Chaos: Coalition a total shambles on NBN policy


opinion Up until now, I’ve been willing to give the Coalition the benefit of the doubt when it comes to national broadband policy, due primarily to the intelligence and experience of its Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. But events last week starkly demonstrated the Coalition is currently a complete mess when it comes to this critical portfolio.

Regular readers of Delimiter will know that while I have long had doubts about the Coalition’s alternative vision to Labor’s flagship National Broadband Network, I have also been willing to acknowledge some of its strengths.

When Turnbull first substantially detailed the Coalition’s rival NBN vision in a major speech to the National Press Club in August 2011, I wrote that the policy was “90 percent” win, as it outlined a “credible, fiscally responsible and less disruptive” alternative to Labor’s big-spending NBN vision.

In December I wrote that although Labor’s NBN vision was still fundamentally a better policy, the Coalition’s alternative still represented a “solid, workable and achievable broadband policy”. And just a fortnight ago, as Opposition Leader Tony Abbott firmed in his support for Turnbull’s fibre to the node-based policy and virtually confirmed the Member for Wentworth as his future Communications Minister, I praised Turnbull’s “tenacity, intellectualism and continued engagement with the telecommunications industry over the NBN”.

But what a difference two weeks can make.

Two weeks ago, from an outside perspective, the Coalition more or less appeared to have overcome the internal disagreements which have plagued Tony Abbott’s front bench about the future of the NBN. Turnbull’s vision of an expedited, more inexpensive upgrade of Telstra’s copper network to fibre to the node technology, using the bones of NBN Co to do so, and maintaining existing HFC cable infrastructure as well as much of the satellite and wireless components of the NBN, appeared to have gained ascendancy over the “demolish the NBN”, “white elephant” rhetoric of less technically minded Coalition politicians such as Abbott and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Today, we’re right back where we started: In complete chaos. Turnbull is demonstrating his technical and commercial ineptitude by pitching a technology to the electorate which most Australians have considered deprecated for most of the past decade, and Abbott is back on the bandwagon about how expensive the NBN “white elephant” is, despite the fact that it is actually slated to deliver the Government a long-term return on its investment.

Last Thursday, Turnbull gave what most in the telecommunications industry would consider an extremely disturbing interview which called into question the whole basis of what many had believed to be an increasingly stable and coherent Coalition NBN policy. Earlier that same day, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy had raised the troubling question of whether Turnbull’s fibre to the node upgrade policy would initially ignore vast swathes of metropolitan Australia which are already covered by the HFC cable networks operated by Telstra and Optus; infrastructure which few use due to the difficulty, often impossibility, of getting it connected and its inferior technical nature.

In an interview with Lateline that night, Turnbull naively played right into Conroy’s hands; confirming these areas would be initially ignored by the Coalition’s fibre to the node vision, and even going so far as to appearing to raise the question of whether those areas would receive the fibre to the node upgrade at all; effectively meaning that up to a third of the electorate would remain locked on existing HFC cable and copper (ADSL) broadband with no future upgrade path at all from what they currently have.

Turnbull’s comments rightly caused instant uproar in the telecommunications sector.

The Competitive Carrier’s Coalition — representing most of the non-Telstra carriers — demanded Turnbull abandon what it described as his “HFC fantasy”, criticising it on commercial and technical grounds, as well as the long-term interests of consumers. ““These comments ignore the reality that such a proposal would mean that for 30 percent of the population there would be no effective competitive broadband market.” said Matt Healy.”

The condemnation of Turnbull’s plan extended online, where hundreds of Australians published comments on media outlets such as Delimiter, broadband forums such as Whirlpool and even on Turnbull’s own site, condemning the Shadow Communications Minister’s comments and highlighting the fact that for much of the electorate, Turnbull’s approach would mean little to no improvement on their current broadband situation under a Coalition Government.

Then there are the inconsistencies within Turnbull’s Lateline interview itself.

From a practical point of view, one must question why a Coalition Government would even bother forcing Telstra and Optus to upgrade their HFC cable networks and open them to wholesale access, when in the same Lateline interview, Turnbull baldly stated that the Coalition’s nationwide fibre to the node upgrade of Telstra’s copper network would take only about a quarter of the time, and cost about a quarter as much, as Labor’s FTTP NBN vision.

Given that the NBN is a decade-long project, this would appear to mean that Turnbull envisions that his FTTN NBN vision could be implemented within 2-3 years of the Coalition taking power in the upcoming September Federal Election. One is forced to consider the fact that any process to upgrade the HFC cable networks and open them to wholesale access would itself be likely to take at least that long; if not longer.

Right now, the HFC cable networks are simply not set up for wholesale access, and neither are the ISPs (such as, presumably, iiNet and TPG) that would resell access on them. Hell, it would likely take at least a year or so for the legal negotiations with Telstra and Optus to complete, and at least a few months for a Coalition Government to overcome the legal difficulties that currently block millions of residents of multi-dwelling units (usually apartments) in the HFC footprint from connecting to the cable which runs past their premises.

When all this has been done … can the HFC cable actually support hundreds of thousands to millions of new customers using it? The evidence so far suggests not; we’ve heard time and time again how the HFC slows to a crawl when Australians in the footprint return from work every day, given its nature as shared infrastructure. We suspect that faced with the choice between FTTN and HFC infrastructure, almost everyone in the HFC footprint will choose FTTN.

Yes, as the CCC noted, Turnbull’s views on the HFC cable networks are indeed a “fantasy”; one which the Member for Wentworth appears to have dreamed up without consideration for the views of the telecommunications industry, without consideration for the Australians who will actually be using his planned broadband infrastructure, and most importantly, without consideration for the actual technical and legal facts of the situation.

Will Telstra even consent to uprade and wholesale its HFC cable infrastructure? Is it even possible to open the HFC networks to wholesale access? Right now, nobody knows.

Following the Lateline interview, Turnbull was rapidly forced to issue a statement clarifying his position and re-committing to upgrading the HFC footprint with FTTN. But again, here the Shadow Minister displays a lack of awareness of commercial and technical reality.

In his statement, Turnbull argued that “premises connected to the HFC network can obtain some of the fastest broadband speeds available in Australia at the present time”; ignoring the fact that most within the HFC footprint have already turned instead to ADSL broadband as it is more reliable and already open to wholesale access. He argued that Telstra could operate its HFC network as a “second wholesale carrier in competition with the NBN”, despite the fact that the evidence shows very few Australians would choose to take up the HFC cable infrastructure in preference to a FTTN solution through NBN Co. And he argued that broadband services under Labor’s FTTP NBN vision will be less affordable “than basic broadband ought to be”, despite the fact that current NBN pricing is directly comparable with existing ADSL pricing, and it is far from certain what impact a dual HFC cable/FTTN market would have on retail pricing or NBN Co’s own profitability.

There is also Turnbull’s claim that NBN Co is not prioritising its rollout on “the neediest areas”, despite the fact that NBN Co is prioritising rural and regional areas first in its rollout, through Australia-wide satellite access and wireless services in certain areas, as well as its ‘outside-in’ rollout structure agreed upon with the Independents at the 2010 Federal Election, and its explicit focus on broadband-starved areas such as Tasmania and the Canberran suburb of Gungahlin.

So while Turnbull was sticking his foot in his mouth, pushing deprecated and unpopular technologies and ignoring commercial and technical reality last week, what was Tony Abbott doing?

As many readers have already noted, Abbott was back on the campaign trail making misleading statements about the NBN’s finances. “If we don’t go ahead with the National Broadband Network in its current form, that’s about $50 billion less that the Commonwealth will need to borrow,” said Abbott in a major speech to the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia. “So, we will get government spending sustainably down and most importantly, ladies and gentlemen, we will get productivity up.”

And on ABC Radio, Abbott said: “Obviously I don’t think we need to borrow as much as the current government is borrowing for the National Broadband Network. I think we can get faster broadband, more accessible broadband without doing all of this. We are planning to give people faster broadband much more quickly and much more affordably than is the case under the NBN. The thing about the NBN is that it’s not really a broadband project, it’s a infrastructure project, which basically involves digging up every street to put fibre to the home. Now fibre’s a very important part of our communications system. You don’t need fibre to just about every home to have a better broadband system than we’ve got now.”

Once again, Abbott was back on the same bandwagon last week. Claiming that cutting the NBN can save money, despite the fact that the NBN is currently on track to make a modest return on the government’s capital investment in it. Labelling NBN funds as “spending”, despite the fact that accounting standard account for those funds as an investment; a completely different class of money. Claiming that consumers will pay more to use the NBN, when there is so far no evidence for the claim. Claiming that the construction of the NBN will involve “digging up every street”, despite the fact that NBN Co has signed a deal to re-use Telstra’s existing pits, ducts and pipes for its fibre infrastructure.

There is no doubt that the Coalition has come a long way since the 2010 Federal Election, when then-Shadow Communications Minister Tony Smith presented a minimalist joke of a telecommunications policy which would have left Australia in the digital dark ages for another three years. And there is also no doubt that building the NBN is taking more time and effort than most people expected.

But what we’re seeing from the Coalition at the moment is nothing short of a complete shambles.

Constant misleading statements about the NBN’s underlying economics. A demonstrated lack of understanding of the technical, commercial and regulatory realities of the telecommunications industry and the future of broadband provision in Australia. And a continued focus on legacy technologies which most consider deprecated and failed. This is what the Coalition continues to hand Australians when it comes to NBN policy.

When it comes down to it, what Australians want from the Coalition when it comes to the NBN — as in every other policy area — is for it to represent a safe pair of hands. We’re not talking here about organising a chook raffle in a country pub; we’re talking about a multi-billion-dollar national infrastructure project which will shape the whole future of Australia’s telecommunications needs and even our wider economy. Every Australian, every business, needs reliable, fast broadband access and we need a plan to deliver that.

But all of the signals coming out of the Coalition so far are that, when it comes to national telecommunications policy, it’s not capable of organising that proverbial chook raffle; let alone taking charge of something as complex and important as the NBN.


  1. so what the hell do we do about it?

    Abbott clearly doesn’t see the need for a far reaching “future proofed” ( I hate the phrase but it’ll do for now) infrastructure project like this. his Idea of this is a short term fix that will not allow for the exponential growth is data usage we’re going to see.

    How do we stop him from hamstringing our digital future?

    • ” “future proofed” ( I hate the phrase but it’ll do for now)”

      Me too. I think “upgradeable” is a better option.

      There is currently no known limit to how much data you can put over fibre (it’s currently in the Petabit/s range), but copper definitely does have a limit. Most plans to get copper “faster” than Gigabits/s involve using multiple wires, which doesn’t seem all that practice when you can do the same thing with a strand of fibre (IMHO :)).

    • Tony, coalition;-
      PLEASE leave the NBN rollout and technical overlay alone, its *the only thing* Labor have gotten ‘right’ since they gained power. Agree – they have screwed just about everything else, leave the NBN alone, support its implementation – more efficiently:-)

      I too love wireless technologies, and these must be pursued, but fixed fibre nationwide is vital too.

