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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Friday, December 6, 2013 11:54 - 183 Comments

    NBN FTTN analysis “devastating” for Coalition

    atombomb

    news A “devastating” leaked internal NBN analysis partially published over the past week “pulls apart” the Coalition’s Fibre to the Node plan for the National Broadband, the Opposition said this week, as pressure grows on Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull over the issue.

    In a series of articles published late last week and early this week through the Sydney Morning Herald and ZDNet Australia, freelance journalist David Braue detailed the contents of an internal document produced by NBN Co for the Department of Communications during the Caretaker Period immediately prior to the Federal Election in September.

    The document analyses the Coalition’s NBN policy in detail and raises significant concerns about its viability in a number of areas, highlighting numerous legislative, construction and technical challenges which NBN Co believes are likely to blow out the Coalition’s 2016 and 2019 delivery deadlines.

    The NBN Co analysis details NBN Co’s belief that the Fibre to the Node technology preferred by the Coalition will require a significantly higher degree of skills to deploy than Labor’s preferred Fibre to the Premises model, that the associated IT systems are considered “high risk”, that NBN Co cannot guarantee FTTN can deliver the Coalition’s planned 50Mbps minimum speeds, amid other concerns.

    Most informed commentators do not consider such obstacles insurmountable. Comparable FTTN rollouts have successfully been conducted in a number of other major countries, including the UK, Germany, France, the Unites States and more. The rollout approach has proven particularly successful in the UK, where incumbent British telco BT revealed in July that it had passed some 16 million premises with its FTTN implementation, delivering speeds up to 76Mbps, and with 1.7 million customers already connected.

    In addition, most of the concerns outlined in Braue’s articles have previously been outlined by various commentators and technical experts in the telecommunications sector over the past half-decade that various NBN rollout technologies have been debated in Australia.

    However, the document represents the first time NBN Co itself is known to have taken a position on the Coalition’s NBN policy, displaying for the first time how deeply the company which is tasked with implementing that policy is concerned that it will not be able to deliver on the Coalition’s agenda.

    Speaking in Federal Parliament on Wednesday, Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare said the report was “pretty devastating” for the Coalition’s plans.

    “It pulls apart the government’s plan for fibre to the node and essentially says that it cannot be implemented in the time frame the government has set,” Clare said. “According to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, the coalition’s NBN plan is inadequate, poorly planned and unlikely to be completed on time.”

    “The reports say that the revenue the NBN will make under the coalition’s plan will drop by up to 30 per cent. They also say it will compromise the provision of telehealth, distance education, internet TV and other business applications.”

    “Of most concern, though, the reports say that the coalition’s promise to provide everyone in Australia with access to 25 megabits per second by 2016 is unlikely to be able to be implemented. Ziggy Switkowski said something similar when he gave evidence to the Senate committee last week. He described keeping this promise—the promise to all Australians to get access to 25 megabits per second by 2016—as ‘very, very demanding’. That is code or bureaucratic-speak for ‘not going to happen’.”

    Speaking on the Today Show last Friday morning, Turnbull attempted to discredit the document. The Minister claimed (video available online) that the document had not, in fact, been prepared for the incoming Coalition Government as Braue had initially stated. Turnbull claimed that the document had actually been prepared “more than six months ago” by NBN Co’s previous management for the then-Labor administration.

    However, Braue has since provided evidence in the form of limited screenshots of the leaked document that it was prepared during the “Caretaker Period” at the request of the Department of Communications and not six months ago as Turnbull claimed.

    Turnbull’s office has not responded to a request for the Minister to retract the comment. In addition, the Department of Communications has also declined to release the Minister’s incoming ministerial brief either voluntarily or under Freedom of Information laws. The document may contain some of the same criticism levelled by NBN Co towards the Coalition’s NBN policy.

    In Parliament, Clare said that although Labor had lost the election, it won the debate on broadband. “People did not vote for the government because of their broadband policy; in fact, I suspect many people voted for the government in spite of it.”

    The Shadow Minister said the Coalition should take the same approach taken by Liberal Opposition Leader and then Prime Minister Robert Menzies back in 1949. Menzies opposed another mammoth infrastructure project — the Snowy Mountains Scheme — in opposition, before having a change of heart and supporting it in Government.

    “The Prime Minister is no Robert Menzies, but the Minister for Communications could be,” said Clare. “He could have the same change of heart that Robert Menzies had. He gets it, he understands it. In his heart of hearts he knows how important this project is.”

    “He knows that 25 megabits per second is not going to be enough, more than enough, for the average household. He knows that creating a digital divide between areas with fibre and those without, building new estates that will have fibre to the premises while old estates have fibre to the node, is bad policy, that we should not be creating a society of haves and have-nots. He knows enough to know better. It is not too late for the Minister for Communications to become another Menzies.”

    Image credit: United States Geological Survey, public domain

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    1. Posted 06/12/2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |

      If we could only get our hands on that incoming ministerial brief!

      Oh well, another blow for FTTN is still welcomed but not unexpected.

      • Brendan
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

        This would have been part of it.

        Between this report being buried, and the recent review also now being buried, it’s not painting a good picture. I do not have good confidence that the Minister will release the report end of December.

        It may, once again, be a case of “I’ll show you mine..”. I do hope not.

        “Most informed commentators do not consider such obstacles insurmountable.”

        I do like that line, Renai. Such an open ended comment. :)
        - one can do almost anything, with sufficient funding.

        • steve
          Posted 06/12/2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

          “- one can do almost anything, with sufficient funding.”
          Or very little with $7.5bn in funding

          • AJ
            Posted 06/12/2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink |

            Hi Steve

            Your comment seems to refer to a dollar value for something but does not state what the value is for or how it is relevant to the conversation.

            Could you please provide some context

            Thanks

            • steve
              Posted 06/12/2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink |

              Hi AJ, refers to the $7.5bn invested in NBN Co to FY2013 vs. the planned $8.7bn and the corresponding outcomes to FY2013 i.e. 0.33m FTTP premises passed vs. the planned 1.3bn, 73k FTTP premises activated vs. the planned 511k and 18m in total revenue vs. the planned $160m.

              Contrary to Brendan’s comment that “- one can do almost anything, with sufficient funding.”, the $7.5bn in funding achieved relatively very little in terms of outcomes. Or perhaps the $7.5bn funding was just not nearly sufficient to connect 511k homes.

              • MegaB
                Posted 06/12/2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink |

                It depends on whether you have realistic expectations or totally skewed ones. The initial money spent is for planning and the other preparation work to rollout a national FTTP. This is roughly accomplished. Like building a foundation for a house.

                It is true that this may be money thrown away if the Coalition decide to change course now. For example, if they decide to ignore the foundation and live in a caravan instead.

                It does look like the Coalition’s woefully irresponsible approach will waste countless billions of dollars. But that is the result of people voting from ignorance.

                • steve
                  Posted 06/12/2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink |

                  NBN Co. had a detailed 3-year 2011-2013 corporate plan to deliver fibre past 1.3m premises, connect 511k premises and generate 160m in revenue for an investment of $8.7bn. This plan was the basis for the funding.

                  MegaB: “It depends on whether you have realistic expectations or totally skewed ones.”

                  I see. MegaB, you mean it’s totally skewed to expect a planned project to deliver on time and budget or within a few percentage points of the plan. Realistic expectations would be for a project to deliver 14% of planned outcomes, 11% of planned revenue for 86% of planned funding. On that basis, realistic expectations for 2021 would be 1.2m premises connected (against the planned 8.5m), 900m in revenue (against the planned 8.2bn) for an investment of 26bn. And realistic expectations for 2040 would be 1.6m premises connected (against the planned 11.5m), for an investment of $60bn. At that realistic rate, 93% of Australia would be covered in around 200 years for a couple of trillions.
                  Any other expectation would be totally skewed, right?

                  MegaB: “The initial money spent is for planning and the other preparation work to rollout a national FTTP. This is roughly accomplished. Like building a foundation for a house.”
                  So planning, preparation work and building the foundation for the house was not included in the NBN Corporate plan? I see. So the government’s plan was to build the house without planning, preparation work or a foundation.

                  MegaB: “It is true that this may be money thrown away if the Coalition decide to change course now. For example, if they decide to ignore the foundation and live in a caravan instead.”

                  http://management.simplicable.com/management/new/5-definitions-of-project-failure
                  “Any project that fails to meet time, budget and quality targets is considered a failure.
                  Any project that fails to meet the financial forecasts set out in its business plan is considered a failure.”
                  “NBN construction model failed, says Conroy – Delimiter. Conroy said that he “naively” believed that the construction industry would keep to its contracts in terms of the NBN.”
                  In the private sector a failing project would be reviewed to death before being quietly shelved, its staff benched and the executives responsible sacked. Only an incompetent government has the option of throwing good money after bad.

                  MegaB: “It does look like the Coalition’s woefully irresponsible approach will waste countless billions of dollars.”
                  Or already saved countless billions of dollars. When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

                  “But that is the result of people voting from ignorance.”
                  Yes. Ignorance of “realistic expectations”. How ignorant of people to expect a government to competently manage a government entity. Totally skewed expectations.

                • Bart
                  Posted 13/12/2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |

                  You might find it surprising that people voted for a party to run Australia, not a party to run JUST an internet company. A vote for LNP was not made out of ignorance, but would have been far more informed than a vote for a party that seemingly their only selling point was internet, that Abbott is christian, that Abbott is a bit scary (true), and that they have fucked up everything they’ve done in the past… Hmmm

              • Karl
                Posted 06/12/2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink |

                If your only measure of an outcome is the final statistic, you’re going to have a bad time. It would be quite interesting to get your opinion on a game of chess; do the early moves not matter because nobody has won yet?

                • steve
                  Posted 06/12/2013 at 11:15 pm | Permalink |

                  ” It would be quite interesting to get your opinion on a game of chess; do the early moves not matter because nobody has won yet?”

                  If your detailed 3-year corporate plan resulted in your unexpectedly losing your queen, you might want to take a step back and review what happened before losing your king.
                  When you’re in a hole, the wise thing to do is stop digging..

                  • Karl
                    Posted 06/12/2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink |

                    So you think downing tools and doing nothing is an improvement over doing it a little slower than you planned?

                    • steve
                      Posted 07/12/2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink |

                      If you’re in a hole and digging only makes you sink deeper, downing tools would certainly be an improvement over just digging a little slower than you planned.

                      Downing tools to strategically review all of your options would be a huge improvement over digging a little slower than you planned

                      • Haderak
                        Posted 07/12/2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink |

                        I know! Let’s stop digging this hole, and instead dig a different hole!

                        This time, we’ll dig sideways instead of down!

                        It’ll be cheaper and faster to deliver, and nobody in Australia is ever going to need 100m of depth anyway…

                  • Ash
                    Posted 07/12/2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink |

                    Actually, if HRH Reinhart is any example, when you dig a hole, keep digging. Then blame working australians for not working for $3 an hour.

              • Alex (NBN)
                Posted 06/12/2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink |

                Ah the disingenuousness of the damned if they do/dont, mindset…

                So NBNCo are being bagged for only spending $7.5B of their budgeted $8.7B.

                Of course had they spent over $8.7B they’d be bagged for blowing the budget…

                :/

              • TrevorX
                Posted 06/12/2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink |

                If you know enough to know that it’s $7.5bn vs the scheduled $8.9bn you will also be aware of how that breaks down – how much was for transit network rollout, how much was for planning and administration send how much was for FTTP end connections. The Transit network is the foundation of any future NBN, so no waste there. Admin and planning are necessary and similar amounts would gave been spent on a similar level of rollout for FTTN.

                The bit you seem to be objecting to is the part where they spent money on the PON FTTP component, but they spent commensurately less in line with the slower than anticipated rollout. I don’t know what your point us here – they should have spent less. You seem to be complaining about the total number of connections during the early ramp up phase, after contractor failures, delays caused by the LNP and Telstra over the negotiation phase, delays caused by Telstra by up to six months as a result of asbestos in leased conduit. It would have been unbelievevable if there hadn’t been delays.

                Are the delays good? Of course not. But trying to suggest that the project was a failure because $X were spent and only a tiny number of end user connections delivered at the beginning of the volume rollout phase is deliberately misleading – anyone would think you had a political axe to grind…

                A far more productive position for detractors and the LNP would have been to look at the project and the delays suffered and try to implement a solution to avoid a recurrence.

                • steve
                  Posted 07/12/2013 at 2:28 am | Permalink |

                  TrevorX: “Admin and planning are necessary and similar amounts would gave been spent on a similar level of rollout for FTTN.”

                  Actually the bit I am objecting to is pouring money into a company that has demonstrated extremely poor management practices, an inability to control expenditure and repeatedly failed to deliver to plan or budget and . For example, you mentioned administration and planning The 2011-2013 plan had $771m for the next 3 years’ indirect expenses or overheads – its spending on salaries and benefits, consultants, lawyers, office space, corporate travel and advertising. Actuals for FY2013 were $1480 million (92% blowout). How did asbestos in pits and contractor failures blow out back-office overheads by $700 million in 3 years?

                  Any project that fails to meet time, budget and quality targets is considered a failure.
                  Any project that fails to meet the financial forecasts set out in its business plan is considered a failure.

                  The reasons you mentioned – contractor failures, Telstra negotiations, asbestos in pits were well-known risks. Good management identifies all risks and plans contingency and mitigation for them. The only unknown risks are Acts of God. Even Conroy was forced to acknowledged these failures “NBN construction model failed, says Conroy – Delimiter. Conroy said that he “naively” believed that the construction industry would keep to its contracts in terms of the NBN.”

                  TrevorX: “{A far more productive position for detractors and the LNP would have been to look at the project and the delays suffered and try to implement a solution to avoid a recurrence.”

                  That is exactly what is happening.

