Screw you, Turnbull: TPG starts FTTB deployment

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engine-start

news National broadband company TPG today revealed it had started deploying its planned Fibre to the Basement rollout in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, in a move which directly challenges a statement by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull that the legality of such deployments would be examined by a panel within the next six months.

In September last year, TPG flagged plans to deploy so-called fibre to the basement infrastructure to some 500,000 apartments in major Australian capital cities, in a move which will compete directly with the new Coalition Government’s plans to conduct similar rollouts under the Coalition’s Broadband Network (CBN) rollout. Shortly after, Optus, Telstra and iiNet confirmed that they were investigating similar options.

Although it is illegal for telcos to deploy infrastructure which competes directly with NBN Co’s rollout, under legislation enacted by the previous Labor Federal Government, the telcos are taking advantage of a loophole in the law which allows extensions of a certain length to existing infrastructure. All of the telcos mentioned have existing fibre infrastructure in many areas in major cities.

However, shortly after the FTTB plans were revealed, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull made a public statement which appeared to have significantly undercut the stability of Australia’s telecommunications regulatory environment and caused a halt in the plans by the telcos. In comments made to the Financial Review, Turnbull appeared to call the legality of the planned FTTB rollouts into question, adding that the issue would be examined by the Panel of Experts conducting a cost/benefit analysis of broadband and associated regulation (the Vertigan Review).

NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski told the NBN Senate Select Committee in mid-March that the FTTB rollout plans had the potential to have a “quite severe” impact on NBN Co’s finances, causing a revenue hit of up to 10 percent.

In its half-yearly financial results briefing statement released this morning (PDF), however, TPG revealed it had no intention of waiting for the Vertigan Review to be completed, and had gone ahead with its rollout based on the existing legislation.

In its statement, TPG said its FTTB rollout was “progressing”, with the construction phase in progress in Sydney (Pyrmont, Ultimo and the Sydney CBD), Melbourne (Southbank, the Docklands and the Melbourne CBD) and Brisbane (Fortitude Valley and the Brisbane CBD). TPG had already signed up live trial customers, the company said.

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

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

The news comes just a week after TPG, iiNet and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission made submissions to the Vertigan Review supporting the right for commercial telcos to deploy their own Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) infrastructure throughout Australia in competition with the Coalition’s Broadband Network (CBN) project, rejecting the idea that such planned investments should be blocked or otherwise regulated to support NBN Co’s finances.

In general, TPG’s submission focused on the argument — long made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and others — that infrastructure-based competition delivers the best outcome to retail customers in the telecommunications industry.

TPG pointed out that areas which it and others would cover with FTTB rollouts were likely to already be covered by competitive infrastructure such as other fibre networks and HFC cable. In addition, “superfast speeds” are also available through 4G mobile broadband, and NBN Co also has the ability to compete in those areas if the company deemed it necessary.

The ACCC also broadly supported TPG’s argument. It wrote: “The ACCC considers that non-NBN Co network operators should generally not be constrained from deploying networks in competition with NBN Co, including in new developments, unless there are particular circumstances which suggest it would not be in the interests of end-users.”

opinion/analysis
TPG chief executive David Teoh is rapidly becoming the new Sol Trujillo of the telecommunications industry — making rapid and powerful moves that are forcing the Federal Government to consider its regulatory approach. Teoh may very well have backed Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull into a corner here. It’s one thing to implement new regulation to stop network infrastructure being rolled out, but will Turnbull really be willing to jump in and halt TPG’s FTTB rollout once it has already begun? I don’t think so. And if he tried to over-regulate that rollout, I suspect TPG may take the Federal Government to court over the issue.

I’ll have more analysis on this move at a later date, but I really have to applaud Teoh here for having the courage to actually do something about this fraught situation. Talking is one thing — but putting your company’s money where your mouth is in terms of broadband rollouts, and forcing the Federal Government to actually come up with a policy to address the situation — is something quite different. It’s been a while since we’ve seen this sort of decisive action in Australia’s fixed broadband market. It’s great to see it again. The sector has been in stasis for too long — private sector investment is highly welcome.

