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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 11:05 - 119 Comments

    Abbott not telling whole NBN truth, says Politifact

    abbottturnbull

    news Opposition Leader Tony Abbot’s statement that the Coalition’s NBN policy would deliver broadband speeds “at least five times faster than the current average” was only half-true, fact-checking website Politifact said yesterday, in an article which has been heavily disputed by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

    Politifact is a pioneering US-based website which has won awards for its approach of fact-checking major political statements. It uses a scale to rate politicians’ statements, ranging from “true” to “mostly true”, “half true”, “mostly false”, “false”. There are also other ratings such as “flip flop”. The most extreme rating is given to politicians who make ridiculous claims which cannot be supported by evidence, which Politifact rates as “Pants on Fire!”.

    In Australia, the Politifact name has been licensed to a new site launched this year by former Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief and Sydney University professor in media and politics Peter Fray, along with a number of other journalist figures.

    Late yesterday the site published an article fact-checking a claim made by Abbott in his Budget reply speech to the National Press Club in Canberra in May. At the time, Abbott said: “Within three years, the Coalition’s NBN will deliver broadband speeds at least five times faster than the current average.”

    Citing the basis of Abbott’s claim as being average broadband connection speeds of 4.2Mbps in a report published by Akamai in April 2013, Politifact rated Abbott’s claim “half-true”, on the basis that the Coalition’s rival NBN policy would see basic download speeds of at least 25Mbps supplied to the Australian population, using a combination of fibre to the node, fibre to the premises, satellite and wireless broadband services.

    However, the site also noted that there was a valid question about whether the 4.2Mbps figure was a fair average speed for the Coalition to cite, given that the author of the Akamai report highlighted that it was only one figure contained in the report — and that average peak connection speed would also be a useful measure. In addition, Politifact noted that the Coalition’s NBN policy did not deal with upload speeds, and that Abbott might have been “on firmer ground” if the Opposition Leader had stuck to the 25Mbps pledge, rather than discussing average speeds. “As it stands, we think his statement leaves out some important details,” Politifact wrote.

    Turnbull has already issued a fiery statement disputing a number of Politifact’s core premises in its article. For starters, the Liberal MP rejected the claim by the author of the Akamai report that the Coalition could have used the average peak connection speed figure (23.4Mbps) in its calculations, rather than the average connection speed.

    “If we had been comparing average peak connection speeds under our NBN plan with the status quo, that point may have been valid,” Turnbull wrote. “But the 25Mbps speed is not either an average speed or an average peak connection speed. It is the MINIMUM line speed that the network will be designed to deliver. In other words nobody will be in a position where they cannot access at least 25Mbps.”

    “The whole point about the Coalition’s policy is that we should be addressing the ‘Digital Divide’ in Australia as a matter of national priority,” Turnbull added. “This means upgrading those 2 million households in Australia whose Internet connection is so poor, they can’t even access a YouTube video in Australia.”

    “Or put another way, what would the public policy benefit be to the country if Telstra decided to upgrade its existing HFC network to offer speeds well in excess of 100 mbps – say to 300 mbps? In the absence of anything being done to improve the line speeds of those without broadband, Australia’s average peak connection speeds would nonetheless increase but the digital divide would be wider and that investment would have a much lower overall productivity impact than if it were invested in ensuring that everybody had access to very fast broadband.”

    Turnbull also attacked the claim that the Coalition could not guarantee 25Mbps. Various technology commentators have long highlighted the variable nature of the speeds available under the Coalition’s key fibre to the node technology as limiting the technical promises which the Coalition would be able to make about the performance of the network. “This claim is simply false,” said Turnbull. “It would help if Politifact had actually read the Coalition policy.”

    “If the general point is that the Coalition cannot guarantee every house will get 25mbps on each existing copper pair without any remediation, then they might have a point. But that is not our policy. We will not direct the NBN Co they must use one single technology nor have we said that there shall be no remediation or even replacement of some copper in the last few hundred metres to the home.”

    “The single most important point about our policy is that we have set a speed mandate rather than a technology mandate. As we state in our policy (p.6): ‘Broadband policy should be about efficiently meeting community needs, not advocating for a particular technology. Networks should be upgraded in the most cost-effective way using the best-matched technology.'”

    “But for Politifact to claim that FTTN is incapable of 25 mbps is to ignore what’s happening elsewhere in the world. BT is offering 80/20mbps services today and will improve those speeds when it deploys vectoring. Deutsche Telekom is deploying FTTN and will offer 100/40mbps services – currently the top speed tier offered over the fibre to the premise NBN. In short – FTTN is technically capable of delivery 25 mbps (and much higher speeds) depending on the length and the quality of the copper between the node and the home. The NBN will be required to ensure that every premise has access to at least that line speed and if this requires shortening the copper loop, remediating it or indeed replacing it with fibre that will be done.”

    Turnbull also questioned Politifact’s claim that the Coalition has not mandated upload speeds through its NBN policy.

    “If the point Politifact is making is that FTTN is incapable of high upload speeds, they are wrong – as the real world examples of BT and Deutsche Telekom show,” Turnbull said. “If the point is that we should have mandated upload speeds or have secret plans to throttle download speeds, they are wrong again. As Alcatel recently noted, the GPON network the NBN is building is not symmetrical. While it is technically capable of delivering more symmetrical services than vectored VDSL, the differences are not that great – and besides, “overall traffic patterns are asymmetrical and are becoming more so over time”.

    “The point is that we will empower the NBN Co management to allocate upload capacity that is commensurate to market demand. The standard in commercial FTTN deployments is a ratio of around 4:1 of download:upload and we would expect that to be the case here which would mean that most customers on the FTTN portion of the network would have access to 10 mbps upload or more and none would have access to less than 5 or 6 mbps. Remember videoconferencing requires 2 mbps.”

    However, not everyone supports Turnbull’s interpretation of the technical underpinnings of the Coalition’s rival NBN policy. Technology commentator Kieran Cummings — a long-time critic of the Coalition’s NBN policy — has published an extensive criticism of Turnbull’s comments on his blog.

    Politifact has previously found similar issues with the Labor Federal Government not telling the whole truth with respect to the various NBN policies. In mid-May, for example, Politifact gave a “mostly false” rating to Labor’s claim that the Coalition’s National Broadband Network policy will see Australians charged $5,000 for access to fibre broadband infrastructure, and in early June it gave a “mostly true” rating to statement by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull that connecting to Labor’s NBN infrastructure will not be “free”, as various Labor politicians have claimed.

    opinion/analysis
    Based on the evidence presented, I support Politifact’s view here. It is true that Akamai’s report (one of the most credible around, in terms of average broadband speeds) did find that Australia’s average connection speeds are 4.2Mbps. And it is true that the Coalition has guaranteed minimum connection speeds of 25Mbps under its NBN policy. Abbott isn’t just making stuff up here — there is a degree of truth to what he’s saying.

