Truth: NBN Co is trying as hard as it can to normalise FTTN


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  1. “Morrow is nothing less than a hard-headed, experienced executive executing on a well-thought-out communications strategy”
    What have you been smoking Renai?

    • It’s the truth, mate.

      I have many differences of opinion with Morrow, as well as the Minister, Mitch Fifield, and Turnbull as well.

      But these people are not idiots — they are very smart and capable. They don’t get to their positions by being fools.

      It’s just the truth. But then, as the article itself states … “That’s too much for some people”.

        • That they are, doesn’t make them stupid tho, look at Ziggy, he’s a nuclear physicist but still happily does whatever the libs command him to.

      • Morrie is just another tool to pull carry out Turnbull’s agenda. No different to those used to write his strategic reviews.

      • I don’t think he’s stupid. There are a few supporters that seem to believe their own bullshit. The sad thing is, that only makes it worse, deliberate lying is worse than being wrong due to ignorance. I bet his salary and bonuses sooth any moral angst he may be capable of feeling.

        • +1

          These people certainly aren’t stupid, but they are snide in their own self promotion.

          As such what’s best for us means SFA, it’s whats best for them that matters and with the associated spin from a friendly media (who see FTTP as a threat) and mindless foot soldiers who are too ideologically stupid to know better, spreading the word…

          Obviously, they can fool most of the people most of the time :(

  2. It would behoove all Australian technologists to remember this long-term issue with the MTM. It will be technologists’ best argument against FTTN and HFC cable in the years — and against the propaganda — to come.

    We will Renai, we most certainly will!

    Great article, thanks. :)

    • We never forgot about the collosal Telstra/Optus HFC cluster fuck.

      We won’t forget about the money cannon that Turnbull has turned NBNCo into.

      My position before the election remains the same, if you don’t want to buy fibre, fine. But don’t go wasting billions of dollars on the copper network as an alternative.

      • That’s pretty much the conclusion most of the rest of the world seems to have come to. It’s either worth upgrading to a full fiber network or it’s not worth upgrading at all.

        • And many people were even better off on ADSL than they are now with their new shiny soon-to-be-oversubscribed satellite service.

  3. “The technologies may be very different, but the speed tiers on offer are exactly the same at the low end — 12Mbps, 25Mbps and 50Mbps.”
    Speed tiers are one thing, latency, congestion, and qos are scorchers.
    Fttn can’t even get close to fttp in those areas.

    • Interestingly I was looking at the speed tiers in France as we may be moving there, a country with a mix of population densities and with an inhabited land area greater than Australia’s (85% of Australia is effectively uninhabited). They’ve almost unilaterally shifted to unlimited 1000/200 or 1000/400 ftth (they’re homes, not business premises, awful change driven by management speak that one.)
      With bundled in phone (unlimited calls in metropolitan France) and TV products you’re looking at around 20-30 euro per month. Why can they do it so much better?

      • “Why can they do it so much better?”

        They do not have to content with Abbott, Turnbull and an electorate brainwashed by the Murdoch press……

  4. “Yeah right … what has he been smoking?”
    Morrow doesn’t smoke, he’s learnt his lesson playing with open flames

  5. This has been the rhetoric since the coalition clowns decided to go backwards and turn the NBN in to a complete mess, dopes like Morrow are just echoing the nonsense of the politically motivated policy. They have to prove that FttN is up to the task and if that means distorting facts and executing failed attempts to marginalise those that expose their idiocy they will do it. Everything before the election indicated this would be the case. Sure we’ll still get a few who are easily fooled by GimpCo and there are even some who genuinely believe copper is all we’ll ever need (the knuckle-draggers) but for the most part people just aren’t buying it, they know they’ve been sold lemon and those rust spots are just going to get bigger as the years pass, it’s inevitable.

  6. Corker of an article Renai, very thoughtful.

    I do, however, have to take issue with the following:

    It hasn’t, of course, gone into much detail about the significantly inferior upload speeds offered by HFC, or the technology’s own congestion issues.

    While I acknowledge HFC is not as good as FttP, it’s the next best thing amongst the FttX techs.

    IMHO, where Malcolm has really screwed the pooch is in FttN, the rest of his thought-bubble NBN isn’t actually as tragic as FttN is. Satellite I can agree with, as I can with wireless. If folks are living in areas that don’t have the density that ticks the box for a fixed line roll out, that applies to either FttP or FttN (though I’d expect FttX would reach even though a long way out after a given time).

