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  • Blog, Featured, Telecommunications - Written by on Monday, April 22, 2013 10:04 - 109 Comments

    Pushed for Coalition contingency plan, NBN Co reveals rollout costs

    Rob-Oakeshott

    blog A growing amount of information on the costs of NBN Co’s fibre-to-the-premise (FttP) rollout may have brought some long-wanted clarity to the national broadband network (NBN) debate, but calls by NBN joint parliamentary committee chair Rob Oakeshott for a revised NBN Co corporate plan – to account for potential changes due to the election of a Coalition government and implementation of that party’s alternative NBN – confirm the government is facing increased scrutiny as observers push for further transparency in the pre-election NBN debate.

    During committee hearings on Friday – where NBN Co debuted detailed cost models (read them here) showing it was costing around $2200 to $2500 per premise to roll out FttP – Oakeshott called for NBN Co to prepare a new corporate plan that would evaluate the potential cost model proposed by the Coalition’s alternative policy. As reported by ZDNet Australia (by all means read the whole story, with more cost numbers, here):

    [NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley] said the cost had declined thanks to the shift to the build drop approach that pulls the fibre right up to the side of every premises without first seeking permission from the owner of that premises….NBN Co is preparing a new corporate plan, which is planned to be submitted to government in May. Oakeshott has flagged that he would like NBN Co to create an alternative corporate plan that assesses the Coalition’s alternative NBN. Quigley has said that it would be possible for the company to undertake such a task, but he said the big question would remain over the quality of Telstra’s copper network, which NBN Co had no information on.


    The release of clearer numbers around the cost of the FttP model brings new transparency to the process currently underway, and also raises questions about the Coalition’s claims that the Labor NBN approach could cost $94 billion or more. That figure, which is based on a per-premise cost of around $3400, has come under increasing scrutiny as communications minister Stephen Conroy accused his shadow of “lying” to exaggerate key differences in the party’s policies and others commended Turnbull for “saving” the NBN by convincing Tony Abbott to commit to a more realistic policy alternative.

    Image credit: Alex Sims, CC BY-SA 3.0

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    1. Posted 22/04/2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink |

      What do you all think of the numbers? Surprise or no? And: do they vindicate the government, or condemn it?

      Also: what will a Coalition policy-aware NBN Co alternative corporate plan look like?

      • Posted 22/04/2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink |

        What we heard on Friday was broadly what I expected.

        Despite what the naysayers would tell us, there has never been any real evidence that costs were blowing out, and the time overruns and the reasons for them have been made public all along.

        The line of questioning, even from Turnbull on Friday, proves that beyond the “white elephant” debate they try and push, the Coalition don’t really have a lot of ammunition to fire.

        Quigley shot every one of their anticipated questions down with his opening statement and financial and rollout figures.

        The Coalition representatives looked completely lost trying to come up with questions after that.

        • Node4Me
          Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink |

          Depends on what you want to see out of the Senate hearings.

          “Australian Greens Senator and NBN supporter Senator Scott Ludlam has said it appeared NBN Co was trying to cover up how far behind the construction rollout was in December.”

          http://whirlpool.net.au/news/go.cfm?article=74312

          • NBNAccuracy
            Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink |

            Or what you take from an article and what you ignore:
            “Mr Ludlam remained a supporter and labelled the Coalition’s alternative policy as “Fraudband””

            • Node4Me
              Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

              Indeed.

              ‘Mr Ludlam said the committee could no longer trust NBN Co at its word and that its role was now to be an auditor, adding he would be demanding more data and documents from the company building Labor’s $37.4 billion network.”

              • NBNAlex
                Posted 22/04/2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink |

                Would that be the same Sen. Ludlam, those who oppose the NBN have previously completely dismissed because he is a [quote] leftist, tree hugger?

                • Node4Me
                  Posted 22/04/2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink |

                  I have never said that, who has said that?

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 22/04/2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink |

                    If you care to read back you will see I didn’t mentioned names, it was a generic comment, based on my observations of the mentality of some NBN detractors.

                    I replied to you, simply as you were the one who mentioned Sen. Ludlam.

                    But speaking of personal, please, if you are going to reply to me personally, do so all of the time or not at all. This cherry-picking and choosing to only reply to the easy stuff (such as this Ludlam comment) and ignore the in-depth stuff, is very rude and not in the spirit of meaningful correspondence :(

        • Simon Reidy
          Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink |

          Agreed. I would advise politicians to not ever get into a technical argument with Mike Quigley, if you do, you will lose. He’s not only a tech wizard, but he’s also an articulate public speaker and great debater. Every time he answers a question he cuts through bullshit like a knife through butter.

          It will be a real shame if Quigley doesn’t remain in charge, regardless of which NBN we get. Although I imagine firing him, and replacing him with a a copper-loving bullshit artist to sell the Coalitions’s crappy plan to the masses, would be probably be top of Turnbull’s agenda.

          • God's Truth
            Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink |

            Since when is the NBN debate a technical debate?

            • Simon Reidy
              Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink |

              Eh? Gee, only since its inception! Given it uses complex and expensive technology, every technical aspect of the NBN has been up for debate for years. And now more than ever, given the coalition want to use different, inferior technology, while claiming it will deliver better results.

              Quigley often gets asked questions of a technical nature which he answers comprehensively, and is clear as day when pointing out the weaknesses of FTTN, and the fact they can’t account for the condition of Telstra’s copper network.