I don’t know what the eventual outcome of this situation may be. But I do like seeing private sector companies challenging the Minister of the day to live up to their ideals in terms of private sector investment.

As has been well-documented, my own view is that telcos such as TPG should be allowed to go ahead with these rollouts, in the context of the CBN rollout (but not in the context of the NBN rollout). You can find my argument on that here.

Photo credit: pobre.ch via photopin cc

62 COMMENTS

  1. “THE GREAT RACE” it’s off and running;
    In the end Mr Flawedband will be wedged, if the competitive rollout race starts with the four biggies Telstra, NBN Co, TPG and Optus, it will just be a repeat of the last cable race.
    The really good areas will be cherry picked with the companies spies following each others trucks and then matching the install routes meter by meter, then to gain commercial advantage they will start offering to cable buildings with fibre (4 competitors someone will jump to full fibre).
    In 2 years half a million unit owners will have fibre and a choice of suppliers, the rest of the community especially in regional and rural areas will be up in arms and demanding their fibre too.
    A rollout race will suck the life out of Mr Flawedband’s plans (the technical labour force will all be working for the commercial suppliers in the great race) for his Notional Fraudband Network, he’s not “completing the NBN” that’s a bald faced lie, he’s building something completely different and he don’t know what it is.
    It’s the delivery that will sink him 3 years down the line people will realise they have been screwed when nothing has been delivered and people like me still have the very poor service we have now.
    No chance at all Mr Flawedband will allow a competitive rollout it’s political suicide. By the end of a rollout race the rollout racers will all be out of money since 4 networks have been rolled out in a zero sum game of customers, just like the last rollout race.
    Mr Flawedband is by definition insane doing the same thing again and expecting a different result.
    Mr Flawedband and “I’m no tech (or is it dick) head Kerry” promised 25Mbs FTTN broadband to the bulk of Australians by September 2016 in his election policy speech at Foxtel studios, it’s on the record in a full 40 minute presentation.
    That’s what I expect to be delivered, unfortunately Mr Flawedband’s spiel “that is all planned to the minute details fully costed as cheap as chips and ready to rollout at the speed of light the very second we’re elected” has already proven to false, there will be no delivery of his election promises.
    Mr Flawedband’s new spiel “youknow somthin is appining I dunno what it is youknow, youknow!

    • Sorry, who is Mr Flawedband in this story? Abbott or Turnbull?

      Anyway, this is a serious dent in the viability of the CBN model. It also poses a pretty much terminal threat to the idea of a ubiquitous broadband for everyone (which is an ideal given lip service by the Coalition).

      By having competitors cherry pick the most profitable areas, the CBN will not be able to have a pricing structure where the more profitable areas subsidise the less profitable.

      So, will rural australia have to pay through the nose, or will they just not get it at all?

      • Technically, its not cherry picking. Its extending existing infrastructure. That happened to be originally installed to cherry pick that specific area.

        But as its existing technology, its possible that its no longer THE place to cherry pick. Reality suggests otherwise, and for all intents its cherry picking, but TPG’s rollout of FttB is based on what they’ve already done, not where they would like to go.

        Small point, I know, but thats the key to the whole loophole they are using. Cherry picking is still a no-no.

  2. We can spend $50 for NBN but have no competition.

    Or we could spend $40 billion for CBN but have competition?

    Will the CBN be making better returns to allow the build to be paid off easier, even with a smaller revenue pool?

    • Labor’s NBN would have resulted in healthy competition at the retail level, with almost the entire population guaranteed a certain minimum level of service. Under the CBN we will almost certainly end up with a patchwork of local infrastructure monopolies and duopolies (with varying degrees of quality), just like the US. TPG’s move is concrete proof that Turnbull is losing control of his own portfolio – I expect the media to spin this as a triumph of the private sector.

      • > Labor’s NBN would have resulted in healthy competition at the retail level, with almost the entire population guaranteed a certain minimum level of service.