      • “PLEASE leave the NBN rollout and technical overlay alone, its *the only thing* Labor have gotten ‘right’ since they gained power. Agree – they have screwed just about everything else,”

        What utter drivel.

      • Rabid Cat, One needs to be fair when doing comments such as yours about how Labor has been performing. I am not a member of the Labor Party but I have to recognise that given the circumstances they have been doing really well (the insulation bats debacle, for example, was the fault of the greedy SMALL BUSINESSMEN/CONTRACTORS, not the fault of the Government as the Murdoch Media tries to make us believe!).
        Labor with Greens and Independents have been passing incredible amounts of good legislation which is good for the future of our economy and our welbeing. SO to say that they ‘stuffed up everything else’ is grossly UNFAIR.

        • “the insulation bats debacle, for example, was the fault of the greedy SMALL BUSINESSMEN/CONTRACTORS, not the fault of the Government as the Murdoch Media tries to make us believe!”

          And the overpriced building the education revolution scheme was the fault of the greedy BUILDERS/CONTRACTORS;
          And the failure to maintain those laptops (1 for every student) was the fault of the greedy SCHOOLS;
          And the mining tax was the fault of the greedy MINERS;
          And the overpriced set top boxes that cost more than a new TV was the fault of the greedy MANUFACTURERS;
          And the live cattle stuffup was the failure of those greedy EXPORTERS

          And… well I could go on but it seems pretty obvious that this government, while it has good ideas, often fails at executing or regulating them well.

          I don’t like the alternative – But the ALP have been complicit in their own demise and now their legacy item – the big thing they are getting right (NBN) stands at risk of being destroyed just on the basis of their stuffups and infighting.

          • (And the overpriced set top boxes that cost more than a new TV was the fault of the greedy)

            “The Household Assistance Scheme is helping of our most vulnerable citizens to make the switch to digital television and I make no apology for offering an incentive to contracted installers to deliver a high quality service as quickly as possible,” Conroy said in the statement.

            “For most Australians switching to digital television is a relatively easy task. This Scheme is making sure our most vulnerable citizens are not left behind as we switch off the analogue signals across the country.”

            He confirmed that the $350 figure is a calculation for the “Average” costs which will be incurred when installing the set-top boxes in people’s homes, and doesn’t just include the purchase of the devices which themselves have been chosen especially by a specialist Consumer Expert Group, including organisations such as CHOICE and Media Access Australia.

            Conroy notes the price-tag also includes an installer visiting those who need installation assistance’ homes and configuring the set-top box, as well as an in-home warranty and 12-months access to a special hotline

            I was offered a set top box and knocked it back because I already have a digital TV, the box chosen was one selected by Choice magizine and the MCA, the price included installation, there is no way my Mother could set up a set top box or even tune her TV ( and neither do I or her only children) and her TV is her only commmunication she has to the out side world, except through her children. She doesnt know anything about the digital revolution so in my opinion it was money well spent on our elderly parents.

          • I know this is off topic so I will keep my reply brief.

            You make a valid point that the service is valuable to the community however I have a different experience that demonstrates the waste… A well known disability services organisation with whom I was previously employed is eligble for 1 set top box per “client” (resident of the group homes) per year… And they accept them too and place them in storage (just in case). At the time I left they had “stock” of over 80 boxes and had been selling some of them (where they could) as fundraising – this behaviour is actually very common.

            My point is that although this scheme was well intended, like other schemes better regulation would reduce the amount of rorts/waste etc.

      • Just like Howard who didnt separate Telstras wholesale and retail,
        just like Howard you committed us to buying billions of dollars of useless fighter jets
        just like Howard who squandered billions from the first mining boom in the early 2000s
        just like Howard who got use involved in 2 wars, one for weapons of mass destruction that didnt exist
        just like Howard who tried to bribe the Australian people with their own money through tax cuts.

        Even members of the IMF considered Howards squandering of billions of Australian tax dollars as one of the worst in the history of the management of the Australian economy.

        Well for your information bud, Labor got us through the GFC, and they have passed over 300 pieces of legistration. And they are successing in rolling out the largest infer-structure program in the history of Australia ( NBN ) but they will not succeed with out our support, if they dont succeed, in the end we the Australian people will pay dearly for it for decades to come.

        The Coalition doesnt care about Australia or Australians they only care about power and money.

        • Howard increasing the retirement age just before he quit and retired on his million dollar pension with benefits.
          And Abbott wants to turn back the clock to the so called golden age of Howard?!…

        • You actually forgot about the submarines that we paid way too much for. Or did you just get confused and mixed them up? That were useless as where dry docked due to pretty much everything in the book being faulty. Did they ever fix them or did they just give up on them?

          What people don’t realize even to this day there is no real difference in between labor and the liberals when it comes to money because it isn’t their money.
          Selling telstra the way the liberals did. Quick money make the budget look better. Labor could have sold some stuff to get a budget surplus but didn’t.
          The liberals wanted to sell AUS post and a couple of other things in the 2007 to 2010 era. Using the same reasoning that they sold telstra.

          Posted 19/02/2013 at 10:49 am

          That pretty much is what happened though. But with the pink batts failure most of it was due to people who took up the offer not seeing who or what they where dealing with. If I left you are a card that said “free pink batts and a at hotmail email address” would you go oh man best deal ever. Or be suss over it? note: No business name ABN building licence info nothing not even a name.
          I had several people door to door and people at the supermarket saying the batts I had installed a under 2 years before that I paid for; were bad (because there where nearly 2 years old), out of date model (replaced by better stronger ones), a fire hazard. These reasoning’s I had to go with them and get them replaced asap.
          Find enough gullible people and ta da. If the public used common sense then there wouldn’t have been such a big problem. The answer to all things free or not should be research to what you are getting.

          i kinda forgot to post on the last story. But can HFC actually support more people?
          Docsis 3.0 in australia is a flop specially with the Optus network. Telstra’s wont be all that far off it. If it A has to wholesale. B expand. More people on it the less of a download pool
          Cable is limited to how many coax frequencies it can use foxtel for example uses a bit. Telstra uses 2 sets of 8 channels. 359k to 415k and 438k to 494k. The 359k set according to people is unreliable so one…
          If you put everyone on it at 100Mbit (though a telstra tech did say 300Mbit is on the cards for a non completed NBN FTTH network.) What would happen even with the best backhaul the frequencies themselves would become super congested just like the Docsis 1 network. There is no unlimited resources it is shared and even then there isn’t much to actually go around.

          • @tom r

            Cable is limited to how many coax frequencies it can use foxtel for example uses a bit. Telstra uses 2 sets of 8 channels. 359k to 415k and 438k to 494k

            Can I ask where you got this info? AFAIK, Telstra use 8 Channels. Not 16. I could be wrong.

    • “so what the hell do we do about it?


      How do we stop [Abbott, et al] from hamstringing our digital future?”

      Vote. Labor.

      • A Labor-Green-Progressive Independents Government is hte best thing that can happen to Australia again!!

    • How do you stop him “himstringing your digital future”.

      Get in touch with Gillard and co. and tell them to stop sucking. Teach them how to sell a policy. Suggest to Gillard that perhaps knifing a leader over a failed tax then failing harder is probably not a formula for success… Beat Wayne Swan around the ears with a grade 11 economics textbook until he understands how to balance a budget. Smack Roxon’s ass on the way out the door for being stupid enough to push the nanny state/data retention and giving the pro-police statists in the AG’s office an opportunity to push their agenda. And while you’re smacking, whack Conjob on the back of the head re: years of standing behind internet filtering.

      The coalition will not win the next election, Labor will lose it. And they’ll deserve to lose it. Abbott and co. haven’t really done anything to justify winning except “turn up” (and they made a meal of that) and Labor can’t even take them down.

    • There’s nothing wrong with having some kind of expectation that the Opposition should and do have a clue on broadband.

      The only thing that has become evident, is the (lack of) “do”. The “should” is all that’s left.

    • Renai wasn’t to know they were just putting on a little song and dance, heck, they even managed to sing and dance in time for a while there…

      BUT! This is why we need them to actually put out some REAL policy documents, not a bunch of sound bites and glib one liners involving Santa Claus, “white elephant”, “better, faster, cheaper”, etc, etc, etc…

    • Even if I would not have done so myself, I applaud Renai’s extraordinary efforts to be even-handed towards the Coalition, to cut them slack, to give them the benefit of the doubt, even to perform complex mental gymnastics while allowing them every opportunity to put forward their best case.

      And as a result, Renai has more right than anyone to feel as though he has received nothing better than a slap in the face for all his trouble.

      You did all that you could, Renai. And now, please don’t hold back.

      • Sorry to say Renai, but you have only got your ‘dander, up because Turncoat has denied you your FTTN access to multi-dwellings in the HFC footprint. Now you know how it feels to be 6km copper run from the exchange, using mobile wireles in a large country town, and know ‘the co-alition of clowns’ (thanks HC) will still do nothing to fix anything.
        Welcome to 2013-14-15-16-17 and still on your 1.5mb/s ADSL. Vote to keep them out so they can do no damage to our NBN.

        • It is an unfortunate coincidence that the metaphorical straw that broke the camel’s back was one that also affected Renai personally.

          Of course, he was also personally affected by the possibility of getting FTTN instead of FTTH, so it isn’t like he didn’t have a personal stake even before Turnbull’s announcement.

          Questions about motivation aside, let us all rejoice that Renai has seen the light. The Coalition’s alternative is absolutely horrific.

          • It’s amusing because a person who probably has access to multiple flavours of non Telstra ADSL2+, if not the HFC cable running past his premises, is unhappy.

            Meanwhile, people who have been waiting on Labor since 2007(ya know, when NBN Mk I was first promised) for ANY service have repeatedly had plans offered then dashed out of their hands (Opel, NBN Mk I to 98%, sry, wireless, err, mebbe you’re on satellite!).

            It speaks to the sense of entitlement in this country that the “haves” are crying out for more government spending while the have nots are still waiting. I have little sympathy for Renai in this case. Labor talks a big game about class warfare and middle class welfare, well the NBN is a poster child for exactly that. A few more people should be thankful for what they’ve got as opposed to what they’ve been promised. Bird in the hand and all that…

          • Since once again politics rears it’s ugly head, instead of going back to 2007 why not go back to 1996?

            Because more than one government has had the opportunity to do something, just like you speak of.

  2. Unfortunately, Turnball’s boulder-dash is working on those who don’t understand the technology. On Lateline he was complaining that the NBN would stop at the basement of apartments and flats and that world-wide people were using “existing copper local area network” to delivery the network and then applied that the existing copper with the Coalition’s plan would be able to use the existing PSTN copper to achieve this.

    It’s a neat turn of phrase that had my semi-understanding Father-In-Law convinced that existing copper in apartments would deliver 100Mbps from the node. Imagine what everyone else, who don’t grasp the tech, are thinking.

    • “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on……… shame on you. Fool me ………. You can’t get fooled again.”

  3. “Right now, nobody knows.”

    This about covers it.

    As we lead up to the election, people will actually express a desire to have at least some idea that the party they vote for will be a reasonable steward of the country. That they, ultimately (and as you sensibly point out) are going to be an “okay” choice.

