NBN policy should integrate FTTN, HFC: Budde

news Maverick telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has published a blog entry arguing that realising the vision of the National Broadband Network (NBN) initiative will require not just building new FTTH (Fibre to the Home) networks, but also retaining the current HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial) and FTTN (Fibre to the Node) networks currently being used in Australia.

Currently the Labor Federal Government’s NBN policy is broadly focused on creating FTTH infrastructure, although it also uses wireless and satellite networks in rural and regional areas.

In October this year, the Coalition had announced that its NBN policy would focus on FTTN networks instead of the more costly FTTH network. Shadow Communications Minister Turnbull on returning from Korea where he had surveyed HFC networks operating along with fibre networks said, “The way you get an affordable price is through competition so why seek to stamp out the competition from the HFC cable?” The Coalition had said that they would use Telstra’s copper phone lines to establish a FTTN network rather than Labor’s more expensive FTTH.

While FTTH is the latest in technology since fibre networks are the fastest, it makes economic sense to retain the existing networks of FTTN and HFC cable as long as they can be upgraded to improve efficiency, Budde said in his post.

“For at least the next five years most of what we want to achieve within the context of the digital economy and the trans-sector concept can be accomplished through these technologies– as indicated by the Opposition,” Budde wrote.

“This does need to be placed in the overall context that eventually these technologies will need to be upgraded to FttH, but there is certainly no rush to do so any time soon. Where there is no HFC and no FttN?? (in an estimated 70% of the country) it does not make sense to first upgrade to FttN and to return later and upgrade to FttH. If there had been some communication between the opposition and the industry we believe that such a recognition might have become part of the original NBN plan.”

Even at this stage, the analyst wrote, “it would not be too late for the government to acknowledge this”. “We would not even be surprised if NBN Co bases its rollout on such a plan,” he added. “ie, no rush in areas where HFC and FttN is in place. The fact that Telstra is investing heavily is a clear indication that this company is under the same impression. Perhaps by making this clear we can rid ourselves of some of the political clamour.”

Budde says that the coalition has to accept the fact that FTTH is the best in technology today and offers the best in performance. He said that the future of Australia is fibre. However, the Labor government should also accept that in many areas, current infrastructure is good enough for the immediate future and need not be ‘fibred-up’ overnight. Budde said that there needs to be cooperation and communication in Australian politics to ensure that a National Broadband plan is drafted and implemented instead of either party establishing different agendas of priority.

The news comes as Earlier this month, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy attacked Turnbull’s NBN policy on multiple counts, such as the fact that the speeds delivered on an FTTN network would depend on the diameter of the copper wire and that “We simply do not have the copper available for speed or performance of what Turnbull is claiming.” He also said that ultimately copper based networks would become obsolete as bandwidth requirements increase. Conroy concluded that the Coalition is offering three technologies—FTTN, HFC and mobile wireless, all of which are severely limited in efficiency.

However, British telecommunications expert Robert Kenny subsequently issued a detailed statement criticising Conroy’s claims — pointing out trials by international networking companies such as Alcatel-Lucent which supported the idea that FTTN networks could be effective in Australia.

Image credit: BuddeComm


  1. HFC is not competitive

    Optus HFC 120GB Naked 50GB/70GB $59.99
    Optus NBN 120GB Naked 50GB/70GB $59.99

    The price is exactly the same

    • problem is HCF is proven to be profitable at that price. as for the NBN the profitable model is top secret and unproven. if u rent out limousines the same price as a sedan someone is gonna loose out in the long run.

    • HFC wont be competitive if it has to compete with DSL. You could argue that it was a strategy to usurp the POTS market and get a headstart into the broadband market circa 2000. It was also the primary medium for cable TV.

      But like all things reality plays out in ways that the guy in the street cannot comprehend. The reason why HFC failed was not because Telstra ran able side by side with the Optus/Cable & Wireless network. It failed mainly because ADSL became the primary choice for broadband delivery. Technology wise it was the obvious choice mainly because at the time HFC could not deliver the capacity required for a mass deployment oof broadband, reliying too many subscribers to be packed into its fibre optic overhead cable.

      Using the copper network and a point-to-point solution in addition to DSLAMS located at the thousands of Telstra exchanges made delivery possible to the masses. If you’re an engineer you will see that this is plainly obvious that HFC as it was deployed would not have been able to service the millions of subscribers, and a network with much greater capacity ie. Telstra’s copper network would be required. Hence also that nearly all telcos deploy ADSL of some kind as the major deployment method throughout the 00’s

  2. Just goes to show how much notice Buddle takes of the information supplied by NBN Co when he keeps going on about FTTH, when in fact NBN Co is building a FTTP solution. He he can’t get this correct, I doubt he can take in the rest of what they are going to do.

    • sound like semantics to me.


