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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:16 - 227 Comments

    No need for 100Mbps NBN, Switkowski tells Senate


    news New NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski has questioned the need for ordinary households in Australia to have access to 100Mbps broadband speeds, telling a Senate Estimates session this week that a “whole lot of assumptions” needed to be pushed to their limits to demonstrate how such speeds would be used.

    Most Australians who currently access broadband in their home use ADSL2+ infrastructure, which only allows speeds up to 24Mbps, although most are only able to achieve significantly lower speeds between 10Mbps and 15Mbps, due to their distance from their local telephone exchange. Telstra and Optus have made higher speeds ranging up to 100Mbps available through their HFC cable networks more widely available, although few have so far taken up the higher priced services.

    However, as the NBN’s fibre infrastructure has gradually been rolled out around Australia over the past several years, users have shown a strong desire to upgrade their broadband speeds to take advantage of the new connections.

    In October 2012, for example, the National Broadband Network Company revealed that 44 percent of NBN customers signed up so far at that point had opted for the company’s fasted 100Mbps speed tier, instead of opting for lower speed 50Mbps, 25Mbps or 12Mbps tiers. In addition, a survey released in June 2012 showed that 85 percent of Australian consumers want to be able to connect to the Internet at speeds of 50Mbps and higher.

    Despite these facts, in a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra this week (YouTube video online here), new NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski played down the need for 100Mbps speeds amongst the Australian population.

    “Athe moment, you need to stress a whole lot of assumptions to demonstrate how a normal household would use a 100Mbps broadband service, through the various devices and applications that are normally found in today’s and tomorrow’s household,” the executive said.

    Switkowski was responding to a series of questions from Greens Senator and Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam relating to whether the Government’s preferred Fibre to the Node NBN deployment style would be obsolete before it was completed.

    “When the expert panel was revieiwng the first iteration of the NBN,” said Ludlam, referring to the first NBN expert panel which examined Labor’s first NBN plan back in 2009, “the panel came back with the finding that a FTTN network would be effectively obsolete on the day it was built, and you would eventually need to overbuild the nodes and go all the way to the premises. What’s your understanding of the upgrade path for a FTTN once it’s built: How much of that network architecture is reusable in a FTTP world?”

    Switkowski said the question would be addressed as part of NBN Co’s upcoming Strategic Review, but that in general, to answer the question you’d need to contemplate what the outlook would be for a FTTN architecture, and “at what point and for what reason would an upgrade be advised”, and could a FTTN network “for a considerable time satisfy the needs of Australian users”.

    “The upgrade path for a FTTN network takes you through 10-25Mbps to 80Mbps, and then if you want to go to [the G.Fast standard], hundreds of megabits per second in the years ahead,” the NBN Co executive chairman said.

    “Maybe I would rephrase the question if for the next decade, which is probably as far as one can think reasonably, there would be a situation where a significant upgrade from FTTN to FTTP would be requred, there’s a good chance the answer is no,” said Switkowski.

    Ludlam pointed out that a FTTN network would never be able to provide gigabit per second speeds, as NBN Co’s existing Fibre to the Premises network will be capable of.
    “I understand why you would say that, but it is interesting at the moment some copper-based technologies are being demonstrated which are getting very close to a gigabit per second,” replied Switkowski. “I agree it;s impressive and it’s yet to be built out in scale, on the other hand, I’d ask the question: What’s significiant about a gigabit per second?”

    Ludlam responded to this question by stating: “The same thing that is significant about upgrading to broadband 10 years ago.”

    “I’m really glad I’m not stuck on a dial-up service, that the government didn’t strand me on a network that would only strand me on dial-up speeds,” the Greens Senator said. “I’m glad that didn’t happen and I fear that’s what we’re going to be building over the next 4 or 5 years, is the equivalent of strending 70-80 percent of the population on dial-up.”

    Additionally, the Senator stated that it would be have been impossible to anticipate in 1995 what a household would be able to do with the 25Mbps services available today.

    “In 1995, neither you nor I could have picked what was relevant in this industry in 2005,” replied Switkowski. “I know that for a fact because I was around at the time. In 2005 and 2003 we would have missed 2013 by a very, very wide margin. We’ve got to be very careful about making decisions today that have associated with them today enormous costs and enormous execution challenges because we think that in 10 years time there’s going to be particular applications required for just that delivery.”

    The NBN Co executive chairman’s comments appear to be very similar to comments made by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, while in Opposition.

    In August 2010, the Liberal MP told a forum in his seat of Wentworth: “The reality is, there simply isn’t demand at the household and every small business level for internet at that speed, at a price which would make it even remotely financially viable.

    Turnbull said the market for universal 100Mbps fibre internet was not there – but there was explosive demand for wireless broadband – at which point he held up his Apple iPad device, on which he had been Twittering during the forum proceedings. “This requires a very different sort of architecture,” Turnbull said of wireless broadband.

    At the launch of the Coalition’s NBN policy in April 2009, then-Opposition Leader Tony Abbott stated that 25Mbps broadband services was enough for home usage. “We are absolutely confident 25 megs is going to be enough — more than enough — for the average household,” Abbott told the audience.

    Image credit: Still from Parliamentary Broadcasting

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    1. Scott
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink |

      The government isn’t doing financially viable things with my tax dollars so I think I will only pay half this year. Cool ATO?
      People buy things they don’t really need all the time. Is Turnbull going to show up at Myer and stop people at the checkout from picking up that $100 polo they’ve had their eye on? Is Ziggy going to tell me I don’t really use the capability of 4G on my phone because I mostly read a few articles at lunch?
      I don’t normally comment here but this really grinds my gears. In my mind, the whole problem the Libs had with the NBN was it ‘stifled competition’ which SHOULD be about providing choice for consumers, but is instead about helping out vested interests/the business council.
      If you can build it and it pays for itself while providing a wider range of choice for the consumer, what’s the problem?

      • Soth
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink |

        Seems like the old thinking outside of the 3.5 year government term is back again.

        • Daniel
          Posted 20/11/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

          its why Switkowski was put on the board, he just a mouthpiece for Turnbull’s cheap and nasty NBN.

          We may as well save the $30b and just keep the existing ADSL/2 and cable networks.

          Job done liberals :(

          • Rohan Gilchrist
            Posted 23/11/2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink |

            Exactly. I’ve been off since late October with an injury (damn brain hehe) but I am making a speedy recovery (able to walk and use both hands). The stupid stupid government is something I wish I could avoid.

          • Nexus789
            Posted 16/12/2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink |

            Nasty but not so cheap though.

        • Knowbody
          Posted 12/12/2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink |

          “No need for 100mbps NBN” – Ziggy Switkowski
          “640KB of RAM ought to be enough for anyone” – Bill Gates
          “I can see a world market for maybe five computers” – Thomas Watson (IBM)

      • Brett Haydon
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink |


        The irony kills me. People are willingly forking over their cash for a 100mbps virtual highway and yet the priority for the coalition is roads of mostly dubious economic and real return.

        • haha yeah
          Posted 20/11/2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink |

          “roads of mostly dubious economic and real return.”

          Where do you live mate? High immigration is driving huge population growth in the capital cities; there is massive traffic congestion and gridlock on roads that were relatively quiet a decade ago. You seriously think having your 5 kids stream Youtube videos simultaneously in 1080p is of more economic and social importance?

          • Chas
            Posted 20/11/2013 at 11:57 pm | Permalink |

            @haha yeah

            “High immigration is driving huge population growth in the capital cities”

            Where do you live mate? The immigration has been steady for many years now…steady at about 0.8% of the population.

            • haha yeah
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:16 am | Permalink |


              Looks pretty high by historical standards to me. Regardless no sane person living in one of the major capital cities can deny increased road congestion over the past decade.

              • Paranoidroid
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:36 am | Permalink |

                Wow… That’s like saying “there are more cats in my house and my apples are sour, so the cats are causing my apples to become sour.”

                There is no casual link between immigration and traffic congestion.

                Off topic but whatevs…

                • haha yeah
                  Posted 21/11/2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink |

                  No link between high population growth in our capital cities and traffic congestion? WOW. Truly WOW.

                  • Paul
                    Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink |

                    Of course there’s a fucking link. He said no link between IMMIGRATION and road congestion. Ok, so you think immigration is driving high population growth – convince everyone, give us some figures. That’ll shut us up.

              • Chas
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink |

                “Looks pretty high by historical standards to me”

                Because it was meant to in that graph…

                1. That graph begins from the lowest historical point. In the 60s, 70s and 80s, the number peaked to 1.4% of the population instead of the 0.8% it is now
                2. Those numbers are not relative percentages…it is as meaningless as comparing our immigration numbers to the US

                • haha yeah
                  Posted 21/11/2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink |

                  I’ll just note the headline of the article begins with the two words, “High immigration….”. Here are the author’s credentials: http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/leith-van-onselen/ (versus the opinion of “Chas”.) I couldn’t be bothered arguing further. This is either getting farcical or overly precious if you can’t call a spade a spade without even letting value judgments get in the way. (I’ve not even said I agree with that article’s subjective contention or not which is independent of the objective fact that immigration is currently at high levels!)

                  • Chas
                    Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink |

                    “I’ll just note the headline of the article begins with the two words, “High immigration….””

                    Exactly…sensational journalism relies on you falling for things like that (ask Murdoch!).
                    That’s why they used that specific chart…
                    If you read actual facts and figures (like from the linked fact sheet below at the bottom of the page)
                    you will see a clearer picture.

                    • Soth
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink |

                      This looks like a job for… Today Tonight!

                      • Chas
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink |

                        You got it in one, mate…:)

                    • haha yeah
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

                      Mate, a quick glance at that chart tells me immigration as a % of pop is the highest since the late 60s/early 70s when the post-war immigration boom from war-torn Europe and wave of refugees from Soviet Union into Australia matured and petered out! Do you even read the stuff you link to????? What’s so controversial about making the obvious observation that a bigger population puts greater strain on existing infrastructure incl. roads???

                      • Soth
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink |

                        Stop the boats! Stop th… *program Abbott.exe shutting down*

                      • Alex
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink |

                        Off topic…!

                      • Lionel
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink |

                        Better be careful then, births will put even more strain on our precious infrastructure. Women at my work, maybe one a year would have a baby. Now there are 4 a couple of months pregnant, about 50% of the female staff…. STOP THE PAID PARENTAL LEAVE!

                      • Austcc
                        Posted 28/11/2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink |

                        This reply is late, but you better look at that graph again. It is a graph of total number, NOT a percentage.

          • Tom
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink |

            You know what would reduce traffic congestion? Making it so that people don’t have to travel to work at 9am and travel home at 5pm.

            You know what does that? Having more people being capable of flexible work arrangements, such as working at home. Something ubiquitous high speed internet connections would allow…

            • SMEMatt
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink |

              Or make it so that every single small to medium business who needs decent data at a reasonable price doesn’t have to locate their offices in the city center.

          • Mike Mate
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink |

            Because we just need more roads… Take a look at the USA and see if more roads solved their problems.