    And that, really, will be the case no matter which party you might consider voting for.

    We need the coalition to have a solid broadband policy. It causes every side of the fence to put more effort into a better outcome. It creates healthy debate and raises awareness.

    Instead we have MSM that (still) hasn’t gotten over the last election, an opposition that couldn’t organise a chicken raffle in a kebab house, and a federal government whom has spent far too much time indulging various egos.

    The NBN should be a no-brainer. It’s been about the only broadband policy of late that has managed to (mostly) work for pretty much the entire industry, and offers a good outcome for the community.

    Of course it costs money to do so properly. At least there is some fiscal responsibility with the current policy;it (government funding) has been tagged as investment.

    I appreciate you holding the fire to both parties, Renai. I may not always agree with your views, but you at least attempt to investigate and research. There’s nowhere near enough of this in the MSM.

    • “The NBN should be a no-brainer. It’s been about the only broadband policy of late that has managed to (mostly) work for pretty much the entire industry, and offers a good outcome for the community.

      Of course it costs money to do so properly. At least there is some fiscal responsibility with the current policy;it (government funding) has been tagged as investment.”


    • @Brendan

      ‘The NBN should be a no-brainer. It’s been about the only broadband policy of late that has managed to (mostly) work for pretty much the entire industry, and offers a good outcome for the community.’

      Did you just hop in the Tardis, transport yourself to 2023 come back to Feb 2013 and post that statement?

      • It’s these sorts of antagonistic, unnecessary, childish comments, which got you sidelined (I won’t say banned it sounds so harsh) for 6 months :/

        • I agree that the tone was unnecessarily condescending, and no doubt he is a repeat offender.

          Buried under there though, he may have had a point about judging the merits of the NBN too confidently when it has yet to prove itself.

          (Now I sound like Renai when he is bending over backwards to be fair to Turnbull)

          • Yet to prove itself?

            It’s being built. Today. It’s happening. It’s been costed. It has a scope. It has a defined set of technologies. It has support from industry, and in a rare lucid moment, it even has support from an otherwise highly recalcitrant monopoly provider.

            To date, none of these points has been addressed by Turnbull. I want to believe the guy has a clue and has a plan as much as the next person; the alternative is pretty unthinkable.

            But right now, LNP plans are an utter shambles.

          • I think alain’s nitpicking was in conflating the policy with the reality. The policy does, as described, meet the various needs. The reality is yet to be proven.

      • hey Alain,

        FYI you have been banned from Delimiter until 31 December, 2013. I cite the following aspects of the Delimiter comments policy:

        “Firstly, as before, comments must be more or less ‘polite’, as measured by Australian social standards. This doesn’t mean you need to maintain the sort of conversation level you would use with your mother. It just basically means don’t be rude to other commenters. You may disagree with their opinions, but you should respect their right to hold them.”

        “Comments which display a lack of rationality or reasonableness. For example, a number of commenters on Delimiter over the past year have engaged in the debate, but consistently avoided acknowledging substantive issues raised by other commenters in relation to their argument. Instead, they have deliberately diverted the discussion down another path, annoying many other commenters.”

        You are a repeat offender on these fronts; I am disappointed to see you revert to your poor behaviour so soon after your 2012 ban expired. It is clear to me that the majority of the Delimiter community no longer welcomes your input on the site.



  4. The Federal Coalition’s NBN chook lottery looks set to deliver a crook chook, well past it’s use by date, and a $2 lottery like level of improvements, no change, or worsening of Broadband Services to Australians and Australian Business.

    No wonder Abbott want’s to model himself on Barnett, the much more robust, WYSIWYG and substantive current Western Australian Premier, because the current Abbott is just not up to the job of leading Australia into the digital future.

  5. the question I want answered

    .@TurnbullMalcolm can you give me a date or even a year when we will know what areas will have FFTN FFTH HFC so I can plan for my biz?

  6. Keep up the high quality level of investigative NBN and other IT reporting Renai.

    Maybe one day we’ll see you as a key player in the technology section of the upcoming Australian online version of the Guardian Newspaper.

  7. It looks like the Coalition is trying to present a policy that requires the least effort on their part while still looking like a credible telecommunications policy. The problem is they’ve set the bar too low and it’s clear they’re not really interested in Australia’s future, they’re more interested in presenting a cheap, no-frills policy that will appeal to the sort of right-wing commentators my Dad listens to. People like Alan Jones don’t understand or care to understand the difference between 100MB/s and 1000MB/s, they’ll just see the lower overall cost as the overriding positive, and that’s who the older generations listen to.

    End goal for the Coalition: get elected, bugger the future of Australian telecommunications.

  8. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the Coalition plan is basically “business as usual”. Being the conservative party literally means they are resistant to change.

    They have no foresight and want to keep things pretty well the way they are, even though the rest of the world is changing around them.

    Ask Gerry Harvey what that’s like, and then consider what’s happening with him on a national, country wide scale.

    That will be the result of the Coalition plan….

      • They want to keep HFC, and without any comment regarding how they plan to fix the MDU issue for either their FttN NBN build or existing HFC infrastructure, the expectation is that people living in an MDU within the HFC footprint can only expect to use ADSL2.

        Like Renai.

        Alternatively, The Turnbull has been consistent in his message of using a mix of technologies, including ADSL2. Do some research.

        No need to reply.

      • What else are the forgotten “66%” in HFC areas going to use??

        Shesh Alain, wake up mate, the suns up :o)

  9. I’m not surprised. Think about it. You have one very vague plan which revolves around so many different variables. The proper NBN build is an elegant solution but the logistics of putting it all together is convoluted enough without adding in the irrational insistence of having a variety of different technologies all for the sake of having a variety of different technologies. In such a gimped version FttN is just another bunch of needless variables all on it’s own due to the nature of basically placing exchange equipment in 70,000+ nodes scattered all over the country side. The HFC crap is exactly what I predicted ages ago. I’m just surprised the flaws of the plan have come to light this early.

    Abbott still labeling the NBN a white elephant is to be expected. That’s all he can do, he clearly doesn’t have a clue about technology and doesn’t even want to make an effort. Someone like that in 2013 should not even be considered as a prime minister yet he could be until 2016, that should scare everyone… the coalitions choice of leader however could be forgiven if their party wasn’t in such disarray on this topic but even Turnbull himself cant decide what he wants. It all points to the same thing. They don’t have a policy because they believe they don’t need one. Pure contempt and lack of respect for voters that’s what it boils down to.

    • Why should they, they know their masters empire will deliver the votes. Of course quid quo pro, billions of taxpayer dollars on upgrading and extending the still monopoly Pay TV network for their master and blame Labor for those Billions

  10. Finally, after a long time you accept that Coalition’s BB policy is in shambles, it’s a pitty you can’t fight him other area’s such as economics?

    He’s been banging on about how “we don’t need to spend this on X”.

    • “Finally, after a long time you accept that Coalition’s BB policy is in shambles”

      Some people have to be diplomatic but I think almost everyone was aware it was eventually going to come to this. The proper NBN build is in motion so stopping it now would be utterly stupid. However the status of it at election time was always going to be a big unknown. This is another reason why the coalition are in total shambles. I was saying this ages ago too that they would have to continually modify their policy until they too finally came to the conclusion FttH is the right solution… so in a scenario where the coalition win and decide to stop the proper NBN and implement their gimped version I’m sure we can expect yet more chaos from them.

  11. Many of us have been pointing out these flaws in Turnbulls “plan” – amongst others – ever since he made his Press Club speech. Good to see they are now being given the credence they deserve all this time.

  12. In terms of the HFC networks being used for open access this is something that is technically possible but has not been done widely in the global market.

    The reason being that HFC networks are typically owned by private players competing against state-funded PTT’s (BT, DT, Telstra, etc) so they have not been subjected to the same ULL regulations that the telco incumbents have been.

    In Belgium the government decided that Telenet had achieved a dominant position in the cable network and forced them to open up to third-party players – but Telenet are appealing and I don’t think they’ve actually opened up as yet.

    In South Korea the government considered forcing cable MSO’s to unbundle their last-mile but didn’t follow through and I think the same thing happened in Canada.

    This ‘opening up’ of HFC was quite a big subject (relatively) in the mid-2000’s and vendors like Cisco offered some solutions for open access but it never really took off, for regulatory reasons as well as the rise of FTTH.

    From a technical perspective opening up HFC networks for access would obviously cost money and time, but I am not sure on the finer details as there are no real world examples yet.

    In terms of the future of HFC itself, it would be foolish for people to write off HFC as a ‘dead’ technology globally, that’s simply not the case at all.

    Cable MSO’s in North America, Europe and Asia have spent billions on network deployment and are not going to junk their investments to go to FTTH in the forseeable future, although they might (like Comcast) roll FTTH in very select areas for competitive reasons.

    Indeed, we have just seen Liberty Media pay $16 billion for HFC operator Virgin Media and Vodafone is close to buying HFC player Kabel Deutschland in a similar deal – these guys obviously still see big value in HFC networks.

    For Australia, the future of the Telstra/Optus HFC networks are interesting, sure the networks have limitations but seeing them overlaid is still somewhat troubling when they could still provide high-speed services similar to those deployed in other markets – but of course the current NBN model does not allow for this.

  13. I smell Murdochs New Ltd all over the do nothing plan in HFC areas to protect Foxtel. This will keep basically 30% of the highest earning part of the population locked into to Foxtel for sport etc. Good ole Rupe couldn’t possibly have a situation where the sports could directly sell their product to the masses as Foxtel would die.

    So welcome back to the dark ages if we allow the LNP to win government. The coalitions lack of NBN plan is appalling and should be shown for what it is except we have a clueless, LNP biased MSM. Thankly we still have sites like these to get the truth out.

    • One would assume that the News Ltd/Foxtel plan would be trying to engineer that if/when eventually FTTP and or FttN, replaces HFC in the HFC Footprint, that it be Telstra/Foxtel/NewsLtd controlled FTTP or FttN. That way they can call the shots on access and pricing and prevent the Sporting bodies selling their services direct to the customer.

        • The ACCC would be gutted (as recommended by the IPA) in order for things like this to happen.

        • PHG is correct. They also want him to get rid of the ACMA.

          A few that Tony has taken up so far:

          2. Abolish the Department of Climate Change
          3. Abolish the Clean Energy Fund

          42. Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including:
          a) Lower personal income tax for residents
          b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers
          c) Encourage the construction of dams

          43. Repeal the mining tax
          44. Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states

          Might pay you to have a read of what else might be coming…

          • Wow, thanks for that link. It made me feel sick inside. Particularly after I did some research into who the IPA are, that is basically the Liberal party. Sounds like they stand for US style government being bought by big corporations and elimination of everything that makes Australia a nice place to live.

            I think I am going to be sick now…

  14. Today’s disastrous for Labor Fairfax/Neilson polling indicates the electorate doesn’t agree the Coalition NBN Policy is a shambles, or if it does it is not influencing their voting intentions at all.

    Abbott now leads Gillard as preferred PM – yeah its WTF from me as well but there you go.

    ‘When it comes down to it, what Australians want from the Coalition when it comes to the NBN — as in every other policy area — is for it to represent a safe pair of hands’

    But Australians may already think it is going into a safe pair of hands.