                  • CJ
                    Posted 07/12/2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink |

                    “Good management identifies all risks and plans contingency and mitigation for them. ”

                    So you’re saying that even if everything goes wrong there are only delays when there’s bad management? I work construction, I can tell you that sometimes you just get delays. You can have all the contingencies you want, sometimes you just can’t get as much done as you’d like. Asbestos for instance, you might have a contingency for removing asbestos when you come across it in a renovation, then it turns out that the entire house is full of the damn stuff and your budget starts inching towards the red and time starts to slip away from you. That’s not an act of god, that’s “We put asbestos all through things in this country and it’s expensive and time consuming to get rid of a lot of it”. Which would be why the power stations which use it as insulation don’t touch the stuff unless it breaks, and even then they try to leave as much there as possible given how expensive it would be to strip out.

                    C’est la vie. Plan for the worst, stay well within budget, watch contractors, suppliers, and previous rubbish work blow everything to hell. Oh well.

                    Canceling construction completely because it’s taking too long though? We don’t do that. We bite the bullet and finish the job unless the client decides their budget can’t handle it. That’s the only reason you don’t finish a job, and even then you should be able to come up with a solution. Putting up a building frame then never finishing it isn’t a solution.

                    • steve
                      Posted 07/12/2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink |

                      That the ducts had asbestos was well-known, the risk and NBN Co’s responsibility was ignored.

                      The problem with the asbestos was that subcontractors were mishandling asbestos material dug up from its ageing pits and pipes. In some areas the offending material was left on streets, creating a risk of ­life-threatening health issues to residents and workers. The problem was solved by making asbestos-handling training mandatory for contractors and putting monitoring processes in place.Suddenly the problem disappeared. http://delimiter.com.au/2013/07/30/telstra-ready-for-nbn-asbestos-work-again/

                      Better management would have simply ensured that all construction contracts awarded included a clause making asbestos training and monitoring a pre-requisite for workers doing the fibre installation. The risk would have been mitigated at no cost to NBN and no delays.

                      • dJOS
                        Posted 07/12/2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink |

                        Utter rubbish, nbn co leased the pits and ducts in fit for purpose condition – the risk is all on Telstra to supply them in a useable state.

                        Also it was Telstra’s own contractors that mishandled the asbestos, not the nbn!!! Nbn co has NEVER done any Telstra pit remidation and never will!

                      • Alex (NBN)
                        Posted 07/12/2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink |

                        Absolutely dJOS…

                        Anyone who suggests otherwise is proving their complete disingenuousness. Because FFS even Telstra themselves have admitted they aren’t sure about their own pits…but yet NBNCo are (sorry were) supposed to know all about Telstra’s pits?

                        Seriously?

                        http://www.zdnet.com/au/telstra-relies-on-public-to-inform-on-asbestos-infested-pits-7000023552/

                        Just more deflection from people who previously opposed FttN who now magically support it…. :/

                      • Alex (NBN)
                        Posted 07/12/2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink |

                        Seriously, with all the pitfalls NBNCo have learnt with the pilots, asbestos, contractors, Telstra, etc…

                        MT should now know all the hurdles and have all the tips for a smoother roll out…

                  • Alex (NBN)
                    Posted 07/12/2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink |

                    “Actually the bit I am objecting to is pouring money into a company that has demonstrated extremely poor management practices, an inability to control expenditure and repeatedly failed to deliver to plan or budget..”

                    Really steve?

                    Just yesterday you were complaining (twice) that in FY2013 NBNCo had an $8.7B budget but only spent $7.5B, weren’t you?

                  • Sean
                    Posted 07/12/2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink |

                    “Any project that fails to meet time, budget and quality targets is considered a failure.
                    Any project that fails to meet the financial forecasts set out in its business plan is considered a failure.”

                    So across the whole world basically 99% of all infrastructure, government and private, is a failure? Get real, pulling a wanky slogan from a primer website does not validate your argument. If however NBNCo was much closer to finishing it’s original task and the financials were buggered I would agree with the gist of your argument, but we were only in the very beginnings, where the groundwork was being laid before the roll out proper was meant to be ramped up. You know the bit where the efficiencies kick in??

                    • steve
                      Posted 07/12/2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink |

                      “If however NBNCo was much closer to finishing it’s original task and the financials were buggered I would agree with the gist of your argument”

                      NBN Co’s original task was to meet its 3-year Corporate plan or come close to. It had a single plan for 3 years. At the end of that plan, not only were the financials buggered but delivery of its objectives were short by 85%

                      “we were only in the very beginnings”
                      Actually “we”? are at the end of the Corporate plan.

                      “You know the bit where the efficiencies kick in??”
                      Efficiencies in roll-out do kick in and those are accounted for in subsequent plans.
                      Efficiencies like blowing your corporate travel and overheads budget by $700 million?

                      “So across the whole world basically 99% of all infrastructure, government and private, is a failure?”
                      Yes. Across the world, a project that falls short of its key deliverable by 85% while blowing its overheads budget by 92% would be considered a failure.

                      • AJT
                        Posted 07/12/2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink |

                        What budget bowout?

                      • steve
                        Posted 08/12/2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink |

                        AJT: “What budget blowout?”

                        This budget blowout -
                        Indirect Opex (July 2010 to June 2013):Planned $771 million Actual: $1480 million
                        NB: Indirect Opex is spending on salaries and benefits, consultants, lawyers, office premises, corporate travel and advertising i.e. overheads

                      • AJ
                        Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink |

                        That is a little disingenuous Steve cherry picking the only data point which backs up your assertion in any case there are any number of reasons for this outcome.

                        Using my job as an example we may have a project plan but work is applicable to 2 or more separate areas at the same time this work could be split or recorded against a single area neither outcome is wrong.

                        Sometimes you underestimate one area but overestimate in another area which balances this out over the project there is always natural variability in a project.

              • Brendan
                Posted 09/12/2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink |

                Thanks for taking my comment out of context to support a theory.

                As I said, with sufficient funding – taking a singular value out of an entire value to support a theorem that that is somehow – impossibru! – doesn’t a result, make.

                Given you persist in making results fit the theory, rather than forming a theory from the results (i.e. statistics can say whatever you want them to say, with sufficient will) there’s not a lot I can say further, that won’t simply be misquoted again.

                At present — that the current government has redacted and withheld the ‘blue book’ and is current refusing to release the review results — does not support a damning indictment, one that would otherwise entirely vindicate your (continued) selective result quoting.

                The Minister has specifically chosen to not release data to support categorical statements of NBNco being , effectively incompetent and or mismanaging funds, in some kind of labor-led drunken orgy.

                Rather, data supports the following general statements:
                - NBNco has being unrealistic with the deliverable timeline,
                - FTTH is complicated to deploy at scale when you are not the incumbent and,
                - FTTN has non-trivial risks when added to the existing deployment technology in use from a cost and usage standpoint.

                We don’t need survey results to draw these conclusions. Nor do we need to invent various political machinations. We simply need to look elsewhere for example – something Turnbull, and indeed many other supporters of “not-fibre” are well versed in doing.

        • Karl
          Posted 06/12/2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink |

          Part of me hopes Mr Broadband doesn’t produce the strategic review by the end of December. I would quite enjoy seeing him found in contempt of parliament.

    2. Quiet Observer
      Posted 06/12/2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink |

      I didn’t need an NBN Co report to tell me that the Liberal’s 50 Mbps promise was a load of crap. I do not know of a single ISP on the planet that guarantees a certain minimum speed over FTTN, certainly not one as high as 50 Mbps, or even 25 for that matter.

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink |

        Politicians can (and do) say whatever they want. They don’t have the same level of obligation for truth that is placed on commercial entities.

        • Ryan
          Posted 06/12/2013 at 11:39 pm | Permalink |

          The minimum speed would be fairly easy to guarantee. Just needs enough money thrown at itv too have enough nodes and copper in good condition.

          • Quiet Observer
            Posted 07/12/2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink |

            The problem is that we don’t know how much money would have to be spent on remediation to provide such a guarantee. It could very easily lead to blowouts, and when you consider that they’re already assuming a copper acquisition cost of zero, it is easy to picture a scenario where FTTN ends up costing more. Much, much more.

          • nonny-moose
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink |

            aaaahhh! and theres the rub. this is after all, supposed to be ‘cheaper’……

    3. Cameron
      Posted 06/12/2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink |

      Most informed commentators do not consider such obstacles insurmountable.

      You are correct, but it kinda misses the point doesn’t it?

      Turnbull claims to be technology agnostic, so it is not a question of “Can we make FTTN work?” but “Can FTTN better serve the nation?”

      Of course FTTN works, no one is seriously arguing that it can’t. What many, including myself, are arguing is can it be done in a manner that better serves the nation compared to FTTP.

      That includes assessing such things as:
      * How long does it take to build?
      * What speeds are available for what percentage of customers?
      * Ubiquity of equivalent service
      * Useful life
      * Return on Investment (not the quantum of government funding)

      What most informed commentators have been saying is there is significant (insurmountable in my opinion) risks associated with delivering Turnbull’s FTTN policy of 25Mbps by 2016 and 50Mbps by 2019 . It isn’t the technical risks that are the problem though, it is the other constraints that he has put on the project that are the real problem. Timeline, capex budget, revenue models, cherry picking and/or overbuild etc

      In other words the biggest risks to Turnbull’s policy are the things that are somewhat unique to the proposed build in this market. The BT build etc can’t be seen as a suitable proxy for many of these issues.

      The mistake I think Turnbull has made is trying to be “different” to Labor rather than “better”.

      • Ryan
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink |

        Turnbull was forced to take an anti-FttP position due to Abbot.

    4. haha yeah
      Posted 06/12/2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |

      One last desperate attack by the FTTP bridgade before the truly devastating NBN Strategic Reviews get released.

      • meck01
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink |

        Keep believing that.

        Did you even read the article?

        This report was from the nbn themselves – all of their points are valid and correct.

        There is no way the nobn will give people 50mbps by 2019.

      • Posted 06/12/2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink |

        Will you finally leave us alone if that same “devastating NBN Strategic review” is in actual fact devastating to FTTN? I doubt it.

      • Soth
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink |

        Reads headline, page downs to comments, posts comment.

      • Brendan
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink |

        Yes.

        - the ‘Blue Book’ is unreleased — Minister is playing games.
        - the Review is unreleased — eta ‘sometime late december’, Minister still playing games.

        Truly ‘devastating’.

      • joe
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink |

        I suppose a ‘desperate fight’ would not be unwarranted considering just how stupid FTTN is compared FTTP – not only technologically but aslo because FTTP is already underway!
        If you had of read the article – maybe you would have noticed:

        In addition, most of the concerns outlined in Braue’s articles have previously been outlined by various commentators and technical experts in the telecommunications sector over the past half-decade that various NBN rollout technologies have been debated in Australia.

        However – the Coalition says its cheaper and will argue it to the death just because it is not ‘labors policy’ – and those like you will believe them and bite while playing ignorant of the facts hey?

        • steve
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink |

          Joe: “If you had of read the article – maybe you would have noticed:
          In addition, most of the concerns outlined in Braue’s articles have previously been outlined by various commentators and technical experts in the telecommunications sector over the past half-decade that various NBN rollout technologies have been debated in Australia.”

          Joe, if you had read the article, maybe you would have noticed this immediately preceding the above quote:
          “Most informed commentators do not consider such obstacles insurmountable. Comparable FTTN rollouts have successfully been conducted in a number of other major countries, including the UK, Germany, France, the Unites States and more. The rollout approach has proven particularly successful in the UK, where incumbent British telco BT revealed in July that it had passed some 16 million premises with its FTTN implementation, delivering speeds up to 76Mbps, and with 1.7 million customers already connected.”

      • Cameron
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink |

        One last desperate attack by the FTTP bridgade before the truly devastating NBN Strategic Reviews get released.
        If the strategic review was “truly devastating” wouldn’t Malcolm have released it by now to nullify the bluebook attacks?

        Or do you mean it has devastated Malcolm’s FTTN model? Might explain why we haven’t seen the report yet.

        • steve
          Posted 06/12/2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink |

          “If the strategic review was “truly devastating” wouldn’t Malcolm have released it by now”
          Maybe he’d like to, but responsibly needs to have it reviewed by third parties and legal to ensure competitive commercial-in confidence material is not made public?

          • Alex (NBN)
            Posted 06/12/2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink |

            I agree steve (as I mentioned below) it’s too early to ascertain, as yet…

            But unfortunately your mates (and perhaps even you yourself under one your previous monikers) who perpetually opposed the real NBN, have set the ground rules here too…

            When NBNCo suggested previously, that commercial in-confidence details may preclude certain information from being released in relation to the FttP NBN, NBNCo and Conroy (sorry Conjob) were shouted down by these people, as lacking transparency/hiding info from “us the taxpayers” :/

            Once again, all I ask is they/you apply the same rules and expectations to the FttN rollout they/you did to the FttP roll out!

            …and as these detractors demanded the absolute impossible perfection from the previous NBN and would accept nothing less (and still harp on about it)… guess what?

        • Michael
          Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink |

          It won’t be devastating to FTTN. It will say what Turnbull wants it to say. (Just as NBN Co’s original plans said what Conroy wanted them to say, I might point out.)

          Just as NBNCo thought fibre to every single apartment as part of the initial rollout was ridiculous, they think widespread FTTN as the standard option is also ridiculous.

          NBNCo knows best, of course. But as long as the respective governments are in power the “official” reports and documents will never, ever say that.

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink |

        “One last desperate attack by the FTTP bridgade before the truly devastating NBN Strategic Reviews get released.”

        Are you referring to the report that Malcolm doesn’t even know if he release it yet? The one that, even if he does, will be “heavily redacted” due to “commercially sensitive” information?