          • Abel Adamski
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink |

            The old myopic vision with only one tried and true solution at work again, the LNP and News :Ltd should patent the process.
            Good for real estate investments and developments though

            How about we decentralise the population. now there is a novel concept, centre’s of excellence located out of cities, reducing their infrastructure pressures and providing improvrd efficirncies and quality of life.

            Now what would we need to enable that concept to become a reality. ?????

    2. Dave
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink |

      Ohh FFS. Why the hell are these dinosaurs running things. So where is Simon Hackett in all of this then?
      Or is he just going to sit in the corner and nod yes while collecting his pay cheque as well. C’mon Simon, knock some sense into this clown will you!

      • myne
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink |

        As someone else said, the easiest way to shut someone up is a job and an NDA.

    3. Alex
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink |

      I suppose we can now await Politifact, rubber stamping Ziggy’s every utterance… LOL

    4. Posted 20/11/2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink |

      I have to say, watching Switkowski in the Senate last night and comparing him to Quigley was enough to make me want to cry. Not even kidding.

      • Scarytas
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |

        Please, please will the Senate Committee please call on Quigley to attend so he can debunk some of this stupidity.

        Sure he is probably under some sort of “speak no evil” clause in his termination contract, but I’m sure a Senate Select Committee can override that.

        The muppets could do a better job than this lot.

        • Fibroid
          Posted 20/11/2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink |


          ‘Please, please will the Senate Committee please call on Quigley to attend so he can debunk some of this stupidity.’

          Be careful what you ask for.

          ” Quigley also admitted that the Coalition’s proposed change of fibre to the node could be a way to roll out the network faster and cheaper.

          “Undoubtedly, there will still be many challenges ahead, but the addition of fibre to the node to NBN Co’s suite of technology solutions will allow the NBN to be built more quickly and at less cost to the taxpayer,” he said.”


          • Ann O'Nymous
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink |

            Quigley is right though, the Coalition’s broadband plan would most likely be faster to deliver and cheaper. However, the two broadband plans are NOT equivalent in terms of value for money, bandwidth, upgradability, etc… A point lost to the less informed unfortunately.

            • Fibroid
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink |

              ‘ However, the two broadband plans are NOT equivalent in terms of value for money,’

              Interesting you consider $29b and $45.6b as equivalent value for money – ‘A point lost to the less informed unfortunately’.

              • Alex
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink |

                Stop intentionally under estimating the cost of the Coaliton’s plan…

                It’s $29.5B or feel free to use $29B+ . Either being apt…

                See you aren’t the only one who can play the silly pedantic game… Only your pedantic play from yesterday, relating to basic math, embarrassingly backfired, as it was completely wrong…

                • Fibroid
                  Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink |

                  Sorry using Alex ‘created on the spot to inject bias math’ it’s $29.5b + and $46.5b+.

                  • Alex
                    Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink |

                    Incorrect again…LOL. At least you are consistent…

                    Q. is $29B+ greater than $29B

                    Yes or No.

                    Q As the Coalition’s plan is quoted at $29.5B is this figure greater than $29B.

                    Yes or No.

                    Q. Does this make the Coalition’s quoted plan $29B+

                    Yes or No

                    FFS, you got it wrong, let go of the childishness, man up, say yes thrice (yes three times) and we just move on…

                    Betcha can’t though which is priceless and worth revisiting :/

                    • Alex
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink |

                      Having trouble finding 29 billion fingers and toes Fibroid…?

            • Observer
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink |

              “A point lost to the less informed unfortunately.”

              As demonstrated above. Some people can never understand the distinction between price and value for money. Others pretend not to, because they are obsessed with defending a political position at all cost.

              • Fibroid
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink |

                Not that it’s ever explained, apparently glib throwaway one-liners are all the evidence needed.

                • AJT
                  Posted 23/11/2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink |

                  I agree with you Fibroid, your the subject expert after all. If anyone can spin a one liner its definitely you.

              • Observer
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink |

                If someone needs to have the concept of value for money explained to them, then it is going to be a losing battle trying to explain it to them. This is even more the case, if they pretend not to understand.

          • etherspin
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink |

            dropping a handful of smarties into every telstra pit would also be cheaper and faster but similarly would do little to assure telecommunications infrastructure to adequately serve Australia for the next two decades – FTTN certainly won’t help us be competitive

      • Andrew
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

        Renai, this is so frustrating.
        These blinkered people are being paid by us to spend our money on something we don’t want.
        I feel utterly helpless to try and influence this in any way.
        MT is spending my money on a plethora of hand-picked, stacked reviews all of which will recommend FTTN. What a wasted opportunity.

        • Fibroid
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink |

          Yes it’s not fair, you would think MT would appoint a panel that would tell him how to NOT implement their pre-election promised Coalition NBN policy.

          • Tom
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink |

            Maybe, he should. All he would need to do is appoint an “actual expert” panel, instead of an “expert at being cronies” panel.

            • Fibroid
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink |

              You do understand the Coalition NBN policy they went into the election with just over two months ago is actually different from the Labor NBN policy?

              • Andrew
                Posted 22/11/2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink |

                Yes, but he promised a technologically agnostic review. How is this now being demonstrated?
                You can’t tell me his drinking buddies will come up with what is best for Australia.
                He would belittle anyone who had any suggestions other than:
                “faster, sooner, cheaper; FTTN”

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink |

        i have to say, under Labor the committee was of limited use because of the questioning and attacks by questioners. now it is of about the same utility but because of the person fronting the questioners.

        it would be nice to get the two to line up, good queries and good reporting? too much to hope for in this day and age :/

      • Andrew
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink |

        Let’s talk about the speeds. Nope, FTTN speeds are fine
        Let’s talk about the cost. Nope, FTTN is cheaper.
        Let’s talk about the copper. Nope, copper is fine.
        Let’s talk about the future. Nope, FTTN is the way of the future and is adequate for Australians.
        Let’s talk about upgrading to FTTP. Nope, FTTN is all we’ll ever need.
        Let’s talk about gigabit. Nope, copper will be able to do that in the future some time.
        Let’s answer my questions. Nope, I will rephrase your questions for you.
        Let’s talk about arrogance. Nope, I will demonstrate.
        I can see your strings. Nope, no you can’t.

        • SBD
          Posted 20/11/2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink |

          Let’s impartially evaluate the options. Sure, a technologically agnostic FTTN is the answer.

    5. Posted 20/11/2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink |

      If there is no need for 100 Mbit why are so many people purchasing it? I thought the idea of a business is to service demand, not need. If 100 Mbit fibre is actually making money why wouldn’t you continue with it?

      • Soth
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink |

        Rules out early half retirement and working from home :(

        • StephenH
          Posted 20/11/2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink |

          From time to time I have staff coming back from maternity leave that want to work from home. I encourage them to do it, but the connection speed drops their productivity significantly compared to being in the office.

          I think the gender equity issues of NBN need to be promoted

          • Posted 20/11/2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink |


          • Paul Shirren
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink |

            Work from home dad here. I live in a small rural town and I tend to do a Turnbull and underestimate demand. But at playgroup I ran into a mum entrepreneur who starts telling me about her WordPress customisations, ad revenue and video uploads and my mind is blown. There are very few opportunities to do anything around here that isn’t primary production or the associated service/retail, then you get decent Internet and all sorts of opportunities arise. When she goes to grow her new business she is going to run into the same issues I have communicating with hosting services at ADSL upload speeds. Kind of sad considering our build was due to commence in 2015. A vote for Liberal has turned out to be a vote against small business which is a great shame as small business is effectively without representation now.

            • Fibroid
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink |

              @Paul Shirren

              ‘Kind of sad considering our build was due to commence in 2015.’

              I am glad you used the term ‘due to commence’ because as many have found in 2012-2013 their due to commence dates were put on the massive Labor FTTP rollout delay bypass.

              What makes you think you will not get a Coalition NBN Co replacement to ADSL either before then or in the same time period?

              • Alex
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink |



                • Fibroid
                  Posted 21/11/2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

                  A lot of things were said about both rollouts, THIS… and a link with no explanation means what?

                  • Alex
                    Posted 21/11/2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink |

                    I thought so…you need the much more knowledgable pro NBN crowd to spoon feed you yet again… which explains a lot!

                    So here we go again… I know it not prudent for you to have the Goldilocks, just right bubble you live in… burst in your face… but your heroes missed their target, just like the last mob did, but, but, but…

                    No buts they missed their own target and it wasn’t a target which had nasty roll out hurdles, asbestos or contractor issues it was a simple review/report…


                    Got it now, no I thought not… another spoon perhaps?

                    • Fibroid
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink |

                      I checked checked the calendar, nope it’s still not 2016 yet.

                      • Observer
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink |

                        Ever thought of trying comedy?

                        You’d probably starve but at least you would know once and for all that you don’t do funny very well.

                      • Alex
                        Posted 22/11/2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink |

                        Oh so what you are saying is… clearly, the review they should have had done by now, won’t arrive until 2016…LOL

                        So what date is it on your e-calendar(s)?

                        I’d suggest one screen has 22 November 1958, to match our leader/your exalted hero and the other 22 November 2007 to match your tech beliefs…

              • PeterA
                Posted 22/11/2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink |

                Has their 60day review finished yet?

    6. Tony Gratis
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink |

      Oh sweet bloody shit!
      100/40 speeds would be my ultimate choice for starters and then upwards after that.

      Sick of morons telling people what they “don’t” need in terms of technology.

      The sheer stupidity of their Fibre to the Node really shows.

      Hope who ever voted for these morons are really happy with themselves now.

      What a bloody laughing stock this country is.

      • Damien
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink |

        They are, because they’d rather be living in the 1950’s, so holding back progress to them is a victory.

    7. Brendan
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink |

      Oh for the love of..

      Switowski couldn’t possibly need a car, when a bicycle with a flat tire will do fine.

      Who needs a phone when you can just get on your bicycle (with the flat tire) and talk face-to-face. Or go get the kids. On the same bicycle (with a flat tire, still).

      He was exactly the same when at the helm of Telstra. Change? GET OFF MY LAWN.

      NBNco needs direction and swift boot-kicking. Not this kind of self-serving crap.

    8. skywake
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink |

      If 100Mbps is such a useless target why do they spend so much effort trying to make it sound like FTTN would be capable of the same? If 25-50Mbps is all that anyone wants/needs and is willing to subscribe to then why not say they’ll deliver 50Mbps by the end of the decade to save some money.

      And if their approach is technology agnostic why does Turnbull have a piece on his blog that spins like mad. Saying that “10-20mbps is going to be typical of a situation where you have heavy use on PON” and “you often will see higher speeds on the DSL system than you see on PON if it’s a heavy use period” as well as “But the copper is capable – 500 metres to a kilometre type length of supporting 100 megabits per second individual data rate to every single consumer”.

      I really hope for the sake of end users they come to realise how much political capital they could potentially burn on this. If they aren’t careful crap like this will be their undoing. And what do we get for it? A lot of burnt furniture, a lot of angry voters and zero actual reform in the areas they would like to reform. Because as much as I hate this sort of nonsense they are still delivering something that ideologically is identical to the current plan.