        Back to the ADSL1 days when Telstra was the sole provider of ADSL services. If you exclude Telstra, there was healthy competition at the retail level. The catch is because Telstra wholesale’s costs formed the largest part of RSP’s costs the plans were very similar. Innovation and divergence only occurred after RSPs started installing their own DSLAMs.

        > Under the CBN we will almost certainly end up with a patchwork of local infrastructure monopolies and duopolies (with varying degrees of quality), just like the US.

        Hopefully not, but you may be correct. Now might be a really good time for local councils to lobby Google fibre.

        > TPG’s move is concrete proof that Turnbull is losing control of his own portfolio – I expect the media to spin this as a triumph of the private sector.

        It depends on if you think that governments should be centrally managing the economy or letting private industry innovate with a minimum of regulation.

        • “If you exclude Telstra, there was healthy competition at the retail level.”

          Do you have any idea how idiotic that statement sounds? That’s like saying “if you ignore that person’s morbid obesity, they’re perfectly healthy.” There can’t be healthy competition if the largest retailer in the sector is also the sole wholesaler to all its competitors.

          “It depends on if you think that governments should be centrally managing the economy or letting private industry innovate with a minimum of regulation.”

          What a pathetic attempt at a false dichotomy – you appear to be implying that there is no middle ground between libertarianism and a socialist-style command economy, both of which are terrible ideas as they are both founded on flawed economic theories that have been debunked.

          “You forgot something, “50% will be on 12Mb””

          Lionel, you know that was just a projection, and a highly conservative one at that. Cut the crap already.

          • > Lionel, you know that was just a projection, and a highly conservative one at that. Cut the crap already.

            WRONG, VERY WRONG! 50% at 12Mbps was a very accurate prediction. The NBNCo Corporate Plan (2013) reported that 47% of connections were 12Mbps.

          • It’s 2014.

            Prior government NBN deployment numbers are now virtually irrelevant with the change in government and policy. Any such numbers now have zero relevance based on the last plan as it’s no longer valid.

            What is valid is the current policy. And the absolute lack of new deployment numbers. Which you have not ever commented on, to the best of my understanding.

            For such tenacious attention to detail, you have all but ignored the policy change and it’s effect on numbers.

            Remarkable.

          • Regardless of whether it’s an accurate or inaccurate prediction, the real truth lies in this:

            FTTH NBN – You get to CHOOSE if you need 12 meg or more

            FTTN NBN – You get what the line can handle.

          • “The NBNCo Corporate Plan (2013) reported that 47% of connections were 12Mbps.”

            Mathew, what did it also report about that figure?
            That it was inflated due to copper being shut of recently and many users shifted to 12Mb by default until that selected what plan to go with.

          • “Lionel, you know that was just a projection, and a highly conservative one at that. Cut the crap already”

            I know. I was pointing just pointing out Mathew forgot to put it in his argument. He has posted that all over the net for 4 years.

        • It also depends on whether you learned from history.

          The UK government for example bought out all the “competing” rail infrastructure after many “competing” companies failed. They then spent much time removing “duplicated” rail lines which is now home to some very interesting scenic walks around the country…

  3. As much as I stopped reading Kevin Cobley’s reply because of copious usage of “Mr Flawedband” distracts his argument, he’s right about “In 2 years half a million unit owners will have fibre and a choice of suppliers, the rest of the community especially in regional and rural areas will be up in arms and demanding their fibre too.”

    Suck it Turnbull.

    Nice to see TPG has balls. Way to go!

  4. Once again the areas that are profitable will be serviced by Private Enterprise and the rest (of us) will be hung out to dry. One of the niceties of the #NBN (original) was equality of service. This meant that no matter where you lived, you would have access to what everybody else had. Made for potential such as decentralisation/distribution of services, work from home, equality of work opportunities, despite geographical location – you know – good nation building things – giving power to individuals – equal opportunity.

