Screw the NBN, says TPG: We’ll do our own FTTB



news National broadband company TPG has flagged plans to deploy so-called fibre to the basement infrastructure to some 500,000 apartments in major Australian capital cities, in a move which will compete directly with the new Coalition Government’s plans to conduct similar rollouts under the National Broadband Network scheme.

Under the incoming Coalition Federal Government’s NBN policy, fibre will typically not be extended all the way to home and business premises. Instead, the Government is planning to deploy fibre to neighbourhood ‘nodes’, and then use Telstra’s existing copper cable for the remainder of the distance to premises.

Communications Minister-elect Malcolm Turnbull has also stated that a Coalition Government would also examine so-called ‘fibre to the basement’ schemes, where fibre is extended to a building’s basement or other junction point, and then the building’s existing copper cable is used to distribute broadband to individual apartments or business premises.

However, in documents associated with its financial results briefing today, national broadband provider TPG — one of Australia’s largest ISPs and telcos — revealed its own plans to skip the Government’s planned rollout and leverage its own fibre infrastructure to deploy FTTB.

Courtesy of its existing PIPE Networks business, TPG has extensive fibre infrastructure in built-up areas of major capital cities throughout Australia. In its briefing documents, the company said it would be “leveraging and expanding our existing fibre network” to deploy “fibre to the building” in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The ISP has “500k units currently in design”.

“The Group is planning to increase the number of buildings directly connected to its fibre network in metro areas,” the company added. “With the evolution of new technologies now enabling speeds of up to 100Mbps, this will enable the Group to commence offering very high-speed broadband services to its customers at ADSL2+ prices.”

TPG noted in its briefing documents that it would be offering up to 100Mbps packages including “unlimited” downloads and home phone line rental, as well as a bundled Wi-Fi modem and unlimited local calls and “standard” national calls to landlines, for $69.99 per month.

Further opportunities may come due to the company’s purchase of a small amount of wireless spectrum in the 2.5GHz band, which will become available from October 2014. TPG noted that the acquisition of the spectrum would give TPG “opportunities to offer innovative, value-adding products” to “further enhance” the company’s product suite. In its documents, TPG specifically called out the service as having the potential to add value for TPG customers connected to FTTB or NBN offerings. It may be possible for the company to offer wireless services in-building from its fibre termination point.

Under the previous Labor administration, it is unlikely that TPG would have been allowed to pursue its FTTB plans, given that Labor’s policy would have prohibited private operators from overbuilding the NBN in most cases. However, it is unclear what the Coalition’s view on the situation would be. Turnbull has stated that he believes in infrastructure-based competition to the Coalition’s own NBN infrastructure, meaning it may be possible TPG may be allowed — or even encouraged — to continue with the deployment. It’s also unclear whether TPG would need to open its infrastructure to competitive wholesale access.

The news comes as Turnbull has recently highlighted another deployment along similar lines. The rollout, in a housing estate in Sydney, is already delivering 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload speeds.

Very, very interesting move from TPG here, and although it obviously comes as part of the company’s normal financial results briefing, I strongly suspect it would not have been announced today unless the Coalition won power in the Federal Election several weeks ago. TPG obviously smells the chance here to get in first and deploy FTTB in valuable areas.

I need to go away and do some research on this one before forming an opinion. But I’m sure y’all will post some opinions of your own below this article ;)

Image credit: TPG


  1. I’m more concerned about this resulting in broadband ghettos, where you inevitably have a choice of 1 supplier, because they were the ones willing to rollout to your neighbourhood. Although this one seems to be in the city, I don’t see this being a problem. However, contrast this with Optus’ plan, and you could see issues similar to what America has, in that the street your house is on defines who you get broadband from.

    • What they are really doing is giving the owners/developers of the complex cash in return for forcing all the occupiers to choose only one supplier (for anything above what they can get on the Telstra copper), who would be under far less scrutiny than Telstra or NBNCo – in fact, are under no obligation to provide wholesale access at all.

      Case in point is the OPENetworks VDSL site MT ‘launched’ recently – where only 3 ISPs can provide service. Which is probably one of the better examples, there a few stories on Whirlpool with less honorable players in the market.

      • There is no reason you could remain on the Telstra MDF if you so choose, or have multiple operators do this.

      • >What they are really doing is giving the owners/developers of the complex cash in return for forcing all
        > the occupiers to choose only one supplier (for anything above what they can get on the
        > Telstra copper), who would be under far less scrutiny than Telstra or NBNCo – in fact, are under
        > no obligation to provide wholesale access at all.

        Incorrect, what they offer is to put a VDSL LAM in the bottom of the building, connected to a Pipe Fiber cable. If a person wants to switch from his current ADSL provider the copper cable going to his apartment is patched on this VDSL LAM in the MDF of the building.

        If this person just want to use any ADSL provider he can stick to his current setup.

        Also the complex doesn’t get cash, but if there are more then 50 apartments in the building the Building Manager will get a free connection to the internet.

        The choice of switching to this FTTB / VDSL offering and getting a connection of 100 / 40, compared to an ADSL connection for the same price (and unlimited traffic !) is an easy one. YES right away !

        • @Jeroen

          Actually it’s not that simple as several of us have discussed. Due to the high amount of cross-talk thanks to unshielded cabling in many MDUs, as soon as you put one VDSL signal on the internal copper, you begin to induct on any pairs near it in the trunk. This would interfere with ADSL and degrade performance. The same is true of VDSL and degraded performance from ADSL.

          There are ways to manage this- vectoring is one. But it requires ALL lines be under control of one provider, or risk up to 25% speed loss on lines. So it’s not as simple as you can choose who you like with no consequences.

    • What a total joke this is becoming.

      Australia is going to end-up with a ridiculous mish-mash of infrastructure, with some people only able to access high-speed broadband from one or two providers, while others have different options completely.

      There will be no order to anything, unlike what the ‘real’ NBN offered. And the disaster the LNP will create in the next few years will not be able to be undone or rectified for many many decades… if at all.

      Tony Abbott asked Malcolm Turnbull to destroy the NBN, and that’s exactly what he has done.

      We are/will be the laughing stock of the world.

      • Being laughed at by the rest of the world will not compensate for local tears. How is creating all these local, probably unregulated, monopolies going to make access “more affordable”?

        When you want an example of the joys of competition, think commercial radio, especially in the U.S. And of course, our old friend Fox News.

  2. I wonder if Telstra will do what it did with cable and build out is own fibre to areas that TPG is planning too,like it did with Optus

    • The difference here is that TPG already has fibre in the streets, so for a small outlay they can run it to the basement of countless buildings and capture the market.

        • But what I’m saying is that there is nowhere near the same level of investment in either capital or time required, thus the risk is much lower, further reduced by the fact they’re targeting apartment buildings, in a large apartment building even if you only capture 10% or 20% of residents you would be able to recoup you investment and make a return in a reasonable amount of time.

          • I think they would be aiming to capture a hell of a lot more than 10% or 20% of the residents to make it worth while, especially as they are competing with other RSP’s on wholesale resell who are also trying to capture those residents, and the competitors don’t have the problem of getting a ROI on the CAPEX.

          • No, but customers reselling TPG products will be providing a “margin” service, like was done with Telstra Wholesale. This means that provided TPG’s prices are not monoploisitic (i.e. they don’t try and charge wholesales more than or retailers to undercut competitors) and they meet the “reference product” price requirements laid out by the Liberal NBN plan, they can charge whatever the hell they want to wholesalers in order to regan their CAPEX.

            You only have to worry really about CAPEX recovery if you’re undergoing infrastructure competition, which as Telstra and Optus have proven, isn’t actually cost effective on a widescale. Look at America. You get some (high demand, low cost) areas with multiple providers but most residents only have access to one provider (sometimes with “reseller” options, but often not).

            Wholesale customers “competiting” with you have absolutely no affect on your ability to recover CAPEX, or how much market share you need to make the business plan viable. The real problem you face is if the ACCC decides to grace you with their pressence and force you to drop your prices. This is exactly the reason why Labor wanted to get rid of Telstra by creating NBNCo, why the ACCC introduced ULL, all were aimed at trying to reduce the power Telstra had in the market. Unfortunately technologies, like vectoring, mean that ULL actually becomes impractical in FTTB and FTTN networks.

            I don’t even know why I have to explain this to you, this should be assumed knowledge for anyone talking about the NBN.

  3. I doubt they plan to use the wireless spectrum for last mile connections.

    It would be much more likely they plan to use it to extend wireless backhaul from MDU’s on their fibre network, to other MDU’s.

    This is a pretty common business model around the world, FTTB to buildings on the existing network and then wireless links to other buildings until there is enough demand to justify rolling fibre to them.

  4. and so it begins…..

    How will Malcolm Turnbull’s NBN make a profit now with its competitors cherry picking its most profitable customers?

    Fraudband’s Business model has just been destroyed!

    • Indeed. This will be a dilemma for Turnbull, either admit NBNco got something right or risk turning his patchwork plan into a white elephant. Of course then there is the third option of do nothing which the coalition clowns are notorious for resulting in a bonus digital divide. With only 1200 days to go I’m guessing this will be most likely.

    • They could always re-interpret and enforce the anti-cherry picking laws, no?

      It wouldn’t be like the government of the day to use a law designed for one thing to re-interpret that law to protect it’s own policy position; case in point, s303 of the Telco Act used to support internet filtering.

    • Its not just the cherry picking. There’s now the govt & Tpg interested in Telstra last mile copper. The more folk queuing up for that copper the less likely its a free handover. If the govt doesn’t want to pay and its in a cherrypickable area, Telstra might feel it better off to hold it for a paying mob. That could make copper access quite tricky to negotiate?

      • Interesting situation re: the copper. TPG’s plan is to roll fiber onto the premises themselves, and just leverage off the internal ducting for the last mile copper. By that point, Telstra’s responsibilities have ended (they control up to the property line), but still have obligations for that last mile of copper.

        By going with a FttB option and moving the control point onto the property boundaries, it really muddies the water in regards who owns/controls what.

        There are some seriously technical issues that are going to be part of this.

        • Ahh ,I see evading Telstra past the boundary line would work. Still i suspect interest in the copper could colour the value discussion. Muddy doesn’t sound the last of it…..

        • Actually the telecommunications boundary point isn’t the property line, it is either the MDF or the first socket where there is no MDF. Most apartment buildings of any size will have an MDF, so there is a pretty simple boundary at which the internal cabling connects to a telecommunications provider’s network. It will be a little more complicated in older, smaller apartment buildings where there is no MDF, but I suspect that these wont be TPGs target anyway (at least not in the short term)

          • See, when I bought my unit some 7 years ago, thats what I thought too. But Telstra swore black and blue that the MDF box wasnt their responsibility, and that the strata had to organise it. I got my phoneline but there was no MDF box for months.