        I’m starting to think Malcolms plan for a more transparent government were purely “aspirational”…

        • steve
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink |

          Tinman_au: “The one that, even if he does, will be “heavily redacted” due to “commercially sensitive” information? I’m starting to think Malcolms plan for a more transparent government were purely “aspirational”…”

          A transparent government must make public all commercially sensitive information? Really? Does that include publishing taxpayer’s tax returns? Health records?

          • dJOS
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink |

            Now you are just trolling, that information is private citizen information and not general government reports etc that should be made public – only the overall stats based on private citizen interaction with government should be made available, the rest should be provided unless genuinely national security impacting data.

            • Alex (NBN)
              Posted 08/12/2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink |

              The bit that annoys me dJOS is… the double standards these people keep displaying regularly, in all aspects FttP/FttN (and with a straight face too, they are actually serious)……

              Once again, here’s another situation where the same people who claimed lack of transparency from NBNCo previously, for claiming commercial sensitivity of the previous roll out, now condone the new NBNCo for claiming the exact same thing!

              WTF – all we (those who are here for fair dinkum, apolitical discussion) want is fairness across the board, but it is never forthcoming from these same people…

              Commercially sensitive information shouldn’t be published, whether it’s FttP or FttN and more importantly for these people, regardless of whether we have a Coalition or Labor Gov in power. IMO…

              However, if FoI suggests the info should be made available, then both previous FttP and current FttN info should equally be made available…

              Like seriously, is that really too hard to comprehend?

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

                Well said!

              • Cameron
                Posted 08/12/2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink |

                Commercially sensitive information shouldn’t be published, whether it’s FttP or FttN and more importantly for these people, regardless of whether we have a Coalition or Labor Gov in power. IMO…

                While true, I don’t think that means it couldn’t be presented to the Senate Select Committee for some scrutiny.

                You are 100% correct that CiC data shouldn’t be publicly released, but I would be a bit more comfortable knowing that a cross party committee had reviewed it to ensure that CiC reasons weren’t being abused to hide unpalatable advice.

                • Alex (NBN)
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink |

                  Indeed +1

    5. Alex (NBN)
      Posted 06/12/2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink |

      Perhaps a little early to pre-empt just yet… but looking shaky…

    6. dJOS
      Posted 06/12/2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink |

      @Renai: This is the bit where I say:

      I told you you So!

      These are all items myself and others requested you write about prior to the election (before you banned me!) because we have the ICT experience to know they are all massive issues with FTTN that are frankly insurmountable; such as:

      * An FTTN build couldn’t possibly make a return and pay itself off in 10 years due to inability to sell faster services!

      * There’s no way in hell the Node rollout will be finished by 2016

      * There’s no way in hell Telstra will give the Libs the PSTN copper for free

      * there’s no way in hell the Telstra negotiations for the PSTN copper will be quick

      *The “last mile” from the distribution pillars is where most of the PSTN faults occur (not to mention the gauge and average 1500m max copper lengths mean 25mbps will be the minimum speed with VDSL2 – 50mbps Minimum is a fantasy).

      *the entire promise of “Faster, cheaper, sooner” is a blatant falsehood that MT cant possibly deliver

      and so on, all these effectively show-stoppers that many of your readers warned you about and we are being proved correct.

      *wanders off to play with Arduino’s*

    7. Magus
      Posted 06/12/2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink |

      My concern now is that Turnbull will say the Telstra is in a good place to deliver FTTN, and have NBN Co just rent a bunch of different network services that Telstra is subsidised to install and operate in the same way as the proposed FTTP component of their plan.

    8. Jason
      Posted 06/12/2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

      I all ready have cable to my house and I already get 100mbps. I don’t understand how in three to six years in the future the connections will be slower the we already have.

      • Mathew
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink |

        The simple answer to that is most people (including Labor) don’t care. The NBNCo Corporate Plan (2013 draft) has this statement:
        “As at 30 April 2013, 26% of NBN Co’s FTTP End-Users were on the highest available wholesale speed tier (100/40 Mbps), whilst 47% were on the entry-level wholesale speed tier (12/1 Mbps). These compare with 18% and 49% respectively forecast for FY2013 in the 2012-15 Corporate Plan.”

        These users could have double the speed for an extra $5/month but chose not to. Only a truly incompetent government could succeed in building a FTTP network where 50% of connections are slower than HFC, FTTN, 4G and approaching half of ADSL2+ connections.

        • AJ
          Posted 06/12/2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink |

          Hi Mathew

          Since you have the corporate plan handy I am sure you can answer the question what are the expected take up levels in 2016 and 2019 as distinct from the expected take up levels today?

          Look forward to your reply

          • Copper Hemorrhoids in my Street
            Posted 06/12/2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink |

            Hello AJ, I have just read the plan and the take up numbers are different as one would expect however the thing to realise is that these are just predictions for something that is no longer being built so we’ll never find out if they’ll ever come true. You should think more about the FTTN plan that will apparently be up and running by the end of 2016. 100% of the connections will be slower than the 1gbps capable on fibre. 100% of the connections will not be capable of uploads as fast as 400mbps and it’s even questionable if they could even manage 40mbps upload. If you think that is bad I haven’t told you the really bad news. According to the leaked NBNCo report speed tiers will still exist on FTTN and as indicated by the coalitions plan in April most customers will be forced to use the 12mbps plan.

            • steve
              Posted 07/12/2013 at 1:57 am | Permalink |

              “most customers will be forced to use the 12mbps plan.”

              Why do you say forced to use the 12Mbps plan, when NBN Co.’s forecasts have 52% of its subscribers choosing 12Mbps plans even with 100Mbps plans available? And 80% choosing <=25Mbps plans?

              And when 5.3m households/businesses have no fixed-line internet at all?

              • Copper Hemorrhoids in my Street
                Posted 07/12/2013 at 2:55 am | Permalink |

                Forced or chosen it makes no difference, you may use whatever word pleases you. According to the plan the coalition put forward most will be stuck on 12mb and since that is the one we are getting that is the one I am discussing. Speed tiers mentioned in the leaked document could also be a problem if they eventuate. NBNCo forecasts are meaningless now due to the change of government, did you even notice? Also please pay attention the article headline it says “NBN FTTN analysis” not “NBN FTTP analysis” this is because we are getting FTTN not FTTP.

                • Alex (NBN)
                  Posted 07/12/2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink |

                  +1

                • steve
                  Posted 07/12/2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink |

                  “Forced or chosen it makes no difference, you may use whatever word pleases you. ”
                  Forced and chosen are not synonyms, they are antonyms, so makes a big difference.

                  “According to the plan the coalition put forward most will be stuck on 12mb ”
                  As I understand so far the coalition has put forward a policy, which will be refined by the strategic review. It will be upto NBN Co. to put forward a plan. Can you link to this coalition plan?

                  “NBNCo forecasts are meaningless now due to the change of government, did you even notice?”
                  The forecasts I am referring to are of consumer demand for bandwidth. Consumer demand doesn’t change due to a change in government.

                  • Alex (NBN)
                    Posted 07/12/2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink |

                    Link? Seriously, after you refusing to supply same, when asked???

                    The forecasts you have referred to so far have been from the previous FttP NBN Corporate plan and therefore as relevant as the forecasts from the Coalitions previous OPEL plan. So as he said, forget the past and concentrate on the now/future…

                    But of course you don’t want to do that…. well, just refer to the headline to see why!

                  • Copper Hemorrhoids in my Street
                    Posted 08/12/2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink |

                    As I said you can use whatever word please you. It makes no difference according to the coalitions own plan most will be stuck on 12mb plans in 2021, that is the plan in discussion here. Look for ‘The Coalition’s Plan for Fast Broadband and an Affordable NBN’.

                    If you are indeed referring to forecasts for consumer demand for bandwidth (I really doubt you were, you wont fool anyone) then we have a big problem since the FTTN plan wont work. FTTP will.

                    • steve
                      Posted 09/12/2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink |

                      “As I said you can use whatever word please you. It makes no difference according to the coalitions own plan most will be stuck on 12mb plans in 2021, that is the plan in discussion here. Look for ‘The Coalition’s Plan for Fast Broadband and an Affordable NBN’.”

                      The coalition policy document says:
                      Plan chosen by most users in 2021: Coalition NBN: 12mbps Labor NBN: 12mbps

                      So you’ve chosen to omit the fact that 12 Mbps was NBN Co’s Corporate plan forecast for most users in 2021. The coalition policy simply assumes NBN Co’s forecast.

                      Further, you’ve chosen to misquote “chosen” as “stuck”, then tried to argue that they mean the same thing.

      • steve
        Posted 07/12/2013 at 1:49 am | Permalink |

        Good for you considering the average connection speed in Australia is less than 4Mbps. Can you understand though how the majority of Australians on <4Mbps might see 25Mbps and 50Mbps as a major improvement? and most might find even 25Mbps unnecessary considering 5.3 million households/businesses don't even have fixed-line internet connections?

        NBN forecast 85% of its subscribers would choose plans <=100Mbps, including 81% choosing <=25Mbps and 53% choosing the entry-level 12Mbps.

        Remembering that the NBN plan assumes a 70% subscription rate, according to NBN Co's own forecasts:
        In FY 2022, 50Mbps would meet the needs of 71% of the population
        In FY 2025, 50Mbps would meet the needs of 66% of the population
        In FY 2028 50Mbps would meet the needs of 62% of the population

        • Sean
          Posted 07/12/2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink |

          In FY 2022, 50Mbps would meet the needs of 71% of the population

          So what you are actually saying is that by the time FttN is complete it will already be insufficient for ~30% of the population…that sounds like a fantastic plan. Before you trot out the “Fibs” 2019 100Mbps, that is purely pipedream. Using copper to achieve that, the concentration of nodes will have to be so high that FttP would look like a bargain basement discount…

          • Alex (NBN)
            Posted 07/12/2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink |

            “So what you are actually saying is that by the time FttN is complete it will already be insufficient for ~30% of the population…”

            +1

            What if the estimations (from the supposed fail Corp plan, they otherwise criticise) are wrong and it’s insufficient for more?

          • steve
            Posted 07/12/2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink |

            “FY 2022, 50Mbps would meet the needs of 71% of the population
            So what you are actually saying is that by the time FttN is complete it will already be insufficient for ~30% of the population…that sounds like a fantastic plan. ”
            It does sound like a fantastic plan. And it actually gets better The 50Mbps in the coalition policy is the universal floor speed, actual speeds available will be 50-100Mbps, so per NBN Co’s demand forecasts, on completion in 2019 it would meet the needs of between 78% – 94% of the population. Remembering that 22% of premises will be FTTP and the 34% living in MDUs will be FTTB, the policy will meet the needs of close to 100%. But it gets even better. The minority who need >100Mbps and are not in the FTTP/FTTB footprint will have access to a 50% co-contribution for fibre-on-demand. And all this for significantly less investment.

            “2019 100Mbps, that is purely pipedream. Using copper to achieve that, the concentration of nodes will have to be so high that FttP would look like a bargain basement discount…”
            How did you work that out? Can you show us the detailed calculations showing that the average capex per premise for FTTP is a bargain basement discount compared to the average capex per premise for 100Mbps FTTN. Would also help if you quantified “bargain basement discount” e.g. 5 times, 10 times, 20 times?

            • Alex (NBN)
              Posted 08/12/2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink |

              Good morning Steve and a lovely Sunday morning it is :)

              However I must say… considering the new government you so faithfully promote can’t even supply a simple review on time and even though it’s early days, all interim reports are suggesting that their FttN based network will be the complete clusterfuck many here have been saying… … your unshakable confidence in the TA government’s comms network is either commendably noble or downright gullible (I have my thoughts but I’ll keep them to myself :)

              However your unwillingness to let go of the past and pressing need to keep bagging the former NBN (even doing so with utter exaggeration and sly manipulation) is not healthy and not even rational… As I mentioned should we go back to OPEL and start bagging the gov? Of course not that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? Hmmm.

              Your endless procession of off topic, handpicked figures from a number of areas and a number of sources (AGAIN including the Corporate Plan you told us failed, but you will use figures when they suit) and strategically positioned together was laughable… Personally previously having seen your twisting of ABS stats/mixed with Corporate Plan stats is about as disingenuous as I have seen.

              I shook my head in disbelief as you fumbled through these figures and came up with multiple different totals, anywhere from 4.2m – 6.6m in relation to connections. Perhaps you are an Ergas prodigy ;) And also saw you complain that NBNCo underspent their budget of $8.7B in 2013 and then complain they overspent their OPEX budget – damned if they do/don’t, eh.

              Sure learn from NBNCo’s past mistakes, as I mentioned in another comment here, but don’t dwell. You know the more you have to keep making excuses by finger pointing at the FttP NBN, the more obvious it becomes that you know the headlines such as this one above, are true…

              If FttN is more feasible and beneficial… prove it?

              And please do so without the childish need to finger point at the previous gov. as justification for excuses for the new government… FFS the previous mob are no longer governing, so the negativity of opposition from the gov and you trusty supporters has to stop and governing the country start. So in relation to the topic, this equates to supplying comms for all Aussies as promised (following their, err, overdue review)….

              Until you do, I (and I’m sure others) will simply judge your comments for what they are – (IMO) politically subservience…

              Thank you.

            • dJOS
              Posted 08/12/2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink |

              You can bang on about 25 or 50mbps download speed meeting X number of users needs all you like but the simple fact is the 2-5mbps upload speeds simply won’t! That’s not enuf for even simple things like sharing HD video on YouTube or working from home and HD video conferencing at the same time – heck you can’t even work on large excel, word or PowerPoint files stored on share point server hooked in via a secure Cisco VPN properly because saving your changes is a nightmare!