      • skywake
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink |

        Oh, and if the current FTTH NBN was to hit full subscription and full utilisation the speed would drop to 80Mbps not 20Mbps. Also if that was even remotely likely then lets build the damn thing. I mean we’re talking the “everyone including that vacant block buying high quota 100Mbps+ services” scenario. If subs are that high lets build it and get ready to push it to XGPON in the first year! Cash machine!

    9. meck01
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink |

      This type of thinking irks me.

      If we thought like this we’d still be living in caves, walking on dirt roads and have no improvements technologically.

      I have 100mbps cable and it enables me to use the net to it’s fullest.

      Of course I wouldn’t expect an old white man who is past his prime to understand we need this and should plan for the future.

    10. Mike
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink |

      Maybe if Ziggy actually had a 100mbps connection to his home he may actually get an idea of what it can do and better make an informed decision.

      The issue with his statement is there’s a belief that what we have now, and what they’re planning is good enough for most, today and tomorrow. The problem is that they’re not going to be deploying today. Their plan (if they still go ahead with the LNP policy) is to be deploying today’s technology tomorrow, for today.

      Some transparency in what the actual expectation of a FTTN network is wouldn’t go astray. In particular, their interpretation of the perceived life expectancy, economic benefits, and ability to meet future needs of a FTTN network is (backed up by evidence from someone impartial to both the LNP and Labor policies) before we have to go about upgrading the network again.

      I’m having flashbacks of Ziggy pictured wearing his 3GB cap and all the joke threads that popped up on whirlpool (my favourite being the modified movie name threads) when that famous moment occurred.

    11. TrevorX
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink |

      Four people trying to watch 1080p @60hz streams simultaneously need in excess of 50mbps even with significant compression. 4k video conferencing needs that 40mbps uplink. 4k video conferencing (@ at least 30fps) is the ‘killer app’ that will propel mass adoption of video comms, because it is so compelling – it’s like looking through a window to talk to someone, it feels uncannily like they are in the room, even with a prerecorded demonstration segment. It does everything our imaginations and science fiction told us would be possible with ‘video phones’ but the world has failed to deliver on. It is only possible in a ubiquitous fibre world, because you need that connectivity and market availability to demonstrate the business case.

      70‰ of Australians are employed by small businesses. That is 1 to 20 employees. The NBN isn’t just about households, it is about communications for the whole country. Affordable communications. That provide opportunities for business and individuals to communicate, provide services and opportunities for innovation and growth.

      Look around at economies globally. The IT sector is the strongest (and frequently only) growing sector. Australia shows no such strong growth in this sector – what there is remains quick lacklustre. To stimulate growth you need opportunity. You can’t have growth when you’re already pushing against total available capacity – you need space, you need abundance. FTTN isn’t abundance, it is an inhibitant. Today. It is insufficient for projects I and others can envision today. Forget 10 years.

      And then there’s that unbelievable statement. We can’t know what the world will look like in 10 years, so we shouldn’t plan for more than 10 years. Right. So we shouldn’t build sealed roads, because people might ditch their cars and walk everywhere, or catch a train. We shouldn’t build sanitation because we don’t know if people will continue to live in cities. We shouldn’t build high-rise business premises because there won’t be any demand for space in ten years. What a f#&@ing ignorant, idiotic, nonsensical statement with utterly no basis in reality.

      We know what historical trends tell us. We know, for a fact, how demand for data has grown over the past twenty years. You can see similar trends in HDD capacity. We consume and utilise and demand storage and bandwidth in ever increasing amounts for a huge swathe of reasons, but basically because we find new and interesting uses and things to do with technology. Most people still don’t watch YouTube in 1080p because it is still too difficult to get unbuffered playback. Once everyone can do that, Google will switch on 4k. Once 4k is generally available we have 8k video. Before you say ‘No one will need that’ consider that the same thing as been said about pretty much every milestone in computing, the most famous Bill Gates one of course being about 640kb of memory in a PC, but he also predicted that the Internet would be a ‘fad’ that would go away. One of the most successful people in computing history has a better track record getting his predictions wrong than accurately foreseeing what would come to pass. It’s also interesting to note that reality almost always exceeded his predictions in terms of capacity and demand, too.

      • TrevorX
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink |

        Hey Renai, cry yourself a f@#&ing river – your report kept pushing the opinion that LNP FTTN would be a reasonable alternative, even if somewhat inferior to FTTP. You kept telling those of us who said the LNP alternative was unacceptable and unworkable were being unreasonable zealots. Over the next few years you’ll see that this was never about FTTN the technology, it was about a plan and a subsequent environment that will ruin communications and opportunity to actually address this in the future. It is an alternative that should have been opposed at every turn, not defended and apologised for. They didn’t deserve the opportunity without presenting comprehensive justification for a workable solution, something they utterly failed at, but you, other journalists (even Alan Kohler) failed to properly analyse and hold them to account on.

        The problem is the cost of being able to say ‘I told you so’ is far, far too high…

        • TrevorX
          Posted 20/11/2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink |


        • Posted 20/11/2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink |

          hey mate,

          I’ve done my best to publish the truth and to hold both sides to account. It is as clear as day that FTTN is a viable technology for upgrading national copper telecommunications networks, and it’s also clear as day that it’s not the best option — FTTP is. This has been my stated opinion for a long time now.

          I respect you, but you don’t get to come on Delimiter and slag me off just because you think I haven’t done a good enough job holding politicians to account. You can do that on your own site. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but I’ve been one of the leading voices holding the Coalition to account for their actions and policies all along.

          Welcome to being banned from Delimiter for a week. You broke the #1 rule: Don’t insult the author.


          • Soth
            Posted 20/11/2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink |

            It’s all Renai’s fault… or should we say Mr.Turnbull! Uhuh!
            *insert Delimiter countless links to both sides of the argument*

          • Daniel
            Posted 20/11/2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink |

            I don’t believe FTTN is a viable upgrade, in fact I believe its almost exactly the same as the existing ADSL2 that we have today, except that it’ll cost upwards of $30b to install, and there will be ugly cabinets installed on every street corner to support it.

            It’ll also be far more expensive to operate than FTTP as all these cabinets will require huge electricity supplies) and be a lot more prone to breakdown and on-going maintenance (like ADSL(2).

            • Posted 20/11/2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink |

              FTTN does ~75Mbps in the UK … and NBN Co has praised it in AU tests. It won’t be the same as ADSL …

              • quink
                Posted 20/11/2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink |

                76 Mbps. Without vectoring, but with thicker copper. With a shorter average distance, due to a lower population density and being FTTC instead of FTTN. And it seems that only 20% are getting more than 65 Mbps. 30% are getting 45 Mbps or over.


                Belgacom was shooting for 100 Mbps with vectoring, yet their vectoring will be introduced at 70 Mbps with copper 0.50mm and more.

                So out of the statement:

                > FTTN does ~75Mbps in the UK … and NBN Co has praised it in AU tests. It won’t be the same as ADSL …

                The first is true, the second is true, albeit in a lab setting, and the third is true, especially when it comes to upload speeds. Do I also think that the difference between let’s say 30 Mbps and 70 Mbps is fairly negligible? Yes, for a while to come too.

                But there’s a whole lot more to it.

                And can we please move away from this obsession with whether it’s 25 or 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps, because that’s just clouding a whole bunch of issues such as the real problem of the deterioration of Telstra’s copper network. The speed alone, while it may give you a snapshot of it at some point, doesn’t tell you a whole lot about that.

                The only part that may really matter is that the coalition, in the past, mentioned 24 Mbps as it’s entry speed, which has since been upgraded to 25 Mbps, probably because ADSL2+ at 24 Mbps gave people the impression that the government was spending $30 billion on what residential customers were already paying for.

                • Chas
                  Posted 23/11/2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink |

                  “76 Mbps. Without vectoring, but with thicker copper…etc”

                  I heartily agree…comparisons to the UK are disingenuous at best, unless you assume that the ALP will be recreating those conditions throughout Australia (something that would cost many times more than the original FTTP plan, and take far longer).

            • Fibroid
              Posted 20/11/2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink |


              ‘I don’t believe FTTN is a viable upgrade’

              The ex CEO of the NBN Co doesn’t agree with you.


              • Chas
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink |


                “The ex CEO of the NBN Co doesn’t agree with you”

                Not true…please point out where he called it a viable upgrade. He said it might be a way for a faster and cheaper rollout, but that doesn’t mean it’s viable.
                I myself don’t consider it a viable upgrade either. The long term cost and short term obstacles are just too large, and it serves no real useful purpose in the grand scheme of things (except as political hay).

                • Fibroid
                  Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink |


                  ‘Not true…please point out where he called it a viable upgrade’

                  Oh so this statement means it’s not viable, makes you wonder what the motivation was in mentioning FTTN at all then eh?

                  “but the addition of fibre to the node to NBN Co’s suite of technology solutions will allow the NBN to be built more quickly and at less cost to the taxpayer,”

                  • Soth
                    Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink |

                    FTTN is viable ofcourse, but there are some variable that come into play…

                    • Fibroid
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink |


                      There are massive variables at play with a FTTP rollout as well and they are not conjecture variables either as in armchair predictions about what might happen with a FTTN rollout

                      The first massive variable was missed rollout targets, the second variable which was a consequence of the first was the increase in total funding so that it ended up at $45.6b at the end.

                  • Alex
                    Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink |

                    So you aren’t able to verify that the word “viable” was used…?

                    Well, you’d better retract then… because this is an evidence based forum and such clear falsities (or one’s slanted interpretation of what was actually said) referred to as “demonstrably false information”…are frowned upon here.

                    My personal opinion is that it is viable… but also plain dumb.

                  • Chas
                    Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink |


                    “Oh so this statement means it’s not viable, makes you wonder what the motivation was in mentioning FTTN at all then eh?
                    “but the addition of fibre to the node to NBN Co’s suite of technology solutions will allow the NBN to be built more quickly and at less cost to the taxpayer,””

                    FTTN is operationally viable (meaning that it can be built), but not economically viable (meaning that it is a far more expensive path in the long run.
                    What Mr Quigley appears to be saying is that the cost of a FTTN BUILD is cheaper than a FTTP BUILD, but what he is NOT saying is that the net return after expenses is better. Overall, the FTTN is much more expensive.

                    BTW, I find it quite ironic that you denigrate everything Quigley has ever said…except this.

                    • Alex
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink |

                      “BTW, I find it quite ironic that you denigrate everything Quigley has ever said…except this”

                      +1 I was thinking the exact same thing myself :/

                      Bit like yesterday’s claim Politifact are right and should be heeded…

                      Except of course, where they questioned the governments 25Mbps claim, suggested rural consumer could pay 7% more than city dwellers in relation to MT’s plan and said that Albo’s $5K FoD claim was no more discreditable than the Coalitions $3K, but it would be in the $1000’s somewhere…

                      Which of course were all bullshit… but the other things they say…


                    • Fibroid
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink |


                      ‘BTW, I find it quite ironic that you denigrate everything Quigley has ever said…except this.’