      “FTTH – Fiber-to-the-home – fiber reaches the boundary of the living space, such as a box on the outside wall of a home.
      FTTP – Fiber-to-the premises – this term is used in several contexts: as a blanket term for both FTTH and FTTB, or where the fiber network includes both homes and small businesses.”

  3. “For the next 5 Years”

    What about after that?

    Sooooo Basically for the next 5ish years we wont need it but then we probably will after that which means that the NBN which is taking 10 years to roll out is pretty much perfect in its timing?

    You dont start building an olympic stadium the week after it is needed so why should we not start building the NBN now so it is ready when it is needed??

  4. I think from the point of prioritizing areas that have limited or no ADSL options Paul is right. It’s hard to tell but I also do not think he was advocating the extension of HFC or FTTN networks but merely focusing one upgrading the areas that will get the most benefit first.

    I love the NBN idea but this does make sense, unless their are alternate limitations that stop this happening such and geographical and technical limitations I see no reason not to.

    • Exactly. All Paul Budde is doing is advocating the prioritization of the roll out of the NBN according to those areas that are currently best served/have access to existing upgradable infrastructure. And it makes sense. Why spend early $$ on areas that can be served during the next “5 years” (an important qualification) at the expense of areas that really need it. Budde is simply arguing for is rationalization of roll priorities.
      However this should also be measured against the requirements and expectations of the business model. Anyone who jumps to conclusions and claims justification for a pov without considering these factors is simply on a hobby horse.

    • Perhaps Paul realises that there is a great folly in providing fibre networks to people that traditional business models and should I say ‘sense’ would forbid. Maybe this is a way for him to weasle out of it.

      When the numbers dont add it, it is easy to then change mix and so long as no one is carefully scrutinizing it, you can slowly turn Labors FTTH solution into a quasi Liberal FTTN / Wireless / HFC solution, while all the time claiming that it is FTTH when that part of the pie chart gets smaller and smaller and the cost to build gets larger and larger.

      Just wondering, why would you need FTTN when you are going for FTTP? How would you justify it? Would it not be easier to just run with one single technology?

  5. w.t.f is the point of the article and again why is it pointing out the coalition 20th plan ?

  6. Surely this a prioritisation issue for NBNCo, along the lines of, everywhere that has HFC or FTTN get the NBN last.


  7. If only Howard had let Sol roll-out the FTTN as an interim to get everybody a decent speed before the gigantic task of FTTH was attempted as finances became available.

    All agree that FTTH is the best system but is it affordable and possible before the next election. Senator Conroy holds the answer to have the Labor Government returned next election.

    If he falters and fails to have bulk NBN customers before the election all hell will break loose the Government will be cast from Office and Telstra and Turnbull will have to pick up the pieces.

    • Sorry but FTTN is not magically upgradable to FTTH, just because its got a magic F for Fibre in the name, there are distinct incompatibilities in the equipment and deployment methods used. You essentially will end up overbuilding the entire FTTN which ends up wasting the majority of CAPEX you spent in the first place.

    • While I do not like the current oppositions no, no, no attitude (even highlighted on 7pm Project where Hughesy asked Tony Abbott if he only ever says no) that’s no reason to blame John Howard for something that wasn’t his fault.

      It was an impasse between Telstra and the ACCC and Telstra walked away. Nothing to do with JWH.

    • I cant entirely agree with you here because where I work, we install fibre with an expected life of about 30yrs. Now, to me that means if we get more than 5% of the fibre faulty or likely to fail, the fibre cable is no longer of much use. The reasoning behind this is that for a quality network for both households and business you need pretty good reliability, say 99.9% or better.

      In real world secarios fibre in the ground may only have a life of 30yrs, we have literally no fibre laid in the 80s still in operation today. The truth of the matter a lot of the stuff put in in the 90s, we are looking to replace just because there are greater cores out there and things have moved on.

      • Reading your post it seems to me that you are saying that the cable has been replaced because it no longer suits requirements, not because it is physically incapable of handling a signal any-more. Is that correct?

  8. I mostly agree with this, HFC (namely DOCSIS 3) can deliver a good 100mbit to people that are in some areas and it does seem sufficient for the near future. The capacity of the cable is significantly higher so the shared argument isn’t very valid unless everyone is maxing their lines.

    The only downside is that these services are only offered through Telstra and Optus right now; if they were resold through NBN Co they would be much more usable.
    I say allow wholesale of these services through NBN Co and deprioritise them for the deployment of FTTH.

    • @Charith “HFC (namely DOCSIS 3) can deliver a good 100mbit to people that are in some areas and it does seem sufficient for the near future”

      I disagree…it could be 10Gb download, but without at least a 10 Mbit upload, it is just too limiting. Also, keep in mind that HFC is a shared medium, and congestion in many area and times of day is already horrific and getting worse.