              Sure the debate has now largely shifted to discussing costs, but to suggest there is no debate about which technology to use is absurd.

              • Node4Me
                Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink |

                We don’t need the NBN Co to account for the condition of Telstra’s copper because they are not running Telstra, if you want to know the condition of the copper you ask the company who owns and maintains it.

                “Telstra CEO David Thodey has indicated that the company’s copper would be able to deliver 25 megabits per second (Mbps) in a fibre-to-the-node network.”

                http://www.zdnet.com/au/telstras-copper-can-get-25mbps-for-nbn-thodey-7000014258/

                • Simon Reidy
                  Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink |

                  Obviously, so why has NBN Co been asked to provide estimates of building a FTTN network, if they can’t access that crucial information?

                  At the bottom of the article you just linked me to:

                  “NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said today that his company would have difficulty pricing a fibre-to-the-node network alternative to the current NBN policy, because the cost of accessing and remediating the copper is not known.”

                  And while the Coalition would have us believe that accessing Telstra’s copper won’t be an expensive problem:

                  Thodey would not confirm whether Telstra would seek more money for access to the copper.

                  “Until we know all the details, it’s hard to comment,” he said. “One thing I can say is I made a commitment to shareholders to say we will do everything we can to preserve the value of the deal.”

                  In other words they will naturally ask the maximum price they possibly can for it.

                • Simon Reidy
                  Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink |

                  As for Thodey claiming 25mbps, that is entirely dependant on your distance from the node, just as he points out himself. He’s certainly not guaranteeing that as a minimum speed, given the amount of variables that will determine the maximum speed a customer can access from a node. And in rural areas, FTTN often isn’t possible at all, due to the large distance of properties to the street where the node would have to be placed. Hence the much larger amount of people that will stuck on fixed wireless or satellite on the Coalition’s network.

                  • Node4Me
                    Posted 22/04/2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink |

                    Yes I understand all of that, but I don’t care what the NBN Co ‘guesses’ about the quality of another companies infrastructure, the current NBN Co has not got the brief to determine in discussions with Telstra the viability or not of the Telstra copper in a Coalition FTTN plan, that will come in the full reviews if the Coalition win in September.

                    • NBNAlex
                      Posted 22/04/2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink |

                      “… I don’t care what the NBN Co ‘guesses’ about the quality of another companies infrastructure…”

                      No even worse, but you will support the alternative for Australia, till the cows come home, exclusively on the opposition guessing’ about the quality of another companies infrastructure…!

                      Once again one set of rules for one and plenty of leeway for the other :/

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 22/04/2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink |

                        It’s not about the opposition guessing about the quality of another companies infrastructure it is as per the links have shown about Telstra commenting about the capacity of its own infrastructure to support Fiber to the Node.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 22/04/2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink |

                        “… However, in some areas the copper has been there for a long time and there could be issues” – David Thodey.

                        Interesting that I ask questions elsewhere you disappear, I don’t ask, you keep replying.

                        As I mentioned before, why do you “rudely and suspiciously”, cherry-pick which of my comments you will/won’t reply to… ?

                        Please either reply to all (of the comments relating to you) or don’t reply to any.

                        Thank you.

                • Posted 22/04/2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink |

                  @Node4Me

                  That’s not what Thodey said at all. He said it was possible for copper IN GENERAL to get to 25Mbps. Then pointed at Europe. Not once did he say, with X investment, yes, you could do it here. And he never would.

                  Telstra don’t KNOW their copper’s condition. They’ve been asked about an audit for years and have never done one.

                  • Node4Me
                    Posted 22/04/2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink |

                    @seven_tech

                    ‘That’s not what Thodey said at all. He said it was possible for copper IN GENERAL to get to 25Mbps.”

                    Really?

                    “Telstra CEO David Thodey has indicated that the company’s copper would be able to deliver 25 megabits per second (Mbps) in a fibre-to-the-node network.”

                    You think ‘the company’s copper’ referred to here is some other Telco in Australia’s copper?

                    • Node4Me
                      Posted 22/04/2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink |

                      Who to believe, the company that owns and maintains the copper and exchanges and has all the service history of every line fault in Australia and records of where new copper has been laid and when, the Labor NBN Co rolling out FTTH or casual armchair theorising from Delimiter posters pushing a pro Labor NBN agenda.

                      Hard call that.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 22/04/2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink |

                        Wrong spot ,response is for tinman_au below.

                      • Posted 22/04/2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink |

                        @Node4Me

                        the company that owns and maintains the copper and exchanges and has all the service history of every line fault in Australia and records of where new copper has been laid and when

                        Interesting. Reports from the contractors WORKING on the copper indicate half the callout on line problems is taken up finding the correct line at the pillar, due to NO RECORDS being kept. And that the lines are often jumpered, even BEYOND the pillar, to a spare pair, rather than fixing them.

                        So, I think I’ll believe an independent review, if it ever has to be done, of the copper network. Not the company that owns it and is trying to sell it for as much as possible regardless of its’ state.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 22/04/2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink |

                        Thodey?

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T9DSgEclPA

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink |

                        @seven_tech

                        ‘Interesting. Reports from the contractors WORKING on the copper indicate half the callout on line problems is taken up finding the correct line at the pillar, due to NO RECORDS being kept. And that the lines are often jumpered, even BEYOND the pillar, to a spare pair, rather than fixing them.’