      • ‘Then Australians have been duped by snake-oil salesmen. I thought we were better than that.’

        You need to be open minded, the electorate may perceive the snake-oil salesman as being the Labor NBN rollout.

        • alain, what the public perceive and fact are two different things.

          What most peoples agenda on Delimiter and your agenda on delimiter are two different things.

          The public thinking the Coalition have a good broadband plan doesn’t make it a good plan.

          Just as you refsuing to ignore technical facts and drag everything in to a polls, popularity, FUD discussion doesn’t make you right.

        • alain, what is percieved may be the thing important to you, because lets face it, you don’t give a damn about BB and are which policy is best. Your only concern is your beloved Liberal and your man crush Abbott getting in to power.

    • I don’t think you need to read polls of yesterday, opinion polls just that, an opinion poll, what Coalition are afraid of is:

      1: A change of leadership
      2: A long campaign.

      And when you have Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott talking down the economy every single day, that’s not how you give people a boost in productivity, it’s a key word for “we will be doing austerity”.

      p.s. I’m not labor member party member.

    • @ Alain,
      when you have a “Dishonest” Political party, Spreading Lies and a Massive news organisation interested in spreading their Agenda. about a topic that most people dont understand.


    • @alain:
      “Today’s disastrous for Labor Fairfax/Neilson polling indicates the electorate doesn’t agree the Coalition NBN Policy is a shambles, or if it does it is not influencing their voting intentions at all.”

      It indicates no such thing. The pollsters were not asking about broadband of any kind so you make up a theory about what influenced the respondents and thereby display the paucity of your understanding about polling.

      • Polls are largely pointless.

        They only mean something if they are surveying the same 1000 people each time – (you know, keeping the test environment the same, a basic scientific research principle) – and they aren’t doing that.

        Out of 1000 people, a five percent change is only 50 people. If the first sample has 50 people in it that will vote Labor no matter what, and the second poll of a different sample of 1000 has 50 people in it that will only vote Liberal, no matter what, then there’s your five percent swing.

        It’s a cliche, but the only real poll is the election.

        • Apparently, Essentials poll had the ALP actually gain a point to their last one, and has them 5 points higher than Nielson (which still puts them way behind though). Some comments on it attribute the gain to a higher possibility of a Rudd comeback based on Julies numbers.

          It’s almost too much like a Disney fairy tale, “Kevin rides in and saves the ALP, and the NBN to boot!”…though I guess stranger things have (been claimed to have) happened in Australian politics (

  15. It seems what Malcolm actually means by rolling out in about 1/4 the time for 1/4 the cost – is to just stop rolling it out…

    • Doing Nothing is always the quickest way of making savings – illusory savings, that is, but enough for a good headline.

      It’s also quicker – the Nothing always starts now!

      And then have everyone hail your managerial genius and fiscal prudence. What a lark.

  16. I just love how people talk about Telstra cable being opened up for wholesale. I was under the impression that the words “not even from the grasp of my cold dead hands” would be the first thing from the lips of any Telstra ceo when called by Malcolm after the election.

    Especially if the coalition is getting elected on an austerity NBN model. They won’t have any money in the budget to buy off Telstra to convince them to open up to wholesale, especially after whatever FTTN funding they might be planning to spend.

  17. “Abbott now leads Gillard as preferred PM – yeah its WTF from me as well but there you go.”

    Not wrong there mate, but then look at the pair of them, neither of them got the job because they are competent/popular, they both owe their jobs to factional power brokers removing the popular leaders of their respective parties.

  18. Turnbull’s must be in bed with Telstra. As usual the Coalition wants to some how support Telstra. make an even bigger monopoly out of them. The whole reason for the NBN was to level the playing field.

    And why dont they support an investment that is guaranteed a return and will actually generate income for the government once all the debt has been paid off?

    Why wont any one consider how much the NBN will add to the GDP alone?

    And isnt now the best time to borrow with interest rates at their lowest point?

    If the coalition was so keen on Providing fast high speed broadband why was nothing done during the 11 years they were in power other than them creating the biggest private monopoly Telstra and didnt bother to separate the retail and infrastructure ?

    And how well we know how Telstra has been anti-competitive with ADSL by preventing competitors.

    And now the coalition expect us to leave our future to Telstra. God save us.

  19. Just saw the latest poll (Nielsen). It has the Coalition well ahead and for the first time in a long time, Abbot is ahead of Gillard. The electorate, it would appear, is not factoring the NBN as a reason to vote for the ALP. The only solution, therefore, to ensuring the NBN remains in place is for industry pressure and/or community pressure is brought to bear on the LNP.

    • It’s not the first time the Coalition is ahead, they have been leading Labor consistently in the two party preferred vote (which determines who wins), the surprise in the latest poll is the change to preferred PM.

      You can push as hard as you want to try and persuade the community that the Labor NBN Plan is the anointed chosen one and the Coalition Plan is shambles it doesn’t really matter if the community outside of tech forums like Delimiter or Whirlpool etc consider the NBN one big yawn, FTTH/FTTN/HFC? – yeah whatever.

      • Your forgetting that both Turnbull and Rudd are preferred Leaders, so don’t get your high hopes up.

        The Polls have been up and down for the last couple of years.

        • Rudd is sitting at just over 3/5 support. Its starting to look as if some folk are right – if Labor doesn’t want to be rolled comprehensively they need a popular leader rather than a factional appointment at the top. Julia is certainly the definition of unpopular ATM…..

      • But this is a tech forum, and we are discussing, despite your continual trolling.
        Alain, this is not a Liberal vs Labor fanboi discussion. I do see you seem to have accepted that the current NBN plan is better than the Coalitions and you are reduced to saying it doesn’t matter, it’s what the public percieves that matters.
        Well Alain, it doesn’t matter, because what the public perceives does not change facts. It doesn’t make the Coalitions half arse network any better. And since those on this forum are more interested in that than in petty political, who wins who loses, that is what they like to discuss.
        Your continual trolling, is adding nothing to the discussion.
        I can see why Renai has banned you in the past and am rather surprised he is tolerating you now.
        You are nothing but a troll.

        • @NBNAccuracy

          Yes I understand you don’t like dissenting argument and anyone who dares to do that must be shut down by any means possible so that the Band of Brothers pro NBN comment can continue without interruption, personal attacks are allowed, accusations of Liberal political party member or Telstra employee links are allowed without a shred of evidence, incorrect information is allowed and tin-foil hat conspiracies can be used, all preferably without challenge.

          Now to get back to the subject in hand the thrust of this article that the Coalition Plan is a total shambles is a much too early because from what I have read there is no published plan to base that judgement on yet other than a vague general direction of intent based on Turnbull/Abbott media sound bytes cobbled together over the last few months.

          It consists of he said this on Lateline he said this to Computer World, he said this to Delimiter, he said this to the National Press Club, and on and on it goes.

          I repeat what you see now may have no bearing on what you see in June, and what you see in September may be different again, and like Labor post 2007 a post Coalition September win NBN plan may be different again.

          I understand the frustration of a open minded journalistic like Renai trying to get something more substantial out of the Coalition to run with but it ain’t going to happen because there are too many post election unknowns to deal with like the ACCC, Telstra, Optus, state of the NBN rollout in September, this years Labors May Budget, contractual obligations of the NBN Co which is a ongoing dynamic, a new 2 year contract was signed last Friday for example, the list goes on.

          • “Now to get back to the subject in hand the thrust of this article that the Coalition Plan is a total shambles”
            Well that is what the article is about and what was being discussed. I haven’t seen a post from you yet on this thread other than opinion polls and how it doesn’t matter about the policy because it’s what the public believes that is important.

            “accusations of Liberal political party member or Telstra employee links are allowed without a shred of evidence”
            See, above, you are discussing politics not whether the policies are good or not. I cannot see what possible motivation you could have for a technical discussion when every thing you post is based on politics.

            “I repeat what you see now may have no bearing on what you see in June, and what you see in September may be different again”
            And that doesn’t tell you their plan isn’t in a shambles? Last year they had a fully costed plan. Now they chop and change an contradict each other, ie a shambles.

            “I understand the frustration of a open minded journalistic like Renai trying to get something more substantial out of the Coalition to run with”
            It matters to a lot more people than Renai. It matters more to most than which party wins. It is Australia’s communications future and those in the technical know don’t want to see it squandered due to technically inept politicians. How about we cobble together a new parliment house for them? Why a new one, we will just drop down to bunnings. Bugger properly built roads, dirt tracks will do.

            Communications, the internet, ICT, it is the future, more and more of the economy is digital. It’s where we work, it’s where we “drive”. Having what is needed dictated by people who have trouble programming a VCR is just stupid. The industry has said where the communications need to go, even Turnbull has agreed. You and petty minded political trolls are a blight on this country.

          • @Alain. Problem is, it is looking more and more unlikely we will ever see a proper coalition plan before the election.

            In fact I would be willing to bet actual $ that we do not see a coherent plan release by them before the election.

            They won’t need to release a plan on broadband to win the election so why would they?

  20. Agree, its a shambles. So how do we stop it? MSM are spreading the Fud, so we cant get help from them,

  21. No wonder the Media loves the human headline Abbott, their suffering in a dying industry and they really need a shambolic Coalition Government to keep the show on the road. A freak show will the redoubtable cast of Cory Bernardi, Sophie Mirabella and Chris Pyne let by loonies like Minchin and Reith. National loudmouths Jones and Bolt screaming from the sidelines it’s going to be big 3 years for the media.

  22. What you have is just a conservative political party which doesn’t like spending money and people running the company use to be in IT back in 2001

  23. Here’s the vision splendid from the Coalition then.

    Imagine your typical Australian city.

    Fred, who is lucky to live in one of the suburbs to get NBN fibre in the earliest rollout stages, enjoys a range of affordable, high-speed internet plans over open-access fibre from a variety of providers. He’s so impressed with the capacity of the fibre that he’s now running his own business from home, able to upload and download large, complex files in a flash.

    Janet, who lives in the next suburb along, has had FTTN activated in her exchange. There’s a great big new cabinet taking up half the verge nearby; but because of problems with water-damaged copper, she can only get a fraction of the promised “up to 50Mbps!” And when it rains, the service is pretty much useless. She’s asked about upgrades or fixing the wiring, or (she hopes) getting fibre instead, but everyone she speaks to in the know just lowers their eyes and mutters “sorry, we’re just trying to roll out nodes as quick as we can,” before hurrying away.

    Percy, who lives one suburb over from Janet gets to look out of his apartment window at the Telstra cables. They don’t do him any good, because his apartment block isn’t connected, and he can’t find anyone at Big Pond willing to answer his call about when (or if) his apartment ever will be hooked up. He has a lame ADSL service which can get up to 5-6 Mbps download on a good day, but is fairly hopeless at uploads. He would like to be able to work from home, but the service is too patchy and unreliable to get much real work done – and disconnections are frequent.