            For the purposes of the TPG story, it makes zero difference anyway. The MDF box is simply replaced by a FttB NTU (or they are next to each other if the MDF is still needed), and any lines people want to connect to FttB are moved from one box to the other.

            Main point was that the Telstra control stops at a relatively easy to bypass location. Whether thats the property line or a box on the wall isnt a big issue.

          • Telstra were correct – it is the developer/building owners responsibility to provide the MDF. An MDF has an “A-Side” where Telstra’s cables connect and a ‘B-Side” where the building cables to the apartment connect. Everything on the A Side is Telstras responsibility (once the room/box has been provided). Everything on the B side is the building/strata’s responsibility

            But yes, the existence of an MDF does make it quite simple to connect a given apartment to an FTTB node in the basement

    • Indeed HC…

      There are those who talk such rubbish there (fancy being a high flying tech exec/fibre mogul, who doesn’t even understand the basics such as FttX variants, telling us all his 1950’s vision…lol) and don’t ever dare comment here at this, an evidence based forum…

      Says it all…

    • Just like we thought HC, post election and a Coalition win…our visionless, 1950’s friend has disappeared *sigh*

      Perhaps he’s in Buenos Aires again…lol

      • It’s not like RF actually posts anything worthwhile, links to The Oz, ad homs, etc might work in Op Ed articles, but they don’t actually address an issue.

  5. I think you have hit it on the head: “TPG obviously smells the chance here to get in first and deploy FTTB in valuable areas”

    Shock horror, someone is moving in to scope up the cream. Welcome to the digital divide, probably brought to you by the sponsors of outright capitalism, the Australian Coalition Government.

    I feel a “I Told You So” coming on.

    In saying that, expect Malcolm in the Muddle to move to protect Telstra’s interests.

    • @ error619

      No. No completion. This is a plan. Just like NBNCo.

      It will be substantially faster to rollout- of course. But it is subject to similar problems NBNCo. would have if they did FTTB.

  6. Smart move by TPG. Cherry pick the best customers with the lowest rollout costs, while the LNP drags its feet with an outside in model. Given I’m in the juggling whether to stay with my current provider or switch to TPG when I move to a new apartment in a couple of months, I think this just made my mind up.

  7. The circus has just begun. There were good reasons behind the NBN, now we are seeing what happens when you undo all of that.

  8. I see this as a win for consumers!

    After all, once TPG have installed their “bright and shiney” FTTB with 100 Mb/s access, surely the “competitors friend” the LNP will allow ALL OTHER RSP’s to be granted OPEN ACCESS to these sites to be able to complete on a level playing field.

    This is the way it should occur, no?

    Onya TPG, saving the Australia Taxpayer from installing fibre at those sites, and allowing us to all connect with our “preferred carrier”.

    So, will this happen?

    • Saving????

      Umm no if profitable areas are cherry picked TPG makes the profit and it COST us money as NBNCo can not re-coupe money causing it to become on budget.

      The whole point of the NBN is that profitable areas subsidise less profitable areas so everyone has access to fast broadband.

      If this happens it will cost the taxpayers BILLIONS

    • TPG won’t be required to wholesale anything, unless ACCC rule under the TPA.

      So no, TPG is expecting to service a subset of the market, and capture customers in the process, with, in-all-likelihood no requirement to provide wholesale access.

      So you can either chose TPG, or no access. Success.

      • …and I’m sure in the spirit of fair play they will be cheaper for us their new friends than that rotten socialist government built FttP NBN :/

  9. Conroy’s anti “cherry picking” legislation is still in place until the Coalition amend or repeal it. As I understand it that legislation requires infrastructure like that planned by TPG to be both open access and wholesale only. If TPG builds it then TPG can’t use it.

    Turnbull’s policy is to keep the open access requirement (to a degree) but remove the wholesale only requirement. He will need to pass legislation to do that though and he faces a hostile Senate until the middle of next year.

    Conroy had a habit of inserting ‘ministerial discretion’ into pretty much everything though. Anyone know if he put it in the anti “cherry picking” legislation. If he did then Turnbull can ignore the legislation anyway, at his discretion of course.

    • This assumes the current policy holds. It won’t. It can’t.

      Because it precludes Telstra’s likely “gentleman’s agreement” with Turnbull from succeeding. TPG are the first, of likely what will become a rush of uncontrolled overbuilds occurring as ISPs reposition.

      Welcome to the past. Again.

    • If neither plan provides the infrastructure, how can it be cherry picking? Seriously, thats a key part of this – its MDU’s, which right now get neither FttN or FttH. They cant be accused of overbuilding something that wasnt going to be built.

      The cost effective rollout is going to see fiber lines up and down the streets with MDU’s, meaning they can leverage that into non-MDU’s, and THAT part might need to be opened up at the wholesale level, but the key part of this is 500,000 blocks of units, which werent getting anything in the first place anyway. At least not until the various MDU issues were sorted.

      As I said below, well played TPG, well played.

      • Why does it have to be opened for wholesale?

        Unless there are monopoly, TPA or competition concerns, TPG is free to do whatever the hell it wants with it’s network.

        And you can’t claim “nothing was going to be done”, as there were clear intentions for something TO be done – vis-a-vis

        People are forgetting that outside of declared services and rulings from ACCC over TPA/ monopoly, ISPs such as TPG have absolutely no requirement to wholesale.

        The Labor policy included wholesale and structural requirements; the likely outcome of Turnbull’s policy is a disjointed, broken market where you have various ISPs in various areas with no structure or wholesale requirements.

        That’s great for infrastructure competition, but no-one in their right mind is going to repeat the Telstra vs Optus overbuild fiasco. Surely?

        • Thats part of the debate, whether it has to be or not. I’m working on it having to be, but theres no reason that will happen, certainly.

          Here’s how I see it:

          TPG is rolling this out to MDU’s specfically. For most, that only requires a couple of fiber lines to deal with the residents. But thats not efficient to roll out, so as part of rolling out those couple of lines to be used, hundreds of others will be sitting there unused, passing every other house in the area. Basically, to get to the MDU they will roll out the green cable we’re seeing today.

          Why wouldnt they open that rollout up at the wholesale level, and sell the connection to the competion? Its easy money, they can charge whatever they want, which will realistically mean something along similar lines to NBN Co, and hence make easy money off what would otherwise be sitting in the ground doing nothing.

          The costs are connecting from that cable to the household, in that last mile stretch. TPG is covering potentially dozens of properties with a single dig, while the competition will cover 1 property per dig.

          So even if they dont HAVE to provide it at the wholesale level, its easy money for them to do so.

          • Why?

            Ask Telstra why they were forced to wholesale. Just because they can, or do, doesn’t mean it’s prefered.

            It’s assumptive to expect TPG to wholesale services. They might, but unless obligated to, they don’t have to; and without regulatory oversight, those services even if wholesaled, may be priced above retail.

            Because that has never happened elsewhere, before, right?

            Again, people have fallen into this assumption that anyone building a fibre network is likely to wholesale. In some cases I’m sure network operators will. In others, it’s almost bankable they won’t.

            All bets are off if the provisions in the existing policy become forfeit.

            Either way, the single opportunity to have a reasonably level, competitive playing field has died. It’s difficult to predict the outcome of a cherry-picking frenzy. Even more so if Telstra get in on the action.

          • I’ll put it a different way.

            MDU’s make up about 30% of the population, but only 4% of the properties. This is where TPG’s move is a good one. They are the highest density properties, so have the best return for the investment.

            And when they roll out the cabling, it makes little difference to cost whether they roll out a single fiber line or the full FttH level green cable of fibers. The cost is the same. The prices are the last mile section onto the property, and into the premises.

            So if they are rolling that line out regardless, why wouldnt they onsell that to the competition? Someone wanting to connect to Telstra off that fiber is going to be charged by Telstra for that last mile connection into their house. Thats where the real cost of FttH is, not the fiber rollout.

            Yes, they might not. But they gain nothing by not opening it up to make money out of.

          • @GongGav

            Yes, they do lose something- market dominance. You offer your fibre to the basement MDF at a reasonable price and people will have a choice of providers, reducing TPGs market share. Hence reducing their possibilities for revenue and cost covering.

          • Wasnt clear. Retain exclusiveness on the properties where they provide a termination, just not other properties.

            They clearly care about milking MDU’s with this, and just MDU’s. Sure, they can build into other properties, but this story is specifically about JUST MDU’s. Nothing more.

            With that, they are going to build more capability than they need. It cant happen any other way and they either use that solely themselves, and not maximise what they can make off it, or sell at a wholesale level to anyone wanting to link into their fiber and provide a NTU to any other property.

            I just see that as being as possible as TPG doing nothing. If they dont let others use it, they gain nothing. If they do let others use it, they lose nothing, as its only going to be there because they have exclusivity with the cherry in the area – the MDU.

          • TPG’s market isn’t the value add, high dollar market. It’s not Telstra. It’s a low price operator. So the copious amounts of capacity you feel would exist, won’t necessarily be there.

            You are, again, making the assumption that they’re going to wholesale because they’ll make a profit. The same would apply to Telstra, even more so and they still had to have regulatory pressure applied to wholesale services.

            They’re after market share, because it’s the only way they can grow, outside of acquisition.

            This has nothing to do with opening up competition, and everything to do with locking in a market advantage. The same will be true for any other provider who is pondering the same thing.

            This isn’t NBNco. It’s a commercial operator looking at attempting to capture a big market, before someone else can.

          • And that market is MDU’s.

            If they roll out a cable to capture a specific MDU, that cable is there. It’s not going anywhere for the next 50 years or so. If they dont, its a moot point.

            So they either sit on that cable, and try to get others in the area to connect (ie non-MDU’s), in which case they get slugged with the cost of rolling out that last mile of FttH (or passing that cost on to the customer), or they dont, and just let the usused strands sit there doing nothing.

            Either way, the cable is there. The cost of laying it wont be any different one way or another, and it will still be there.

            Enter Telstra, or any other competitor. They get a request for FttH. You either have an agressive culture, in which case TPG says ‘naff off’ and Telstra has to roll out a second cable down that street, or they work together to avoid chasing each other up and down the street like the HFC rollout.