                        What is really interesting is that YOU seem to have better records and a historical database of line faults and their repair than Telstra themselves have.

                        ‘So, I think I’ll believe an independent review, if it ever has to be done, of the copper network.’

                        No need , all they have to do ask you.

                        ‘Not the company that owns it and is trying to sell it for as much as possible regardless of its’ state.’

                        That is total conjecture that Telstra will want more, $11 billion is what that are already contracted to and approved by the Board and the shareholders shut down the copper network to ensure the Labor NBN has enough punters to try and I use ‘try’ deliberately to justify its reason for being.

                        Stop making statements that Telstra wanting a hell of lot more beyond that $11 billion is a given in a desperate argument to try and downplay Coalition Policy.

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink |

                        April 19 2013 – “Thodey would not confirm whether Telstra would seek more money for access to the copper. “Until we know all the details, it’s hard to comment,” he said.

                      • Tinman_au
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink |

                        N4M said:
                        Who to believe, the company that owns and maintains the copper and exchanges and has all the service history of every line fault in Australia and records of where new copper has been laid and when, the Labor NBN Co rolling out FTTH or casual armchair theorising from Delimiter posters pushing a pro Labor NBN agenda.

                        Hard call that.

                        response is for tinman_au below.

                        You wouldn’t be saying how good your (soon to be sold) asset is? The guy has a fiduciary responsibility to get the best return possible so I don’t understand why your even trying to argue the point?

                      • Tinman_au
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink |

                        @Node4Me

                        The replacement cost (if another competitor tried to build one) for the CAN is ~$40B, NBNCo only paid $11B to rent access to the ducts.

                        And yet you think the Telstra board will gift the rest of that to Malcolm? Seriously, why do you think he could breach ASX rules like that??

                      • Grump3
                        Posted 25/04/2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink |

                        Telstra’s lack of record keeping & line swapping on their “well maintained 25mbps capable copper”
                        was very much in evidence here recently during one of our regular service failures. The restoration resulted with the local panel beater on our line & us on their’s for a week fielding each other’s calls.
                        Once sorted our present line now struggles to even provide audible voice in dry weather but you believe FTTN is THE SOLUTION, lol.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 29/04/2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink |

                        So you know for a fact that your residence with dodgy copper is definitely getting FTTN post a Coalition win and review of FTTN policy post September?

                    • Posted 22/04/2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink |

                      @Node4Me

                      Can you please indicate to me where it says in that article that THODEY said the words “The company’s copper”?

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink |

                        The justification for the Labor NBN has reached the desperate phase I see, don’t lose hope quite yet, we are still five months out from the election, the feasibility reviews of FTTN post a Coalition win have not been done, the copper in your area may be so bad you get FTTH anyway, or the costs of FTTH may fall rapidly enough to justify a higher FTTH rollout than the Coalition intended as Turnbull has stated here.

                        http://www.itnews.com.au/News/340483,turnbull-may-build-more-fttp.aspx

                        I am sure that the outcome will be a hell of a lot more Coalition FTTH rollout from the final analysis.

                      • Djos
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink |

                        @n4m you are ignoring the economic benefits of 93% FTTP coverage as usual!

                        Grow or stay in your IPA funded hole if you have nothing useful to contribute! It’s pretty obvious to all here you are just another IPA astroturfer!

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink |

                        @ N4M

                        Yes MT has indicated that a Coalition government will supply more FttH where need be… this is great news.

                        You see unlike the perpetual detractors who yesterday bagged NBNCo plans for planning to possibly utilise FttB, most NBN supporters will agree, when an idea is good, it is good regardless of which political flavour the idea may be.

                        But let’s get this right…

                        You have from day one bagged FttP(H) because it’s…

                        *Waste
                        *Tax payer impost
                        *Government monopoly
                        *We don’t need such speeds
                        *There are no apps
                        * We can do it cheaper
                        * We can do it quicker
                        * Wireless only homes will make it unviable
                        * Etc…

                        But now applaud MT for doing the same?

                        Really :/

                      • Hubert Cumberdale
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink |

                        “Yes MT has indicated that a Coalition government will supply more FttH where need be… this is great news.”

                        yep, remember when I said the coalition would have to constantly be modifying their plan until they figure FttP is the right way forward, seems I was right yet again.

                      • NBNAccuracy
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink |

                        “the costs of FTTH may fall rapidly enough to justify a higher FTTH rollout than the Coalition intended as Turnbull has stated here”

                        More like they discovered their guesstimates of FTTH costs were completely wrong.

                      • NBNAccuracy
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink |

                        “You have from day one bagged FttP(H) because it’s…

                        But now applaud MT for doing the same?”

                        Are you saying alain maybe politically motivated rather than objective? Wow, that blows me away. His arguments always seemed so objective and on the money. *end sarcasm*

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 23/04/2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink |

                        No I wasn’t suggesting that at all…

                        The “facts” were :)

                • tinman_au
                  Posted 22/04/2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink |

                  We don’t need the NBN Co to account for the condition of Telstra’s copper because they are not running Telstra, if you want to know the condition of the copper you ask the company who owns and maintains it.

                  “Telstra CEO David Thodey has indicated that the company’s copper would be able to deliver 25 megabits per second (Mbps) in a fibre-to-the-node network.”

                  Well der. He’s not about to talk down his asset that’s coming up for sale/negotiation, now is he??