    I didn’t mention cross subsidisation, a feature of the original POTS, enabling service to unprofitable area’s. Malcolm and the LNP will give Australia’s nothing but a HUGE $$$$ bill, and a technology deficit which will continue to make this country, an Asian backwater. It is becoming an even bigger #MTM

    This behaviour is a distraction designed to create commercial advantage, at the expense of all Australian’s, under the concept of competitive behaviour. I live in a BIG city. The only Internet choice I have is one provider (if I want reasonably FAST Internet). The rest are just cheaper and slower. (I am of course lucky to actually have choice, poor as it is).

    • > This meant that no matter where you lived, you would have access to what everybody else had.

      Not true. Under Labor’s plan 7% were to be covered by wireless and very few were ever going to receive 1Gbps (less than 5% in 2028) while ~50% were predicted to connect on fibre at 12Mbps. Hardly a great leap forward.

      > I didn’t mention cross subsidisation, a feature of the original POTS, enabling service to unprofitable area’s.

      Cross subsidisation is via the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency (TUSMA). On the TUSMA website appears this sentence: “TUSMA’s residual costs are met through a consolidated industry levy with contributions made by telecommunications carriers based on eligible revenue.”

      • I see even though I have been absent from Delimiter for a while (my doing) the IMO, silly pedantics still continue…

        Ok the overwhelming majority of 93% were to receive the same, cutting edge technology and the other 7%, vast improvement… *sigh*

        As opposed to the disgraceful, hodge podge we will (or most likely won’t even) be receiving under the current plan. An IMO imbecilic, second rate, have/have nots plan. A plan being undermined and looking dodgier (yes, even though we thought that impossible) more and more each day…

        And still harping on about predictions from the previous Corporate Plan (the plan you otherwise basically have criticised constantly otherwise) to try to perpetually validate your proven (by many posters here) flawed argument… serioulsy?

        Old habits eh?

        Amazing…

        • > As opposed to the disgraceful, hodge podge we will (or most likely won’t even) be receiving under the current plan.

          If most people have access to the same or faster speed than they would have selected under Labor’s NBN does the technology really matter?

          > An IMO imbecilic, second rate, have/have nots plan. A plan being undermined and looking dodgier (yes, even though we thought that impossible) more and more each day…

          Labor’s plan was clearly creating have / have nots through speed tiers denying many access to the benefits but expecting everyone to pay for it.

          As for the coalition plan as long as fibre on demand remains I’ll be content.

          > And still harping on about predictions from the previous Corporate Plan (the plan you otherwise basically have criticised constantly otherwise) to try to perpetually validate your proven (by many posters here) flawed argument… serioulsy?

          I’ve mostly pointed out the parts like speed tiers and rising ARPU that take the gloss off Labor’s 1Gbps spin and laughed when people called the plan conservative in it’s predictions.

          As for the flawed argument … the reality is 47% are connected at 12Mbps on fibre.

          • Clearly and pathetically IMO Mathew, your politics will never allow you to even see reality, let alone accept it…

          • I’m pretty sure Mat isn’t politically motivated in this, he just wants 25Mbps, not 12Mbps as the base speed. He doesn’t really seem to care that much about anything else…he’s very “tunnel vision” when it comes to the whole 12/25 thing…

      • “Not true. Under Labor’s plan 7% were to be covered by wireless and very few were ever going to receive 1Gbps (less than 5% in 2028) while ~50% were predicted to connect on fibre at 12Mbps. Hardly a great leap forward.”

        Certainly, the 7% weren’t going to get fibre, but for someone who is apparently so concerned with cost, you should understand why. For the rest though, you are wrong. Under Labors NBN they would have the opportunity to connect to the same service as anyone else. They would only be limited by how much they want to spend, not the technology available to them, which is where your misrepresentation falls down. Takes up rates were exceeding NBN Co’s expectations, and were well above take up on new FTTP rollouts elsewhere in the world.

        Its time to stop trying to re-write history, and look forward at what is actually happening now. You know the Libs are in power right? Time to start asking questions about the massive flaws in their CBN “plan” because that’s what we are going to get now unfortunately.