    Disclaimer – I have HFC.

    Approximately 34% of Australia is covered by HFC. This means MT could, in theory, use “The DOCSIS 3.1 suite of specifications support capacities of at least 10 Gbit/s downstream and 1 Gbit/s upstream using 4096 QAM.” – source Wikipedia

    Even though I support a full FttP roll-out, HFC is a perfectly acceptable tech to tide me over until some future point in time where I may need something more (not sure when that would be, I’m OK with my 100/5ish plan, though I do acknowledge home workers mat need more upload) .

    So, 34% of Australia is currently in a pretty good, easily upgradable, place. I’m pretty surprised NBN/Malcolm haven’t capitalised on that fact.

    I’m also surprised that someone supposedly “tech savvy” like Malcolm, who invests in foreign companies that are rolling out FttP with his own money, decided that his home country should use FttN, and not the same tech as the companies he invests in (hint: They use FttP).

    Still, it fits the image of “lessors” having to go to the “Duke of Double Bay” with cap in hand asking “Please, sir, I want some more”…

    • But what is the takeup rate on HFC in your area? At the moment, the average takeup rate on HFC is about 30% and still congestion is a major issue on the Optus HFC network. When you have a 100% takeup rate in those area (due to no other connection being available) those issues are going to become apparent to all users.

      When your 100/5 internet connection is struggling to deliver 10/1 during peak times, you will be left disappointed with the outcome and wondering how we were led into such a devastatingly bad internet wasteland.

      Further DOCSIS 3.1 supports capacities of 10/1 Gbit/s, but NBN Co assure us that they will deliver an outcome of 2.5:1 to match the offerings on FTTH. How? Are they going to artificially cap the 10Gbit/s down to 2.5 and split nodes many more times than already indicated? Or is the entire plan complete BS, planning to offer 100/40 plans but only deliver 100/10?

      The problem, in reality, is we know nothing about what the product we will get, because NBN Co also knows nothing about what the product we will get. In 2016, they are still yet to deliver a single NBN service via HFC. Not one. Talk about sheer incompetence when they were planning to have millions connected by mid-2016 and actually failing to deliver a single one at the start of the year.

      Mark my words: They will fail to deliver on time, they will fail to deliver on cost and they will fail to deliver on service.

      • Were on the Telstra one, and I haven’t ever really noticed and congestion issues. Service outages and slowdowns, sure, but thos were service status issues.

        I also don’t know the takeup rate in the area (I doubt Telstra would tell me even if I asked), but I do know my immediate neighbours are on it.

        HFC in Australia is a pretty well known, mature product so we’ll just have to wait and see if they mess it up (they are currently running HFC trials in the burb over from me, but I haven’t spoken with anyone from there…be interesting to know how the trials turn out.)

        • I never had congestion issues in the 1.5 years I had Telstra HFC – I’ve heard too many horror stories about Optus HFC to touch it with a 10 foot pole tho.

          • Optus HFC could still be the lack of backhaul they provision for it, rather than the hardware itself, so we’ll have to see.

          • Pretty sure that’ll end up being the issue with the FttN too R0ninX3ph. Well….I hope for MT/NBN that’s the issue, imagine if they’d actually stuffed up the hardware or something after all the trials!

            Hoping they get it sorted soon, keen to see what speed folks on the longer runs from the node will be getting.

          • Tinman, given that it seems to be certain ISPs and not others (Telstra/Belong) I think we will see that it is ISPs skimping on backhaul re: FTTN.

          • So far, it’s only Optus that has been managing to fall as low as single digits on their FTTP offerings. We have *many* ISPs on FTTN failing to reach double digits…

    • FTTP > FTTdp >> FTTN
      FTTN is not the next best thing, nor the most compatible with future upgrade.
      Besides the cabling, those nodes need power too.

      • There is no copper tech which is compatible with FttP re and upgrade path. You basically re-do when you FttP and hope you’ve paid of that expensive infrastructure.

        • Not true, FTTdp provides a very easy way to provide high speeds, and reasonable lengths for customers who want to pay for FOD.

          • If it were possible (not given there’s no space in cabinets atm for FoD nor dp esque hardware) that is still Cu Tech.

            I’m talking 10-15 years when we finally get around to doing it right with FttP to 93%, its not simply changing the copper lines to fibre its for all intents and purposes a complete rebuild/overbuild.