            • God's Truth
              Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

              given the coalition want to use different, inferior technology, while claiming it will deliver better results.

              When did Coalition claim that FTTN is technically superior to FTTH?

              Quigley often gets asked questions of a technical nature which he answers comprehensively, and is clear as day when pointing out the weaknesses of FTTN

              See above.

              Sure the debate has now largely shifted to discussing costs, but to suggest there is no debate about which technology to use is absurd.

              Please supply one example where there is major dispute surrounding the science of broadband technology in terms of technical capabilities, etc.

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

                http://au.news.yahoo.com/queensland/a/-/australian-news/16643695/coalitions-nbn-cheaper-and-better-abbott/

                • Woolfe
                  Posted 23/04/2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink |

                  All that really shows is that Abbot doesn’t know his arse from a hole in the ground.

                  I still think if Abbot and cronies weren’t there, Turnbull would be mostly bipartisan on the NBN, and basically saying we will run with it. Then Labor wouldn’ even have the support of the Pro-NBN’ers.

                  Silly really…

                  • NBNAlex
                    Posted 23/04/2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink |

                    Sadly for our probable next PM, yes…

                    I supplied the link simply because GT asked – “When did Coalition claim that FTTN is technically superior to FTTH?” and it showed TA suggesting their plan is “better”…

                    Of course I did expect an argument over the meanings/interpretations of the words superior and better, but perhaps this one isn’t quite as pedantic as that other one.

              • Grump3
                Posted 25/04/2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink |

                “Please supply one example where there is major dispute surrounding the science of broadband technology in terms of technical capabilities, etc.”

                Just recently: Turnbull on air in complete agreement with & supporting Alan Jones’ idiotic claims for wireless technology.

    2. richard
      Posted 22/04/2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink |

      said the cost had declined thanks to the shift to the build drop approach that pulls the fibre right up to the side of every premises without first seeking permission from the owner of that premises

      This is interesting and hopefully wil help them keep as close to the roll out plan timetable as possible and compensate for the delays that have been seen recently.

      • NBNAccuracy
        Posted 22/04/2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink |

        Well, not really. It cost more to do this “on the plan”. It was more CAPEX. It does save money in the long term by making it cheaper to connect premises. Leaving it out just for the sake of making your solution cheaper would be like doing FTTN and leaving out upgrade costs to FTTH :)

        • SMEMatt
          Posted 23/04/2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink |

          Or leaving out the cost to use the Copper to make FTTN work.

          • NANAccuracy
            Posted 23/04/2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink |

            The getting it free is such rubbish. It wouldn’t be legal for Telstra not to try and extract shareholder value from it.

            • Node4Me
              Posted 29/04/2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink |

              They have got shareholder value from it, it’s $11 billion to shut it down and migrate ALL copper exchange residences onto the NBN by 2023.

    3. God's Truth
      Posted 22/04/2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink |

      Maybe NBN contractors have been cherrypicking the easiest sites to roll fiber first resulting in a downward bias to cost data. Bit like rolling out fiber in the regions which have been most deprived of decent broadband which gave upward bias to NBN take-up. Bottomline, in terms of the KPIs, the NBN project must be assessed as a whole, and not just initial sites which might not be representative of final outcome.

      Also, this FTTP cost data only addresses one of four assumptions challenged in LNP policy document.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink |

        Also, this FTTP cost data only addresses one of four assumptions challenged in LNP policy document.

        True dat.

        Bringing the installs back under NBNCo, rather than leaving them to sloppy private enterprise, would address a couple of others…

        • jasmcd
          Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink |

          But free markets… competition…. private enterprise…. small government…. eleventy billion white elephants.

          • tinman_au
            Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink |

            All true (except for the elephants ;o)).

            But when the market fails, “things need to be done” by the government , even in the US ( see http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2005/07/5106-2/ for an example of a city that decided to run FTTP it’s self).

            • Node4Me
              Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink |

              But the national Government backed policy in the USA is wireless.

              http://www.ibtimes.com/obama-rolls-out-wireless-internet-plan-265911

              • djos
                Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink |

                and they have already realised that is a fantasy!

                • Node4Me
                  Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink |

                  They have – where?

              • Posted 22/04/2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink |

                @Node4Me

                Once again you perpetrate misinformation. That is less than 10% of Obama’s plan. The ENTIRE plan involves over $100 billion and is almost all wired broadband. And FTTH most of that.

                There is no other way to reach the goal of providing 100 million Americans with 100Mbps broadband.

              • tinman_au
                Posted 22/04/2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink |

                It’s not just wireless, read it yourself:

                http://www.broadband.gov/plan/executive-summary/

                It’s basically technology agnostic, and defines “broadband” as being “4Mbps or faster”.

                The US is a terrible example for broadband though, it’s so bad there their own city councils had to start fixing it (many of them using FTTP):

                http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2005/07/5106-2/

                • Node4Me
                  Posted 22/04/2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink |

                  I didn’t say it was just wireless.

                  • Posted 22/04/2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink |

                    @Node4Me

                    I didn’t say it was just wireless.

                    http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/22/pushed-for-coalition-contingency-plan-nbn-co-reveals-rollout-costs/#comment-607301

                    There is no context you could put that sentence in and it NOT mean only wireless.

                    • Node4Me
                      Posted 23/04/2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink |

                      The link I provided was JUST about the USA wireless plan, which is the Government backed national policy.