    However, as Politifact has also noted, Abbott and Turnbull are very far indeed from telling the whole truth here. Their interpretation of the situation is very limited and designed to show the Coalition’s NBN policy in a favourable light. The only problem is, as I have written repeatedly, that the Coalition’s NBN policy is not as strong a policy as Labor’s existing, more visionary all-fibre NBN policy. Often the only way to make the Coalition’s NBN policy appear in a favourable light is to be selective with the facts, and that is precisely what is happening here.

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    1. Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink |

      I’m still having trouble taking Politifact too seriously. Enough of their analyses are being shown up as flawed, that it’s hard to take any of their conclusions without a grain of salt. Yet.

      • Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink |

        I think much of their work looks funny upon a quick first look, but I think it’s telling that I have agreed with all of their NBN work so far. The issues are not as easy as they look; you need to read the whole article in detail and consider their sources. I think they’re doing a very good job.

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink |

          I agree with Renai. A lot of the time you can’t just read the article either, you need to follow up their quotes/links as well to see how they got where they did.

      • djos
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink |

        Same, their fact checking to date has been lacking in genuine critical logic and highly selective – all I see from them is an attempt to create an appearance of balance which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny!

      • Brad
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink |

        Agreed.

        The whole thing is a massive fail.
        Their premise seems to be predicated on pedantry and out of context word choices, instead of the meaning of the facts being checked.
        All you need to do is look at their “critique” of the “gold plated coffe machines” remark. They actually looked for signs of coffee machines made of gold, instead of using the rational assumption of high-end coffee machines.
        I relegated the site to the rubbish bin of dross when they “fact-checked” the PMJG carbon tax “lie”, based wholly on the well publicised phrase and completely ignoring the rest of the sentence where she commits to a price on carbon.

        It smacks of yet another LNP shill site covered in a veneer of respectability and impartially borrowed from the reputation of the parent organisation.

        • Michael
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink |

          My understanding was that it was awarded “pants on fire” because it was impossible to buy a “gold plated coffee machine”. However, since there is no actual gold plated coffee machine available for purchase I would assume the default interpretation is the metaphor instead of the literal one.

          As mentioned above some of them do seem very dubious.

        • XB
          Posted 04/07/2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

          “I relegated the site to the rubbish bin of dross when they “fact-checked” the PMJG carbon tax “lie”, based wholly on the well publicised phrase and completely ignoring the rest of the sentence where she commits to a price on carbon”

          Well then Brad, you might need to take the site out of that rubbish bin, because the sentence where you say she commits to the price on carbon never happened. It’s a lie made up by desperate Labor supporters.

          Check it out for yourself, her commitment and the following sentence start at 2m12s.
          http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-EyW7oFk6n8

    2. djos
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink |

      “Within three years, the Coalition’s NBN will deliver broadband speeds at least five times faster than the current average.”

      This is the part I take issue with, assuming they win, (looking less likely now), they’ll be lucky to have started rolling out nodes by the start of 2015 as the hurdles they have to jump thru are not-insignificant!

      Telstra deal to buy/lease copper last mile
      ACCC approval for new pricing regime
      Legislation to support any changes they want to make getting past a likely hostile Senate
      waiting for existing FTTP contracts to be completed before FTTN contracts can realistically be commenced

      and so on, the Lib plan is a fantasy to try and make them appear to have a credible plan for Australia’s digital future and the only ppl they are fooling are die hard right wingers!

    3. Sathias
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink |

      “But for Politifact to claim that FTTN is incapable of 25 mbps is to ignore what’s happening elsewhere in the world. BT is offering 80/20mbps services today and will improve those speeds when it deploys vectoring.”

      I was under the impression that you aren’t guaranteed speeds under FTTN in other countries, similar to you aren’t under ADSL here. Is that correct?

      If so, Turnbull is being deliberately deceptive here.

      • djos
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink |

        Also if you look at Germany, they rolled out 300,000 nodes to ensure 25mbps is the minimum speed and that was for only 2 million more premises than we have in aus – Plus their population densities are far higher – so the Turnbull claims of needing “only” 60,000 nodes doesn’t add up!

        • Fibroid
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink |

          @djos

          ‘they rolled out 300,000 nodes to ensure 25mbps is the minimum speed and that was for only 2 million more premises than we have in aus ‘

          Where did you get those DT figures from?

      • AJ
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink |

        According to BT documentation you are guaranteed UP TO 16 Mbps

    4. Hubert Cumberdale
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink |

      As I said on another site:

      I find it very curious that Turnbull would mention a hypothetical example of upgrading Telstra’s HFC from “100mbps” to “300mbps” and then go on to say the “the digital divide would be wider” as a result. Wider is the keyword here. If he left it out and said “the digital divide would still exist” he wouldn’t be a hypocrite. However by saying wider he has basically said that speeds beyond 100mbps are in fact a benefit. Remember according to them no one needs more than 25mbps. By their own stupid logic Telstra upgrading from “100mbps” to “300mbps” wouldn’t widen the digital divide at all.

      • Alex
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink |

        Indeed HC…

        Of course it’s not creating a digital divide by forcing families who would like to be able to have FttP access, but simply can’t afford the best part of $5k for FoD…

        As I read on FB… wouldn’t it be sad if the cure for cancer was locked in the head of someone who simply couldn’t or can’t afford an education.

        • Hubert Cumberdale
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink |

          Well you know Alex according to some everyone has 5k just laying about for things like FoD, even the filthy poors. Apparently under such a scheme there will be so much demand for fibre that if in fact the coalition do get their way NBNco will actually be rolling out a FttP network and not a FttN network after all… Why didn’t NBNco think of this FttP plan sooner?!?!! They could do it even cheaper if they rolled it out in bulk rather than on demand and the best part is people can use it while they pay for it in installments!

    5. skeptikal
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink |

      Here’s a good analysis of both politifacts checking and Turnballs response:

      http://sortius-is-a-geek.com/?p=3135

    6. Francis Young
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink |

      Turnbull has baldly stated his projects costs $29 billion. Now he talks about vectoring and copper remediation, which are extra costs. This is why the coalition project has the same cost as universal FTTP.

      Turnbull rejected offbudget funding of the NBN, but has now adopted it.

      He says he will borrow $29 billion and repay the bonds with wholesale revenue from users, same the Labor’s FTTP NBN. Except that now the VDSL vectoring, extra nodes by 2019, replacement copper and 24×365 electricity costs for his 60,000 2 KW nodes add up to at least the same as building FTTP now, probably more.

      But FTTP offers households and businesses more and generates higher average monthly revenue per service than FTTN will do.

      Universal FTTP costs no more than FTTN and greenfields FTTP, but generates faster revenues. So which project is self-funding, and which will require taxpayer bailout?