    This is pretty much what we’re going to get – a patchwork quilt. What is it going to do to those little islands of fast broadband, where the tech-savvy are going to want to move? What is it going to do to the vast majority of customers who are completely confused, baffled and frustrated by a system that makes no sense and is utterly haphazard and random about what kind of broadband you might be able to get?

    • Are you listening here Alain ?
      Maybe you get on the Liberal Bandwagon, and let you Buddy Malcolm know what an Idiotic Policy he is spreading.

      • I suspect he’s actually on whatever bandwagon is good for Telstra, not necessarily a Liberal one.

    • @Gwyntaglaw

      i think you also have left out a few other Unseen Truths here.
      Meanwhile Fred, who is enjoying his Fiber connection has seen his retail prices increase to the order of 300% since NBNCo has been bought out by telstra in the “Fire Sale” following the 2013 election. he is currently in talks with the ACCC and the TIO regarding the fact he had to Re-mortgage his house to pay his monthly bill.

      Percy’s neighbour Adrian Across the street who lives in a free standing house is actually connected to telstras HFC network. but is limited to 1 Mbps up and down because of the congestion on the network.
      he is currently paying telstra for a connection becouse they are the only ones who sell a HFC connection anymore.

      • Yeah, you might be closer to the truth there. :)

        I have been coming to the dark view that Telstra may end up, through whispering in certain Coalition ears, offer to “take the problem off the government’s hands” and assume NBN Co’s assets, along with a sweetheart deal and regulatory holiday.

        They might not even demand that the government pay them to take it all on…

    • +1 that is what I have been thinking will happen with an LNP NBN for a long time. It is going to create an uneven and unfair rollout depending on where you live. I am moving to Toowoomba shortly, I am purposely buying a house on the eastern side of Toowoomba where they have already had the NBN installed, just to guarantee I will selfishly have a decent connection. I am tired of the constant lies from the LNP, it disgusts me that they aren’t held accountable. It does not require access to the NBN books to release the general outlines to their so called plan, we are all able to accept that it will change once they figure out contracts etc.

      • I too am looking to buy in a FTTH Area , leave the sale until a few months into the New Lib Govt when all the true believers will push the prices up. I remember Fraser/Hpward trashing the economy and this pack are even thicker

    • But Gwyntaglaw…

      Janet did get fibre.

      It’s even the name of the product, “Telstra FibrePower Lightning”, aka FIBRE-to-the-node! Sure, it’s not “Telstra FibrePower Optimum”, but it’s still “fibre”. *cough*bull*cough*crap. At least that’s what the coalition here and BT in the UK are selling it as. You’re so silly making technical distinctions like getting next to useless service vs. getting 1 Gbps and more in the future.

    • +1 Stumped at how to prevent this from happening. If myself and everyone I’ve ever spoken to voted for Labor, it wouldn’t make a dent in the end result.

      I’ve come to the decision of selling the property that I live at and moving to one of the local housing estates nearby that are connected to the NBN fibre.

      • Actually, thats an interesting angle, I wonder what having the NBN in an area does to the house prices (if anything)?

        • Was having that chat to a real estate friend a few weeks ago. General thought was that if the Lib’s win, FttP will add around $20k to the property. Maybe a little less depending on the area, but as its a case of haves and havenots, there will definitely be a premium for those areas.

          Dont think we really talked about new estates (we’d had a few beers by this point) but given they generally have a reasonably decent price tag (being new and all) he thought you wouldnt actually see much increase, comparitively speaking.

          Obviously if Labor wins, it only adds a premium (and not as big) for the next couple of years until the rollout really starts to come together and deliver connectable premises.

  24. i’m tired of this , the nbn in it’s current form makes alot of sense – the LNP are against it for whatever reason.

    Yet they think that any idea that Gina Rineheart comes up with is fantastic.

    They’d romp in the election if they just said – ok we’ll keep the nbn . So there must be alot of behind the scenes reasons (friends / money / influence) for them to stick with their current policy / focus.

    Am I the only one who hates Julia and Tony and see either as a negative for the country going forward?

    • I don’t hate Julia. I don’t like her pandering to popularity. She could now and then say “Suck it up Australia, you may not like it, but this is what is happening” I respected that aspect of Howard even though he was a tightwad and a bit outdated in his world view.
      Now Abbott I hate. I do not see any redeaming features. His agenda seems to have nothing to do with make Australia better, more just whatever gets him in to power. His behaviour since the last election has been to try to obstruct, put down or wreck anything and everything, good, bad or indiferent. Throwing his toys out of the pram. The guy is a self interested phoney. I cannot believe everybody cannot see that. Seems most do thank goodness. If it wasn’t for the MSM campaign to smear Labor I doubt there would be a chance in hell of him getting in. I guess he took the right tact then.

        • I didn’t admire him at all for what he spent money on or selling Telstra. I only admire him for having the balls to make unpolular policy. Gillard is too swayed by public opinion and Tony is too swayed by what’s good for him. I wish there was a viable third option.

          • I was just pointing out that the current ALP are more tightwad than the Liberals were under Howard ;o)

  25. Can someone explain to me FTTN,
    I understand FTTH, but with FTTN is the connection between the Node and the house/premises (under the LNP plan) proposed to be upgraded?
    if consumer link to the backbone isn’t going to be upgraded then who is going to pay for the backbone…

    • Fibre from the exchange to the node, then copper from the node to your house.

      Malcom says these nodes/cabinets *could possibly* have the ability to support upgrading your connection from them to your house with fibre. Where does it leave the people with HFC that would like to do the same??? Not to mention being stuck with 2mbit upload (currently on telstra) and only to slow down when more people connect to it. I’m on HFC and have noticed a slow down when telstra did a house to house sell around my area because adsl was becoming worse. I was only getting about 3mbit with about 5-10 disconnects a day, 20-30 when it rains and a 1.5mbit connect speed.

      • sorry, the slow speeds and disconnects were from when I was on ADSL.

        I only get about 60-70mbit max now with HFC.

  26. so they lay new copper or tie into existing, I can see that costing more then just putting in a clean slate, and generally just being a pain to install

  27. I have been a lifelong Lib voter but for the past two elections voted Labor purely on the fact they had a solid plan for the digital future of the nation. I will not be voting Lib again until they realise the importance of this project to the Nation and leave it in its current planned roll out.

    The NBN is no different to the previous national infrastructure building schemes like the Snowy or Roads infrastructure or rail that any modern country needs to ensure their future competitiveness in a global marketplace.

    If the Libs could just say they have done their independent research and that the tech and design are sound and they will be keeping the rollout as is and it would take the issue away once and for all and not give people like me a reason to vote Labor. I would vote for the Libs in a heartbeat but unfortunately they seem destined to destroy and change the NBN just to show they are different to Labor even when all the independent evidence / reports show that FTTH is the way to go.

  28. I hate to be an apologist for the guy but it seemed to me you might have missed a subtle shift in Abbot’s rhetoric which suggests Turnbull’s more rational thinking may have started getting through. Abbot is now saying “I don’t think we need to borrow as much” rather than foaming on about “wasteful expenditure of taxes”. That sounds as though the point has gotten through that the NBN is investment, not budget spending.

    Of course, he’s still not engaging with the point that Labor’s NBN is designed to yield a positive return on investment.

    • “Of course, he’s still not engaging with the point that Labor’s NBN is designed to yield a positive return on investment.”

      That’s my problem with them, they’ve had three years (and previous to that a decade) to come up with a plan to show they were thinking for Australia in a technological future, and in that time they basically have come up with nothing. I now see them as the Eloi of Australian politics (, they don’t come up with anything of their own, they just react (usually negatively) to “stuff”.

    • No, it means Abbott and Turnbull are encouraging the dumb voters to believe they won’t stop the rollout of the FTTH NBN. That will in fact be stopped on day one of {shudder} an Abbott PMship, Murdoch will demand and Tone won’t be able to stand up to Murdoch, hell, he can’t even stand up to fluffy breakfast TV!

  29. The current polls say it all.
    Abbott doesn’t need policies, in fact it is best to avoid them altogether in favour as negativity because it is very clear that FUD rather than policies are what matters most to the Australian electorate.

  30. Currently the Liberal’s only policy is to have the opposite policy to whatever Labor’s policy is.
    It is too much like hard work to actually come up with costed and sensible policies, just take the opposite stance to Labor, the Liberals are in Opposition after all, what else are they expected to do??

    Sarcasm aside, what scares/worries me is the large number of people out there that just take the stance that the NBN is a “$50 billion white elephant”. Try explaining to them that it is an infrastructure project, that it will generate a return on investment, that it is essential for Australia’s technological future and they wave their hands in the air and mutter something like “we don’t need anything faster then we already have, facebook works fine on my computer at home”

    Why is Labor so bad at promoting the benefits of the NBN?

    • “Why is Labor so bad at promoting the benefits of the NBN?”

      I think a more pertinent question would be why is News Ltd so good at discrediting the NBN.

      • I have to disagree Hubert, I think the NBN is one of the policies that the government – or more particularly Stephen Conroy – has actually sold best.

        I have grave doubts that anyone will be able to ever deliver FTTH to 93% of homes in Australia in anything other than a very, very long time-frame and without spending considerably more than $37 billion – however, as I understand it the NBN is currently the government’s most popular policy not withstanding the disgraceful coverage of it in News Corp.

        Interestingly, if the government were running an FTTN based network who else reckons they would be getting attacked for running an ‘inferior’ solution and being told they were not ‘future proofing’ the nation? Count me in for one.

        • Ummm, I assume you are talking News Ltd? Well the opposition are being attack for their FTTN policy but not by News Ltd. Only NBN “Zealots” and the commie ABC and ZDNet are doing so. MSM for the most part let them say what they like and never question them. Nearly every News Ltd story on the NBN starts out describing what is happening and ends with a couple of paragraphs of Malcolm Turnbull rubbishing it.
          You should see them, you seem very chummy with Turnbull on Twitter.

          • Religious zealots, thank you very much. We worked hard to be recognised as a religion…

          • LOL, I was just saying as Tony would understand it. He spends a lot of time crusading with Turnbull for FTTN. He is even starting to sound like him. Telling people they have “jumped the shark” and ignoring their questions when they don’t fit in to his neat little FTTN is cheaper world. He ignores questions on cost to buy the network, that those overseas that rolled it out cheaper already owned the copper. I am not sure who is taking tips of whom between him and Turnbull, they sound the same.

  31. I wonder, if the Coalition do come to power, can they just order NBNCo to drop tools without legislation passing through both houses? I don’t know but wouldn’t organisation such as NBNCo have to be separate from the government to at least this degree to prevent them being misused by the government of the day? If this is the case, perhaps the coalition doesn’t have a policy because they know that by the time they got it through the Senate, even just the stop work order, it would be too late to stop the NBN anyway.

    • They can tell NBN Co to take a running jump, to be sure, but they can’t tell the contractors to drop tools. They are private consortiums like Syntheo and Silcar, and they fully intend to collect every cent that they are promised under contract.

      (How much that would be, and how long the contracts will run, is indeed the $64 million dollar question – Renai has already urged the Government to sign long-term contracts for the full job, and I’m inclined to agree with him!)