      • Most users have bursty bandwidth usage and rarely are there enough users saturating an HFC line, most congestion is on international links.
        True, HFC is shared but statistically when you ask for something, there will be enough free bandwidth in the line to do as you wish. It is significantly better than anything cellular.
        Also, I stand corrected about wholesale on the HFC networks – http://whrl.pl/Rc032C

        • Thats thinking int he old model, If you look at what Budde keepings going on about, he reckons that with these trans-sector virtualisation that the NBN will provide everyone will be doing things like remote working, as such we will all require ‘business grade’ telecoms connections. This means that the bandwidth must have a higher guarantee level as it is expected that we will be using the NBN in a bigger part of our lives and work.

          Today, the HFC and ADSL network is not designed for this, it is essentially a ‘internet’ network, ie. mainly for surfing the net. Bringing the HFC into this is just PR maneuvering because both political parties claim that it can do that magic 100mpbs number, when in reality it will fall over when you want to use it for ‘serious’ stuff, so its convenient to use that card when the costs begin to blow out, throw in the HFC (its already there, it can do 100mbps) and crisis is averted.

  9. Stating the obvious much?

    The rollout for NBN should be in this order:

    a) Areas which currently have no access to fixed line broadband (this includes making the satellite and fixed-wireless rollout a priority, where feasible);
    b) Areas which have access to technology such as ADSL, but are already starting to look decidedly average in what’s offered – e.g. ADSL1 only exchanges/subexchanges; and finally
    c) Areas which already have high speed broadband, such as HFC in particular which should be ripped up dead last.

    I say this as someone who has HFC coverage, by the way. But it’s just common sense as to what’s most fair. Everyone including NBNCo would know this, and it is really a simple operational matter for NBNCo. Unfortunately it’s looking less and less like they will do it this way, too concerned with taking the high revenue areas first. Making money quick is NOT your mandate, NBNCo, otherwise we would’ve gotten Telstra to do it. Go and actually fix broadband like you’re supposed to.

    • Indeed Mike, unfortunately with the opposition mounting such a non stop, negative, cost vs ROI, white elephant campaign, NBNCo are being forced somewhat into economics, to prove it viable and not a white elephant. Rather then being left to do ascertain what is best for the poor battling Aussie.

    • Okay so how is the NBN going to achieve its 7% return which it says is at the gov. bond rate given that you propose areas that will not even return a profit?

      These areas that don’t have ADSL coverage are traditionally subsidised, providing them with a fibre network is business suicide. Wireless might be the option but you will encounter reliability problems. In the past before ADSL broadband, ISDN was the option deployed.

      IMO a better solution would be utilise the copper network and the ability of copper to carry electrical power. A regenerator device could be placed in pits and extend the capability of DSL over its 5Km threshold, and it could be done very cheaply and installed in pits to boost DSL signals of say 50-100 copper pairs at a time. A single device which could be powered by a copper bearer pair could act as a booster and remove the problem of transmission loss altogether.

      This technology has been used in the past in small pair gains to extend ISDN lines, or there is also the option to run mutlipe DSL lines over a single copper bearer. Again, all been done before, nothing new here. The solution is so easy for the bush, but politicans want to waste billions on building fibre to remote areas, its just plain wrong.

  10. Is this the same EXPERT who predicted a couple of years ago that we could and should run 100Mb speeds over the existing powerlines and in the process wipe out large parts of the radio broadcast spectrum?

  11. Protip: If you want to actually present as a competent tech journalist, it might help if you spell the technology (fibre) correctly.

  12. Budde seems to be firmly entrenched in the 1990’s.

    HFC isn’t viable whilst it is exempt from wholesale access (be that Telstra or Optus). The remaining technologies are seeing strong degrees of saturation and a distinct lack of moderate regulation.

    The ACCC are having to revist Telstra ADSL service pricing given what has proven to be a less than surprising lack of reasonable competition; in that environment you have to ask, what is Budde smoking?

    I don’t really get how the various concepts he’s suggesting all bolt together as a seamless service, either. It offers very little apart from the status quo; a far cry from the NBN offering.

  13. Budde is being unrealistic – NBN Co. is charged with the responsibility of building a new wholesale network, and in the process decomissioning existing infrastructure. It isn’t in their interests or ours to maintain what amounts to a geographically limited deployment which currently offers no wholesale access. I suspect that to even allow the NBN Co. to acquire and redeploy HFC assets for wholesale access would require yet more parliamentary bunfights that would further delay and add cost to the whole process., with little to no benefit to the end consumer.

    Given that signing on to HFC was always optional, and that PSTN copper exists wherever HFC does and that there is already processes in place to replace the existing with fibre, I cannot see any benefits in his proposal other than accelerating access to those who are already well off.

    • Unfortunately politicans have siezed in their collective ignorance in engineering that speed is the only factor that determines whether a network solution will be viable.

      The solution proposed by Malcolm Turnbull is quite sound although he doesnt really deserve credit for it as this is something that is common sense to engineers in the telecoms world all over.