      Time for a Cost Benefit Analysis of the coalition fraudband.

      • TrevorX
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink |

        Exactly. The economics if FTTN don’t stack up. Greater operating costs in both electricity and maintenance, greater competition so less market share, an inferior product at either the same or higher cost which necessarily means fewer products sold; explain to me how lower income with higher operating costs results in a positive ROI and not an endless cost to the public?

    7. Anthony
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink |

      This statement is wrong – “BT is offering 80/20mbps”
      BT is offering *up to* 80/20mbps speed. Remember, FTTN speed are not guaranteed.

      • TrevorX
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

        Exactly – Turnbull is deliberately obfuscating facts here, by arguing Politifact must stick to the LNP ‘guaranteed 25mbps’ while selectively quoting plans from other countries using ‘up to’ or ‘maximum’ sync rates that bear no meaningful resemblance to real world performance.

        I will also reiterate – the LNP ‘guarantee’ is no such thing at this point, it is merely an election promise. They have no legislative foundation for the guarantee, not even the promise of one. Without fundamental minimum performance enshrined in telecommunication standards that must be met for all connections, nothing is guaranteed; it is mere lip service.

      • raymond
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink |

        i was under the impression that BT quality checked the line first, if your line was not capable of the higher speeds then you would not be sold a higher speed plan. this way they can guarantee certain speeds.

        • PeterA
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink |

          So what you are saying; is BT doesn’t sell 80/20 to everyone.

          Which is what everyone else is saying.

          80/20 is possible, but not guaranteed.

      • Guest
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink |

        Transact (now iinet) do 60M download plans on vdsl2. and they DO GUARANTEE it
        unsure what the upload is though. I think its 10-15

        • Travis
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink |

          Think you need to learn how to read –

          “VDSL2 Network
          What is the fastest speed it can go?

          The maximum possible download speed available on a TransACT VDSL2 service is 60Mbps. This is the rate at which the port assigned to your connection is provisioned.

          The ability of your connection to achieve this maximum theoretical speed will depend on a number of factors outside the control of TransACT.

          Factors that may affect performance

          the source destination of where the content is retrieved, e.g. local content is quicker to load than overseas content
          the configuration and line quality of the copper wire within your property electrical interference (EMI) from external sources (such as microwaves and cordless phones) for customers using wireless routers
          the software configuration, hardware configuration and applications on your computer
          any additional hardware which is used in conjunction with a TransACT supplied modem
          simultaneous users on the home network using high bandwidth intensive applications such YouTube and online gaming”

          Source: http://www.transact.com.au/internet/transact/speed#vdsl2

          How you managed to believe that ‘The maximum possible download speed available on a TransACT VDSL2 service is 60Mbps’ equates to ‘they guarantee 60Mbps’ I’ll never know.

          Is that you there Mal?

          • TrevorX
            Posted 04/07/2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink |

            It’s telling that he used the handle ‘guest’…

    8. Observer
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink |

      “The whole point about the Coalition’s policy is that we should be addressing the ‘Digital Divide’ in Australia as a matter of national priority,” Turnbull added”

      What an amazing comment. So the way to address the ‘Digital Divide’ in the short term is to create more digital divide in the future. Why didn’t anyone think of that before. Brilliant Malcolm, just brilliant.

    9. Charles
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink |

      “Abbott isn’t just making stuff up here — there is a degree of truth to what he’s saying.” .. and a stopped clock is correct twice a day.

    10. PeterA
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink |

      If peak download rate isn’t the only indication of average broadband capability I don’t know what is.

      Average download rate is only accurate at determining the average amount isps in Australia throttle downloads to save bandwidth.

      Peak speed is closer to line speed.

      Both plans are upgrading line speed, neither is upgrading isp contention ratios or reducing the cost of bandwidth to isps.

    11. Invid
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink |

      “that the Coalition’s NBN policy is not as strong a policy as Labor’s existing, more visionary all-fibre NBN policy”

      This is the issue I have. Labor’s is obviously better, but is also far more expensive. The LNP option is cheaper, but allows those who desire it to pay for an upgrade themself. discounting the LNP proposal purely because Labor’s is more “visionary” seems foolish, unless you are privy to the full costings of both plans, and just haven’t shared.

      That said I saw an article last week where a new development could allow for much faster speeds over FO (almost 10 terabytes a second, 73.7 terabits to be exact), should we start replacing everything with this technology, and ignore costs because it would be faster and more “visionary”.

      • Posted 03/07/2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

        If we roll FTTN now, we can’t get those speeds without upgrading to FTTP.

        If we roll out FTTP now, we only have to update the electronics to get those speeds.

        Big difference.

        • Fibroid
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink |

          What is the ‘big difference’ exactly?

          • Lachlan
            Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink |

            Oh, about $18 Billion upgrade from FTTN to FTTP, based on existing budget to exceed however much the fault condition is for the 1.2 million who could be left with slower connections than 50ish Mbit based on MT’s plan.

            Budget source:
            http://www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco/media-releases/2013/report-to-parliamentary-joint-committee.pdf

            Vs

            About $2 billion for the FAN OLT upgrade for the next 10G GPON active equipment. 10G GPON will overlay on top of the existing GPON, allowing a 5 fold increase in throughput without any passive network changes. That’ll allow 10Gbit connections. Next upgrade would be unsplit ethernet connections which would work for 100Gbit connections, but that would require usage of some additional transit fibre for say $5 billion total cost.

            So the big difference would be about $16 billion capital cost difference.
            I’d say that’s pretty big.

      • djos
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink |

        To see how ridiculous the Lib policy is compared to the ALP policy you only need examine the total Government investment required under both.

        Lib Policy = 29 Billion invested for 25-80mbps (depending on your distance from the node) and doesnt include buying or leasing the Telstra PSTN last mile (claiming they will get it for free is a joke!). it also doesnt include the billions more that will be required to upgrade it to FTTP in 2020 and beyond (basically it’s obsolete by the time it’s finished).

        ALP Policy = 30Billion invested for 12-1000mbps (your choice as to how much speed you require) and while it will likely cost up to 44 Billion, the business plan shows that the NBN will be established enuf with high enuf revenues to raise the rest of the funds it requires on the open market to complete the build.

        • Fibroid
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink |

          @djos

          ‘Lib Policy = 29 Billion invested for 25-80mbps (depending on your distance from the node)’

          No it is a minimum of 25-100Mbps by 2016 for all and a minimum of 50Mbps-100Mbps by 2019 for 90%, best to quote actual Coalition policy don’t you think?

          ‘ and doesnt include buying or leasing the Telstra PSTN last mile (claiming they will get it for free is a joke!).’

