NBN Co estimates up to $10.5k for 300m of fibre in Newcastle CBD


news The NBN company has given a Newcastle business an estimate ranging up to $9,500 to extend fibre cables 300 metres from the local streetside ‘node’ through existing Telstra pipes to their facility in the Newcastle CBD, as signals continue to grow that the Coalition’s election estimates on fibre on demand costs were inaccurate.

During the Federal Election campaign in 2013, one of the features of the Coalition’s alternative National Broadband Network vision was the idea that customers on the NBN could pay to have fibre extended all the way to their property.

This framework — known as ‘fibre extensions’ or ‘fibre on demand’ — was highlighted by then-Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull as a way for consumers and businesses to use a ‘user pays’ mechanism to get around the limitations of the Fibre to the Node platform which Turnbull planned to impose on the NBN.

The original version of the NBN as envisioned by the previous Labor Government called for most Australian premises to be covered by a full Fibre to the Premises rollout, with the remainder to be covered by satellite and fixed wireless technology. However, under the Coalition’s model has seen the company focus on Fibre to the Node technology, where fibre is only extended to street side cabinets and the existing Telstra copper cable used for the rest of the distance to customers’ premises. Legacy HFC cable networks are also being extended and upgraded.

Before the election, Labor had claimed that the cost of Turnbull’s Fibre on Demand policy option could be as high as $5,000 per premise, based on the fact that it represented the upper end of estimates by British telco BT, which provides a similar service in the UK.

However, over the past several months, Delimiter has seen a number of examples where NBN customers have been provided with cost estimates ranging even higher for the fibre on demand service.

In one example, a business in the Newcastle CBD has been quoted between $6,500 and $9,500 by the NBN company to extend the FTTN network in the area to the customers’ premises. These figures do not include GST; once the tax is included they would rise to between $7,150 and $10,450.

The cost of the extension appears to be exorbitant, with the customer’s premises only being 300 metres from the nearby ‘node’ and Telstra already having given the NBN company access to its underground ‘pits and pipes’ in the Newcastle CBD.

The NBN company has not provided the customer with detailed documentation outlining the proposed network expansion, despite the fact that the customer was forced to pay a $330 fee for the estimate.

The cost appears to run directly contrary to the costs and access that Turnbull pledged during the 2013 election campaign.

For example, in a post on his website at the time, the Member for Wentworth stated that areas such as central business districts would actually receive full fibre rollouts. “Note that under our plan greenfield estates, business districts, schools, hospitals, universities and anywhere that fibre is commercially justifiable will be connected to fibre,” the site states. “FTTN is primarily a solution for cost effective service in residential areas.”

In addition, in July 2013, shortly before the election in September, Turnbull explicitly rejected claims made by Labor at the time that the cost of fibre on demand could be as much as $5,000.

In response, Turnbull stated on Sky News: “Well we haven’t set a rate for it but I can tell you that the typical distance from one of these nodes, the average distance would be around 500 metres. And I can only give you the example from the UK the cost of getting fibre on demand is around £1500 which I think would work out at around $3000. So it is not $5000.”

In a separate post on his website, Turnbull states:

“For a customer living 500 metres from a node, for example, the charge is GBP1500 or about $2,250.”

Wow. Up to ten and a half grand for the NBN company to merely run a couple of fibre cables 300 metres through Telstra pits and pipes that they already have access to, in the Newcastle CBD. That’s nice work if you can get it … surely this wouldn’t take a couple of technicians more than a couple of hours to get done.

Sounds like price gouging to me — to customers who were promised by Turnbull that they would get FTTP for free, being in a major city’s central business district.

But more to the point, we now have conclusive evidence that the cost estimates raised by Turnbull and other figures in the Coalition about the NBN company’s planned fibre on demand service were patently false.

At the time, the Member for Wentworth quoted a guesstimate of about $3,000 for a 500 metre fibre extension. “It is not $5,000,” he said.

Three years later, the real cost has been revealed. At least Turnbull was right about one thing — the cost is nowhere near $5,000. It could actually be double that.


  1. I’ve brought this up multiple times in the comments when discussing it with the representative LibTrolls here, with denials and deflections being the go to responses. Glad to see an article with actual figures I can point to the next time I need it ;-)

    • As mentioned below – cost depends on what you are doing. To get close to the average figures being quoted you need to do a lot of premises in one go.

      If you do a premises as a once-off, the costs will be higher (potentially a lot). This isn’t price gouging or profiteering, it’s simply what the cost is. Politicians thinking a once-off job would be $2-3k (or even $5k) is somewhere between naive and deceitful.

      • Definitely. Though I am sure it isn’t at all naivety that had Turnbull claiming those figures pre-election, and more just outright lying to try to make the issue go away.