                      Where have I denigrated everything Quigley has ever said?

                      • Soth
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink |

                        Answer a question with a question! Of course you don’t need facts for those.
                        “figures changes everytime a new NBN Co Corporate plan” Imagine if every infrastructure job was halted, back to the drawing board, re-designed, because the figures changed. Might need some thick shoes to peddle that Flintstones car you’d be driving.
                        “but for some reason known only to yourself the figures in the Coalition policy are classified as ‘armchair figures” What figures? Where’s the yearly maintenance figure? Where’s the upgrade to mini-nodes to those who can’t get the minimum 25mbs? Power prices to the already struggeling Power Company? (http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/western-power-needs-another-1-billion-to-replace-wooden-poles-20131120-2xv6c.html)
                        “Somewhat ironic in hindsight of what we know about the history of the Labor rollout don’t you think?” Just like the history of the Liberal Fibre roll-out, remember that? What ever happend to that rollout… That’s right, nothing.

                      • Alex
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink |

                        So you agreed with Quigley… then?

                        You agreed with him that the NBN would still have been completed on time and on budget and you agree with the Corporate Plan estimations for ROI etc, etc…


                      • Observer
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink |


                        Slow down. You’re a bit too quick for him. Give the boy a fighting chance.

                      • Soth
                        Posted 22/11/2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink |

                        Hmm I wonder the people for FTTN have ever actually used it?

                      • Alex
                        Posted 22/11/2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink |

                        Unfortunately Soth, that isn’t the problem, these people don’t care… they only care that their political ideology is followed and their lifelong supported party is in power… period

                        Unlike those of us whose vote must be earned there’s is a given, regardless of policy… :(

                        It is this obedience which pisses me off, because they are willing to openly support and promote fucking up our technological future to appease their business friends and because the last mob couldn’t do anything right according to them, so they simply will never agree that the other mob may have actually got the biggest roll out in our history right after all… they can’t and will never do that… best we can hope for is an about face with the typical… it’s too far gone to turn back BUT we will manage it better spiel…

                        Now before people say that’s an unfair generalisation, let me point out…. the smoking gun…

                        If these people (government and their trusty pawns here) genuinely believe(d) FttN is the way to go and it’s not just political…

                        “why did they all vehemently oppose FttN and refer to it as fraudband, when the “others” had it as policy in 2007?


    12. Richard L
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink |

      I’m currently stuck on 1.5 Mbps ADSL1 due to strategic decisions made by Telstra while Ziggy was in charge there.

      If NBN was available in my street I’d be able to get 100/40 for less than I currently pay for ADSL + line rental, which gives the lie to affordability.

      Now it’s looking like I’ll never be able to get that due to strategic decisions by NBNCo with Ziggy in charge. My heart sinks.

    13. Ian M
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink |

      “This requires a very different sort of architecture,” Turnbull said of wireless broadband.

      Indeed. 1 iPad could flood a 25Mb/s link via wifi. With many houses having multiple wifi devices, they’d need a much faster link.

    14. HamboCairns
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink |

      So Telstra have been wrong all this time with Velocity which also offers 100mbps? Didn’t Mr. Broadband himself eulogise about HFC’s 100mbps offering?

      Bunch of dinosaur luddites making a mockery of our technological nous and there’s bugger all we can do about it for 3 years. Makes me very, very sad.

    15. Fat Pat
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink |

      Ziggy is just softening us up for the shit-storm that is coming.

      Tony Abbott hasn’t “Turned Back The Boats”, but he has destroyed our credibility on the wrold stage when it comes to climate change.

      Next he is introducing legislation to allow Right-Wing commentators to racially abuse others with impunity.

      Then the big one … Destroy The NBN”. He just has to romance us a little before then.

      Sadly, “We Told You So” just doesn’t cut it….

      • kentlfc
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink |

        @Fat Pat

        “Tony Abbott hasn’t “Turned Back The Boats”, but he has destroyed our credibility on the wrold stage when it comes to climate change.

        Next he is introducing legislation to allow Right-Wing commentators to racially abuse others with impunity.”

        100% total Bullsh*t comments!

        • kentlfc
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink |

          Back under the bed, red!

      • LetsBeOpenAboutThis
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink |

        The Coalitions Big Lie!
        Did anyone get to read this?

    16. Lionel
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink |

      I wonder if he gave similar advice when he was at Kodak. “These new fandangled digital cameras will never catch on, film cameras are more than enough for all households!”

    17. bern
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink |

      So, on the one hand Ziggy is arguing that we don’t know what future communications needs will be, therefore we don’t know if we’ll need fibre, while simultaneously arguing that because we don’t know what future comms needs will be, 25Mbps FttN is more than sufficient.

      Er, riiight… That makes *perfect* sense… Completely logical.

    18. Karl
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink |

      “Most Australians who currently access broadband in their home use ADSL2+ infrastructure, which only allows speeds up to 24Mbps, although most are only able to achieve significantly lower speeds between 10Mbps and 15Mbps”
      Uh, it would be significantly lower than 10 Mbps, given the average is still in the 4-6 range. I would be delighted with 10 personally.

    19. Goddy
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink |

      A former Telstra bigwig talking up the copper network?? Well I never.

      • haha yeah
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink |

        “Telstra bigwig”? I thought Zig is being derided for not having been working or associated in the telco industry for over a decade? He was also an “Optus bigwig”. Why the selective focus on “Telstra”? When was his last paycheck from Telstra? Over a decade ago?

        • GongGav
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink |

          How does that make the statement wrong? Ziggy WAS the head of Telstra, and the comment simply suggests bias in regards to supporting the assets they ultimately control.

          He might not have done much while he was there, but he was still in charge. Stop trolling and try contributing to the discussion for once. I know its hard for you, but that might mean being open to ideas for a change.

          • Fibroid
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink |

            The NBN Co doesn’t own the Telstra copper, why would they need to talk it up?

            • GongGav
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink |

              Simple. To justify rolling out FttN. Claim the copper is in brilliant condition, and all we’ll ever need, falls exactly into the desires of the technologically agnostic comm’s minister we currently have. You really cant be that naive to not see this appears to be a blatant play to talk down FttH, and that the most logical reason to do so is to justify an outcome from the “review” that states FttN is the best option.

              Then again, maybe you can.

              Dont bother replying, I’ve given up responding to you now. You add nothing to the debate.

              • Alex
                Posted 22/11/2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink |

                “Dont bother replying, I’ve given up responding to you now. You add nothing to the debate.”

                Bit harsh GG…

                I’d actually suggest quite the opposite… our dear friend brings, a childlike, whimsical, fantasy filled, barrel of fun to each and every thread…

                And let’s face it, in this 2013 hustle and bustle world, we can all do with a good dose of laughter and reminiscing about tech from bygone eras… which he brings to the Delimiter table in spades…


                • GongGav
                  Posted 22/11/2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink |

                  Not harsh at all. My personal opinion of fibroid should be pretty clear by now. Its not an opinion I come to easily, and I’m one of the most forgiving people you will ever come across, but that doesnt mean I’m going to continually feed his trolling.

                  Doesnt mean I wont refer to him through other replies, but I’m done answering his biased responses that do nothing but deflect from the big picture questions he never answers. If you want an example, go find the Los Angeles thread, and the response I wrote about value for money – http://delimiter.com.au/2013/11/06/gigabit-3-5m-residents-los-angeles-wants-fttp/#comment-628988

                  Or in this thread – http://delimiter.com.au/2013/11/20/need-100mbps-nbn-switkowski-tells-senate/#comment-630310 -, where he does actually respond, but completely ignores the questions put to him. Somehow responses like this become him answering and me not liking the response.

                  When I dont like someone, I say it straight. I dont bother anonymously complaining, or secrectly asking for someone to be booted, I say it openly, and have done so on more than one occasion. As there doesnt appear to be any response yet, I have a choice of either ignoring him, or to stop visiting the site. I dont want to stop commenting here, so I choose to ignore his responses.

                  I wonder if Renai realises the damage he is doing to the site though.

                  I’ll put this in one response so its fairly clear. I have near 25 years experience in the tax industry, working as an analyst, an auditor, and providing tax advice. I understand finances far better than most. FttN is not a good investment, FttH is.

                  I have a sibling who lectures around the world on tech issues such as FttX, and helped develop VOIP and ADSL2, amongst other things. When you hear about conferences like the White Hat ones every year, they are the ones on the stage presenting the papers. They understand this technology. To them and their colleagues, FttN is not a good investment, FttH is.

                  I could go on, mentioning politicians I regularly socialise with, but it adds nothing. I dont come into these debates without experience or understanding, so for someone like this to tie up the debate over what I see as pointless sidetracking, sooner or later I will go off the deep end.

                  Big picture is that both projects cost $30b, or near enough. Yet only one will serve us for more than a handful of years. Which fibroid always ignores. And while he ignores that, he’s nothing but a troll.

                  • Fibroid
                    Posted 22/11/2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink |


                    ‘Not harsh at all. My personal opinion of fibroid should be pretty clear by now. Its not an opinion I come to easily’

                    I don’t care what your personal opinion is, I have an opinion of you but I don’t clutter these discussions with off topic boring musings, as if they mean anything anyway – they don’t.

                    ‘I’ll put this in one response so its fairly clear. I have near 25 years experience in the tax industry, working as an analyst, an auditor, and providing tax advice. I understand finances far better than most. FttN is not a good investment, FttH is.’

                    I don’t care what your experience is, your conclusion is still conjecture.

                    ‘ They understand this technology. To them and their colleagues, FttN is not a good investment, FttH is.’

                    Conjecture again.

                    ‘Big picture is that both projects cost $30b, or near enough.’

                    ahh we finally get to some meat instead of personal off topic rambling and crystal ball gazing, both projects don’t cost $30b, unless you consider $45.6b as near enough to $30b.

                    ‘ Which fibroid always ignores’

                    I didn’t ignore it, I just responded to it again and have done so many many times as you well know:


                    BTW, it’s just not my selection of those comparison figures, independent analysis as I have shown at length in that above link comment use the correct figures , but you always avoid addressing that, and need to live in the fantasy of your own making that it’s a ‘Fibroid only thing’.

                    • Alex
                      Posted 22/11/2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink |

                      He wasn’t speaking to you so the fact you don’t care and obtusely always refuse to accept the two government spends FACT, makes your comment invalid….


                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 23/11/2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink |

                        So you ignored all the links to independent analysis of how you compare the two policies funding as well, no surprises in pretending in your face evidence doesn’t exist.

                      • Alex
                        Posted 23/11/2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink |

                        Honk, honk…

                        Does your childish obstinateness and subservience have no shame…?

                        ***YET AGAIN*** I have not ignored anything… yes there are two totals (GOT IT THIS UMPTEENTH TIME?), we all know this, it’s bleedin’ common sense (to rational humans).

                        There are also two government spend aspects within those totals, which you continually and obtusely refuse to accept (refer Delimiter policy about – “display a lack of rationality or reasonableness and also inject demonstrably false information into the debate”).