          No it’s not a joke, because Telstra are contracted with the NBN Co for $11b to shut down the copper for the NBN, that’s what you have to do to get maximum NBN uptake.

          In reality the use of the copper for FTTN could be accommodated within that original $11b, with adjustment as to who receives wholesale revenues from the FTTN.

          ‘it also doesnt include the billions more that will be required to upgrade it to FTTP in 2020 and beyond (basically it’s obsolete by the time it’s finished).’

          Total conjecture it will need to be upgraded to FTTP in 2020, are all overseas rollouts of FTTN even those that are happening now factoring in they will have to be upgraded to FTTP by 2020?, and if not why is Australia unique in that only our FTTN will be obsolete because it is a special sort of Aussie FTTN?

          ‘ALP Policy = 30Billion invested for 12-1000mbps (your choice as to how much speed you require) and while it will likely cost up to 44 Billion, the business plan shows that the NBN will be established enuf with high enuf revenues to raise the rest of the funds it requires on the open market to complete the build.’

          Which is interesting you know what interest rates and payback timelines are at play in 2015 when the NBN Co actually get around to start negotiating the multi billion debt in the external financial market, while you’re at it can I have the Tatts numbers for next Saturday?

          • djos
            Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink |

            @Fibroid as usual your claims are as fanciful as the LNP’s!

            • Fibroid
              Posted 04/07/2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink |

              I quote Coaltion policy, you make it all up and I’m fanciful?

              You still have avoided the question why Australia’s FTTN will need to be upgraded to FTTP by 2020 and how Governments in FTTN rollout areas in the UK, USA and Germany are planning for this ‘digital divide disaster ‘ in 2020.

              BTW how is the link going on those DT node figures you quoted above going?

              • djos
                Posted 04/07/2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink |

                That’s exactly right, the LNP policy is pure fantasy and not based in reality, same goes for all of your rantings!

                Go work for an ISP/Telco, as I have done, and come back when you’ve actually learnt something, then we can have a sensible discussion involving facts not fantasies!

              • djos
                Posted 04/07/2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink |

                and here the DT link you wanted:

                http://news.techeye.net/internet/germans-upgrade-using-vdsl2

                “According to Reuters , Deutsche Telekom owns about 330,000 such boxes in Germany, while its rivals have connected to about 8,200 of these boxes with their own lines.”

                Interestingly tho they are already looking at rolling out FTTP – from the same article:

                “Germany is trying to work out how to roll out a fibre optic network and the $104 billion price tag is being shared between the competing companies.”

              • Alex
                Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink |

                @ Fibroid

                “I quote Coaltion policy…”

                Yes as if it’s gospel (you even like to fluff it up further)… while you ridicule and negatively spin every word in the NBN corporate plan.

          • Alex
            Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink |

            It’s time for the Albo… iron wires spiel again…

          • nonny-moose
            Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:10 am | Permalink |

            “minimum of 25-100Mbps by 2016″ hang on, just a sec – did you just say 100mbit (minimum!) on FTTN? while im asking, whats the top speed going to be there? you can hardly blame us for being sceptical of you when you pull out claims like that…..

            i’ll give you the 25mbps – its the other end of your claim im querying here ……

            • Fibroid
              Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink |

              Yes that’s it, a range quoted at 25-100 Mbps means that 25 Mbps which is obviously the minimum speed in that range also means that 100 Mbps which is the maximum speed in that range tells us that 100 Mbps is also the minimum speed.

              • Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink |

                No, it isn’t. If you want to talk minimum the minimum is 12Mbps over the whole network over both plans.

                What 25-100Mbps is is the expected available maximum speed for the majority of the population under FTTN technology. Since the speed varies based upon environmental factors and if and where the NBN applies the upgrades, it is therefore prudent to take the lower bound of 25Mbps. No where under the policy is this speed, or the upgrades, assured. They are design goals.

                • Fibroid
                  Posted 04/07/2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink |

                  @NightKhaos & Brendan

                  We are referring to the Coalition policy, the Coalition policy refers to MINIMUM speeds.

                  “At the end of a first term of a Coalition government, there will be minimum download speeds of 25Mbps. By the end of our second term, the vast majority of households will get access to 50Mbps,” Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said of the launch of the Coalition’s broadband policy in Sydney on Tuesday.”

                  If the line is not up to supporting those MINIMUM speeds this is what will happen.

                  “The Coalition will rely on a line test of the existing copper connection to determine what premises will be able to get 25Mbps. Those that are unable to get that speed will have their copper connection remediated. If it is too expensive to remediate the copper, Turnbull said the line will be upgraded to fibre to the premise.”

                  http://www.zdnet.com/au/coalition-launches-alternative-nbn-policy-7000013715/

                  Got it?

                  • Tinman_au
                    Posted 04/07/2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink |

                    Got it?

                    I think some of us do, do you? :o)

                  • Posted 04/07/2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink |

                    Clearly from your reply you didn’t read what I wrote Fully and decided instead to try and repeat your point rather than counter mine.

                    Fibroid, if you genuinely want to be taken seriously in this debate, you need a serious reality check.

                    • Alex
                      Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink |

                      + 11ty

                  • Grump3
                    Posted 05/07/2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink |

                    Yes we’re likely to get it alright if our copper is “too expensive to remediate”, …a bill for up to $5K for that “Upgrade to fibre” as this places you in the fibre on demand category or else they’ll likely use Telstra’s current approach to this problem in our area. We’re told “your line won’t support ADSL1 so either settle for dial-up or go buy a wireless dongle”

                    I can’t see FTTNCo forking out for FTTH connections piecemeal in the above scenario as this would probably result in a cost blowout in the vicinity of their oft stated $94B when they’re suddenly & inexplicably confronted with an epidemic of premises with dud copper ;-)
                    (The pink batts rorts would pale into insignificance!)

              • Brendan
                Posted 04/07/2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink |

                What?

                Fibroid – the lengths you will go to, to win an argument. Let me make this very, very clear.

                There are no minimum speeds defined above 25 mbit. None. The speeds are quoted as a range. The dates merely dictate when the available speed ranges are to be made available, not a testiment to minimum deliverable speeds.

                Construing 100mbit as a minimum is incorrect based on the current LNP policy. It’s there in black and white.

        • Hubert Cumberdale
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink |

          “it also doesnt include the billions more that will be required to upgrade it to FTTP in 2020 and beyond (basically it’s obsolete by the time it’s finished).”

          Nailed it djos. If anyone was ever in doubt of its obsolescence think of this hypothetical. Labor win election. Proper NBN FttP rollout continues as planned. Can we honestly see the coalition going to the next election with a FttN plan?

          • Fibroid
            Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink |

            The Coalition won’t need to will they, because all those on FTTN will have upgraded to Fibre on Demand well before 2016, because after all everyone needs FTTP urgently and they are fully aware of the looming digital disaster that awaits them if they don’t get off FTTN by 2020!