            If TPG is only interested (or initially only primarily) in capturing the MDU market, its not in their best business interests to piss off their competition. Come to an agreement that they roll out the cable to those MDU’s without competition, so they get their market, but open up what they’ve rolled out to non-MDU’s in the area.

            It saves the competition from wasting infrastructure, and gets people connected faster. And costs TPG nothing to collect $25/month per connection.

            TPG makes their money through low costs, and that means MDU’s. They spread the cost over every permise rather than just one. I can see that the wouldnt care about single dwelling properties for a good number of years if they could corner enough MDU’s.

          • @GonGav
            “Basically, to get to the MDU they will roll out the green cable we’re seeing today.”
            is wrong.

            TPG own PIPEnetworks, they already have fibre running past a lot of these MDUs, and for them to put a VDSL2 or whatever DSLAM/MSAN in the basement they only need 1 fibre core. They aren’t going to be doing anything like the NBN Big Greenies. The most likely scenario is they will be seeking access to the building from the owner and installing up to 100m of 24 core fibre lead-in from their existing PIPE joint out the front or down the road, and they will do it in the existing Telstra duct (like most of their fibre network).

    • The coalition campaigned against those laws on the grounds that “infrastructure competition” is good for the consumer.
      They will not retain them. Therefore TPG will get to use it without wholesaling.

      To imply the coalition government will turn around and not scrap those laws would be hilarious. AND will actually be a good idea (infrastructure competition is one of my problems with the new NBN plan), since they can’t make money if all of the profitable areas are cherry picked by “exclusive” competitors.

      • Telstra has assumed those provisions are forfeit, as has TPG. There’s blood in the water. Feeding time.

        We’ll likely see a rash of ISPs lining up to take profitable areas, where they have investment already. They’d be mad not to. Chance of a lifetime to lock in tens or hundreds of thousands of consumers.

        I’m all for competition, but a free-for-all without some kind of wholesale directive will lead to an even greater divide than today.

        • Except there is a wholesale directive, it’s on Page 10 of the Coalition policy under Infrastructure competition.

          The other wholesale directive comes from the ACCC who has to approve any SAU submission from any operator allowing said private operator to have exclusive access to their rollout.

          The ACCC would also need to totally ignore all submissions from competitor RSP’s disputing that restrictive SAU on exclusivity when it is published for open public comment like all SAU’s are.

          The Labor NBN Co SAU the ACCC were still working on it right up until the election, it was originally submitted in December 2011.

          • Page 10 doesn’t apply to greenfields, networks already in place or non-reference products.

  10. All I can say is wow, I didnt see that one coming. And its a very interesting move on TPG’s part.

    For one, MDU’s are a bugbear for both rollouts, so cudo’s for agressively taking advantage of the situation.

    Second, it shores them up as a key NBN player.

    Third, it does so at near the FttH benchmark, without stepping on overbuild issues.

    Fourth, it does so at relatively low cost. 500,000 premises covered, for around 1/3rd the population.

    Well played TPG, well played.

    • You forgot one.

      Fifth, it segments the market where wholesale is no longer an assumed outcome, and without infrastructure overbuild, there is no natural competition to drive pricing.

    • Gav, it is kudos – it means ‘honour and glory’.

      It does ‘step on overbuild issues’ – the legislation as it stands today specifically prohibits this sort of deployment. The legislation will have to be changed before TPG can begin such a rollout

      • Missed this one on the way through… thanks for the typo correction, I wasnt paying attention at the time :)

        I’m not so sure on overbuild issues personally. The current ones are to prevent private organisations from coming in and cherry picking FttH so they get the advantage before NBN got there, but this isnt that – its developing infrastructure improvements beyond what FttN is delivering.

        Build FttN, then yes, its overbuild because its in direct competition. But anything faster might not be, which means FttC, FttP, FttB, or FttH. Might be missing one or 2. Some of those (ie FttC which is really just FttN with a shorter loop) are very close to FttN and could be argued to be overbuild, but the rest are certainly well beyonf FttN’s capabilities and hence might not be overbuild.

        Just my opinion, I’m sure there will be plenty of debate on it over the next few months, but to me at least it seems to relax the overbuild stipulations enough for this sort of build to be legit.

        • I’m not so sure on overbuild issues personally.

          I don’t think Malcolm is actually expecting that much ‘investment’ networking to be built, his 71% FTTN would be lower otherwise.

  11. Telstra’s desire to have Malcolm “quickly” negotiate a deal has an interesting context, now. Doesn’t it.

    Not sure what Malcolm is planning, but unless some of the existing legislation stays in place, TPG, Optus, Telstra and anyone else with fibre is going to capture most of the market.

    It probably solves his funding issues, but the resulting mess of competition, wholesale (or lack there of) is going to have a pretty profound result.

    The ACCC is going to be rather busy, soon.

    • The fun thing is now the government has to build FTTN in some really piss-poor markets. Since TPG/Telstra/Optus wont.

      He won’t have to build anything in these other areas (they’ll have “50megabits or greater!”) so that saves some cost. But since they will be the low-cost high-revenue areas, that leaves MT and the newNBN with the low-to-negative margin areas to provide internet access.

      At least when the government wasn’t spending money on telecommunications the digital divide didn’t cost the taxpayer.
      Now, we’ll have a digital divide AND a taxpayer funded (since it won’t be profitable and thus on-budget) NBN – and it will likely halt its rollout at only the unprofitable areas since everywhere else will be on 3 year contracts with TPG/Telstra/Optus.

  12. This makes perfect sense now.

    TPG refused to enter the NBN debate. They don’t even provide NBN plans yet. It’s now clear why. They were waiting for the Coalition to win, promise to rollback the infrastructure competition clause so they could do this.

    This is a failure of both parties now. If TPG rollout this infrastructure, 5% of the market is, essentially, their’s to charge what they like for. They can lock these premises in to high wholesale costs for other providers they themselves do not need. Just like Telstra has done for years.

    Turnbull will no doubt shortly release a Press Statement saying what a great day for competition it is now that they can repeal these clauses and more networks can spring up like this. And completely fail to mention it locks these and other premises covered in similar rollouts, to 1 provider for years.

    So much for retail competition in this county’s telco sector.

    • 30% 7T, not 5%.

      They are targetting MDU’s, so its 500,000 properties, not 500,000 premises. Each of those 500,000 properties is going to hold between 2 and 1000 premises for them to exclusively connect.

      Last I saw, MDU’s were a noticably large portion of the population, and they are effectively trying to corner that part of the market. Cheaply.

      • @GongGav

        It says 500 000 apartments. 500k premises is 5% of total premises (a bit under actually).

        MDUs are about 30% of the population. But only some 12 or 13% are large (greater than 20) MDUs. More than half are split-level/granny-flat etc. type.

          • To put that into context, that’s half-a-million+ new customers; whom can’t go anywhere else, unless TPG wholesale. Still think that’s trivial?

          • Not at all, but my thinking was around 500k properties which, as MDU’s, translates to a lot more premises – roughly 4 million. By last report, MDU’s make up around 1/3rd of the population, which is a hell of a market to corner, and 500k MDU’s would be about the right number to cover that.

            500k premises is around 5% which is still significant, but it changes the scale enough that I’m not as agressive about the wholesale thing.

            I was thinking that they were trying to corner 4 million premises, not 500k. 4 million means they have fingerprints in just about every suburb and near enough to probably 95% of streets across the major cities. 500k apartments is more likely to be about 30k-50k properties, not on the same scale for infrastructure leverage.

          • Keep in mind the now defunct Labor NBN Co were contemplating FTTB for apartment buildings as well, the most economic and rational solution in this sort of scenario is viable irrespective of who the potential infrastructure owners are.

          • Yes I know, that’s why I referred to FTTB as being a economic and rational decision for apartment buildings.

          • I don’t think you quite understand Fibroid.

            They were investigating the option to save costs, not because it was an economic or rational decision. An economic or rational decision implies they have done a CBA.

            In fact, as I understand it from what was said, they would, if they chose to do it, consider it an “option of last resort”. Why? Because copper in apartment buildings is often ill suited for VDSL deployments.

            Namely: untwisted pairs, high noise, badly maintained cabling, bad cable routing. All of these factors can and will exist in an apartments and MDUs, and all of these factors, tend towards a complete re-cabling (either with category 6 cabling or fibre) in order to get the best performance.

            I agree with FTTB as an “option of last resort”, but I don’t think it should be the “go to” solution for MDUs. Just like I don’t think FTTN should be the “go to” solution either, difference being through that FTTB can get adequate performance and future proofing.

  13. Well, the easiest solution is for the Coalition to just auction off the NBN to the private sector and try to recoup some of the wasted tax payer funds.

    I for one am thrilled at TPG doing this. It’s the same price as NBN but 8 times as fast! Also, whereas NBN was going to take a decade to come to the city TPG fibre will be rolled out in months. I’m already getting my body corporate to make inquiries. If there’s a viable market, companies will roll out the best technology quicker and cheaper than hopeless NBN. As to the digital divide. Well, slower broadband is a consequence of living in the sticks. There are things that I miss out on living in a city apartment. I don’t get a 1/4 acre backyard and 2 dogs; but I don’t expect taxpayers in the bush to pay higher taxes or prices to pay for the construction of a rooftop terrace for me.

    • @James

      The Coalition cannot auction off the NBN. It isn’t worth anywhere near what has been spent on it in the state it is in. Secondly, it requires parliamentary approval which they won’t get.

      Secondly…TPG’s is the same cost as the NBN but 8 times as fast??? Exetel offer 100Mbps for $75. iinet offer 50Mbps for $60. And they are speeds you’ll get. TPGs are UP TO 100Mbps, depending on your apartments distance to the DSLAM/copper quality.

      Slower internet is not acceptable because you choose to live outside the city. I live in a town cluster of almost 20 000 premises. We have ONE provider- Telstra. Sure, we can get any other provider….via Telstra Wholesale. I have no idea why you believe that’s acceptable.

      • Wasted Tax Payer Funds is possibly an accurate statment.

        It seems that the moves by Malcolm Turnbull may be eroding the business model of NBNco. If it doesn’t make a return on its investment, it becomes an expense and therefore must be on budget and any remaining cost to be covered by taxpayer funds.

        I cant imagine what stupidtiy would allow a situation of cherry picking against national infrastructure to occur.

        • But a business model is not one sided in that it totally depends on the revenue part of the equation, if private operators bankroll infrastructure it also drops the cost that the national NBN Co rollout incurs.

          Also keep in mind under Coalition policy all access seekers can resell from any private rollout footprint with pricing overseen by the ACCC.

          Under those conditions private operators will need to think very hard about its viability.