        I mean, if the average voter doesn’t care about FTTN or FTTP, but are told they can get FTTP if they really really reaaaally want it for a few thousand dollars, then they’re likely to stop caring at all about the NBN at the election.

        It’s just more evidence of the LNP’s willingness to say anything to get into power.

        • Sadly he didn’t lie he ‘expected’ one thing and it turned out to be incorrect (shock horror and all that). Catching that bugger in an outright lie is pretty difficult as he’s got a gilded tongue!

          • I think it could be argued that it was a lie, I believe the fibre extensions that OpenReach perform are heavily Government subsidised in the UK, where they aren’t (or at least not to the same degree) in relation to the NBN.

            He would know this, and chose to leave out the details, lying by omission is still lying.

  2. City of Burnie’s quote was FROM $220k TO $440k.
    The FROM and the TO at only double the cost… Who’s writing these quotes up? The PR team?

    • That’s actually how large quotes are done.

      If you want a fixed quote the seller normally increases the price to cover risk, sometimes considerably. Where both parties share the risk (i.e. buyer agrees to pay more in certain situations) then you get a range (or a fixed fee plus extra cost).

      It would be interesting to know if $440k is the ceiling (does the seller cover all cost over-runs beyond this?) & how much effort/analysis was put into compiling the price.

      • Not when you pay $88k for a quote, you expect it to be damn near what you will be paying for it.

        • There is still risk & assumptions that could cause cost increases. Upfront investigation helps reduce & control these – but won’t get rid of them.

          If you want a fixed cost you pay more (the seller needs to cover themselves in the event things go wrong).

          • 88,000 dollars to quote, and handed a range of between x and two times x

            I’m sorry, but for 88k you’d hope they could get the quote closer than “we could prolly do it…maybe”

            You jest.

  3. “For example, in a post on his website at the time, the Member for Wentworth stated that areas such as central business districts would actually receive full fibre rollouts. “Note that under our plan greenfield estates, business districts, schools, hospitals, universities and anywhere that fibre is commercially justifiable will be connected to fibre,” the site states. “FTTN is primarily a solution for cost effective service in residential areas.””

    The fundamental problem with the Coalition approach to the NBN is they are treating it wholly like a commercial business. The whole reason for changing the rollout is to ‘increase the profitability of NBNCo’. It’s the same over at the ABC – they reduced the budget and demanded a bunch of stuff (even going so far as to have a panel recommend the ABC start selling ads) to make the ABC more profitable.

    GBEs are not supposed to be turning profits. They are paid for by our taxes and are there in a socialist capacity. For the most part, GBEs cannot be free but are heavily subsidized by taxes. In this case, they are trying to make NBNCo unsubsidized by taxes and also profitable – which is the domain of private corporation – and I suspect the reason for that is so that it’s attractive to private investment so they can easily sell it. Probably to Telstra.

    Make no mistake about it, the handling of the NBN project by Turnbull has been nothing short of fraudulent. I would go so far as to suggest that it’s corrupted as it’s proven that Turnbull’s friends are gaining large advantages by the decisions of Turnbull and the coalition.

    • @d GBEs required (in legislation) to generate a commerical return.

      ABS should review NBNCo’s GBE status, CP16 IRR below 3.5%.

      • Your claim is patently wrong. There is nowhere in the legislation that requires a GBE to generate a commercial return. If I am mistaken, feel free to correct me.

        You might be confusing legislation with government policy – it is the government’s position as a ‘main share holder’ to the GBE that influences the requirements of the GBE and it is government whom have told nbn(tm) that they expect nbn(tm) to generate a commercial return.

        Essentially the legislation says the GBE needs to deliver to the expectations of the government of the day – but it does NOT say that the GBE must make a return. I think that’s where you might be misunderstanding the situation.

        The previous government expected a commercial return, but on a much larger scale and did not require it to achieve ROI as fast. This government however has provided a statement that they expect the nbn company to become cashflow positive as soon as possible – once again this is not legislative.

      • “ABS should review NBNCo’s GBE status, CP16 IRR below 3.5%.”

        They should have left it alone fixed a few issues with FttP and let Quigley do what he was doing because the P portion (22%) doing a lot better than 3.5% lol.

    • “In this case, they are trying to make NBNCo unsubsidized by taxes and also profitable”
      The sad thing is the ‘full’ FTTP plan WAS profitable, and ROI was exceeding expectations. Now the business is designed to sink, presumably to be flogged off back to Telstra for a pittance. It’s already worth half of what’s been invested.

  4. Didn’t they admit in one of the recent Senate committee hearings that they can’t run the fibre from the node to the premises? That they’d have to run the fibre from the exchange and bypass the node altogether. Didn’t they say they it was just too difficult to make it work as a fibre extension?