        • > They would only be limited by how much they want to spend, not the technology available to them

          The one word I would disagree with in this statement is want. If I offer you a choice of a Chery, Toyota or Rolls Royce, which one do you want? Now which one can you afford? Why should people restricted to a 12Mbps connection by price be expected to pay for your shiny fibre if they never get to experience the benefits?

          The only information I’ve seen about what speeds are required appeared in the 2010 Corporate Plan and indicated that 100Mbps was barely adequate.

          • “The one word I would disagree with in this statement is want. If I offer you a choice of a Chery, Toyota or Rolls Royce, which one do you want?”
            Completely irrelevant analogy. You cant easily upgrade from a Chery to a Roller as you can a service on the NBN.

            “Why should people restricted to a 12Mbps connection by price be expected to pay for your shiny fibre if they never get to experience the benefits?”
            Who is restricting them? “Shiny fibre” does the opposite of restricting people. It provides an easy path to upgrade their service when they need it. What happens when they max out their copper connection? Who pays to upgrade that to “shiny fibre” and how long will that take? Hardly a cheap or simple alternative. The taxpayer will end up paying multiple times.

            As for never getting to experience the benefits of fibre – you happily ignore history and fact yet again. Historically internet usage, and bandwidth usage has been increasing at an exponential rate. The forecast is for this to continue (to the point where bandwidth requirements will outstrip the ability of copper in a few short years). NBN Co clearly projected prices to fall further as usage increased, and hence its more than obvious, everyone on fibre will experience the benefit of its higher speeds in years to come.
            You also happily ignore the vast difference in reliability of “shiny fibre” over copper. Many people will be glad to have a connection that isn’t adversely affected by rain for example, or not affected by the amount of people online at any given time (HFC).
            This is without a doubt the main reason that Turnbull has backflipped on his promise of a minimum speed of 25mbps to all. He cant simply cant provide that due to the poor state of the copper. You seem to have no problem with the shortcomings of the Libs plan though. Why is that?

          • Prob has something to do with the eventual demise of the copper network, and it’s required replacement.

            So you have to make the decision; Do you replace copper with copper in the 21st Century when the vast bulk of countries are replacing theirs with fibre, or do you replace copper with Fibre?

            I wouldn’t have thought the answer isn’t rocket surgery.

  5. From the perspective of the MDU residents, I see this as a short term gain for long term pain. In the short term, they will get a VDSL2 connection running over their old building copper wires. Its a magnificent upgrade especially for older highrises built in the 70s / 80s. TPG is delivering this NOW, not in 2-4-6 years time when the CBN finally gets around to it.

    But in the long run, these buildings will stay on the VDSL2 technology, with a provider thats sure to sweat the asset as much as possible. Additionally, there are exclusivity clauses in play here, as there are technical issues involved in sharing the “loop” in a building, as in the vectoring must be controlled by a single “master” unit, the benefits drop off sharply if you have more than one vectoring unit on the same bundle. So the market will be fragmented/shared between up to 5 network owners (TPG, Telstra, iiNET, Optus, NBN), with no guarantee of open access for retail providers on four of these.

    When the ‘burbs finally gets their inevitable FTTP upgrade in 15 years time, these MDU’s will be stuck in VDSL2 hell. Yes, the technology offers nice speeds compared to current alternatives, but in 15 years, these will be massively inferior to demand, if the last 15 years have taught us anything.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. And only possible because MT couldn’t get his act together and carry out his policies DECISIVELY and with CERTAINTY. I am not blaming the private sector, they should fall over themselves to attack the smorgasbord of opportunity presented to them. But we had a chance to create something fantastic, and its just slipping through our fingers like the wasted opportunity it is.

    *sigh*

  6. I wish TPG would rollout FTT-CMUX. Telstra ADSL1 shared between 96 neighbours is just ‘frustrating’.

  7. TPG (and Teoh) are calling Turnbull’s bluff. They’ll exploit the loophole; which is their want to do.

    ACCC will almost certainly not intervene as their stated preference in such matters is infrastructure competition. Telstra will quite plausibly be next; Optus and anyone else with stuff in the ground will pile on.