          • If private operators bankroll any areas they will cherry pick the most profitable areas, so even through the amount the Coalition will have to upgrade will be reduced it will be isolated to the expensive parties of the country.

          • Competition in this case equals cherry picking, which in turn equals lower revenues from the less lucrative part of the network.

          • But all ‘competitors’ have access to the cherry picked areas just as if it was a NBN Co rollout, where is the lucrative profit on the part of the private infrastructure investor who have to get their CAPEX $$ back they incurred in the rollout?

          • Missing the point. How unusual.

            The important part there is the non-cherry picked areas don’t get competition but they are not lucrative enough.

            Just like you now. You left the part you did not like and focus on the one you thought you could debate.

          • @Observer

            ‘The important part there is the non-cherry picked areas don’t get competition but they are not lucrative enough.’

            So what’s the difference between a area that has got NBN Co supplied FTTN or FTTP at ACCC controlled pricing and all RSP’s can resell from, and small area/s of FTTP that have private investor funded rollouts
            that all RSP’s can resell from at ACCC controlled pricing?

          • So after years of you promoting complete infrastructure competition (ignoring the natural monopoly element of nationwide comms) it’s now magically ok for a company and/or this government to own the cabling into people’s homes and resell to others, after all…?


          • Fibroid

            Where did this difference between FTTN and FTTP ever had anything to do with my comment. I was simply talking about the problem of cherry picking with the Coalition plan.

            As usual, you are trying to move the goal posts to suit your argument. On the one hand, you say forget Labor’s NBN but on the other, you keep comparing both plans.

            Do you not get the fact that if wholesale competition occurs and cherry picking takes place, the less lucrative areas will not get any competition, as is the case now?

          • Actually, you are all missing the point.

            Fibroid, you are assuming wholesale is a guaranteed outcome. It isn’t. Turnbull has already considered relaxing the legislation.

            So, semantic arguments as to whether FTTB, or FTTH is better, are rendered moot if a company happens to deploy, and isn’t required to wholesale.

            Right now they do. Turnbull will be pressured to relax cherry picking restrictions, in so doing destroying any offset NBNco can get by having highly profitable areas help subsidise those that are not.

            This is a pretty important point that is constantly being buried in semantics.

          • Indeed Brendan…

            The IPA have a list of ‘demands’ (oops requests) for TA, which (iirc), one is to disband the ACCC, so…

          • @Brendan

            He’s is also ignoring decades of telecoms history which point to him being wrong. Malcolm’s plan is just a fairy tale in the Australian context, much like Howards Telstra ‘plan’ was.

          • @Brendan

            ‘Right now they do. Turnbull will be pressured to relax cherry picking restrictions, in so doing destroying any offset NBNco can get by having highly profitable areas help subsidise those that are not.’

            First of all it’s not Turnbull that will relax cherry picking restrictions it’s the ACCC, so you are taking a optimistic punt they will approve any SAU in this area after hearing and resultant ignoring all the other RSP submissions about the effect this has on restricting competition because?

            Secondly I look with amusement with a comparison with the last attempts at ‘cherry picking profitable areas’ in Australia, the Telstra and Optus HFC rollouts, and they had the distinct marketing advantage of not wholesaling to anyone.

            You could only purchase a Bigpond BB cable plan or a Optus BB cable plan, that ‘cherry picking’ plan went well didn’t it? – it went so well they stopped their rollouts in 1997/1998.

          • It didn’t go well because they underwent infrastructure competition, not because cherry picking is “flawed” at some level.

            I’m really concerned about your lack of understanding of the thing you’re so passionately debating. It makes me think you aren’t taking this at all seriously.

          • it because he isn’t arguing based on technical points/merits, he’s just cheerleading the Liberals. That’s why he has so many logic-loop arguments that all lead back to the same well-worn places.

          • @NightKhaos

            ‘It didn’t go well because they underwent infrastructure competition, not because cherry picking is “flawed” at some level.’

            But both telcos rolled out into ‘cherry picked’ lucrative areas, both telco’s restricted access to themselves and both telco’s stopped the rollout very early, not only that it was not just BB it was PayTV revenue in there as well to help offset the cost.
            The point of comparison is that in the current proposed NBN scenario a telco can cherry pick a area but it also has to wholesale at pricing out of its control, and still has to make a buck to get their rollout costs back.

            ‘I’m really concerned about your lack of understanding of the thing you’re so passionately debating. It makes me think you aren’t taking this at all seriously.’

            That’s rich, I provide serious points in the form of quoting direct from Coalition policy on infrastructure competition, how SAU’s work under the ACCC regime and how competitors can make submissions countering restrictive and exclusivity marketing to any SAU and how any legislative changes will require Senate approval where the Coalition does not hold a outright seat majority.

            You should be thankful the points are brought up, I understand anti-Coalition NBN argument would prefer if they didn’t exist at all because it undermines the ‘cherry picking’ argument.

          • But both telcos rolled out into ‘cherry picked’ lucrative areas, both telco’s restricted access to themselves and both telco’s stopped the rollout very early, not only that it was not just BB it was PayTV revenue in there as well to help offset the cost.

            Yet, they were in competition with each other. Specifically they had competing infrastructure. Also known as infrastructure competition. That is why they were a funding failure, because they couldn’t recoup the costs of their aggressive roll-outs because neither of them got a high enough market share, however their combined market-share would have been enough to fund one network.

            I don’t understand what is hard to understand about this.

            The point of comparison is that in the current proposed NBN scenario a telco can cherry pick a area but it also has to wholesale at pricing out of its control, and still has to make a buck to get their rollout costs back.

            Which isn’t a problem for them. Resold TW services still result revenue to Telstra. Similarly, if TPG allows wholesale access they will still have revenue to show for it. Cherry picking isn’t a problem for telcos, it’s a problem for NBNCo, who will have to build to non-cherry picked areas, which, by definition are more expensive and less profitable than the cherry picked areas.

            I don’t understand what is so hard to understand about this.

            That’s rich, I provide serious points in the form of quoting direct from Coalition policy on infrastructure competition,…

            Constantly ignoring that the wholesale access provisions only apply to reference products and that infrastructure competition will inherently undermine the Coalition NBN plan’s financial viability.

            …how SAU’s work under the ACCC regime and how competitors can make submissions countering restrictive and exclusivity marketing to any SAU…

            Ignoring the long observed “soft handedness” of the ACCC in telecommunications matters and how only NBNCo will actually be subject to a SAU, thus making it difficult for the ACCC to have a mandate to interfere with commercial operations such as TPG’s if they prove to be anti-competitive.

            …and how any legislative changes will require Senate approval where the Coalition does not hold a outright seat majority.

            Ignoring that without these legislative changes the Coalition plan will likely fail to meet it’s stated objectives, and thus undermine the validity of the project as a whole, primarily because of the three aforementioned omissions from your argument.

            You should be thankful the points are brought up, I understand anti-Coalition NBN argument would prefer if they didn’t exist at all because it undermines the ‘cherry picking’ argument.

            No, I am not thankful because, you continually ignore key points, you are needlessly argumentative, constantly insult me and other members of this forum when you think you’ll get away with it, and honestly, Fibroid, I don’t think you actually have taken the time to seriously examine the proposals on the table.

          • You should be thankful the points are brought up, I understand anti-Coalition NBN argument would prefer if they didn’t exist at all because it undermines the ‘cherry picking’ argument.

            In the case of TPG, it isn’t undermined at all, they are hooking folks up to an existing broadband network, not a new broadband network as defined in Malcolm’s policy. They are free to charge whatever they feel the market will bear, which is how things work in a capitalist nation.

          • @Fibroid
            If third party infrastructure suppliers are allowed to overbuild NBN FTTN with FTTP they will be able to offer a product FTTN cannot compete with for similar (possibly cheaper) costs to the end user, with the option of going to very high performance if required. In fact, it is precisely those areas where there are lots of business customers likely to take up gigabit plans if they’re available where third party infrastructure is likely to be deployed first, because ARPU from those high tier products has the greatest profitability.

            Now you may argue that anyone providing FTTP is a good move in the absence of an NBN product, and it is for people in that area if you only consider immediate benefits to the individual. But overall the impact will be devastating – with competition customers won’t be on NBN Co infrastructure, so NBN Co will have reduced revenue. With reduced revenue they will be less able to cover the debt incurred to construct the NBN. If they can’t cover debt repayments and interest, the NBN becomes a liability instead of an asset, moving the costs ofcconstruction back on to the budget. But instead of an outright cost they also have billions in interest to cover as well. Who pays for that? Tax payers, including those customers who just moved off NBN Co infrastructure to the better competing networks – not such a great outcome now.

            The other impact is what happens to those without the population and business density required to make their area lucrative enough for FTTP overbuilding? Those people are stuck on NBN Co FTTN long term. Where will they end up if NBN Co collapses? It’s not like anyone will pay for NBN Co infrastructure when all they will get out of it is an expensive unprofitable liability.

          • Even if these “competitor networks” are legislated as being open for wholesale access, the fact remains that if an area is seen worthwhile to be cherry picked, it is because that specific area is seen to have a higher than average ROI.

            There are obvious problems if:
            1. Competing networks are allowed and;
            2. they have mandated pricing points. (Increases the number of sites to cherry pick)
            3. Competing networks are installed after NBNco complete their FTTX roll out.

            This sort of scenario would lead back to the LNP’s original idea of enticing industry to provide faster broadband to all profitable areas and then subsidise for delivery of services to the remaining areas.

          • “…if private operators bankroll infrastructure it also drops the cost that the national NBN Co rollout incurs.”

            Not necessarily, because this would largely be in relation to the FoD aspect, which is going to be user pays anyway. So surely the roll out costs wouldn’t change drastically, if at all…

            Also in relation to reselling, Telstra refused to switch on ADSL2+ for many years fearing they would be forced to offer wholesalers access, so…

          • I have no idea what FoD has to do with private investor backed infrastructure rollouts.

  14. Boy, its hard to let go of your religious belief in ‘Fibre Good, Copper Bad” isnt it!. TPG, like the rest of us in the industry know that Fibre to brownfileld Apartment was a ridiculous, 100% political line and would never happen. Everyone,everywhere in the world builds Fibre to the basement because going any further is an unprofessional design with an unacceptably poor cost/benefit. I would sack any of my guys on the spot for designing Fibre to the brownfield apartment – as would my equivalent Pros in the NBN Co – were they not ordered by politicians to do otherwise. I use this issue as an Competance/integrity touchstone for people – if you are in favour of Fibre to the brownfield Apartment then you are lacking in one or the other. It doesnt matter what website I go on no Professional Broadband Designers/Builders ever posts in favour of this – only amateurs and political types

    • MDU’s have always been a tricky issue, but the real issue here is not the technology chosen to deliver faster broadband, but the effect of cherrypicking these sites. The fear is that this will result in lost revenue for NBNco and therefore threaten its viability.

