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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Thursday, November 7, 2013 14:36 - 149 Comments

    NBN Co replaces respected COO with Turnbull Telstra contact

    steffens

    news NBN Co today announced that its chief operating officer Ralph Steffens, one of the company’s most qualified and experienced international fibre rollout experts, would be replaced with a Telstra executive who appears to have little direct last mile construction experience but does have a pre-election connection with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

    Steffens (pictured right) was hired as NBN Co’s chief operating officer in late November 2011. The executive is regarded as a telecommunications management expert with significant global experience in wide-scale network deployment and management, especially of the kind that had not been conducted in Australia before the NBN rollout commenced. Steffens’ appointment in 2011 is believed to have been regarded as something of a coup for NBN Co.

    Before joining NBN Co, Steffens was the managing director or service delivery at British incumbent telco BT from 2007 through late 2011, where he led a team of more than 4,000 staff based around the globe, as well as administering all of BT’s infrastructure. Steffens was “responsible for the end-to-end service management and all network planning and implementation activities on a global basis” at BT in that period, NBN Co’s biography of the executive states.

    Prior to that point, Steffens spent four years as BT’s senior director of network solutions, with responsibility for delivering several phases of BT’s next-generation network build. At that stage Steffens led a team of some 2,000 staff.

    Prior to his roles at BT, Steffens was director of Network Engineering for COLT Group, a pan-European company that successfully built metropolitan fibre networks across 32 cities in 13 European countries, and a long-distance fibre transit network covering 15,000 kilometres. Steffens holds a Diploma in Engineering majoring in Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications from Fachhochshule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences, Hesse, Germany.

    This morning NBN Co issued a statement noting: “As part of the transition of the National Broadband Network to an open network architecture including fibre to the node, serving COO Mr Ralph Steffens will step down from the role and leave the company.”

    A spokesperson for the company further stated that Steffens had resigned, but was unable to immediately clarify whether the executive had been asked to resign by Turnbull or new NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski.

    In Steffens’ place will step in Greg Adcock, who up until now has been the Telstra executive charged with delivering on Telstra’s infrastructure commitments under the definitive agreements between NBN Co and Telstra. Adcock was also “a key member” of the Telstra team that negotiated the telco’s definitive agreements with NBN Co.

    A NBN Co statement noted that Adcock’s long-running career at Telstra had included overseeing business and capital planning, contract establishment, operational process optimisation, regulatory compliance, strategic projects and the Operations group’s productivity initiative program.

    “His experience includes developing and implementing construction contracting strategy and he has been the Superintendent on major construction contracts,” NBN Co wrote. “Earlier roles included Core Network Development where he was accountable for the planning and development of the core network, as well as an Account Director in the Wholesale division where he was responsible for key wholesale accounts.”

    However, it does not appear as though Adcock has significant experience in deploying last-mile fixed telecommunications infrastructure of the kind the NBN rollout represents, and which Steffens has. Such experience is difficult to obtain within Australia, as no large-scale last-mile telecommunications network has been deployed in Australia since the late 1990′s when Telstra and Optus deployed their HFC networks.

    At NBN Co, Adcock will not be involved in any re-negotiation of the company’s definitive agreements with Telstra, according to NBN Co.

    Adcock has been reported to have had a prior connection with Turnbull before the Federal Election. In mid-June, the Financial Review reported that Adcock was being considered for a senior executive position at NBN Co by Turnbull.

    Adcock’s appointment shares a number of attributes with several other recent senior appointments to NBN Co. Adcock, executive chairman Switkowski and recently appointed head of strategy and transformation JB Rousselot were all reported prior to the Federal Election to have had contact with the Coalition (Delimiter 2.0 article) and/or personal relationships with then-Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. All three have since taken senior positions at NBN Co, despite the fact that none of the three have significant last-mile fixed telecommunications infrastructure construction experience. Switkowski in particular has not been employed in the telecommunications industry for almost a decade.

    A fourth figure, Justin Milne, also had strong connections with Turnbull and has been reported to have been involved in NBN Co’s Strategic Review process which Rousselot is overseeing, although NBN Co has not reported Milne as having been appointed to a formal position.

    Delimiter is planning to file a Freedom of Information request for any details regarding Steffens’ departure and Adcock’s appointment. A similar FoI request is under way for any details regarding the appointments of Rousselot and Milne.

    opinion/analysis
    I’ve published my thoughts on this story on Delimiter 2.0 (subscriber content). A sample paragraph:

    “The rapid replacement of respected NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens with a Telstra executive who appears less experience with fibre rollouts but better politically connected represents a key signal that NBN Co’s senior executive hiring process has now become completely politicised and is no longer independent from the Federal Government.”

    Image credit: NBN Co

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    149 Comments

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    1. Non Puto
      Posted 07/11/2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink |

      Talk about stacking the deck chairs in an effort to make the NBN fail!

    2. flogthecat
      Posted 07/11/2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink |

      Unfortunately your assumptions in Mr Steffens CV doesn’t stack up to fibre construction in Australia – he had zero experience in Multi-Dwelling Units and Residential deployments of fibre for a retail connection. Building point to point fibre between cities and using inter-carrier interconnects is relatively straight forward. His role at BT was nothing more than a process guy. All that contributed the complete inability to succesfully manage design changes, manage construction contracts within Australia and honestly approach the problems with clear and transparent fact based statements. Lying to Senate estimates (as now disclosed per the minutes) was his most notable forte at NBN.

      Mr Adcock by contrast is intimately familiar with the fitness rules within the pit and pipe network within Telstra’s infrastructure and lead the teams responsible for the physical remediation of all physical field work for Telstra. Telstra is part of teh solution whether we like it or not and it’s best to have a non-foreigner who actually understands the country and outcomes required.

      • PeterA
        Posted 07/11/2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink |

        Yeah down with foreigners lets have a true Australian running the NBN!!

        (I liked the rest of your comment otherwise)

      • Posted 07/11/2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink |

        Has Adcock actually deployed any fibre in his time?

        It’s a serious question. I haven’t been able to ascertain the answer today based on what anyone has said.

    3. Harimau
      Posted 07/11/2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink |

      I thought the Coalition was supposed to save the NBN, not kill it.

      But then I remember that Turnbull was famously tasked with destroying the NBN. I realise now that he has been fooling me all along.

    4. haha yeah
      Posted 07/11/2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink |

      “Lying to Senate estimates (as now disclosed per the minutes) was his most notable forte at NBN.” LOL

      • Alex
        Posted 09/11/2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink |

        Gee where would Delimiter be without your daily interjections of wonderment *rolls eyes*?

    5. Malcolm
      Posted 07/11/2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink |

      The coalition will make the nbn rollout faster and 20% more benefitical for the average household

      The coalition broadband fibre to the node plan was carefully planned and costed

      • Seano
        Posted 07/11/2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

        You made milk come out of my nose! You should put up a warning before making such hilarious posts.

        • Lionel
          Posted 07/11/2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink |

          Same here, and I wasn’t even drinking milk.

        • malcolm
          Posted 07/11/2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink |

          You may be a fttp fan , the reality is the coalition will give affordable broadband faster than labor’s nbn

          • Lionel
            Posted 07/11/2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink |

            Oh for sure. Then leave do it all over again in 2020 to get the speeds needed next decade. If I shaved your head, would I find where it says tuperware?

            • MPF
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink |

              I had Telstra cable and was able to get about 90 Mbps on speedtest which mean’t absolutely nothing in the real world, it was fine in Australian servers but when I needed files from US 90Mbps meant squat most of the time the best I could hope for was 2mbps with a download accelerator.

              • Lionel
                Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink |

                2Mb seems a particularly bad site. I have heard this argument of the server not handling the speeds over and over since the internet came to Australia. Why get a 56K modem, the servers can’t handle it. Why get 1.5Mb the servers can’t handle it. Now it’s why get over 10Mb, the servers can’t handle it. Well, they might not now, but they will. You could equally argue, why make servers handle 100Mb when there is no one capable of using it? Chicken and egg.