            • Observer
              Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink |

              If only you were half as smart as you think you are.

              Let me try slowly so you understand. It is not about about crisis. It is about having sufficient speed for those who need it. You can have a “let’s do the minimum because we have no vision”, restricted network which prevents people achieving their potential needs or you can have a network that allows for expansion, because we know that upgrading will cost me than what Malcolm says is “not much more”.

              As I write this, I realise that I am more than likely wasting my time trying to explain this to you. I am equally sure than if the roles were reversed and the coalition was offering FTTP, you would be trying to convince everyone that it is the best thing since sliced bread. What this shows are two things:

              The first is that you can’t really think for yourself and rely on your beloved coalition for guidance.
              The second is that you confuse trying to win any argument at all cost with being right.

              • Alex
                Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink |

                +1

                + many more for the last two paragraphs… spot on.

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

              No. Under LNP FTTN many people who need faster access will be unable to afford it, because the cost of FoD is onerous. Sure, you can argue that in your limited experience no one ‘needs’ faster than Xmbps, but that takes into account neither current usage you have no experience of, nor any future use your rather limited imagination can comprehend. What if there’s an application as compelling as email developed within the next few years that requires 20mbps upload capacity at minimum? In 1995 there were still a lot of people who didn’t have email and didn’t see a need for it. And yet it’s pretty safe to say it is now impossible to operate in today’s information society without an email address.

              You’re also failing to understand the most important effect the NBN will have on the development of new technologies and applications – with FTTH we have a known minimum standard of performance. That gives developers tremendous confidence and a stable framework to work within. FTTN undermines this confidence by perpetuating the same uncertainty of network performance that exists today. Yes, the LNP have promised that 25mbps will be a guaranteed minimum under their FTTN model, but the reality is this:
              1) FTTH provides guaranteed minimum performance with a technical basis – the network is capable of 1gbps at all points, so anything below this is limited by a technical restriction placed on the account for product diversification purposes.
              2) Copper technologies such as VDSL2 that underpin FTTN are technically limited by the quality of the copper, number of joins and length of the cable. There is tremendous variation in the quality of copper throughout the country, which is precisely why there is so much variation in the quality of connections over ADSL2+. This isn’t going to change magically – the only way to eliminate this variation is to remove the problem, which means replacing the majority of the copper. Which is what FTTH does, and FTTN does not.
              3) In order to placate the naysayers and counter the argument above, the LNP have decided to talk about a performance ‘guarantee’. But the only thing guaranteed about it is that they’re calling it a guarantee. Without guaranteeing it against anything. Without a legislative guarantee in the form of a telecommunications minimum standard performance requirement for every single line, you don’t have a guarantee, you have an empty election promise. Such promises have no penalties for non-implementation, and thus provide businesses with no confidence in their likely outcome (and thus they are unlikly to commit themselves to projects pushing the limits of minimum bandwidth requirements when they carry so much risk).
              4) Even the empty promise mentioned above says nothing about upload performance. Applications requiring a minimum standard upload simply will not be engaged in under the FTTN network, as the risk that clients will find themselves unable to use the application or will find performance inhibited is extremely high.
              5) Under FTTH, applications can be developed where the minimum performance is far greater the actual minimum of the lowest tier plans, with the safe knowledge that in certain product segments users will be able to upgrade to a higher performing plan where required, and this will cover at least 93% of the population (particularly those in urban areas). This is simply not possible in any way under FTTN.

              FTTH lays the foundation for an incubation environment within which exciting new technologies and applications can be developed, with the potential for massive stimulation of the whole technology sector and thus the economy of the nation. This opportunity will simply not exist under a FTTN network.

            • Hubert Cumberdale
              Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink |

              http://delimiter.com.au/2013/02/18/chaos-coalition-a-total-shambles-on-nbn-policy/#comment-580073

      • PeterA
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink |

        You say it is cheaper; but have you really paid any attention to how much cheaper?

        Even in a worst case funding scenario (the government funds the entire cost) it is only 50% more; (44 billion vs 29.5 billion). The 29.5 billion also doesn’t include the ~4 billion that has already been spent of the 44 billion. So it is better to compare something like 29.5 to 40 billion total funding requirement. (since both include the 4 already spent).

        Turnbull talks about the digital divide, but completely misses the fact that a fibre network to 93% of the population completely removes it. His plan saves 10 billion dollars and enshrines the “digital divide” and “node lotto” for the next 10+ years.

      • raymond
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink |

        ” is obviously better, but is also far more expensive”

        not that much more expensive, 29bn vs 36bn – approx 7bn more for significantly more work and you have something that will last (in terms of medium) and be able to cope with future demand for a much longer period of time.

        at some point fttn will need to be upgraded to fttp, it might be 25+ years down the track but i dont see why you shouldnt factor that cost in as well if you want a true comparison. plus youve seen people whine about not getting the nnb today, just think of what it will be like in future with people bleating about it all over again when it needs to be upgraded.

        • nonny-moose
          Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:06 am | Permalink |

          dont forget to excise the 3.6 bn contingency from the NBN best cost plan, assuming it doesnt get used – knocking that off the 37.odd bn brings it to around 33bn playing 29 – a little over 10% difference. while i wouldnt bet on it never being used, given the takeup rates in general and for specific speed tiers, it doesnt look in any jeopardy for the moment…. in any case, if you dont consider the contingency as a cost until it has to be used the comparison is somewhat tighter than the headline figures say.

      • TrevorX
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink |

        This is the issue I have. Labor’s is obviously better, and only slightly more expensive. The LNP option is marginally cheaper initially, and allows those who desire it to pay for an upgrade themselves, but discriminates against those who can’t afford the thousands of dollars that will take as well as the very significant number of tenants in Australia, while having substantially higher operating costs and being extremely unlikely to make a positive return on investment. In effect, it will deliver less and cost more, but hey at least we will save nearly a billion dollars initially as long as we don’t factor in the costs of additional nodes or remediation work!

        There, fixed that for you :-)

    12. Soth
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink |

      “The NBN will be required to ensure that every premise has access to at least that line speed and if this requires shortening the copper loop, remediating it or indeed replacing it with fibre that will be done.”

      Better start setting up that web page / phone line service now because it’s going to get hammered if Liberal win and install FTTN.
      I’ll be the first on that list!

    13. Brendan
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull, yet again makes “speed” both an issue, and non-issue, depending on whether the question is fibre or copper.

      Too much of it (speed) is bad because of cost, and the LNP won’t legislate or state minimum speeds, as that is “up to the ISPs”.

      Frankly, speed is not the point of the NBN. Speed is a byproduct of the technology choice and the stated minimums for deliverables.

      NBNco isn’t specifically building a 1Gbit network. It’s building a fibre network. That just happens to offer a raft of speeds, with a minimum that has been enshrined in policy.