    • Are you posting in response to Renai as the author, or someone elses comments? Its not really clear who you’re ranting towards…

      Little thing though. To most here, this falls into the ‘fiber good’ part of things, because the reliance on copper is minimised as much as is practically possible. Fiber good, copper bad is because of the over reliance on 150 year old technology. Over reliance, not usage.

      Like 7% of the population falling on the sword because its not cost effective to give them anything better than fixed wireless (note: I personally dont agree with that for a lot of them), MDU’s were never realistically getting better than this, and most of us realise that.

      As it delivers a speed potential of well over 100 Mbps (20m loop or so? Try 300 Mbps or better), its really a moot point anyhow for a while, and by then I expect the MDU problem would need to be solved anyhow.

      Reason being that the properties that have ducting issues making FttH impractical are getting old, and are going to be needing a copper replacement some time relatively soon anyhow. At which point they either get fiber, or sack their body corporate. Anything relatively new should have good enough ducting to pull through a fiber line when it really comes to the crunch. Or have a realistic option to get the same result.

      • Have a chat to Tony Brown of Informa Telecom about the troubles even Asian providers have had with FTTB.

        Copper quality is often a major problem in these complexes- it is often thinner and therefore worse quality than standard copper pairs to SDUs.

        As I said before, only about 12-13% of MDUs are large anyway. Of them, how many actually have copper that can handle having these speeds thrown down them (or rather the frequencies) for long before they give up? Yes, copper suffers from surface oxidisation faster the higher the frequency you put down it. Which in turn lowers speeds dramatically.

        Anyone who thinks FTTB is a fix-all solution is kidding themselves- it has a vital role to play in the NBN IMO, but it will only be a relatively small (by premises) role.

        • I’m being very argumentative today for some reason… I should add that I dont think FttB is a fix-all solution, but as an interim one its a very solid option. We all know FttH is the endgame in the foreseeable future, and a FttB rollout gets rid of a lot of pesky MDU issues, both now and in the future.

          Key thing I see as a benefit is moving whats effectively the node point on to the property, and eliminating a lot of the ownership issues that plague MDU’s. Strata laws are a mess with infrastructure, so by taking Telstra out of it totally can only be a good thing down the track.

          I’m thinking of my property specifically, where a FttB rollout would be on the outside wall near the electrical meters. Phone lines are there as well, it wouldnt be hard to replace the MDF (MDF? RDF? Terminology brain fade) box with a FttB NTU and connect those phone lines to provide that net connection.

          At some point in the future (personally, even right now) it wouldnt be a tough gig to pull through against those copper lines and have FttH. To me, that creates a logical upgrade path for MDU’s that doesnt exist with FttN. Not easily anyway.

    • FTTB, or FTTH for MDUs was always going to be complicated.

      TPG isn’t interested in doing this as a great day for competition and democracy, or to somehow right the wrongs of the NBN. So far, they’ve had zero interest in it.

      It’s a straight grab for a consumer base whilst Malcolm is asleep at the wheel. They’re right behind Telstra who has asked Malcolm to close the FTTN deal quickly (presumably under the same expectation that they can both own and run retail services the network).

      Making your internet better, doesn’t really enter the equation.

    • I always find it interesting when ‘fibre builders’ are against fibre…

      Pretty much tells a story… bit like the kid who tries hard but just isn’t quite good enough to make the A team!

      • I’m not for or against Fibre or copper any more than I’m for or against a hammer or a screwdriver. They are both tools that are right for particular jobs. The decision criteria for choosing which is best in a particular build is no what people that post on sites like this think it is. In many apartment blocks I can build FTTB that delivers 80Mb for 10% of the cost of FTTH that would only deliver 100Mb. Indoor copper lasts for decades. How could anyone consider a business case to deliver FTTH in those circumstances? The problem with people debating on these sites is that you are expressing opinions about a technical decision that has dozens of decision criteria – but you are only using one or two criteria to come to your conclusion. There are really only a few hundred people in Australia with the experience to comment without making a fool of themselves. You cant just Google this topic.

        I’ll ask my favorite question – who else here has actually priced and built Fibre to an MDU? I have only ever got silence in response to this question.

        • @Fibre Builder

          Public debate around the best technology to use is perfectly valid. And I don’t think you’d find a person here who wouldn’t admit that in many MDU circumstances, FTTB would be a quick and cheap solution (however, I must point out FTTP is NOT limited to 100Mbps. NBNCo. were going to offer 1000Mbps in December. FTTB IS limited however, currently, to less than 200Mbps.)

          But there are other challenges surrounding FTTB not inherent to FTTH- copper quality and MDF quality. POTS provisions. Upgradeability.

          Experts understand many facets thanks to experience in the industry. It doesn’t mean others cannot understand.

        • “for 10% of the cost of FTTH that would only deliver 100Mb”
          You lambast all of us for saying stupid uninformed things in the same post as this.

          And to top it off most aren’t complaining about FTTB as a technology, we are complaining about the cherry picking.

          I think FTTB is the solution to all of the obstructionist mdu’s, whilst at the same time support a fttp network for the rest of the country.

          For credentials, I haven’t priced FTTB in a mdu, but an FTTB build is almost identical to provisioning fibre to the basement of an office block, which I have done 4 times now. It’s pretty easy, the biggest difference would be dealing with the body corporate, by the time you are pricing however the body corporate has an idea of what they are getting, and roughly how much for.

          obviously not being an mdu I have had no experience switching the copper tails from Telstra into a dslam. I suspect out isn’t the hardest or the most expensive job in the fibre run.

        • I do so enjoy when someone attempts to make a claim to some level of experience or qualification as a means of lending their argument weight. The thing is Mr Fibre Builder, your argument must be able to hold its own with your irrelevant claims to something we cannot verify stripped away.

          You also do not have a monopoly on knowledge, experience or right to a valid opinion; your claims to this effect make you appear short sighted, arrogant and ignorant. Many of the world’s most significant and revolutionary scientific discoveries have come from ‘lay persons’, Albert Einstein of course being the most famous example, but scientific history is littered with such people (quantum theory hinges on probability equations proposed by a professional gambler, for example). Believing that only those with specifically relevant qualifications or experience can have a valid opinion or make a valid contribution is incredibly ignorant.

          As for your claims about FTTB being the only valid technology for MDUs makes me suspect your largest consideration is that such a deployment is easiest and cheapest for yourself – if you don’t need to upgrade internal wiring that is certainly the easiest solution with the least effort, shortest time and the easiest ‘sell’ to strata bodies. The problem is, it is the worst solution for residents. Copper has its place, sure, but when connecting to fibre that supports 2,400mbps (1,000mbps supplied and available well before any MDU is actually connected) you need either fibre or CAT6 ethernet. Yes, it costs more, yes it takes longer, yes it’s harder to convince strata bodies and get approval, but it is the better long term solution. Sure, it could be done later, but if you have teams tooled up and deploying in volume it is cheaper, faster and easier to do now in line with the mass rollout rather than on an ad hoc basis later.

          Finally, I do have direct experience trouble shooting problems with copper lines in office buildings and sometimes they are f#&@ing frustrating and time consuming. Where a spare pair is available it is always easiest to just switch across and get on with life. How much existing 50yo copper have you had to support and trouble shoot? Or does your responsibility end with the fibre to the wall, like most line contractors? ‘My job’s done, not my problem’, huh?

  15. Anyone that thinks that Telstra / Foxtel / News Ltd will just stand by and let TPG corner the MDU market for high speed broadband, is dreaming. TPG has a window of opportunity to put pressure on the Federal Coalition to strike a deal with them, so that Optus and Telstra do not end up with all of the goodies in the post NBN Broadband landscape.

    • How naive. If existing legislative restrictions are continued TPG won’t be able to go ahead. If such restrictions are removed they will be able to do what they like, just like Telstra and Optus. Legislative restrictions apply to everyone equally. Their removal will result in a free for all wild west style land grab – tremendous activity for a few years while large competitors try to lock in as many premises as possible to gain a monopoly advantage, overbuilding FTTN with FTTP in high value/profit areas, then they will sit on those networks for their useful life (maybe centuries, ’cause that’s how long fibre will last).

      The Government will not go to bat for Telstra against other companies – once they’ve removed legislative restrictions Telstra are on their own to compete. Including restricting access to their pits and ducts if they so choose, if the days of HFC are any indication.

      • So your desperate hope that private investor rollouts will undermine the NBN as a whole is based on.

        1. The Coalition will delete all reference to the conditions stated in their published policy under ‘Infrastructure competition’.

        2. The Senate in which the Coalition do not have a majority now nor will they from the outcome of the Senate election two weeks ago, will approve all legislative changes you indicated will need to happen, no problem.

        3. The ACCC will approve any Special Access Undertakings that allows large Telco’s to cherry pick high density populated areas, and let them refuse wholesale access to those footprints to other RSP’s so that they are retail only Bigpond/Optus/TPG areas for example where residents in those areas can only buy retail plans from the Telco that rolled out the infrastructure.

        Good luck on any one of those outcomes let alone all three.

        • No, I hope you’re right, actually, and it doesn’t happen. I’m very concerned that the LNP will follow up on the promise to remove restrictions to infrastructure competition, because that’s what they’ve said they are committed to. My greatest hope is they make no progress on this nonsense and get kicked out in three years, so those with more foresight can get on with building long-term infrastructure.

          • Keep in mind the ‘restriction removal’ is pertaining to allowing others outside the Government owned NBN Co to rollout infrastructure.

            There are still a hell of a lot of restrictions attached to rolling out your own infrastructure, and the majority of these are outside Coalition control, that is ACCC approval and Senate approval of any legislative change.

          • You understand that the ACCC works for the government using their rules and not the other way round, right?

            In fact, much like Conroy did, Malcolm can tell the ACCC that certain companies/things can be excluded from their remit.

          • The ACCC operates under legislative control until that is changed their current legislation control applies, first of all I am not aware the Coalition want to change anything pertaining to ACCC powers overseeing communications infrastructure and making sure competition at the RSP retail level is not restricted.

            Even if the Coalition were motivated to do so and this is despite stating the complete opposite in their NBN policy pertaining to Infrastructure competition legislation change still has to be passed in both houses of Parliament after lengthy debate.