                  • djos
                    Posted 22/04/2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink |

                    @N4M Sure came across that way! Backpedal much?

                  • Tinman_au
                    Posted 23/04/2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink |

                    But the national Government backed policy in the USA is wireless.

                    Seems like you did…

                  • Posted 23/04/2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink |

                    Oh I see, the plan is wireless, except where it isn’t?

                    Well the NBN is wireless too, except where it isn’t.

                    • Node4Me
                      Posted 24/04/2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink |

                      The NBN wireless component is not even remotely similar to the USA Government plan.

                      “President Barack Obama announced his high-speed wireless Internet initiative, which involves reallocating spectrum and up to $15 billion in spending.

                      We want to invest in the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage for 98 percent of Americans, ”

                      Telstra, Optus and soon Vodafone are reaping the benefits of high speed wireless while Labor plods on with fixed line FTTH that requires all existing fixed line BB infrastructure to be shut down before it has any chance of getting a reasonable customer base.

                      The problem is Telstra exchanges targeted for shut down won’t happen until post September, so in all probability it won’t matter anyway.

                      • jasmcd
                        Posted 24/04/2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink |

                        What are you saying? Surely you are not suggesting that the scope of the NBN be increased to include wireless 4G and LTE services?

                      • Tinman_au
                        Posted 24/04/2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink |

                        I think he’s been listening to too much 2GB…

                      • NBNAlex
                        Posted 24/04/2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink |

                        “…while Labor plods on with fixed line FTTH that requires all existing fixed line BB infrastructure to be shut down…”

                        Seriously you are still banging that same old drum, even all that’s happened and especially considering you openly support (the Coalition’s plans)..

                        * of much more FttP than even their policy suggests
                        * their uncompetitive governmental monopoly (refer below permalink)
                        * their outlandishly expensive waste of $60B (once all of those typical government blowouts and snouts in the trough, you previously claimed are inevitable with governmental projects) occur.
                        * requiring of shutting down all pre-node copper to make it viable
                        * forcing us all onto FttN
                        * etc, etc

                        Should I keep rattling off all of these things YOU said about the NBN which ironically/hypocritically, pertain equally to the Coalition’s plan?

                        Ah karma.

                        But worse still, you…

                        * willing accept 2nd best (and the vast chasm in-between)
                        * willingly accept us being left in a last mile “copper ghetto”
                        * willingly accept FttN is acceptable for government roll out BUT not FttP
                        * Have said before, why should we taxpayers (when it isn’t coming from income taxes) pay for your NBN network, but accept taxpayers paying for YOUR FttN
                        * will accept user pays for FttP and thus leaving those who are less well off, without
                        * etc, etc

                        *shakes head* regarding one’s undying, ever contradictory loyalty to the cause:/

                        http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/19/nbn-co-cranking-up-rollout-to-eleven-but-can-it-rock-n-roll/#comment-607202

      • Xenq
        Posted 23/04/2013 at 4:19 am | Permalink |

        If you spend some time going through Friday’s committee hearings you will find that all four of the Coalition’s “assumptions” were comprehensively rebutted, not that you will see it in the media.

        Along with confirming the capex per premise as stated in the Corporate plan, Quigley was confident that they have not reached the bottom of their cost curve. NBN Co. also let on that total capex of $37.4 billion includes $3.6 billion of contingency funding which up to now they are not forecasting to needing.

        The issue of rollout delays on funding was also raised. NBN Co. have modelled what effect a two-year delay would have on peaking and that is a REDUCTION of required funding as they would be making a return for a larger portion of the rollout.

        The topics of ARPU, uptake and revenue projections were also discussed at length. Quigley stated that the current ARPU is actually $38, and not the $22 shown in the corporate plan which was always predicted to be a temporary blip due to transitional CVC arrangements (p.69 corporate plan). Uptake remains very high. Some areas are up to 60% uptake after 12 months. Uptake of the 100mbps speed tier remains higher than forecast at 30%. If anything the revenue projections forecast in last year’s corporate plan are starting to look too conservative.

    4. tinman_au
      Posted 22/04/2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink |

      The connect price is close to BT (200-3500 pounds), but still higher than the US ($1200-1500), but the extra may be due to the population here being more spread out. Still, it’s a lot closer than the $3000-5000 that was being mentioned before in the FTTN documents.

      And the way he’s going, Malcolm seems to be trying to work out how he can make FTTP “his”, maybe his real “big issue” with FTTP is that the ALP kicked it off :/

      • Node4Me
        Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink |

        Then again the NBN Co may be looking at making the rollout more Coalition like.

        “The government monopoly’s chief technology officer Gary McLaren told a parliamentary hearing overseeing the NBN on Friday he was studying the use of fibre-to-the-basement technology instead of fibre-to-the-home.

        Long advocated by the Coalition and part of its proposed alternative network, the technology connects fibre to the basement of an apartment before using existing copper wiring to get broadband into apartments.”

        http://whirlpool.net.au/news/go.cfm?article=74307

        • NBNAccuracy
          Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink |

          Have to agree, FTTB makes a lot of sense for blocks of flats. Leave the option to the body corporate whether they want to run the fibre or get a node put in the attach existing copper. In the scheme of things it is only a 1% saving though.

