see how far their broadband vision extends. It is idle to wait for those policies to be “released”; in what they oppose and in what little they propose, any role for 21st century telecommunication is absent. In this void you can see the sheer vanity in your look-on-the-bright-side approach.

      You might say that we’ll do what we’ve always done, and throw open the doors to 457s. If you had the skills that a national broadband rollout needs, and you could work anywhere in the world, why would you work on a solution that wasn’t even the best available in Australia, let alone the best of its type anywhere: Japan’s 2gb/s, Google’s rollout across “Creative Class” cities in the US – see what happens when you stop judging the Coalition policy by its own lights and start comparing it? Looks pretty sick, doesn’t it. Never mind comparing policy to 2007, or 1957, or whenever.

      The very idea that the Coalition can/will deliver any sort of broadband at all, let alone the (I’ll say it for you) half-arsed solution they have proposed, is not something that anyone experienced in public policy would simply pass on as though it were credible. That credibility comes before evaluation of the policy itself.

      The only way you would suggest that this policy is good enpough for the likes of us is if you share their low opinion of what the likes of us need. The launch at News Ltd was a signal that they regard that company’s commercial interests as inseperable, or more important than, the needs of Australia. Any needs that Australia might have over and above what News Ltd might give us are invalid, apparently, according to the Coalition. This again is a significant factor that necessarily colours assessment of the policy as a whole. Your assessment of the research is only valid once you accept the scope within which it is conducted.

      Your “collossal understatement” is not accurate. The difference between our position today and that envisaged under the best-case outcome of the Coalition’s proposal is that we are now able to upgrade to a better system at far less cost than would be the case once there’s a cabinet on every corner.

      The Coalition policy of promising less is absolutely negated by this: http://www.cio.com.au/article/459033/turnbull_nbn_could_cost_same_long-run/

      The Coalition policy is not even adequate, let alone competent. Any sort of assessment should have factored that in, which would have rendered such a capitulation unnecessary. Maybe you got the message that you couldn’t deal with an Abbott government if you had been critical of it in any way, in which case you should have said so up front.

      • craig
        Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink |

        Spot-on. This reliance of stereotypes is infuriating.

        It reminds me of Asylum Seeker debate. The coalition have a virtually identical policy to the government, but miraculously, when the coalition comes into power, the people smugglers will know Scott Morrison means business and the boats will evaporate. The people smugglers know that labor cant “manage” the policy but they know Scott Morrison can.

        Give me a break, stereotypes of competence/incompetence are built on the back of propaganda and flourish through ignorance & apathy.

        This is also for the economic debate. labor = bad for the economy, therefore all the good news over the past 3 years is cant be attributed to the government, but all the bad news can. If coalition gets in – any bad news is labors legacy, all good news is liberal superior management.

        HORSESHIT

    66. Abel Adamski
      Posted 18/04/2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink |

      http://www.brw.com.au/p/tech-gadgets/abbott_and_turnbull_fttn_model_nbn_WYawkO9EoGwZ0GR0AXKh0O

      Abbott is just planning to “finish” the NBN as quickly as possible and then flog it.
      Would YOU buy shares in it from the LNP

      http://www.watoday.com.au/it-pro/government-it/alternative-nbn-would-divide-wa-homes-20130417-2i09i.html

      “Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said the coalition would buy back Telstra’s copper network and use it as an integral part of its alternative national broadband policy.” Now as suggestion of retaining landline telephones what of the ageing telephone exchanges as people switch to VOIP or Mobile, will Telstra want them as the coppers is sold.
      Plus with the Sale of the copper, all issues with copper are now GIMPCo’s and I assume the package would have to include Telstra’s maintenance and faults organisation, infrastructure, vehicles, workers, stores and spares, plus now add on stores and spares for FTTN cabinets.
      Which leaves the pits and ducts etc that Telstra is having to remediate and which is on a 30 year lease, now carrying NBN’S copper and fibre. What a powerfull position at the end of the 30 Years

    67. Frank Miller
      Posted 19/04/2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink |

      Labor’s NBN now 1 Gigabit strong! … bit late, but still nice move :)