    Even if the above do not leverage clauses but simply directly compete to gain access to buildings, ACCC still won’t police the legislation.

    Turnbull has to face up to the consequences of his policies inaction. It’s on like donkey-kong. Fracturing and cherry-picking has begun.

    Stupidly, even though this is cherry picking and will potentially cause NBNco to become on-budget debt; it’ll happen much faster than Turnbull could ever manage.

      • +1. Except I can’t help but think that TPG doing this wasn’t part of the overall plan. T$ on the other hand…

      • I don’t think he’s quite that smart. There’s a certain degree of flippant disregard for reality.

        Things happen when you are asleep at the wheel. The industry is simply manoeuvring around an obstruction.

  8. Will claim it as a victory for his policy, blame labor for holding up the private sector, poo poo any suggestion that it means the taxpayer will now have to foot the bill for the reginal not suitable for cherry picking regions.

  9. Why would I wanna subsidise regional Australia’s internet? As far I’m concerned you live in rural Australia for the fresh air and the peace and quiet, not for the fast internet. I personally want great internet and I’m willing to put up with the noisy, smelly city life in order to have it.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too regional Australians! In case you haven’t realised yet, do some research. Socialism doesn’t work.

    Good on ya TPG, death to CBN.

    • Jordan, I wish you good luck in your city.

      Regional australia will now disband from your city, and take all the food you so desperately need, and keep it for ourselves.

      We don’t wish to subsidise Australian cities food supply!

      You want food, move to the country!

      :)

    • Is that you Malcolm?

      Why would you live anywhere where there is bad internet ring a bell?

      Its a ridiculous argument. The NBN should be about providing ubiquitous access to as many Australians as possible.

      Its great that TPG is taking it up to Turnbull. I could easily argue though, that as a TPG customer in a regional areas, I don’t want the money I pay them going to provide better services to the city than I get – especially when they are already over-serviced.

    • “You can’t have your cake and eat it too regional Australians! In case you haven’t realised yet, do some research”

      You are a silly person…

      10 years ago I lived in inner west Newtown, 100 metres from a Telstra exchange and got excellent ADSL 1 and 2 to my unit (situated above an Irish pub…yea!)…

      I retired to a townhouse half a km from the Gosford City exchange, and get better ADSL 2 response than in Newtown (but no Irish pub…boo!)

      I also now have an NBN box sitting above my garage door ready for connection, according to todays news probably now by TPG…

      If I was in Newtown, as much chance as a Turnbull truthful statement of getting the NBN…

      Regional Australia here says boo sux to you , Jordy… and no Irish pub neither…

      :)

  10. If you don’t realise this is already happening and has been for a while now then you are not doing your research very well.

    TPG are simply pushing forward with it and advertising the fact they are doing it, and taunting the government at the same time, it has nothing to do with NBN, delays, who is in government or anything, TPG would have been doing it anyway, just as other people are already doing it as well.

    You will be hard pressed to see Telstra doing this though, they have signed massive anti-competitive agreements with NBN to ensure that they can’t do this to residential subscribers and even their resellers are not allowed to provide distribution networks in residential areas or they are in breach of their contracts, business premises are a different story though and this is where most people are rolling to.

  11. This is private enterprise telling the Gov to “piss or get off the pot” That I like. What I dont like is that it will just emulate what happened with cable. The same companies busily connecting up the low hanging fruit while the rest of us just have to get along on a promise that one day we will have connections which might be on a par with those available in Bolivia (or insert 3rd world country of choice).
    So far as I can tell, after all this time, we are stilled mired in reviews and have no CBN rollout plan to speak of.

  12. Ah… so it would be a crime for Telstra to activate the fibre-optic already deployed across the country, in favor of very poor Wireless Towers instead.