          • Alex
            Posted 07/11/2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink |

            Malcolm, seeing your post I smell sarcasm, if not I smell something else ;)

            • Duke
              Posted 09/11/2013 at 2:54 am | Permalink |

              I smell a rat…

              ;)

      • Walter YEP FTTP
        Posted 07/11/2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink |

        What Plan from what I understand they don’t even have one, Its so nice replying to you on my NBN connection :-)

      • Telstra shareholder
        Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink |

        Here, let me fix that for you
        The coalition will make the nbn roll-out 20% more beneficial for the average Telstra executive.

        The coalition broadband fibre to the node plan is carefully planned to follow relevant back-room deals.

    6. Posted 07/11/2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink |

      >>“a key member” of the Telstra team that negotiated the telco’s definitive agreements with NBN Co.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      Two words : Structural Separation.

      One of the key objectives of the NBN policy was to deliver true structural separation as an important component of public policy. This was seen as critical for the success of competition in this sector, something considered important for the economy and industry development.

      Given that NBN Co is now under Telstra management, one could be forgiven for thinking that Structural Separation is no longer high on the agenda.

      It’s not a good look, is it ?

      • Malcolm
        Posted 07/11/2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink |

        Are internode and other companies which iinet brought out , seperated from iinet

        do you agree iinet is not better then telstra

        • Lionel
          Posted 07/11/2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink |

          I don’t think so. They have no monopoly on the underlying broadband delivery infrastructure. It’s more like Quantas and Jetstar.

        • Chas
          Posted 07/11/2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink |

          “do you agree iinet is not better then telstra”

          Apples and oranges…iinet owns zero percent of the telecommunications backbone as far as I know.
          That is a Telstra monopoly currently, and it is looking like the cards are lining up for that to happen again with the NBN. While iinet should certainly be scrutinized for anti-competitive actions, it is nowhere near the same as Telstra and their current (and possibly future?) backbone monopoly…
          Maybe if Telstra was barred from any retail activity?

          • malcolm
            Posted 07/11/2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink |

            telstra doesnt own the nbn network

            the point is if iinet wants Structural Separation then iinet should too , because on the national broadband network

            its not telstra who stopped the consumers having competition , the one who has is iinet by buying out the competitors

            there can be no argument about that

            Iinet is more of a bigger threat to competition then telstra or optus

            • Jon
              Posted 07/11/2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink |

              >> its not telstra who stopped the consumers having competition , the one who has is iinet by buying out the competitors

              ARE YOU KIDDING?
              It was Telstra that limited ADSL deployment to 1.5mbit for years.
              It was Telstra that only upped this limit once the likes of iinet deployed ADSL2+
              It was then Telstra that denied access to wholesale ADSL ports on their RIM/CMUX.
              It was Telstra that then applied a 3mbit limit to those cmuxs because of the congestion to bigpond users.
              It *IS* Telstra that runs the CMUX/RIM network my surrounds the exchange I live off. This CMUX network is technically FTTN (sans VDSL).

              Your policy is going to send NBN-CO broke.

            • Chas
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink |

              “telstra doesnt own the nbn network”

              However if FTTN does indeed go through, they will own the last mile of at least 70% of it…
              With the NBN now being staffed by all the Telstra staff, I see that as a handing over of the NBN to Telstra and a return of a very bad situation

              • Fibroid
                Posted 08/11/2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink |

                @Chas

                How do you know what the outcome of any negotiations with Telstra will be that also depends on the outcome of the three reviews of the NBN that have just started, and where any outcomes won’t be presented until well into 2014 that makes you draw the amazing conclusion ‘ they will own the last mile of at least 70% of it…’. ?

                • Chas
                  Posted 08/11/2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink |

                  @fibroid

                  “How do you know what the outcome of any negotiations with Telstra will be”

                  There are only 3 possibilities…
                  1. Telstra retains ownership and control of the copper (this is by far the cheapest option for Australia),
                  2. we purchase the copper from Telstra (which would make the cost of the NBN vastly more than FTTP would have been, even from just the Capex perspective), or
                  3. we lease the copper (which means we pay the maintenance fees which are currently $1 billion/year and climbing)

                  All but the most expensive of those options (which Malcolm has ruled out on a cost basis) allow Telstra to own 70% of the NBN and maintain their monopoly.

                  BTW…if people actually are trying to compare Telstra to iiNet, they should remember that the “barrier to entry” (metric that is used when calculating the effect of monopolies) for retail is only a small fraction of what it is for infrastructure…apples and oranges.

                  • Fibroid
                    Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink |

                    @Chas

                    ‘There are only 3 possibilities…’

                    There are a lot more than only three, but for the purposes of brevity let’s go with your selection.

                    ’1. Telstra retains ownership and control of the copper (this is by far the cheapest option for Australia),’

                    I assume you mean Telstra don’t want extra value from allowing the copper to be hooked up to NBN Co FTTN cabinets, and it is contained within the current $11b Telstra/NBN Co agreement.

                    ’2. we purchase the copper from Telstra (which would make the cost of the NBN vastly more than FTTP would have been, even from just the Capex perspective),’

                    Not ‘would’ but ‘could’ you mean.

                    ’3. we lease the copper (which means we pay the maintenance fees which are currently $1 billion/year and climbing)’

                    Depends how the lease agreement is structured re maintenance responsibility and remember it’s not maintenance of the copper aka long line copper link from residence to pillar to exchange it is maintenance of the much shorter link from FTTN cabinet to residence, so you cannot compare it with the current fees at all.

                    • Chas
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink |

                      @fibroid

                      If you have any other scenarios, please list them…

                      “I assume you mean Telstra don’t want extra value from allowing the copper to be hooked up to NBN Co FTTN cabinets, and it is contained within the current $11b Telstra/NBN Co agreement.”

                      No, I mean that Telstra control and charge a monthly fee to everyone using their last mile of copper in addition to the $11 billion. This is considered the most likely eventuality as of today.

                      “Not ‘would’ but ‘could’ you mean”

                      No, simple math shows that “would” is much more appropriate. Unless Telstra becomes incredibly charitable and decides to give Australia a MASSIVE (multi-billion dollar) Christmas gift, there is no financial model that allows FTTN to be cheaper.

                      “it is maintenance of the much shorter link from FTTN cabinet to residence, so you cannot compare it with the current fees at all.”

                      Since that short distance requires the vast majority of the maintenance budget, I think I will compare it.

                • Alex
                  Posted 09/11/2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink |

                  Wow Fibroid…

                  Malcolm needs three wasteful, taxpayer funded, reviews, does he, why?

                  Oh I see, its a fall back… for when two of them actually have the audacity to demonstrate FttN (which MT’s colleagues referred to as fraudband just 6 years ago) is in fact, now in 2013 proven to now be, err “fraudband”…ROFL

      • haha yeah
        Posted 07/11/2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink |

        what is critical for success of competition and econ development is govt policy that encourages private telcos to take risks and build infrastructure instead of sitting passively on the sidelines perpetually screaming at the Gubmint to “do something” with taxpayer$$. Internode/iiNet could learn much from TPG which admirably spoke out against Labor’s draconian NBN policy from the very start. The industry needs more risk-taking network builders like TPG and less obstructionist free riders.

        • Alex
          Posted 09/11/2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink |

          @ haha yeah,,,

          More contradictions from the usual suspects…

          “what is critical for success of competition and econ development is govt policy that encourages private telcos to take risks and build infrastructure instead of sitting passively on the sidelines perpetually screaming at the Gubmint to “do something” with taxpayer$$.”

          And how will they do that?

          Oh of course by providing incentivisation via err, umm, taxpayer handouts (oops I mean, bonafide, democratic subsidies)…of course?

          FFS :/

      • Fibroid
        Posted 07/11/2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink |

        @Steve Dalby – iiNet

        Telstra has been Operationally Separated since 2005, so what do you think the Structural Separation of Telstra will add to competition in the fixed line sector in a environment where increasingly the fixed line infrastructure will be moved under control of the Government owned NBN Co and Telstra increasingly is getting more revenue and pumping funds into its overwhelming dominant wireless infrastructure?