      Indeed, NBNco wouldn’t be specifically building a FTTN for a particular speed either, given one isn’t enshrined in Turnbull policy – just target speeds with two dates, and an expectation that either our understanding of the laws of physics will change, or much like Logan’s Run, the network will eventually need to be “renewed”.

      The issue I have always had with Turnbull’s statements, and now policy, is that it is incomplete and yet is being offered as a fully-defined drop-in replacement. By default, the policy itself is not telling the whole truth because a number of input costs are MIA.

      How much to upgrade? How much will Telstra charge for their network?

      They can’t answer, because they do not know. That both Abbott and Turnbull persist in simply dismissing billions of dollars in additional costs (for both of these outcomes) should be of continued concern.

      I rate Politifact as being “mostly correct, should perhaps try a bit harder in class”.

      • Observer
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink |

        I think a point missed, by those who oppose the NBN, is that it is not about whether everyone will need the maximum speed fibre affords.

        It is that speed will cease to be an issue for anyone who needs it, be 10mbps, 500mbps and, over time, more.

        • Fibroid
          Posted 03/07/2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink |

          FTTN speeds are fine for me, that’s ok isn’t it?

          • Alex
            Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink |

            And using that logic…

            If hypothetically ADSL2 is fine for me, does that make you wrong or selfish for wanting FttN?

          • Observer
            Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink |

            Of course it is fine…. as long as you subscribe to the philosophy of F***K Jack, I’m alright.

            As well I understand that for people with limited social awareness, it is difficult to begin to imagine what life must be like for others. Anything outside their limited universe is very difficult for them to comprehend, let alone emphasize with.

          • Observer
            Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink |

            Oh, I nearly forgot. You spectacularly missed the point I was making. That’s now surprising though.

            • Observer
              Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink |

              not, not now.

            • Fibroid
              Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink |

              No the point was made, the assumption is that for the majority speed is or will be a issue so FTTN will not cut it, but if speed is NOT the overwhelming issue as you make it out to be the need for FTTP as the ONLY solution for 93% of Australian residences is false.

              • Observer
                Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink |

                This is what I said:

                “speed will cease to be an issue for anyone who needs it”

                This is what you said:

                “the assumption is that for the majority speed is or will be a issue”

                Do, you see the word “majority” anywhere in my post?
                Again trying to win the argument by changing what I said to suit your point.

                For once, just try this:

                Sorry Observer, I did miss your point.

                • Fibroid
                  Posted 04/07/2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink |

                  Speed is not a issue at all under the Coalition plan, for the vast majority who get FTTN they will be happy with FTTN, for the almost immeasurable minority who are so unhappy they cannot survive in the digital world without FTTP they will order FoD.

                  I think you will find when faced with a choice they have to pay for a residence will amazingly re-evaluate how unhappy they are with FTTN and will happily take FTTP when a RSP decides to upgrade their area on the 50-50 cost distribution partnership scenario.

                  • Tinman_au
                    Posted 04/07/2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink |

                    I think you may be wrong about that take-up :o)

                    If a telco offers to carry the cost of a FoD install, like Optus is thinking of doing, it’ll impact a lot on Malcolms bottom line considering help pay half of it and not have the cost cutting benefits that a wider roll-out would have …

                  • Observer
                    Posted 04/07/2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink |

                    i note that, as usual, you did not acknowledge you attempt to distort what I said and, as usual, continue with your bombastic assertion.

                    What is certain, however, is the more you post the more your arrogance and ‘know all” attitude become evident.

                  • Alex
                    Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink |

                    “Speed is not a issue at all under the Coalition plan, for the vast majority who get FTTN they will be happy with FTTN,”

                    Evidence… ?

                • Alex
                  Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink |

                  Indeed…

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

          • Lachlan
            Posted 03/07/2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink |

            It might be enough for you, but what about when you move?
            It might not be enough for someone else.
            Some people are already factoring NBN availability into house purchasing, enough for it to matter.
            And do you want to have to discount your house, and hang out longer for a sale just because you don’t have FTTP?

          • Grump3
            Posted 03/07/2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink |

            Quote:
            “The single most important point about our policy is that we have set a speed mandate rather than a technology mandate. As we state in our policy (p.6): ‘Broadband policy should be about efficiently meeting community needs,

            So if your existing copper connection isn’t up to scratch does this indicate that while your neighbour’s might be OK for FTTN you could be “efficiently” instructed to apply for a satellite service instead?
            Certainly would be Faster & Cheaper than remediation…

          • Brendan
            Posted 04/07/2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink |

            fibroid – thanks for illustrating the point. “the horse and cart are fine”.

            I’m happy that you like your horse and cart, unfortunately it doesn’t work for me. But that’s okay, because via the existing NBN being built, you can keep the horse, I can grab an aston martin db9 and someone else can have the F1 car.

            Because all options, from cheap and cheerful, through to full on speed freak is covered. Because the technology allows it.

            • Fibroid
              Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink |

              That’s ok, if FTTN is not fast enough for you and at some point after a Coalition win you actually determine as fact your area is on the FTTN rollout list I guess you will be first in line for Fibre on Demand.

              I’m comfortable you have that choice.

              • Brendan
                Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink |

                Such a narrow, self-centered viewpoint.

                • djos
                  Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink |

                  yep, standard right winger “im alright thanks jack so screw the rest of you” attitude!

              • Tinman_au
                Posted 04/07/2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink |

                That’s ok, if FTTN is not fast enough for you and at some point after a Coalition win you actually determine as fact your area is on the FTTN rollout list I guess you will be first in line for Fibre on Demand.

                I’m comfortable you have that choice.

                Are you also comfortable that if telcos offer to carry the cost of the FoD for a 24 month contract it’ll increase the cost of the LBN considerably?

    14. Abel Adamski
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink |

      Worth remembering one of Conroy’s Gaffe’s in not removing the value of Telstra’s Copper from the original document tendered in parliament after the continual whines from the opposition.

      http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2009/s2725658.htm

      “STEPHEN CONROY: And they have gone to the extraordinary lengths Mr President, of putting a blanket ban on dealing with any broadband, NBN related bill until we release all of that confidential information.

      So don’t come in here pretending to cry on behalf of Telstra or cry on behalf of Telstra shareholders when you are demanding this information be released.

      SABRA LANE: The ACCC report revealed that Telstra’s copper network is valued between $8 billion and $33 billion”

      Plus maintenance

      • TrevorX
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink |

        Shouldn’t that be ‘less maintenance’?

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 04/07/2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink |

        I’ve been saying this for months, and no LBN supporter has ever said how they think the Libs will address this.