      The FTTN solution is viable for a lot of what Budde proposes in the trans-sector benefits of revolutionising the way we work via information technology. However, the business case for a FTTH network to meet this demand does not compute, and he knows this, but he is willing to push for it anyway.

      The problem we have is a matter of the quality of the data connection that will make trans-sector gains possible. They will need to be of business grade. The immediate problem that arises when you propose to give everyone 100mbits is that it will congest the network. So what you need to do is to be able to guarantee data rates even in peak times. At current and medium term projections for technology we have and the cost of such technology it would seem that the best approach is a FTTN solution with a high capacity core/backhaul network, where the guaranteed speed is lower but more consistent in performance.

      At current levels FTTN is the only solution that can do this. To provide 100mbps to everybody would mean that the cost of building a core to actually achieve the same service levels would be impossible and costly, and unrealistic. FTTH would be fine if it were to be used for things such as internet and video services, but it would not work very well in the medium term for trans sector purposes for the reasons Ive stated above.

      • One of the problems with the FTTN solution is that it is more likely to deliver speeds of around 20-30Mbps rather than 100.


        New Zealand’s FTTN deployment puts typical speeds of VDSL at around 20Mbps.

        In order to deliver more than that, you need to put a node closer than ~300m to every single home (or most of them, meaning some people get left out). Turnbull has not specified a proposed maximum line length (or even a third quartile), but the implication is that he wants to build a “cheap” network like the NZ network (500-1000m average line length). He also hasn’t specified if it will be open-access or not.

        The fast FTTN speeds we see overseas (50-60mbps) are achieved by installing a node in front of an apartment block. Most Australians do not live in that type of housing.

        • The obession with 100Mbps and fibre is primarily a PR one. Just focusing on SPEED is not the best result and from a business and engineer point of view, I think it will fail in delivering a NBN for Australia. If you look at it from a holistic and practical point of view.

          For what the techonology is capable of in the medium term and the cost benefit associated with it, I would prefer FTTN over FTTH. The only strong argument for FTTH is that it supposedly has a longer term view but the flaw in this thinking is that the fibre when deployed in the ground in real world scenarios will be unlikely to have a operational life of more than the standard 30yrs after which the fibre degrades and becomes unreliable, and maintenance cost begin to rise. In addition the unpredictability of trans-sector advances that would require such bandwidth it could take another 20yrs before this technology matures. So we are building a very expensive network with a limited lifespan well in advance of the applications that are supposed to run off it.

          • If the speed is not significantly improved then there is little point in building a new network. Also, the concept of “guaranteed speed” with FTTN is laughable.

            Your core network concerns are invalid. Upgrading the core network requires just a fraction of the civil works involved in rolling out a new last mile network.

            If the current networks deliver (on average – no minimum) 8-10Mbps, and FTTN will deliver (on average – no minimum, using the NZ figures) 20Mbps, then why bother spending billions of dollars on this?

            You claim fibre has a operational life of only 30 years, yet modern fibre can last much longer than typical old copper, something which you seem to be ignoring.

            In other words, you claim FTTH is unnecessary and won’t last forever, while failing to justify how FTTN’s speed (and yes, it is important – if you don’t improve speed then what is the point?) is worth the money and blatantly ignoring the even shorter lifetime of FTTN.

  14. ““For at least the next five years most of what we want to achieve within the context of the digital economy and the trans-sector concept can be accomplished through these technologies– as indicated by the Opposition,” Budde wrote.”

    What about after those five years?

  15. I love how the NBN proponents were kissing Budde’s behind when he was heavily promoting the NBN. and now he is seen as “unrealistic” when he provides some criticism off the NBN

    Talk about double standards…..

        • Yes but then you have a history of saying something then saying nah, I didn’t say that…

          Please stop lying, stop being ignorant and stupid and stop pulling comments from your arse.

          Sound familiar, they ought to, they are “your” standard comebacks?

          • I read Deetego’s post as well he didn’t use the word ‘Messiah’ at all.

            Making it up as you go as usual eh RS?

          • Once again shall I call you deteego , alain, since silly name games seem to be a turn on for you? Remember the boy who cried wolf.

            You may note that deteego’s comment was aimed at NBN supporters generally, not at one person. As too was mine in reply. Is that really that difficult to understand?

            Stop adding immaturity and dumbing down these correspondences to your level. Which leads me to refer you to another modern phrase.

            “I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid”.

          • Once again the back pedal is used profusely, state where ‘messiah’ or ‘NBN stooge’ was used to describe Budde as you assert?

          • *Sigh* 2 can play your silly games.

            Once again the back pedal is used profusely, state where “kissing Buddes behind’ was used to describe Budde as you and deteego assert?

    • @deteego – “I love how the NBN proponents were kissing Budde’s behind when he was heavily promoting the NBN. and now he is seen as “unrealistic” when he provides some criticism off the NBN”

      That’s because the NBN proponents actually judge the facts and not who wants what policy. Those same proponents were slamming Conroy as well when he talked about the filter…

  16. Anyone done any correlation whether the next phase of the NBN roll out areas are also covered by either Optus or Telstra HFC?