        • Lionel
          Posted 07/11/2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink |

          “the Structural Separation of Telstra will add to competition in the fixed line sector in a environment where increasingly the fixed line infrastructure will be moved under control of the Government owned NBN Co”

          I think that is his whole point. If MT goes about the NBN rollout in the wrong fashion, if could leave Telstra with an effective monopoly. Given the way NBN Co is being stacked with Telstra/Turnbull cronies, it’s a worry. Try hard, you might just comprehend that.

          • Fibroid
            Posted 08/11/2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink |

            @Lionel

            ‘I think that is his whole point. If MT goes about the NBN rollout in the wrong fashion, if could leave Telstra with an effective monopoly.’

            Yet another if-then-else-maybe conjecture heaped upon conjecture statement, which of course ignores totally the role of the ACCC in promoting competition, where the ACCC would have to approve Telstra’s already dominant No 1 Telco position in a virtual repeat of history (PMG –>Telecom–>Telstra) all over again in regards to fixed line ownership.

            It would also require the complete dissolving of the NBN Co and handing all of the FTTP infrastructure already built and yet to built over to Telstra in a big gift wrapped box stamped ‘all paid for’ – and the Senate and competitor Telco’s in Australia would let that happen no problem!

            ‘Try hard, you might just comprehend that.’

            I place that one firmly in the fiction section of the Library.

            • Chas
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink |

              @fibroid

              “Yet another if-then-else-maybe conjecture heaped upon conjecture statement”

              I take it you have some theoretical possibility that would prevent all this? Please, I’m sure that everyone would love to hear it…
              If you mean we should all “close our eyes and think of England”, I don’t see that as a smart move for anyone.

              • Fibroid
                Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink |

                If you read the post I have already put forward more than just theoretical possibilities.

                The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission actually exists, it is not a theory, and a Senate where the Coalition do not and will not have a majority after June 2014 also exists.

                • Lionel
                  Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink |

                  And neither of them have any power to stop NBN Co/Malcolm Turnbull from effectively giving Telstra a monopoly through decisions they make to get hold of last mile copper.

                  • Fibroid
                    Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink |

                    ‘And neither of them have any power……,’ are you serious? – jeez I think you are.

                    • Lionel
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink |

                      Yes I am. Are you serious that the cabinet or the ACCC could or would stop NBN Co doing something like paying an ongoing fee to Telstra for the copper? The ACCC regulates Telstra now, but it still costs ISPs 3 times what it cost them for their own equipment. Telstra can still price their plans lower than ISPs can get the same service wholesale.

                      • Alex
                        Posted 09/11/2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink |

                        Indeed Lionel…

                        Let’s remember the IPA (the Coalitions think tank – how ironic) have suggested amongst many things (issues I’d assume many average Aussies would consider extreme) such as disbanding the ACCC completely…

                • Chas
                  Posted 08/11/2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink |

                  “If you read the post I have already put forward more than just theoretical possibilities”

                  No, you did not…you listed objections but no possibilities whatsoever. Even your objections are easily overcome in June 2014. While the Senate will not be controlled by the Libs per se, they do have a loose coalition with the incoming Senators. It is certainly possible to overrule the ACCC with a majority vote of both houses.

                  But that is just a sideshow…what you have not done (obviously) is think about what financial/structural model will/could take place given all the facts we now have…

            • Lionel
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink |

              “Yet another if-then-else-maybe conjecture heaped upon conjecture statement, which of course ignores totally the role of the ACCC in promoting competition, where the ACCC would have to approve Telstra’s already dominant No 1 Telco position in a virtual repeat of history (PMG –>Telecom–>Telstra) all over again in regards to fixed line ownership.”

              What conjecture? I was mentioning what Steve was getting at. Telstra need to be totally seperated from the wholesale broadband. The ACCC may not even be around. Hockey has to give them 100m to keep them going, and the comments made by the Libs seem to indicate they’d be happy if it just didn’t exist.

              “It would also require the complete dissolving of the NBN Co and handing all of the FTTP infrastructure already built and yet to built over to Telstra in a big gift wrapped box stamped ‘all paid for’ – and the Senate and competitor Telco’s in Australia would let that happen no problem!”

              Completely wrong. It just requires Telstra to own part of the network, a part that they can use like a toll bridge to make their costs lower than others. In this case the copper last mile, if it’s not handled properly.

              It may not happen, it may, but it’s something to watch out for.

              Get your head out of the sand. These possibilities aren’t fiction. They have already stacked the NBN and review in probably an even blantant way then we predicted. Ahh that’s right, that is fiction too….
              Your self denial is just stunning.

              • Observer
                Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink |

                “Your self denial is just stunning.”

                Not anymore. It is customary.

                • Lionel
                  Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink |

                  There seems to be two sides in the FTTN/FTTH debate. Those that see that can see FTTH is a far better and cost effective long term solution, this side includes virtually everyone, Libs, Labs, etc. The other side seems to be shock jock listeners, who don’t really think for themselves anyway, and hard core right wingers, who though seem intelligent seem to be incapable of seeing their heroes as being anything less than saints.

                  • Fibroid
                    Posted 08/11/2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink |

                    @Lionel

                    …. and there is another side where in the absence of anything substantive there is the vain hope that no basis in fact rhetoric and tin foil hat conspiracies actually constitutes as being valid argument for rolling out FTTP as originally planned by Labor.

                    • Lionel
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink |

                      Oh, you have been given plenty of substantive reasons, you just choose to ignore them.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink |

                        Repetitive conjecture is NOT a substantive reason.

                      • Lionel
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink |

                        No it’s not. But you ignore all facts and figures that in any way contradict your complete and utter bias in supporting anything the Coalition says. Ignoring expert predictions from all major networking giants on data growth for what Turnbull says data growth will be is not reasoned, it’s complete ignorance. Oh sorry, you found one report recently that said data growth wouldn’t be that high. But like a climate change sceptic, you choose to cherry pick the 3% percent rather than listen to the 97% majority.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink |

                        @Lionel

                        This is your definition of ‘facts & figures’ it it?

                        “The other side seems to be shock jock listeners, who don’t really think for themselves anyway, and hard core right wingers, who though seem intelligent seem to be incapable of seeing their heroes as being anything less than saints.”

                        umm ok.

                        .. and I have no idea what ‘one report I found’ on data growth you are on about.

                      • Lionel
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink |

                        “This is your definition of ‘facts & figures’ it it?”

                        I think any primary school kid could see that it wasn’t. If was a comment on your ignoring the facts and figures post on here for the last few years. (Expects a post “And what facts and figures are those?”)

                        “and I have no idea what ‘one report I found’ on data growth you are on about”

                        http://www.broadbanduk.org/2013/11/05/bsg-publishes-new-model-for-analysing-domestic-demand-for-bandwidth/

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink |

                        That report is new to me, where have I used it before any argument as you assert in your post above?

                        ‘Oh sorry, you found one report recently that said data growth wouldn’t be that high.’

                      • Alex
                        Posted 09/11/2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink |

                        @ Fibroid…

                        “Repetitive conjecture is NOT a substantive reason.”

                        Agree wholeheartedly.

                        But being so, it doesn’t leave your argument/position with much at all, eh? In fact SFA.

                        Never mind though, I’m sure when the Coalition are rolling out FttP to replace the “fraudband” (yes the same fraudband they opposed just 6 years ago…which is actually fraudband now… LOL) dilapidated copper, you will in your own inimitable contradictory, conjecture ridden way, be praising them and FttP 24/7.

        • Alex
          Posted 07/11/2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink |

          2005, really?

          • Fibroid
            Posted 08/11/2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink |

            I guessed from memory, it was actually 2006, which of course in no way changes the point I made, but you know that because you just said ‘really’ rather than just saying it was 2006.

            • Alex
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink |

              This is an evidence based forum…

              As such, you ought to give it a shot, even once!

    7. Jason
      Posted 07/11/2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink |

      fancy iinet talking about competition

      Iinet should be structual separated as well

      Iinet has brought out the majority of the competitors

      its not a good look for iinet is it steve

      • Posted 07/11/2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink |

        @Jason
        >>”fancy iinet talking about competition”
        Yes, we speak up. We do so publicly, we do so privately. Renai has criticised us for what he considers is reducing competition but he always strings a whole paragraph together – what’s your point ?