          • Yes well if the IPA have their way again (as they did today with the Climate Change Commission) the ACCC won’t be around for much longer.

        • I don’t know why you keep pointing to the ACCC as the great saviour of the telco world, they’ve done SFA for HFC pricing, but then I guess it’s not like there is a ‘reference product’ to tie it to…

  16. Where is TPG going to find the work force to roll this out, NBN Co had difficulty finding qualified people.
    They might have to wait until the existing NBN Co contracts have been completed. I’m all for the roll out of FTTB for MDU’s as long at it was done by NBN Co.
    When Labor gets back in they will have to buy out TPG FTTB network, if it ever gets started.

    • Where is TPG going to find the workforce to roll this out?
      How about offshore?
      Who’s going to stop them hiring 1000’s of workers on working visas?

  17. Oh and I can’t believe anyone hasn’t added this yet- meant to do it myself…

    “Screw the NBN: We’ll do our own FTTB….with Blackjack…and Hookers….in fact, forget the FTTB!”

    • seven-tech’s unsolicited & cheekily indecent Broadband proposal, is both gaming the system and solicited. As opposed to TPG’s decent FTTB proposal designed to shake and stir up the Broadband market and keep Broadband in the political spotlight whilst the incoming Federal Government attempts to slow down the pace of change and lull us into a sense of sporting euphoria.

    • Haha I almost did yesterday, but I didn’t think some people would get it, like the above.

    • @ seven_tech ( in fact, forget the FTTB!” ) WHY wants wrong with it ???? as long as NBN Co do it, Mike Quigley did say they were having a problem with voice over FTTB but that’s all I’ve heard, it would be a faster roll out. What’s your objections to it, technically speaking ????

  18. So we’re going to have a race by a bunch of competing telco’s to cable up cherry picked areas and leave everybody else on the coalitions patched up DSL. We’ve been here before with the Foxtel vs Optus rollouts.
    Malcolm is going to end up hanging from a streetlamp.

    • (Malcolm is going to end up hanging from a streetlamp.)

      And the capitalist (Coalition) will sell him the rope.

  19. What if I live in one of these MDU’s and I don’t wish to connect to TPG? I I did, I would EXPECT that I should be able to connect to my own choice of RSP at appropriate wholesale rates so that my RSP can offer a competitive service.

    • @Fat Pat

      You can. Just not on FTTB I’d say. On ordinary ADSL from your exchange (or maybe VDSL if you’re close enough to take advantage once it’s rolled out)

      There would be no legal reason, in the future (assuming the Coalition repeal no-competition clauses) for TPG to be required to offer cheap wholesale prices. So there would be no decent competition on that TPG infrastructure.

      This is all opinion of course- perhaps TPG do believe in decent competition of infrastructure they’ve paid for. We can only hope.

      • “This is all opinion of course- perhaps TPG do believe in decent competition of infrastructure they’ve paid for. We can only hope.”

        Do they offer open access to their existing ADSL2+ infrastructure? If so who else is using it?

        I have to wonder too, with FTTB and VDSL2+vectoring technology, does that preclude any other infrastructure provider from deploying their own FTTB hardware in the same building? Surely there can only be one provider of VDSL2+vectoring otherwise forget the vectoring part?

        I suspect that if Turnbull allows this then he is going to have to cap the wholesale price of it to the same level as what NBNCo would charge. I can’t see TPG undercutting NBNCo for the benefit of their competitors.

        It also means that NBNCo will likely end up with a lot less revenue coming in if TPG (and others who follow) are allowed to cherrypick like this. Will be interesting to see if NBNCo remains viable at all or if it will have to brought back on budget and subsidised by the tax payer (how ironic :-).

        Either way, none of it bodes well for the future of comparable broadband in the burbs/regions, imho.

        • @WhatsNew

          As far as I know, no they don’t for ADSL2.

          I don’t know that TPG are planning on using vectoring- there’s no information on that. VDSL2 would be more than capable of 100Mbps over <100m. Assuming the copper internally in the building is ok.

          I don't think NBNCo. can be viable under the Coalition plan. I've always thought that. We'll see what Turnbull's solution is….if he has one.

          • I didn’t think the Labor NBN Co was viable, I have always thought that, new Government new scenarios possible where a 100% Government funded FTTP rollout and the total shut down of copper and HFC BB is NOT the only option, and where high speeds solutions can be accomplished must faster with less of a drain on public debt.

          • Please explain or elaborate upon 100% government funded, please…?

            Especially as you have previously totally ignored the governmnet funded component of the FttP NBN and only evey quoted the total.

            I find this most interesting, because whilst I have seen (read: shook my head in disbelief) at pretty much all of your posts over the last few years, I have never seen (iirc) you mention 100% government funded FttP pre-election. Whereas I’ve now seen you do so twice, just in the last couple of days.

          • Fibroid, you are, once again, injecting false information into the debate.

            – NBNco is not to be 100% government funded; that has never policy.

            We are well aware of your lack of belief, that’s fine, as NBNco was actually deploying a network, whilst you kept telling us it can’t happen. But that’s okay. :)

            NBNco can only function and be a viable entity if the basic premise and legislation around wholesale/ retail separation remains. This means your FTTN utopia cannot exist without, in fact, that rather important piece of operational code.

          • oops, I meant to say Government owned not funded, in the context of a private operator like TPG owning and funding a partial rollout.

          • funding a partial rollout.

            ‘partial’ rollouts are the exact problem Australia has.

            ADSL/2/2+ coverage is patchy at best and HFC doesn’t even quite cover 30% of the population. Mobile broadband has black holes everywhere, and the only real guaranteed net connection is still dialup.

            It’s 2013 FFS, it’s time we had decent ubiquitous, modern and reliable internet connections in Australia.

          • ‘It’s 2013 FFS, it’s time we had decent ubiquitous, modern and reliable internet connections in Australia.’

            Yeah and if Labor got in the majority of us will still be waiting for it, and many right up until 2021.

            Take the TPG example for an apartment complex/s if it happens, ask the residents when the Labor NBN Co FTTP/FTTB extravaganza was planned going to reach them, and I mean and they are able to connect to it not that the fibre has passed them in the street 20 floors down.

          • Yeah and if Labor got in the majority of us will still be waiting for it, and many right up until 2021.

            I think you and I have a very different definition of a “majority”. You see the majority of people will still be waiting for it right up until around 2017ish, when over half of the properties in the FTTP will be passed. At that point the people waiting for the network become the minority.

            Take the TPG example for an apartment complex/s if it happens, ask the residents when the Labor NBN Co FTTP/FTTB extravaganza was planned going to reach them, and I mean and they are able to connect to it not that the fibre has passed them in the street 20 floors down.

            And when is this planned TPG network going to reach them, and I mean they are able to connect to it. Yes, it would probably be slightly earlier than Labor NBNCo, but you seem to be forgetting the primary roadblock, which TPG still has to face, is Stratra consent, not actually putting cables in the ground or DSLAMs in the basement.

            This is what makes MDUs complex, this is why NBNCo were considing FTTB, and this is why FTTB can be a rational “choice of last resort”.

            But hey, why don’t you ignore the problem of historical cherry picking and pick on tinman being frustrated with the fact that he wants a permanent solution to problem, in the from of a ubiqutious network by suggeting that maybe people will get update Broadband sooner. Afterall that’s what’s important right, that we get updated speeds to download “teh p0rn”, it’s not like we’re trying to make a decision that will have economic and social implications for emerging generations.

          • “Yeah and if Labor got in the majority of us will still be waiting for it, and many right up until 2021.”

            Demonstratively false… the majority would have been complete prior to 2021 your comment is invalid.

          • Yeah and if Labor got in the majority of us will still be waiting for it, and many right up until 2021.

            What, so now your a broadband junkie that needs a quick fix as soon as possible?

            It’s about getting it right, not getting it in.

          • How can you say the FTTP NBN isn’t viable and not apply the same logic to FTTN? It is being funded in the same way, it is meant to pay for itself in the same way, but with fewer customers, with each customer paying NBN Co less per connection (averaged out per ARPU) so they will have less revenue, while also having higher costs through powered node cabinets and copper maintenance. Oh wait, you think FTTP will cost $100bn, don’t you? Fair enough.

          • I don’t know why you say NBN Co FTTN will have fewer customers, and on what basis this ‘less customers’ theory is statistically significant the result of which is a Coalition FTTN policy deal breaker.

            FTTN is cheaper and faster to rollout in the first place, so it is coming from a lower cost base and speedier revenue streams because it is available to RSP’s to resell sooner, so its payback period relative to a more expensive FTTP cost base is less anyway.

          • Fibroid

            “FTTN is cheaper and faster to rollout in the first place”

            Campagning is over. We have had the election. Now, it’s reality time. Let’s see how much cheaper and faster the rollout turns out to really be, not in the UK, but here with its unique set of circumstances. Let’s also see the impact of having cherry picking competition, if it eventuates, on revenue.

            For one who often decries the use of conjectures, you spend a great deal of time speculating.

          • Perhaps you can explain how ‘cherry picking’ works under the Coalition policy, don’t forget to read Page 10: ‘Infrastructure competition’.

          • What Coalition policy? Oh, you mean the vague proposal, still to be worked out in greater details.

            I can understand that as a rusted on Coalition supporter, you believe every words they say. I am more skeptical and I would rather wait for the finished product.

            Furthermore, once you have most of the competition in the more lucrative areas, you don’t have much of it in the lesser ones, as is the case now with ADSL.

          • “What Coalition policy? Oh, you mean the vague proposal, still to be worked out in greater details.”

            Either that or it could be that other ‘phantom mystery policy’ MT claimed to have had, over a year ago?

          • ‘What Coalition policy? Oh, you mean the vague proposal, still to be worked out in greater details.’

            Actually it is quite specific and not vague at all, and it details quite well how infrastructure competition will work, of course unfortunately it also undermines any ‘cherry picking’ argument put forward by Labor NBN supporters still clinging desperately to the now defunct Labor policy.

          • So detailed, that we know exactly how many nodes will be required, how the free, pristine network will be audited, what will used where and how…….but if still in doubt, refer to BT.

            So detailed, that there will an inquiry to determine which plan is best (FTTN of course). I am sure Malcolm, the agnostic FTTN cheerleader will work it all out, for us, soon enough.

          • @Observer

            Your pointless diversion into a node discussion of course has nothing to do with the conditions stated in the Coalition policy referencing infrastructure competition.