      The only way they could stop is if a bull-headed Abbott basically told them: “We’re not paying you! And you can sue us for the lot!” They might be tempted to cut their losses on the construction side; but they most certainly would sue, and expect to get paid in full.

  32. …up to a third of the electorate would remain locked on existing HFC cable and copper (ADSL) broadband with no future upgrade path at all from what they currently have.

    Rubbish, we have been through this so many times. You have a plethora of upgrade paths and you can have dedicated fiber tomorrow from a bunch of suppliers, or you can have dedicated point-to-point wireless at 100 megabit. It just costs money, that’s all. They will ask you to pay for the build.

    What you really mean to say is, “with no cheap and easy upgrade path”.

    The thing is I’m perfectly happy with my ADSL2+, it does everything I want. Well almost everything. I recently had two weeks of downtime on a business ADSL service from iiNet. It was a line fault, basically someone a few streets down just cut the line. Probably, since there has been a lot of work going on in the area, that might give you a clue as to who cut the line (not that I can prove anything), but anyhow it took iiNet one week to get someone out, and that person (a contractor by the looks of it) did about 10 minutes work, clipped on a meter and said, “Yup, that’s a fault.” Then it took a further one week to get a Telstra tech to turn up and trace it along for two streets then hook it back up again (about one hour’s work I would guess).

    Right there is the problem with comms in Australia — not speed, not corroded copper. The problem is reliability, due to poor maintenance and long timeframes to fix faults. Is the NBN going to help? Probably not. A fiber is just as fragile to someone cutting the line as copper is. The NBN cabinets on the side of roads are very vulnerable to a wayward truck or similar, and you get every excuse in the book as to why stuff can’t get fixed — bushfires, floods, you name it (I basically got told, “we are too busy” not in exactly those words, but pretty close).

    I asked about what sort of penalty iiNet was going to pay me on my $100 per month “business” line account in compensation — ha ha! Funny huh? But I had to ask. I’ll just emphasise, I never had a problem with it until this particular fault, it has always consistently given me 10M download and 2M upload, or very close to that. Speed is fine for my purposes (including using VoIP for years, remote desktop over VPN, conference calls, lots of stuff).

    Wake me up when any of you can find penalty payments offered be NBN-Co for failure to fix faults in a reasonable timeframe. As far as I can see they offer nothing better.

    • Tel
      Comprehension issues?
      Are you talking about National Infrastructure or toys for wealthy people?
      National Infrastructure you build for the future in the most efficient and economic manner, what you suggest is literally a massive fail in regards to ESSENTIAL NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE

  33. I look this from a home network situation, you look at hitech homes i’d say you’re barmy to think either xdsl the latter hfc is going to be appropriate backhaul for a decent 48-96 port network..

    IMHO no 1 in the LNP is of leadership is capable to run this country, abbot running around forming bogus tax reform and dribbling on health care reforms trying to distance himself from fowl stench of malcom’s rhetoric of trying to what he perceives as FTTN>COPPER is nothing more than fttn with tophat extensions..

    If the lnp get in i can see Abbot ousted within 12month’s, I still like to know why this dipstick Turnbull the wally even has broadband portfolio given the fact he likely holds shares multiple international telco’s which likely holds stock in Aussie telco’s, wouldn’t that imply a conflict of interest , last I checked rules whether it be local, state or federal government if you own shares in something whether it be locally owned or internationally owned given voting rights on the shares you own vote via proxy is applied,,

    given the fact Turnbull owns telco share should he even have this portfolio in the 1st place given the major conflict of interest he has, he shouldn’t even have the portfolio and should leave the room whilst it is being discussed in & at any level of government… last thing he should be doing is opening his claptrap of a mouth and passing comment on a portfolio he shouldn’t have hold of..

    And the other little fact he seems to neglect is the fact fibre in 1 form or another has been discussed as a backhaul solution has been public books since the mid 1970’s so delaying the inevitable for another 30+years makes no sense..

    telstra is paid 1billion + a year just maintain copper and that has been like since telstra was 1st floated on the ASX, about time with laid copper to rest…

    Turnbull need to retire given the fact he is dribbling shit and sprinkle fairytales on last mile when in reality you’re looking at a physical 4-7 mile copper loop in the space of 2-3.5miles, kind of redundant even to consider fttn>copper/tophat as a valid solution to begin with given the is all but obsolete, and end doing a bigger fttn dump than our kiwi cousin’s did on the subject of fttn

  34. Has everyone read the latest senate estimates transcript? Seriously some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read. Better than most sit-coms. It’s a bit of a long read, but it’s worth it. Start at “NBN Co. Ltd”, bottom of page 99 of 127.

  35. I am also hoping that the NBN as envisioned is completed.

    But I do believe they’re not prioritising areas without access to high speed broadband. For example, they’re over building very early in the TransACT Victoria (Neighbourhood Cable) cities Geelong, Ballarat, and Mildura, as well as in the ACT too.

    I’m in Sylvania Sydney and I’m due in 3 years – also an area with Telstra HFC. I do think they could do this better!

    • 3 years is better than NEVER! is it not? Because the harsh reality is you’ll get nothing with the Libs, i mean NOTHING! unless you fall in an area where contracts are signed and Abbott and Co don’t try to dishonor those.

      • Not sure I understand “SuperiorIQ”, or perhaps you just didn’t understand my comment. I think my area should be de-prioritised, since we have HFC options already, even if I’m not using it.

        On a personal level I’m pleased we’ll have NBN in 3 years, but on an objective national level I think we’re not the right choice. Ignoring HFC, I also notice that the rollout is corresponding to the local exchange areas, and since they rightly are not doing every exchange they’d be better off targeting half way between my exchange and the neighbouring exchange – meaning they’d be ignoring people within 1km of my exchange and the neighbouring exchange, but really helping a lot of people in between. That’s a different way of prioritising those more in need.

      • (Just reread my original comment. Apologies I wasn’t very clear.)

        I’m in Sylvania Sydney and I’m due in 3 years for NBN. But I’m in an area with Telstra HFC, and I think that due to this it should be deprioritised.

        I choose DSL, and I don’t want to use Telstra, but I just think that’s a fairer ORDER for rollout.

        • @Greg Alexander

          The NBN has been designed around the Telstra deal. The Telstra deal requires all those on HFC to be on FTTH by 2018. That’s the restriction they have to be able to FINALLY remove Telstra’s monopoly.

          While I agree SOME tweaking could be done to get SOME people better service a LITTLE quicker…..ultimately, we’re talking a few years. It may be unfair, but considering we’ll have this for the next 5 decades minimum it is practically insignificant in perspective.

          Sorry, but that’s just the way the world works. If you want something decent, you often have to wait for it. If you want something cheap, you can get it quick, but don’t be surprised if you’re disappointed in it.

  36. Panic at Delimiter as it looks more and more like the NBN is toast.

    I will have a little giggle at the next election when the self entitled, like this website, lose their uncosted, unbuilt NBN.

    • Gotta love the brainwashed mentality and childish logic of those who’s best argument against the NBN is, whatever because haha, when my guys win the next election… :/

      • They are so clairvoyant it is very impressive… makes you wonder why they object to the NBN so rabidly when they know for sure they will get the gimped version they’ve always wanted. All this fuss over nothing really.

      • I’m sure you think you have a point. You have either failed to communicate it or, as seems more likely, you don’t actually have anything worth saying.

  37. We will not get a Turnbull network if the Coalition wins. We will get what Aboott wants, which is…? I expect Abbott to flog NBN Co. to the highest bidder (Telstra) at the first possible opportunity, and to encourage and promote “competition” between Telstra and… Telstra.

    In other words, we will not get an NBN. We won’t even get NBN lite (FTTN). We will get same old.

  38. To be fair to Turnbull, I don’t see how their plans have become substantially less clear.

    the interview comment that HFC areas would be upgraded last, if at all, seemed to attract a lot of discussion, but that just sounds reflective of their general policy.

    The Coalition’s policy has always been to keep HFC. Assuming it’s well provisioned, and wholesale access is available, HFC is technically the better option than FTTN. The HFC networks are ready to go – today. They can do 100Mbps downstream without a sweat, and while it’s subject to higher contention, if bandwidth to the nodes is upgraded it can support higher uptake easily.

    the only issue is the low upstream speed, but if you’re at the level where that’s an issue you probably need an enterprise grade EoC/fibre service anyway.

    • Michael, his comment wasn’t that HFC would be upgraded last. I was that all other areas were going to be rolled out then they’d talk to Telstra and decide what to do about those areas. No where did he say HFC areas would get FTTN, in fact with all his weasel words he seems to very carefully avoid saying HFC areas will get anything.

      “HFC is technically the better option than FTTN. The HFC networks are ready to go – today. They can do 100Mbps downstream without a sweat, and while it’s subject to higher contention, if bandwidth to the nodes is upgraded it can support higher uptake easily.”

    • I probably should have said more than “Rubbish”, but really the HFC discussion has gone on for years and posting reply to every claim that HFC is a viable broadband alternative has been answered so many times. HFC just barely works now because there aren’t many people on it. It’s not going to be easy or maybe not even possible to wholesale it. It doesn’t do 100Mb “easily” it rarely gets better than ADSL2 in many areas. People migrate from HFC to ADSL2 so they can get some evening bandwidth.
      Just look through past post.

    • Michael,

      HFC is a no-fly zone. There’s no wholesale regime, very little to no regulation of pricing (it’s not declared) and Telstra is under no obligation to either maintain, extend or provide access elsewhere.

      That is why Turnbull isn’t going near it. HFC isn’t part of the plan; it never was. It’s just something Turnbull can point to as a supposed example of where they can save money.

      Telstra will not hand over wholesale access to it, any more than they’ll simply hand over the CAN. We know how much it cost the NBN to gain access to copper support infrastructure, we cannot seriously expect Telstra to offer the entire CAN, as a going concern, for less than.

      Nor would they simply hand over access to HFC after a five minute conversation. The LNP proposals are, frankly, delusional at this point.

      The types of agreements required, regulatory changes, ACCC clearances, renegotiation with telstra would add years onto any time-table. No sooner, not faster and sure as hell not cheaper.

      And none of that even addresses the costs to build the FTTH, after FTTN.

      Because you’re not going to get both for the same cost as one. People need to start thinking long term. Because that’s where Malcom “It’s all part, of the plan” Turnbull is putting changes off to.

    • @Michael

      the only issue is the low upstream speed, but if you’re at the level where that’s an issue you probably need an enterprise grade EoC/fibre service anyway.

      I disagree. There’s MORE than enough scope for many small businesses to need at least 20 if not 40Mbps up for running their own backups for the office or offsite storage. And for many consumers too (3 of my colleagues run family servers for photos, video and important documents)

      We are selling ourselves short by removing any talk of uploads. That’s at LEAST half the point of FTTH.

  39. NO HTTN in HFC areas,
    next announcement from the Coalition proberly be after the election will be,
    NO HTTN in ADSL2+ areas,
    the only areas that will get HTTN are in the black spot areas and Rims

    The Coalition have an agreement with certain media outlets to destroy the NBN at all costs, inexchange for there support WHY the NBN will be the final nail in the coffin of the larger print media outlets

    • It is apparent Turnbull is an ideas man, rather than a policy maker; how many of these new ideas would even be possible, from a policy perspective?