        >>”Iinet should be structual separated as well”
        Surprise !! We are already structurally separated from the national network. There you go. Fixed.

        >>”Iinet has brought out the majority of the competitors”
        Given that we still only have around 15% of the market, I’m not sure about your definition of ‘majority’.
        Perhaps you need to do a bit more work on that line of argument.

        >>”its not a good look for iinet is it steve”
        Ha-ha!
        If it wasn’t for the likes of iiNet there would be no competition. We think it is a GREAT look.
        We have been ‘scrutinised’ by the ACCC on every deal we’ve done on our way to building a genuine challenger to the incumbent. So far there has not been one issue on that front.

        >>The industry needs more risk-taking network builders like TPG and less obstructionist free riders.
        Good on TPG, that’s the sort of company that we are happy to go up against in the market. Like us they have built their business despite the predations of the incumbent. As an expert, you’d know how much cash we’ve invested in our own infrastructure over the years. You’d also know that TPG bought Pipe and its infrastructure which you seem to think is a cool strategy for them, but not for iiNet.

        Since the rest of your comment is nonsensical, I’ll leave it alone.

    8. Simon
      Posted 07/11/2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink |

      You’ve earned your Abbot propaganda paycheck this week Malcolm. Well done , well dribbled.

    9. Jieh
      Posted 07/11/2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink |

      Talking about structural separation, maybe you could check out what’s happen in NZ (Chrous). Yeah maybe a good thing for the consumer with cheaper broadband and all, but not so sure for the shareholders (I am both a shareholder and consumer), still sitting on the fence on this one…

      • Harimau
        Posted 07/11/2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink |

        Just my opinion, but maybe you simply consider it a poor investment then, and there are better investments to be made?

    10. Jeremy P
      Posted 08/11/2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink |

      I still fail to see how it is beneficial to Australia to have a ‘new’ network piggy back onto the crap copper that still exists, for it then to cost us more money and time in a few years time to then replace that copper.

      If the copper was replaced to begin with, yes it may have cost more in the long run, but no future costs to replace it down the track.

      • Fibroid
        Posted 08/11/2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink |

        @Jeremy P

        So just how ‘crap’ is the copper and where does Australia sit in the well known internationally recognised ‘Copper Crappiness Chart’, and secondly how much is it to replace the copper that shows us without any dispute that we should have rolled out FTTP in the first place?

        • Observer
          Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink |

          Well Fibroid.

          Good to see you’re asking questions that you wouldn’t answer yourself. If I recall, I am still waiting for your answer on whether FTTN would still be worth doing if the cost of replacing the copper made the overall cost greater than rolling out FTTP.

          • Fibroid
            Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink |

            I answered it and you acknowledged the answer, you may not have liked the answer, but that’s no surprise.

            • Observer
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink |

              Well, you better get the second screen on, copy and paste and show me not just your “answer” but also my acknowledgement.

              • Alex
                Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink |

                And here it is Observer…

                http://delimiter.com.au/2013/10/29/fttp-nbn-wacko-claims-mad-monk-pm/#comment-628148

                Exactly as (in fact a little earlier than) prophesied…

                Like a book, ROFL…

                • Observer
                  Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink |

                  ROFL.

                  I must say. Fibroid is going out of his way to not disappoint you.

                  Perhaps, you are unfair. Who knows, the second screen may be broken. More likely, it’s a special second screen. It only works when the information works to support Fibroid’s points. Some sort of Fibroid’s slave screen.

                  Perhaps, we are unfair. Fibroid did respond but the information got deleted, before we could read it, by some left wing, Labor NBN fan boy, hacker.

                  • Alex
                    Posted 09/11/2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink |

                    It’s funny… yet pitiful IMO Observer.

                    Look, all I want is the best network at the best cost to Aussies… and IMO the evidence is clear… that is FttP.

                    Sure the previous NBN had problems, some of which were NBNCo’s own making, but many weren’t. FFS even Malcolm who blamed the previous gov and NBNCo for everything before, now (post election, surprise, surprise) admits some of the problems were the fault of the contractor after all.

                    Yet he still looks like throwing out the baby, so to speak…

                    IMO, in 2013, it is absolute idiocy to spend the same government dollars and go backwards to inferior copper based FttN. Then there’s the Telstra factor, the have’s, have nots, etc… with FttP all of these FttN problems have been alleviated and especially crazy to revert to FttN when all of the FttP groundwork has been done and the roll out even underway…

                    Which leads me to, as I have claimed previously… the only people I have ever encountered who will suggest otherwise and/or have bagged (and continue to strangely bag) the previous NBN always..never a kind word, are…

                    1. Political minions
                    2. Telstra minions/(‘some’) shareholders
                    2. Those who believe they will personally lose from the previous NBN
                    3. Those who believe they will personally gain from another network topology
                    4. All of the above

                    I am yet to be disproven and those here (who appear to slot into 4, but particularly 1…LOL) do nothing but cement these thoughts, absolutely.

        • Alex
          Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink |

          @ Fibroid…

          The copper is dilapidated.

          Any other silly questions?

          • Fibroid
            Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink |

            Yeah I suppose that’s about as statistically technical it will ever get, and don’t forget it will cost $5K to get off it.

            • Alex
              Posted 09/11/2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink |

              @ Fibroid…

              No that’s simply coming from one of Telstra major (if not their major) wholesale customer, iinet.

              http://www.zdnet.com/telstra-must-fix-dilapidated-copper-for-libs-fttn-nbn-iinet-7000021893/

              But of course you’d know better :/

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

                @Alex

                iiNet can express concern about the condition of the copper, but as the comment indicates it is up to Telstra or whatever maintenance conditions are contained in the NBN Co/Telstra agreement for use of copper for FTTN to meet the minimum speed standards of Coalition policy by 2016 and 2019.

                oh and be careful of those own goals, from your link.

                “iiNet was re-emphasising its commitment to VDSL2 – and hoped that Telstra would do the same.”

                That’s good to hear from Australia’s third largest ISP eh?

                • Alex
                  Posted 10/11/2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink |

                  Which part of “dilapidated copper” do you still not understand…?

          • Soth
            Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink |

            The copper is… going by my example… Phoned iinet on a rainy day to get fetchtv, sync speed wasn’t fast enough *sad panda*
            Left it until Spring, phone iinet, congratulations! You just made the sync speed! o_O

    11. Andrew
      Posted 08/11/2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink |

      Now that the group-thinkers have all been appointed, this technologically agnostic review into the best way to provide uniform, ubiquitous, reliable telecommunication infrastructure to the country can now proceed… The brainstorming sessions will be interesting. Everyone will contribute the same suggestions.
      What a farce. Can we boycott it? I don’t want any of my money spent on this zero-benefit FTTN project.

      • Fibroid
        Posted 08/11/2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink |

        @Andrew

        You don’t have to worry about it being of ‘zero benefit’, Fibre to the Node works, it is not being invented by Turnbull with a special Oz FTTN specification.

        It works successfully overseas, is cheaper and quicker to deploy than FTTP and FTTN/FTTC is constantly being researched and field tested to take it beyond current speeds, its future is assured.

        • RBH
          Posted 08/11/2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink |

          ” its future is assured ”

          Fibroid is guaranteeing your FTTN connection won’t suck and will be delivered on time and be cheaper.

          So when FTTP is finally built after our FTTN fiasco, where do we send the bill?

        • Observer
          Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink |

          “You don’t have to worry about it being of ‘zero benefit’, Fibre to the Node works, it is not being invented by Turnbull with a special Oz FTTN specification.”

          That’s right Fibroid. He only invented the internet. LOL.

          I also like the “you don’t have to worry about that”. Straight out of the Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s handbook.

        • Chas
          Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink |

          @fibroid

          “it is not being invented by Turnbull with a special Oz FTTN specification”

          It is actually…I know of no other country that is building out FTTN that doesn’t own the copper already. Also, the copper on all of those FTTN builds is much thicker than ours.