              • steve
                Posted 08/12/2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink |

                While sympathetic towards those not able to do “simple things like sharing HD video on YouTube or working from home and HD video conferencing at the same time”, can you see why the majority of people currently on sub-4Mbps download speeds might not be as sympathetic to being forced to wait at least an extra 6 years for simpler things like 12Mbps download speeds 6 years after the 2007 election promise of a National Broadband Network to be completed in 2013?

                • dJOS
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink |

                  The NBN has been being built for barely 2 years, it took 2 years for the original FTTN tender process to prove FTTN wasn’t viable in the long run, then nearly 2 years of Telstra and ACCC negotiations ….. All major things than need to be sorted when you are restructuring an entire industry!

                  I get 5mbps DSL now and have no access to HFC and I’d much rather wait a couple of years for FTTP than wait essentially the same amount of time for Fraudband! Completing an FTTN rollout of 60,000 nodes by 2016 is a complete fantasy and it won’t be cheaper when you ad in the extra cost to buy or lease the copper and when you ad in the upgrade cost to FTTP in 10 years or less!

                  • steve
                    Posted 09/12/2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink |

                    “I get 5mbps DSL now and have no access to HFC and I’d much rather wait a couple of years for FTTP”
                    Per NBN Co’s forecasts of user demand, you’d be in the minority.

                    “Completing an FTTN rollout of 60,000 nodes by 2016 is a complete fantasy ”
                    Speculation.

                    “and it won’t be cheaper when you ad in the extra cost to buy or lease the copper ”
                    As we don’t know the extra cost to buy or lease the copper, this is again speculation.

                    “and when you ad in the upgrade cost to FTTP in 10 years or less!”
                    Per NBN Co forecast that in 10 years or less, the majority of Australians would choose sub-50Mbps plans , this is again speculation.

                    • dJOS
                      Posted 09/12/2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink |

                      Seriously, when will you and the other FTTN apologists get the message that download speeds are only half the story????

                      What is the point if having a 50/5mbps service when it’s only useful for downloading?? Everything is moving to the cloud and 5mbps upload is frankly useless!! It’s like having a v8 with 6 of the cylinders permanently deactivated!

                      • steve
                        Posted 09/12/2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink |

                        “What is the point if having a 50/5mbps service”

                        Where is a 50/5mps service specified? Fact or speculation?

                      • dJOS
                        Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink |

                        Why don’t you look up the VDSL2 specs and learn the information for yourself?

                      • Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink |

                        dJOS.

                        Seeya.

                    • Ben
                      Posted 09/12/2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink |

                      @Steve

                      Where did 50/5 come from? Turnbull & the LNP. Turnbull claims that people will receive between 50 and 100mbps after upgrading to vectoring. He also claimed that typical upload speeds will be in that area. See http://techau.com.au/turnbull-finally-admits-his-nbn-upload-speed-will-be-4-6mbps/

                      • steve
                        Posted 10/12/2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink |

                        Ben: “Where did 50/5 come from? Turnbull & the LNP. Turnbull claims that people will receive between 50 and 100mbps after upgrading to vectoring. He also claimed that typical upload speeds will be in that area. See http://techau.com.au/turnbull-finally-admits-his-nbn-upload-speed-will-be-4-6mbps/

                        Ben, thanks for the link and the opportunity to determine the origin of this myth. I asked dJOS if the 50/5 was speculation or fact. The video confirms it was neither. It was either a misquote or a downright lie.

                        Here is the relevant transcript:
                        MT: “The upload speeds are really very much for the retailer to configure. But from a technical point of view, Tim, the way that download/upload ratios are set, in a retail, sort of residential commercial, is typically in the order of 4:1, so when we say 25 down, we’re really talking about 4, 6 up…..I’m saying to you there is the technical capacity there with the VDSL network, to, as they do in the UK to give, you know, have a 80/20 plan, 80 down, 20 up or 25 down/5 up, 50 down/10-12 up. So 4:1 is the way you’d expect the network to be configured but there is the possibility to have other product choices.”

                • Alex (NBN)
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink |

                  Sub 4 eh?

                  Well if that’s true, you are the proof that private enterprise “failed dismally” and why we needed and need a gov. built NBN, whether it be the smarter FttP or dumber FttN…

                  As to whether you/we get FttN quicker is purely conjecture at this stage, because looking at the words coming from the horses mouths, it’s certainly not guaranteed…

                  Refer to this very article you keep defecting from, as well as…

                  http://www.zdnet.com/fttn-cabinets-skills-significant-threats-to-coalitions-nbn-nbn-co-7000023753/

                  http://www.zdnet.com/au/govt-unlikely-to-hit-nbn-deadline-report-7000023741/

                  And while we will wait until after 2016 (according to these articles) for slight improvement via going into reverse to FttN from FttP at the princely sum of $30B …

                  http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/one-gigabit-available-on-nbn-this-month-20131206-hv4pg.html

                • dJOS
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink |

                  NVM

            • nonny-moose
              Posted 08/12/2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink |

              universal floor speed eh?

              and you believed him?

              i suppose what im really asking is you believe the FTTN will be built with absolutely no issues or impediments cropping up? i should say at this point i regard the Labor effort is evidence to me you cant build something as big as this and NOT run into issues. so its an important question; do you recognise any potential issues in achieving that ‘actual speeds 50-100mbit’ you identify there? and what happens if they do come up? what % rating do you give to a time or cost blowout or not meeting connection targets?

              im curious, as there seems an inordinately rose glassed view about the target and its achievability… for me at 2019 i have a hard time believing there will be a universal 50mbit floor.

              • dJOS
                Posted 08/12/2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink |

                I’d be truly shocked if you got an intelligent reply, anyone with a smidge of aus PSTN knowledge Knows that the average maximum line lengths from the distribution pillar (and the install location for nodes) is 1500meters – assuming the copper isn’t in poor condition (and that’s a big if!), this means the minimum speeds will be 25mbps using an ADSL sync profile (VDSL is useless at these lengths)!!

                This also means that Turnbull’s assertion that he can upgrade fttn to minimum speeds of 50mbps by 2019 are complete BS unless he plans to spend billions more dollars on completely re routing the copper network so the line lengths are no longer than 800meters!!

                I mean what a farce!!! Let’s just rollout FTTP and and be done with it!!!

              • steve
                Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink |

                “i suppose what im really asking is you believe the FTTN will be built with absolutely no issues or impediments cropping up?

                No. I don’t believe the FTTN will be built with absolutely no issues or impediments cropping up. However as Renai says in the artice “Most informed commentators do not consider such obstacles insurmountable.”
                The role of competent management is to anticipate obstacles and plan to overcome them.

                Renai also said “Comparable FTTN rollouts have successfully been conducted in a number of other major countries, including the UK, Germany, France, the Unites States and more. The rollout approach has proven particularly successful in the UK, where incumbent British telco BT revealed in July that it had passed some 16 million premises with its FTTN implementation, delivering speeds up to 76Mbps, and with 1.7 million customers already connected.”

                So the question for you is : do you believe Australia is so backward that we can’t do what the poms, huns, yanks, frogs and kiwis have done?

                On the other hand, the UK, Germany, etc. had smaller plans for FTTP but abandoned them. Yet you see no issues with FTTP here. The penetration of FTTP in broadband world leaders Japan and South Korea with their dense populations are 26% and 17% respectively.

                The FTTH council reports 6% FTTH in the OECD, 2.5% worldwide. The FTTH Council Europe reported in 2012: “Poor progress among many major telcos and municipal projects in western Europe. Many projects far behind previously published targets and plans. No really compelling application that requires a fiber connection. Painfully slow new customer acquisition in many countries. Verizon-style vision for fiber access still not motivating some major European incumbents– many are more committed to VDSL (and G.vector…?)”

                So those are the facts. We can speculate all we like, but FTTP had it chance and blew it. If the NBN Co had come within 30% of plan, it would be ongoing today with the support of the majority of Australians. It didn’t. Get over it. Facts trump speculation.

    9. Mathew
      Posted 06/12/2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink |

      I hardly find a report rubbishing FTTN surprising. Quigley was very active politically in support of Labor’s plan. Secondly we know the NBNCo board employed lobbyists.

      • AJ
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink |

        Do you have evidence to back up that accusation?

        • dJOS
          Posted 06/12/2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink |

          Mathew have evidence! he wouldn’t know what it looked like if it bit him on the a$$! He runs on 100% feelpinions like all the other hardcore right wingers!

          • Posted 06/12/2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink |

            *glares*

            • dJOS
              Posted 06/12/2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink |

              *tries to look innocent*

              • Posted 08/12/2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink |

                Another one like this and you’ll get banned again.

                • dJOS
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink |

                  duly noted.

          • Mathew
            Posted 07/12/2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink |

            I think this is the point where I mention that the NBNCo Corporate Plan (2013 draft) states that 47% of fibre connections were 12Mbps, but of course the NBNCo Corporate Plan is a worst case plan and not at all pessimistic ;-).

            • joe
              Posted 07/12/2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink |

              The phrase “cannot gurantee targets” is not a pessimistic worst-case-scenario opinion, it’s a definite/obvious fact highlight by over 5 years of discussions within the industry. But the willfully ignorant right tend to blame it on “that guy is bias.”

              You sound like Turnbull in that sense – him trying to argue that the ‘leak’ that says the technology is out-of-date is itself out-of-date. As though that excuse some how made his fttn, like a double negative, in-date.

              My point being – this bull$h17 rhetoric/ talking-points perpetuated by the coalition has no meaning given the context and is fooling no-one.( Well it is fooling a stubborn few…)

            • AJ
              Posted 09/12/2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink |

              Just a reminder your accusations are

              Mike Quigley is basically a Labor party puppet

              and

              NBNCo board was full of lobbyists

              This is what I was looking for evidence of not the figures from the corporate plan

      • Alex (NBN)
        Posted 06/12/2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink |

        “I hardly find a report rubbishing FTTN surprising….”

        Me neither Mathew… because in comparison to FttP, it is rubbish!

        • Mathew
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink |

          Technically FTTP is superior, but when you look at the outcomes. If 50% of NBN customers are happy with 12Mbps and direct fibre is available for those who really want speeds faster than 100Mbps then the real world outcomes appear very similar.

          When FTTN is cheaper and quicker to build then it is not unreasonable to consider FTTN the better choice.

          • dJOS
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink |

            Mathew, repeat after me:

            “Uploads are the future, uploads are the future”

          • Alex (NBN)
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink |

            So why did you oppose it in 2007?

            *rolls eyes*

    10. Ed_starks_bastard
      Posted 06/12/2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink |

      There’s so much talk about the speeds people are taking up on FTTP today. Does it really matter? What about 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

      10 years ago most people were on dial up.

      Why is there not more discussion of future speeds?

      So frustrating.

      • joe
        Posted 07/12/2013 at 2:32 am | Permalink |

        Well the idea of FTTP is the speeds of that technology would last well beyond 15 years as there is already technology that could potentially boost the speeds possible under FTTP 10 fold.

        FTTN however realise on the exact infrastructure that is slowing us down now – and it is likely to be obsolete by 2020…

        There is no logical reason to choose FTTN over FTTP.

      • steve
        Posted 08/12/2013 at 2:14 am | Permalink |

        Ed_starks_bastard: “10 years ago most people were on dial up.”

        Ten years ago when most people were on <56kbps dial up, few imagined that those same dial-up copper wires could be used to deliver 300Mbps or more. Fewer imagined that those 56kbps peak 2G cellular networks would evolve into 1Gbps peak 4G. Fewer imagined that 47% of households and businesses would ditch their fixed-line connections. Or that mobile wireless would account for more than half of internet subscriptions

        "Why is there not more discussion of future speeds? So frustrating."
        NBN Co. did forecast bandwidth demand for 15 years relative to NBN's proposed pricing, which shows that in 2022 50Mbps would meet the needs of 71% of the population while in 2028 100Mbps would meet the needs of 71% of the population However given the rate of technological breakthroughs, we know less about speeds in the next 15 years as those dial-up users knew about speeds today.

        • dJOS
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink |

          Nice selective use of the facts As usual, mobile data usage is 1/5th of fixed line data usage so get your facts straight!!!

          Even Telstra and Optus will tell you straight that mobile BB is complimentary and simply not suitable as a replacement for fixed line broadband for the vast majority of premises!

          It’s simple physics and as an IEEE member you should understand this!

          • steve
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink |

            “Even Telstra and Optus will tell you straight that mobile BB is complimentary and simply not suitable as a replacement for fixed line broadband for the vast majority of premises!”

            Of course they would. But June 2013 ABS figures of 6.1 million fixed-line subscribers among 11.4 million premises tell a different story.

            So do the following:
            Between 2010 and 2013
            - Australia’s population grew by 961,295 (ABS)
            - total premises (homes + businesses) grew by 531,000 (NBN Corp Plan ref. ABS)
            - Internet connected households grew by 2,300,000 (ABS 2010-2011 trend extrapolated to 2013)
            - Internet-connected businesses grew by 101,700 (ABS 2011-2012 trend extrapolated to 2013)

            i.e. total new internet-connected premises grew by 2,900,000, while:
            - Fixed-line connections grew by 120,000 (ABS)
            - Wireless connections grew by 2,720,000 (ABS)

            I.E, between 2010 and 2013:
            * New internet-connected premises grew by 2.9 million
            * Total Internet subscriptions grew by 2.84 million (0.12m fixed, 2.72m wireless)

            (Mobile phone internet subscriptions grew from 8.2 million to 19.6 million in the same period)

            • Alex (NBN)
              Posted 08/12/2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink |

              … and 96% of all data was downloaded via fixed… with the final quarter showing a 20% increase in fixed downloads vs. a 3% decrease in mobile (iirc)…!

