Coalition to answer all NBN policy questions


news The Coalition has published an extensive document with which it appears to be hoping to answer all of the ‘frequently asked questions’ regarding its rival National Broadband Network policy, including points of contention such as its cost, technical aspects when compared to Labor’s existing fibre solution, and future telecommunications industry structure.

Several weeks ago, when it first formally published its rival NBN policy to stack up against Labor’s current NBN vision, the Coalition published a number of lengthy policy documents regarding the policy, including a background briefing paper which it hoped would answer the questions of many in the telecommunications industry.

However, in some quarters the Coalition has struggled to convince segments of the population and technology sector experts that its vision is comprehensive enough. “The Opposition’s NBN plan has as many, if not more, questions attached to it as they claim the government’s plan has,” wrote analyst Paul Budde after the plan was published. “All the issues they have raised regarding cost blowouts and delays are equally present in their own plan. There are no guarantees that their plan is technically workable – nor, indeed, that it will deliver a cheaper and faster outcome. Far more detailed plans will be needed to make such judgements.”

In another example, technology media outlet The Register has complained that the Coalition has not answered all the relevant NBN questions. Last week it published an extensive list of questions about its policy which it said the Coalition had not answered. “We’re not asking these questions out of any desire to promote the Government’s NBN policy,” The Register wrote. “We at Vulture South feel instead feel answers to the above would go a long way to explaining the NBN installation experience the Coalition imagines.”

In addition, polling data continues to show Australians overwhelmingly continue to support the current Labor NBN plan over the Coalition’s alternative policy. A Fairfax/Nielsen poll of some 1,400 people several weeks ago, for example, found that about 63 percent of those who had heard of Labor’s NBN project supported the initiative, while only 41 percent who had heard of the Coalition’s proposal supported it.

This morning Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull published on his website a comprehensive article listing answers to several dozen frequently asked questions about the Coalition’s NBN policy. For example, in a section labelled ‘costs’, the document publishes an extensive amount of information relating to how much the Coalition’s policy will cost both the Government as well as individuals connecting to the Coalition’s version of the NBN infrastructure.

It attempts to debunk, for example, the claim by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy that individuals will pay up to $5,000 to have fibre extended all the way to their premises under the Coalition’s policy, as well as the claim that accessing the Coalition’s NBN will be more expensive in remote areas of Australia.

“Labor’s reference to paying for a connection is classic spin,” the document notes. “While we anticipate that for the vast majority of consumers in the areas serviced by FTTN the speeds offered will be more than adequate, there is the technical possibility to run fibre to one or more customers in an area served by a node. In the UK this product, known as “fibre on demand” is made available for a fee. For a customer living 500 metres from a node, for example, the charge is GBP1500 or about $2,250.”

The document also publishes extensive information on how many ‘nodes’ will be needed under the Coalition’s vision of fibre to the node (or streetside corner) infrastructure, as compared with Labor’s fibre to the premises vision which would see fibre extended all the way to premises. “Recent plans for FTTN networks in Australia indicated that around 50,000 nodes would be needed (many of them in the basement of apartment blocks),” the document notes. And it also goes into issues such as how the network will cope with future demand, for example.

One of the most contentious issues surrounding the Coalition’s NBN policy is that it does not set mandated upload speeds — unlike Labor’s policy. This is due to the variable speeds achievable under fibre to the node infrastructure, where those living further away from telephone exchanges or with poor quality copper cables to their premises would see different speeds than those living closer or with better quality copper.

“We have not set minimum upload speeds because everywhere in the world, operators allocate upload speeds according to consumer demand,” the document notes. “The limitations on upload speeds are often a function of the allocation that operators decide consumers will value most between up and download links. To give you an idea, in the UK where BT offers an ‘up to’ 76mbps product for downloads, the upload speed is 19mbps – so quite considerable uplink capacity is available over FTTN. So we will leave that to the NBN to decide how best configure their networks – but our main focus is on greatly enhancing the capacity of the network sooner and more cost effectively.”

Other issues addressed include the issue of the aesthetics of fibre to the node cabinets on street corners, which some architecture and building commentators have described as “hideous”.

“Every network requires distribution points, which require cabinets located on the street,” the Coalition’s FAQ document notes. “Under Labor’s FTTP rollout, there will be around 60,000 fibre distribution hubs which are 1.1m in height. It’s true that FTTN distribution points, the nodes, need to be slightly larger because they also house active electronics and some remote power sources. However, the nodes being deployed around the world continue to get smaller, with BT recently deploying nodes 1.1m in height but 1.3m wide.”

“It should also be noted that this technology is moving very rapidly. We would anticipate many of the nodes in our design would be located inside apartment buildings rather than on the street. Further vendors are now selling compact nodes which are small enough to fit within a Telstra pit. One of the advantages of abandoning Labor’s “one size fits all” strategy and instead following a flexible, technology agnostic approach is that we can take advantage of improved technologies as they become available.”

The documentation which the Coalition has produced so far with respect to its policy — consisting of its actual policy document, its background briefing papers, a series of extensive interviews and press conferences by Turnbull and others such as Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and the FAQ document released this morning — far exceeds the extent of policy documentation produced by any political party with respect to a telecommunications policy before an election; including the two versions of Labor’s NBN policy (2007 and 2009) and the Coalition’s own previous policy taken to the 2010 Federal Election; in each prior case only brief policy documents, accompanied by a policy launch press conference, were provided, leaving substantial analysis and background briefing information out.

Image credit: Svilen Milev (author site), royalty free


  1. The answer about upload speeds sounds completely bogus. If they won’t specify a minimum upload speed, then it’s because they can’t. And upload speeds are what differentiate a true two-way broadband network from another ‘last decade downloading network’. Working from home, for example, absolutely relies on fast upload speeds — something Malcolm Turnbull is saying he can’t guarantee.

    • So no one in the world on FTTN works from home, also it means no one in a apartment on a prospective Labor Fibre to a MDU then copper will be able to work from home either?

      • Labor’s policy is fibre to the premises… if NBN Co is investigating FTTN for MDUs that is its prerogative, but it’s not going to be able to implement it unless the government agrees. Which, currently, it doesn’t.

        And — of course you can work from home on slow speeds. It’s just annoying, limits productivity, and rules out working from home in the kinds of jobs that require sending large files quickly, such as high resolution images.

        • The NBN Co is investigating fibre to a MDU for apartment buildings because technically it may be the smartest way to roll out fast BB into those sorts of buildings, just like they do overseas, it was brought up at the last joint NBN committee meeting on the 19th of this month, I am not aware of any dissenting comment from Labor members of the committee saying it was against Labor policy and needed to be ‘approved’ first.

          If you are running a business from home and the upload speeds are crucial to the business succeeding under a Coalition NBN Co you can order a fibre on demand service – problem solved.

          • Yes but I ask you again…

            Why is it acceptable for the government to pay for FttN but not FttP?

            I also again bring to your attention that FttB (according to wiki) comes under the blanket of FttP, which is exactly what the NBN has been all along.


            “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.”

            BTW – using your logic people can also work from home n dial-up… but won’t it be smarter to have better?

            Please keep tap dancing around the facts…

          • “BTW – using your logic people can also work from home n dial-up… but won’t it be smarter to have better? Please keep tap dancing around the facts…”

            hey mate,

            ‘Node4Me’ may have a slant towards one side of the debate, but he gave a sensible answer here. In contrast, yours was rude to him personally. Additionally, bringing up dial-up as a comparison, and saying “won’t it be smarter to have better” is over-simplifying this argument.

            Can you please try to be more polite, as per Delimiter’s commenting guidelines, and also to post more rational answers directly addressing the conversation?

            Kind regards,


          • Certainly Renai…

            Would you also mind asking our friend to be equally polite and simply answering my one question (now asked about 10 times) please.

            I think it’s pertinent to know and I’d really like to know the rationale as to why those who oppose the NBN think it’s OK for the government to pay for FttN but not FttP, particularly given the way in which FttP is being accounted and will become an asset for all Aussies.


            As for speeds you may be right I may be dumbing it down too far… But I think the same arguments being used now about the current speeds being fast enough is flawed and history shows it to be so, which was my point…

          • “If you are running a business from home and the upload speeds are crucial to the business succeeding under a Coalition NBN Co you can order a fibre on demand service – problem solved.”

            Sinking however many thousands into a fiber line for a rental appartment to enable a small business does seem to put up a large burden to starting that business, and it would be considered a capital item so won’t be immediately tax deductable. Nice of you to champion smothering new businesses in their crib like that.

            Problems are easily solved if you’re happy enough to push the costs of those self inflicted problems onto a thrid party in the copper ghetto.

          • “If you are running a business from home and the upload speeds are crucial to the business succeeding under a Coalition NBN Co you can order a fibre on demand service – problem solved.”

            How did you get “running a business from home” out of “working from home”? You do realise there’s a difference, don’t you?

        • Copper is perfectly fine over short distances. As the speed needs increase, that distance decreases, until you get to a point where its pointless having copper in the connection. it a nutshell thats the issue over the whole NBN debate – how short is too short? Liberals say 500m is fine, Labor says 50m is fine.

          The basic issue is a combination of speed and distance. Slow enough speed, you can effectively push data for as long a distance as you want, but the faster you push it the more interference you get. The longer you push it, the more interference you get as well, so there is a ratio at work that dictates how far you can push data at a certain speed.

          Copper from the basement is fine for handling Gbps speeds (not sure of the upper limit), but any further (ie (FttN type distance) isnt reliable over about 80 Mbps.

          Once it can handle the downloads, it can also handle the uploads, its merely a matter of the technology at the other end and what its sync/async ratio is. That’s at the exchange though, and has little to do with whether its FttN, FttH, or even dialup.

          • Sounds like you have never been on dial-up and had the actual 28kbps experience. I have – for over ten years. Hope this message makes it to your computer soon now that the satellite ‘upgrade’ has taken effect. Yay for FTTP.

          • “I have – for over ten years. ”

            No reason not to use satellite for broadband, dude. It covers the entirety of Australia already. There should be nobody left on dial-up now.

          • Really? The restrictions on who can get on NBN satellite are quite substantial – there are plenty of people who are on pair gain lines in mobile broadband black spots that are told they can’t get NBN satellite, they can’t get DSL and there’s no signal for mobile broadband. Sure, they could get commercial grade satellite but that is prohibitively expensive. Dodgy 24mbs dialup is all there is for some people, even today.

          • Sure I have. Obviously you didnt understand what I was writing about.

            Copper lines can push information along them at faster and faster speeds, the shorter the length of copper. Its only a matter of the technology in the exchange. If an exchange has ADSL2 DSLAMS in place, they currently push that information along at up to 24 Mpbs speeds. The further from the exchange, the slower that maximum gets, until you reach a point some 4-5kms from the exchange where the distortion makes it impractical.

            The same applies with any copper connection, its only a matter of whats at the exchange, and the distance copper is used. With FttN, its no different, with the copper lines hosting the information as it moves from the node to the home. Because the length of the line is so relatively small, then you can push the info faster before distortion makes it unworkable. With FttN that distortion effectively kills the copper as an option at around 80 Mbps, ultimately the point I was making.

            With dialup it wasnt any different, the limitation was in the technology, and how efficiently it pushed the information onto the copper lines. It wasnt very good at it, and for a number of other reasons the tech capped out at 56 Kbps. The next option of ADSL limited the data being pushed along the lines because of exchange limitations, even with a significantly higher potential speed.

            The limitation is a combination of how much copper you need to push the information down, and the technology sitting in the exchange. If the answer is zero copper, then in theory you should be able to push data at the speed of light. Obviously it wont be, as there are still other things causing interference, but like the dialup days it would only be a matter of time before more efficient methods were found.

            Do yourself a favor and go look for some of my other posts. I’m very much in the FttP group, and expect to stay that way. But given I have relatives that are experts in this field (helped research VOIP an ADSL2 amongst other things), I’m going to educate people on why copper can only last so much longer before it cant meet our basic needs.

            Think of copper as a blocked artery. If not much blood is being pumped through the blockage, everything is fine, but as soon as there is a need for more blood, there is an issue. FttN doesnt clear the blockage, FttP does.

          • I am on a pair gain with no prospect of upgrade. Asked for the Broadband Guarantee and was provided with satellite equipment that will stay with the premises. Now looking to relocate at some stage. Internet service provision and speeds will be a big factor in our next house purchase decision.

          • Category ‘D’ for satellite footprint here. Sit on the front verandah or in the top part of the shed to make a mobile phone call – don’t move your head too much when talking & hope it doesn’t drop out!.

          • Same mobile situation here except we have to use a particular area of the back verandah.

          • Well said, Renai. Telstra’s cable passes my gate, but they can’t get a line past a 1 metre concrete path around the house, so I’ve managed fine for almost ten years with various wireless connections. I’m currently running my home network through a reasonably priced Optus 4G modem and a Dovado router. The NBN will have to be cheaper to make me interested (in a decade or so).

          • I feel for you, seriously. The sad thing is, I expect neither plan will help your current location. For both of them, its probably in that last 7% that gets satellite for starters, with only the hope of getting something better down the track.

            Fully understand why it will be a factor for your next place, all I can suggest is doing a little research on nbnco’s website and see whats in the 1-3 year rollout. Dialup sucks, and as Renai says, nobody should be using it as their main option in this day and age, but the reality is that there are places where its just not practical to use anything else.

            No plan serves 100% of the population, thats a cold hard fact. Even in the built up areas, the current situation creates black holes, and while they arent exactly at a dialup level, they shouldnt be as low as they are.

          • Thanks GongGav. I have real understanding of internet envy, and I say Aussies should go for the gold!

            NBNco have been great and have actually called me to discuss questions I have emailed them. I was informed that there would always be limitations with satellite internet connection. They let me know (in layman’s terms) that there will be some improvement once the NBN support satellites are in operation. The customer service person said I should ask for a review of our Broadband Guarantee after a three year period as the satellite footprint and signal was going to be superseded by the next gen ones being built.

          • In a strange way, so do I. I can see the local exchange from my front gate. There is one corner between me and them, yet on my best day I only enjoy a 6 Mbps connection. First world problem, for sure, but it should be 3 times that given my location.

            Instead, the key portion that I have to rely on is degraded and in much need of replacement. It means the signal goes the long way around and instead of being 600m or so from the exchange, I’m effectively 2km or more. Right now its puttering along at 1 Mbps.

            Across the road is fine, here isnt. Not quite down there with pair gain dialup, to be sure, but enough for me to understand that our system is broken, and needs replacing. Its frustrating, and moreso because I have that history through my relatives. Its also a problem that wont be fixed with FttN, as the problem is with that last stretch of copper line.

            One thing I can say for your issue is that satellite can deliver your needs well enough. Just not yet.

            I know there are 1 Gbps satellite connections in Japan for example (actually covers most of SE Asia, even into Australia), so its quite probable that the 7 percenters wont lag behind the rest by that much.

            Lag might not be good enough for the pings needed for gaming, and it might not be quite there for a bit for HD video (e-health, entertainment) for a bit but they should become a lot better than what you currently enjoy.

  2. Also, quoting BT’s stat of 79Mbps down and 19Mbps up is a bit irrelevant considering the coalition is only offering 25Mbps down. Are they suggesting at that ratio the max speed they’d offer on an FTTN network from an upload perspective is 6Mbps? Pissweak compared to the 400Mbps upload speed the real NBN will be offering in December.

    • 6Mbps is still quite an improvement on the current situation, and as Turnbull has mentioned, if you need fibre your house for business reasons you’ll be able to pay for it.

      Say it costs $5,000 to connect your premise to FTTP for business reasons. Personally, in terms of any business I’ve seen recently, $5k is a paltry sum which many would quickly pay if they wanted fibre. $5k is less than a monthly salary of one mid-level employee for many businesses.

      • But what is the cost of plans over this connection Malcolm has not once said the cost for these plans its all well and good to pay $5000 once but if you have to pay $500 a month then there is not much point now is there

        • We have Telstra fibre optic running into a building at one of our remote regional sites, the cost for a 2meg synchronise connection was $2500pm, what small business can truly afford that.

          We are still wating to see if there is anyway that this fibre can be used by NBNco to bring us into their network. Is this private enterprise vision that Mr Broadband and Tony the troglodyte are wanting load Australia up with.