                        Having been one yourself to harp on about “taxpayer monies (even when typically wrong in your description – it’s government monies) know this…”

                        Seriously this has gone from hypocritical to pitiful…

                        If you are unable to accept basics due to your absolute subservience to a political party, you need a good long hard look at your self I’m afraid… :/

                      • GongGav
                        Posted 24/11/2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink |

                        Dont bother Alex. If some people cant bring himself to even remotely answer questions regarding the Government commitment, preferring to deliberately choose a number not being referred to, its just not worth it. Its pretty clear nobody here is going to get through to them, and likewise, pretty clear that those that disagree are never going to agree with them on these key points.

                        You and I both know the point behind the $30b figure, if others choose to mislead around that figure, best of luck to them. They arent the ones that need convincing.

                        I know my experience and skills, and as far as I’m concerned, the only opinion that matters to me is my own. I note that far more people on these sites (and not just Delimiter) agree with my opinion ahead of those deliberately confusing and misleading the issue.

                        By the way, its far more fun not responding to them.

              • Fibroid
                Posted 22/11/2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink |


                ‘Simple. To justify rolling out FttN. Claim the copper is in brilliant condition, and all we’ll ever need,’

                But the copper has to be in a condition to meet the minimum speed standards as specified in the Coalition policy, with the first date deadline being 2016, and the next one at 2019.

                The process of ‘talking up the copper condition’ if in fact the copper is in such a state it cannot support a FTTN model Australia wide serves zero purpose unless you put a big black line through minimum speed requirements in your NBN policy and re issue it.

                • Alex
                  Posted 22/11/2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink |

                  See… just as I said…


                  • Fibroid
                    Posted 22/11/2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink |

                    What notification method does your smartphone make when I make a new post – siren, vibrates violently and a flashing screen? – it seems to work a treat 24/7.


                    • Alex
                      Posted 22/11/2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink |

                      Since you asked and only because you asked.. so if the truth hurts so be it…

                      It is more commonly referred to by it’s technical name as a “goose alert”… (the ring tone even honks like a goose). There are also cheaper generics known as fuckwit alerts, but technically (although either is apt) this one’s a goose alert…

                      Feel free to sob to Renai if you must, but you chose to be the smart arse… and asked a silly question and received your answer accordingly…

    20. raymond
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

      “Athe moment, you need to stress a whole lot of assumptions to demonstrate how a normal household would use a 100Mbps broadband service, through the various devices and applications that are normally found in today’s and tomorrow’s household,” the executive said.”

      when exactly will people stop harping on about the bloody speeds like thats all that matters – yes its a bloody amazing bonus but thats all it is, the main benefit is the rock solid connectivity we would all get by going to fibre that copper just simply cannot give (not without spending billions more in replacing it with new copper).

      by completely ignoring the basic benefits that a fibre connection can provide to people just points out this new (temporary) ceo’s blatant bias and shows that he is simply not qualified for the job.

      • Mike
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink |

        Oh Raymond, you have nailed it in one! This bloody emphasis on download speed as though it is the only important issue is so damned frustrating! What about upload speed? Maintainability? Expandability? Future proofing? Reliability? Commonality of service? On every one of these equally – no, possibly MORE – important issues we hear diddly squat. Why? Because when it comes to FTTN, it’s a bloody great FAIL. On every one of them. Mad? You bet I am!

    21. Londsay
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink |

      Why should we have to do what these clowns decide ? Lets keep building the NBN FTTP for now and at the next election let the people of Australia decide if we want to spend the money on FTTP or FTTN with a referendum.

    22. elementalest
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink |

      All i can say is they are conveniently leaving out discussion of the upload speed yet again. 5mbps (max) upload speeds for FTTN are ok, but when you can get 40mbps, or even more once 1Gbps is enabled, then you can start hosting your own servers and have private networks between friends and family to share files. So for example, that home video (5GB) you made is easily accessible for everyone in your family no matter where they are and can be streamed real time. That is something people do need and want.

      Upload speeds is something that is rarely if ever talked about by the coalition, except in reference to their own FTTN plan of ‘up to 5mbps’. Its brushed to the side as unimportant and now everyone is stuck on the 100mbps mantra, but, whether its 50/100/1000, it doesn’t really matter how fast the download speeds are until the upload speeds are dramatically improved, and FTTN does not address this sufficiently. Its the same with latency.

    23. quink
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink |

      No way. The guy who led Kodak Australasia, and I guess we all know how well Kodak prepared for the future back then, who then presided, in part, over an HFC rollout that created a networking that’s being shut down after less than 20 years of service, and then decided that neither of these were awesome enough and then proceeded to hobble Australians onto 1.5 Mbps with a 3 GB limit and $189/GB above that is saying that there’s no need for 100 Mbps?

      If there is a person less qualified to make predictions about the future or is the kind of person who would call Fukushima a minor accident, then please find that person and put them in place of NBN Co, because quite clearly that seems to have been the priority.

    24. Lionel
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink |

      Absolute GOLD!

      “The problem is that quite often businesses point to the fact that if you can continue to get some sort of return from your legacy investments that have been fully amortised, then the economic returns are still attractive even as you manage a business in decline,”

      Dr Switkowski on Kodak’s demise as a warning to Telcos. Seems he does not heed his own advice.


      • quink
        Posted 20/11/2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink |

        “Instead of diverting the bulk of resources to emergent and disruptive technologies, they have instead tried simply to delay the inevitable shift to new platforms,” Dr Switkowski said.

      • Fibroid
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink |


        I have no idea what the link is on the comment about Kodak and the proposed NBN rollout, please elaborate.

    25. BruceH
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink |

      I think the Senate have actually let us down here. What the Earl and his proponents like Ziggy have the conversation focused on is download speeds and that is not the actual benefit of the FTTP proposal but upload speeds as well. Malcolm’s use of the iPad and the continued focus on “the internet is for browsing only” hides the issue of upload speeds from the public. The senate isn’t bringing that to light well enough.

      We use the roads analogy a lot here and we forget that roads are a two way system. The Internet in the next 10 years is already showing indicators of a much more integrated use with home and small business users authoring data and content to the wider Internet as well as consuming data.

      Economically, the LNP are about to cut Australia’s next great industry (content authoring and innovation) off at the knees for the next 20 years but the REALLY, REALLY good news is that FTTN we will still be able to consumer all that US based content, keeping the US content providers big, fat and happy.

      This is the bit I find most frustrating. Surely if the LNP is a better friend of Australian Business and much better economic managers than Labor – how the hell have they missed this?

      • AJ
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink |


        What good is a 4 lane freeway to the city if the only way home is a potholed dirt track!

    26. Fat Pat
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink |

      Why is he lecturing us in what we need. He has no idea of my needs, and surely the 44% of current NBN users have a fair idea, and have gone for the fastest speed.

      Why is Ziggy in the business of picking our requirements, surely the customers do that?

    27. Simon
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink |

      The only reason this is happening is because ALP beat LNC to punch on technology

    28. Andrew
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink |

      Please feel free to tell Japan they don’t need 1GB to the home… Ziggy, you sir, are a f*cking idiot…

    29. R
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink |

      Can we stop talking about downstream bandwidth only? Decent upstream would enable things like private clouds* and servers. The plans listed are 12/1, 25/5, 50/20, and 100/40 Mbps. (I currently get 6/0.7 Mbps on my ADSL2+ line, for comparison.) If you’re running a server on your home line, then your upstream bandwidth is the limit on how quickly you can download it from elsewhere – 50/20 would be the minimum to not have a noticeable degradation compared to your regular speed.

      * Yes, most people lack the technical ability to set up their own server. But there are already cheap boxes available that come preconfigured. I wouldn’t be surprised if we started seeing these built into NASs in the near future.

      • GongGav
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink |

        If you build the right network, the upstream part takes care of itself. Whatever the peak speed you can get for ADSL is, the upstream component should be reached with SDSL.

        I’ve yet to see any story (or at least, cant remember seeing any) that shows FttN is capable of achieving that though. I can only assume its because accelerating the data along copper lines isnt as easy as moving it downstream and slowing at the end.

        But thats not important, because we’ll never need faster than FttN anyway…

    30. Butterfly_
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink |

      Couldn’t agree more with everyone who points out upload speeds are often neglected when discussing this topic! With brilliant upload speeds imagine how Australian businesses can grow, especially medium, small and micro business who couldn’t afford to be a part of a FTTP network on their own. We can be globally competitive and participate in international commerce in a way that now is very difficult.

      Ziggy does not seem to understand how the internet, computing and technology has evolved, and will continue to evolve. There is an often quoted line from Tom Watson, then IBM chairman, who said in 1958: ‘I think there is a world market for about five computers”…he couldn’t be more wrong! The internet started out as a tool for defence forces and for universities, now its tool for everyone, one which we can’t live without.

      The internet, computers and technology are constantly evolving and I think what we will see is that new things will become a possibility under a FTTP network, you only need to look at where the internet was 5, 10 and 15 years ago. In ten years time 100mbps might be slow, as might upload speeds of 40mbps. But all we’d need to do to rectify issues such as speed is to alter the technology in the exchange. As we’ve seen with lots of things, as time goes technology often becomes cheaper and more practical.

      Also re wireless, I think what you’ll see much more of is a situation like my workplace where we have a fixed line broadband connection with a local WiFi network that people can use. This means you can connect to the internet with a mobile device, such as a smart phone or a tablet and be using a fixed line broadband connection that doesn’t require the user to be physically connected to the internet via a cable. Who knows, Malcolm might have been connecting his ipad to the internet that way at his electorate forum.

    31. Richard
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink |

      Who cares if the ‘Average’ person doesn’t need it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be offered for a premium price for the ‘above average’ users.

    32. Peter Godwin
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink |

      The last LNP broadband guarantee was a 19.2Kbps connection speed. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/11/08/1036308483375.html
      I guess we shouldn’t complain too much…

    33. Harimau
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 11:37 pm | Permalink |

      So the politician here* is more tech-savvy than the one running the Telco**. Isn’t that completely backwards?

      *Scott Ludlam
      **Ziggy Switkowski

      • haha yeah
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:23 am | Permalink |

        “Tech-savvy”….. hrmm… and what is the relevance of that to the NBN debate? People most qualified to contribute to designing the NBN are people who have actual industry experience and understand business and economics of telecommunications and infra investment. When I think “tech-savvy”, I’m thinking of those geeks queueing outside of Apple Store for the latest iPhone; can type out 100 character SMS in record time; keeps abreast of all the latest tech consumer gadgetry, iPad covers, bluetooth dongles, etc…

        • GongGav
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink |

          You dont think politicians should have some financial understanding of the projects they are discussing? Ludlam understands both the finances AND technology. Quite handy in this debate, and he brings considerably more to the debate than Ziggy.

        • Harimau
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink |

          You didn’t like my choice of phrasing then. So sorry. More “technologically-literate”, more “technically knowledgeable”. The politician appears to demonstrate greater understanding in telecommunications than the one running a Telco.

          As you didn’t rebut the main argument (and simply targeted the phrasing), I assume you must agree with me.

          • Fibroid
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink |


            ‘and he brings considerably more to the debate than Ziggy.’