    • Hey Renai, Turnball has a solution to your delemma, you can have optical fibre installed right to your door step, umm but you have to pay for it. No problem Renai just sell one or two of your kids to medical research, what no kids well your out of luck, say hello to the 20th century.

      • I have to say, I would personally pay $1,000 to have fibre extended to my door; providing I owned the house or was able to sign a 3-4 year lease.

        • How can you have it extended Renai? You live within the HFC footprint, so there wont be any FttN build to extend from!

        • Renai, they have optical fibre running through the streets of Cooroy in QLD it was part of the Kevin Rudd Clever Network plan but it cost up to $200 a metre from the street to your house so your $1000 bucks will get you about 5 metres, the length of your lounge room, if you want to go from your door step to the exchange you will have to try harder than that. If your short of a quid put the bite on Turnball hes got plenty of money. O Malcolm darling would you like to be my new best friend. Sure sweet lips Renai how much money would you like.

  40. Another well written article Renai, pity the same cant be said about the Liberals national telecommunications policy……

  41. 1 thing people forget FTTN under LNP basically gets you current rollout of current projection of FTTN + tophat,, which includes both ADSL2+/VDSL2+/BDSL/HFC possibly another 30-50+ years if the LNP takes office..

    to my understanding HFC will either be used or replaced with fibre to stop cross platform issues from happening, moving on from there Ftth is paramount…

    HFC/XDSL is all but obsolete and putting it in the 7.5 mile local node loop is just a monumental stupid Idea, given their limitations because and due to maintenance cost’s of which the LNP has yet to actually put in a budget projection for they are only stating installing of FTTN>copper with no backup model of maintenance of the local loop to your address…

    looking at my current network requirements I would say fttp/ftth is the way to a house hold of 5-6 people are going to have a minimum of 6-10+ devices over the course of 13-18 years if not longer given the average age people leave is around 25 or so, so irrespective of whether the ALP or LNP are in top office, we actually need fibre to replace copper as a complete backhaul from the home-node-exchange-poi so on and so forth..

    Looking at Abbot and Co, there is no-one in the LNP that has intellect to actually sit in the top job, given the amount of diatribe coming from their collective mouth’s, Abbot in lala land over tax breaks and health (typical bread and butter politics) that in reality gets nowhere fast, The Wally of and named Turnbull spreading bullshit and pixie dust claiming last mile will be the best outcome for speed though fails to consider the reality the last mile is 7.5 miles of copper in the space of 3.5-4 miles service area so far end indication that the local canco node is actually a 15mile radius in the space radius of 7-8 miles, kind of making the 1 mile and 6km line length of copper a standing joke and obsolete..

    I wonder if the Wally of Turnbull has bothered to a search on how long fibre as an end source of backhaul has been been on the Federal Gov books it is in public information it has been on the since the mid-late 1970’s kind of redundant trying to push obsolete hardwares as a solution some 30+years after the original discussion was tabled, I think Mr. Turnbull by 2015-17 40 years is long enough to start replacing the copper network with something better and given the fact telstra can’t even maintain the at a service level they should better off to replace copper with fibre and reduce the reduce the $1+ billion the Australian Federal Government spends annually to keep the disrepair of copper in service…

    Mr. Turnbull your fttn boxco + tophat plan is to late to be deployed now and reality is it is a short term fix and copper is so far gone it’s to the point it has to be replaced within the next 5-10 years… your noodle nosed network Idea doesn’t have the capacity to support a basic 24-96 port home network for the long or short time, even a inbred hick can see the importance to deliver ftth opposed to your idiotic notion fttn + tophat> copper network..

    face the music XDSL and HFC is all but dead as a delivery method for internet an telephony services, while i see value in wireless and satellite in a redundancy connection i also know it is a 2000kg white elephant standing in the back of the room, the fact is 100,000 users which has become a base line under nbnco was tabled in the opel report 20 years or so ago, it doesn’t include growth margins in that industry for the last 20+ years…

  42. Frankly, I don’t share the propellor heads’ view of the NBN as the panacea of all broadband ills. So far, the abysmally small rollout has yet to demonstrate that the results are anything more than unsubstantiated propaganda. Any claims that the technology is fantastic etc. are still subject to the whole exercise being stuffed up by experts. The same bunch of hopeless cretins who have screwed every financial adventure they launched, including that lay down misere of the mining tax, have said that the largest financial investment in the country’s history will be fine!! Right. So far they spent the first five years changing the policy, getting screwed over by Telstra (oh it’s only nine BILLION bucks, she’ll be right.) and failing to meet any (revised) target by several country miles. But that’s OK, it’ll make a seven percent return!! 7%??? That’s not a return on a lemonade stand, let alone tens of billions of dollars. With Swan’s financial skills, that target will only be missed by – oh, that much. Damn we’re actually making a loss. Oh well, just raise taxes…. Please, I’d rather get some fun out of the money, not watch Connolly’s ego trip piss it up against the wall.

    • Hi Kevin,

      this is an evidence-based site. If you make a post full of hyperbole, you will be asked to supply evidence to back it up. When you can’t, you will rightfully be banned.

    • I also have to throw in that 7% on a lemonade stand is the same percentage as 7% on the NBN. Lemonade stands have a much smaller investment though, and if they have the same 7% return then it is precisely proportionally smaller!

    • Actually, we’re taxed less under this Labor government than we were under Howard. This government also spends less than he did, and what they do spend, they spend on infrastructure (unlike Howard who spent bugger all on infrastructure and instead used the money to pay people to have babies….not exactly the way I want my taxes used thanks…).

  43. the future is fibre the sooner the better.

    using a 24port switch as example on 24mb adsl, equates to 1mb/1kbps up throughtput

    100/2 mb hfc 4.16mb/2kbps per device
    100/8 mb hfc 4.16mb/8kbps per device
    100/40mb fibre 4.16/1,66 mb per device

    this is regardless or not whether or not you run a 10mb network interface or run a 100mb network interface or even 1gb to 10gb interface as you home network interface…

    do your own math’s to workout the throughput cost to 48-96 devices on your average home network using:

    adsl 24/1
    vdsl 48/5
    bdsl 48/2-48/4
    hfc 100/8
    hfc 100/2
    fibre 100/40
    fibre 1000/400
    fibre 40/20gb
    fibre 100/50gb

    i’m talking internet connection capacity over 10/100/1000/10gb home network interface..
    and ask yourself this is copper and hfc a prudent telecommunications infrastructure..
    I see already infrastructure going past the past the point 100gb networking within the next 10-15 years co’s are already building hardware to support these networking plains..

    I already predict a min of 40+ gb fibre interconnects within the home network within the next 10-15 years with 10gb copper interconnects within 2-5 meters of switch, look past 4k res within 15-25 years we’ll see 8k-24k res as standard and we’ll need backhaul to cater for it…

    Imho chuck 200bn into the coffers and extend fibre everywhere and make sure the fibre is suitable past 40gb speed service… 1TB today is going to be 100-3000TB within 10-25 years and it will cost the same as 1TB does today regardless of the current but out dated speeds we receive today…

    and can someone parliamentary GAG on that 2 minute soapbox called (magic mountain) Malcom Turnbull…. as he is a complete idiot and like writing imaginary fiction and classing it as stated fact when in reality it is a lot bigger than the claims he puts into pubic records and is noted to factually wrong in many cases…

    • I’m really glad you’re not a network engineer. Seriously. That was some interesting misinformed ranting there.

      Just be glad people who know what they’re talking about support the NBN as well.

  44. “(And the overpriced set top boxes that cost more than a new TV was the fault of the greedy)”

    Some might find it hard to believe. That was one of Howard’s schemes.

    Would be surprised, in this day and age there are many that would qualify.

    • Actually another misrepresentation, it was to have a digital service. The set top box was but part, if necessary and often was, cable and arial also needed to be replaced, and in some cases this meant masts and mast head amplifiers all installed and operational delivering a good picture, so it was not as overpriced as represented. The usual story

  45. NightKhaos, I freely admit i’m not a network engineer though I do have common sense to know that neither xsdl nor HFC is a suitable platform, though i do have a basic knowledge network speeds vs internet speed we all plug into and its limited capacity to push… I also know the quota allotment we see today is barely usable when you add speed to it..

    I also keep abreast what the gear in development that the tech mags don’t even even scratch the surface of, most tech mags stick to consumer electronics front end…

    I’m also talking about realistic throughput of each device accessing the internet through the network hte backhaul governs the overall speed of the internet connection..

    at 10gb you could only support 10 devices at 1gb the more you add the less speed you get it don’t matter what lan speed you have across your lan network it is the capacity of the fibre you connect too..

    while 100/40 is a great start once you start ramping up 4-12 devices or more per roomyou’ll a dramatic drom in speed per device.. to be honest I already the requirement past 10gb…

    the 1st 8k res gear should start appearing by or before 2020, not long after that we will 16k native resolutions and i will have to say it’s becoming to a point that you will need higher capacity infrastructure than what ever plan the LNP is going to enact.. as backhaul..

    • @Jason

      While plenty of devices are CAPABLE of a THEORETICAL 1Gbps, the fact is, none will actually work at such a bandwidth.

      8K Native, using H.265 uses approx. 80Mbps. RAW, it uses over 4Gbps. NO ONE in residential circumstances will be using RAW 8K for a LONG time.

      10Gbps isn’t even a consumer standard yet. It will be 2 decades before 10Gbps throughput is standard on consumer devices. That is, where 10Gbps is actually being saturated.

    • Jason you have no concept of contention and how it applies to networking. This is the problem I have with your analysis. I’ll try and explain best I can and hopefully you can be better informed on NBN debates, and other things like setting up a home network, in future.

      Visualise for me a pipe. This is your Internet connection. This pipe can take a set amount of information through it, like fluid, at a time. The maximum it can take is your Peak Information Rate (PIR). The average in ADSL is around 7Mbps.

      Now, this pipe has other pipes that lead off it and a complicated fluid sorting system. This is your LAN. These pipes are much bigger than the one coming into your house. So much so they can easily take the full volume of fluid from the input pipe.

      Now the fluid sent into your house is usually a trickle. Barely registering. But sometimes a request is made for something and fluid gushes in. This happens whenever a link is clicked or a file downloads.

      This is how contention works. It relies on the fact that requests from more than one device at exactly the same time are rare and a device will not be constantly requesting content. It is a fundamental principle of network design.

      A 1Gbps 10 port switch does not “split” the connection into 10 100Mbps pipes, it simply sorts the fluid. If all the fluid is going to one device that device can use the whole 1Gbps. If it’s going to two or more they have to share it. The worst case I they all try at once. That is when you get 100Mbps to each device. But this rarely happens in practice. The figure you get in this case, accounting for any bias you may have for one device over another, is known as the Committed Information Rate (CIR).

      Most customers don’t care about the CIR, only the PIR, and, with the exception of dedicated business plans, only the PIR is advertised. When NBNCo says they’ll deliver 100Mbps they mean they’ll deliver a PIR of 100Mbps. The GPON format chosen by NBNCo alone, not accounting for CVC, backhaul, etc, already brings the CIR down to 78Mbps.