          • tinman_au
            Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

            I think the real saving would be not having to negotiate with each one on a case-by-case basis though, “FTTP or FTTN for your MDU” could easily be a tick-box on a form…

        • tinman_au
          Posted 22/04/2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink |

          FTTB was always on the table for MDU’s, personally, I’ve always thought it’s a good move for MDU’s where the management is intractable about allowing a full fibre install as the “node” would be close enough for the folks in them to get the maximum speed deliverable via VDSL2+.

          Having a few rentals myself, I know how difficult they can actually be when they set their minds to it :/

          • Node4Me
            Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink |

            But ‘intractable management’ was not given as a reason, with 30% and rapidly rising of Australians living in apartments it is going to be interesting to see how the political directive from the Labor Party for 93% of residences to be directly connected to fibre will be met.

            It doesn’t really matter because by 2021 the present NBN Company structure and Conroy will be long gone and all those figures including the 7.1% ROI will be looked back on as one of the hilarious points in our communications history.

            • Non Puto
              Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink |

              7.1% ROI will be looked back on as one of the hilarious points in our communications history

              So you are saying that the NBN shouldn’t return funds to the government?

              No wonder you don’t like the NBN, the profits are going to the wrong people! But even then you have it topsy turvy, as the ISP’s are making a profit!

              • Node4Me
                Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink |

                @Non Puto

                I didn’t say the NBN shouldn’t return funds to the Government.

            • GongGav
              Posted 22/04/2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink |

              There are various different levels of rollout as part of a fibre rollout discussion. Fibre to the Node, Cabinet, Premise, Home, Basement, and probably a couple of others I’ve missed.

              Fibre to the Node and Fibre to the Cabinet (or Curb for some) SEEM to be the same thing, but are subtlely different. Likewise, Fibre to the Premise and Fibre to the Home SEEM to be the same thing, but are also subtley different.

              One promises a fibre line to your fenceline, one promises it to your house – subtle but different things, especially in regards that crucial last mile stretch. Most people assume that home means inside when in fact it simply means to the wall of your house. In the case of single dwelling properties, its easily extended to the phonejack through the wall and plonk in an NTU.

              What I’m getting at here is that Fibre to the Basement definitely meets the requirements of Fibre to the Premise, but possibly not Fibre to the Home. So you might need to look back at what the promises are, and see whether people have been working under a false assumption most of the time. We’ve gotten so caught up in FttN v FttH that the debate might actually be FttN v FttP and the small difference be missed.

              If it IS FttP then MDU’s still form part of the 93% if they are run to the basement, but may not necessarily meet the definition if the promise is FttH. Better people than me would need to decide.

            • tinman_au
              Posted 22/04/2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink |

              Wasn’t it N4M??

              “In the early phase of its network deployment, NBN Co. has been running into problems gaining access to MDUs, most notably in the early-rollout area of Brunswick in inner-city Melbourne, where only just over half of premises opted to have the NBN connected. NBN Co. says it typically makes several attempts to gain consent from body-corporate groups to install the network in a building before declaring that access to the MDU in question is being officially “frustrated.””

              http://delimiter.com.au/2011/12/02/multi-dwelling-units-a-major-issue-for-the-nbn/

              Short memory there mate :-p

              • Node4Me
                Posted 22/04/2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink |

                But of course you know I was referring to the Fin Review article of the 20th April where the evaluation was stated as being purely technical alternatives.

                ‘The technology would take less time and money but the broadband speed would be slower than a fibre-to-the-home connection. “We are obviously always looking at technologies that can be used for broadband so we have been looking at alternative architectures and technologies and have turned our minds to [fibre to the basement], yeah,” Mr McLaren said.”

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

                  Usually “technical alternatives” are used to address problems or short-falls, not “just because we feel like it” or something ;-)

                • Abel Adamski
                  Posted 23/04/2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink |

                  “We are obviously always looking at technologies that can be used for broadband so we have been looking at alternative architectures and technologies and have turned our minds to [fibre to the basement], yeah,”

                  They would be failing in their duty to not do so, so obviously thay have considered the alternatives both short and long term which would reasonably be expected of them.
                  However it would be a blind leap of faith to assume that that consideration determined that the current implementation was not the best long term solution in most cases

                • NBNAlex
                  Posted 23/04/2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink |

                  It’s interesting that some FttN addicts, have taken an NBNCo comment about FttB as some sort of win?

                  Considering the current NBN has always been FttP, this is interesting…

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber_to_the_x

                  FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises): This term is used either as a blanket term for both FTTH and FTTB, or where the fiber network includes both homes and small businesses.

                  • GongGav
                    Posted 24/04/2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink |

                    Thanks for the link Alex, it explains what I was trying to say above a little better. In short, if Labor has promised FttH, then FttB still may not meet the criteria. If they’ve promised FttP, then it does, as FttB falls under the definition of FttP.

                    That small 10-20m section could be an annoying little issue that get blown out of all proportion for anti-NBN commentators. Still comes down to an interpretation of whats been planned.

                    For me, FttB could be enough for everyone, and a fair compromise. Lib’s come in and promise to terminate their work at the fenceline, most wouldnt have a problem. Then let people run fibre from the junction to their internal network as they see fit. Wont be $5000 per property, will be a couple of hundred and far more affordable even for renters.

                    • GongGav
                      Posted 24/04/2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink |

                      Never mind, I found what I was looking for. In short, the supply is for FttB effectively for everyone, extending to FttH on supply of service. Connection box to the outside, doing pretty much the same job as FttB, with an NTU and line being put inside when you actually connect.