      Well how “sensible” does Coalition’s laughable NBN policy look now? Doubling Internet speeds from the current 24mbits to 50mbits is supposed to be “sensible” for a technology and medium that revolutionized our lives for the past decade like no other? We are to believe a mere doubling of speeds will sustain us for the next decade or so? Keep dreaming Coalition. And… lol, I’d like to see how Renai manages to defend the “sensible” Coalition plan now :D

      I will not vote for the Coalition, not in a million years – Greens it is for me :)

      • Node4Me
        Posted 19/04/2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink |

        Well if it is available under Labor NBN FTTH it will be available under Coalition FTTH – problem solved.

        • Observer
          Posted 19/04/2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink |

          But not under the coalition lottery. Problem not solved. In fact, the divide between have and have not gets greater but should not be a problem for your side of politics.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 19/04/2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink |

          “Well if it is available under Labor NBN FTTH it will be available under Coalition FTTH”…

          Only instead of paying once, you’ll have to pay twice for the Coalition’s plan.

          Once via taxes for FttN then additionally from the hip pocket for FttP.

          Or to use the strange anti-NBN logic from the past…pay three times, also monthly for your plan *sigh*

    68. Observer
      Posted 19/04/2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink |

      The lottery part, of course is FTTN.

    69. Abel Adamski
      Posted 25/04/2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink |

      Smoke and Mirrors

      It is the STATED intent of the LNP to sell off or privatise the NBN on completition. Tony has stated they wish to finish it as soon as possible to enable that sell off. A GBE NBN is against their DNA.

      What does that actually mean. ?
      Quick cheap and nasty, fudge the books and shift CAPEX to OPEX and TAXPAYER subsidies to private sector to provide competitive networks and also permit cherry picking.
      One sleazy method would be the Government running backhaul fibre to rural and growth areas under Rural , Education and Health or Government Operational (Social Services etc) budgets, then leasing fibres to Greenfields and private sector competitors at peppercorn rentals. Shifts the CAPEX off GIMPCo’s books.

      So any upgrades past the initial install will be the responsibility of the listed private sector company which will have Commercial ROI requirements with reduced market share, of course the usual prune the maintenance costs and very expensive ad hoc fibre upgrades and forget expenditure on upgrading to the LNP PROMISED 50Mb. So for most, up to 25 on shonky copper is the best you will ever get with the same minimal maintenance on the copper network we have become accostomed to, and no pressure on Telstra to adequately upgrade their HFC

      Considering its financial circumstance as a listed private company the ACCC will allow it to massively increase pricing both on FTTP and FTTN to be viable, (Consider it has allowed Telstra to up it’s backhaul charges) and gave us the uncompetitive 121 POI’s.

      This will mean the competitors are operating in a high price environment and charge accordingly , just be a little cheaper to gain market share. So broadband and landline costs will rise for ALL. But HOORAY we have the competitive Private Sector model we can all worship. Not to mention Government taxpayer subsidies to the Private Sector. Libs don’t do infrastucteure, but GEEZ they are great at throwing buckets of money at the private sector

      So argue the LNP GIMPCo to your hearts content, that is just the con and scam. It will be a listed Private Company that actually cripples Australia’s future economy and screws us over

    70. John
      Posted 27/04/2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink |

      As a IT infrastructure and Network Engineer I can safely say Tony Abbott has this VERY wrong.

      We have Fibre back-haul to most DSlams now!, the coalition plan largely ignores the last mile (into peoples homes) which is where the problem has been for over a decade.

      Most of the potential cost blow-outs still exist with the coalition plan, ether way they need to be managed well, its very true the coalition plan is cheaper but why spend $40 billion on “improving” the issue what we have now, when you can spend $60 billion “fixing” this mess once and for all.

      Do we really want to be fluffing around with broadband performance/access in 2023? Most residential HFC cable users (10 year old technology) routinely use their connections at speeds well over the collision purposed 25mbps.

      This latest NBN plan is a very sad step backwards for the sakes of politicking.