    • Brunswick is a suburb with one of the highest penetration of cable services, yet NBN did a rollout there


      • well to be fair they do have to figure out how best to roll out fibre in an hfc location sooner or later.

        it is a bit surprising that they would do it as one of the first sites though.

      • What Brunswick shows is that if you have viable high speed BB alternatives NBN uptake is poor.

        Brunswick no doubt will have better uptake figures when the choices are shut down.

        • Like when people were ‘forced’ from 1G analogue onto 2G digital or ‘forced’ from CDMA to 3G?

          Fancy us being ‘forced’ by governments or business to progress to superior technologies, bastards.

          • Last I heard the wireless networks were privately owned in the hands of three main suppliers where you can choose which supplier and which mobile/data plan to buy.

            The NBN rollout will have no such choice, never mind RS it was a good try but no goal (as usual).

          • Once again the back pedal is used profusely, state where “consumers were not forced’ onto these new technologies, as you assert?

          • You are digging that hole you are in deeper and deeper, the taxpayer did not pay competing wireless competitors to shut down their networks so the ‘taxpayers’ network had all the customers so that it looks successful.

          • You can’t get out of it that easy. You keep saying consumers are forced onto the NBN. So it’s about being ‘forced’, your words, from one to another.

            State where “consumers were not forced’ onto these other new technologies, as you assert?

            This time without all the fluff.

          • I repeat wireless infrastucture upgrades were not paid for by the taxpayer, you ignore that, there is a choice of wireless suppliers, you ignored that.

            The choice of wireless technology is your choice you don’t have to take 3G data options you can just use it for voice calls or not at all, your increasingly desperate attempts to equate ‘forced’ onto the NBN with being ‘forced’ onto wireless is laughable.

            The comparison is also flawed because totally adequate BB infrastructure like ADSL2+, Naked DSL and HFC is being shut down so the NBN can justify itself.

          • Alain,

            Analogue TV is totally adequate as well yet we are being moved to Digital. Try again. Its called a technology upgrade. The bottom line is all these networks were overbuilt and duplicated and look where it got us today? Patchy high speed services in metro only areas. That was a huge success wasn’t it? Its no surprise to me they are decommissioning these networks. They were a mess to start with.


          • I like the glib feel good way you explain away the ‘decommissioning of the existing networks’ as if it is some sort of natural order of things.

            The networks are being shut down down because the respective owners are being gifted taxpayer billions to do so, if the ADSL/2+ and HFC networks were left to ‘compete’ the risk is too high that the majority of punters will put the NBN FTTH on residence by-pass.

            The NBN FTTH will only have a remote chance of justifying its existence if you remove that choice, so if you want a fixed line service the NBN Co is the sole supplier.

            Stating the FTTH will survive on its technical merits is compete BS, it survives on its politically backed merits.

          • No alain,

            That is just your view of the world.

            Many networks, owned by many different operators, would take a tremendous amount of effort and contract negotiation to become an integrated wholesale backbone. It is far simpler to build it right the first time. Then you can have consistency across the system. You as an engineer know this already. Yes it might seem expensive but when you weight up the costs of doing it the way you suggest; end of life management across multiple infrastructure platforms, the costs of planning and deploying new systems to cope with increasing capacity, remember this is a long term plan, would be added to the final cost. You have to ask yourself, what would be more effective.

            As for the telephone, the NBN will provide the underlying infrastructure but the Telco’s will be handling your calls. That is why some international carriers have arrived on Australia’s doorstep, to begin offering telephony services over the NBN. Prior to this the market was too closed. More competition for us all.


          • @Kevin Davies

            ‘That is just your view of the world.’

            Not that is what is actually happening, it’s not a ‘view of the world’ it is how the NBN will get customers, by shutting down the choices with massive payments to the alternative infrastructure owners, Telstra gets a disconnection payment for every residence that disconnects from the PSTN or HFC BB and connects to the NBN.

            ‘Many networks, owned by many different operators, would take a tremendous amount of effort and contract negotiation to become an integrated wholesale backbone.’

            So what are we using today and for at least until 2022 , a piece of string?

            ‘ It is far simpler to build it right the first time.’

            Oh it’s cliche time straight from the Labor political BS spin machine, at least you didn’t use the well used term when you you don’t have any real specifics on benefits (cue Australian Flag waving in the breeze) – ‘Nation Building’.

            ‘Yes it might seem expensive’

            wow Kevin that would have to be the understatement of the year, for many residences the $43 billion NBN will be the most expensive PSTN emulator and email retriever and browser system in history.

            ‘That is why some international carriers have arrived on Australia’s doorstep, to begin offering telephony services over the NBN. Prior to this the market was too closed.’

            What international carriers have arrived here that were not here before the NBN?

            ‘ More competition for us all.’

            Does that include all the ISP’s bought out by iiNet?