            I know you would like it to go away, and it’s best to ignore it because it doesn’t help the anti-Coalition cherry pick argument by the now defunct Labor policy supporters at all, but it’s not that easy.

            Also what is not easy is the prospect of a hostile Senate where legislative changes may be required, and getting the ACCC onside to approve the cherry picking model as put forward by Labor NBN supporters, the desperate hope being the ACCC approach to promoting competition and trying to lessen the market dominance of the two biggies Telstra and Optus in particular at the wholesale and retail level will make a complete reversal.

          • Fribroid at his best, talking about “desperate hope”, ‘Pointless diversion” and best of all “‘I know you would like it to go away”. Reading minds, are you?

            We are not proposing a cherry picking model, TPG is. Furthermore, my comments weren’t a diversion they were an explanatory reply to your objection of my calling the Coalition plan, ‘vague”.

            As for what will happen next, I would not rely too much on Malcolm’s pronouncements. After all, his “plan” is a cumulation of many changes of mind (Remember ADSL fast enough, NBN not off budget.)

            FYI, I am not hoping for anything. I am just waiting with baited breath to see how Malcolm is going to wrestle with all the problems associated with his Lottoband.

          • Page 10 of the Coalition Policy document:
            “Infrastructure competition
            Under our plan, regulatory impediments to the construction and operation of non-nBn access networks will be removed.
            The owners/operators of new high speed broadband access networks will, however, be required to make them available to access seekers on non-discriminatory terms at wholesale prices for reference products equivalent to nBn Co’s wholesale price caps (or similar price commitments agreed by nBn Co and the ACCC).”

            Reference products. Not premium products, reference products. Other than reference products they are free to set prices at whatever level they like.

            Even if they are capped on the price of all products at the level NBN Co has set, though, that still makes FTTP overbuilding in FTTN areas with a high density of businesses or wealthy households a profitable exercise – ARPU on 100/40 plans is $38 and 1000/400 is $170, making cherry picked deployments like this in areas of high demand where NBN Co can’t compete commercially viable and even lucrative even on near term scales. Let’s not forget the incentive to capitalise on all the recently skilled up fibre techs NBN Co is about to start either laying off or having to retrain for FTTN infrastructure.

          • Actually it is quite specific and not vague at all,

            Indeed, any ‘new’ network with a ‘reference product’ that matches an NBN Co one will get a ‘wholesale cap’. Everything else is ‘free-for-all’.

          • @Fibroid

            FTTN may well be cheaper and faster. Or it may not. But even if it is, which there is a good chance of….is it fast enough and cheap enough but with good enough performance, to enable to income stream NBNCo. needs while cherry-picking is down for the highest demand, cheapest areas?

            I have a funny feeling you wouldn’t agree with me on the likely answer….but, supposedly we’ll know in only a few months time.

          • I don’t know why you say NBN Co FTTN will have fewer customers, and on what basis this ‘less customers’ theory is statistically significant the result of which is a Coalition FTTN policy deal breaker.

            Perhaps you missed the story where TPG is planning on connecting up 500k people to their own network?

          • lol, there is a lot of daylight between planning and it actually happening.

            Ask them if that includes customers from other RSP’s they wholesale to?


          • @ Fibroid…

            “lol, there is a lot of daylight between planning and it actually happening.”

            Yes there is, but of course in relation to TPG’s proposal (and the previous NBN) you lol, whereas with the Coalition’s FttN, you quote (even with a straight face) what ever they say and their policy as if it’s gospel :/

          • Who says they’ll have to wholesale, Malcolm’s rules only apply to ‘reference products’ (not speeds), TPG are not offering FTTN, so there is no ‘reference product’ offered by NBN Co…

          • “lol, there is a lot of daylight between planning and it actually happening.”

            That would not apply to Malcolm’s ‘plan”, by any chance, would it?

          • Ask them if that includes customers from other RSP’s they wholesale to?

            You obviously want to eat your cake and have it to. You argue that ‘infrastructure competition’ will happen/can work, while also providing all the reasons it wont.

            Why would any private company invest in a network where they’ll be forced to offer a certain price that is the same as their competitor? And worse, be forced to allow that competitor on their network?

            In fact all your arguments in this thread so far basically point to a situation similar to the stagnation that we had in the 90’s…

          • My point is about the cherry picking argument as proposed doesn’t hold up to scrutiny under the conditions as outlined in Coalition policy or under current ACCC the competition regulator legislation.

            It’s not a simple matter of a private operator putting pins in a map picking lucrative high density inner suburbs of our largest capital cities and putting a large ring around them and saying they are all mine, all competitors stay out.

            You really think that simplistic argument is how it will work?

          • “I don’t know why you say NBN Co FTTN will have fewer customers”

            Considering you have asked this question on numerous occasions, and I have taken the time to patiently explain precisely why this is, means you’re either stupid or being deliberately obtuse. If the total customer base of NBN Co is 10 people and you introduce competition, some of those people will move to the competition. If NBN Co is limited to FTTN and the competition is allowed to overbuild with FTTP which they offer for similar costs to end users, most of those NBN Co customers will leave. But ten minus any number is less than ten, so that’s why NBN Co will have fewer customers.

            In fact, let me make it even simpler – mummy & daddy federal government give little Johnny NBN Co a cake and tell him he will get a whole cake all to himself every day. But then one day they say he has to share the cake with three other little children from now on. They’re not giving him another cake, the cake isn’t getting any bigger – It’s the same size cake, but now has to be shared between four. Please explain how the cake can be shared between four children, but you can do so without Johnny NBN Co getting less cake?

            Less market share when you introduce competition isn’t speculation or conjecture, it is immutable fact. The introduction of infrastructure competition isn’t conjecture, it is the stated policy direction of the LNP as published in their policy document.

            Importantly though the number of customers is less important to profitability than ARPU, the revenue NBN Co makes per customer. ARPU of gigabit plans is $170. ARPU of 100/40 plans is $38. ARPU of FTTN plans will be much lower and cannot include high revenue upper tiers – it is likely to top out at $25, but also include 12/1 plans with ARPU under $20.

            The FTTN NBN will result in lower revenue because of the environment and the stated policy of the LNP. Stop trying to refute or ignore demonstrable facts.

      • Wouldn’t injecting a high-power VDSL signal (needed for high data rate) into the MDF seriously degrade the ADSL in adjacent pairs due to cross-talk? Just looking at the wiring in the apartment building I live in, and its not even twisted pair! Just a straight, unshielded multi-core cable, running allong-side cables to other flats.

        • You can do vectoring if the whole building switches across and no one uses legacy phone & ADSL serviced, but you can’t have a mixed arrangement. Not that you need vectoring, unless you want to hit 500mbps without upgrading the copper.

  20. itnews posted an article a few hours ago stating that TPG may be forced to limit the download speed of a planned fibre expansion into new residential unit blocks to under 25 Mbps to avoid falling foul of strict anti-cherry picking laws.

    The article contained this afternoon’s comments from TPG on the matter and also referred to cherry picking laws, ministerial exemptions, open, non-discriminatory wholesale access to the network asset for any access seekers to also offer retail services, and extensions to networks that existed before January 2011 as long as the extension covers less than 1km.

    • The timing isn’t really surprising. This is a push to see if Turnbull will honour pre-election thought-bubbles around relaxing legislation that (effectively) prevents cherry-picking.

      Telstra has done the same thing. Others will too. All hell will break loose if he does. It’s going to be interesting to see how firm that policy of his, really is.

  21. exactly screw the government! They can also pay for their own shit they force on us and we DONT WANT! Let them pay for their crap! Ignore them and we will do it through the free market! They have no power over us as human beings! They are our servants but not acting like it and doing whatever they damn well want! We don’t want a fascist dictatorship!

    • Wow who let the loonies out? Tom, do yourself a favour and keep your uninformed, ignorant opinions to yourself – you’re only embarrassing yourself.

  22. Maybe the Federal Coalition will need to rush thought some modified and tightened anti TPG and anti cherry picking laws ASAP (with the support of the Greens), but leaving the ministerial exemption in place so that Telstra or Optus can be exempted as and when required.

  23. And the fun begins.

    Yesterday Optus, today TPG…. Who’s next?

    This is going to turn into an interesting mess. I am drooling at the prospect of Malcolm trying to properly formulate and cost his “plan” and having to cope with the distractio, caused by the like of Optus, Telstra, TPG, and whoever else have had their hope raised by his vaguely detailed proposal.

  24. So now we get the Howard era communications fiasco all over again. This isn’t about what’s good for our country but their bloody ideology.

      • No, I don’t believe he did Fibroid…but I do recall him and/or his team calling FttN (yes the very technology they now support six years later *rolls eyes*) fraudband. Don’t you remember that too?

        Also for shits and giggles, after releasing his 2007 (your favourite year) broadband policy, upon hearing about WiMAX and 5.8 GHz…

        Howard asked of his own policy – “that’s an…Optus?”

        So, I see that same cutting edge knowledge is still there, now that they are again in government and we can look forward to more of the same.

  25. Any moves by the Federal Coalition to block or frustrate TPG in their quest to deliver improved broadband to MDU’s sooner and cheaper are going to undermine the pre-election mantra. TPG is going to be oh so much harder to FUD, whiteant and discredit than NBNCo. I guess key media players always have the option of refusing to accept TPG ads (if it is legal?)

  26. In last years ASX release they announced $69.99 unlimited NBN – nothing ever came of that announcement.

    In their 2012 half year results they announced an IPTV service with a set top box – still waiting.

    Do they have the capability to do it? No doubt. If they will is another thing.

  27. Or they can let TPG build their FTTB then get the ACCC to make it a declared service under the Telecommunications Act and save themselves the cost of having to install anything in those buildings.

  28. Hyperoptic are doing this in the UK, mostly around London.

    £60/mo for 1gig symmetric, £35 for 100meg symmetric, no transfer limits.

    Mostly in big fancy apartments that are unaffordable unless you work in the City, though!

    • Not quite considering they offer 1Gbps.

      That speed option implies either fibre optic or category 6 cabling was installed. TPG is using existing phone cable in the building and VDSL2.

    • I don’t see why – TPG are small fry. If Telstra are really concerned they will just block access through their pits and ducts, forcing TPG to get council approval for every MDU connection. While they’re faffing about with that Telstra can rush in and install before TPG can get their act together.

      • So how does that work in the context of the present $11b NBN Co/Telstra agreement which is still legally binding, a major part of which is payment for access to Telstra ducts?

        • Who knows…?

          It’s obviously just another hodge-podge unknown, to add to the already burgeoning list of existing hodge-podge unknowns, in relation to fraudband 2013, IMO.