              We can keep going around in circles forever with these stats. So it might be easier if you simply permalinked your groundhog day spiel…

            • Jason
              Posted 08/12/2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink |

              You seem to talk about how good wireless is. Let me tell you from experience.
              My whole town had a blackout because there was a fire on a power poll next to the sub station from an accident so they shut down the whole power grid at 7:00 pm. Everyone with a phone or stick started to use the wireless internet. Of a pop of 15k you where lucky when it took 15 min the get one web page if your connection dropped out first.

    11. joe
      Posted 07/12/2013 at 3:08 am | Permalink |

      You know this really does make me wonder….

      I use to live literally a few hundred meters from the exchange – my plan allowed for 24mbps but my speeds were only 12mbps. So, for arguments sake, lets say I was 500 meters from the exchange.
      So can anyone seriously say FTTN is a good idea considering:

      what they would literally do is run fiber for 300meters from the exchange to the end of my street, stick a big ugly node out the front of someones house and cross their fingers and hope for the best on the remaining 200m of existing copper…. 30 Billion dollars…. a ‘half-measure’ job.

      INEVITABLY – within a few years – as the coppers turns to dust (and your connection drops not only when it rains but when someone walks along the side walk…) they yank out that node that they had just put in, throw it away…. and then again continue the fiber to the home.

      How the hell could any of that sound logical to a FTTN supporter? The only thing I feel I am exaggerating is the time between when they realise the rest of the copper has turn to dust and when they actually do something about it. Did I say ‘exaggerating’? I mean under-estimating. I mean it is hard enough apparently organising either FTTN or FTTP let alone having to have to go all through this again in 2020!

      • Alex (NBN)
        Posted 07/12/2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink |

        “How the hell could any of that sound logical to a FTTN supporter?”

        Sadly Joe, from my vast involvement in corresponding with FttN supporters, I have concluded that they don’t care, as their reasoning for supporting FttN is purely political.

        Proven by the fact the very same people who now support FttN and argue here in favour, opposed and argued against it in 2007.

        Yes back when the now government referred to it as fraudband and were suggesting their alternative to FttN would be… you guessed it… rolled out cheaper and sooner!

      • Graham
        Posted 07/12/2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink |

        “they yank out that node that they had just put in, throw it away…. and then again continue the fiber to the home.”

        As far as the Coalition is concerned what matters is who “they” are. Their intention is for “they” to not be NBNCo.

        It seems like a lot of people are assuming that fibre is inevitable and once Labor gets in again, they will just tell NBNCo to restart up the fibre install nationally.

        Ain’t gonna happen.

        At the moment Australian broadband infrastructure is like an egg. What Turnbull’s FTTN plus infrastructure competition does is scramble that egg. It will allow Telstra (and probably others) to overbuild NBNCo with fibre in cherry picked areas, making NBNCo obsolete and unprofitable. Yet still obligated to service regional and outer urban areas with a costly substandard network.

        Meanwhile the Coalition has sold off NBNCo at the very earliest opportunity. How to sell off an unprofitable government business? With subsidies and government guarantees, of course.

        Labor will not be able to put that egg back together short of nationalising the network. That just ain’t going to happen.

        • steve
          Posted 07/12/2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink |

          If you are right, then amen to that. A 100% government-owned telecommunication monopoly is an aberration in the OECD.

          • dJOS
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink |

            You only need to look at the geographical monopolies of big cable and phone companies in the USA to see that they are worse than say an NBN Co owned by the gov because they have no incentive to provide higher speeds and better services to customers as long as they are making good profits.

            A wholesale monopoly, that is limited to a 7% ROI and not able to compete for retail customers, is the only way to ensure the nation is provided with up to date services in the long run without rent seekers like a Telstra wanting to extract every last cent from existing investments!

            • steve
              Posted 08/12/2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink |

              Hi dJOS, not contesting your views on state-owned monopolies, but do you know of any 100% state-owned monopoly telcos in the G-20, OECD, developed world, in communist China or anywhere globally?

              • dJOS
                Posted 08/12/2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink |

                Funny you mention China, did you know that most of the big Telco’s over there are government owned or controlled?

                • steve
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink |

                  Yes. Spend a good deal of time there. And internet access from behind the Great Firewall of China is such a joy. Google? Youtube? Facebook? Microsoft? Pretty much anything useful? Not to mention the slow speeds of the fastest advertised connection as all traffic is parsed by the Great Wall. And the fear of an inadvertent slip resulting in your disappearance or worse.

                  Any others?

                  • dJOS
                    Posted 08/12/2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink |

                    Hey you brought up government owned comms infrastructure and china, i call check mate!

                    the great firewall of china is irrelevant!

                    • steve
                      Posted 08/12/2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink |

                      Bring on the Cultural Revolution and Chairman Rudd. No others then?

              • dJOS
                Posted 08/12/2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink |

                Btw, Here’s a little history lesson for you, take note of what Ch7 owner Kerry Stokes said 16 years ago at the start of the program:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgtXh5_9Mvg&feature=youtu.be&t=18m

                • Alex (NBN)
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink |

                  Very interesting… so Stokes said that in the mid 90′s… kudos? How far sighted was he!

                  Compare that to MT and Broads comments in 2011 (and MT now) …LOL

                  Interestingly (iirc) Clive Palmer is one who has suggested telecoms are best nationalised…

                  • dJOS
                    Posted 08/12/2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink |

                    Just goes to show that there are still some smart ppl left in this country!

      • steve
        Posted 07/12/2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink |

        “INEVITABLY – within a few years – as the coppers turns to dust ”

        Hi Joe, I’ve been searching for the chemical process that turns copper to dust but was only able to source this from the IEEE: “copper is one of the most cathodic, or noble metals, and is typically less affected by galvanic reactions. As a result, the electrical industry generally considers copper to be corrosion resistant in virtually all environments.” Evidently my IEEE membership is a waste of money. Can you help prove them wrong?

        • joe
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 1:59 am | Permalink |

          Hi Steve,

          First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to research that specific line within my comment and I for one congratulate you on your IEEE membership. I must however advise you that maybe you took my metaphorical description of the very real decay of the copper network a touch too literal in your reading of my comment. As the kids would say ‘lack of feces Sherlock Holmes’ or something along those lines. It is a shame you ignored the very credible overall point I made but then again maybe as a whole my point somehow automatically rebuffed via that specific line coming across too literal.

          As a result I will keep in mind next time I encounter an apparent problem that maybe I am just ignorant of chemistry and the basic science. The next time someone tells me their internet is slow, unreliable and prone to drop-outs I will first ask whether they are an IEEE member. If they respond with ‘no’ I will then ask whether they have tried turning it off and on again at their blinky box.

          Thanks again Steve.

          Joe.

          • steve
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink |

            “Thanks again Steve.” You’re welcome Joe.

            • steve
              Posted 08/12/2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink |

              P.S. for those of us metaphorically-challenged, what was the “very credible overall point you made”?

              • joe
                Posted 08/12/2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink |

                I’m sorry Steve.

                Here’s me blabbering on assuming that you knew what I was talking about in my original post when really – not understanding any other part of my post – you just wanted to point out that copper, much to my amazement, does not actually turn to dust.

                To me installing thousands of nodes utilizing already deteriorating copper lines – only to later discard those nodes when you have to replace those lines at a greater cost to if you do it now – is somewhat idiotic.

                But to the conservative fttn supporter according to coalition rhetoric this is fiscally responsible thing to do.

                • Alex (NBN)
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink |

                  Yes Joe, you need to be careful with your wording when dealing with the pedantics of semantics kings…

                  Because as they don’t have the facts on their side and they are trying to FUD up the positive network to push their negative network… they will (as you just discovered) hone in on your terminology (if there is any loophole) rather than addressing the gist of your comment… to hide their lack of factual argument!

                  As a side note, isn/t it uncanny, just how alike our new friend is, to his lost comrade though…

                • steve
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink |

                  “But to the conservative fttn supporter according to coalition rhetoric this is fiscally responsible thing to do.”

                  Hi Joe, sorry to disappoint you but I’m neither a conservative supporter nor an fttn one. Just a swinging voter sick of waiting 10 years to upgrade from 2.5Mbps ADSL, 6 years for Labor to deliver on its 2007 promise of faster broadband by 2013 and 3 years of NBN Co. failing to meet targets. Sick also of seeing comparable economies like the UK, France, Germany Canada, the US and even New Zealand surge ahead on the back of rapid FTTN deployments in the past 5 years while we have been paralysed for a decade constructing a one-of-a-kind 100% state-owned monopoly telco and marveling at the dream of 1Gbps FTTP.

                  “To me installing thousands of nodes utilizing already deteriorating copper lines – only to later discard those nodes when you have to replace those lines at a greater cost to if you do it now – is somewhat idiotic.”

                  1. Australia’s average connection speed is 4.7Mbps, which means the majority of Australians connect at <5Mbps speeds. 5.3m premises no longer even have a fixed-line connection, with wireless mobile accounting for 2.7m or 93% of new internet-connected premises in the past 3 years
                  2. So for the majority of Australians, the 25Mbps vs 100Mbps vs 1Gbps and Ftttx vs Fttp debates are esoteric bs …. and somewhat idiotic
                  3. A dollar spent today costs more than the same dollar spent after a decade
                  4. Similarly, meeting 90% of user demand in 3 years has a higher impact on productivity than meeting 100% user demand in 8 years.
                  5. Data from deployments in other countries confirm that av. capex per premise for FTTP is 4-5 times FTTP and time to deploy for FTTP is 3-4 times FTTN
                  6. 50% of the total FTTN capex is reusable for FTTP
                  7. Future fixed-line bandwidth demand and revenue is uncertain, and the only available forecasts in the NBN Corporate Plan indicate that 100Mbps will meet 71% of user demand to 2028 while 50Mbps will meet the 62% of user demand to 2028
                  8. In light of uncertainty of future fixed-line user demand, the increasing rate of technology break-throughs, changes in usage patterns reflected in the surge of mobile wireless substitutions, deferring large irreversible investments for smaller one is sound financial management
                  9. Copper does not corrode and its electrical properties do not deteriorate but the ducts containing the copper do deteriorate, resulting in water-logging. Better ongoing maintenance of these ducts can reduce the current 1.5% fault rate reported for POTS. NBN Co. had a higher ongoing capex for FTTP than the maintenance cost of these ducts.

                  • joe
                    Posted 09/12/2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink |

                    Might I just say Steve – it took you some time but you have finally come back with an argument rather than pointing out the obvious and playing ignorant to my initial point. I am not going to address everything you have said as I do not have the time – but I’ll make an effort.

                    “Hi Joe, sorry to disappoint you but I’m neither a conservative supporter nor an fttn one.”
                    Except in the case between FTTP and FTTN you would rather the FTTN and coincidentally side with the conservative liberal voter.

                    “Sick also of seeing comparable economies like the UK, France, Germany Canada, the US and even New Zealand surge ahead on the back of rapid FTTN deployments in the past 5 years”
                    … there was a video on youtube (which I cant seem to find) in which people in other countries around the world (UK to the US) being offered internet plans that would be available to us under a FTTN nbn and they laughed in disbelief. BTW how many of those countries you mentioned have a similar population density spread to that of Australia or are you going to pretend rolling past 100,000 people in the US is similar in time money and effort to rolling past 100,000 in Aus?

                    But I get your point – you are impatient and want the job half done and you want it half done now because of how slow your connection is now relative to your demand. Now tell me this – if Labour was so utterly useless that they could not even do the NBN right – why not support FTTP under the Coalition? Because obviously nothing is going to go wrong with them setting up FTTN so why not FTTP? Heck I would even bet they would pretend that they could get it done cheaper and faster than labour too. Even the ETA for the coalitions FTTN is 2019 compared to Labours 2021 so all they have to do is pretend they get it done in the same amount of time as FTTN.

                    In regards to point:
                    1. there is no one arguing against what you have mentioned in this point – what we are arguing however is the stupidity of spending $30billion on a plan would rely on fragments of that network we all call a joke.

                    2. As you mentioned – other countries are years ahead so 12Mbps/ 25Mbps/ Good-Luck-Mbps (under FTTN) & 100Mbps/ 1Gbps/ 10Gbps (FTTP) are not exactly foreign concepts to the average internet user; they know what they have, they know what they want and they know what could be. Unless you mean esoteric in the sense they would not know what to do with it; that may be true for the moment but why bottleneck yourself from the get go?

                    3. “A dollar spent today costs more than the same dollar spent after a decade”
                    I guess you are ignoring the ‘disposal of each node’ point I made. Not to mention the maintenance costs, electricity costs and the inevitable costs of replacing a node when some drunk runs one down in their car… considering there will be 60,000 of them in people’s yards around the country. And I guess you ignored another point I made – it will cost more to replace the remaining copper when it comes to it – its not the same dollar…. its more dollars.

                    4. “Similarly, meeting 90% of user demand in 3 years has a higher impact on productivity than meeting 100% user demand in 8 years.” Well if there is any further demand beyond 2020 (the end of the rollout) we will be right back where we started wont we? Similarly – What is one of two years between the FTTN and FTTP roll-out completion going to do to the productivity of Australia?

                    5. “Data from deployments in other countries confirm that av. capex per premise for FTTP is 4-5 times FTTP and time to deploy for FTTP is 3-4 times FTTN”
                    OK now ad the cost of replacing the remaining copper when we have too, the eletricity, maintenance and replacement and decomissioning costs of the nodes and the physical labour of doing it all again. Also – are these the same countries that you so admired for rolling out FTTN over the past 5 years?

                    As for the rest – I may leave it for another time… or not… surely by now either one of us would have convinced the other if there were a hope in hell of us coming to an understanding. I do feel however that most of Australia wants an NBN destined to last the next 50 years rather then 20 however…. or 60 to 30 years if you want to exaggerate the Data Usage needs of the population.