        This puts the LBN between $37.4b and $62.4b, and that’s just buying the copper. Telstra it’s self thinks it’s worth at least $19 billion (http://www.commsday.com/commsday-australasia/todays-pdf-issue-telstra-accc-plan-strands-19b-depreciation-15b-inflation-costs-network)

        The increase of cost also doesn’t take into account the extra nodes Malcolm has promised to “guarantee” his minimum speeds, or costs to remediate/maintain the copper portion they’ll be using (or if Telstra will continue to run the 7% of folks that will still actually be using copper and payphones, or if NBNCo will also take that over….something they were not setup to manage).

        Renai has said that the LBN is a credible alternative, and I tend to agree with him with the proviso that it be cheaper and faster to roll out. Unfortunately, these extra costs make it less a credible alternative and more a very expensive one, especially considering it’s objectives.

    15. Gordon Drennan
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink |

      You can not by definition “fact check” the future. It hasn’t happened yet. Politifact’s analysis is as much nonsense as Renai citing NBNCo business plans as “facts”.

      • Alex
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink |

        Incorrect…

        The business case/Corp plan are referred to as evidence not facts…

        You do know the difference between facts and evidence?

        • Fibroid
          Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

          So the rollout targets of premises passed and active connections stated in the two Business plans so far that were missed, what were they evidence or facts?

          • Alex
            Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink |

            LOL… this is coming from the same person that upon the release of the Corporate plan, when we were all discussion the projections within, who simply argued it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on because it was all estimations.

            And now you are asking are the same estimations, evidence or facts?

            Another nice contradiction…

            What’s MT’s plan, estimations, evidence or facts?

            I now await the inevitable straw man in reply.

            • Michael
              Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink |

              Until they have demonstrated that they can meet their targets, they are estimations or goals, based upon evidence but nothing more. This is definately shown by NBN Co’s performance to date, the estimations have to be updated as new information comes in.

              The LNP plan will have similar issues, it would be insteresting to see who can manage a rollout more efficiently; i.e stick to their targets.

              • Observer
                Posted 05/07/2013 at 1:51 am | Permalink |

                ‘The LNP plan will have similar issues’

                If they win the elections.

      • TrevorX
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink |

        Not nearly as nonsense as Turnbull claiming 25 & 50mbps minimums as ‘guaranteed’ ;-) In one instance you’re talking about evidence that does exist today as a basis for the reality of claims made about the future coming to pass. You can fact check this evidence, and from there determine the liklihood of those future promises or predictions.

        However a politically charged claim during an election cycle that has no legal underpinning nor collateral basis against which the guarantee is made is essentially nothing more than a hollow election promise.

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 04/07/2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

        You can not by definition “fact check” the future. It hasn’t happened yet. Politifact’s analysis is as much nonsense as Renai citing NBNCo business plans as “facts”.

        Or the Liberal party saying the NBN will cost $94b and they can do it quicker/cheaper? :)

    16. Gordon Drennan
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink |

      Oh, and in regard to Abbott “not telling the whole truth”, is it actually possible to tell the whole truth. You can say anyone talking about anything isn’t telling the whole truth. You can always find something you consider the truth that that other person hasn’t chosen to mention. Suggesting someone did not tell the whole truth is one of Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes Minister’s standard tactics to discredit and dismiss anything.

      Or as the old joke goes ….
      Court official: “Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?”
      Witness: “If I knew the whole truth and nothing but the truth I would be God.”

      • Harimau
        Posted 03/07/2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink |

        Abbott is deliberately or mistakenly withholding information (i.e. being selective with the facts) in order to lend greater, inappropriate weight to his arguments/statements, in situations where being less selective with the facts would yield a significantly different, potentially contrary, interpretation. That’s what it means by “not telling the whole truth”.

        You’re welcome.

    17. Harimau
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink |

      Personally I think their scale should be:
      True, Partly false, Half false, Mostly false, Completely false.
      Let’s not give points out to politicians for telling “little” lies.

    18. Harimau
      Posted 03/07/2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink |

      “Often the only way to make the Coalition’s NBN policy appear in a favourable light is to be selective with the facts, and that is precisely what is happening here.”
      Nailed it.

    19. nonny-moose
      Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink |

      “If we had been comparing average peak connection speeds under our NBN plan with the status quo, that point may have been valid,” Turnbull wrote. “But the 25Mbps speed is not either an average speed or an average peak connection speed. It is the MINIMUM line speed that the network will be designed to deliver. In other words nobody will be in a position where they cannot access at least 25Mbps.”

      thats minimum PROJECTED speed. there is no real world experience for the liberal plan yet – it is all paper. no proof. i accept the point about remediation but query – at what cost? if the remediation costs are a significant portion over the ~30bn mooted cost of the Liberal network, it brings the total cost closer to the cost of the network to what there already is – already including remediation, with a $3.6 bn buffer and in process already – and Malcolm fully admits that if there is need for upgrade there will be more spent down the track. at what point when you are approaching the cost of the network from your predecessors, do you accept that you are spending more for less? id like it to be well before you blow through the original dollar figure, please.

      you acknowledge it must be cost effective; it must ‘efficiently meet community needs’, etc. that said, i would like to be sure you honestly weigh the FTTH cost against your FTTN proposal in that regard – its all very well to say you’ve set a speed mandate but over the past few years you’ve also set a ‘cheaper faster’ target for yourselves. what will you do if the indication is you cant meet your own target?

      as far as proof for what you get under the NBN – i am one of them – i have received what was promised, and i am in a position where i can access ‘at least 1Gbps’. well, as soon as it gets turned on later this year….. i dont have to wait for Turnbulls Fail Network to be built (second half even!) to offer me speeds i already have (50/20 for those asking. yes, well before Malcolms ‘promised’ delivery in 2016 or whatever it is today….he probably wont deliver that upload though).

      BTW im also interested in todays G.fast announcement, that is vectoring tech, and again i have to ask, if you are using *any* kind of vectoring – VDSL or g.fast – that seems to necessitate a single network? i think the BT one is, is the Deutche 100/40 service a vectored incumbent product? that one network design point has a significant bearing on the validity of the OS examples to the Australian market.

      what will be the process for access seekers under FTTN? will they be forced resellers of the Telstra VDSL(2) product? (as i expect they will be, and to which i point to all the competition problems of the past 20Y under that sort of regime). i for one dont relish a return to the days where people have to go cap in hand to Telstra to get access to the network – it wasnt competitive then and wont be in the future.