        • So how does that work in the context of the present $11b NBN Co/Telstra agreement which is still legally binding, a major part of which is payment for access to Telstra ducts?

          You tell us, you are after all the local cheerleader for ‘Malcolm’s Mashup’.

          • Well I don’t have to tell you anything, the Telstra/NBN Co agreement is still intact, the new NBN Co will still require access to Telstra ducts and exchanges, so I expect minimal change there.

          • So if you already had your preconceived answer, why did you ask the question?

            Just to be difficult and argumentative!

          • Well I don’t have to tell you anything, the Telstra/NBN Co agreement is still intact, the new NBN Co will still require access to Telstra ducts and exchanges, so I expect minimal change there.

            Which has what to do with TPG? or didn’t you actually read Trevors post before responding to it?

        • As Tinman suggested, the agreement with Telstra for access to pits and ducts relates specifically to NBN Co infrastructure and has nothing whatever to do with TPG or any other third party access. If TPG want to run new cable they will have to negotiate their own, separate agreement with Telstra.

          • But in the current Telstra/NBN Co agreement Telstra ducts are designated for proposed NBN Co footprint use, where a private operator wants to rollout infrastructure it will be a NBN Co footprint area as well.

            It’s a matter what agreement takes priority and how much room is left in the ducts after the NBN Co has finished with it, and depending on that situation may mean the private operator has to lay their own ducting.

          • No, only if they’re doing a ‘private build’ of NBN infrastructure where they only provide 50% of the construction costs and NBN Co will finance the other half. Those construction efforts result in NBN Co infrastructure, so fall within NBN Co contracts.

            A third party independent construction effort resulting in third party ownership is not part of the NBN – They may have to provide retail access and parity pricing on reference products, but otherwise the network is their’s to do with as they wish. As competitors to Telstra, Telstra has no legal obligation to give them access to deploy any competing network infrastructure that is not explicitly owned, controlled or operated by NBN Co.

          • The Pipe network doesn’t run up to any of those MDUs, though – they will still require ducting to get from fibre distribution points to each building. Obviously this isn’t as onerous as running a whole new fibre network, but if Telstra don’t provide duct access/leasing to them they will have to dig up roads and verges themselves, which will require council approval for every dig or overhead cable suspension.

      • If there is any possibility that Telstra might block access through their pits and ducts, forcing TPG to get council approval for every MDU connection and Telstra attempt to rush in and install before TPG can get their act together, then TPG are likley to take pre-emptive action to prevent this from happening. Including questioning of anyone claiming that Telstra might act in such a way, to look and see if they are in any way connected to or employed by Telstra.

        But if the Telstra pits and ducts that TPG will use have been leased from Telstra by NBNCo, then TPG will not be dealing with Telstra. TPG will have a contract with NBNCo, which might be managed by Telstra, but managed in a way that any attempt by Telstra to block TPG’s access will be a clear breach in the Telstra NBNCo contract and not be something that Telstra would be likely to try or get away with for more than 5 minutes.

        • So Telstra have always allowed all comers to have unrestricted access to their ducting network, have they? Like they allowed NBN Co initially, so the whole plan involved designs for new conduit cuts and overhead suspension runs? Like they allowed Optus for the HFC cable while Telstra were installing their own identical network across the road? Oh no, that’s right, Telstra have a proven history of blocking access to competitors in the past. Go and do some research; that is business as usual and a completely predictable and likely tactic for them.

          • I agree with you TrevorX.
            Like you, my intent was also to highlight the issues with any non-open access provider having control of so much essential infrastructure, and the detrimental effect that can have on infrastructure competition.

    • Not that weird, quite predictable really. Except everyone’s been telling me and others we’re talking out of our a$$es wailing about infrastructure competition and cherry picking undermining the economics of the NBN, causing it to collapse and resulting in 10s of billions in unrepayable debt, because infrastructure competition is excluded by legislation. And yet, the LNP NBN policy document clearly and specificallysstates their intention to ‘remove existing barriers to infrastructure competition’. Obviously the interpretation from the industry is the same as mine. Queue surprise. *roll eyes*

      • Of course what the LNP Policy also states on Page 10 under the heading of Infrastructure competition is that any non-NBN Co infrastructure will be available to all access seekers with pricing overseen by the NBN Co and the ACCC.

        Any private operator contemplating their own rollout will have to think hard about that those conditions.

        • @Fibroid

          Actually, I think you need their policy more carefully. It clearly states that any infrastructure competition will have to be open-access and non-discriminatory for the most basic tier and most popular plan only of NBNCo and ACCC decision. Anything else is fair game.

          So you know all those lovely FTTB apartments TPG want to offer 100Mbps to? Yep, they don’t have to be open-access and non-discriminatory under their policy. Only for 12/1Mbps and, likely, 25Mbps with phone + 100GB.

          • 7tech, we have been done this well worn track before, you are of course referring to reference products under Coalition Pricing commitments on Page 8, which is the entry level BB product the most widely purchased bundled BB and telephony offerings.

            This of course primarily refers to the requirement on the NBN Co to reduce it’s pricing over the next 10 years to achieve an inflation fall of 10% in the combined wholesale price of two of those reference products.

            Your example of a 100Mbps plan being excluded, first of all it could be categorised under the category of ‘most widely purchased bundled BB’, you also left out the bit where the ACCC at their discretion on what defines ‘reference products’ could override any of that.

    • Mr Abbott has presented his frontbench team to the Governor-General, saying: “We pledge ourselves to serve the people of Australia, for their benefit, to the very best of our ability.”

      “We will be a problem-solving government based on values, not ideology,” the new Prime Minister added.

      “We will strive to govern for all Australians, including those who didn’t vote for us.”

      • An appropriate PR statement from the Prince of Liars elected to Government by the media campaign by the Great Deceivers Media misinformation campaign.

        Effectively more worthless flim flam

      • “We will be a problem-solving government based on values, not ideology,”

        Considering an ideology (an orientation that characterises the thinking of a group) is determined by values (beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment), it actually was just a “PR” statement full of fluff…

  29. Just had a chat with my friendly local NBN contractor. A few interesting things came out with regards to South Australia.

    He was the only one pulling fibre. All the others were in dispute with Syntheo.
    He was pulling about 3 km a day.
    He has further contracts with Leyton for the next few months.
    SAPower will be mostly rolling fibre on electricity poles wherever it is possible. This will make the deployment quicker and cheaper. It still will require some underground work.

    As for Fibroid, favourite plan, as an ex Telstra man, he confirmed that Telstra had done no maintenance on the copper network for many years and was wishing Malcom the best of luck with his plan.

  30. Interesting and completely predictable result.
    TPG has not been an active player in the NBN for the last 12+ months, since it was becoming obvious LNP would win.
    Not that long ago TPG won a case over access to a building whose comms services etc had been sold/contracted to a comms company who was refusing access to the building and existing copper infrastructure. TPG won setting a clear precedent.
    Note iiNet flogged their not so great Transact N/W to NBN and is cashed up to follow TPG’s lead
    There is currently a claim to ACCC re access to Telstra Pits and Ducts and the costs/fees and charges of that access, (the ones the NBNCo paid Billions for NON EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO on a fit for purpose basis, including remediation and asbestos issues). I would suggest they are only interested in high value easy access areas, focussing on MDU’s with suitable copper infrastructure and leaving the lower value difficult expensive ones to GIMP Co.
    Furthermore, if permitted the possibility arises that the private carriers could well fill a fair number of ducts with their own fibres to high value low cost precincts before GIMPCo even starts, who then have to provide for all the other lower value/higher cost premises within those precincts with no effectively accessible ducts/pits.
    M.T’s statements and LNP ideology are looking at substantial posterior bite marks

  31. Fibroid

    “I understand anti-Coalition NBN argument would prefer if they didn’t exist at all because it undermines the ‘cherry picking’ argument.”

    First of all an argument is not an entity and therefore has no preference.

    Second, if you meant that anti-FTTN (note the distinction) supporter, rather than their arguments, then I think you are exhibiting some classical projection. Maybe you would prefer certain facts not to exist, but this is not the case with those who oppose FTTN. They mostly question whether some of the Coalition proposals will remain.

    Lastly, except in your mind, these provisions do not undermine the cherry picking argument. After all, it is not the first time that rebuttals, no matter how sound, seem to have little effect on your Teflon like adherence to anything Coalition.

  32. If you care to search for “on net” buildings, TPG already has operational FTTB services and has done for some time (about a year I think). You guys are behind the times. The only difference being that previously they were aiming this at business, now they are looking at residential apartment blocks… same technology, wider market.

    And TPG has NBN plans as well, they never boycotted the NBN as others are suggesting, it simply is a matter that NBN roll out has been slow and when you have the opportunity to do more, then why not?

  33. Long story short what this means is that initially the TPG users are getting a sweet deal, $69.95/month for 100mbit. But long term, they’re actually getting screwed. No chance to migrate to another provider (remember there’s only one fibre line running to that basement. So it’s TPG or noone, especially once the copper networks get turned off.) They will miss out on every single Fibre upgrade that comes down. 1gbps, 10gbps 1tbps, 10tbps. No thanks, the big picture is what people throw away when they’re desperate and think short term. Remember this rule: the vDSL LAMS in every basement have to get upgraded every time the fibre is upgraded to give users more speed. Assuming copper even can be upgraded to support the higher speeds. It’s not like swapping out a fibre modulator and instantly getting 100gbit speeds. Everyone talks about 100mbit being enough, but really, when stuff like Occulus Rift isn’t even in it’s final form yet, Google Glass, smart devices etc, and theres a lot more tech coming down the pipe still, noone really knows how much bandwidth the future will need. All we really know is what’s been created right now. Based on that, we know that fibre has the best future capacity of any network medium. in 20-30 years time, all the boomers are going to be dead and all those properties are going to belong to people who’ve worked with computers for at least 50 years. Their kids will only know a world with technology. It’s very stupid to stump the development of new technologies and industries that generation’s X/Y and the current kids are going to need.

    • +100
      Plus TPG , Open Networks etc will effectively be infrastructure monopoly providers in their MDU’s. Monopolies have a very poor record of wasting profits on upgrades, not as if their customers can go elsewhere

  34. I have been with TPG for more than ten years but my ADSL2 speed has dropped suddenly from around 17Mgps to 7 Mgps; ping is 27 seconds cf 17-19

  35. Just changed over from TPG was only getting 4.7mbs to Telstra still only getting 4.7mbs but my games arent as laggy as they were looking forward to NBN

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