          • my point is that uptake of the NBN in brunswick could be low regardless of the presence of the HFC network.

            if there is a low number of active HFC connections in that area, then it stands to reason that internet access is not a highly considered requirement in that area.

      • The Entire Universe is populated by IDIOTS with an opinion.

        The NBN did a *TRIAL* in Brunswick, trialing HOW TO DEPLOY their network in a population and existing underground technology intense area. Discovering what works in the real world not just in theory written on a piece of paper. This was NOT “a rollout” in the sense of “we’re deploying here because we think this is the best place to start”.

        Would you perhaps prefer they just went ahead and embarked on full scale rollout with ZERO actual exposure and experience in the real world conditions here in our beloved country?

        • Yeah they did it blind folded with one arm tied behind their backs. This is because in their arrogance they ignored the fact that Telstra have extensive knowledge and data of the entire telecoms infrastructure in the country. All NBNCo did was discover in patches what Telstra already knows and ahve known for a very long time.

          But they will persevere, but the money will run out. The only thing they will discover is how difficult it is to do what they are doing and how the political will behind it have been driving people in the know to agree with stuff they know is wrong.

          • Just like Telstra, in their arrogance, would refuse to part with a dime of that knowledge without being massively overcompensated for it, then using said compensation to built a competing fibre network. Need I say anymore? They had a chance to make a serious bid and utterly wasted it, in their arrogance. Bringing Telstra into this argument as a supplier of knowledge is ridiculous.

          • I’m trying to put it into persepective here. Telstra still owns and operates 95% of the nation’s telecoms infrastructure. But then comes NBNCo and startup, they recruit about 1000 people and think they can in a few years get up to the same level of expertise and knowledge base that Telstra has built up over decades of working in the Australian environment, in a network they designed and built.

            So the new kid on the block driven by political backers comes in and think they can do it despite not having access to the systems and knowledge. Even if Telstra were to build the NBN, it would still be a monumental task, upgrading the existing copper network to fibre in the real world, where every street and suburb is unique not as simple as the politicians & NBNCo make it sound.

          • “I’m trying to put it into persepective here. Telstra still owns and operates 95% of the nation’s telecoms infrastructure”.

            Says it all.

            Yet some still come here to claim the NBN is a monopoly and what we have now is competitive nirvana, even though unlike 95% Telstra, NBNCo will at least offer everyone, equal access.

          • Well it’s not a ‘claim’ at all, the ACCC has stated the NBN Co is a monopoly and will be treated by them in the same way Telstra is, perhaps even more so, but then you know that.

          • Yes but open the other eye. My comment had two parts one which, typically you ignore.

            So Let me again help you to understand. Here are the pertinent parts (plural) of my comment again with the second part made clearer for those who have comprehension problems.

            Yet some still come here to claim the NBN is a monopoly AND WHAT WE HAVE NOW IS COMPETITIVE NIRVANA.

            So the ACCC say the NBN is a monopoly and you say DSLAMS and accessing Telstra’s network is actually competitive nirvana!

          • I suppose there is a point in there somewhere, perhaps someone else can explain it, it’s incoherent.

          • Your pattern.

            When totally and commonly stumped, throw out a ridiculous one liner, such as ‘stop the back pedalling’, ‘detour this way sign” or (you’ve got me beat) ‘you must be that banned guy’ and hope that a dash of sleight of hand mixed with copious amounts of asininity, reigns.

            Review even just this article and you have had to resort to this on many occasions. As such I refer you to this saying:

            “It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it”.

  17. NBNCo are predicting that only 70% of premises passed by fibre will connect and of those that connect 50% will opt for the cheapest, slowest 12/1Mbps plan (page 116, 118 of NBNCo Corporate Plan).

    This suggests that outside of sites like this the NBN demand is significantly lower than we might think.

    • @matthew – “NBNCo are predicting that…”
      Very old news from over a year ago. We have no idea what they are predicting today.
      In fact, none of the trials had been run when they made that prediction, nor had most of the deals been put in place yet.

      • Well we do know what they are ‘predicting today’ it is still 70%, unlike the ever changing finish date it has not been modified – yet.

          • “A parliamentary enquiry has recently been informed that despite various delays the country’s National Broadband Network will still be completed on time”.

            Of special interest.

            Recently (14 Oct 2011).
            NBN (National Broadband Network)
            Completed on time

            I now refer you to this phrase:

            “Living in the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, and causes you to bump into people not going your way.”

          • My goodness your nemesis must have really done you over!

            But rather than the silly finger pointing, because you simply have nowhere else to turn, which part of the NBN WILL BE COMPLETED ON TIME, has you stumped

          • Hey I will build you a house on a 12 month contract, when it’s not finished in month 12 and you say WTF I can just say I have extended it another 12 months so it’s on still schedule, then at the end of that 12 months I extend it again and say it’s still on schedule.

            Easy eh?