      • Renai

        “as Turnbull has mentioned, if you need fibre your house for business reasons you’ll be able to pay for it”

        Not quite
        What Turnbull said, as you quoted him :

        “…there is the technical possibility to run fibre to one or more customers in an area served by a node.”

        This is another thing to suggest that you will be able to get it, if you pay for it. This is a typical politician’s answer: it is technically possible. Therefore, may be able to get it and pay for it but then again…you may not.

        • Turnbull’s said very clearly that those who want FTTP will eventually be able to get it. There’s not much dancing around that. And $5k is, for a business, a paltry cost for that kind of service. I say again — it’s less than one months’ salary for one employee.

          • “There’s not much dancing around that.”

            Turnbull has already shown us that he is a pretty good dancer.

          • He hasn’t been clear on anything, it costs that now to get fiber connected, in most major centers but the issue is the ongoing costs which there is no comment on, will the upgrade to fiber be a case of paying for the connection and then same sort of arrangement as NBNco have now, or the extream premium price we pay at the moment for a none mainstream service?

            MT seems to be forgetting half the cost in his plan. Including half the costs the end user is going to pay.

      • Working from home may not be an expense to the business though, if a person is an employee. It may be a $5,000 expense to the individual. And don’t forget many employees rent homes and have to move house for one reason or another every so often. It’s $5K a pop to enable each house they move into for fibre — a situation which I’m sure you’d agree is untenable. Turnbull’s position seems to be oriented towards the entrepreneur running a business from home in leafy Lindfield — $5K might be a straightforward investment there. But out in the rest of the real world, with employees working a couple of days a week from their rented home, not so much.

        • By definition, If you are “working from home” it is a business expense. This would allow it to be tax deductible, so a $5000 headline price would be closer to $3500 after taxes are paid or less. But if it is a business that truly supports working from home are requires speeds that only FTTP can provide then they should be willing to contribute towards the connection fee.

      • How many businesses are *realistically* going to be able to stump up the $5000?

        Not many…the coalition plan may make it available, but it is going to be priced out of reality for just about anyone with this model…

        • “How many businesses are *realistically* going to be able to stump up the $5000?”

          Look, I don’t know how to say this, but even for Delimiter, which is a one-man business with a few outside contractors/agencies helping out (web hosting, editorial, sales etc), $5k is pretty much chump change.

          One month’s salary for a mid-level worker (one mid-level worker), or the cost of two expensive high-end iMacs, for FTTP? I think almost any business that depends on the Internet and is actually a real business would pay that.

          Ask yourselves what the revenue of the companies that you each work for is. I think you’ll quickly work out how much $5k is worth these days.

          • It’s chump change if home is your company’s HQ. It’s far from chump change if you’re an employee of a business taking advantage of flexible working arrangements to work from home and you have to fund that $5K yourself.

          • That’s personal use, not business use. I said it was chump change for a business — not chump change for a consumer. If your business cares enough about you being able to work from home and you need the bandwidth, the business will pay for it. If it doesn’t, and chooses to make you come into the office, that’s a business decision. Either way, it’s unrealistic to expect the Govt to facilitate your business-grade bandwidth requirements to your residence for free.

            And by the way, I say this as someone who works from home on an ADSL connection, with a digital media business which, among other things, sees me uploading video to the Internet. Somehow, I make it work. Without FTTP. It’s not ideal, but it works.

          • “That’s personal use, not business use. I said it was chump change for a business — not chump change for a consumer.”

            How is working from home personal use? It’s business use at home… surely this is the future for opening up a more geographically dispersed workforce with skilled workers able to live in more affordable areas rather than having to try to live as close to the city as they can afford to keep commute times down?

            “If your business cares enough about you being able to work from home and you need the bandwidth, the business will pay for it.”

            But that’s an old chestnut. Businesses don’t care about you working from home unless you are an extremely high value staffer who will only work for the business on the condition that they allow you to work from home.

            “It’s unrealistic to expect the Govt to facilitate your business-grade bandwidth requirements to your residence for free.”

            But it’s not for free. Under the Labor NBN, the cost of deploying the network is earned back in monthly subscription fees, plus a profit to the government. The comment above sounds awfully partisan to me.

          • Well, if you’re saying that the costs are borne by the individual in that scenario, I agree.

          • Running a small business from home that typically pulls about $60-$70k per year. To me, $5k isn’t exactly chump change. No idea what the average SOHO brings in…

          • Yes but do you need FTTP? If you have a business which needs FTTP, $5k is chump change. Sure, for the average joe who works from home with some kind of white collar professional SOHO business, it’s a lot. But then those guys usually do not need FTTP — ADSL or FTTN is probably enough for the next few decade or so, I reckon.

            If you have the kind of business which needs FTTP, the actual fact is that you probably already have FTTP and are paying through the neck for it — or else you’re not operating that business.

            The caveat here, and one of the reasons why Labor’s policy is superior, is that there are a lot of people not in business or working from home right now who are not doing so because of the lack of great broadband. The Labor NBN would enhance Australia’s opportunities in this regard, which is one of the great things going for it. The Coalition’s NBN will do this to a lesser extent.

          • Renai, You’re being incredibly naive over this $5000 on-demand FTTN. Turnbull is being disingenuous on this. He admitted to Jon Faine on radio that the cost would be “several thousand”. Now it’s supposed to be about $2,500. He reads the blog critics and responds. He makes things up.

            The more likely scenario: Just consider if you’re the first on the street to ask for a demand-drop. Say you’re 1000m from the cabinet. Do you think NBN mark 2 is going to send out a construction team to dig up the road and put fibre into your home for $2,500? For $5,000? For “several thousand” dollars?

            Get real. You’ll be added to a long waiting list, and connected WHEN IT SUITS THEM, for whatever price THAT SUITS THEM.

            Plus you’ll pay for the new NTD. To replace the old NTD you paid for when they connected up your copper.

          • I completely agree, I have worked over the internet from home mostly pretty much from the start of the internet.. there is no business usage case that needs 100mbit each way, it is a luxury, it is only barely needed by offices that have 20 or 30 people in them. How many office now will put in multiple ADSL lines? It is easy to do and is quite cheap, just a $300 router and two TPG connections is needed but really whole offices and even whole offices of digital media people make do over good DSL lines. Video upload? ok in your own job how often do you need to upload a video? a 1GB video upload to youtube takes 2-3hrs over DSL at 1mbit upload, now you can not just set it to upload and do something else? Teamviewer flies over DSL and so does Skype, its fine. Many companies with remote workers just give them 3g or 4g modems, it is much simpler to admin and provision. You dont need fiber to check your mail or do almost any remote work that I could think of.. video conferencing, even DSL is enough so an upgrade to even 6mbit upload will be six times faster!
            6mbit upload would be way more than enough for the next 10 years. If more is really needed then yeah $5k is chump change, wages are high in Australia, many business expenses are much more than $5k. I guarantee! that even if it was a $500 expense to get FTTP, then almost no one would pay that extra $500! but they would go buy a new iPhone or iPad, yet they want to hook up every pensioner in walget with FTTP just so they can get the equivalent of the public purse buying them a iPad, iPhone, iMac, MBP and MBA! all for free haha

            I live in South Korea at the moment and it is good to have 100mbit both ways but I am no more effective working on this than I was in Pyrmont working on Telstra 30/1mbit elite cable. I know I know… you live in a backwater where you cant even get 6mbit/256k.. well that is no reason to commit the country to spending an insane amount of money is it?

          • Objectively, even if it costs $5000 to get that connection, I’m sure ISPs will work out a way to amortise it across several years of contractual payments, like Foxtel or a mobile network or any other ISP does when you get CPE bundled with your service.

            $5000 over a 36 month contract is $139 per month, notwithstanding finance charges etc. Imagine this bundled with a 100Mbps NBN service and all the data you can snarfle for around $200-$220 per month. That isn’t going to break any solvent business, and indeed will represent a discount on many current business communications packages. It could probably be salary packaged or simply reimbursed by employers for those working from home; the return in productivity alone would justify the cost.

            Whether doing all of this on a piecemeal basis just to satisfy the Coalition’s political objectives, is better than simply sticking with the current fibre plan, is a completely different discussion.

          • “Objectively, even if it costs $5000 to get that connection, I’m sure ISPs will work out a way to amortise it across several years of contractual payments …. $5000 over a 36 month contract is $139 per month,….”

            And that would just be to get connected. Add $ xxx pm for the plan and that’s a hell of lot to pay pm for internet. You must be in a very different income bracket to the average user.

          • It seems like you did not read his comment.
            $220 per month for 100/100 is a dream to many businesses. I would not pay for it myself but I was paying $99pm for 30/1 with telstra, so if I could get 50/50 on a 24 month $99 contract with a $900 or so contribution to the install then yup I would go for that.

            Many business parks and apartment blocks would be hooking up fiber. It is great to just have it on every street and available if needed.

          • The real kicker will start, when RSPs will pay for the FTTP installation, if you sign a contract with them for a period of 2 years or greater.

          • I work from home in a rented flat as a sole trader. $5k ain’t no chump change. To get a return on that sort of investment, I’d have to get a guarantee from my landlord that she’s not going to chuck me out in the next couple of years, with my investment then flushed down the dunny. She’s an excellent landlord, but she’s also not going to invest $5k of her own money for my business purposes.

          • Sure … so can you provide an example where you need FTTP to do your current work, or say, work in the next 5 years? I assume if you needed FTTP now that you would have shifted into an office where you could access it — otherwise your business would not be able to function.

          • Sure. I work on documents using InDesign and InCopy in the cloud. Functional, yes, but when I’m working on the same document as someone else, I have to close out of it to allow it to synch. Only a couple of minutes, but they all add up. And move into an office? I earn $60,000 a year before tax. My office is in my home, and I don’t have to travel. That’s the whole point of working from home. Many more people like me would be able to do this sort of work with FttP.

            And in five years’ time? In the media industry? Who the hell knows what will be required.

          • so you can work from home perfectly fine now. so fttp is not a need. its a want. of course more speed makes things go faster. but is it always a requirement? no
            I work from home on a 5.5M adsl connection. via VOIP and VMware. no problem.
            what speed would I sign up for? 25/5M. and id only take that over 12/1 to get the extra upload. I don’t need it, I just wanna see how it would go. and I have 3 people in the house, and 2 of us are almost always on the net.

          • Yes, it’s not a requirement now, but how much of a requirement will it be when somebody is looking to employ a graphic designer and the choice is between one with fibre to the home and one without?

          • I work from home, have been for many years now.

            While I don’t strictly need fibre, it would be very useful. An example: I created three virtual machines locally, and got all the software installed on them needed to run an entire IT system. I then had to FTP it to a data centre in Japan…took several days due to my slow upload speed (and I’m on ADSL2+ Annex M).

            Having said this, I would pay $5000 for a fibre connection (though I think this is too high). I own, and it would be worth the cost (especially as it would also be a tax deduction).

          • That is a pretty extreme usage scenario. and you know something? the fiber would not have sped things up for you as much as you think. I am sitting here at my home address in South Korea on 50mbit fiber and just hit download on a 512mb file hosted on my Sydney VPS, it will take one hour. Maybe the government could pay for all the AU outside links to be upgraded.

          • You say here “I am sitting here at my home address in South Korea on 50mbit fiber”

            At you say “I live in South Korea at the moment and it is good to have 100mbit both ways but I am no more effective working on this than I was in Pyrmont working on Telstra 30/1mbit elite cable.”

            A bit of a difference in 9 minutes. Now why is that Adam or should I just conclude are you just bullshitting us with your comments?

          • Ok. I now understand how you ended up with two speed figures.

            I am not sure that it matters which political party builds the NBN with FTTP because it isn’t the politicians doing the work. Thank goodness, or nothing would happen apart from committee meetings.

            I saw an article a couple of days ago (in the Australian I think) in which the new Chairman of the NBN has supposedly told Conroy to shove off and not to contact the CEO or any other staff directly. All contact by Conroy and his office with the NBN is to be via her office. With a clued in chairwoman who knows how a large company should operate I have a gut feeling that things at NBN Co. are going to improve.

          • The Coalition probably never would of started any of this.. So Labor has got this thing going and that is great, now it is time for the Coalition to take over and do it in a more sensible way.
            7 or so billion has been spent so far and I don’t think there has been any benefit to Australia. If they could have first hooked up all the schools and then hooked up areas where designers, video editors and game developers were then there might be some benefit of us doing more outsourced work for overseas companies. 2 years times 1000 developers getting an extra $5000 dollars of imported money is still only 10 million dollars but it is a much better return than hooking up backwaters first.
            When I look at the roll-out map I am shocked, the few dots of purple you see in the greater Sydney area are just new developments, they could be a single apartment block or a housing development of 100 houses on the fringe.
            I seen here,
            “NBN Co went on to add that households connected to the NBN typically download and upload twice as much data to the internet than their non-connected counterparts.”
            So they got the ability to download 10 times as much data but only used double. I’m sure it was all meaningless shit as well like torrents of blu-ray rips..
            I would like to see some success stories of how peoples lives have been changed by the NBN and how people have grown their businesses, I don’t want to just see more seeders of hehe obscure blu-ray porn rips

          • “Look, I don’t know how to say this, but even for Delimiter, which is a one-man business with a few outside contractors/agencies helping out (web hosting, editorial, sales etc), $5k is pretty much chump change.”

            For many businesses it might be described as “chump change” and those business will know that it is for them.

            For the many business who would love/need the opportunity to have the power FTTP would bring them, but know that it isn’t “chump change” for them, getting priced out of it will be a very bitter pill.

            This is artificially a “haves and haves not” construct.

            This existing plan makes it obtainable for everyone.

          • If you “need” FTTP to run your business, you can get it today. That’s why many businesses provide offices in major cities so they can get FTTP to their office and their employees can do their work. If you want to work from home and your business won’t pay for FTTP under the Coalition’s plan, then that’s just life. I’m sorry, but expecting the Govt to roll out fibre to every premise so that everyone can work from home isn’t a reasonable expectation as an employee.

            Again, is Labor’s policy better? Yes. It is much better. But is the Coalition’s policy unworkable? No. It is clearly workable. Is it better than what we have now (copper/HFC)? Yes. It is clearly much better than what we have now.

            You people in the “FTTP or nothing” camp appall me. To say “fibre or nothing” is a fucking joke.

          • “You people in the “FTTP or nothing” camp appall me. To say “fibre or nothing” is a fucking joke.”

            You should ban yourself for a fortnight for that comment.

          • Err, I don’t ever recall being of the “fibre or nothing” position.

            We have two policies.

            One is FTTN for $30b + $20b to move to FTTP later.

            One is for FTTP for $37b.

            Both are effective policies for dramatically improving broadband speeds in Australia; one is substantially better value for money.

            I’ve only ever been predominately in the FTTP NBN camp because until a month ago, there was no competing policy.

            Now that I’ve seen both, I know which is better – regardless of which technology is used.

          • “Both are effective policies for dramatically improving broadband speeds in Australia; one is substantially better value for money.”


            Finally. A sensible viewpoint :)

            This foundation, which Michael has outlined so succinctly, is the premise upon which I would like future discussion on the NBN to progress on Delimiter from now on. It is a fact that both sides now have detailed policies which will enhance broadband service delivery in Australia. The discussion should now proceed, calmly, to debate which one is better, rather than why the Coalition’s policy is impossible.

            Does this make sense to everyone?

          • Labor’s policy has always been better than the Coalition’s policy. When the Coalition barely had a policy, of course Labor’s policy was better. Now, as the Coalition has continued to slowly develop a policy, Labor’s policy has remained better. It’s a race that the Coalition will never win, because the claimed benefits at its foundation (chiefly, rolling out sooner and cheaper) are either untrue, misleading or irrelevant. The fact is, the only ones who win with the Coalition plan are the small government ideologues – and for them, it’s only a personal sense of satisfaction, and damn the rest of us.

            So here are the basics:
            The Labor policy is better than the Coalition policy in every respect except the claimed benefits of rolling out sooner and cheaper, correct?

            So this is what the debate boils down to:
            As far as the claim of sooner goes: “How much sooner? Can you prove that? Why is rolling out ‘this much’ sooner important? Can being ‘this much’ sooner be considered more important than the forgone benefits of the Labor policy?”
            As far as the claim of cheaper goes: “How much cheaper? Can you prove that? Why is “costing” ‘this much’ cheaper important? Can being ‘this much’ cheaper be considered more important than the forgone benefits of the Labor policy?”