                    And surely the idea of not going through an NBN debate for another 60 years is enough to reason to go FTTP. At least something is being done…only the ‘cut of your nose despite your face’ logic here is unfathomable.

                  • Alex (NBN)
                    Posted 09/12/2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink |

                    @ steve

                    “Hi Joe, sorry to disappoint you but I’m neither a conservative supporter nor an fttn one”
                    *This is an evidence based forum and the evidence clearly suggests otherwise.

                    “Labor are lousy at keeping promises, lousy at delivery, lousy at management, lousy at budgeting and lousy at economics i.e. lousy at government.”
                    * The conservative side of politics wish there were more people who don’t support them like this, I’m sure…

                    “We have been paralysed for a decade constructing a one-of-a-kind 100% state-owned monopoly telco”
                    * The previous plan you described above was announced in April 2009 and obviously does not go back anywhere near a decade, making your comment invalid.

                    “The coalition’s only planned activity to date i.e. a strategic review delivered to the minister has been completed on time”
                    * The initial review was promised within 60 days of gaining government and was not on time, making your comment invalid.

                    Then there’s these…

                    “50% of the total FTTN capex is reusable for FTTP…”
                    * Of course totally ignoring that being so, 50% isn’t reusable and ergo, $14.75B obsolete/wasted… So much for cheaper…

                    “Sick also of seeing comparable economies like the UK, France, Germany Canada, the US and even New Zealand surge ahead on the back of rapid FTTN deployments in the past 5 years…”
                    * Link? Because all of these countries surging ahead of us is completely contrary to the information I have seen. Perhaps they fell further behind/into recession and have more scope for growth, but “surging ahead” and exclusively “on the back of FttN?”

                    But I do note that someone in the anti-FttP camp, finally admits improved comms helps a nation’s economy (just when the rest of them almost convinced us it was only good for pirating and downloading porn :) so at least we are making some progress…

    12. WhatsNew
      Posted 07/12/2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink |

      “The rollout approach has proven particularly successful in the UK, where incumbent British telco BT revealed in July that it had passed some 16 million premises with its FTTN implementation, delivering speeds up to 76Mbps, and with 1.7 million customers already connected.”

      It has been pointed out before how the UK achieved the pace of their rollout – they only connect customers to FTTN when they apply for a service that requires it. Turnbull’s plan is different in that he does not intend to continue to use the exchange side copper at all, so a lot of the rollout work that will be required here has not and may never occur in the UK (hence it will take longer here). With respect, I think you should at least mention this when you are trying to (positively) compare with experiences overseas that are in fact different from what is expected to occur here.

      • steve
        Posted 08/12/2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink |

        “Turnbull’s plan is different in that he does not intend to continue to use the exchange side copper at all, so a lot of the rollout work that will be required here has not and may never occur in the UK ”

        Hi WhatsNew, you mean that contrary to BT’s claim of having passed 16 million homes with FTTN, these 16 million homes continue to use copper to the exchange instead of fibre? But doesn’t Fibre to the Node mean fibre between the exchange and the node?

        • dJOS
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink |

          BT have used a hybrid FTTN approach and phone services are still provided from the exchanges via the old PSTN copper, only those who sign up for a VDSL based service get connected to the nodes and their copper pair is wired into the node only once they sign up.

          Turnbull has so far indicated (hard to be 100% certain with all the weasel words he uses) that only the last mile copper from the distribution pillar will be kept in his FTTN plan meaning we will still need central splitters to be installed at every premises. The current nodes can easily do POTS plus VDSL but it is possible for a data only node solution combined with an NTD with POTS ports (as NBN does now) to be used instead.

        • Cameron
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink |

          @steve said…
          Hi WhatsNew, you mean that contrary to BT’s claim of having passed 16 million homes with FTTN, these 16 million homes continue to use copper to the exchange instead of fibre? But doesn’t Fibre to the Node mean fibre between the exchange and the node?

          There has been much debate about what constitutes “premise passed” under the NBNco build. Is a “Service Class 0″ really passed? etc

          But those holding up the BT build don’t seem to have asked the same question about their “premises passed” stats.

          AIUI, BT consider a premise passed when its Node cabiniet is built and operational. If a node serves up to 500 premises all 500 are considered passed as soon as the node is online. Given that they have a takeup of 10% to date it isn’t so impressive.

          NBNco does not consider a premise passed until a lot more work has been done on the end user side. While this does seem to make it a bit slower it is eliminates all the extra work that needs to be done when upgrading FTTN in the future.

          FTTP might be a 1 year slower to build than FTTN but it is 10 years sooner than the upgraded/rebuilt FTTN.

          • steve
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink |

            Thanks Cameron. “FTTP might be a 1 year slower to build than FTTN but it is 10 years sooner than the upgraded/rebuilt FTTN.”

            Can you please explain this a bit more. According to the NBN Co. 2012-2015 Corporate Plan, FTTP was scheduled to pass 93% in 2021. Under the new policy, 100% 25-100Mbps is scheduled to be available late 2016. How is FTTP 10 years sooner when 2016-2021 = -5, which indicates FTTP is 5 years longer to build?

            • Cameron
              Posted 08/12/2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink |

              Can you please explain this a bit more. According to the NBN Co. 2012-2015 Corporate Plan, FTTP was scheduled to pass 93% in 2021. Under the new policy, 100% 25-100Mbps is scheduled to be available late 2016.

              The complete dates for both policies are FTTP completed in 2021 and FTTN by end of 2019. end of 2019 is actually in 2020.

              The FTTN completion date is nothing more than a guesstimate from Turnbull and it a significant risk. I think anyone that believes that date (which Ziggy has already said is very tought to meet) will not slip is kidding themselves.

              Oh, and the claim of 50Mbps to FTTN users by end of 2019 is highly aspirational. Turnbull seems to be relying on yet to be commercially ready improvements to VDSL, he has been talking way too much about G.fast and micronodes etc for someone that is “technology agnostic”.

              At the end of the FTTN build we will be left with a network that may be out of date, even if it isn’t, it will need to be upgraded to fibre to meet ongoing growth/demand. The “end of 2019″ is not completion date for FTTN, it is the date for the completion of the first phase of the build and when the next phase needs to be started. Even Turnbull has admitted that FTTP is the end goal.

              Turnbull claims to be “technology agnostic”, more like “technology spastic” I reckon.

              • steve
                Posted 08/12/2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink |

                Thanks for that explanation Cameron.

                Objectively, the facts (shorn of opinions, projections, predictions and speculation) are as follows:

                1. The NBN Co.’s 93% FTTP 2021 completion date was based on complete and detailed plans covering 2011 to 2015. There were no plans yet for the 2016-2021 period
                2. The coalition’s 2016 completion date for 25-100Mbps and 2019 completion date for 50-100Mbps are policy goals. No plan has yet been put forward.
                3. NBN Co.’s 2011-2013 plan fell ~85% short of its key objectives. The credibility of NBN Co’s 2012-2015 plan was damaged by its failure to meet its 2011-2013 plan
                4. The coalition’s only planned activity to date i.e. a strategic review delivered to the minister has been completed on time

                These are the known facts. There are plenty of opinions, predictions, speculation and experts on both sides but those are the facts.

                I agree that the FTTN completion date is a significant risk. I agree that until this policy goal is backed by a detailed plan, the completion date is just a guesstimate, but the probability and severity of that risk won’t be known until we have a plan from the NBN, and hopefully it will be a little more complete and comprehensive than the NBN’s previous plans. Until then discussion on the coalition plan is speculation, until then we can only discuss coalition policy.

                • dJOS
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink |

                  I agree that the FTTN completion date is a significant risk. I agree that until this policy goal is backed by a detailed plan, the completion date is just a guesstimate, but the probability and severity of that risk won’t be known until we have a plan from the NBN, and hopefully it will be a little more complete and comprehensive than the NBN’s previous plans. Until then discussion on the coalition plan is speculation, until then we can only discuss coalition policy.

                  So you really think that in 2 years (2014-2016 inclusive) NBN co can realistically install 60,000 Nodes at 82 per day or 575 Nodes per week?

                  I’ve managed Communications infrastructure projects and I can tell you it isn’t possible with the workforce that’s currently available today! The skills required to cut over a distribution pillar to a node are in very short supply – training Fibre Splicing Techs caused NBN Co all sorts of headaches (now mostly resolved) and that is a picnic compared to Installing nodes which also requires an Electrical licence!

                  EDIT: perhaps you need to read the Telstra Document:

                  https://www.dropbox.com/s/nd08jojv0fw0ols/tls385_technologybriefing.pdf

                  on page 8 they predict it will take 3 years to install 20,000 Nodes!!! That also includes removing all the RIM’s, Bridgetaps and loading coils!

                  • steve
                    Posted 08/12/2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink |

                    “on page 8 they predict it will take 3 years to install 20,000 Nodes!!! ”

                    Way back in 2005…
                    and didn’t BT pass 16m premises in 2.5 years between 2011 and 2013?
                    Anyway lets see what the strategic review says and what is actually planned.

                    “Wiring up Nodes is not easy!”
                    Neither is running fibre to each individual home.
                    But with a 4-5x difference in the av. capex per premise between FTTP and FTTN, there’s plenty of leeway and contingency.

                    • Alex (NBN)
                      Posted 08/12/2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink |

                      “…and didn’t BT pass 16m premises in 2.5 years between 2011 and 2013?”

                      16m… you told us 10m in 2.5 years the other day… ? So they’ve passed another 6m in just a couple of days eh… WOW!!!!

                      *rolls eyes*

                      If you want to be taken seriously please get your figures correct (even once)…you did the same with the connections stating numerous different figures between 6.6m and 4.2 m… unbelievable…

                      Regardless, I’ll ask AGAIN, so will Malcolm be able to do likewise and roll past 10m (or 16m toss the coin) homes here too, yes or no? Oh there aren’t 16m homes here? Easy then… 2 years

                      It’s not a trick question although you avoided answering it already , numerous times :)

                    • dJOS
                      Posted 08/12/2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink |

                      Steve, As I have (and others) already explained to you m, BT is not connecting homes to nodes unless a VDSL service is ordered so premises passed in their case is not a complete metric and yet BT is apparently still 2 years behind schedule!

                    • nonny-moose
                      Posted 08/12/2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink |

                      didnt Telstra have a much larger workforce in 2005? theyve trimmed several thousands in the intervening years; i recall? iunno about you but i suspect thats a risk to their ability to hit those numbers?

                      • dJOS
                        Posted 08/12/2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink |

                        I think you are correct, the numbers of tech staff available are mentioned in at least one of the documents I linked to.

                • dJOS
                  Posted 08/12/2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

                  Oh and after youre done with the first document, check out slide 12 of this one from Telstra in 2008:

                  https://www.dropbox.com/s/8f75f6at3fv3xdt/tls652_NBNtechnologybriefing.pdf

                  Wiring up Nodes is not easy!

        • WhatsNew
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink |

          “Hi WhatsNew, you mean that contrary to BT’s claim of having passed 16 million homes with FTTN, these 16 million homes continue to use copper to the exchange instead of fibre? But doesn’t Fibre to the Node mean fibre between the exchange and the node?”

          It does mean that, however there are at least a couple of ways to do a FTTN rollout when you are upgrading from existing copper connections:

          1) You can install a node and progressively move customers over from their copper only connections as they order services that require the node. This is what they do in the UK and also in Canada I believe. So if you use the copper for phone only and not broadband, you may never be connected to the node. Or if you want to stay with your existing ADSL2+ connection, then likewise you may also keep the existing copper only connection.

          2) You can install a node and cut over all customers immediately, including those with phone services only. The D (distribution) side copper is used from the node to the premise and all communications then rely on the fibre once they reach the node. The E (exchange) side copper is no longer used at all. This is what Turnbull has said he wants to do as he has tried to counter the point of the unreliability of the copper by saying that most of the problems are with the E side copper that will be replaced under his plan.

          Now if a node serves approx 400 homes and you have a take up rate around 10%, it means in actuality that only 40 homes are using the node. The other 360 homes continue to use the legacy network. It is easy to paint a picture of a fast rollout when you aren’t in fact doing very much to achieve it.

          In Canada I believe the wholesale price of VDSL2 is quite low (the speeds aren’t all that impressive either), and they even offer ADSL2+ services via the node to try to encourage take up on it without having to drop VDSL2 prices even lower. This doesn’t generate more revenue for the incumbent Bell but it does help to cut maintenance costs and other overheads with keeping the legacy network going.

          Note that with the UK to date their rollout has involved a technicians visit to the home in order to get the best possible speeds out of the service. I believe that they have recently started a trial on a self-install approach but I’m not sure what the results of that have been like. Turnbull’s plan was to use a self-install straight up in order to cut the costs and time required for the rollout. It really was “no frills” and another difference compared with overseas.

          • steve
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink |

            Thanks WhatsNew. Appreciate the information.

        • Alex (NBN)
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink |

          Thanks yet again for again repeating the same alternate line again over and over again and again steve…(like all the agains to match your broken record spiels?)…

          So I’ll again ask the same unanswered question again.

          You are saying BT passed 16million (previously it was 10m – but whatever) so let’s go back to the previous claim of 10m homes in 2.5 years (you are perhaps now hoping to distance yourself from, LOL) and so as to have pertinence to us here in Australia…

          Q. As you have made this figure the benchmark… will Malcolm Turnbull’s plan be able to match BT’s by rolling out to 10m homes here in Australia in 2.5 years (so by March 2016)… yes or no…?

          I’d suggest by the benchmark you have claimed and set for him and his plan, that if he does not match this, he and his plan will have failed miserably…

    13. steve
      Posted 07/12/2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink |

      dJOS” “Utter rubbish, nbn co leased the pits and ducts in fit for purpose condition – the risk is all on Telstra to supply them in a useable state.”