                      That last segment wont cost much, so the bulk of the cost difference between the two will still be born by the rollout. No big savings to be made by effectively cancelling that last segment, which was what I had in mind as a compromise.

                      Ah well.

                      What it DOES mean is that the FttB idea should fall into the 93%.

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 29/04/2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink |

                        The semantic tap dancing from the pro Labor NBN lobby to make sure fibre to a MDU then copper from there means FTTH and is nothing like Fibre to the Node (except where it is if it comes up later by the NBN Co I assume?) is wonderful to behold.

                        Of course what you all conveniently overlook is the foot in mouth statement from Conroy about a Coalition implementation of that sort of policy for apartments.

                        ‘Communications Minister Stephen Conroy on Thursday called the Coalition’s plan to use the same technology a “disgrace”.’

                        The Labor spin machine and the NBN Co should really get together now and then and make sure they are all singing from the same hymn book, inconsistency could lose Labor the election. lol

                      • Node4Me
                        Posted 29/04/2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink |

                        I note also that copper beyond the MDU used in apartment blocks is not being described as decrepit or rotting and passed its use-by-date anymore, it must be a ‘special’ sort of non-Telstra copper?

                        Only intended copper use beyond a Coalition NBN Co FTTN cabinet is rotting and decrepit.

                      • GongGav
                        Posted 29/04/2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink |

                        Nice trolling.

                        The copper in that last segment is fine, for now. It isnt subject to the elements like the lines in the street are, so isnt as decrepit and in need of replacement. The lines INSIDE can work fine for significantly longer than those OUTSIDE, which is the whole issue with FttN. The outside segment from the node/exchange to the property.

                        So yes, you do treat it different to Telstra’s lines. That doesnt mean its doesnt rust or degrade, but it does mean there’s far less of it.

                        My statement was discussing what is actually being offered by Labor, and by extension what can be leveraged off by the Liberals.

                        Fibre to the basement is NOT fibre to the node, which is what I was trying to figure out. You asked elsewhere whether the FttB idea formed part of Labor’s 93% promise (at least, I think it was you – someone did) so I went looking. In short, FttP and FttB are both subsets of FttH, or something like that.

                        The Turnbull can leverage off that idea, in particular with MDU’s. Its relatively cheap to run that line to cover multple properties so surely it makes sense to cover 10, 20, 50, 100 premises with a fibre line, then let that shorter length copper line do the rest.

                        You’re effectively setting a node up for that premise. It lets the Lib’s increase their 22% FttH coverage to potentially 50% or more. It could also help in the built up areas that are going to be screwed over by the reliance on HFC.

                        I dont like Conroy’s bleating over the issue, its a good solution to what will be a widespread problem. But that doesnt mean I trust The Turnbull any more than previously either.

        • Stephen Gentle
          Posted 22/04/2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink |

          Fibre to the basement does make some sense, since copper is appropriate for wiring that is inside a building and fibre can have problems with the tight-radius bends typical to that kind of wiring.

          But putting a VDSL DSLAM in would be a bad move, I think. Crappy unshielded, untwisted two-wire telephone cable is not going to support over-100Mbps speeds in the future. The building owner should be required to install Category 6 cabling (it’s not that expensive if you have proper conduits) and then the service delivered over PPPoE from the basement NTU.

          • Tinman_au
            Posted 23/04/2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink |

            Actually, I’d expect a lot (most?) MDU’s to be able to get the full 100Mbp/s (maybe even close to it’s theoretical max of 250Mbp/s) as most of the units would be much less than a few hundred meters from the node.

            • Posted 23/04/2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink |

              Close to the DSLAM. If you call it a node you’ll confuse a few people into thinking FTTB is FTTN. Personally I would rather we used FTT Neighbourhood when referring to FTTN, or the more technically accurate FTTC, but as they say “The ayes have it” on Node.

            • Stephen Gentle
              Posted 23/04/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

              They might get close to 100mbps, but I’m thinking longer term – Cat6a cabling can carry gigabit and up to 10Gbit for runs <= 100m (Cat6 can do 10GbE for 30-50m), and would use much cheaper equipment in the basement than a VDSL DSLAM.

              I wouldn't use VDSL as the last mile unless it was the absolute last resort…

              • Abel Adamski
                Posted 23/04/2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink |

                Depends
                Bend radius and kinks still affect the performance, plus appreciably fatter than either Fibre or 2pair tel cable

    5. Ian M
      Posted 22/04/2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink |

      “Premise” is not the singular form of “premises”, “premises” is both the singular and plural form. Delimiter has so many NBN stories relating to FTTP (which I generally enjoy reading) the error is hard to overlook!

      The article you’re quoting gets it right.

      Yes, I’ve said this before:

      http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/15/coalition-rejected-78-support-labors-nbn/#comment-606408

      As has someone else:

      http://delimiter.com.au/2012/02/20/fact-checking-nbn-politics-where-reality-defeats-spin/#comment-334815

    6. Brendan
      Posted 23/04/2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink |

      I do rather like all this navel gazing over NBNco’s right (or lack thereof) to comment on the condition of Telstra’s copper network.

      The same company that claims it’s copper is “fine” and “will allow a 25 Mbit service” have previously mentioned this (note the date, 2003 for those about to jump on the anti-NBN pain-train):

      http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/11/14/1068674351979.html

      The network was nearing/ at it’s life expectancy ten years ago. This should not be a surprise to anyone; it’s an old network, that has a lot of old copper that will simply be unable to deliver the reliability that Turnbull believes is inherently in place.