            Largely, that debate has already been had. The conclusions have been that the claim of arriving sooner is unproven, and assuming there would be a saving in roll-out time, it would be so small relative to the time frame of the project as to be negligible; and that the claim of being cheaper is unproven, especially over an extended time frame, and irrelevant, as the users of the network repay the cost.

            So both claimed benefits of the Coalition’s policy are nonsense; and Labor’s policy is already in progress; so under what circumstance could dropping the Labor policy for the Coalition policy possibly be a good idea?

          • “chiefly, rolling out sooner and cheaper”

            I’m sorry, but this is just not true. International experience shows that FTTN is cheaper and quicker than FTTP to deploy. The Coalition has pledged to complete its rollout in two tranches — as per two terms in political office.

            Sure, there’s a long-term argument about the Labor NBN making a ROI, but I would say that claim is in question right now, given the ongoing delays in the network rollout. In addition, Turnbull expects to deliver a ROI under the Coalition model as well.

            “It’s a race that the Coalition will never win, because the claimed benefits at its foundation (chiefly, rolling out sooner and cheaper) are either untrue, misleading or irrelevant.”

            You can’t just dismiss fundamental aspects of the debate like this. International FTTN rollouts are on the Coalition’s side on this one. The evidence from countries such as the UK and the US is easily available online.

          • What did I say that wasn’t true? You seem to be accepting Turnbull’s unfactual claim that Labor’s policy will cost five times as much to deploy, generate miniscule revenue, and take twice as long to deploy. If such were reality, then I’d probably agree with you, and we wouldn’t be having this debate, but you and I both know it’s nonsense.
            The debate is whether Australia should drop Labor’s vastly-superior policy for the Coalition’s vastly-inferior-but-cheaper-and-sooner-rolled-out policy – if it’s cheaper, how much cheaper, and is that small margin enough to justify it? if it comes sooner, how much sooner, and is that small margin enough to justify it? I believe that no, those small marginal gains are not enough to justify the great loss incurred.

          • Just want to pull you up on a small point Renai

            Rollout Speed != Rollout costs

            If you have 10 people do a job in a 2 weeks it costs X
            If you have 20 people do a job in 1 week it also costs X

            So more time does not necessarily mean more costs.

          • AJ,

            You are forgetting overheads.

            Most operations, the NBN certainly have fixed costs as well as variable costs. These will cost them whether they build anything or not. It is not a linear scale.

            In addition if delays are caused by poor workmanship then you have to do extra work so it is extra costs.

            Moving to the revenue side, any delay further pushes back opportunities to sign up new customers and delays revenues further, decreasing the ROI from both sides.

            Yes time delays are hugely important in any major project.

          • If the overall roll out goes slower there is also the potential for the peak funding to be lower, as revenues have the potential to exceed the on going roll out costs, it really comes down to which part of the network is completed when and at which stage the revenue will exceed the costs of running the business so excess can be channeled into construction, this why I would call MT ~$50billion overspend a damn lie, because it just applies all the potential blowouts and multiplies when I’m pretty MT should know better(alhtough if people like MT don’t then it does explain the GFC). I personally think the NBN should have taken a 50/50 approach, channeling 50% of the construction effort to areas of potential high early profits and 50% areas of most need, and maybe laid in 5year contracts with Telstra for FTTN deployments in some areas.

            But we have the choices we have my choice would be labor only because of ability to repay before the system will need substantially more investment. We have a prediction of how long it will take NBNco to repay the debt, but we have significant reason believe than the fiber install now will be useful for 10,20 or even 30+years past that date, so even if there is a delay or slightly reduced revenue we have the long life time of the fiber network to pay for the investment.

            With the LNP I think MT is right they won’t have to buy the copper network from Telstra, but that is only because I don’t think Telstra will sell it. Ideal they lease the whole network similar to the existing duct contract. I think this will cost more. The existing duct contract is based on the assumption that Telstras CAN was being overbuilt one way or the other the FTTN NBN will be utilising this CAN. I see the more likely scenario being a continuations of the existing ADSL setup where the last mile it rented separately to the NBN equipment, so either add $20 for a phone line you don’t need or add $20 for a naked connection. The other issue is the USO which NBN co was taking over but TA and MT will be subsidizing a “provider”(read Telstra) I believe this cost estimate was about $6.5billion, is this part of the LNP plan. Then you have the NBNco building a connection that is generating less revenue, will face significant competition in the most profitable that will need to repay it’s assets that will be overbuilt by FTTP build. Oh and all this will likely be built by the same contractors who will mystrously work to time and budget building the LNP network but cause $50billion of overruns under labor, pull the other one it plays Jingles Bells.

          • @Renai

            “I’m sorry, but this is just not true. International experience shows that FTTN is cheaper and quicker than FTTP to deploy”

            It is cheaper and faster for incumbents . The LNP isn’t an incumbent, they will need to (re)negotiate and pay for access to the copper that BT can use for free, so FTTN in Australia won’t be as quick or cheap as overseas. If Telstra stick to their historical speed in negotiations over it, Malcolm will be lucky to even get started with FTTN in 2014.

            Malcolm’s answer on this is:

            “Under the current definitive agreements between Telstra and the NBN Co, Telstra is paid to decommission its copper 18 months after each fibre to the premise connection is made (at which point the copper has minimal economic value). The Coalition will seek to renegotiate the definitive agreements to allow NBN Co to gain access to and control of Telstra’s copper where this is needed for FTTN. This will be one of a number of changes the Government and Telstra will negotiate, all of them within the overall constraint that in aggregate such changes keep Telstra shareholders whole.”

            The copper under each different scenario (FTTP/FTTN) has a huge difference in value, under FTTP it’s redundant and useless (except as scrap), under FTTN it is a core component of the network (to the point of it being the reason for that network, without it, there is no FTTN).

            Telstra will have the LNP by the balls basically (not really the best position to be in when negotiating).

            These two points that Malcolm is trying to play down are actually the most important for FTTN. The time it will take to renegotiate with Telstra for an asset that once again has value fundamental to his “faster and cheaper” claim.

          • @Micheal Wyres

            First of all let’s get the two alternative funding forecasts correct so we are comparing like with like.

            You quoted the lower CAPEX figure for Labor and the higher required funding figure for the Coalition.

            The CAPEX figures are Labor $37.4b and Coalition $ 20.4b.

            The required finding figures are Labor NBN $44.1b (increased from $40.9b in the last Corporate plan) and Coalition $29.5b.

            Also can I ask you where this figure comes from, and how many premises in a unknown Coalition FTTH/FTTN infrastructure mix this is based on?

            ‘ + $20b to move to FTTP later.’

          • Shall we point out that:

            Coalition = Lower CAPEX, higher OPEX.
            Labor = Higher CAPEX, lower OPEX.

            Labor has given the $37b CAPEX figure, and the Coalition the $30b CAPEX figure.

            The Labor plan will not require a later CAPEX upgrade to FTTP, estimated at around the $20b mark.

            So, Coalition in the long run is higher CAPEX *and* higher OPEX.

            However way you try and twist it.

          • Renai, this is not about ‘faster broadband sooner’, this is about building infrastructure for the future. FTTP is about opening up doors. This “cost to the government” nonsense is complete and utter bullshit, and for anyone to knowingly regurgitate it is frankly appalling. That the government LENDS (not PAYS) the cost of running fibre all the way to the premise is a beneficial side-effect, really. Does the bank PAY for your house? I wish I lived in such a utopia.

          • As I’ve said, both plans will deliver better broadband infrastructure for Australia. Labor’s plan is, on paper, a better plan, but it has so far broadly failed to deliver on that plan.

            I, for one, have no problem with the Coalition having a go at it, given Labor’s so-far inability to improve things in five and a half years of trying. And I have no problem with the concept that if people believe they need FTTP to serve their home business rather than FTTN, then they should pay a few thousand for it.

          • Okay. Would you have a problem with me having a go at it? I’m a quick learner, and I’ve always been all about results.

          • Got a few decades as a lawyer and MD of one of Australia’s largest investment banks, plus another decade in the House of Reps and a stint helping out a major ISP? No, I didn’t think so. Turnbull has enough qualifications to be credible at managing the NBN from a Communications Minister point of view.

          • Plus we already have someone ‘having a go at it’ that is locked into a all FTTP solution like you, Conroy and the Labor Party.


          • But all you’ve done is assert that Labor is incompetent, using nonsense numbers like 5 and a half years (should be 2 and a half years, to be fair), and said that the Coalition MUST be better (the grass is greener on the other side…), when it’s perfectly likely that the Coalition will stumble for 3 years before it starts on a fully-fleshed out approach, just as Labor did.

            If you believe “anyone qualified but not Labor” could do the job, then that grass is greener notion is, frankly, a dangerous line of thought.

            If you believe that an unproven Coalition government absolutely will not stumble and will reinvigorate the project, even though history shows that another government (which just happens to be Labor) did stumble, then you’re just being partisan.

          • Actually, if you read Delimiter regularly, you’ll find that I already wrote that both sides were fucking it up and I had no confidence in the execution of the whole thing anymore, Labor or Coalition:


            The NBN is still a wonderful dream; wonderful enough that anyone from overseas who visits Australia tends to praise it as a fantastic undertaking that they wish their own government had undertaken.

            But let’s be real about this: For the foreseeable future, the NBN is going to remain just that — a dream. The NBN is not coming to your house or business any time soon, and in the next five or so years Australia can expect the current disgraceful level of political infighting about the project and delays in its rollout to continue. This dreadful situation is not going away any time soon, and neither are the problems with your broadband connection. So get used to the dropouts.

            The NBN has always been a fantastic dream. But all dreams must end as we wake to grisly reality. This project has been mismanaged by Labor, and is about to be screwed over wholesale by the Coalition. At this stage, the suggestion by then-Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo back in 2005 that the Government pay Telstra a few billion to deploy FTTN itself (and lock out competitors along the way) is looking more and more like it would have been a winner, comparatively. We may not have had competition in the telco landscape, and we may not have had fibre to the home. But at least we would have had something.

          • As far as upgrading infrastructure goes, it’s a marginal improvement versus a technical revolution. Why spend so much money and take so much time for a marginal improvement? Why not spend a little bit more money and take a little bit more time and have that technical revolution? The Labor policy will open new doors to new places; the Coalition policy will simply widen existing doors. Just try to imagine it, everyone on fibre optics, low latency, high-bandwidth both ways: teleworking could change from a nice idea to one that’s feasible and realistic, causing a paradigm shift in how we work and travel; augmented reality could change from a cool idea in science fiction to a commercial reality; and there’s more, I’m sure, that we can’t imagine now, but that we’ll take for granted in the future. But such dreams will not come to fruition with the Coalition’s dead-end vision. But I suppose that, as a conservative party, the Coalition has never been about working towards the future, only maintaining the present. Australia is not doing so poorly that we can’t invest in our future.

          • “And I have no problem with the concept that if people believe they need FTTP to serve their home business rather than FTTN, then they should pay a few thousand for it.”

            What about the fact that some people will get FTTP for free. The coalition plan is more about luck than equity. If you are part of the current roll out, if you live in a greenfield estate, if the copper is not useable, or if the cost turns out to be not as high as MT believes, you get it for free.

            It is notable that even MT agrees that FTTP is the better technology. Where he lacks clarity is about the timing and cost of its eventual upgrade. Given that he proposes a lesser technology for some, that point is particularly important.

          • +100
            Plus the indication was made that Greenfields Operators would be subsidised up to 50% of costs by the taxpayer and could then sell the end product to the NBN or maintain it as at this time a private wholesale only network.
            Taxpayer rip off

          • You are making a grand assumption that residences who get Coalition FTTN much sooner than a Labor FTTH connection would always prefer to stay on ADSL2+ or worse for as long it takes to get FTTH?

          • Node3me

            I don’t make any assumption, you do. There is nothing in my post that indicates that I think for other people, but again you do.

            Wouldn’t it advance the debate further if you just replied to what I said, not what you imagine I said? Incidentally, I am still waiting for answers to questions I asked you. You, however, prefer to bring the debate to where you think you may have a point.

            Whether you like it or not, there are a lot of issues with the coalition’s plan. That is not to say that the current plan is without its own issue. Let me remind you, however, that the present discussion is about the coalition’s plan.

          • “….. given Labor’s so-far inability to improve things in five and a half years of trying.”

            Sorry Renai but I find this to be grossly superficial. I simply have to point to the policy and passage of legislation ensuring Telstra will no longer be in control of the wholesale network to make my point. I can also point to all the work that has gone in to ensuring that we are in the position where were have a new wholesale company planning and rolling out a new network – Now. And even that is glossing over the improvements that have been achieved thus far.

            Further down this page you have also made the comment that …. “NBN Co was formed in April 2009. We are 3.5 years into FTTH.”

            We certainly are and we now have a fully developed company, with all the design systems, procedures, in house hardware and systems, rolling out FTTH nationally, including wireless, with contracts signed for satellite delivery. Yet you appear to dismiss what I would define as massive amount of effort and work that has been achieved. Think about it. 3.5 years to go from just a registered company number to actively implementing Australia’s biggest ever infrastructure project. Again let me say it’s a massive achievement and as such I think you have your expectations set way too high and/or are far too impatient.

            In another post you also said …. “I would add one extra category here: Delivery. So far Labor has failed to deliver on its NBN project, in 5.5 years in office.”
            This implies that you are writing off everything that Labor has delivered in the last 5.5 years because of ‘why’? NBNCo roll out schedules have slipped by 6 months? Is there anything else? Please list them. And I refer you to my comments above and remind you that a national broadband network, the biggest infrastructure project in Australia’s history is being rolled out …. Now! Yet you dismiss it all based on??? And on that basis you declare to have lost confidence in Senator Conroy and Mr Quigley.

            Simply Extraordinary.

          • Renai,
            It’s not FTTP or nothing. It’s FTTP for 40 odd billion with end-user paying nothing, or FTTN for 40 odd billion and end-user being screwed.

            Yes, I know you’ll object to my build-cost figures, but there’s now voluminous costings on-line that substantiate the equivalence of the costs of the 2 plans.

            Anyway, Malcolm’s FTTP costings have to halved by the “Whyalla” factor. To make that point more obvious: the Coalition have form for exaggerating. Next they’ll be getting Barnaby to run up costings.

          • “Yes. It is clearly much better than what we have now.”

            Sadly for many outside of metro areas this is unlikely to be the case as FTTN (our local country exchange) will not improve our present situation & unlike some of the present FTTP plans (that are cheaper than our current ADSL options) will likely drive up the cost of all services to cover Turnbull’s $30B interim solution.
            (Love his idea of using compact powered nodes in Telstra’s pits once under water, lol)

            Perhaps Abbott’s original policy to “destroy the NBN” was the better choice rather than continue repairing & renovating a derelict building that was “5 minutes to midnight” about 10 years back & instead just wait until he can afford a few extra $B to demolish it & build afresh?

          • Keeping in mind the $5k is the upper end of a guesstimate based vaguely on Openreach in the UK pricing for fibre on demand, also it is not available as a product to UK RSP’s to resell until the end of this month anyway.

            Openreach have structured their pricing as a wholesale monthly charge, so the expectation is that residences or businesses who want the product can pay it off under a long term contract and will not be expected to come up with the total cost from day one, many UK RSP’s may subsidise the charge or pass it on at cost in order to get the FTTH business.

            According to Openreach the majority of UK residences will fall into the $A1035 to $A2200 range for fibre on demand, the Coalition plan here also states the actual cost for many who qualify will be subsidised by 50%, which is not happening in the UK.

          • For a customer living 500m from a node, the price to upgrade to FttH is $2250. Add in a little Aussie tax on that, and call it an even $2500. Figure that over 12 million properties, or to be more accurate, 70% of that number, and you’re looking at around $21b needed to upgrade every home from FttN to FttH. Half that amount to be subsidised.

            Add that to the $30b for the Liberal plan and try telling me its a better option than the $44b of Labor. Thats not saying FttN is a bad plan, its saying its not as good. Right now, its $40b from the Govt for FttN v $44b for FttH. That gap is pretty small for such a huge difference in result.

            We can only go on what the price is today, and thats expected to be $2500 per property.