    71. Goresh
      Posted 15/07/2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink |

      Renai

      A couple of problems with the title “The Coalition’s policy is a sensible NBN alternative”

      Sensible:
      adjective
      1. having, using, or showing good sense or sound judgment: a sensible young woman.
      2. cognizant; keenly aware (usually followed by of ): sensible of his fault.
      3. significant in quantity, magnitude, etc.; considerable; appreciable: a sensible reduction in price.
      4. capable of being perceived by the senses; material: the sensible universe.
      5. capable of feeling or perceiving, as organs or parts of the body.

      Definitions 4 and 5 clearly do not apply. I would contend that 1, 2 & 3 do not either.
      As has been established, the Total Cost of Ownership of the FTTN network will be greater than FTTP due to a number of un-costed but unavoidable requirements to build FTTN such as acquisition of the asset, remediation of the asset, power use by asset etc which simply do not feature in the alternative.
      As has been established, the performance of FTTN will be inferior by a factor of at least 40/1 and it will have no upgrade path.
      To spend more for an inferior ersult cannot fit any of the first 3 meanings of “sensible”

      Alternative:
      noun
      1. a choice limited to one of two or more possibilities, as of things, propositions, or courses of action, the selection of which precludes any other possibility: You have the alternative of riding or walking.
      2. one of the things, propositions, or courses of action that can be chosen: The alternative to riding is walking.
      3. a possible or remaining course or choice: There was no alternative but to walk.
      adjective
      4. affording a choice of two or more things, propositions, or courses of action.
      5. (of two things, propositions, or courses) mutually exclusive so that if one is chosen the other must be rejected: The alternative possibilities are neutrality and war.
      6. employing or following nontraditional or unconventional ideas, methods, etc.; existing outside the establishment: an alternative newspaper; alternative lifestyles.
      7. Logic. (of a proposition) asserting two or more choices, at least one of which is true.

      Turnbull himself admits that in the long term, only FTTP can do the job. This would preclude all of the definitions of “alternative” since it is not one or the other but one then the other.

      And I have a huge problem with this comment of yours:
      “But there’s also a political reality here; a reality that politicians of all backgrounds in all of Australia’s political environments acknowledge: That once a government (state, Federal or even local council) takes power, they have a limited time to enact their policies, or at least implement them to the point where they cannot easily be rolled back by political opponents.”

      While sadly it may be true, it would also preclude any government in Australia undertaking any sizable nation building exercise for any reason, ever (which I still believe is the coalition de-facto position).
      Pretty much any project worth undertaking will take a number of years to design and tune to produce the optimal outcome.
      Given that Labor actually only got the chance to actually proceed with their NBN on the back of a number of conservative independents sacrificing their own political futures, this comment is clearly nonsense “In Australia’s Federal political system, it can be reasonably predicted that when a new government takes power after a long period in opposition, such as happened when Kevin Rudd took the reins from John Howard in 2007, that that new government will have at least two terms to implement its policies.”

      A “sensible” policy would recognise this and seek to take over a project that was already up and running and seek to tweak it for the best result.

      Given your own commentary “Fundamentally, it’s a worse policy than Labor’s. Its critics are right; it betrays a tragic loss of long-term vision for Australia’s telecommunications infrastructure. Fibre to the node is a dead-end technology which will, in several decades, be already fading into memory. By investing in fibre to the node, the Coalition isn’t skating to where the puck is going to be, nor even where it is now. It is looking backwards, not forwards, and by doing so it is throwing away the opportunity for Australia’s economy to transition from digging things up out of the ground to a more sustainable knowledge-based export economy — you know, the kind of economy which countries such as Germany and Japan already have.” would you agree that the only “sensible” policy of any future Labor government taking power before the completion of the coalition policy would be to immediately halt the roll-out and to teh extent possible, roll out FTTP? This would be in accord of your definition of what is sensible here.

      Of course, should the roll out be incomplete by the time THAT Labor government was deposed, the incoming coalition government should again scrap the FTTP roll-out and revert to FTTN and so on ad infinitum?




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