          “It works successfully overseas, is cheaper and quicker to deploy than FTTP”

          Again, that is different copper, different financial circumstances. The TCO of FTTN is always (even overseas) much higher than FTTP…but it’s worse here because we can’t write down the copper we own (we don’t), and the copper and maintenance is higher here…

          “FTTN/FTTC is constantly being researched and field tested to take it beyond current speeds”

          I see…so in 10 years time when the rest of the world is on 10Gb/4Gb, we can have 100Mb/20Mb copper? I don’t think so…

          • Fibroid
            Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink |

            So all the field testing of FTTN that has and will take place in Australia will all be on special brand new thicker gauge copper laid specifically for the test?

            • Lionel
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink |

              Has? Other than in a lab there is no has. And will be on thicker copper? Who knows. If Turnbull’s current stacking of the deck is any indication it well be. Already he is trying to claim a FTTB rollout is somehow an indication of the performance of FTTN

            • RocK_M
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink |

              No.

              But that’s the point isn’t it?

            • Chas
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink |

              “So all the field testing of FTTN that has and will take place in Australia will all be on special brand new thicker gauge copper laid specifically for the test?”

              Yes…all field testing has taken place on newer 0.6mm copper wiring, while the vast majority of Telstra’s copper is 0.4mm.

              • Fibroid
                Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink |

                Where is that test criteria info sourced from?

                • Chas
                  Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink |

                  “Where is that test criteria info sourced from?”

                  I’m not sure which you are asking about…you do know that nobody has taken 0.4mm past 85Mbps don’t you? So when you read those reports of test that hit 100Mbps, that is on much thicker wire…

                  • Fibroid
                    Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink |

                    Well that’s ok then because the first speed milestone in the Coalition policy is only a minimum of 25 Mbps up to 100Mbps.

                    • Brendan
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

                      Yes, it’s okay the minimum speeds basically match ADSL2+. That’s not even remotely a cop out.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink |

                        @Brendan

                        So how many people do you know that live very near to a Telstra exchange on newish copper get a minimum of 25Mbps ADSL2+ at connect every time their modem negotiates and syncs the link with the exchange DSLAM?

                      • SBD
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:57 pm | Permalink |

                        I wonder where all the 25mbps adsl2 users are;
                        http://www.netindex.com/download/2,18/Australia/
                        The download stats there indicate that out of 1million samples, 50 users get >26.21mbps. I can’t see the data for =25, but extrapolating it would likely lie within the next 50. Therefore only 1 in 10,000 get 25mbps or above speeds.

                        Given the data source comes from all speedtest.net data, and doesn’t exclude cable, then perhaps 25mbps adsl2 is a myth, that data indicates 14mbps is average for australia atm.

                      • grump3
                        Posted 09/11/2013 at 12:23 am | Permalink |

                        The best my copper has ever provided on ADSL2 is 1.2Mb/s down & 0.2Mb/s up.
                        Am looking forward to getting Turnbull’s promised 25Mb’s by 2016 down this line!

                    • Brendan
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

                      “Up to -” will become part of Australian Broadband vernacular again.

                      I’m looking forward to getting 25 mbit, on a line that does “up to” 24 mbit now, in 2016. And “up to” 100mbit at some point in the future.

                      You’re right. So much better than a network that is capable of 1gbit.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink |

                        So you are saying the up to speeds of ADSL2+ which are only under the ideal conditions of distance and quality of line is exactly the same as the up to speeds of FTTN under ideal conditions, and any test saying they got 85Mbps or 100 Mbps on FTTN is total BS?

                    • Chas
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink |

                      “the first speed milestone in the Coalition policy is only a minimum of 25 Mbps up to 100Mbps”
                      I guess you just don’t understand (and probably can’t). That speed (25Mbps) on 0.4mm copper (not to mention AGED copper) will not happen as a minimum…more as an upper benchmark.

                      If you use pristine copper (and it is nothing like that) with brand new connectors under perfect conditions, the farthest away you can build a node is ~1150m of cable length. Under present conditions with current copper (which is too expensive to replace) you would need a maximum distance of closer to ~500-600m of cable length.
                      The average city block in Melbourne is 200m x 100m which means a node on every other block…
                      Is this what you are assuming MT is using as his model???

                      “any test saying they got 85Mbps or 100 Mbps on FTTN is total BS?”

                      Yes…if they are saying that they used standard Telstra copper in the field.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink |

                        @Chas

                        ‘I guess you just don’t understand (and probably can’t). That speed (25Mbps) on 0.4mm copper (not to mention AGED copper) will not happen as a minimum…more as an upper benchmark.’

                        Oh I see, so the Coalition are wasting time and money even considering FTTN, and Telstra and Alcatel-Lucent should cease all testing immediately because it is going nowhere fast and just come and see you in your ‘Chas research lab’ because your study on the 0.4mm copper that is out there shows that 25Mbps is the upper speed out of a FTTN cabinet , even with VDSL vectoring, just like bog standard ADSL2+, that’s amazing, you have saved the economy heaps.

                        ‘Yes…if they are saying that they used standard Telstra copper in the field.’

                        They haven’t said what copper they are using, and even if it is not it doesn’t matter because 100Mbps is not the minimum required.

                      • Chas
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink |

                        “Oh I see, so the Coalition are wasting time and money even considering FTTN”

                        Pretty much…

                        “They haven’t said what copper they are using, and even if it is not it doesn’t matter because 100Mbps is not the minimum required.”

                        And again you miss the actual point…you asked if it was BS, and I pointed out that it was. Now you say it doesn’t matter if they are BSing…pick a lane, mate.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 10/11/2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink |

                        @Chas

                        It’s only BS if they has said it was on Australian standard gauge, although it is only your definition of what constitutes BS in this case.

                        So on that subject I have done a lot of reading on copper gauge and FTTN speeds , I would like you to point out to me with links as you so seem so firm in your conviction when you say ‘ nobody has taken 0.4mm past 85Mbps’, that proves that statement.

                        Is that irrespective of line length or do you want to change your statement?

                      • Chas
                        Posted 12/11/2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink |

                        “Is that irrespective of line length or do you want to change your statement?”

                        Nope, don’t want to change it at all…
                        I don’t know of anyone testing for less than 20m, but down to that point it is irrespective of line length.

                        “I would like you to point out to me with links…”

                        Sorry, but are you asking me to prove a negative (you do realize that it’s an impossible task to do so, yes?) Tell you what, show me even a SINGLE example of 0.4mm FTTN transmission at anything over 85Mbps and I will apologize…

                    • Alex
                      Posted 09/11/2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink |

                      @Fibroid.

                      “Well that’s ok then, because the first speed milestone in the Coalition policy is only a minimum of 25 Mbps up to 100Mbps.”

                      Are you serious now, like I am seriously asking, are you serious?

                      In other words, you are happy if we are supplied 25Mbps only, because it fulfils the Coalition’s policy?

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 09/11/2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink |

                        It’s not 25 Mbps only.

                      • Alex
                        Posted 10/11/2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink |

                        @ Fibroid”

                        “It’s not only 25Mbps”

                        Err, yes it is, according to your claim…!

                        “… the first speed milestone in the Coalition policy is only a minimum of 25 Mbps up to 100Mbps.”

                        25Mbps is apparently guaranteed (but again according to your comment) anything above 25Mbps is not guaranteed, it is the old ‘up to’ lottery, so…

                        Please feel free to retract if you got it wrong…

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 11/11/2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink |

                        Got what wrong?

                        “…..because the first speed milestone in the Coalition policy is only a minimum of 25 Mbps up to 100Mbps.”

                      • Alex
                        Posted 11/11/2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink |

                        Just asking for simple clarification of what you are claiming Fibroid… no need to get all defensive and play the old avoidance card…

                        The way I read what you claim is… the Coalition are guaranteeing 25Mbps… and then you are saying but anything above 25 is (the theoretical) up to… and ergo, not definite.

                        So 25Mbps may be both min and max… is that what you re saying? Because that’s the way it reads…!