    In some universe that would make sense…

  13. Actually don’t forget the other providers such as M.T’s close friends at Opticomm who also do Business/Industrial parks and Shopping Centres and some business premises. Obviously they will have Fibre serving them which can be extended, and they are not the only ones.

    The Land Rush of the old Wild west is on.

    However I and I hope everyone else stands up and refuses to permit taxpayer subsidies of any form to support the unprofitable and rural areas.
    THE LNP will have to come up with some solution that does not involve fleecing the taxpayer for eternity

    • What outcome does that leave anyone outside a major city, or those stuck in the cities in unprofitable areas?

      If there is a big free for all for all existing network operators to expand within their limited ranges, the NBN will die a death of a 1000 cuts. It will not exist in even a shadow of its former self. We are essentially spending 50 Billion to eliminate any possibility of open and ubiquitous broadband at any stage in the future.

    • The problem is Abel that anybody who is, for example, using Telstra fibre products or some other major telco’s fibre product is that they can ONLY deliver to business and commercial premises or they are breaching their contract, delivering and distributing to residential people in NBN rollout areas is not possible unless they are happy to take the risk of contract cancellations with their fibre provider.

      If however they invested in their own fibre or wireless backhaul and distribution network then they are free to compete head to head with NBN and I personally think they should.

      There are plenty of providers out there, mostly fixed wireless companies who have brilliant networks that can deliver a better product which is far more polished than the rubbish that NBN is delivering, it’s not all about speed speed speed, and that has been Mr Conjob and NBN’s push from day 1.
      Backhaul contention and congestion is already happening, anybody who thinks it isn’t is kidding themselves, especially on their poorly designed fixed wireless network, so I hate to think what it is going to be like in 2 or 3 years time.

      They are even forcing the ISP’s to throttle connections and manage bursting because they can’t manage it themselves, this is in itself causing huge TCP window problems and congestion, not to mention very poor speeds.

      We see far too many people complaining because they can’t get their full 100M from their connections when on 100/40 fibre services, considering that all NBN speeds are layer 2 only the chance of the provider being able to deliver the NBN service at that speed is all but nonexistent, but try telling that to a user who has had NBN pushing their amazing high speed fibre service speed down their throats for the past couple of years.

      • “anybody who is, for example, using Telstra fibre products or some other major telco’s fibre product is that they can ONLY deliver to business and commercial premises or they are breaching their contract”

        And just how many fibre providers are there ?

        • At a very rough count there are about 10 who have varying coverage but have the ability to increase that if the opportunity is right.
          Short list would be Telstra, Optus, PIPE, Vocus, Nextgen, AAPT, Railcorp, TransACT

  14. If infrastructure competition is such a good idea, why is it that HFC internet rates prices where there is infrastructure competition so much higher than ADSL rates where there is no such competition?

    • The main problem is the cost of backhauling the data is expensive, the ratio of people to towers in Australia is low compared to other major countries, which means that backhaul costs are higher, and as voice is the priority on those networks then the data cost is naturally high.

      Data costs have come down considerably in the past few years though which is promising, but I don’t think we are going to see the sort of rates that other major countries see for some time if at all.

      • In the context of 30% of the CBN using HFC, any value in the choice will be lost in the massive over-subscription of the service.

        That will make any potential NBN backhaul growth pains look like a mild case of heartburn.

        Also as I understand it existing deployments can be extended to some degree. If Telstra and others can do so within the existing legislation as TPG are – then there’s nothing to stop that, no?

        Telstra have already stated they are intending to compete with NBN.

        Low-hanging fruit will see a rush, everyone else is screwed. Welcome to NBN 2.0.

  15. Exactly as Malcolm planned. He will use this as an excuse to cancel the CBN. Privatization is their priority. Profit always comes before the good of the people and Australia with this mob.

  16. Malcolm’s got him self in a right pickle, hasn’t he.

    I wonder what will win out, the LNP “free market” ideology, or the economics of getting an actual return on their (our!) investment. It’ll be interesting to watch (and hear) their reasoning either way!

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