      • LOL, your pipes example reminded me so much of this:

        “Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet [that was] sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.
        […] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material”

  46. lol Khoas, i just said the same thing, however i was speaking 10 active connections at once across a network did you actually READ what I said about contention in context of an internet connection..

    i was also showing the example over a contention of a 24 port switch..

    what you see in 1to1 or 1 to multiple connection lan is way different to the internet connection can sustain

    don’t know what you run as an adsl connection though 1 see 4/1, in 1/1 contention over 4 devices 1mb/250kbps across 4 devices irrespective of what the speed the lan or wlan can do in a network situation

    on a 100/40 fibre connection 10 devices would 10/4mb per device on 20 you would likely see 5/2 per device, irrespective of the speed the lan/wlan can support as I can’t 1to1 speed from from the internet connection can you.. if we had 1o1 across a 24port switch i would say 1TB will be dead in 12 hours or less

    I look at bd players, tvs, pvr’s, netfilcks, avr’s, av processors, pc’s, laptops, nas, ps3, xb360, xbox, ps2, wii wiiu, printers and so on and i can’t see 1to1 contention any time soon in regard to internet connection speed, though i also face the fact we need fatter backend pipes than they don’t currently allow for, the progress will happen at some point.

    • @jason

      on a 100/40 fibre connection 10 devices would 10/4mb per device on 20 you would likely see 5/2 per device, irrespective of the speed the lan/wlan can support as I can’t 1to1 speed from from the internet connection can you.. if we had 1o1 across a 24port switch i would say 1TB will be dead in 12 hours or less

      I’m sorry, but do you seriously have enough people in your house (20) or enough people using enough devices simultaneously (5 using 4 at once or 6 using 3 at once) AND all downloading at the top speed they can, 24/7???

      Come on, get real. A SERIOUS, real-world, scenario is 6 people at home. All have phones. All have computers. Phones using a few Kbps sporadically (push notifications and chat) with occasional spikes to 5-10Mbps for Facebook loading or music streaming. Laptops/desktops using 3-5Mbps during gaming, consistently (I doubt that’d be all 6, MAYBE 4 and I SERIOUSLY doubt that’d all be at once, but even so) which is the biggest problem, as browsing and/or video watching would be sporadic, not consistent.

      You’re talking a MAXIMUM of 50-60Mbps usage at any one time, unless you’re streaming DVD quality content (which I’m unaware of anywhere in Australia that does so and even Netflix isn’t DVD quality), in which case you MIGHT push 100Mbps. MAYBE. And that would be spikes, not consistent.

      If your 6 people are running 100MBps CONSISTENTLY, you’ve got bigger problems than whether your quota is big enough….you need to get out more, apart from anything. And honestly, you watch TV. Truly. You can’t say all 6 people would STREAM ALL the TV they watch??? Even if they did, you’re talking MAXIMUM 4Mbps for iTunes, which is the highest quality stream Australia has. 6 people ALL streaming individual movies (why would they ALL be watching individual movies??) is 24Mbps.

    • *facepalm* I tried. I really did. Jason you understand enough to be dangerous but not enough to be useful in this debate.

      So let’s get back on topic.

      Yes, I agree we’re going to need more backhaul in future. With more content like VoD being common, more and more streams are likely to be active at one time. The problem is both plans address this problem, it’s the last mile connection, and how it’ll be delivered, that will differ.

      Hehe, made a typo and my phone wanted to correct that last word time “suffer”. Somehow appropriate.

  47. This country needs leaders/visionaries, not half witted idiots that can’t see pass the back of their eye lids.

  48. sadly there no-1 in the current lnp front runners has the brains to sit in the top job every t]me they open mouth’s they get fubar to the point they sound like year 4 kids giving a public address to the school and family…

    if the LNP get in I can see someone writing blank checks to telstra to (haha) fix (haha) its network and telstra wasting the cash on weekend junkets to kowloon.. and laughing all the way to the bank…

  49. @seven_tech

    I hate to say this i’m speaking realworld scenario

    as a society we haven’t lived in the owner of 1 for many a year the reality is we will have more gear connected to the internet than the generation before us.

    i’ve owned 4 desktops in the last 20 years 4 laptops in the last 4 years, 6 network-able consoles in the last 15 years, 2x bd players in the last 2 years had 1 network capable dvd player the last 3 years ago, last 3 month’s and a 32″ network tx brought 2 years ago, 4 adsl + adsl modem brought over the last 9 years, 1 24 port switch and a joytech network avswitch, granies kitchen tv also supports network connectivity

    while i might be a rare exception to the rule this is how my network sits at present, now i can see a similar setup in other rooms in the home and I already know about quota limitation and know if I was to muliply my current network setup in multiple rooms, I see and my spouse to be with a pc and laptop each our 3-4 kids will have similar computer and laptop setups, though as i look at my current setup i can see similar setups in other homes..

    so I understand the importance internet backbone and i can’t see 100/40 or even 1000/400 being adequate speed after the next 5 years, yes I concede we may have that option for up too 10 years though reality is I already see the need the 10gb and beyond as a internet source..
    1gb might be fine within the home for the next 10 years within 15-25 years 10gb is going to be standard network with fibre standard connection between switches.. in today’s reality we but scratch the surface of what’s going to be used on the home network now and in the future..

    • 1) There are reply buttons above the posts to allow proper threading of conversations, use them.


      I’ve tried to explain this to you as best I could but unfortunately you seem to be ignoring that. You have a 24 point switch maxed? Okay, now I want to to turn on every device. Then pick one and do a speed test. Notice that you don’t receive 1/24 of your Internet connection?

      Contention is a two way street. It relies on the premise that not every device makes a request at the same time or constantly. It makes it economical to deploy networks as is fundamental concept of packet switching. When there is too much contention it can cause problems, but if there isn’t any the costs spiral out of control.

      3) Seven_Tech was pointing out that your understanding of how much bandwidth each device utilises is flawed. He was not, as you seem to have thought, suggesting your setup was “absurd” or “atypical”, only that your understanding of how your setup will use your connection is flawed.

    • Jason,
      Lets say all your devices all want to connect at the same time, and you max out your 100Mbps for 1 hour each evening. That’s 1350GB a month, just for an hour a day at full speed. Do that for 4 hours a day and they’d use 4 times as much. 24 hours… you get the drift.

      If you were right, the huge quotas we all would need would cost us a fortune and destroy the internet simultaneously :). Though the telcos would then have the money to improve backhaul.

  50. @ Khaos, fttn isn’t a viable solution like its forerunner namesake that was canned under howard, pointless trying to install something that should of been put in the mid 80’s finished by 2005/2010 by the latest with migration starting in mid 2010..

    fttn as a solution isn’t practical at any level of delivery and even know wally of turnbull know’s even though he is trying sell it hard and is failing big time..

    i see as a big waste of cash to deploy fttn only having to gut the cabinet and possibly replace it within 5-10 years just because gear isn’t fast enough in copper tech.

    • Mid 80s? Mid 80s? Now I’ve heard it all. Apparently we should have installed technology to serve usage habits 20 years in advance. Are you serious?

      Look, apparently you completely misunderstood my point. My point is that the backhaul will be addressed under both plans.

      FTTH is a better deployment method for last mile I agree. I never said I supported FTTN over FTTH. Stop fighting strawman please.

  51. Note that the number of homes passed by HFC is exaggerated. A lot of those streets were strung with only with catenary cable prior to a deadline which allowed councils more supervision. If HFC were then later required it could be installed without the additional negotiations with the council. As it turned out, HFC often wasn’t required, only the catenary and the misleading record-keeping remains.

  52. backhaul from home to node isn’t addressed under FTTN and it never will be..

    that was my point..

    30-100mb in speed is barely enough for todays apps nevermind the next 20-100 years..

    I was also talking the reality of FTTN install date should of been started in the mid 1980’s with a 20 year gap to finish that deployment.. back then speed wasn’t the concern as it is today

    Fibre in general had been a kick the can option for 10-12 years prior to 1985-7, so given current fibre speeds you still well use your available 1 TB quota in a short period of time..

    doesn’t matter how much gear you got access the net at once, don’t know about you khaos, though i would suspect average online content per person per day would be 4-6 hours a day, your 1 hour a day is a pipe dream..

    people do multiple things at once whilst online you know…

    just streaming 720-1080p content across several devices would be enough to chew all the bandwidth you had on a 100/40 internet connection..

    not including the addition of recorded media while you’re out of the home on pvr’s and so forthnot including the addition of recorded media while you’re out of the home on pvr’s and so forth

    i’m being a realistic on the quota we will need within the next 10+ years, though as FTTH/P becomes more prevalent and available i can see the need for more quota within 2 years of a active service being available to use….

    as fibre as a standard connection makes every other dead weight tech obsolete as you will likely agree it is a pointless exercise to release a dead tech option which is now all but useless to be deployed,,,

    • backhaul from home to node isn’t addressed under FTTN and it never will be..

      You have just in one sentence demonstrated that you have very little understanding of the terminology. The rest of your post barely makes any sense.

      I’ll try to address what I can but I strongly suggest you stop commenting on this subject until you at least understand basic terminology.

      1) There is a reply button. Please use it. It wasn’t until I noticed my name half way down that I realised you were, in fact, replying to me.

      2) Heard of grammar? This isn’t a text message. Please utilise it or next time I won’t bother replying because it’s too difficult to read your posts.

      3) Backhaul by definition is not from the node to the home. It means, well, backhaul. I can’t really describe it without going into flawed analogies of motorways vs streets vs driveway. FTTN and FTTH technology is all about last mile deployment.

      4) 30Mbps is actually more than enough for todays applications, the highest typically utilised technology would be HD video, which depending on compression ranges between 5 and 25Mbps. You are correct it isn’t good enough for the future, but although that is correct, it helps to get your facts correct.

      It’s only if you’re using the highest quality streams where the fact you have multiple users active actually becomes a problem with a well provisioned 30Mbps service, which most people don’t because they’re incredibly difficult to source because the servers have to pay for bandwidth too so providers are reluctant to provide more bandwidth intensive video. The only way this will change is with wide spread multiplexing available, like what the NBN will offer.

      5) The Internet was not a thing in the mid-80s. In the mid-90s is where it took off as a commodity service and when most people started getting dial-up. I think you mean mid-00s, because otherwise you’re suggesting telecoms, governments and engineers should have preemptively predicted the development of widespread broadband adoption about 20 years in advance.

      6) Fibre back in the 80s was only cost effective for long distance PtP links, and because of the lack of applications and commercially available amplifiers, was typically only deployed between major research or defence institutions. It wasn’t until the 90s that widespread deployment of backhaul fibre occurred. Your understanding of the time line of development, as I have said, is off by about 20 years.

      7) You’re not being realistic on quota, bandwidth requirements, you have even demonstrated a failed understanding of contention. Let me point out something very important I support the NBN. But you sir, and believe me I have tried to diplomatic about it, have no idea what you’re talking about. As I said before, you know just enough to be dangerous but not enough to be useful.

Comments are closed.