            Really, so where did the expert panel say this?

            “When the expert panel was revieiwng the first iteration of the NBN,” said Ludlam, referring to the first NBN expert panel which examined Labor’s first NBN plan back in 2009, “the panel came back with the finding that a FTTN network would be effectively obsolete on the day it was built, “

            • GongGav
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink |

              You tell me, you’re providing the quote. I expect it was from a padded armchair sitting around a conference table, but it could have been a Mcdonalds drive through as far as I know.

              Whats that got to do with what I said anyway? Ludlam has both the political experience to understand the Government commitment, AND the technological experience to talk shop at these high level debates.

              Something it appears the Liberals dont want.

              Tell me, in your own words, what Ziggy brings to the debate.

              • Fibroid
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink |


                ‘You tell me, you’re providing the quote. ‘

                It’s not my quote, I only copied it from the opening comment heading this discussion, I repeat where did the expert panel say that?

                • GongGav
                  Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink |

                  And I gave you my answer. From a padded armchair, sitting around a conference table. Prove me wrong.

      • Andrew
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink |

        Sure, the industrial designer, arts student and Greens office worker is more tech savvy than the PhD, nuclear physicist and 3 time telco CEO.

        Why do you people humiliate yourselves like this? Is it because you ENJOY being laughed at? Happy to oblige:




        • Soth
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

          tech savy you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means

        • Mick
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink |

          I work with doctors and surgeons…. names listed with considerable and significant post-noms. They must be good surgeons then and in touch with the realities of modern surgery and techniques? Nope…. some of them have quals from 20 yrs ago and still apply 20 yr old techniques supported by 20yr old evidence. How do you tell them from the one you WANT operating on you? You check the quality of their work and reputation…..

          Does Ziggy have the reputation and ‘quality’ that this task needs? (For Australians not the incumbent government).

    34. Harimau
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink |

      “The reality is, there simply isn’t demand at the household and every small business level for internet at that speed, at a price which would make it even remotely financially viable.”: Malcolm Turnbull

      What a complete load of bullshit.

      A) 44% of NBN users took up 100Mbps services in October 2012. The demand is there.
      B) 100Mbps services start at around $100, in many cases less than people are paying today for vastly inferior ADSL + line rental. It’s absolutely financially viable.

      I address Malcolm’s comments from 2010 here because Ziggy is simply parroting them today in 2013, like the good yes-man that he was hired to be. It’s the same argument, now from a different mouth. And it’s still bullshit.

    35. Simon
      Posted 20/11/2013 at 11:58 pm | Permalink |

      “In 1995, neither you nor I could have picked what was relevant in this industry in 2005,” replied Switkowski. “I know that for a fact because I was around at the time. In 2005 and 2003 we would have missed 2013 by a very, very wide margin. We’ve got to be very careful about making decisions today that have associated with them today enormous costs and enormous execution challenges because we think that in 10 years time there’s going to be particular applications required for just that delivery.”

      Yes, and in the examples Mr. Switkowski gives above, odds are we are using significantly more bandwidth than was foreseen, both in quota and speeds required.

      ITunes, for music and movies (4-5GB for fullHD movies). YouTube, where we not only download a lot but we also publish our own content. DropBox, Amazon, Google and other cloud storage providers. Video conferencing (which will ramp up significantly when WebRTC is ratified).

      At this stage, quota is becoming less of an issue because we are now more bound by speed – if it takes me 30-60 minutes to upload a YouTube video, I will be doing less of it than I may wish to. I won’t be using all my quota if it is tedious to do so.

      ALL the evidence, including in Mr Switkowski’s own examples, is that we need faster speeds – up and down – and Internet access is becoming more and more an essential service – if it isn’t already.

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink |

        speaking of not picking future requirements, i was horrified at the download requirements for the PS4 – if you are buying digitally a 39gb download wouldnt be out of order.

        when my NBN was connected i spent an afternoon d/ling the backlog of steam games id purchased, but not yet downloaded due to being a 4GB plan on a 3G wireless connect, 12Kb shaping overage. it was roughly the same size, and took me into the evening on 50/20. would easily be an all day d/l on the initial 25 mbit target FTTN and a few to several days depending on single or double digit DSL speeds.

        consider for a machine just launched, making a million sales day1in the US, it will, in time, make those sorts of demands on the network here as well. what about 5 years down the track? do i believe file sizes passed over the network will be shrinking, static or growing? noone debates that it is growing. the argument seems to be coming down to the rate of growth – it seems Ziggy does not rate data growth to congestion very highly, does not see it likely to impact in FTTN lifetime, while i do.

        i just cannot credit Switowskis view on this; speed is an inherent part of the usability of a given network. its not just usability at the moment of inception, at first site release; but 10 years later, where most commentators are suggesting the usable lifetime of FTTN expires. its one of the most key assumptions driving which net gets built and a mistake there will have serious consequences, and everyone will have to wear it.

        under the two alternate networks if there is a mistake what happens? under FTTH its relatively simple bumping up an under dimension network. under FTTN its a one shot deal, if it works it works, and when it doesnt its rebuild to FTTH time. that limited allowance for a mistake in design – around how much the network should haul – and the economic cost of such a mistake is a real concern to me.

        i very much worry that we will buy cheap, not fit for future requirements, and wind up buying twice.

    36. Beljasion
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:52 am | Permalink |

      Hmm, I’m an IT Architect who lives in London and I’m presently on 120Mb and will move to 330Mb on BT Fibre to the home when I can get it.

      And yes, that is when I can get it. Despite the quotes Aus politicians say about people over here being able to pay an extra fee to get a fibre extension from the local node to your premises the service is non-existent. If you know how to get it let me know.

      There is nothing more than a PDF that BT use for addressing government committees at the houses of parliament.

      Still, I’m better off here than at my property in Perth, WA, where I’m 4.7km from the exchange and the best I could get was 410kbs after agreeing with the ISP that I wouldn’t complain about it being extremely unreliable, which it is.

      In any event, while I the internet is so slow I will stay over here where I pay a similar amount of tax but it goes to the UK government instead of the Australian Government.

      Another excellent investment… train me the in Aus then force me to go overseas as I can’t use my skills at home.

      ahhh.. please remember, at some point there will be nothing left to dig out of the ground people.

      • haha yeah
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:45 am | Permalink |

        Really? So, you lived 4.7km from the exchange in Perth…. instead of moving to a better serviced property within OZ…. you HAD TO move thousands of miles away to the UK to get faster internet? So career prospects, pay and opportunities for travel had nothing to do with it? Why didn’t you move to South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Verizon FTTP estates in the US instead if the point of the relocation was “faster internet”? Why settle for FTTN in UK?

        • Alex
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink |


          Someone gives a hands on comparison of just how sub-standard we actually are in relation to other countries and instead of learning or at least considering the gist of the comment, the political foot soldiers immediately want to give him/her shit for moving abroad…?

          Maybe it was a combination of less career opportunities, shitty broadband speeds and dumb Aussies with such senseless bigotted views, he/she was escaping?

          • Fibroid
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink |

            It’s like the avalanche of digital photo processing labs that are following the NBN FTTP rollout throughout Australia.

            I hear the first NBN sites in Tassie are saturated with them.

            • Alex
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink |

              Speaking of “senseless bigotted views”.

              • GongGav
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink |

                Its the standard sideways response they give (when they give one) to someones story showing how backwards looking the FttN rollout is appearing. Dont bother with evidence, just attack the messanger.

                • Observer
                  Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink |

                  In fact, if you look at their contribution to this thread, it amounts to nothing. If you were to delete their comments, it would have no effect on the overall discussion. You are left to wonder why it is that fools are always eager to display their foolishness.

                  • Fibroid
                    Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink |

                    The FTTP rollout has been going in Australia for many years started by Telstra back in 2007, so any evidence asked for that small business are moving into active and well established FTTP areas is met with a ‘we need to divert away from this’, so guess what it’s shoot the messenger time again.

                    • Alex
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink |

                      So what you are saying is, even Telstra (known for holding back technology to suit profits) admit FttP was the way to go, back 6 years ago.

                      Yet here it is 2013 and you and the current government are 6 years behind, ‘drag their feet Telstra…’

                      Yes I agree.

                      Oh and ironically that was about the time you and the opposition were vehemently even opposing the lesser copper based FttN/fraudband…the same fraudband you now steadfastly support…LOL.


                    • GongGav
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink |

                      Nice. 1800 homes in Rouse Hill is an “active and well established” network.

                      Little tip, it was a greenfields rollout. Thats residential, not commercial. Try again.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

                        Which has nothing to do with small businesses and many 100’s of thousands do and increasing all the time operating from the home.

                      • GongGav
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink |

                        Like I asked above, what the HELL does that have to do with my comment? You made a statement about Telstra starting a FttP rollout in 2007, infering that such a rollout hasnt transferred to a high uptake rollout for small business.

                        That rollout was a greenfields site for 1800 premises in Rouse Hill. In case you didnt know, greenfields sites are pretty much 100% residential, hardly a mecca for business. Most people that buy into new estates are families looking to establish a family home, not set up a small home office.

                        Most pre-NBN rollouts are in the same situation. Greenfields sites where the infrastructure needs to be rolled out anyway. Dont you understand that this means far less home offices?

                        Regardless of that, the issue isnt even about today, its about 10 years from now. Try using Canberra as an example. Off you go, hunt down some home office stats for TransACT. I have no idea how thats played out, but its going to be a better example whichever way it goes. It’s not on unbalanced proportion of residential versus commercial, but a more realistic mix.

                        This is the sort of thing I was refering to last week. When fibroid answers at all, he goes off on some tangent, detouring the comments made rather than addressing them. His implication was that Telstra embarked on some massive FttP rollout, when the reality was it was 1800 properties in a new estate. Hardly what he’s trying to imply.

                      • Chas
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink |

                        “This is the sort of thing I was refering to last week. When fibroid answers at all, he goes off on some tangent, detouring the comments made rather than addressing them”

                        Agreed…this really has become trolling at it’s almost worst (on the plus side, at least he isn’t using foul language).

                      • Observer
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink |

                        “on the plus side, at least he isn’t using foul language”

                        Aren’t we just lucky. A polite troll.

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink |


                        ‘You made a statement about Telstra starting a FttP rollout in 2007, infering that such a rollout hasnt transferred to a high uptake rollout for small business.”

                        I wasn’t referring to JUST that rollout I was referring to the fact that FTTP started in Australia in 2007, so it is all active FTTP connections since then, from all suppliers , Telstra, Opticomm, TransACT, NBN Co etc , greenfield and brownfield.

                        ‘That rollout was a greenfields site for 1800 premises in Rouse Hill. In case you didnt know, greenfields sites are pretty much 100% residential, hardly a mecca for business. Most people that buy into new estates are families looking to establish a family home, not set up a small home office.’

                        First all I was not just referring to one greenfield estate in Rouse Hill, just the start date of the FTTP rollout, so it’s ALL active FTTP connections as at November 2013.

                        ‘Most pre-NBN rollouts are in the same situation. Greenfields sites where the infrastructure needs to be rolled out anyway. Dont you understand that this means far less home offices?’