          • Who do we believe NBNCo or alain the one eyed builder?

            This leads me to refer you to the phrase:

            “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”

        • alain – “unlike the ever changing finish date it has not been modified”
          You mean that a modification has not been published…Since that original number was based on data that was over a year ago, and before the Telstra Agreement, before any of the trials, and before any of the RSPs had had a chance to respond, it’s probably not something to bet the house on…

          • No I wouldn’t put the house on 2022 either, what makes it a laugh is that dates have been changed whilst the product was still being trialled, so what happens when the NBN Co get some sort of critical mass, you know something like they have more residences than are on dial-up!


          • Err again, which part of the NBN WILL BE COMPLETED ON TIME, has you stumped?

  18. HFC = Hybrid Fibre Coax.
    FTTN = Hybrid Fibre Twisted Pair!

    Wish I was a Telstra Shareholder, then I too could say how the sun shines out of HFC and FTTN……..

    Bring on NBN and FTTH!

    • That’s not correct, the Telstra shareholder recently approved a deal where the HFC BB is shut down and Telstra is given billions to do so and the NBN gets the HFC BB client base.

      Budde’s statement about using HFC would need another Telstra Shareholder meeting to recind the previous agreement, unlikely in the extreme.

      • You forgot the other bit about blackmail and Telstra having a gun to their head, how did it go?

        • I don’t know you are telling the story, making it up as you go along, consistent style as ever RS.

          • Thank you. It is clear that you don’t know, but feel the need to reply with something/anything.

            Which leads me to referring you to another phrase.

            “From the naturalistic point of view, all men are equal. There are only two exceptions to this rule of naturalistic equality: geniuses and idiots”.

          • Hey what the heck eh? this is about your 10th name change after multiple bans, might as well go for it while you can.

          • Which leads me to refer you to another phrase:

            “A drowning man will clutch at a straw”

          • @alain – “this is about your 10th name change after multiple bans, might as well go for it while you can”

            Given the way you goad him, I am quite surprised that he is the only one banned…at least if that really is RS.

          • Careful Chas, or should I say RS, because anyone who challenges and particularly rebuts alain’s false jabbering, is obviously, alain’s apparent nemesis.

  19. Lance Corporal don’t tell me you do not acknowledge the threat and blackmail that was put on Telstra to remove Telstra as a competitor to the NBN. This is an historical documented fact and to deny it shows your lack of knowledge of the subject.

    • Interestingly Sydneyla, since being blackmailed, their shares have increased by about 25%, while markets worldwide have been struggling.

      What does that tell you?

        • 25% up and a good dividend.

          Thank god for the Conroy gun to the Telstra head, hey?

          • Dear Telstra,

            You have until 2018 to structurally separate.


            PS I won t be Comms Minister then anyway, so what the heck.

            ooh yeah Conroy has Telstra on the ropes.


          • I think you fanboys need to get your stories synchronised. One says the government blackmailed Telstra into doing what they did not want and the other indicates Telstra has the upper hand.

            Which leads me to refer you to this phrase from Hugh Dancy,

            “As always, there’s a couple of things in the pipeline – but that pipeline is a strange and ambiguous place”.

    • “…. don’t tell me you do not acknowledge the threat and blackmail that was put on Telstra to remove Telstra as a competitor to the NBN.”

      Only the most twisted sense of perspective would view the events of recent years in this way. Please provide evidence to support your claims.

  20. Perhaps Mr Budde is looking to do a Mr Havyatt and become an advisor, but to MT since SC is already taken?

  21. This news is 10 days old. I remember reading Budde’s commentary in the Technology Spectator. Must be a slow news day at Delimiter.

    • It’s true, it’s a very slow news week. What else can you expect between Christmas and NYE?! However, I thought it was worth reporting because Budde’s ideas hadn’t been focused on before in this way. The FTTN/HFC stuff was buried in his commentary on Tech Spec.

  22. I intend to include in my new years thanksgiving prayers grateful thanks that my name is not Stephen Conroy. His task to deliver the promised NBN network to Australia is Herculean. The need to hook-up 6,000 premised a day for six years is almost impossible. The ACCC is proving to be self promoting prima donnas who could cause the Senator serious headaches. The various Unions will prove a massive problem for the NBN Co as they position themselves to capture some of the billions up for grabs. The fact that the Gillard Government’s survival will be determined by Stephen Conroy’s results is defined by the certainty that after pink bats, schools halls etc the Australian public will not accept another foul-up. Sorry for being less than positive but facts are facts. However, if Stephen does deliver history will record him as the greatest builder in Australian history.

    • I intend to give thanks that Stephen Conroy is the one building the NBN. There are very few people who would have the tenacity and the drive to continue a public works program continually under fire from a major news organisation for most of the build phase. Its a credit to him and his people that they are still going strong, delivering on what they promised, irrespective of the many end-of-the-world town criers we see voicing mostly fiction and very little fact about the possibilities that such a network will provide us.