                • Lionel
                  Posted 08/11/2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink |

                  That the tests were done on 0.6mm copper? Read the test results from the trial, it tells you exactly what the setup is. That the Australian copper is predomently 0.4mm and effect that will have on speeds?
                  You mean you are throwing whole hearted support behind FTTN without even studying the basics of the technology?

                  • Fibroid
                    Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink |

                    None of the reports I have seen about the limited tests done by Alcatel-Lucent and Telstra indicate what copper thickness was used.

                    • Brendan
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink |

                      So you just presume that a company with a vested interest in ensuring the value of the CAN remains in place and if anything, increases, is happily going to find the worst areas possible to include in testing?

                      Like Scully – I want to believe.

                      But I strongly doubt they will target poor lines and thin wire gauge (that would require remediation first) as part of early testing.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink |

                        So you don’t know either, that’s makes quite a few of you that actually don’t know but are willing to offer opinion to fill the void.

                      • Observer
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink |

                        Fibroid

                        Talking about void, what about the copy of the mysterious reply you supposedly posted? Still waiting…

                      • Lionel
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink |

                        Yes, and until the tests are made, it’s all subjective. We believe the worst of Turnbull, because we have consistently seen it. You are however more positive, for whatever reason. If we think that they may rig the tests due to what we have seen so far, that is our perogative.

                    • Lionel
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink |

                      Just because you haven’t read or acknowledge reading the thickness of the copper used in the Alcatel Tests doesn’t mean the thickness wasn’t specified. In a number of documents it was.

                      No, the Telstra thickness wasn’t specified, and it was a lab test. Neither of these points in any way changes the thickness of the copper that has been rolled out.

                    • Brendan
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink |

                      Look, here’s what at least one vendor is saying about 0.4mm copper performance.

                      You can sit there and pretend Telstra will somehow break the 100mbit barrier on 0.4mm lines at all manner of line lengths – but I’ll stick with what vendors are actually saying is possible:

                      http://blog.ecitele.com/Pages/Post.aspx?PostID=60&Author=ECI%20Staff

                      80mbit or less seems to be the outcome once you break ~500 meters.

                      iinet managed 100mbit on lines under .5 km. After that speeds drop markedly.

                      AL’s recent China trial showed that Vectoring helps, by hitting 100mbit to about 600 meters. After that it starts to drop. A lot.

                      Vectoring isn’t a golden egg and can only do so much.

                      Line length and copper quality will be paramount. If Turnbull massively increases the node count and shortens copper length to a few hundred meters, or perhaps up to 500-600 with vectoring.

                      But if it’s upwards of 800+ meters then line speeds are going to be highly variable and won’t really match what is being touted. We’ll also potentially see a lot of copper go unused because it’s too-far gone.

                      The longer the line length, the more important it’s qualities become.

                      So, feel free to tell me I’m just making crap up to bag copper. I’m not. There are real world factors that affect copper, outside of a lab. There are a huge number of unanswered questions on how Malcolm intends to work FTTN into a solution that will meet his stated claims – I’m not going to apologise for holding Turnbull to account.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink |

                        The 100Mbps achieved with FTTN or what the ideal test bed was is not the issue, the Coalition is not specifying a minimum of 100 Mbps by 2016 in their NBN policy, in fact it is not even a minimum of 100 Mbps by 2019, they are the up to speeds.

                      • Lionel
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink |

                        What do they do when gigabit speeds are the norm, and when will that be? That is the point, not now, not 2016, but the big brick wall that gets hit that makes fibre necessary. Roll out a whole pile of nodes even closer for GFast, put them in pits and phantom power them? This is the problem, getting enough now using copper means expensive upgrades, doing FTTH now means we have capacity for the future and cheap upgrades.

          • Alex
            Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink |

            “it is not being invented by Turnbull with a special Oz FTTN specification”

            As you say Chas and contrary to Fibroids typical FttN goldilocks just right fairy tales… , we are indeed somewhat unique.

            Plus let’s not forget… not many (any?) governments or companies are that ultimately stupid to have had FttP started for them and the go into reverse to FttN (yes… the same ‘fraudband” FttN opposed 6 years earlier..)

            The stupidity beggars belief.

        • Richard L
          Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink |

          FTTN works sucessfully everywhere overseas?

          Shall we talk about New Zealand? Or how about average speeds achieved by BT – I don’t believe they’ve got to 25 Mbps in any town.

          • Fibroid
            Posted 08/11/2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink |

            @Richard L

            Average speeds of what, all of BB in the UK, BT FTTN, BT FTTP, Virgin Media cable?

            Keeping in mind 86% of UK BB subscribers are only on packages of up to 10Mbps.

            I am not sure what you are referring to in NZ.

            • Richard L
              Posted 08/11/2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink |

              Since we are talking about FTTN, FTTP or Virgin cable is not relevant. My understanding is that BT will only sell higher speeds on FTTN where the copper will support it, ie there is no national minimum guarantee like the Liberals have promised us.

              In New Zealand Chorus went for a FTTN roll out and abandoned it when it struggled to reach 10 Mbps, switching to FTTP instead. Can you explain that as a success for FTTN?

              • Fibroid
                Posted 08/11/2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink |

                @Richard L

                ‘ My understanding is that BT will only sell higher speeds on FTTN where the copper will support it, ie there is no national minimum guarantee like the Liberals have promised us.’

                But you referred to UK ‘average speeds achieved by BT’ as if it was a real problem, I asked what average you were referring to , so what is the average speed on Openreach FTTN where the copper supports it, and how is that a problem for any proposed Coalition NBN Co FTTN rollout here?

                ‘In New Zealand Chorus went for a FTTN roll out and abandoned it when it struggled to reach 10 Mbps, switching to FTTP instead. Can you explain that as a success for FTTN?’

                I am not aware of any report that says Chorus NZ abandoned FTTN because it struggled to reach 10 Mbps.

                • Richard L
                  Posted 08/11/2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink |

                  Given that BT is often used as an example of a successful roll out of FTTN, the fact that their average speeds fall far short of the 25 Mbps promised by the Coalition seems to me to be an indication that that approach may not work here.

                  That BT will not sell higher speeds where their copper doesn’t support it is great for BT, as it means they can choose not to fix it, but is not an acceptable solution for the Coalition as they have promised 25/50 Mpbs for everyone in fixed line areas.

                  Now if you say that is unattainable for reasonable costs, I’d agree with you, but it *is* Coalition policy. They haven’t back flipped on that point so far.

                  The report at

                  http://www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/technology-communication/communications/legislation-relating-to-the-telecommunications-sector/review-of-the-telecommunications-act-2001/submissions-folder/46-Chorus.pdf

                  Is an interesting read. Page 10 states:

                  “In seven years, the proportion of lines capable of greater than 10Mbps has increased
                  from 22% to 93%” – note the 10 Mbps, the rest of the document is about supporting transition to FTTP.

                  It also includes this gem

                  “Australians, who now face a proposed reduction in the FTTH rollout in favour of FTTN
                  (which Chorus has already done and, internationally is seen as an interim step towards FTTH), are
                  complaining bitterly. ”

                  Now you may reject my interpretation that Chorus abandoned FTTN as it cannot consistently do better than 10 Mbps, but that is essentially what Chorus’s own submission is saying.

                  • Fibroid
                    Posted 08/11/2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink |

                    @Richard L

                    ‘Given that BT is often used as an example of a successful roll out of FTTN, the fact that their average speeds fall far short of the 25 Mbps’

                    I’ll ask AGAIN, what is the average speeds on BT FTTN that kills Coalition aspirations of a minimum of 25 Mbps by 2016?

                    ‘That BT will not sell higher speeds where their copper doesn’t support it is great for BT, as it means they can choose not to fix it, but is not an acceptable solution for the Coalition as they have promised 25/50 Mpbs for everyone in fixed line areas.’

                    If the copper doesn’t support 25Mbps here it the copper it will have remediation, if it is so bad it is beyond remediation to support 25 Mbps FTTP will be rolled out, the problem is what exactly?

                    “In seven years, the proportion of lines capable of greater than 10Mbps has increased
                    from 22% to 93%” – note the 10 Mbps, the rest of the document is about supporting transition to FTTP.