          • Gav, the $2500 is just what Malcolm decided on today. The other week he told Jon Faine it was “several thousand”. The guy’s the Elmer Fudd of telecommunications. Also, the first person on the street to order fibre might be 2k and 4 traffic-lights away. So they’ll send in the marines and dig a trench into your lounge room for $2500? Don’t think so.

          • Yeah I know, but node4alain is well and truly on The Turnbull Wagon, so I’m using his words for the debate. And his word for today is that it’ll cost something like GBP1500, which translates to roughly $2250.

            Because there is an inevitably higher price for dealing in Australia, I added roughly 10% to take it to a nice squishy $2500 per premise, to show the extra cost – also makes it easier to work with the numbers. Which, at that price per premise works out to be around $20b for the 70% of the population expected to deal with FttN. On top of the roughly $30b to roll the outdated model out in the first place.

            The question being, how does that work out cheaper?

            If someone wants to use $2250, or $2000, or any lower number, the issue doesnt change. Its still quite a significant cost that will need to be paid by someone at some stage.

          • Have had a quick search and have not turned up the paper as of yet when I run into it again I will post a Link I have a feeling it was somewhere in the Coalitions more detailed paper or a link from there

      • You say ‘paltry sum’, but that from your perspective. For a lot of people 5k is a huge amount of money. These are the people who need access to cheap but decent services, who need access to education to break out of their poverty trap (something the Internet enables like nothing before it). LNP FTTN is class warfare – it discriminates against those on low incomes or in poverty, adding one more barrier between them and the rest of society, when it could have been a system that levelled the playing field, giving the poorest in society access to education and communications technologies on a par with the best in the world at prices they could actually afford.

        • Sorry, but from an education perspective there is no difference between FTTN and FTTP … I’d even argue that from an education perspective, there isn’t much difference between FTTP and ADSL. I’ve been using the Internet to educate myself for a decade now, and I only got above 14Mbps when I was on campus at university … back then there wasn’t that much high-bandwidth content on the Internet.

          • To be fair Renai, there are a few speciality visial arts and graphical design subjects that may benefit from high bandwidth applications,

            But to be fair I would much prefer a second monitor (or laptop) when doing research so that I can have my journal article (reference paper) open on one screen and MS Word & Excel open on the other. It is so much more efficient than alt tabbing to get all 20 terms in that gigantic correlation.

          • Do you need a new monitor I have a few sitting around collecting dust if you wanted to buy one

          • Renai, this simply isnt true. Having recently been to the Orana Texpo, and sitting through several speeches on initiatives and projects currently underway, its very clear that the experts in this field think that fibre will make a very big difference to education for both teachers and students. The projects they are working on look to leverage off the NBN to utilise multi channel video conferencing and collaboration to enable students and teachers to work together who are previously unable to. It opens up a substantial variety of learning outcomes to students who would previously not be able to take subjects that were previously not offered to them due to not enough students in their school to take the course, or not having the teaching resources. Students do not have to be at school to take these courses, and with things like time differences across the country, its more than feasible that students will be at home when a course is scheduled. The people developing these projects said many times, they cant make it work well, across the state and country with the current infrastructure. If they could, it would already be widespread.

      • Problem is that if people start going out and paying $2k or $5k or whatever to get FTTH en mass then how much money has been poured into upgrading the network? At what point would the total cost of building FTTN and upgrading to FTTH have exceeded the cost of just doing FTTH? If FTTN is where they’re going they should still be doing FTTH anywhere where that’s likely to happen.

        …….. which I strongly suspect will be in a LOT more areas than their FTTH footprint will cover. The Coalition’s FTTH footprint barely covers the proportion of the country that would be within the areas currently under contracts to be FTTH plus Greenfields. How many business areas will also be included?

        I guess at least they’ve somehow managed to get away with calling FTTB FTTN. I suppose that’s some “FTTN” that WILL actually have something like the current level of FTTH service. Dishonest but it is something.

      • Why pay 5k under the Coalition NBN when the Labor NBN will cost you NOTHING or look at it this way the 5k can go towards an Internode NBN 50000/20000 + 300 gb per month + Voip + Installation plan for the next 5 years.

    • Agree 100%. I can’t work out for the life of me where he is getting his figures from. I think he just makes them up.

    • “One factor that those keen to talk about energy savings from FTTP always overlook is that at present, around 90 per cent of consumer bandwidth is used for video – and that means bigger screen displays (with their relatively high power use)”

      Malcolm has not heard of LED lcd and OLED which both use a fraction of the power of a traditional Plasma or older LCD tv’s it seems my 55 inch uses a fraction my old 32 inch used and produces next to no heat unlike plasmas which are like wall heaters.

      “:So Labor’s claims that it will cost $20 billion to negotiate access to Telstra’s copper are bogus.”

      This is not a Labor claim it was what Telstra has valued its network at when FttN was initially concieved by Labor

      “Bringing forward the completion date for the NBN by five years ”

      This is based on coalition dodgy date and is not the actual completion date

      • It is interesting how everybody just forgets that Labor promised FTTN in 2007 and only switched to FTTP because the access was unworkable with Telstra…

        It does give me hope that the FTTN plan will go nowhere and we’ll go back to rolling out fibre when the Coalition can’t come to terms with Telstra. I just hope that the ACCC protects us from the cheap option (which would be what Telstra wants – where they build the FTTN network but are the only provider allowed on it).

        • “only switched to FTTP because the access was unworkable with Telstra”

          Factually inaccurate. The switch to FTTP was done because none of the private/public partnerships proposed by industry groups to meet the government’s FTTN guidelines were workable — there was a formal tender process which produced no winner.

          • Yours is factually inaccurate as well the Telstra deal was a big part of the reason and the fear that giving telstra $15 billion for the copper would give them the capital to overbuild with FttP making the NBN unprofitable.

          • In any case why are you arguing semantics the point was not the semantics it was the fact that Telstra would overbuild then they will overbuild NOW and the Government will lose Billions in revenue.

            There is something else is the extra $6.4 Billion in costs to telstra included in the costings?
            Is that just for regional and if it is how much more will be needed for non regional?

          • Telstra cannot overbuild now, part of the NBN Co/ Telstra contract states Telstra cannot build or operate fibre infrastructure as the fixed line connection to premises inside the NBN footprint for 20 years, and it will use NBN fibre exclusively as the fixed line connection in that period.

          • So Telstra would overbuild the NBN Co FTTH footprint with FTTN and NOT use it for 20 years because?

          • WTF are you talking about I said Telstra would look to overbuild Coalition FttN with FttH not the other way around as you state and if you look at exemptions to the rule they can be granted for different technology if you run FttN then FttH is significantly different.

            Furthermore the entire Telstra deal will need to be changed due to the change in tech and a similar clause for FttN would be they could not build or operate FttN as stopping people from accessing the best technology would be very bad

          • Exactly as Telstra’s former management indicated previously…

            The Register april 2011…

            “The government could spend $15bn to build a fibre-to-the-node network, pay $15-20bn to Telstra for compensation, and then Telstra could take that money and build a fibre to the home network past you and strand 70 per cent of $15bn on the side of the road,” Conroy said.

            Now safely in America, former Telstra executive Phil Burgess agreed with Conroy’s assessment, saying “that’s the way competition works….”

          • I haven’t read anything in the Coalition’s plan that would prevent Telstra from installing their own last mile fibre to your home, and then charging you a considerable cost for FTTP.

            Considering that it is VERY likely that to recieve fibre from the Coalition’s NBN anyway you will either be placed on a waiting list until enough people surrounding you also want to pay for it (which will leave alot of people without it, and those with money living in lower socioeconomic areas for example probably wont get it at all).

        • “how everybody just forgets that Labor promised</strike proposed FTTN in 2007″

          There I fixed it for you.

          • and the relevance is…?

            Six years ago Sol was offering blood on the sand, the libs were offering fud, and my isp was offering a set of steak knives.

            Six years later the libs are still (mostly) offering fttn, and Labor is offering (mostly) ftth…, some live (comfortably and conservatively) others live… and learn

          • The relevance is, Labor never promised it.
            The LNP on the other hand, are carrying this forward as their policy into the coming election.

        • “how everybody just forgets that Labor promised proposed FTTN in 2007″

          There I fixed it for you.

    • Any Coalition FAQ no matter how well researched if it is not the same as a Labor NBN FTTH according to many pro Labor NBN supporters it is by definition already BS and doesn’t even require reading.

      • “Any Coalition FAQ no matter how well researched if it is not the same as a Labor NBN FTTH according to many pro Labor NBN supporters it is by definition already BS and doesn’t even require reading.”


        • Disagree I think all MDU’s should be FttB if the copper is good enough

          but this is not the point based on the real cost from NBNCo the costs Malcolm is providing are flat out wrong is figures line up with the costs for trial sites which will always cost more because they are trials and the actual costs at 33% less and the next lot of costs are 33% less again which brings the NBN right on budget

      • Perhaps…?

        But coming from someone who has done exactly what you now criticise others for, but in relation to absolutely everything NBN positive, is very ironic, IMO.

      • -1

        Your statement is factually inaccurate. Its not, by definition already BS, it is considered to be a weaker option. Short time approach that in time costs us as a society and as a country.

        Its THAT reason that the pro FttH group bases its disapproval of the Liberal plan on, not any political agenda.

        Anti FttH groups keep talking about the cost, and how its a deficit that will cost us for blah blah blah, when the accounting of each actually proves its the Liberal plan that will cost us. Even excluding the future cost of upgrading from FttN to FttH, its $30b that will be lost to the Government forever. Or most of it anyway. How does that help the surplus?

        Alternatively, there is an amount that is paid back.

        Infrastructure-wise, the Labor plan builds what will clearly be needed as a base within the next 10 years, while the Liberal plan meets those 10 years of needs with only 4 years left.

        Financially, the Labor plan returns the investment, while the Liberal plan doesnt.

        Socially, both provide improved facilities in around the same timeframe.

        Economically, FttH is expected to raise GDP by 2% or more. Havent seen if/what FttN is expected to increase GDP.

        Its not about whether the Liberal plan is rubbish or not, it isnt. Its just not as good. So if you’re going to spend $30b, why not go that little further and save money in the medium to long term?

        But to YOU, its a case of wearing your blinkers, interpreting peoples comments as you see fit with little regard to reality, and showing your bias towards the Liberal party.

        Keep trolling, its fun. But please stop being so politically biased against what is the better plan, and discuss the pro’s and cons on their own merits.

  3. Can’t wait for some replies on his web page comments about his answers. That’s if they get published.

    • Haha at already one persons comment –
      “Who gives a sh’t about broadband. Internet is the reason for the GFC – everybody sitting on their fat arse’s producing FA.”

  4. Very unconvincing… Seriously, xDSL technologies are such a dead end that I would rather the Coalition’s plan was just to finish the contracts that NBNCo had locked in and then stop.

    I really don’t see any reason to spend billions of dollars on technology with such a limited upgrade path that will just be money wasted when it’s obsolete in five years. If you’re not going to build a world class (FTTP) network, just don’t bother – the private enterprise are good enough at giving us small incremental speed boosts – no reason to spend vast amounts of taxpayer money doing that…

    • I kind of do agree.
      What if the gov setup a 5 billion fund to get oz businesses hooked up to good net and just gave all the people who are upset about losing their NBN a free iPhone.

      4G modems and base stations, I really think that the future is just going to be wireless.

      Lets just hookup tech hub type areas like the Glebe, Surry hills and Pyrmont’s of each state. Pretty much any area with more than 20% homosexual and or hipster residents are the only ppl that will make use of FTTP.

      Sydney CBD, last on the list.. the NBN rollout is a joke. Just get rid if it, replace it with something viable, like hooking up only people that will use it.

  5. Wait. So even if I make a request to run Fibre to my home/office and have cash in hand, they may decide FOR ME that doing so is not “technically possible”?

    I imagine if the 200 or so homes between my office and the Node there could well be several dozen homes that would need to be considered before the trucks roll in.

    Are we going to see a Statement of Intent and Community Consultation for every home or business that wants fibre brought to their premises?

  6. That “Forecast average monthly internet Bill” graph is one of the more egregious abuses of scale I’ve seen recently.

  7. Renai,
    you would think that the reason why no one else has had such detailed policy documentation before an election. would be because they are trying to convince people to go with them.

    wouldn’t this be the first time a political party has tried to make changes to such a major popular project.? i know you are trying to give them credit in an attempt to appear as neutral as possible. but there is a good reason why there is so much documentation. even if their documentation is lacking in truth and neutrality.

    • “i know you are trying to give them credit in an attempt to appear as neutral as possible’

      No, I don’t do that kind of thing. I write what I think regardless — I don’t play favours.

  8. “The documentation which the Coalition has produced so far with respect to its policy … far exceeds the extent of policy documentation produced by any political party with respect to a telecommunications policy before an election”

    I’m sorry, but I find this conclusion a little misleading. It is quite irrelevant what ‘volume’ of documentation is produced if the bulk of the content is meaningless obfuscation. You may as well publish a 1,000 page tome with the word ‘blah’ repeated ad nauseum for all the meaningful relevance it has. Circular arguments, a complete lack of specifics, reluctance to commit to hard targets and verbose excuses to mislead the uninformed into thinking that these are somehow meaningful policy strategies and objectives.

    I don’t care how much hand waving and distracting song and dance the LNP put on. They’ve been using this strategy forever and it is as useful and meaningful as it has always been: it is simply complex-sounding platitudes designed to misdirect the discussion away from their lack of commitment to meaningful policy they can be held to post-election. I remain unimpressed and, frankly, scared at the prospect of the LNP achieving control of this country.

    • “reluctance to commit to hard targets”

      I find the commitment to up to 25Mbps speeds by the end of the Coalition’s first term and up to 50Mbps by the end of their second term to be pretty firm — where is the reluctance?

      “their lack of commitment to meaningful policy they can be held to post-election”

      Um … the policy document is pretty concrete. What specific aspect of the Coalition’s policy don’t you find meaningful? You can disagree with whether it’s a good policy, but it’s impossible to argue that it’s not well-researched and possible to execute. It’s certainly much better-documened than Labor’s NBN policy was in 2007 or 2009.

      • TrevorX has a Very valid point here Renai. this type of behaviour does ring true to typical liberal school yard nonsense.

        and Mr Turnbull has Really “Jumped the Shark” on this policy. :)

        • “does ring true to typical liberal school yard nonsense.”

          Vague generalisation response when confronted with evidence about a hard Coalition commitment. Not the best way to go on if you don’t want to be banned from Delimiter. This is warning #1.

      • Renai, I believe the reluctance is in our disblief that those results are possible, with only 50,000 nodes.

        Rather then look at the UK experience, the NZ experience, with averages around the 10mb/sec provides a frightneing example of what could happen.

        Where are the graphs showing speed vs distance from the node for LOCAL conditions. We know that instead of 4 wires (as in the UK) we in the majority of cases we have 2. We have used a range of copper diameters for our wire, in many (I hesitate to say the majority) cases smaller.

        Show me a graph from a major manufacture of VDSL showing that I can get 50mb/sec at 800m from the node using two wire copper of our diameter and I might be more willing to accept that it is potentially possible.

        Peeters, M., (2012), “Zero Touch Vectoring: From Innovation to Deployment”, p.11 (The Image) does have a lovely graph, with absolutely no specifics as to how many copper pairs, copper diameter and age

        I also saw no mention of the cost for such a system. Is it still in trial? Has it reached the level of set standards? Where has it been rolled out in mass for a comparison between the lab and actuality.

        When you are looking for rosy images it’s not hard to find someone willing to offer pie in the sky.

        Risking billions on unproven technology, your govornment at work.

        • “Renai, I believe the reluctance is in our disblief that those results are possible, with only 50,000 nodes.”

          With respect, I believe Turnbull has done a lot more research on this than any of us. He’s consulted every major vendor, the major international telcos doing FTTN etc. He’s not an ill-informed party.

          • Yeah I have never seen a vendor over promise before that would never happen right?

            I any case the numbers used for peak time download speeds are suspicious he quotes the lower speed tier of 38Mbps for the speeds but not the upper one of 78 Mbps for contention.

          • “With respect, I believe Turnbull has done a lot more research on this than any of us. He’s consulted every major vendor, the major international telcos doing FTTN etc. He’s not an ill-informed party”

            Sorry to disagree with you here. But if Turnbull had really researched his stuff he could answer questions at to how many nodes, and all the other questions he waffles answers to that have no substance. Where Turnbull is converned I think you need to look at if you treat him as you would other politicians making similar claims or you allow him a larger leway.