      It’s really shown me those people who have vision and those who do not. Those who dare to dream outside of the box and those who are confined tightly within their own. It amazes me that even now, after the evidence, the delivery to date, the perseverance and tenacity, their are still those that want stopped a project that could provide Australian’s with massive improvements in telecommunications for all of us, not just business but Mum, Dad’s and their children around the country.

      Happy New Year

  23. Kevin Davies you astound me with you constant attacks on Telstra. It would be interesting to establish the motives for your hostilities. Concerning my blackmail remarks, and your response, can you explain the unmitigated and unreasonable threat and blackmail that was put on Telstra with the Government threat to not allow Telstra to bid for wireless spectrum something that is completely unrelated to the NBN????

    • “Kevin Davies you astound me with you constant attacks on Telstra”

      As much as you astound me with your blind defense of them. Their behavior in the wholesale market in the last 15 years has a been nothing short of atrocious. This is not just my opinion, its very well documented with large fines from the ACCC and many other sources. They have been nothing short of a profit gouging machine with little interest in providing a level playing field in that sector. And yet, even with documented, irrefutable evidence on the corporate behavior of this company, its track record of price gouging, bad service, focused attempts at blocking competition in exchanged… here you are, defending them every step of the way.

      I am astounded, because unless you have been living under a rock all these years, you know this.

    • “Concerning my blackmail remarks, and your response, can you explain the unmitigated and unreasonable threat and blackmail that was put on Telstra with the Government threat to not allow Telstra to bid for wireless spectrum something that is completely unrelated to the NBN????”

      Telstra have treated the government with contempt for a long long time now. Bidding on the NBN tender was a fine example of that if I ever saw one. If they got toasted well then, they quite likely deserved it.

      You reap what you sow. What goes around…. you get the picture.

      • ‘Telstra have treated the government with contempt for a long long time now. Bidding on the NBN tender was a fine example of that if I ever saw one.’

        Well if you mean the Labor RFP debacle all proposals were rejected, Telstra was not the sole applicant, if you mean the Coalition FTTN tender under Howard then the alternative to Telstra the G9 consortium led by Optus proposal never made it past the ACCC and was rejected.

        ‘If they got toasted well then, they quite likely deserved it.’

        I assume to be fair and objective on the history of what actually happened, all got what they deserved did they?

    • See above. By the way if you think that is unfair of the government, how about you have a look over the past practices of your favourite company, you will likely find a new definition of “unfair”.

  24. See above. By the way if you think that is unfair of the government, how about you have a look over the past practices of your favourite company, you will likely find a new definition of “unfair”.


  25. Kevin, with the creation of the level playing field (courtesy of Senator Conroy) what will your attitude be if by fair competition Telstra confound and annihilate their opposition as a result of the choice of the Australian consumer.

    Will you accept the umpires verdict or will you call for more blackmail and regulation on Telstra, probably in claiming that Telstra has too much financial advantage. Good God when will you accept competitive results????

    • Quite simply, if they do not undermine the NBN then the market will determine who comes out on top. I will more than be satisfied with that result. The reigning wholesale monopoly of a private enterprise is slowly coming to an end with the rollout of the NBN. At least this time, everyone else gets a fair go. Its been frustrating years for many people, we just want to have a competitive market… I mean how hard can it be? Harder than we thought it seems.

      Even you SydneyLA must see that Telstra has behaved just like any private enterprise, maximizing profit and protected their market share. However in this particular case it has only been of benefit to its shareholders. If you think about it, why would a private company do whats in the national interest if it means they lose their market share? So Joe public suffered for 15 years until the Government says that the market failed and takes it over. In reality the government of the day failed to split the last mile assets in fear of the devaluing the share float when they sold them… talk about a conflict of interest!

      So now we will have the NBN, its another monopoly for sure, but this time the focus is squarely on the public interest. I think we all win, the market determines who comes out on top but you and me get the best bang for buck at the end of the day. The future of broadband is changing completely with the NBN, to quote a line..”Its a whole new world out there.” Frankly I wish they would roll the damn thing out faster because when it starts to dawn on people what the NBN could mean for them the demand will increase.

      For now I will sit on my 100Mbit/sec (to be decommissioned) cable connection because I know that the future is coming… I already have a taste of what its like and it has changed our household consumer habits significantly. When you have fast, rapid access to huge amounts of information everything happens quicker. Quite simply you get it done, in less than half the time you used to previously.


  26. The reasons for the failure to separate Telecom wholesale and retail are deeper than is public knowledge and date back to ch9’s broadcast of the US Olympics. Keeping Telecom as an integrated whole was for the benefit of media interests. However “competition” was for the benefit of the big corporates who were serviced by your AAPT’s etc who ran their own fibres (in the CBD’s using Telecom ducting”. they did not wholesale, only cherry picked selected high volume clients who they retailed very profitably to, for the benefit mainly of the multinational cororations

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