      We are not Europe. We have a geographically disperse populous and the current CAN could be best described as a patchwork quilt; replete with worn out patches and holes.

      It has been due for replacement for the best part of a decade now. Really, the debate over which technology to use is moot. Selecting Copper means selecting either to replace it, or fail to deliver service.

      Neither (outcome) of which is addressed in the Coalition Policy.

      This is a wise decision; it means there will be clarity of at least some of the actual deployment cost of the Coalition alternative. I believe quite a few will be surprised [apart from, perhaps, Mr Turnbull, who has likely been well aware, from day one].

      • NBNAlex
        Posted 23/04/2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink |

        +1

      • GongGav
        Posted 24/04/2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink |

        +1 for sure, but The Turnbull has left himself an out. This is where the Liberal plan is actually a little cleverer than people give it credit, because there are plans in there to roll out fibre where the copper cant cope.

        If that means everyone, then it may mean that they roll out FttH “reluctantly” because of Telstra and the state of the copper lines. They have to be aware by now of the issues that have already appeared with the copper and ducting during the rollout.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 24/04/2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink |

          That’s a more decent consolation prize though ;)

      • Node4Me
        Posted 29/04/2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink |

        ‘The same company that claims it’s copper is “fine” and “will allow a 25 Mbit service” have previously mentioned this (note the date, 2003 for those about to jump on the anti-NBN pain-train):’

        Predictably you left out the Telstra solution for their copper replacement Brendan , it was Fibre to the Node in 2005.

        • NBNAlex
          Posted 29/04/2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

          And it is now 2013…

          Thank you for demonstrating that even Telstra (who have at times been criticised for their reluctance to pass on technological improvement) is some 8-10 years ahead of the Coalition’s dated and obsolete FttN fraudband proposal.

    7. Abel Adamski
      Posted 23/04/2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

      FTTN last mile costs and consequences

      http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/4/22/infrastructure/coalition-copper-will-fill-telstra%E2%80%99s-coffers

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 23/04/2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink |

        But thats all the FTTN is really about Telstras coffer…er…copper.

        Aside: it’s amusing that some people seem to like the Libs policies “more” than Labors when the only actual policies the Libs have are “Soil Magic” that spends a lot doing pretty well nothing, “Fibre to the No” spending $30B on dead-end technology using a network that was started in 1870 and “up to” $150k a year maternity leave that business will pay for via a “great big new tax”, all presided over by a shadow treasurer that “lost” $70B and a leader who doesn’t seem to see why voters can have issues with his “core/non-core” bullshot promises.

        Seriously, it they sound more like a skit from Monty Python than a real political party, even the Greens have more credibility (though that’s mostly because of Scott)…

        • jasmcd
          Posted 23/04/2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink |

          And yet come next election, we both know what is currently the likely outcome in September.

          • Tinman_au
            Posted 24/04/2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink |

            Yep, credit where it’s due, Tony has run a remarkably successfully negativity campaign. It’s allowed him to drag down Labor while not really putting up anything constructive himself…going to be interesting to see how that works out when he’s actually running the place.

            • Abel Adamski
              Posted 24/04/2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink |

              He will have full media support, boost and praise for next to nothing with whitewash of the disasters

        • Abel Adamski
          Posted 24/04/2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink |

          Speaking of Monty Python

          Brilliant Article by our editor (Hi David)

          http://www.zdnet.com/welcome-to-the-coalitions-nbn-argument-clinic-7000014251/

    8. Abel Adamski
      Posted 25/04/2013 at 11:38 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

      • Node4Me
        Posted 29/04/2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink |

        ‘Smoke and Mirrors’

        Like the amendment No 4 and counting rollout figures for the Labor NBN?

        ‘It is the STATED intent of the LNP to sell off or privatise the NBN on completition.’

        Just like Labor will, or have you forgotten who said it first as a part of their broadband policy?

        ‘ Tony has stated they wish to finish it as soon as possible to enable that sell off.’

        I wasn’t aware that the Coalition wanted to privatise the NBN any sooner than Labor, where did Abbott say that?

        ‘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.’

        I’m glad you brought the ‘books’ subject up.

        “Mr Ludlam said the committee could no longer trust NBN Co at its word and that its role was now to be an auditor, adding he would be demanding more data and documents from the company building Labor’s $37.4 billion network.”

        http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/22/pushed-for-coalition-contingency-plan-nbn-co-reveals-rollout-costs/#comment-607275

        oh dear.

        ‘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.’

        Funny how the ACCC under a Coalition Government will suddenly change the way it has operated under Labor and previous Colaition Governments, keeping in mind the current opposition has stated it wants to increase ACCC powers if it gains Government.

        Also Abel, what is the actual detail on this ‘allowing Telstra to up it’s back haul charges’? and why should it not have been allowed in the first place?

        ‘ 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’

        You mean like the current Labor Government does to the car industry, also like the current Labor Government did to the insulation industry, best not mention that last one especially eh Abel?

        ‘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’

        …. and the listed private NBN company post Labor NBN completion will be all ok because?

    9. Luke
      Posted 04/05/2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink |

      Car industry subsidies have been going for some time under both major political parties, so I don’t know how you can use that in an argument.




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