                    But I’m looking for the direct statement that Chorus killed off FTTN because they struggled to get get 10 Mbps, that’s not what that statement says about the 10 Mbps speed.

                    “Australians, who now face a proposed reduction in the FTTH rollout in favour of FTTN
                    (which Chorus has already done and, internationally is seen as an interim step towards FTTH), are
                    complaining bitterly. ”

                    But they just recently voted in the Coalition NBN policy anyway, makes you wonder how bitter they really were.

                    ‘Now you may reject my interpretation that Chorus abandoned FTTN as it cannot consistently do better than 10 Mbps, but that is essentially what Chorus’s own submission is saying.’

                    I didn’t get that ‘interpretation’ at all, although I appreciate you have watered it down to being your interpretation.

                    • Fibroid
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink |

                      BTW if you care to read the current media reports about Chorus in NZ which I am sure you have , I wouldn’t hold them up as a shining light of how national mixed infrastructure rollouts should be done.

                      • Richard L
                        Posted 09/11/2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink |

                        I was seeing the roll out of FTTN in New Zealand as a less than stella example, not praising Chorus.

                        Since you claim FTTN has been a great success overseas, can you give one example where all customers are guaranteed a minimum of 25 Mbps, excluding Deutsch Telecom?

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 09/11/2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink |

                        So you want me to give an example but then you add ‘excluding DT’, so why must DT be excluded?

                      • Richard L
                        Posted 11/11/2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink |

                        I was excluding DT as it is possibly the one example where FTTN can give a guaranteed minimum of 25Mbps. However, the Coalition don’t appear to be looking to use this as their template for their roll out.

                        If FTTN is such a success, surely you can provide another example?

                    • Observer
                      Posted 08/11/2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink |

                      “I’ll ask AGAIN”

                      So do I. Where is the evidence you replied to the questions?

                      I understand that you have been busy defending the honour of the Coalition but, surely, the man who once bragged about having two screens (for references) should have no problem finding the evidence and posting it. Unless, of course, you never replied and in which case I wouldn’t have been able, as you suggest, to dislike your answers.

                      So, have a quick look and either send the alleged answers or admit that that was a big fib.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink |

                        Here.

                        http://delimiter.com.au/2013/10/29/fttp-nbn-wacko-claims-mad-monk-pm/#comment-628387

                        You then acknowledged having read it in the very next post, and no I have nothing more to add until the three reviews are done and in the public domain.

                      • Observer
                        Posted 08/11/2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink |

                        “You then acknowledged having read it in the very next post.”

                        What I did acknowledge is that you did not pay me the courtesy of a proper answer.
                        .
                        And the second so-called answer was a non answer. Hiding behind some reviews, when asked what should happen in a given scenario, is avoiding an answer. Either that or it shows that you can’t think for yourself. You need to wait for cues from MT’s “independent” reviews.

                        Fibroid, this shows that you are not interested in a genuine debate. You have one stated aim, and one aim only, and that is to defend your beloved Coalition at all cost. Whatever it takes. You will duck, weave, avoid, distort, plead ignorance but you know what, you are yet to convince anyone here. You can always console yourself by believing that we are all Labor NBN fanbois, but the ultimate fanboi here is you, futilely devoted to the Coalition cause.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 10/11/2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink |

                        How do you decide when to as post as Alex and when to post as Observer?

                      • Alex
                        Posted 10/11/2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink |

                        My goodness Fibroid… just when we thought your input couldn’t get any sillier…

                      • jimbo
                        Posted 10/11/2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink |

                        @alain

                        And I thought it was just me — as it occurred to me on many occassions “Alex” and “Observer” are the same person. Why? Because I normally ignore all of Alex’s posts… but when I do read Observer’s post… I am immediately reminded of Alex. So, now I ignore them both.

                      • Observer
                        Posted 10/11/2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink |

                        “How do you decide when as post as Alex and when to post as Observer?”

                        And when I though you had graced us with all of wit but this is truly beyond what I could ever imagine. Fibroid, how did you manage this incredible piece of deduction? Have you ever considered a career as detective? If you have, I am glad you didn’t go ahead with it as you certainly would have been a total failure.

                      • Observer
                        Posted 11/11/2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink |

                        @Jimbo

                        ‘And I thought it was just me”

                        No, it wasn’t, delusion can be shared

                        “Because I normally ignore all of Alex’s posts… but when I do read Observer’s post… I am immediately reminded of Alex. So, now I ignore them both.”

                        I cannot speak for Alex (even though we’re allegedly the same person) but I am mortified that a person of your evident great intellect and judgment has come to ignore my posts.I understand that this may surprise you. After all, I didn’t even know you existed until you decided to share with Alain/Fibroid the fact you had arrived at the same amazing (but incorrect) conclusion that Alex and I were both the same person.

                        Well, don’t be shy. Feel free to further share your wisdom with us anytime you feel the need. I, for one, can’t to wait to see what other sharp observations you can bless us with.

                      • Alex
                        Posted 11/11/2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink |

                        @ Jimbo,

                        Well that;’s interesting because I have never seen (or can’t recall, must have been memorable) any of your comments…you appear new?

                        As such, how curious that you would involve yourself now and try to pick a fight for no apparent reason.

                        *sigh*

                      • Alex
                        Posted 11/11/2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink |

                        Interesting Observer, that these new personally aimed comments are coming from people, one of whom has the audacity/hypocrisy to commonly cry foul by accusing others of personally attacking…

                        It’s obvious with such people having to resort to this, the pressure of the ensuing FttN failure and the realisation that their blind political belief that one side is always better than the other is flawed afterall…i.e. we were right and them wrong, is simply too much for them to comprehend…

                        Anyway, enough deflection and bullshit… as per Delimiter rules, back to the topics such as NBNCo being stacked with Telstra yes men and imminent FttN failure.

        • Andrew
          Posted 08/11/2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink |

          @Fibroid There is no iron clad guarantee that my speeds will go straight to 25 or 100 Mbps ever. It may be provisioned at 90 bazillion Mbps, but I may still remain on dial-up speeds. Mind you, I will be charged for provisioning not for what I receive. Again, DO NOT BUILD IT. Putting a new set of ‘super fast’ injectors in a biplane will not serve us as a transport mode for the masses for the next 50 years.
          Iron telegraph lines, copper phone lines, kerosene lamps, the abacus, black and white telly, horses, smoking… xDSL. All of these are “perfectly fine” for the unwashed masses but if it is time to change, don’t spend money on patching the old cloth with new cloth.
          I want my taxes spent on fibre because it will serve the country better than a technology that appears to work well enough under ideal conditions 20 metres from the node.
          Tell me what you are thinking though. Why is the FTTN better value? I want to understand the logic because I am missing something.

    12. daffy
      Posted 08/11/2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink |

      It is appropriate to search around until you find someone that tells you what you want to hear. Independence is such a quaint notion.

    13. TrevorX
      Posted 09/11/2013 at 1:54 am | Permalink |

      Having read all these comments, the thing that strikes me is how effectively this discussion isable to be diverted and distracted by technical bickering.

      Blah blah FTTN cheaper faster elsewhere why not here blah blah. Because if it was ‘a quarter the cost’ delivered in ‘a fifth of the time’ of FTTP, we wouldn’t be having this debate – sure, go spend your $10bn and have it ready by 2015. But by the LNP’s own costings, there’s only $900 million difference and about 18 months between the two plans.

      No, the questions that must be focused on are, should FTTP be stopped and replaced in preference for FTTN to save $900 million in capital raising? Should $29.5bn in Government debt be accrued to provide an inferior network that lacks the financial viability of the FTTP NBN and will thus result in tens of billions in unrecoverable public debt?

      Seriously, all these other arguments are an irrelevant sideshow, a distraction from crucial and undeniable problems with the Coalition’s intentions as we currently understand them.

      This is not a discussion about the technical viability or applicability of FTTN in Australia. Sure, it can be done. Sure, the LNP have vastly underestimated the technical challenges and resulting costs. But that’s not the point, because you can’t build such a network in isolation to other policy, structural, legal, regulatory and financial changes – this is not about technologies, it is about policy packages. Unless you are discussing each policy with consideration for the impact of all relevant differences, you are not debating the NBN topic, because you can’t isolate individual components of the respective packages from all the others.