      (for those who didnt search themselves, heres the g.fast copper stuffs: http://www.convergedigest.com/2013/07/alcatel-lucents-gfast-achieves-13-gbps.html … please note; if the original FTTN net was 600m to the node, you figure out how close the node would need to be to get the 1/1.3Gbps, were this hardware available today).

      dont get excited; as the story notes, this “won’t be commercially available for several years”.

      to hammer the point, FTTH will be supplying 1Gbps well before this will…. this proves what i always suspected; that if there WERE improvements to copper abilities, it would be well past what is available on fibre, and by the stage this stuff gets commercialised, and Tony could move his wet copper dream into reality, fibre costs will be well below what they are today – there really *isnt* any reason to sink money into a metal base network when you are hitting a speed mark on fibre well in advance of the same mark over copper.

      for short run MDU setups – i still think this is a fit for that circumstance, provided the infrastructure copper is up to it – and it were available tomorrow. ive no idea from the presser what kind of s/n sensitivities that tech has but given the trajectory from DSL to VDSL to whatever this gets called – id say its likely to need copper with a drop of noise in the %order the spec sheet did from DSL to VDSL, so they probably really mean it when they say low hundred of metres. and again, when it *is* actually available, even the TBN would be far enough advanced to make this impractical for us.

      ive not been a fibre or bust type before, but if its going to take 5-8 y to get copper to the stage where we’ll be at on fibre, in Dec this year or thereabouts according to NBNco – 1Gbps – why bother?

    20. Xenq
      Posted 04/07/2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink |

      I’m happy that Politifact are going in to some depth on the NBN, but once again they refuse to do the tough fact-checking. They omitted the end of the sentence from Abbott. He said this during his budget reply earlier this year: “within three years, the Coalition’s NBN will deliver broadband speeds at least five times faster than the current average FOR $60 BILLION LESS THAN LABOR’S VERSION” (my emphasis added!). As above posters have commented, they refuse to tackle the issues that anybody cares about, dancing about sensitive topics by focussing on narrow statements or interpreting things completely literally.

      Who really cares about the speed increase over the average comment? There’s enough uncertainty over what the average is and it seems ball-park enough that it seems a waste of time to be fact-checking it when on cost we have egregious lies going undisputed.

      They have no problem marking Gillard’s $5k installation comment as wrong when their only evidence was what a company in the UK were charging for a similar install. Essentially they’ve ruled against her because she couldn’t produce evidence that it would definitely cost $5k. Where’s the Coalition’s evidence? Turnbull has always been careful to say that his BS was based on “reasonable assumptions”. No such discretion from Abbott.

      • TrevorX
        Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink |

        I have to say I’m with you here – within the scope of possible topics to tackle on the NBN, surely you’d start with the most important/pertinent/highly debated points first, and then move on to the more esoteric specifics. They haven’t covered the LNP claims of blown out FTTH build costs, they haven’t covered the gross disparity in OPEX between the two approaches, they haven’t covered the disingenuous claims of minimum performance guarantees underpinned by nothing of substance, they haven’t covered the repeated claims by the LNP that wireless is a more appropriate technology than FTTH… Should I go on?

        Not that I’m particularly surprised – remember Politifact in Australia are a new organisation in name only – it is still run and staffed by journalists who have extensive experience within the Australian system, with existing prejudices, contacts and vested interests. I’d be far more interested in a publication like this if it was operated and written by disinterested journalists from outside Australia, such as the new Guardian spinoff (as an example of the type of organisation, not an example of a drop in replacement doing the same job).

    21. Bernard
      Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink |

      Turnbull has no clothes… British Telecom were reportordly RIPPING OUT FTTN months ago according to an article I read on TheRegister.co.uk Guess what they were replacing it with.. FTTH Wake up Malcolm and stop towing the dodgy dinosaurs line.

      • Fibroid
        Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink |

        Hmm, that’s very interesting, so BT are rolling out FTTN in 2013 and ripping it out at the same time are they?

        “BT’s network arm Openreach has announced a further 163 exchange areas at which it expects to roll out fibre broadband technology commercially throughout 2013, with locations ranging from Torquay, Devon to Kilbirnie in Scotland. The operator claims that the latest phase of its fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) rollout will see more than one million homes and businesses added to the network footprint, adding to the eleven million premises that can already access the telco’s superfast services.”

        http://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2012/09/26/openreach-unveils-163-new-exchange-areas-for-fttc-rollout/

        Now where is your link?

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 04/07/2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink |

          Not exactly what your asking for, but it’s a partial answer and the rest of it is very interesting in a “food for thought” way.

          This is a video of Peter Cochrane (former CTO of BT) giving evidence at the UK’s governments House of Lords Communications Committee

          http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=10560

          You’ll find this also answers a lot of the other questions that have been asked (ones like “Who needs 100Mbps?”, “Can’t wireless can do it all anyway?”, etc).

          • Fibroid
            Posted 04/07/2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink |

            ‘ but it’s a partial answer’

            It’s a partial answer to what?

            • Tinman_au
              Posted 04/07/2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink |

              I credit you with more intelligence than that…but if I have to spell it out:

              You said:

              so BT are rolling out FTTN in 2013 and ripping it out at the same time are they?

              Peter Cochrane was with BT from 1962 and ended up their the Chief Technical Officer and said:

              fibre to the node-style broadband is “one of the biggest mistakes humanity has made”, imposing huge bandwidth and unreliability problems on those who implement it

              You may not consider it a partial answer to you question of “Is FTTN worth it?”, but I do…if the head of BT’s technical services think it isn’t worth the money, why do you?

              • Observer
                Posted 04/07/2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink |

                “I credit you with more intelligence than that”

                Don’t worry ,we all make mistakes.

    22. Fibroid
      Posted 04/07/2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink |

      @Xenq

      ‘They have no problem marking Gillard’s $5k installation comment as wrong when their only evidence was what a company in the UK were charging for a similar install. Essentially they’ve ruled against her because she couldn’t produce evidence that it would definitely cost $5k.’

      No, you need to read the ruling, that’s not why they concluded Gillard’s statement was ‘mostly false’.

      ” Gillard said the Coalition’s broadband plan will “cost households $5000 to get connected”.

      That is just not accurate. While others in Government qualified the statement by saying the price might be “up to $5000″, Gillard left out the qualifier, making it sound like every family in Australia would have to pay that much.

      And saying the cost to “get connected” was $5000 could imply that those who did not pay would be left unconnected. Under the Coalition plan, most households would be connected by the existing copper system.”

      http://www.politifact.com.au/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/may/12/julia-gillard/julia-gillard-says-coalitions-nbn-will-cost-househ/

      • Xenq
        Posted 04/07/2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink |

        You’re right. I did need to reread that. I probably should have done that before posting half a dozen times on the Gillard article. I don’t know if there was any more context, but the quote makes it sound as if every single household would have to pay $5k under the Coalition’s plan and that is of course BS. It’s good they called her up on it. I would just say that it is not clear yet what fibre on demand will cost and what speeds it will provide in Australia.

      • Alex
        Posted 04/07/2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink |

        So how much will it cost?

    23. ferdiewilson
      Posted 19/07/2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink |

      Sadly to say, but I hope this is not a “escape goat” idea.




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