          • How many nodes will be completed by the end of 2016?

            As MT has said, everyone (in the areas) will have access to 25Mbps by the end of 2016.
            And everyone will have acces to 50Mbps by the end of 2019.

            The only way I see this happening, is if only 25,000 were built first, and having some premesis connected to a node further away, on a temporary basis.
            Then the other 25,000 would be built in the following 3 years, getting the higher speeds for those same premesis by reconnecting them to the closer node.
            Just a theory.

          • Seriously? So despite evidence of Turnbull making up figures live on air and getting ripped apart for it, you’re now claiming that his ‘research’ puts him in good stead?

            Sorry but contractor issues does not a bad plan make but one which costs slightly less, is on budget, does nothing for broadband equality and disadvantages small businesses (good for you if you consider $5k chump change but that’s not typical of many small businesses) is a bad one in my eyes.

            FTTN is feasible and isn’t powered by unicorns but it’s like spending $1,000 on a new processor that gives you a few Mhz more (FTTN) or $1,400 on 4 times as much RAM and a new SSD instead (FTTP). Guess which one will carry you further?

          • That’s exactly what I’m saying and I hope that’s the kind of discussion you’re looking for here but people are becoming hostile towards LNP because this is a once in a generation opportunity but a bunch of ideologic idiots are going to ruin it for those that see the potential for their own careers and Australia as a nation.

        • I wondered about this also.

          Considering population densities relating to cable lengths and the type / quality of copper being used, I think he’s going to be way off the mark.

          From personal experience I know that for a significant amount of residences, 1 of those 2 pairs of copper hasn’t been working at all for years – so this will either all require repairs or fibre installs anyway. I doubt MT has factored in anywhere near what this will cost to rectify.

          If you look at all of the other countries running FTTN now, the closest resemblance to Aus is NZ. The UK examples MT loves to talk about don’t apply very well here for the reasons above, additionally the pits and ducting running these cables weren’t installed with a great deal of forward planning (ie in line of sight distance from the exchange, I am approx 1km away, and yet my cable distance runs approximately 4.5kms).

          In NZ their FTTN network achieved average speeds of 10mbps down, upstream was horrible. They branded it a failure and are now installing a FTTP network. That is the closest geographical representation to us than all of the other countries with FTTN – Either this is what we will experience, or it’s going to cost A LOT more than what MT is stating.

        • “In minimum guaranteed upload speeds.”

          It’s a bit hard to guarantee this kind of thing when the length of the copper loop between houses is inherently variable.

          • That is factually inaccurate if you know the download speed which has been Guaranteed to be no less than 25Mbps then you can guarantee an upload speed as a percentage of that

          • I’d be happy enough, if he could tell us what uploads speeds could be achieved.
            An *up-to* figure for the *up-load* speed!

          • MT seems to think the copper will be capable of a 6mbps upstream. In real actual terms I think most will be lucky to get 4.5mbps.

      • “I find the commitment to up to 25Mbps speeds by the end of the Coalition’s first term and up to 50Mbps by the end of their second term to be pretty firm — where is the reluctance?”

        Until we see minimum speed guarantees, then “up to” provides too much wiggle room. It’s no better than the DSL lottery that we have today.

        If your neighbour gets 25Mbps and you get 1Mbps, will you have recourse? No.

        FTTN promises a minimum speed that we all know works, FTTP makes no such promise.

        • Gak.

          I meant FTTP makes a promise, but FTTN doesn’t. you all knew that right?

          Also, I was thinking download speeds more than upload speeds. Renai, you could easily end up with a 1Mbps DSL that is considered within spec.

      • my reluctance is that it is not articulated. is it a 1Km salt of nodes, followed by a 500m salt? its the only way i can think of that it would work given that copper will by default degrade (slowly) over time – that 3 y break notated by elections – and the worst lines are supposed to be punted over to FTTH or relaid copper (which i suggest is the worst option there, given even Malcolm admits FTTH will be the ultimate format absent any shocking new developments in alternative techs.

        im not sure that its better documented, from my recollection there seems to be about the same coverage, tho admittedly some of the NBNco materials were never released to the public – not a problem for Malcolm tho, post election. and the governmental determination is really the casting vote here, rather than what we plebs have seen or did see.

        i do agree there is a large improvement in the policy. i continue to feel that while using international experience is indicative, its not diagnostic as to what we will actually get; and i am considerably more cautious than Renai is in pegging figures from the UK and US – iirc BT use a larger gauge of copper than we do? i dont know about the yanks. a test lab arrangement under Aussie circumstances is something i would back for the Liberals, as it would then be direct domestic experience with their design (Transact do VDSL i believe, but i dont know its design is directly translatable to the Coalition design).

        a test lab would make it easier to commit to hard targets which people obviously feel are desirable, i for one dont feel free floating uploads are meaningful myself, tho it appears Renai is satisfied they are at least ahead of current offerings. im looking for a little more than that, thats okay; our standards obviously differ, and im cool with that.

        i very much dispute the ‘ftth or bust’ categorisation of those querying the Coalition plan. its never been about that for me; as ive said before there was a time where a FTTN build would have been ‘yes lets go for it’ for me – but i argue that moment as at least 5 years ago. Lifetime issues of he network is where my reluctance for FTTN come from and i worry that by buying cheap we buy twice. for all the ruckus about how much the Labor policy costs, its clear that people wont be impressed if the ‘cheaper faster’ build turns out to be as expensive, or more, and slower or at least the same build time.

        i want to know – even just a ballpark – % return and how long it will take to pay down. ultimately that comes back to us as taxpayers if they have it wrong, and the shorter lifetime of any FTTN build makes that an important consideration – it will exacerbate anything gone wrong. no data on that is a failure in providing meaningful comparison in my book.

        none of this is to say its not a good policy by the coalitions past policy lights – just that i query – again – its ultimate utility, and if that utility has been pitched at the punters higher than it can actually deliver. rebuilding a network is something that should happen only rarely – if it has to be done again within years after initial completion that is going to be – in the light of the Labor policy – a completely avoidable outcome. we dont have a crystal ball here but we can investigate the alternatives thoroughly and i dont want to let the Coalition skate on something – anything – that may turn out to be an important decision in hindsight.

      • I find the commitment to up to 25Mbps speeds by the end of the Coalition’s first term and up to 50Mbps by the end of their second term to be pretty firm — where is the reluctance?”

        Do you honestly not see the irony in that statement? Guaranteeing ‘up to’ anything is a guarantee of nothing. It’s analogous to a store having a sale with ‘all sale stock up to 70% off’ and being completely within their rights to have zero discount on most stock in the store.

        This is the kind of language that exemplifies my point. The ALP FTTH NBN will guarantee a minimum of 25mb/s for the whole country. It is impossible to overstate just how important this guaranteed minimum service level will be for business confidence, for IT projects and investment and the economy as a whole.

        That is compared with the uncertainty of the FTTN vision, for which many questions have rightly been asked. Questions Mr Turnbull stated this latest document seeks to address. But it does so by, on the whole, providing no more real information than what we had available previously.

        If the LNP FTTN NBN guaranteed 25mb/s as a minimum download speed and promised further Nodes would be deployed and copper lines upgraded until such time as this minimum service was met, we would be having a very different discussion. But the LNP can’t guarantee something like this because the cost of doing this under FTTN would be astronomical – FTTN is only cheaper if you intend to deliver a cheap network that is ‘good enough’ for most, but it must ignore all those who don’t get a great service because they’re too far from the nodes (less than 500m is needed for 25mb/s on VDSL2) or their copper is poor etc etc because such issues are legion and will all result in cost blowouts that will make the initial build seem cheap by comparison.

        As for a detailed analysis of the document, I am rather reluctant to do so. Because twice now I have taken the time to write a lengthy, detailed and referenced reply to a comment on your blog, only to find that by the time I have finished it you have closed comments to that article. I don’t get much time to write comments on here – many of them are written in five minute spurts over the course of a day before they get posted. So you’ll understand my hesitation to bother now – I don’t have the time to just throw away. I am motivated to take the time to add my 2c when I believe I have something useful to add to the discussion. But I’ve got better things to do than waste time writing something I can’t even use.

      • ” the commitment to UP to 25Mbps speeds”
        So Turnbull has committed to what? We invest 30 billion in a copper lottery ticket offering anything from perhaps 1Mbps to 25Mbps depending upon your location.
        The pacific Highway offers speeds of UP TO 110Kph but recently at Easter we it took us 50 minutes to cover a 15Klm section between Newcastle & Taree.
        Turnbull keeps quoting “Cheaper.” The initial roll out yes, but what about the impact on prices of plans on FTTN that consumers will be charged to cover their NBN’s returns considering required subsidies, copper maintenance & competition from rival networks?
        Turnbull’s credibility took a big hit on air recently when He fully supported AJ’s NBN rant.

      • Well, this happened:

        John Howard: “No, there’s no way that a GST will ever be part of our policy”.

        Journalist: “Never ever”?

        John Howard: “Never ever. It’s dead. It was killed by the voters in the last election”.

        Interview, Tweed Heads Civic Centre (2 May 1995)

        I don’t give a flying farknuckle what Turnbull, or Abbott, or Hockey, or for that matter Rudd, says on any matter whatsoever, but particularly regarding the NBN.

        They are POLITICIANS… they LIE… they OBFUSCATE… they CONVENIENTLY CHANGE THEIR MINDS AND GET AWAY WITH IT (unless you are a woman, then they never let you do that without attracting the fair and balanced you know whos)…

        …and after all his previous incarnations (republican), some good, some not so good (merchant carpetbagger) that is all the opposition spokesperson is… a politician, and he is working for a dangerous man who appears to have the technical knowhow of your average gnat……

    • @TrevorX

      ‘. I remain unimpressed and, frankly, scared at the prospect of the LNP achieving control of this country.’

      … or for the majority if you trust the polls the prospect of a third Labor term it seems.

  9. MT Lies number 1.

    “The money tied up in the FTTP investment is applied against a ‘discount rate’ of 8% (that is, the standard return that might be expected if that money were invested elsewhere).”

    Current government 10yr bond rates yeild 3.11% per ASX pricing, so where is the extra 5% going to come from?

    This unrealistic interest rate annihilates the “benefit” of delaying the rollout of FTTP, as well as the unrealistic cost of $3200/premisis connected (vs actuals from NBN’s report to the joint committee of $2300/premisis) giving a deliberately false indication of the bents of FTTN.

    Based on NBN actual installtaion costs ($2300 vs MT fantasy of $3200), actual interest rates and MT’s assumed relative opex costs, there is only an after interest “savings” of $13.54/yr by delaying the FTTP rollout. Based on those figures and the MT assumed waste of $450/premisis for useless FTTN components, it would take 33 years of delays to make it worth while delaying the FTTP rollout.

    I’m frankly ashamed to be paying MT’s salary if this is the quality of the work he’s putting out.

    • @Lachlan

      ‘Current government 10yr bond rates yeild 3.11% per ASX pricing, so where is the extra 5% going to come from? ‘

      Getting a better yield than just from Government bond rates is not hard.

      • hey ‘Node4Me’,

        I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s a great idea to allow people to comment unrestricted when they have a posting name like ‘Node4Me’ — it implies that all of your posts are going to be pro-Coalition, which they mainly have been so far. While your comments haven’t been unreasonable for the past little while, I am seeking a rational, open-minded audience for Delimiter — not one composed of people who have fixed points of view. With this in mind, I’m putting you on the pre-moderate list. You can still post, but if your posts are universally one-sided towards the Coalition, I won’t approve your comments to be published on the site.

        Apologies, but you kind of brought that on yourself ;)



      • The government bond rate is the relevant rate, unless you’re willing to support extra borrowing, having government crowd out other parts of the economy, and blow out the debt level.
        I don’t think I could stand Liberal support for that given their stand on current debt levels. The hypocrisy would just burn too deep into my soul.

        Just make sure you price the risk you’re buying to get those higher returns. You don’t want Australia to end up like Bear Sterns or Lehmans.

        • So your saying that the risk of the project not meeting its IRR targets is equivalent to that of the government defaulting on its loans?

          That is what it means when a company has an IRR the same as the Govt long term bond rate.

          To be fair the market rate is a very good rate for a start up company, normally start-up companies are significantly above the market rate until they have proven their profitability and it is not just forecasts.

    • As far as investment returns go he does have a point;

      Government bonds generally represent the zero risk option.

      The stock market indice is a better indication of the average “market” return. Currently the S&P ASX 100 is at 11% YTD.

  10. “The documentation which the Coalition has produced so far with respect to its policy …..far exceeds the extent of policy documentation produced by any political party with respect to a telecommunications policy before an election”.

    So, the volume rather than the quality of the documentation is what matters, does it? If this is the case, then all is needed for parties in the future is to issue lengthy documentation to impress voters, never mind the quality of the information.

    Furthermore, I have difficulty with the notion that the documentation is well researched, as if this was the most important criterion. Research can be voluminous and yet be selective and self-serving, and therefore, poor in terms of its veracity.

    The problem many people have with the coalition’s policy is that some of the important questions still remain answered (eg; cost of copper, criteria for and cost of installing FTTP, when copper is unsuitable, is the cost to date of existing roll out included in costs comparison between the two policies…).

    Perhaps, less volume and more quality would go a long in convincing them.

  11. ” in some quarters the Coalition has struggled to convince segments of the population”

    lol, even my Luddite mates and family think the Lib BB “plan” is a joke and comedians like Shaun Micalef have had an absolute field day with it – the Libs are all ready back-peddling with comments “we might do more fibre” etc etc.

    They’ve lost this one, chalk up one more Election loss to the LNP caused by an inability to “get” how important the NBN is to Australia and Aussies!

  12. So pretty much, this is what happened today:

    -Coalition provides extensive FAQ to detail answers to the tough questions about its policy, something Labor never did with regard to its own NBN policy when it was announced in 2007 or 2009.

    -Informed tech audience at Delimiter (and no doubt other sites) shits all over it for daring to try and address the questions we’ve all been asking. Apparently the answers aren’t good enough, so write the whole thing off.

    Nice one, guys. You’re onto a winner, here.

    This kind of shit is enough to make me wonder whether it’s worth having comments on Delimiter at all. Almost every single person commenting here falls squarely into either the Labor or Liberal side of the NBN fence, with no open minds in between discussing things rationally.

    Here’s a quick message for you all: The Coalition policy is not inherently evil, just like Labor’s policy is not inherently good. As Mike Quigley said several months ago, each technology has advantages and disadvantages. Just because you prefer a certain policy, does not make Malcolm Turnbull an imbecile and his policy complete bullshit.

    In short: Play the ball and not the man.

    If I don’t see less bile and more reasoned, evidence-based opinions on here starting from now, I will consider shutting down NBN comment-threads on Delimiter for a week. Because I, for one, am tired of the kind of ongoing “Coalition evil/Labor good” false dichotomy that’s going on here. There are problems with both policies — such as the fact that Labor has so far failed to deliver on its version. Until you start to acknowledge that things are not black and white, I see no point in discussing the issues with y’all.

    I did not start this site for it to become a haven for closed-minded bigots — on either side of the fence. I started it with the belief that you are all intelligent and rational people who have open minds and are able to discuss the evidence and not simply slag off each other and public figures in an orgy of technical self-righteousness. If I determine that there are no more open-minded individuals commenting here, I will shut this machine down.


    • There’s always going to be partisan rhetoric around a political issue. But a fair proportion of the posts here -do- argue facts, figures and logic. Shut down debate and all you will do will be to hurt your readership stats and create an opportunity for the ‘next Delimiter’ to establish itself.

    • Renai, all Turnbull’s FAQ does is reinforce that the LNP are trying to sell us a lemon!

      End of Story

    • I don’t care if I am banned for this, but I don’t care, Y if you can’t take criticism, throw your toys from the pram, you do it often enough, booting multiple people on a rampage. You have to examine what Turnbull says more closely. He is not consistent with his answers from one interview to the next. He constantly waffles to avoid the point of the question. Stop being such a Tunrbull fanboi.

      • No worries. I’m imposing a two month ban until the end of June. See you in July. I have run countless fact-checking exercises on Turnbull and called bullshit on him more than any other journalist. You don’t get to call me a Turnbull fanboi in that context.