                        No, on what basis do you draw that conclusion?

                        ‘It’s not on unbalanced proportion of residential versus commercial, but a more realistic mix.’

                        Yes and what is your conclusion about Canberra, do you have a point of view?

                        This is the sort of thing I was refering to last week. When fibroid answers at all, he goes off on some tangent, detouring the comments made rather than addressing them.’

                        BS, I have addressed your comments, you just don’t like the responses, it makes you feel uncomfortable so I need to be shut down,

                        ‘ His implication was that Telstra embarked on some massive FttP rollout,’

                        I didn’t imply any such thing, I only quoted the start date of the FTTP rollout in Australia which was by Telstra.

                        This is what I said:

                        ‘The FTTP rollout has been going in Australia for many years started by Telstra back in 2007′

            • Brendan
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink |

              That is, without doubt, one of the silliest things you’ve said.

              The internet is a conduit. Not a web page. Or a photo lab. It has rapidly become one of the most dominant communication methods on the planet. It is a universal language.

              To turn a highly important, vital part of Australia’s growth, of which we need to step far further on the world stage – beyond just yanking crap out of the ground and selling it – we will need a viable, fast and ubiquitous connection to that world.

              I watched NZ fall behind. And like myself, many friends moved elsewhere. It will happen here too. If we keep getting bogged down in political cock-fights, rather than understand where we are and meet the demand.

              Insular self-important thinking such as “we will never need x speed..” was common in NZ too. Once.

              • Fibroid
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink |


                ‘To turn a highly important, vital part of Australia’s growth, of which we need to step far further on the world stage – beyond just yanking crap out of the ground and selling it – we will need a viable, fast and ubiquitous connection to that world.’

                So you avoided the point I made about well established FTTP rollout areas and the effect upon small business growth in those areas as evidence that FTTP does make a difference, or is too early yet and we need to hang in there until 2021, so in the meantime generic feel good spin will have to do.

                • Brendan
                  Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink |

                  No, I didn’t. The point isn’t whether or not FTTH or FTTN is the better option. We already know that answer.

                  My point is that myopic crap about how capacity and ubiquity are irrlevant, and how it’s just not needed – highlights the same lack of vision that the new CEO of NBNco has.

                  At least Quigley was open to options. Switowski is still living in the same era as Abbott.

      • haha yeah
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 3:06 am | Permalink |

        “please remember, at some point there will be nothing left to dig out of the ground people.” London, huh? 90% of jobs in London are banking/finance-related directly or indirectly (servicing the London international financial centre). So, there is no future in selling ore to the urbanising developing world to build actual physical structures… but obviously, there is a bright future in blowing bigger financial bubbles and selling toxic financial products to the rest of the world and laying the groundwork for GFC2, huh? Cool.

        • Brendan
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink |

          For a market to survive, it needs more than manufacturing and digging resources out of the ground to prosper. Someone will always be able to build it cheaper. Mineral resources are finite.

          At some point you need alternatives. Given the world communicates and runs over the internet, it’s sensible to ensure that connectivity does not have a constrictive affect on that growth.

          Abbott doesn’t understand this. Neither, apparently, do a lot of other people.

          • Fibroid
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink |

            Why is this alternative at the exclusion of all other options centered on FTTP to 93% of residences in Australia?

            • Alex
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink |

              Err, it’s not…

              It’s simply that the FttP model introduced by the previous mob is way better.

              A hard (nay impossible) to swallow fact, eh?


              • Fibroid
                Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink |

                That’s because it is not a fact, no need to swallow.

                • Alex
                  Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink |

                  See… LOL

                  • AJ
                    Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink |

                    and this is why there is no point in responding to actually state FttP is not superior to FttN is laughable.

                    • Fibroid
                      Posted 21/11/2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink |

                      But that’s not what I was responding to, which was:

                      ‘It’s simply that the FttP model introduced by the previous mob is way better.’

                      The FTTP model by the previous mob is the Labor NBN policy which is FTTP to 93% of residences by 2021, it would seem that model is:

                      1. too ambitious – Conroy ex Minister in charge of that model.
                      2. would be better served by a mix of infrastructure including FTTN.

                      • Alex
                        Posted 21/11/2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink |

                        Got it…

                        So instead you flip-flop as the government has and accept Labor’s first hand-me-down/reject, FttN, fraudband topology, you and the Coalition opposed 6 years ago… because Conroy said to…

                        Gee I didn’t know Stevie had such pull in the Coalition ranks (a faceless suit perhaps)?


            • Brendan
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink |

              Can’t see the wood for the trees, huh.

              It’s a bit irrelevant which solution is chosen if the CEO of NBNco has no understanding of the importance of either option. Or indeed any option.

              You are so blind to the belief that Copper is the only viable choice, that you can’t even see what is going on. Switowski doesn’t even believe we NEED a new network. Turnbull would be just as happy to not do anything at all.

              Indeed, dates are slipping. Even Turnbull’s own. There is no faster, cheaper. Just words and inaction.

              Meanwhile, everyone blames NBNco for government inaction and an inability to get it’s collective crap togther.

              Like I said, like or hate, even Quigley was open to options. And understood the importance of what was being done. Switowski is and has neither.

      • Russell Stuart
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink |

        > And yes, that is when I can get it.

        I have two recollections of using VDSL. The first was “this is so much faster than my ADSL at home”. The second, which happened a few days later, was “unbelievably, this is less reliable than my ADSL at home”. The VDSL never managed 24 hours or uptime. A few hours was typical.

        This is not a technology that allows you to move everything into cloud. Upload speeds are too slow, and it’s too unreliable.

        The cloud is the future. VDSL is just an upgrade to ADSL – a welcome upgrade for what we do now, but doesn’t get us into the foreseeable future. A bit like 640K of RAM, really.

        • Fibroid
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink |

          So your singular experience of VDSL is a FTTN in Australia deal breaker, so if I can show just one person that is having ongoing uptime connection problems with NBN Co FTTP or less than speeds promised that should kill off FTTP as well?

          • Alex
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

            Please cease and desist the childishness, FFS

            He was giving a hands on example…

            Funny how you bagged the messenger but often cry that you are the bagged messenger :/

            • Observer
              Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink |

              Our friend reminds me of a dog chasing anything that move which is perceived to be a danger. Surely, considering the amount of fire extinguishing he does, this must have become a full time job (or a passion). Oh, the things we do for love.

              • AJT
                Posted 23/11/2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink |

                LOL +1

    37. Quiet Observer
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:13 am | Permalink |

      Ziggy’s remarks remind me of the plethora of similar quotes (some of them potentially apocryphal) about the future needs of technology, or what is possible or required (who remembers that whopper about 640k??). The one thing that these quotes have in common is that they all proved to be hilariously WRONG. Switkowski has just bestowed upon himself the dubious legacy of being remembered by future generations as a short-sighted idiot. I would laugh if the stakes weren’t so high.

    38. Daniel
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:15 am | Permalink |

      lol, Most of these guys are old ex public servents, and old Politicians, perhaps they don’t need “100Mbps”.

      But on their cable service says different, both Optus and Telstra provide 100M, as do Private greenfield estates.

      All these things are smoke screens.

      Remember Henry Ergas ? well he’s the dude that spread around that it will cost 200+ along with Commsday backers and was handing out Liberal vote cards, and claims to this day be independent.

      Henry Ergas is another favorite of Turnbull.

      Having Simon onboard will not change anything, zip nudda.

      The Board is stacked up to Turnbull’s way.

      FTTN won’t be rolling out anytime soon (BT adviser to Turnbull says 200 Nodes in 2015), especially since that is the advice that Turnbull got from BT counterpart.


      This goverment is hiding mode on all other policies, expect this one to be as well.

      I’ll wait awhile before I say “we told you so”.

    39. Posted 21/11/2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink |

      And this is coming from the person in charge of the single most important infrastructure project Australia has seen for many decades!

    40. RocK_M
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink |


      I’m getting a slight sense of Deja-Vu…

      It went something along the lines of “No one really wants/needs broadband!”. Curiously enough it’s from the same company Ziggy came from…

      Oh well I’ll see you all in about 10 years time then folks! You know when were at the exact same problem of congested networks and overpriced internet! :D

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink |

        that was Trujillo era, where there was ‘no need’ for DSL2/+, untill they flipped the switch on ~900 exchanges in a go? Zygmunt was well gone by then tho (left 04), but still worth remembering.

        • Quiet Observer
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink |

          And let’s not forget Howard’s go-to guy for telecommunications, Senator Richard Alston – the bold visionary who said that broadband is only used for gambling and pornography. Whoops, did I say bold visionary? I meant colossal ****wit and national disgrace.

          Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Liberal Party of Australia – applying yesterday’s solutions to tomorrow’s problems.

        • RocK_M
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink |

          @nonny-moose: I was fairly sure it wasn’t ziggy who said that line. However the point I was trying to make was that broadband was basically gimped in Australia under the same “assumptions” ie. “Oh no one wants/needs this tech”


          Instead we have the same monkeys pulling the same “Telstra-view” on the same scale “Oh no one wants/needs this tech”. Around the same time EVERYONE IS INVESTING ON THE SAME TECH.

          It’s deja-vu. So i will see everyone in about 10 years time when everyone is once again whining why some areas are “faster” than others because the “solution” to the original problem was run by the same dolts who made the same problem the first place – ie. its not profitable short term so we won’t need it

    41. n8dog
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink |

      Mal is simply following through on Tony’s directive to “destroy the NBN”. He hires people who will willingly tow the line while at the same time denouncing established tech media and other industry experts who have differing opinions to his and the LNP at large on the best way forward for the NBN. Turnbull’s end goal is to be able to say in the end that it was all “too hard”/”too expensive” and the NBN will be consigned to the dustbin. Add in Thodey’s recent comments re: how “valuable” the existing copper network has suddenly become. Seems like he’s doing what he can to help Mal by announcing that the copper network is in fact in great shape and therefore worth more $’s. All that destroying the NBN will do is further entrench Telstra’s market dominance and ensure that Australians continue to pay high prices for sub-par broadband. Instead of leading the world when it comes to technology we will forever be playing catch up.

    42. midspace
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink |

      “Turnbull said the market for universal 100Mbps fibre internet was not there”

      He must be deaf then. Blind too.

      “but there was explosive demand for wireless broadband”

      Only because the commercial carriers like Telstra spent buckets of money to build a network to support people who keep outstripping their supply.
      That, and it helps that companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony, HTC and Samsung have spent much more money to build mobile devices and operating systems that change how we interact with the digital world on a day-to-day basis, and inundate us with their advertising to match.

      • GongGav
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink |

        Talk to me about wireless broadband when our download limits are 100 Gb a month for $50.

        Thats the elephant in the room with wireless – the download limits. Nobody pushing wireless as the prime option ever considers what it will cost when you’re averaging 30 to 50 Gb a month in downloads, which isnt a big amount when you’re connecting 6 to 10 devices to a home network.

        • Fibroid
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink |

          Those that opt for a wireless only residence don’t need anything like those quotas, that’s why they had the landline disconnected and stopped paying Telstra line rental.