      The only risk was to the NBN corporate plan. Between the agreement and the execution of a contract there is period called due diligence where the buyer/lessee conducts due diligence on the bought/leased asset. During this period, it was NBN’s responsibility to conduct inspections and audits, ask legally binding questions of Telstra. If subsequently, after contract execution Telstra was found to have provided false information during the due diligence, NBN could sue Telstra for breach of contract and damages. Did NBN sue Telstra? No, because NBN omitted to ask Telstra basic risk mitigation questions in due diligence e.g. “Are all of your subcontractors trained in asbestos handling?” If it had, Telstra would be liable for liquidated damages to NBN Co.

      • Alex (NBN)
        Posted 07/12/2013 at 11:38 pm | Permalink |

        Evidence?

        And then would you care to make even one comment regarding the topic…?

      • dJOS
        Posted 08/12/2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink |

        Steve, If you had any understanding of the process you’d stop posting rubbish like this – NBN co does survey each area as part of the “desktop design” process, they identify Telstra pits that aren’t big enuf or in good enuf condition for the multi ports and it’s then up to Telstra to remediate. This all happens very early in the process but the a Telstra pit remediation is done in Telstra’s good time!

        • steve
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink |

          “NBN co does survey each area as part of the “desktop design” process, they identify Telstra pits that aren’t big enuf or in good enuf condition for the multi ports and it’s then up to Telstra to remediate. This all happens very early in the process but the a Telstra pit remediation is done in Telstra’s good time!”

          No issues with the technical desktop design process – the issues pre-date this process, to the time the Telstra agreement was signed. The issue wasn’t remediation of the pits. The delay was caused by Telstra subcontractors mishandling asbestos material and leaving the offending material on streets, creating a risk of ­life-threatening health issues to residents and workers.

          For example, if I contract out the building of my house to a builder, I am still legally liable for any property damage or health problems the construction causes my neighbour or the builder’s workers. I can mitigate this liability by doing the due diligence to ensure that my building contract ensures compliance with all OH&S and other standards, that the builder uses appropriately trained labour, that the builder has approriate insurance cover, etc. But if I am negligent with due diligence and my contract omits e.g. clauses specifying workers’ OH&S and asbestos training, I’d be in a weaker legal position if any asbestos found is handled improperly.

          The fact that the problem was solved by simply making asbestos-handling training mandatory for contractors and putting monitoring processes in place indicates that NBN Co.’s due diligence on the Telstra contract was not up to scratch.

          • dJOS
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

            Sorry but you can’t keep throwing this back on nbn co, they tell Telstra pits a thru z need to be brought up to x spec – Telstra own the pits and anything that involves removing them, modifying them or replacing them is on Telstra and that includes Telstra getting it’s processes in order!

      • RBH
        Posted 08/12/2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink |

        Steve,

        I know a person who’s job was exactly what you are talking about. They were contracted to do pit inspections in Tasmania and this work happened fairly early in the rollout process for an area. I was even half-seriously offered a job because they had issues with getting enough people who could read maps and diagrams with any sense.

        What dJOS has said goes along with everything I picked up in conversation with my friend in regards to his work. My impression is that Telstra basically sat on the information for a range of reasons that could best be summed up as bureaucratic incompetence.

        I do wonder why the Telstra agreement didn’t have clauses to match up remediation with NBNCo’s timeline – it just doesn’t make sense that a project manager would overlook that. Maybe it was implied but no penalty detailed for when they didn’t have pits ready.

        • steve
          Posted 08/12/2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink |

          Hi RBH, Telstra can’t escape a large part of the responsibility. My point is that NBN Co. as the lessee had a responsibility for contractual due diligence. Maybe NBN Co. did stipulate appropriate training for subcontractors in the agreement. If it did, the responsibility would rest entirely with Telstra. If it didn’t the legal liability is much less clear-cut. What we do know is that NBN Co. did not take legal action against Telstra, which indicates the latter.

          The Telstra Definitive Agreements Infrastructure Services Agreement includes this single line: “Telstra is responsible for the remediation of that infrastructure up to agreed fitness standards”. So what were these agreed fitness standards? Did the fitness standards stipulate safety training standards for contractors, or was this included in another umbrella agreement? If it did stipulate safety training standards, then what were penalty clauses for non-compliance and were they invoked?

          • Alex (NBN)
            Posted 08/12/2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink |

            Hello steve.

            Again FYI, since you must have missed it the first time – Telstra aren’t even aware of their own pits, so why would NBNCo be…? I know you don’t want to hear the truth, but alas…

            So as Telstra don’t know, what, you expect NBNCo to know how? By going out street by street throughout Australia and manually inspecting each pit, FFS, get real?

            http://www.zdnet.com/au/telstra-relies-on-public-to-inform-on-asbestos-infested-pits-7000023552/

            And AGAIN do you have anything positive to add about FttN, rather than living in the past?

            No, neither do we… at least we agree there :)

          • Brendan
            Posted 09/12/2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink |

            Steve,

            The simple fact is Telstra are responsible for pit, duct remediation.

            NBNco are leasing an asset; they’re not responsible for cleaning up someone else’s mess first. It’s irrelevant how much NBN are responsible for doing, as they’re not the owner of said asset.

            Turnbull tried the same line. He was just as inaccurate as you are.

            So, feel free to bag NBNco for not meeting unrealistic targets, or not spending as much as they should (?) or that wireless is our future (stats interpretation not withstanding) – but in this instance the responsibility is entirely Telstra’s.

            Move on.

    14. Daniel
      Posted 07/12/2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink |

      Can we say…. “We told you so”?

      But ya know, whatever floats ya boat?

      I mean, with all the stupid silly slogan-engineering the Coalition were doing and the standard attack lines it was running on Labor, how pathetic can people get?

    15. steve
      Posted 09/12/2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink |

      Jason: “You seem to talk about how good wireless is.”

      No Jason. I did not talk about how good wireless is. I just put forward quantitative data indicating Australian preference trends.

      “My whole town had a blackout because there was a fire on a power poll next to the sub station from an accident so they shut down the whole power grid at 7:00 pm. Everyone with a phone or stick started to use the wireless internet. Of a pop of 15k you where lucky when it took 15 min the get one web page if your connection dropped out first.”

      Granted. But at least with wireless you were able to get a connection, albeit slow and erratic. With the town blacked out, you’d have no fixed-line connection at all, whether with DSL, HFC cable or FTTP fibre, right?
      A slow and erratic connection trumps no connection.

      Now consider a house fire situation. Would you run to the study to connect with your fixed-line, or run outside with your mobile or ipad? How about a bush fire situation? Or flooding? Or an earthquake? Or a cyclone that required evacuation to a shelter? which one is the essential service?

      • Alex (NBN)
        Posted 09/12/2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink |

        “I just put forward quantitative data indicating Australian preference trends.”

        I’d suggest you handpicked certain data to fulfill your outcome, from the previous Corporate Plan (yes, the same plan you said failed) mixed them with handpicked data from ABS (ignoring other data, such as 96% downloads being fixed and a last quarter 3% decline in wireless downloads ) and are now continuing to bang the same drum, using your own figures and ignoring everything else.. to again match your required outcome.

        Just as you do with the UK FttN roll out figures.

        Herein lies the differnece in the two sides arguments…we take all of the info and analyses it for an outcome… you have an outcome and only analyse the data which fits within…

    16. steve
      Posted 09/12/2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink |

      Joe: “Except in the case between FTTP and FTTN you would rather the FTTN and coincidentally side with the conservative liberal voter.”

      Not all liberal voters support all coalition policy, just as not all labor voters support the NBN. I prefer to think that Australians support individual issues on the facts, rather than on tribal loyalties. In any case, I don’t support FTTN, nor is the coalition policy FTTN. The policy is hybrid FTTP+FTTB+FTTC+FTTN+LTE+Satellite, using technologies based on cost-effectivness. Let’s call them FTTx.

      Joe: “… there was a video on youtube (which I cant seem to find) in which people in other countries around the world (UK to the US) being offered internet plans that would be available to us under a FTTN nbn and they laughed in disbelief.”

      We could support policy on random youtube videos of people laughing, or on facts and statistics. I fall in the latter category, you are free to prefer the former.

      Joe: “BTW how many of those countries you mentioned have a similar population density spread to that of Australia or are you going to pretend rolling past 100,000 people in the US is similar in time money and effort to rolling past 100,000 in Aus?”

      Population density has a far greater impact on FTTP than FTTN. Yet even countries with the densest populations, world broadband leaders like Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong have FTTH available to 26%, 17% and 10% respectively. Among countries similar to Australia, FTTP in UK 0.06%, Germany 0.51%, Canada 1.24%, USA 6.5%, OECD 6%, world-wide 2.5%. Just 15 countries world-wide have FTTH penetration >1%. Just 3 G20 countries have FTTH >1%.

      Joe: “if Labour was so utterly useless that they could not even do the NBN right – why not support FTTP under the Coalition? Because obviously nothing is going to go wrong with them setting up FTTN so why not FTTP?”

      Because FTTP is not FTTN. And because coalition policy includes FTTP, along with FTTB, FTTB, FTTC and FTTN. Please read the policy document and background briefing before commenting.

      2. Esoteric: intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.
      Other countries are years ahead and none are on FTTP. The coalition’s 22% FTTP would put us ahead of almost every other country for FTTP.

      3. Let me put it this way – $1bn saved today is $2.7bn available in 2023 or $7.3bn available in 2033

      4. It’s not one or two years between FTTP and FTTN. Its 5 years. 2021-2016 = 5 years

      Joe: “5. are these the same countries that you so admired for rolling out FTTN over the past 5 years?”

      Yes, the figures are from the same countries – Germany, UK, USA. These countries previously had similar plans to roll out FTTP, but abandoned them. Let’s hear from the FTTH Council’s end-2012 report for Europe: ““Poor progress among many major telcos and municipal projects in western Europe. Many projects far behind previously published targets and plans. No really compelling application that requires a fiber connection. Painfully slow new customer acquisition in many countries. Verizon-style vision for fiber access still not motivating major European incumbents– many are more committed to VDSL (and G.vector…?)”

      • Brendan
        Posted 09/12/2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink |

        So, to summarize your point, Steve:

        “It’s too hard. Just use wireless. Because stats.”

        That about it?

        • steve
          Posted 09/12/2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink |

          Brendan: “So, to summarize your point, Steve: “It’s too hard. Just use wireless. Because stats.” That about it?”

          Not at all Brendan. “It’s too hard. Just use wireless.” is diametrically opposite to my point.

          Fortunately, unlike some commenters here, the real world is neither binary nor two-dimensional, things aren’t black or white, liberal or labor, FTTP or FTTN, FTTP or wireless. There are shades and hues of greys, blues, greens, reds…

          Since you evidently neglected to read the comment you replied to, the facts are summarised below:
          1. The rate of technology break-throughs in telecommunications is accelerating.
          2. Majority user preferences and user behaviour are changing and the rate of change is accelerating towards mobility over fixed line
          3. Future fixed-line bandwidth demand is uncertain, future subscriber numbers are uncertain and there is no appetite among consumers to pay increased prices
          4. FTTP broadband offerings in Europe and Asia‐Pacific are not attracting premium prices. In fact intense competition from competing technologies like LTE are forcing FTTP wholesalers to cut prices upto 30% in Korea,Taiwan and Japan.
          4. Future fixed-line revenues are uncertain, which means fixed-line ROI is uncertain
          5. Every country in the world uses a mix of wired and wireless technologies. FTTP has the lowest penetration rate of all FTTx technologies. FTTP penetration is 2.5% worldwide, 6% OECD. Just 3 G20 countries have >1% penetration, just 15 countries worldwide have >1%
          6. Each $1bn saved today is 2.7bn available in 2023 or 7.3bn available in 2033
          7. The majority of Australian internet users connect at speeds < 5Mbps
          8. FTTP avg. per premise capex is 4-5 times FTTN, FTTP time-to-deploy is 3-4 times FTTN
          9. 50% of FTTN capex is reusable for FTTP.

          So given the above facts, is it wise to put all your eggs in the FTTP basket? No, in light of uncertainty in future subscriber numbers, bandwidth demand, subscriber resistance to higher prices, and technology advances, good policy is flexible policy. Prudent financial management is to defer expensive and irreversible investment commitments to the extent possible if it permits more information about actual usage and investment returns to emerge.Good policy is to use appropriate current technologies cost-effectively to meet majority user demand for the foreseeable future while giving the minority access to a 50% subsidy.

          There are obvious cost-effectiveness measures that:immediately come to mind. 34% of residences are MDUs. FTTP to individual apartments in MDU is extraordinarily complex and capex-intensive. Switching brownfield MDUs to FTTB, which is the practice in every country with FTTP is a huger cost saver. FTTP is cost-effective for greenfields, business districts, industrial and commercial parks, schools, universities, hospitals, medical centres, etc.

          So Brendan, my point isn't : “It’s too hard. Just use wireless. Because stats.”

          Instead my point is "Its not hard, it's common sense. Just use a mix of technologies as appropriate and cost-effective – FTTP+FTTB+FTTC+FTTN+LTE+satellite.Because facts."

          • Alex (NBN)
            Posted 10/12/2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink |

            Indeed steve, I agree wholeheartedly…

            Some people are so close-minded and biased, to the point where they will seemingly go to any lengths to exaggerate and basically say anything, regardless of how ridiculous.

            Things such as…

            Describing one side of politics and one side only as – “ lousy at keeping promises, lousy at delivery, lousy at management, lousy at budgeting and lousy at economics i.e. lousy at government.”