    • Flat out I have no problem with alternate plans at all as long as we are not cutting off our nose despite our face. For instance I think for Apartments FttP should be looked at utilising copper if it is in good condition but only if the cost is significantly higher than a normal premise as some apartments could cost much less per premise and then make the biggest return on investment.

      Long term profitability
      Coalition – NBNCo allows infrastructure competition which can lead to decreased returns due to overbuilding with FttH
      Labor – FttH is the fastest form of internet available for the foreseeable future overbuilding would be unlikely to return a profit as the is no competitive advantage so you have a near guaranteed income stream

      Long term Needs
      Coalition – Can be upgraded to FttH but done piecemeal will cost significantly more and if you rollout in a cost effective manner you might as well connect all premises passed as a fibre customer will on average use more data than a copper customer.
      Labor – Volume rollout is the most cost effective way to rollout a network of any type due to economies of scale and expertise gained and used to reduce costs.

      Upgrade costs
      Coalition – Upgradability maybe easy or hard but fibre will still need to be rolled out and new GPON units will need to be installed and new NTU.
      Labor – GPON units and NTU will need to be changed minimal disturbance.

      Initial costs
      Coalition – $30 billion + cost of copper + Maintenance
      Labor – $44 Billion – Power usage

      I am not supporting this policy because of Labor I am supporting it because if we don’t make stuff like cars and clothes anymore we need to be providing intellectual property to the rest of asia pacific because if we don’t then after the mining boom we have nothing we will be irrelevant. The NBN will allow us to create the next generation of internet technologies and sell them to the world we will become a test bed for tech companies that want to try out their latest high bandwidth services before they take them to the rest of the world.

      I am not arguing to be a closed minded bigot but for our country to continue to be relevant and prosperous into the future.

      • Good analytical post. Precisely what I am looking for.

        I would add one extra category here: Delivery. So far Labor has failed to deliver on its NBN project, in 5.5 years in office. I am no longer convinced NBN Co or Conroy is doing a good job in this respect — as some others have said, FTTP is a bitch to deliver in practice, and I think we’re seeing this play out at the moment. I suspect FTTN may be quicker and easier to deliver than FTTP — how quicker and easier is the real question.

        • That’s disingenuous though. How long has the most recent policy been in effect, and how long is it supposed to take in all? If they had begun the most recent policy 5.5 years ago, and were at this stage, then I’d agree with you and it would be frowns all around and you and I probably wouldn’t be having this debate – but if they had begun the most recent policy 5.5 years ago, the rollout will have been past the ramp-up phase, and it would be smiles all around and you and I probably wouldn’t be having this debate. Alas, not all goes well.

          But I have to ask you: How do you expect a Coalition government will approach a negotiation with Telstra faster than Labor has? How do you expect a Coalition government will tackle current labour and skill shortages better than Labor has? If the Coalition has better ideas to tackle these delays, then I’d love to hear them.

        • 5.5 years is a little disingenuous though if they had of stuck to FttN we would be much further down the delivery path assuming a deal with Telstra could have been done which I am sure may have been possible.

          But you have to remember at the time FttN with upgradability was not possible at all it was either all FttN or all FttP and if you build all FttN then you can’t really stop someone over building with FttH as you would be denying people the best possible service. So the choice was made in these circumstances now 5 years later there is another option but that does not mean that we should change again run new trial areas run new plans.

          We are approximately 2.5 years into FttH and NBNCo has been formed Deal with Telstra and Optus negotiated ACCC deal 121 POI and SAU pretty much complete Trial sites up and running Fibre trunk lines to POI’s well underway satellites being built Wireless service being rolled out at a good rate and big purple splodges all over the NBN rollout map.

          Fiber rollout has been slower than they had predicted but we are still in the ramp up phase the premises predicted to be passed are pretty much the same as the rates for the HFC rollout 10 -15 years ago so they are not unrealistic figures. It is just unfortunate we will never know if the rollout could have worked if the Coalition get in the rollout will never fully ramp up as the focus will shift to FttN I suppose if NBNCo wanted to be cute they could have contracts that have guaranteed extensions only if they meet their bonus targets and if they don’t they shift to FttN.

        • “Good analytical post. Precisely what I am looking for.”

          Renai, I understand your desire for thorough, detailed comments such as the one referenced, however I believe it is unreasonable to expect people to take the time to cover all points every time they post a comment. I have certainly covered the majority of points that demonstrate the key weaknesses of the FTTN vision, as well as the need for greater transparency from NBN Co going forward as a result of the public’s lowered confidence following the missed targets (and lack of early disclosure of these facts).

          But it is unreasonable and unnecessary to expect people to reference the greater discussion when they are responding to a particular aspect of an article or specific statements made in another comment. Just because a comment is short doesn’t make it invalid, and likewise just because it comes to a conclusion that vastly favours one side of an argument doesn’t make it invalid – jumping to illogical conclusions without consideration for the facts makes it invalid.

      • “Coalition – Can be upgraded to FttH but done piecemeal will cost significantly more”

        this is questionable. what was the cost to rollout fibre 5yrs ago compared to now? and 5yrs from now? (honestly, I don’t know the answer to that, which is why im asking)
        I would say, like most things, the cost will go down. so to complete the upgrade might take (made up figures here) 10 billion today. but 5yrs from now that may be 5 billion.

        • The cost is the price of Labour to pull the cables which has increased year on year.

          The cost of the Fiber is insignificant in comparison

    • Renai, Your comments this time are way out of whack. Turnbull’s “faqs” were completely demolished within a couple of hours by Paul Krueger, among others. I really can’t see how you can call Turnbull’s opinions on this subject credible.

      The coalition have impeccable form on using wild exaggerations and circular logic. Whyalla was going to be wiped off the map, and Labor is a bad government because it’s, well, bad. Just bad. And not only that, but it’s bad.

      This is what passes for intelligent commentary by Turnbull and Abbott et al. It’s clear the population are incredulous cretins, to their way of thinking and so easy to be fooled, especially with a compliant media.

      This is Turnbull to a tee on broadband. He knows what he knows on the subject because he’s an assiduous googler on his ipad. That’s it. He changes his “facts” according to the last blog comment he’s just googled while waiting out his penance on the front bench. His pretence of technical knowledge knows no bounds, and the way he patronises his audiences is truly embarassing. To hear him explain to a room of telcos the technical innards of vdsl is excruciating. As if his audience doesn’t havetheir own multiple androids on hand to google as well as he. You’d think an audience of engineers would snigger. But no, they’re doubtlessly in awe of the man’s astounding gall. No wonder they call his policy fraudband. It suits his modus operandi perfectly. Pomposity and boring, the walking epitomy of long-windedness is Malcolm. And rude – the way he talks over his interviewers. Did you see the way Neil Mitchell was walking around in his studio listening to Malcolm? It was a man walking in absolute pain. Suffering. Malcolm is an absolute fake. His “faqs” are a concoction of flim-flam. That is Mal. The flim-flam man. The Elmer Fudd of the Australian telecommunications landscape. “Shh. Be qwuiet. I’m hunting Conwoy. Uh, uh uh uh uh.”

      To be taken in my this imitation of a fraud does you no credit, Renai.

      • This is precisely the kind of poisonous, no-evidence, one-sided comment that I am tired of seeing on Delimiter. Congratulations — you’re banned from commenting until, let’s say, after the September election.

    • Renai, firstly congratulations for the great job you’re doing with Delimiter!

      WRT comments, I guess this will always be a vexed issue, and there would seem to be a number of people who give things a bad name by “aggressive” comments. However, I suspect that overall the comments are the life-blood of Delimiter, and I hope you might even consider relenting on some of your recent long bans imposed on a couple of people.

      It is perhaps important to request people to attempt to post rational argument and discussion. There is a culture of quick dismissal of contrary ideas without real consideration. I am not sure that black-listing people is the ideal approach to dealing with this. However where abuse is significant or sustained I’m sure that Delimiter is strengthened by excising some elements.

      Please do keep comments open, and please do what you can to encourage rational debate.

      I am far from sold on the coalition’s FTTN, but I also see that FTTP implementation is not easy.

      My primary concerns about the NBN are actually more related to the limitations of fixed wireless and satellite. Firstly I don’t believe that the dividing line between fibre and fixed wireless has been drawn in the right place on the micro-level. Where I see this line drawn in many areas doesn’t even seem to correlate to where it is “decreed” in the 2010 NBN Implementation Study, or where discussed in the more recent Analysis Mason report.

      Primarily though the concern with fixed wireless and satellite is the dramatic changes to usage patterns and the implications on the shared RF channels. A shared 40 Mbps RF link can most certainly provide 25/5 with a high degree of efficacy while usage is bursty and limited. As usage patterns change the reality of 0.66 Mbps/0.15 Mbps kicks in to a larger extent. Usage demands are indeed changing very rapidly, and user frustration with fixed wireless is likely to begin within the first couple of years of adoption.

      Even if FTTP has a far greater implementation base than the 22% suggested by the coalition, FTTN “may” have a role to play in some fixed wireless areas as a way of augmenting service capability. It seems that the chance to consider FTTN roll-out as a replacement for fixed wireless has already long passed due to the accelerated timetable for fixed wireless.

      25/5 over FTTN may seem puny compared to the promise of 1Gbps/400Mbps on FTTP, but it sure as heck is oodles better than 25/5 over fixed wireless or satellite (satellite is still likely to be needed for remote areas, but perhaps not so much for fixed wireless blackspots).

      I have posed these sorts of concerns directly to the Malcolm Turnbull camp as well as to the Senator Conroy camp. The reply from the government indicated that the letters I sent were barely read and clearly not understood. The reply from the coalition was positive and understanding.

      It is true that neither the government nor coalition is currently planning to do much in the way of looking at the “other 7%” of the country. This is easily understood from the government’s perspective as they are too busy trying to meet even the most basic implementation objectives. From the coalition side, they are busy trying to assemble their primary FTTN argument. It is also true that detailed information about fixed wireless seems hard to find. Looking at the overall project it is clear that costs for fixed wireless are above the average government figures for fibre — around $3k for fixed wireless and $2.4k for fibre. This gives what would seem to be a distorted picture, as the cost of the fixed wireless implementation in many areas (primarily those right next door to fibre areas) is perhaps closer to one half of the $2.4k fibre cost.

      Without more detailed information from NBN Co it is difficult to obtain a clear picture.

      I’m sure there will be several people wishing to jump in boots and all and rubbish my concerns. I am however staking a bet that in a couple of years’ time the limitations of fixed wireless will be plain to see.

      Things have changed since the original 2010 NBN Implementation Study, and I’m not even convinced that the NBN implementation is true to that report. As a nation we need to minimise the effect of any “New Digital Divide”. Fixed wireless may indeed have a role to play in the NBN, but this may not be as long term a solution as NBN Co believes.

    • “There are problems with both policies — such as the fact that Labor has so far failed to deliver on its version.”

      Yes, comments need to be based on fact and not just policy bashing (although it would be nice to be able to hold politicians to the same benchmark). However, it is onerous to expect every comment to include a pro/con perspective, particularly when the article only raises points relating to the position or statements from one side. This article wasn’t about NBN Co delays or transparency, it was about a LNP FAQ document that purported to answer pertinent questions about the viability of their alternative NBN FTTN plan, but which provided very little in the way of additional clarity. It was an article whereby you praised the LNP for the volume of documentation they have released on the subject up to this point in comparison to the volume of documentation provided by previous political parties prior to an election on a given topic, and yet the volume of a document is an invalid criteria upon which to base a comparison or assessment of the worthiness of their statements.

      These are not blindly partisan or ideological statements, they are factual assessments of the topic at hand and can be applied equally to either side of the discussion. Unfortunately it just so happens that, on the subject of the NBN the LNP are on the losing side of the argument and yet continue to misrepresent the facts in an attempt to justify their position. Again, pointing this out is not biassed – ignoring it is biassed, taking the side that flies against the facts is biassed, and choosing to ignore the other side when and if it behaves in the same way is biassed.

      Finally, you want people to ‘play the ball not the man’, but statements released and made by a politician need to be assessed not just on their content, but also on the credibility of their source. When you’re talking about a politician or party that has a history of grossly misleading, factually incorrect statements and responses based on obfuscation and misdirection instead of reliance on scientifically demonstrated facts, it is dishonest to suggest that their statements and evidence should be weighed in isolation with no consideration for their personal historical trustworthiness.

      • “…statements released and made by a politician need to be assessed not just on their content, but also on the credibility of their source.”

        This is true of any communication by anyone. Trustworthiness, credibility of the source as well as the content of the message are all basic elements of persuasive communication.

        • Precisely. The only reason I specified politicians is due to context of this specific discussion, but you’re correct of course – without freedom to consider the trustworthiness of any source, particularly with relation to past actions and statements, any attempted analysis of the content of those statements is essentially meaningless. The ‘player vs ball’ analogy is really worthless on this context as it’s an oversimplification that ignores critical aspects of the problem.


    My response…

    In your forecast “Average Monthly Interest Bills” are you comparing like to like? What speeds and quota do each of the 2 plans have? Why not show a graph comparing each plan with a 12/1 and a 50gig plan?

    How is it a lie to say that connecting to “Labour’s NBN is free, when it is (you even say this in a following sentence)? Why not answer for the coalition’s plan? How much does a new user have to pay to connect to the Coalitions NBN? We are perfectly able to rationally decide if one is better, but cynically claiming your plan is cheaper for taxpayer when you have merely moved the cost of install from “taxpayers” to the user is a little insulting, when you hide the details.
    Goals are wonderful, but I’d like a guarantee of 25 mb/sec, and 50mb/s in 2019. How low does it have to be in order to get a free upgrade to fibre? In the UK I believe lower than 4mb/s is seen as a fault, what will be the threshold here?

    Why do you show the discount rate as 8% when 10 year bonds are just over 3%? This sleight of hand alone invalidates your entire argument that we should wait. Reusing 50% of capex seems quite a round figure (I call guess), given that in a true fibre rollout most of the cost is in laying the fibre, and junking all the FTTN electronics.

    You say that there will be a price cap, and that rural user will not pay more, yet city users might pay less… this is an interesting statement.

    You say… “But many telecommunications experts believe the existing NBN Co Corporate Plan significantly underestimates the likely cost and duration of Labor’s rollout, which involves running fibre to 12.2 million households and businesses.”

    I suggest that EVERY telecommunications expert would suggest Fibre over FTTN where you do not already own the copper.

    Your estimate of Labor’s NBN costing $94 billion has been debunked everywhere, no need to do it again  BTW, why do you spend so much time talking about Labour’s plan, instead of yours, whenever you have a chance?

    “less investment reduces the pressure for price increases” is certainly true, but you make no mention of maintenance and running costs will be higher for any copper plan. Also, how long will this asset last before being junked for fibre, surely that will have an impact on how much users will have to pay. We get it; there is one criterion where the user will pay less, initial cost. Thanks for the lesson.
    “Over-investment in infrastructure leads to rising prices” So can under-investment. Please demonstrate how you plan is superior, rather than stating half a platitude.

    You state there are indirect benefits to universal fast broadband. Since your plan is slower, how much will these be reduced when compared to Australian having access to 1000mb/sec? Not just the regular users, but business operators, who may end up on 25mb/sec.

    Why do you assume that a CBA of both plans will show FTTN as superior? Would it not be prudent to wait and see? I assume your CBA will include the indirect benefits you mentioned before, and over the next 50 years. A cynical person might suggest that the terms of reference might be phrased in order to produce the outcome desired…
    Is mid 2014 (or earlier) optimistic to begin your rollout? You have to negotiate with Telstra, pass appropriate legislation and get the ACCC on-board. This look quite a few years for Labour to tick those boxes, how will you do it in 6 months?

    Why do you show old forecasts by NBN for 2021 when current actual data shows that the 100mb/sec plan is the most popular? Some of Australia largest RPSs don’t even offer a 12/1 plan.

    Did Alcatel use a single pair of wires with the same thickness as we use in their lab trial? If not those results are worthless as an indicator for our conditions.

    “The fact is that a small number of users need that capacity at the moment” But but but more current fibre users are already choosing 100mb/s. Oh, I see what you did, you switched “want” out, and put in “need”. Showing need is a lot harder (will people die without 100mb/s?). I suspect that it would be hard to justify needing more than dial up.
    No focus on uploading (content creation), only on speed and cost. Some future person will decide what is needed.