    • 20mbps up and we can talk :)
      off site back ups, working from home/offsite on complex documents with video conference concurrent and just general video conferencing in great detail.
      I have my own disclaimer, disabled since 2012, I’d be able to see my specialists without several days prep time , arrangements for travel (need family to take me up) and then am usually out of action ( bed bound ) for 3 to 5 days afterwards. would be amazing, hell I could see specialists overseas as well.

      with DOCSIS is there a straight speed sacrifice that can be made e.g. can a line and neighbourhood contention capable of doing consistent 100/5 do something like 70/30 instead ?

  7. They are experienced in “communications” to the people aka how to dumb it down and make it sound good to average person. That is my take on it.

  8. Whilst this article is about the truth, what Morrow / MT / MF are saying is not. It’s all marketing and propaganda in the hope that they’ll convince enough people to not vote for Labor because of this issue. Propaganda and (to be broken) promises are to be expected in the lead up to an election. Don’t expect Morrow to change direction based on any arguments (even irrefutable fact) since he’s running with the LNP pack and they’ve got an election to win. They have a narrative planned out with all the necessary arguments against FttP (logical or factual or not) locked in. They have an answer for any question from any angle. The answer might not make sense to the technically knowledgeable, but when has that ever stopped them.

    They don’t need to convince themselves, they need to convince those who don’t know any better.

    • Yep, this election the Libs will be pushing the “Safe, steady hands” line, so there is no way you’ll see any changes or backdowns from them.

  9. Morrow is an intelligent man. He knows what he was employed for and what keeps the dollars coming in. Morality does not enter the equation.

    • Morality does not enter the equation.

      It never does in Corporate Australia, does it?

  10. I’m happy to accept the MTM as an interim solution, until full FTTP is eventually rolled out. And I mean ALL premises, not just metro, and easy regional centres, etc.
    The current rollout will for most people be better than they already have,
    but most of the technologies in the MTM are already outdated, and simply won’t meet the needs of users, moving forward into the future.
    Personally, I’d have no problem with a SOLID 25 Mbps service – meaning minimum 25 Mbps AT PEAK TIMES, not 1am when everyone’s in bed!
    The other issues are latency and data allowances / plan prices. These are particularly woeful on satellite, but reasonable on fixed wireless, and excellent on FTTx. So there’s another disparity that needs to be addressed.
    Yes, it may be better than the 10+ year old technology we have now, but come on – a permanent solution? I don’t think so….

  11. If you get past the selection of last mile connection technologies, I think there is another large iceberg ahead. Even if the service providers provision sufficiently from the interconnect points, there is still the prospect for a large amount of contention in the last mile.

    The HFC is the most obvious, and the FTTN suffers equally, and obviously satellite. Who knows what take up rates the NBN are planning for, but once the contention in the last mile rises, cables need re-segmenting, additional backhaul run, additional cards needed for the huge number of FTTN nodes. This is expensive both in terms of engineering, equipment and labour. If they’re behaving like any other business they will be doing the minimum amount possible now, with some overhead, and will deal with the problem later – too keep the upfront costs down.

    This is fine until you remember the NBN is a government monopoly and not driven by market forces where competing companies are forced to invest or innovate else they lose customers. Unless the NBN continues to obtain large amounts of money to keep investing in the network, we could be left with a network where more and more areas suffer performance issues during peak times, and that’s without boosting connection speeds. They’re coming into the world straddled with a large debt and large future liabilities if they’re going to deliver a network to everyones expectations.

    It’s easy for them to wave off the doom sayers with assurances it will all be ok, but when you look at the wait times for various government departments, the under resourcing at the ATO, and so on, it’s very possible they won’t keep up.

    While they keep hiding everything behind “commercial-in-confidence” it’s hard to be confident when you can’t see what their plans and projections are based on.

    • No need to worry about the nodes there isn’t any extra room there lol. I suppose they could replace the existing for an upgrade though.

    • > Unless the NBN continues to obtain large amounts of money to keep investing in the network, we could be left with a network where more and more areas suffer performance issues during peak times

      Surprisingly Labor did actually solve that problem. Revenue is designed to increasingly be sourced from data (CVC), so much so that in the Corporate Plan, the price of CVC falls by 2.5 times, while the average data usage grows by 18 times = growth in revenue from CVC of 720% when accounting for price falls. It should be in NBNCo’s best interests to upgrade the network to remove congestion as congestion will harm revenue growth.

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