            Then claiming at an evidence based forum that the FttP/NBN plan announced in 2009 (4.5 years ago) -“We have been paralysed for a **decade** constructing a one-of-a-kind 100% state-owned monopoly telco”

            Then denying an overdue review is overdue – “The coalition’s only planned activity to date i.e. a strategic review delivered to the minister has been completed on time”

            And propmoting 50% wastage as a good thing – “50% of the total FTTN capex is reusable for FTTP…”

            Yes some people and their illogical motives are very one dimensional/predictable…

          • joe
            Posted 13/12/2013 at 2:20 am | Permalink |

            @steve

            In addition to my previous comment (which I think you missed)….

            $12 billion over budget, 25Mbps to 43% of the country by 2016… job losses at NBN co.
            By the time this is done… the entire thing will be outdated… but we already knew that didnt we?

            So… is the Coalition going to face the same criticism you posed towards Labour? They are useless, cant get anything done, empty promises etc? You know… the Coalitions own rhetoric?

            • Tinman_au
              Posted 16/12/2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink |

              So… is the Coalition going to face the same criticism you posed towards Labour?

              Why would he bite the hand that feeds him?

              • Alex (NBN)
                Posted 16/12/2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink |

                And herein is what get’s up my nose…

                Sure support FttP or FttN but at least have the same rules apply to the other’s you apply to yours…

                Unfortunately every FttN (I’ll still call it that for ease) supporter I have ever encountered will criticise FttP, but even if their criticisms were warranted (almost unanimously they aren’t) what they are claiming would equally or in some cases even more so, apply to FttN…

                But no…

                They just won’t accept it…wireless will apparently impact upon FttP not FttN, we are forced onto FttP not FttN, it’s fine to spend gov money on FttN not FttP, etc, etc

                We even had one of their new star FUDsters, just today, blame Malcolm’s pitiful plan demise, on the original NBN Corporate Plan, that previously he claimed was a failure, whilst continuing to use figures from it, as his factual figures…

                Work that out… an each way bet x 2 perhaps?

                :/ Amazing

      • joe
        Posted 09/12/2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink |

        The FTTN plan includes FTTP?
        You mean the wealthy few who can choose to upgrade to FTTP while being subsidized at the tax payers expense? You mean the new estate around the corner from me which has a couple of hundred new premises already connected to FTTP while the other couple of thousand premises around this estate will have the inferior FTTN? Not to mention the entire suburb went from ‘with-in one year’ eta FTTP in Jan only to find out come September we have been wiped off the rollout map. Still waiting on that “report within 60 days” to asses what the hell is going on here.

        And dude …. 22% FTTP?
        If you seriously think that is impressive then maybe look to the two countries you love refering too…. the US and South Korea.

        The US has roughly 3% of households connected to FTTP and is ranked 8th in the world based on that percentage… and considering our population is roughly 1% that of the US that still means they would have 3 times more people connected to FTTP if we ourselves had 22% connected. But they have 3% and we have next to nothing now. However that is increasing in the US at a rate of roughly 12% a year- who knows what it would be by the time we actually have 22% connected.

        South Korea – Rank 1 – 30% of premises, roughly the equivalent to 70% of premises in Australia in terms of how many people are connected …. that is 2012 statistics… so what is it going to be in 2016/19?

        You have already recognised that we are behind other countries… and 22% might sound nice but it pales in comparison to what the rest of the world is actually, physically achieving.

        93%, FTTP to 20 million people is not a fallacy…. it is a small nation actually, physically, optimally connected digitally while being future proof to at least 2050…

        Seeing as you admire the achievement of other countries so much why the hell can we not have our own achievement? 93% would be amazing considering they are predicting 70% by 2020 for South Korea.

        But honestly dude – I can not be bothered with this…. I’ll simply refer to my last point in my last post:

        “Surely by now either one of us would have convinced the other if there were a hope in hell of us coming to an understanding. I do feel however that most of Australia wants an NBN destined to last the next 50 years rather than 20…. or 60 to 30 years if you want to exaggerate the Data Usage needs of the population.

        And surely the idea of not going through an NBN debate for another 60 years is enough to reason to go FTTP.

        At least something is being done…
        …only the ‘cut of your nose despite your face’ logic here is unfathomable.”

    17. steve
      Posted 09/12/2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink |

      AJ: “Using my job as an example we may have a project plan but work is applicable to 2 or more separate areas at the same time this work could be split or recorded against a single area neither outcome is wrong.
      Sometimes you underestimate one area but overestimate in another area which balances this out over the project there is always natural variability in a project.”

      Hi AJ, you’re right, elasticity and contingency are built into program management plans so that if one work-stream overspends its budget or is behind schedule, one or more other streams can be used to take up the slack, so that the overall project meets plan. However over the top of all streams of work sits Program Overheads – office overheads, travel expenses, discretionary spending. A key indicator of good management is the ability to keep overheads on a tight leash, ensuring maximum resources are focused on project deliverables. Corporate travel and overheads blowing out 92% over plan is a sure indicator of a project that had spun out of control.

      Also, if the blown overheads were balanced elsewhere, can you point to the area that achieved its plan $700m under budget? No, the overall program achieved 15% of its planned deliverables for 85% of the planned funding, i.e. every area was under-plan for deliverables and over-plan for funding.

      • AJ
        Posted 09/12/2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

        That percentage seems off as you simplify it a bit too much Premises passed is a deliverable but it is not the only one.

        If you look at the NBNCo Website and look at the weekly report and plot the premises passed for the last 3 years you will see the rate of build is increasing in a near exponential fashion. You can not just use statistics that do not take this progression into account.

        Secondly you miss out the many other tasks like the Fibre backhaul construction.

        According to what I have read and heard from NBNCo the whole project is not currently over budget so I would assume that if they are within their budget there have been savings elsewhere.

        • steve
          Posted 10/12/2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink |

          “Premises passed is a deliverable but it is not the only one.”

          NBN Corporate Plan 2011-2013 Section 1.4 “NBN Co Targets for June 2013: Within the broader objectives outlined above, NBN Co has identified a number of specific high level deployment targets to be achieved by 30 June 2013. ”
          The section specifies the following targets (and only the following targets).:
          Exhibit 1.1: Premises Passed or Covered – June 2013:
          FTTP Brownfields: 950,000
          FTTP Greenfields:Build: 70,000
          Satellite First Release: 165,000
          Wireless: 283,000
          Total: 1,221,000

          Exhibit 1.2: Premises with Active Service June 2013:
          FTTP Brownfields: 260,000
          FTTP Greenfields:Build: 60,000
          Satellite First Release: 33,000
          Wireless: 26,000
          Total: 570,000

          The Corporate Plan specified the above (and only the above) targets for June 2013.
          NBN Co.’s Media Release of 4 July 2013 specifies the following (and only the following key metrics) for June 2013:
          Premises/Lots Passed:
          FTTP Brownfields: 163,500 (Achieved/Target: 17%)
          FTTP Greenfields Build: 44,000 (Achieved/Target: 63%)
          Satellite First Release: 250,000 (Achieved/Target: 152%)
          Wireless: 27,300 (Achieved/Target: 10%)
          Total: 484,800 (Achieved/Target: 40%)

          Premises Activated:
          FTTP Brownfields: 20,400 (Achieved/Target: 8%)
          FTTP Greenfields:Build: 13,200 (Achieved/Target: 22%)
          Satellite First Release: 34,600 (Achieved/Target: 105%)
          Wireless: 1,900 (Achieved/Target: 7%)
          Total: 70,100 (Achieved/Target: 12%)

          IE, NBN Co. achieved 40% of plan for premises passed and 12% of plan for premises activated. There were no other June 2013 targets in the plan and other key metrics reported for June 2013.

          “If you look at the NBNCo Website and look at the weekly report and plot the premises passed for the last 3 years you will see the rate of build is increasing in a near exponential fashion. You can not just use statistics that do not take this progression into account.”
          Was the progression to plan? No, the progression to June 2013 was 40% and 12% of plan

          According to what I have read and heard from NBNCo the whole project is not currently over budget so I would assume that if they are within their budget there have been savings elsewhere.
          Nope. They simply changed the plan.

          • Alex (NBN)
            Posted 10/12/2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink |

            Why go to so much trouble to try to continually bag the previous governments, now obsolete plan?

            Old habits or just nothing positive to bring to the table regarding FttN and the new plan?

            Both maybe?

            Perhaps a collector of obsolete antiques (which would also explain the love of copper ;)

            Newsflash: bagging the old plan doesn’t justify the new one.

            The new plan has to be able to stand on it’s own merits sans the childish finger pointing and so far (and it is early days) it’s not looking good and that’s without anyone, cherrypicking figures and omitting others and then massaging the cherrypicked numbers to fit the desired outcome, as you continually do…

          • AJ
            Posted 10/12/2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink |

            So I see you can copy and paste but my main point was the area I wrote most about which you ignored.

            I can do a statistical analysis and provide you with the real figure if you would like rather than the overly simplistic figure you provided. BRB

            • AJ
              Posted 10/12/2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink |

              Based purely on the current rollout figures the project would be projected to finish in 2026-2027 which would be 50% overtime.

              But that is based on figures that do not include ramping figures from states where the contractors have failed which amounts to ~20% of the Australian Population if this rate was included we are looking at completion at 2023-2024 which is about 25% overtime.

              But this may still be over estimated as I have assumed growth in build speed to not increase at a rate greater than it has to this point in the project.

              This was my point Steve it is far harder than just dividing one number by another and stating the result.

              • steve
                Posted 10/12/2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink |

                “This was my point Steve it is far harder than just dividing one number by another and stating the result.”

                You’re probably right. But the only stats in the public domain are premises passed and connected. You mentioned backhaul construction. Where are the backhaul construction status updates in the metrics? Doesn’t rate a mention.

                The published metrics only show premises broken into greenfields and brownfields. So I presume you’ve used a common rate across both. But the brownfields rate would be slower than the greenfields rate. And the big test is MDUs. The metrics does not break out MDUs. MDUs have been passed but hardly any connected. And we know a big chunk of time and capex is spent on FTTH to individual apartments, especially older ones. What rate would you use for MDUs and for the many properties in the suburbs that are far removed from the street.

                I think at an estimate, just switching the 34% of premises that are MDUs from FTTH to FTTB will be a very significant saving in time and capex, maybe big enough to cover any copper remediation in the suburbs. But these are all unknowns until we have a new plan with more detailed accounting and delivery metrics.

    18. steve
      Posted 09/12/2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink |

      steve: “Where is a 50/5mps service specified? Fact or speculation?”
      dJOS; “Why don’t you look up the VDSL2 specs and learn the information for yourself?”

      Sorry dJOS, your speculation and FUD is trumped by facts… again.

      Here are the VDSL2 (ITU-T G.993.2) specifications. VDSL2 uses frequencies of up to 30 MHz to provide data rates up to 200 Mbit/s simultaneously in both the upstream and downstream directions.

      Upload speeds are set by the RSP. For example in NZ, Telecom offers VDSL2 up to 70Mbps down and 10Mbps up, however Worldnet offers 55Mbps down and 30Mbps up.

      Deutsche Telekom offers VDSL2 services with download speeds up to 50 Mbit/s and upload speeds up to 10 Mbit/s

      Bell Canada is currently offering VDSL2 with speeds reaching 50 Mbit/s download and 10 Mbit/s upload

      “A resident in an inner-west Sydney apartment block was able to receive download speeds of 49Mbps and 38Mbps up in a demonstration of a VDSL fibre-to-the-node connection that Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said will be similar to what National Broadband Network (NBN) users will get under a Coalition government….
      iiNet, the owner of Internode, clarified to ZDNet after this story was published that the resident was on a 50Mbps download speed, 20Mbps upload speed plan. His service had just been syncing higher than expected, according to iiNet.”

      • WhatsNew
        Posted 10/12/2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink |

        “Bell Canada is currently offering VDSL2 with speeds reaching 50 Mbit/s download and 10 Mbit/s upload”

        I have a friend who lives in Canada. He lives in an apartment and can see the node across the street. As you can imagine, the attenuation is low and speeds a good. That’s what you’d expect from VDSL2 over short distances. Everything is “up to” with it and you only ever see the best possible speeds quoted when they are trying to sell it to you. It won’t be like that for everyone, particularly if you roll it out to the burbs with some ~1km from the node. ADSL2+ is up to 24Mbps but even Turnbull concedes that the average connection speed in AU is a paltry 4.5Mbps.

        “A resident in an inner-west Sydney apartment block was able to receive download speeds of 49Mbps and 38Mbps up in a demonstration of a VDSL fibre-to-the-node connection that Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said will be similar to what National Broadband Network (NBN) users will get under a Coalition government….”

        I quizzed one of the users of that service about it – see his response on whirlpool here: https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2153266&p=2#r24

        He had a technician visit his apartment to install the service.

        That service does not as yet use vectoring, so as time goes by and more users sign up the crosstalk (noise) generated by the additional services will reduce the speeds for everyone. Even with vectoring (which the company says costs more to rollout, hence I guess why they haven’t bothered with it at this stage) I believe those users won’t see reliable connection speeds. The whole point of it is to adapt in real time to line conditions and crosstalk, so they will likely find that there speeds will go all over the place once more users come onboard.

        • steve
          Posted 10/12/2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink |

          Vectoring would probably be slated for the second (post-2016) phase. VDSL2 by itself should get 25-50Mbps speeds to 1-1.2km

    19. bearskin
      Posted 11/12/2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink |

      A dumb question – when talking about FTTP what are the actual speeds promised and what will be the effect of the Optical Splitters as per the Telstra Powerpoint documents “drop-boxed” above. Are we talking about the raw fibre speeds at the exchange end or at the premises here. And yes I know the optical splitters can be light-frequency based but how many “channels” of what capacity will be delivered to the end premises ?




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