          • Alex
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink |

            So what?

          • GongGav
            Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink |

            Around 95% of all data traffic is moved by fixed line. Prove that number wrong if you disagree.

            For those that are able to get off the grid and only use a couple of gig a month, good luck to them. Go find out how many households operate solely on that basis though. Not individuals, households. There are plenty of people that own mobiles that dont own the ISP connection for a landline.

            But those small users are irrelevant. They arent what either FttN or FttH are targetting, and if they stay the same into the future, they’re going to get left behind. Big if, because its expected that our standard social needs will be online more and more over the next 10 years. Hard to avoid that and survive on $60/month for 10 gig – iiNet’s prices by the way.

            So off you go, get some actual evidence to back your rubbish up.

    43. Gordon Drennan
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink |

      As Turnbull pointed out, there is an exploding demand for wireless broadband.

      That is a fact.

      Probably the only fact spoken in that committee meeting.

      Both the others, Ludlam and Switkowski, are stating what they believe, one picking a low number the other a high number.

      Its a situation like happened with desalination plants where there was a shortage of rainfall. If the shortage persisted and we didn’t spend a huge amount on desalination plants we would be in serious trouble. If we built the plants and it turned out the low rainfall was temporary we’d be stuck with a huge unnecessary expense. As it has happened the plants were built and the rain has come back. But who knows if that’s only temporary. Some decisions are genuinely hard. And in that situation you have to make short term decisions that can be adjusted up or down as the future unfolds. Switkowski is a business who understands that. Ludlam is a Green who is absolutely convinced he is right.

      • Quiet Observer
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink |

        Gordon, just a brief look at ABS data will show you that the amount of data downloaded over fixed line services is more than twenty times greater than the amount downloaded over wireless services. The same figures will also show that while there has been growth in wireless downloads, the growth rate has been both slower and less consistent than the growth in fixed-line downloads. If demand for wireless service is exploding, then demand for fixed-line service is thermonuclear.

        These are facts that are beyond dispute. Furthermore, a short-term mindset is the WORST possible mindset to have when making decisions about a nationwide infrastructure project. Being unable to provide for future demand can result in tremendous waste, and arrogantly declaring that a certain level of service “isn’t required” (even when uptake data shows the exact OPPOSITE) shows a tremendous lack of foresight.

        • LetsBeOpenAboutThis
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink |

          Yes i know of many disgruntled customers that in trying to evade Telstra’s line rental by going wireless have discovered it is just not good enough and have got them self’s in a position where they are now just waiting to see out their contracts or waiting for the fibre to go past their front door, Many will have to do a deal with the devil again!

          • haha yeah
            Posted 22/11/2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink |

            “evade Telstra’s line rental”…. so, you want to use Telstra’s line but you don’t want to pay for it… on the one hand you guys claim Telstra is spending billions on maintaining the copper, on the other you feel entitled to use Telstra infrastructure for free… the Abbott government doesn’t govern for freeloaders and free-riders…. Edit: oh, I forgot to add, obviously, if the infra is nationalised and socialised, telco services become “free” right? We can have our cake and eat it too.

            • Observer
              Posted 22/11/2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink |

              Nonsensical political rambling at its best.

              • Alex
                Posted 22/11/2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink |

                Mixed with special Telstra fanboism and love too… Aww.

    44. Lahi
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink |

      Didn’t someone also say that “640kB ought to be enough for everybody”?

      • GongGav
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink |

        Like a lot of them, its a classic misquote. Attributed to Bill Gates, he never said it. Nobody can ever come up with a reference that ties it to him.

    45. Matt W
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink |

      Dr Twitkowski, please fuck off back to where you came from. It was under your tenure that Telstra limited Australia to 256kbps fraudband. We have moved past that, we want 100mbps, we want what the rest of the world has. A narrow minded, corrupt, pal of Murdoch & Turnbull such as yourself is unfit to run NBN CO

    46. Corsair
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink |

      Well I’ve just signed up for 100/40 plan on the NBN in Kiama.

      Streaming content, Skype/Hangouts, Online gaming, etc will all be better than the current scrappy

      • Corsair
        Posted 21/11/2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

        Not sure what happened there. Comment posted before I finished.

        Meant to say that everything will be better than the current crappy “ADSL2+” connection that tops out at 4 Mbit.

        Additionally – I will also be able to work from home much easier. Which will save me time and money – as I will not have the need to spend time driving and money of fuel and constant car maintenance (not to mention the fact that with less cars on the road – this means less traffic, less wear and tear on the road, and less pollution from the road as result).

        In the US right now they offer plans in excess of 100 Mbit.

        The only way a FTTN roll out will work – and really they should roll out Fibre to the Curb – is if, and only if, they replace all the copper that the same time that will be between the node and the premises.

        Ziggy’s comments scream of someone who doesn’t think outside the Metro.

        Come to regional Australia Ziggy. See if you like the crap speeds you left us with thanks to your tenure at Telstra.

        • Soth
          Posted 21/11/2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink |

          Thanks Corsair, rub it in :P

    47. Damien
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink |

      The complete lack of vision shown by the liberal party is astonishing. He is right most residential customers don’t “need” 100mb right now, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t build it right now. Because in 5, 10, 15 years from now we certainly will need 100mb and more.

      Do it once, do it right, do it with fibre!!!

    48. Domanill
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink |

      why dont we just get google fiber to do it https://fiber.google.com/about/speedmatters/

    49. Wifi scmifi
      Posted 21/11/2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink |

      Why does turnbull keep pulling out his freaking tablet. I’d bet money it was connected to senate wifi and not 3g. Makes his arguments about wireless invalid.

    50. motorolavkg
      Posted 22/11/2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink |

      im guessing this guy does not understand that alot of people would need the 100/40 option
      what about those that work from home, manage servers remote admin and assistance ?

      this coming from a guy who not only managed telstra and optus for a period, where nothing substantial was achieved.

    51. motorolavkg
      Posted 22/11/2013 at 2:51 am | Permalink |

      so 25000 or 25Mb is enough
      like others have posted, id like to see the governemnt operate all their pcs on 640k of memory
      remember “that should be enough for everybody”

    52. Posted 22/11/2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink |

      Sure 25Mb is enough… for now, what about when we all have 200cm TVs and are streaming ultra high definition video, lack of forward thinking is the only argument against NBN.

      • Harimau
        Posted 22/11/2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink |

        That’s too narrow – that’s merely extrapolating current uses (video) out to the future. But historically it’s been shown that new technologies that use the available bandwidth develop as the bandwidth becomes available. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Ziggy and Turnbull want to claim that you need the applications first, then they’ll meet the demand for those applications with an increased supply of bandwidth. They believe that the supply should meet the demand.

        But in stifling the supply of bandwidth, they stifle technical innovation, and in turn stifle the demand for those new innovations (how does one demand something which doesn’t have form?). Innovative new technologies and methods are developed partly through research and simply trying things out, but more innovations – especially the useful ones – are developed to meet something that >might< have demand. But without the supply of bandwidth, there will be no demand for those innovations that use the large bandwidth. Outside of laboratory conditions, the new applications simply won't develop, because laboratory conditions are simply not how the internet (a highly decentralised network), or the economy, works.

        Think of electricity for example. Would personal computers, televisions, washing machines and other domestic appliances have ever developed without sufficient supply of electricity to households, without the infrastructure in place?

        True, the applications could develop elsewhere where the bandwidth is available, then Australia could remain simply be a follower and just another country of consumers and mineral exporters.

    53. Harimau
      Posted 22/11/2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink |

      As soon as you complete FTTN, demand will be right behind or have outpaced it. How do you meet demand then? As soon as you complete FTTN, you have to make a new investment in FTTP. How do you pay for the original investment then? FTTN, today, is a pointless exercise.

      • Fibroid
        Posted 23/11/2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink |


        So how soon will the UK, USA, and many other European nations who are rolling out FTTN in 2013-2015 be in deep shit unless they stop now and retrofit FTTH?

        Why do you know more than British Telecom, AT&T, France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom etc?

        Why is Alcatel-Lucent and others pouring money into G-Fast trials and researching the capabilities of FTTN beyond its current speeds, if it is as you say a ‘pointless exercise’, are they are in the business to lose market share and revenue to FTTP?

        • Alex
          Posted 23/11/2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink |


          Wow you used the exact same line (BT, AT&T etc) as Malcolm, who would ever have think it eh?

        • Harimau
          Posted 25/11/2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink |

          1) Few can easily compete with them.
          2) They are, broadly speaking, rolling out FTTP to selected areas, so it is not FTTN-only. They know that FTTP is the near future.
          3) They own the last-mile copper infrastructure, so it is a sunk cost, and they wish to sweat their existing assets.
          4) They are already in the midst of rolling FTTN out, will roll it out faster and more cheaply than we could here, and will have it rolled out fast enough that they can meet demand for a few years without needing to make a bigger investment.
          5) Vendors are developing copper technologies to serve these incumbent telcos who wish to sweat their copper infrastructure.
          6) Vendors are also developing FTTP technologies.

          FTTN would have been a good idea if
          a) the copper were of better quality and in better repair
          b) we owned the copper
          c) we started 10 years ago

    54. neilmc
      Posted 23/11/2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink |

      Ahhh Ziggy. I remember him. If I recall correctly he reigned when I got my first ADSL connection. I was working in the IT dept of a business who had a monthly visit from a Telstra rep who gave me a heads up that while not widely known, a DSLAM had just been installed at our exchange.

      The next day I applied for a Netspace account (the first port to be connected at my exchange). Needless to say the Telstra rep was pissed when he asked “how’s your Bigpond ADSL connection”? My answer was “My Netspace connection is great.

      When he asked why the hell I did that, my answer was 8gb for the same price as Telstra’s 3gb data cap (ahh the good old days where telstra considered 3gb to be all you would need).

      The Telstra rep’s reply was “that’s insane. How could you even burn through 3gb, let alone 8gb”

      The more things change, the more they stay the same. Welcome back Ziggy ;/

    55. neilmc
      Posted 23/11/2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink |

      “telling a Senate Estimates session this week that a “whole lot of assumptions” needed to be pushed to their limits to demonstrate how such speeds would be used.”

      Oh Ziggy, you raving flapwit. Already in 2013 I have access to offsite backup of all of my personal data for a flat rate of $60 per year .(2tb of home movies of the kids, holidays etc, photos, documents etc). On my current connection it would take me about 4 weeks to retrieve that backup if someone robbed my house, if my quota supported it. In reality, 4 months minimum.

      On the new improve coalition NBN it would take me a week. It would take me about 3 weeks to backup my data to the cloud.

      Whole lot of assumptions needed to be pushed to their limits indeed. If I had access to a 100mbs account at $150/month today, I’d be there. FFS

    56. garry
      Posted 05/12/2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink |

      It’s all very well for Ziggy to say we don’t really need a high speed NBN connection, but he fails to mention that it wasn’t all that long ago when a 56k modem was state of the art line speed. Logically then, how can this bloke possibly suggest what our needs might be in the years to come.

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