    I see a MSAN can provide fibre and FTTN, do I have to subsidise copper if I pay for the connection and go straight to fibre? Why?

    Are UK conditions the same as Australian? Are the distances between houses similar, do we use the same gauge copper and do we have 2 pair of wires in good condition for every house?

    Why is it better to pay for the maintenance of multiple competing infrastructures? Why not save money by having a single one that everyone can use for wholesale access. Everyone who chooses to use cable is someone not subsidising the FTTN rollout. What % of users do you expect to swap, or remain, on cable? By how much does this impact FTTN monthly costs.

    I do not believe that choosing to watch what I want (by downloading video on demand) on TV uses less power than watching regular TV. The TV is on both times, only one way I watch what I want, rather than whatever is on.

    You have lots of words where you try to show that maintenance of copper to the node is equivalent to fibre. NOT EVEN GOING TO RESPOND.

    I want to see a cabinet comparison where both are side by side, or there is something to give scale, rather than a single graffiti clad cabinet. We get it, graffiti bad, by extension FTTH cabinets must be bad as well, since they can have graffiti.

  14. Can someone please tell me WHY it is better for us to have competing last-mile infrastructure?

    Competition is not having one company offer fibre in one area and Cable in a completely different area. If consumers do not get a choice as to what medium they get to conenct to, then how the hell can you call it competition?!

    Will I get the choice to sign up to either HFC or FTTN in an area? Looking at the Lib’s plan the answer will be no. There won’t be any competition. If you have HFC passing your house you will be stuck with that and conversely in areas that don’t have HFC.

    This whole concept of Infrastructure Compeition is a farse and journalists should be calling them out on it already!

    • “Will I get the choice to sign up to either HFC or FTTN in an area? Looking at the Lib’s plan the answer will be no.”

      Yes, you will. The Coalition is planning to overbuild the HFC.

      • Correction Renai, the Coalition Plan states that if you are not in a priority area, FTTN is not done straight of the bat, you will be done later.

        Thus creating more of “Tyranny Of Distance”.

          • Two terms of 3 years each gives September 2019 for the FTTN completion.

            NBN co’s plan is still for a 2021 completion date, even with the recent rollout problems. 61k premisis were passed last month though, so using linear apprximation ala Alan Jones, it could be as long as 11 more years for a 2024 completition date assuming the rollout never ever speeds up.

            So, based on declaired timetables, there is a 2 year difference.

            This doesn’t included the renegotiation time for Telstra, including shareholder approval. As a T2 shareholder, I will insist on that copper being valued appropriately at $billion more than the existing deal and will be put out enough to make trouble legally unless there is shareholder approval for the copper sale. That would take until probably the October 2015 AGM to sort out the details. I don’t know what timeline the FTTN timeline assumes but that could put an 18 month delay at the front end of the FTTN process. Though that would be quicker than the S51(xxxi) constitutional high court challenge if they just took the copper. (It’s Mabo, It’s the consitution, It’s the vibe)

            This doesn’t include the time delays for the “on demand fiber”. Given the 25% of households using 100mb FTTP links now, that would mean about 2-3 million houses of latent fiber demand out there. Even at NBN co’s maximum rollout rates that would be 2-3 years worth of installation demanded and paid for still to be added once the FTTN rollout is completed.

            So, quicker does depend on the timetables that you assume, and there is risk in the FTTN timetable as well as the NBN co one. You just have to be willing to accept the risks of each option when you make the choice.

          • What the Coalition timeline goals really are:

            Every residence and business to have 25-100Mbps by the end of 2016.

            90% of the fixed line footprint to have 50-100Mbps by 2019.

          • Well, Renai,

            If you have to prioritise areas, would you prioritise areas that have higher or lower average speeds?

          • Blackspots certainly,

            Population density vs existing services, is a debate about prioritising economics of the plan vs social benefits.
            I would lean towards economics (commerce degree talking) but that would mean rural areas were last.

          • What is the point of prioritising blackspots if they don’t have internet they can’t influence the average speeds so if you are saying internet connections will have an minimum speed of X why connect more people most money will be spent in the first term fixing people who have dodgy lines now so they can spruik their minimum speed.

            Sorry but that is the cynic in me.

            The best way to rollout would be new areas first so less than 10 years old as they have the best ducts and quickest rollout speeds for FttH and lowest cost ~$700 per premise and many do not have internet now.

          • Lol thats all just in the definitions,

            I would have said that blackspots have an internet speed of 0 so they have a significant impact on average speeds and thats a reason they should be done first (as well as for social benefit and take up rates).

            One benefit from rolling out FTTN and FTTP concurrently which has not been mentioned, is that there is reduced demand for labour for both technologies which should reduce the bottlenecks that NBN Co’ is experiencing currently in the labour market for FTTP related skills and minimise wage inflation as a result of the project.

            But yeah whether you would have FTTP in greenfields and FTTN where copper exists and to large MDU where it is too expensive to run fibre to each appartment should definitely depend on the economics of it.

          • “One benefit from rolling out FTTN and FTTP concurrently which has not been mentioned, is that there is reduced demand for labour for both technologies which should reduce the bottlenecks”

            I think you’ll find that CPR cablers are required for both, so that may actually exacerbate the issue…

  15. Coalition are desperate,

    They still don’t answer future upgradability, Fibre On Demand costs, Upload speeds.

  16. I think there is little of the fanboi in all of us. We want our team to win (or at least place).
    Research shows that it’s far harder to change someone’s opinion once their mind is made up. Evidence and facts are all filtered through what is “already known”. If it doesn’t fit, it’s disregarded (or at least viewed very critically).

    Scientist and Engineers in particular are supposed to be willing to view the facts dispassionately, but get them out of their field of expertise and they are just as crazy as the rest of us (crazy in that they do not use always use evidence based decision making)
    I would think that politicians would have even less reason to change their minds due to evidence. Electors have a tendency to punish parties that get it wrong, so if I was an opposition telecommunication minister I would rejoice in information that strengthened my Party’s position, and tend to look at discrediting information that is contrary.

    Once you decide on a policy, it’s a function of teamwork that you support your party’s position, despite your personal opinion. If it wasn’t so serious I could even respect the skill in polishing a turd.

    The coalition policy will be slower, and will always be slower. It “might” be built faster. It uses copper that we have grown to hate due to the restrictions we currently experience. It “might” be worth upgrading. It will probably be cheaper in the short term. It moves costs on to the end user.

    It’s a testament to human nature that people are willing to overlook the failings and focus on cheaper/faster just because it’s one team’s policy.

    /cheer us (go go human team)

  17. Whilst most can see that FTTN based on a green fields roll out is the better option, the area of contention is “the cost” in brown field areas due to the cost to re-install in an area that already has infrastructure, not to dissimilar to road infrastructure.

    With brown field areas, I think we need to use the example of roads, as much as the Sydney Harbour Bridge is used as a poor example…

    Why is is acceptable to increase the capacity of Hume Hwy using public money, which has no opportunity of direct financial return yet not increase the capacity of National Communications which has a direct financial return?

  18. Malcolm Turnbull continues to play word games. He notes FTTN cabinets will continue to get smaller and provides dimensions for cabinets that BT are installing. It’s important to note that these cabinets do not contain battery backup and often separate cabinets are installed adjacent to or nearby to house the same.
    Any cabinet that requires backup will be much larger than the ones he has described.
    He also states that ‘many’ of the nodes would be placed ‘inside’ apartment buildings. This is grossly misleading.
    His continued use of weasle words to misrepresent the truth simply confirms that he is engaging in spin and BS.

    • “He also states that ‘many’ of the nodes would be placed ‘inside’ apartment buildings. This is grossly misleading.”

      How so?

      • ~70% of Australians live in detached or semi-detached houses and further to that of the remaining 30% many are units and not apartments.

      • As ‘aj’ has noted. And it is also a matter of semantics and nuance of language. In attempting to dismiss concerns the statement is made that ‘many will be’ in an attempt to provide a vague reassurance. And if it isn’t considered important then why wasn’t it stated that ‘some of them’, or even ‘while many will be outside’, there will also be many inside ….’. I’m sure you are very cognizant of the use of words and phrasing to impart a subtext.

        • Tailgator that is a very good point. If you analyze Malcolm’s language it becomes apparant that he is using an aweful lot of qualifiers among his nouns and verbs. This is the art of spin. They all do it, of course, and is another reason why the newspaper industry is going down the gurgler – shithouse writing. It’s largely the reason why we view politicians cynically. We want simplicity, which is our failing, and the politicians give it to us. Boy, do they give it to us.

          This topic though is very hard to flim-flam. Which is why Malcolm is in so much trouble. The nerds have nailed him for telling too many porkies.

          Problem for the fate of the “true fibre” is: how to convince the voters. I hesitate to suggest “NBN for dummies”, but what else?

    • @Tailgator

      The perceived battery backup problem is not unique to FTTN, feedback has shown many residences consider the battery back up for the NBN Co NTU ‘ugly and bulky” and they don’t want it, so much so that even though you can have one installed anyway as a part of the NBN connection the NBN Co estimate 50% of residences will say no and have adjusted their CAPEX prediction down for the total number of backup units required accordingly.

      If asked the direct question I am sure residences would prefer the battery backup and replacement issue to be the responsibility of the NBN Co well before before the BB line (data and voice) reaches their residence.

      • Sorry but you are moving the goal posts from my original post. Make a ‘new’ post if you want to discuss that issue.

        • I expanded the discussion to include battery backup problems with both infrastructure alternatives, Labor vs Coalition, you would prefer I didn’t but that’s not moving the goal posts.

      • Talking about batteries, there are distinct differences between what is required for both setups.

        Fibre networks require much much less electricity to power them at operational levels, meaning the batteries being installed in the home are much smaller and last alot longer than FTTN batteries in most cases as they aren’t subjected to the same temperatures as the FTTN ones.

        With the copper networks batteries, there are less of them, but they are much larger and have to be installed in the cabinets. They may need to be replaced every couple of years to ensure they are properly functional. Additionally, I dont know of any cases where the cabinets and batteries are subjected to 40+ degree temperatures like they will be here. I think it’s 8-9 batteries required for a typical cabinet overseas, so that would be approximately 400,000 batteries being replaced and going into landfill, which I would guess the users will pay via increased prices. I cant see any where that MT has factored this into his cost estimates.

        • Sorry but the NBNCo home batteries are only designed to keep the home phone running for a couple of hours they don’t keep the internet connection running. If there is a power failure and you have the NBN fibre you will have no internet or VOIP phone. Comparing this to the Coalition FTTN batteries which are providing power to the node in the event of a power failure is illogical and like comparing a pea with an apple.

          I am in favour of FTTP but hate incorrect information from either side.

          • This is not true if you have internet installed but not the uni-v port then the internet stays enabled as noted by several people on whirlpool while this is not the intended functionality it seems that the limit is software related and not hardware related so it is entirely possible to provide both in a blackout.

            Furthermore enabling this functionality is in the NBNCo plans for the future and can be found on their website somewhere I can’t e bothered looking right now.

          • The NBN documentationsays the following: “. This will maintain a standard, non-powered telephone
            service connected to an in-service voice (UNI-V) port ONLY” ( That’s on page 8

            The reason that I saw for some people not wanting the back up battery was that if they had no uni-v non-powered phone then it was never going to be used. I haven’t seen anything on the NBN website to indicate that the battery utility had been extended beyond support to the uni-v port..

          • Ignoring what is inside your house, under FTTH you will have a signal all the way to your premises in the event of a power failure on the local grid without any battery backup needed at the node, while FTTN will need substantial battery installations.

            If you want to talk about what services will operate in the event of a power failure, use of a relatively cheap UPS will keep phones and Internet running for days (assuming you have devices that can remain powered). However, if you lose power as a result of flooding, FTTH will continue to operate while FTTN will fail.

          • OK. Would you please enlighten me as to the benefit of having an active internet connection in a blackout for most people?

            Businesses when running properly will have a UPS or generators to keep operating and /or safely shut down, but what is an average home user going to do with an internet connection and no PC to use it on, or no modem with power to connect them to the said service?

            As others have stated, what you have said is incorrect. I would also question whether the internet connection would still be alive under a blackout – they don’t do it now.

            Currently, Telstra is under a legal obligation to provide everyone with a working voice connection only. So if the exchange goes dark, the batteries hopefully last them until they can get a generator online to power it.

            Now, with tens of thousands of nodes out there, do you think they will take 10 generators for example to each node to power them? I doubt it. When those batteries are discharged, thats it. No voice or data until either the power is restored, or they replace for example 80 batteries to get the nodes back online.

            There is a much better chance of a smaller battery at a residence operating longer than a bunch of larger ones subjected to moisture and a possible prolonged 65+ degree heat (which is entireley possible in a cabinet, maybe even higher). Further, if you live in a flood prone area with FTTN installed, you can forget getting any redundancy for your network at all – at least with fibre it is possible as the cables are waterproof.

          • Not sure if you were respondin to me aj but if so, what is the other end of the ethernet connected to that has power in a blackout without a battery or ups?

          • Not sure if you were responding to me aj but if so, what is the other end of the ethernet connected to that has power in a blackout without a battery or ups?

          • “Would you please enlighten me as to the benefit of having an active internet connection in a blackout for most people?”

            Well, let’s start with VoIP. Then consider other uses you have for the Internet – being able to continue doing that despite the blackout is quite useful in my estimation. Personally I have a home office and do a lot of work from home – a blackout would be a significant inconvenience, but because my network equipment and VoIP sit on a UPS I can keep on working for several days using laptops and phones.

            FTTN is a step backwards for reliability of telecommunications infrastructure. Those batteries are going to have to be deep cycle marine grade to do the job as designed, making them hideously expensive. Even then, they still won’t be capable of providing power for days on end, which both the current CAN and FTTH are capable of.

    • Also whilst pointing out the FTTC cabinets are getting smaller he fais to mention that FTTP nodes can also be smaller and mounted in pits.
      Plus the cooling factor for powered nodes, separate Power unit with cooling and actual node unit.
      Both with temperature dependant failure rates.
      We just had some rather hot days, in a row even and that is in a La Nina. The Weather Bureau has even added another colour for temp range.
      Recent identification of warmer deep oceans, this upwells for the El Nino, next one shows promise of being a doozy. MilSpec hardened electronics needed

      • To me the Cabinet issue on either side is a “non issue”.

        We have plenty of other devices around in various areas, you get used to them.

        In Brisbane for some time now, local council boxes (I can’t recall the purpose) have been painted by local artists. This has had multiple effects of 1 reducing graffiti and posters, 2 making them somewhat a desirable item in some areas.

        If the cabinet stuff was a real issue there are ways to hide/disguise them to make them less of an issue.

        This issue to me is simply FUD on both sides.

        • I dont have a problem with the cabinets being around on streets, not at all – What I do have a problem with is having to fund the operating costs of these boxes. One cabinet, uses (a negligable) amount of power, and is not affected by weather conditions. For this, you need a small battery in your home in case.

          The other, uses up to three times the power, requires 8-9 large batteries, more connection points to handle copper and fibre, and a cooling system to keep it from overheating – and is very susceptible to weather conditions.

          The two plans are also wildly different. One not only has much lower operational costs, but will make more of a return in revenue in the long run. It will encourage investment in new technologies and bring new business to Australia. Quite possibly make Australia the “go to” country for tech and R&D which would yield enormous economical benefits and get us away from the “mining” mentality as someone else had said.

          The other, has much higher operational costs, is not completely owned by Australia and doesn’t make as much revenue long term, meaning the costs will likely be pushed to the taxpayer to make up for this. It may bring some new business to Australia, and will most definitley not enocurage any new technology investment in new tech and R&D, because it’s very limited in upgradability (would take more years again to do), upstream speeds will not be adequate to run anything that needs more than low quality video, and is not reliable enough to use for anything that requires stability, like medical technologies.

          The last one, is a network for downloading movies. The first will bring benefits to the country for many many years to come.

  19. If i may offer a suggestion for Tailgator,

    Many when part of 50,000 would suggest a large number, yet the number of apartment buildings sufficently large to justify running fibre to their basement and adding a node would be insignifacantly small. Not knowing the cut off makes this difficult to critic, but you would think it might start at more than a ~100?