      The FTTN policy is not economically justifiable. Until such time as a viable plan is put forward that is, that’s the end of the discussion. The LNP’s FTTN policy was just the foot through the door that they needed to get the public to accept that there was enough conjecture about the best way to construct the NBN that they would be allowed to apply the brakes without a massive public outcry. But based on their existing policy document, there is no justification for stopping or changing FTTP – their plan is a joke. Like a half-hearted attempt to mock up a fake company, where the slightest glance at any records would instantly expose it. That plan has no more basis in reality than I have of excreting diamond encrusted gold nuggets.

      You people care about the future of this country and the telecommunications hell we’re all about to be subjected to? Wake up! Stop letting the LNP play you. FTTN the technology is not a thing – FTTN the policy is. As a device to cripple NBN Co from within, like scuttling a ship – FTTN can’t deliver viable economics, infrastructure competition allows FTTP overbuilding which will steal any possibility of revenue from the crippled infrastructure provider, whereupon it will be sold for a fraction of its construction cost. You will not be able to turn this around at the next election because NBN Co will be effectively destroyed by then.

      • Chas
        Posted 09/11/2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink |

        @trevorx

        An excellent summation…well said sir!

        +1

      • Fibroid
        Posted 09/11/2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink |

        @TrevorX

        ‘. But by the LNP’s own costings, there’s only $900 million difference and about 18 months between the two plans.’

        No it’s certainly not, and you keep stacking the numbers in a repetitive futile attempt to make it all look artificially palatable.

        2021-2016 does not equal 18 months and $45b minus $29.5b is not $900 million.

        That’s not just me stating the difference, independent analysis comparing the two policies use those figures, especially the funding, as you will know, but prefer to ignore.

        Now we have got baseline correct figures sorted which of course underpins the rest of your argument let’s look at the rest.

        ‘Should $29.5bn in Government debt be accrued to provide an inferior network that lacks the financial viability of the FTTP’

        No one has pointed out other than opinion how FTTP is more financially viable than FTTN.

        ‘Sure, the LNP have vastly underestimated the technical challenges and resulting costs.’

        I like the way you say that as it if is a well known established given, once again it’s just your opinion, and seeing it is based just on opinion , my opinion is you are wrong.

        ‘Unless you are discussing each policy with consideration for the impact of all relevant differences, you are not debating the NBN topic, because you can’t isolate individual components of the respective packages from all the others.’

        I have no idea what that means?

        ‘The FTTN policy is not economically justifiable.’

        I have not seen anything that categorically says it is not, so once again it’s just opinion, I don’t agree with you and say FTTN is more economically justifiable than FTTP.

        ‘ But based on their existing policy document, there is no justification for stopping or changing FTTP – their plan is a joke’

        That’s rich, with the Labor rollout massively behind schedule at the end of their Government reign, adding to the massive funding requirements every time they produced another Business plan and with Conroy who was the Minister in charge for nearly six years saying (but waiting until they lost Government of course) that it was too ambitious, and you call the plan the Coalition have including inheriting all the problems of the Labor FTTP rollout the one that is a joke!

        ‘ Like a half-hearted attempt to mock up a fake company, where the slightest glance at any records would instantly expose it.’

        umm what?

        ‘ FTTN can’t deliver viable economics,’

        Conjecture.

        ‘ infrastructure competition allows FTTP overbuilding which will steal any possibility of revenue from the crippled infrastructure provider,’

        Of course it helps if you always ignore the content of Coalition policy on infrastructure competition the conditions of which are which are quite strict, and then there is the existence of the ACCC, which you would prefer to ignore.

        So when making that statements like that there is a lot of ignoring of unpalatable facts, which doesn’t leave much in the way of substance at all.

        • Alex
          Posted 09/11/2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink |

          Is that Bill Murray?

          • Observer
            Posted 09/11/2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink |

            Have you noticed how unjustifiably confident Fibroid has become since being told in was right on the money lately?

            I like the way most things are dismissed as opinions but this is followed by his opinion on other’s opinions.
            Quite an authority we have in our midst. But never fear, FTTN is the greatest things since slice bread. How do we know? Fibroid says so. How does he know? It is Coalition policy. You can’t get more authoritative than that.

            Can’t wait to see how the “policy” turns out. You know the one that needs three revues to make sure it is the right policy.

            • Fibroid
              Posted 10/11/2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink |

              Three reviews is better than one which was at the very beginning of the Labor plan way back in 2009, then no progressive reviews along the way even when the rollout targets were massively behind at each reporting point requiring increases to required funding.

              If the only benefit of a Coalition win is a full review of the NBN it’s money well spent, Labor wasn’t going to do it to their ‘multi billion dollar baby’ no matter how far behind it got or how much extra funding was added at each reporting period.

              • Andrew
                Posted 10/11/2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

                He just wants every single one of the many ‘stacked’ review panels to provide him with a scapegoat when the world looks at his fiasco, failure, appalling judgement, legacy, outdated, cheaparsed, waste of money.

                • Alex
                  Posted 10/11/2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink |

                  + lots

              • Alex
                Posted 10/11/2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink |

                “Three reviews is better than one”…

                Using such logic 6 is better than 3, why not 6 then (feel free to continue the numerical climb)?

                If a review is deemed necessary, one proper review is all that is required.

                After all, depending upon the variables and although unlikely (especially when supplied with the 4 lettered answer – FttN) it is possible to come up with 3 different conclusions. As such clouding the issue further.

                Or is that what you all want?

                • Chas
                  Posted 12/11/2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink |

                  “Using such logic 6 is better than 3, why not 6 then”

                  Exactly…I can see it now, MT reduces cost of the FTTx capex, but spends billions and years in endless analysis followed by many times the capex in ongoing cost increases.

        • Andrew
          Posted 10/11/2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

          @Fibroid How many batteries or power poles are required for nodes in a town of 20,000 people. How many connections will fail to meet the ‘adequate 25 Mbps’ speeds. Will you direct me to the LNP costings data as it is likely to be detailed there.
          I am trying to understand why the FTTN system is better than FTTP or how it is unlike early 20th century switchboards. You are aware that the LNP did not support a move to STD or indeed, broadband in the first place. Malcolm was inclined for people to stay on dial up and simply put in a second telephone line. Apparently this was only going to affect the 3 or maybe 4 computers in the world though.
          Is it cheaper? What is the cost of both methods over the next 30 to 50 years?
          Is it more reliable?
          Is it faster for uploads and downloads?
          How is it different to ADSL lottery with regards to uniform service?
          If you saw an analogue mobile phone for $30 and a digital one for just a little more and it was going to provide reliable, uniform coverage, no matter what the weather for the next 30 to 50 years and would pay for itself, what would you spend my tax money on?
          What speeds are you personally going to get?

    14. Alex
      Posted 10/11/2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink |

      “Can’t wait to see how the “policy” turns out. You know the one that needs three revues to make sure it is the right policy.”

      Indeed Observer.

      I too can’t wait to see and I also can’t wait to see our friends reaction if it ends up in any way different, following 3 reviews (lol), to the policy they took to the election.

      Because I’m sure we all remember how he continually criticised the previous government for altering their policy post election and even suggested the NBN invalid due to post election alterations, many times…

      But then we have also seen many of our friends contradictions, flip-flops and two sets of rules, which conveniently always seem to mirror the latest spiel from a political entity… So if MT’s plan is in any way different I’m sure he’ll blissfully ignore the hypocrisy by never criticising, in fact faithfully supporting all changes and of course desperately trying to justify any post election alterations with…

      1. Well Labor
      2. In 2007

      Once again odds?

    15. Alpha
      Posted 11/11/2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink |

      Two questions only

      Will Malcolm pay the extra cost to have fibre connected to his own premises?
      Will he then claim the cost on his tax as “legitimate expense” as he is the Communications Minister and needs good communications, unlike the rest of us who can’t afford $5000.

      Thanks you for playing the latest round of “Australian Class Warfare.”




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