    • Just out of curiosity, but why set a number at all? Why not say 2? Any MDU has the exact same issue – strata laws – so the answer for one will be the answer for all.

      I live in a small block, and if we dont get FttH I’m pretty much stuck with FttN for the next 20 years for that very reason, even though a FttB option would essentially go over about 3m of common ground.

      The issue isnt the cost benefit of running a node effectively to the premise, its about the owners rights, and lack of, on the common property.

      That doesnt change just because there are 100 units on the site.

      What it does do is make it more viable for the strata to pay the cost. If its $4000 to fit out all of my block, that should be about $650 to me. Should that come out of my strata fees or the sinking fund? Should I pay it upfront? What if I personally want fibre from the box outside into my unit, instead of copper for that last length? There were enough issues getting a phone line, I shudder to think what this is going to cause.

      Thats where the issues are. Volume doesnt change those when it comes to the body corporate deciding whether or not to run FttH.

  20. Looks like it’s Renai’s time of the month. Either that or someone’s got a glass jaw.

  21. ““Recent plans for FTTN networks in Australia indicated that around 50,000 nodes would be needed ”

    And only two weeks ago he said it was 60,000…at that rate we’ll have Abbott’s 20,000 comes the election time…LOL

  22. Pardon the longish post, but a few relevent articles have been written lately.
    “Either way, The Register believes the Coalition’s operational expenditure forecast is incomplete.”
    “From the outset, it would appear that Turnbull is barking up a very spindly tree indeed. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around four percent of Australia’s housing stock comprises high-rise units. That gives an upper boundary of 300,000 dwellings which could theoretically be served by fibre-to-the-basement.

    Except: most of those dwellings will be in buildings too small to suit the VDSL solution. As NBN Co’s Ralph Steffens (COO) told the committee, the average “multi-dwelling unit” (MDU) in Australia is a mere nine dwellings. Most don’t count as high-rise.

    Even in the high-rise stock mentioned, the ABS definition starts at four stories. Such buildings can be seen in practically every suburb in Australia, and are probably – again – too small to have the two conveniences that fibre-to-the-basement requires: a basement, and centralised copper distribution via an MDF (main distribution frame).”
    Many simply have a distribution cabinet similar to or even smaller than a floor IDF in an office environment, provided purely for the termination blocks and cable runs. Node plus power and backup power may just not fit.

    Then the practical realities in Aust,nbn-co-to-fast-track-more-users-onto-fibre.aspx?utm_source=bit&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=networkbar
    “NBN Co’s rollout construct normally means waiting until infrastructure in an entire FSAM is complete before declaring it ‘ready for service’, at which time customers can take a retail connection.

    But for residents in 65 FSAMs that fall under NBN Co’s ‘early access program’, retail connections can be taken prior to the entire FSAM being declared ‘ready’.

    NBN Co now wants to expand that program to cover an additional 82 FSAMs.

    It is unknown how many homes in these FSAMs are ready to immediately take up a retail NBN service.”

    These are partially completed FSAMS , the question is why partially completed. ? as such cannot become active connections until the FSAM is completed, waiting on ACCC approval to allow the partial cut overs
    “Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull, say the number of active connections is the “most relevant” benchmark for how the network is tracking.”

    A total of 147 partially completed FSAMS – even if just 200 premises average per FSAM out of 2-3000 total x 82 is a lot of customers, even at 30% takeup could be on line by years end


    Actually a very interesting read, NBN is between a rock and a hard place, good relationships with Telstra are essential so public statements need to be very guarded.
    However these issues will be faced by the FTTN option also, if only limited on the initial rollout, then with any on demand FTTP ad hoc orders.

    I have concerns re the FTTP on demand, apart from the fact that up to 40+% will have FTTP provided (The policy allows for 22%, but IMO the underground assetts are worse than anticipated) – if 50% unsuited to FTTN in one Node is it FTTP for them or run new copper?, or FTTN for some streets and FTTP for others.? talk about a planning and install and PR nightmare.

    IMO there will be many more pipes and ducts that will have difficulty pushing more than one fibre through and will service several streets, that is the case in my street and the surrounding ones according to the Telstra Faults techs last time they changed my pairs, the old discarded cable was left in situ to allow minimum service loss during cut over to new cable many years ago.

    All pairs will need to be tested after extended rain or real problems will arise.

    So many practical issues that will require resolution before planning can be finalised.

    I wouldn’t want to be Quigleys replacement, maybe Justin Milne? – poetic justice

  23. Scratching my head to think of a big project that didn’t have delays and cost overuns.

    How are LNP plans better positioned to fair in terms of timing?
    A big part of the slow down has been contractor’s/Telstra deal, how is FTTN better placed in this regard?
    They will also have too:
    * Re-design.
    * Re-engineer.
    * Re-Tender?
    * Re-negotiate the Telstra & Optus deal? If Liberal is not planning to decommission HFC, that will lead to major re-negotiations as the current contracts have significant value’s attatched to this. Telstra already said it wants an equal or greater deal.
    This took Labor 2 Year’s and is a big part of the hold ups.

    At the end of the day. Both projects will make us better off than we are today.

    But too me. FTTN is the equivalent of building a new Motorway, and deciding 2 Lanes each way is enough for current use. (we all know how well that works right?).

    I think if we go FTTN then FTTH. You’ll be talking about constant civil works for the next 20+ years straight, once to install FTTN then again to upgrade it, not long after.

  24. With regard to the size of Node boxes, the size limiting factor is not miniaturisation of electronics, it’s the size of jumper boards and the numbers of connections on the boards, the more nodes there are the smaller the node cabinets are. If there is one say at the distances of suburban pillars then they won’t be a lot bigger maybe wider and deeper but not much higher. If the nodes are at the “last Mile” they will be gigantic, especially in dense suburbs.
    Haven’t seen the coalitions proposed node maps yet, just a lot of hot air and vague promises!

  25. What a pissant statement to make that 6mbps should be okay. Try using effectively a 6mbps link with 5 in household using it for their education, entertainment, household business like banking, shopping, product research and run a business like I all at the same time. It’s nigh on impossible.

  26. BTW don’t try and say I can always pay for my own fibre. For a starter 5K is a lot for a family. Secondly I already pay enough taxes, govt business charges along with mandatory accounting costs due to government regulations to not need such blaise statements telling me “I should just pay for it”. Ineffective internet access should be a crime in this day and age and don’t expect me to believe it’s not that much of a deal.

    Also remember families with multiple users accessing the internet for education, socialising, household necessities and running a business simultaneously won’t cut it at 6mbps, I can tell you know this is my dilemma at 5mbps and an extra 1mpbs will be no noticeable difference. Try thinking of outside the square of a 1 user connection next time when making statements that 6mbps is fine.

  27. The coalitions Fraudband policy is bile I am amazed how some think the internet is like 1 glove fits all.

    People who are against the FTTH NBN usually say with this sort of claptrap:

    Who needs faster speeds than 25 mbps speed ?
    Who needs more than 100 gb’s of data ?
    Who need anything more than ADSL ?
    Oh the internet is just a Toy or an entertainment box.
    My Tax money is going towards your “illegal” torrents.

    And usually the final bullet from the ignorance gun is

    “Its good enough for me”

    And fails completely to see why we need FTTH NBN as our current infrastructure is failing.

    I am surprised that some people can see beyond their own feet at times.

    Sorry anti FTTH NBN folks the internet is not a 1 size fits all glove as everyone who uses the internet is different for everyone.

    Why would anyone want an outdated eco nightmare FTTN when something is much more superior like the FTTH is available?

  28. Renai,
    As an exercise I printed this thread and showed it to 10 individuals of various political persuasions and asked them one question – “Which party do you believe the author supports?”

    Nine out 10 selected the Coalition

    Irrespective of the validity of the results it’s apparent people are interpreting your posts as being coloured by your political beliefs. Is this what you desire?


    • hey Mike,

      I’ve never been good at caring what others thing of me — my primary motivation is to write the truth as I see it. For the record, I’ve never given my primary vote to either the Coalition or Labor — I’ve always voted Greens, based primarily on the refugee issue. Ideologically I prefer parties which are conservative economically and socially liberal.

      If you’re a regular Delimiter reader you’ll see that I have supported and opposed various initiatives by the various parties on their merits as they come up. I opposed the filter and data retention (Labor), supported Labor’s NBN, opposed the Coalition’s 2010 NBN plans, gave their recent NBN policy announcement a cautious tick of approval (but noted it was still inferior to Labor’s plan), and so on.

      When it comes to fact-checking, I’ve fact-checked all sides of politics. Evidence:

      if you want to accuse me of being biased, you’ll need to do it on the basis of more than a single article — you’ll need to do it after considering the 4,000-odd articles I’ve written for Delimiter over the past 3 years.

      Do you know how many times, in how many places, by how many people, I’ve been accused of being “biased”? If I had a penny for every time, I would be a millionaire. And it comes from all sides. One day I get “you’re biased towards Labor”, the next day I get “you’re biased towards the Coalition”.

      At this stage, I really have to say that I don’t give a flying fuck. If people think I am biased, they won’t come back to read Delimiter. That’s fine. There are other web sites out there. I live and die every day based on the trust and respect of my readers. I’m fine with that. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past decade, after all.

      If I am biased towards anything, it’s truth and justice. I can’t stand spin, and I hate it when *bad things* happen to good people and people get shat on.

      Does that answer your question? If not, I recommend reading this thread:



  29. Malcom hasn’t answered the following, which are highly, highly relevant to how the solution will be formed:

    – has Telstra agreed (in principle, or in fact) to make the Copper network available under the existing NBN deal? It’s a many billion dollar question.

    The “no minimum” is a cop-out. Turnbull is effectively stating FTTN is unsuitable. Sorry, but that is an incredible own goal. You can’t build a business or service over a network that can’t guarantee any sort of upload.

    If the copper tails are set to ~1km, then 100mbit isn’t possible, as VDSL2 is reliant on very short lines. How short? Try ~ 500 meters.

    Even if the technology is “improving all the time” it’s currently not performing magical acts outside of laboratory conditions.

    If the Coalition base their policy on Telstra’s line length of ~1.5km, then NBNco 2.0 will see speeds marginally faster than ADSL2+.

    Sorry, but the technology is still incredibly reliant on good copper, short runs (sub 1 km) to perform and unless Turnbull increases the cabinet count, I don’t see where he can get those really short lines.

    If anything, the FAQ helps clarify how much of a gulf there is between FTTH and FTTN; it’s still a poor solution for a cost that may well meet and exceed the cost of a fibre deployment.

    • Oops, fat-fingered the post button; I meant to add the following to the “lack of answers” list:

      – what is the maximum copper tail length?
      – when is VDLS2 scheduled to be enabled across the network?

      Looking at Uncle Malcom’s example graph, with respect to VDSL2, you can see cable lengths over 600 meters saw speeds drop significantly. At 750m it’s already dropping down below 75mbit.

      Remember, Telstra’s original gambit was for 1.5km. Malcolm has to shorten the length to ~500 meters or less. A cabinet on every street corner?

      And there’s a highly variable range of speeds. Anyone claiming that 100mbit will be reliably delivered has to be smoking something (can I have some, please? might make these numbers look better). Turnbull is hoping the technology will catch up by the time they get to deploy it.

      Meanwhile, the rest of the world moves on to fibre. For once we’re on, or slightly ahead of the curve. Already. I just don’t see the value in spending 90% (or more) of the FTTH cost on a (frankly) crap network that’ll need replacing again.

  30. “Coalition to answer all NBN policy questions”… by saying “No, it’s their fault!”

  31. To me the document reads as a demonstration of how we can jam a square peg into a round hole, you can pretty much get 2 or 3 corners in but it just isn’t going to fit unless you start shaving corners off or damage the hole. Sure it is a more detailed pre-election policy than anything preceding it, but we’re not comparing two spanking new policies. My bias comes from believing we should take a long term perspective on our needs and infrastructure and implement it in the most cost effective way possible.

    To me the document plays up the capabilities of FTTN – we only hear of best case scenarios in performance and it is done in a language I find evasive. “To give you an idea, in the UK where BT offers an ‘up to’ 76mbps product for downloads, the upload speed is 19mbps – so quite considerable uplink capacity is available over FTTN”. The reality is that few will see anywhere near even that level of performance which is well below the other option.

    “Coalition’s NBN policy is that it does not set mandated upload speeds — unlike Labor’s policy”. The implication is that Labor is going all big brother on us but the reality of the statement is that the Coalition has no conceivable way of competing on uploads at their current cost for the project.

    “Recent plans for FTTN networks in Australia indicated that around 50,000 nodes would be needed (many of them in the basement of apartment blocks)”. The use of ‘many’ is a bs obfuscation. Of those 50,000 nodes, we’re talking about a few hundred, maybe a thousand?

    “So we will leave that to the NBN to decide how best configure their networks”. But you’ve already replaced the diamond with the turd and are now asking them to polish it up.

    The FAQ misses the real question marks that people are raising about FTTN. Why should we have a clearly defined project that has as it’s only real fault slow progress – not cost blowouts, not terminal design error, stopped midstream. It is a big undertaking not only for NBNCo but also the whole industry that has to change their plans ‘again’. By changing the scope of the project we also change the value of NBN in terms of what it may pay in the form of dividends in future or in the case of it being privatised in the value of the asset. Under Malcolm’s plan the cost of upgrading to the equivalent position with respect to fibre penetration is another $20b and that’s using his numbers which are generally pretty optimistic (others can play that game too).

    It is suggested that FTTN will be saturated before too long and that represents an economic cost. Recent reports from Germany suggest they are already having that problem and my understanding is that their networks have been designed to a higher standard than what is currently in the ground in Australia. HFC networks have been saturated in many areas for the last decade in Australia. The point cannot be ignored that we will have to upgrade to fibre at some point in future. His plan does that in the most costly manner but we get fobbed with the story that if you have the need you should pay for it.

    He argues about infrastructure competition but we have all lived with that since the privatisation of Telstra and know how well that works. Retail competition provides greater benefit to the community than infrastructure competition.

    I refer back to Malcolm’s history on this. You might say he is well credentialed. I say he is a politician – was given a political undertaking and has done perhaps a commendable job of fulfilling that brief. That brief had nothing to do with providing the best infrastructure outcome for Australia and everything to do with neutralising an election issue. He sits in silence when people are spreading misleading information that he believes is in his favour. He avoids direct questions at the heart of his proposal and attacks people when challenged. His plan has areas with critical question marks over it but we don’t get answers on those, just misdirection about the relative size of nodes, obfuscation on real performance and costs and he has the audacity to claim he is addressing our concerns.

    • “That brief had nothing to do with providing the best infrastructure outcome for Australia and everything to do with neutralising an election issue.”

      This is it. In a nut-shell. The only hiccup for NBNco, right now, is slow deployments in some areas. Well shit, that’s going to happen anyway, to anyone. Even Telstra still has delays for upgrades.

      Switching to Copper won’t really speed anything up. Turnbull assumes because the CAN is being replaced with Fibre, it has little value. Telstra have sold access to pits and infrastructure, not copper. That conversation will only be very short, if the number to buy the network, is very big.

      A number Turnbull won’t acknowledge.

      I’m still looking for an example, where an in-progress FTTH deployment is being actively replaced with FTTN, because it’s a superior value proposition, by the way.

      You’d think if it was such a cost-effective idea, we’d see it elsewhere.

      • “Even Telstra still has delays for upgrades”

        ,,, they HAVE upgrades?

        …scratches head, can’t think of one lately, moves to “I can haz cheezeburger?’ youtube meme site for inspiration…

  32. The chart “forecast average monthly internet bills” is clearly designed to make the alleged forecast bills look far worse than they actually are, it’s clearly deceptive and dishonest. If the chart baseline started at Zero instead of $45 the comparison would not look the deceptive way it’s currently shown.

    What is unmistakeable even on Malcolm’s most pessimistic forecasts of the FTTN NBN program it’s only going to cost users an extra $300 PER YEAR IN 2021, 2021, 2021 2021 2021 !

    Who cares it’s friggin chicken feed!

  33. Wait a minute, did he say 3 grand or is it possibly 5 grand, that’s what BT’s charging for a 750m run!

  34. This site (combined with the indepth reader comments) is the most informative and technically correct information I have found in my many searchings of NBN vs ‘Fraudband’ scenario. The learning curve is strong. Cheers!

Comments are closed.