  5. At a glance I’d say the quote looks about right.

    Assuming the quote is comprehensive there is more too it then just running a few fibres. Anything from site mobilization, traffic management, internal cabling costs, admin costs, changes required at the node & upstream to integrate the service, capital costs of anything being deployed & time of day loading for field resources.

    Things don’t start getting cheaper (below $5k) until you are doing them at scale. To get the $2-3k per premises number you need to be doing whole suburbs at the same time (like a nationwide FTTP roll out would have given).

    Better questions I would be asking are:

    1. Are nbn applying any markup (i.e. profit) in these situations? Or is it just cost recovery

    2. How ready are MTM areas for this type of upgrade? (i.e. what work is needed in the node & upstream for the new service)

    3. What level of overbuild are they doing for each expansion & who covers the cost of that? (i.e. $10k to expand fibre for business A, what size fibre & how many splitters are they dropping? If business B applies once this work is done, will they only get charged $1k?)

    • I doubt this is from node to premises as the cabinets don’t have room for active fibre tech/FoD in them (unless I’m mistaken … all the images I’ve seen they’re packed full already).

      That said this quote then makes more sense as its from the Exchange/FSAM depending on what is available in the area.

    • Mike R,

      At a glance I’d say the quote looks about right.

      The quote is in the ball park of this NBN announcement about Technology choice.

      The cost to change technology infrastructure for Area Switch could range from tens of thousands of dollars to few millions of dollars and for Individual Premises Switch from few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars where the cost is generally dependent upon size and complexity of the project,” NBN Co said in documentation.


      • *Insert not-the-point.jpg*

        Business districts were promised FTTP pre-election. This is in a business district. Pretty simple stuff.

        • I know FTTP was Coalition policy for greenfields and the hangover brownfields Labor rollout, I am not aware about that business districts commitment for FTTP, where was that made?

          • It is both written along with multiple quotes from Malcolm Turnbull in the article above (which you clearly haven’t read and just came to the comment section to trololololol) and also on Malcolm Turnbull’s own website.

          • Well Reality that no surprise you did claim the coalition pre election policy was to use the HFC

          • ahh but he has a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card.

            anywhere that fibre is commercially justifiable will be connected to fibre,

            Don’t they always?


          • Reality, that is clearly an additional to all the other areas listed.

            Even if it isn’t an additional, are you trying to say the CBD of Newcastle isn’t “commercially viable”? Riiiiight.

          • Besides, he said “AND anywhere that fibre is commercially justifiable” meaning, IN ADDITION TO.

            AKA, in addition to all these areas that will get FTTP, so will any brownfields residential areas or other premises that are commercially justifiable.

            I’m not going to touch that part though, as it will just derail the conversation as you bleat on about brownfields residential CPP and ignore the fact that a pre-election statement was that business districts will get fibre.

          • Even if it isn’t an additional, are you trying to say the CBD of Newcastle isn’t “commercially viable”?

            You answered your own question, at $10.5K for one business are you saying it is?

          • “You answered your own question, at $10.5K for one business are you saying it is?”

            Typical, ignore everything and cherry pick and strawman.

            “AND” means in addition to, thus business districts will be FTTP was the pre-election promise, the Newcastle CBD is a business district. That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t matter if the CBD anywhere is not commercially feasible, that was not a qualifier for his statement.

            “greenfield estates, business districts, schools, hospitals, universities” receive FTTP according to pre-election statements (read: promises) about their policy. End. Of. Story.

          • I don’t read it that way at all, but if a Newcastle business wants to wait for a ‘free’ NBN FTTP connection in the next xx years, or wait for a Labor win on the hope FTTP will be fast tracked in the Newcastle CBD go for it.

            In the meantime I would get another quote, as a business fibre solution in the shortest time it is the smart thing to do.

            End of.

          • “I don’t read it that way at all, but if a Newcastle business wants to wait for a ‘free’ NBN FTTP connection in the next xx years, or wait for a Labor win on the hope FTTP will be fast tracked in the Newcastle CBD go for it.”

            But they AREN’T getting FTTP with the NBN, they are getting FTTN, which is the point, they shouldn’t be, they should be getting FTTP being in a business district.

            Stop… deflecting…

            Yes, if they wanted it quicker than what the rollout timetable was going to give it to them? Sure they should get a quote from somewhere else, but that isn’t what they are trying to do. Business districts promised FTTP pre-election, not getting FTTP post election.

            It is a broken election promise, one on a long, long list of broken election promises.

            I eagerly await the next way you are going to spin this.

  6. NBN a disaster. Yet another example of a policy who’s execution is failing. Behaviour to be expected from a monopoly supplier (happened in Oz before).

    CW’s node image shows they don’t have active cards for FTTH, therefore required upstream using 8 expansion cores)l. Renai might like to ask NBNCo if any equipment installed upstream in these cores (I’d say not), if not how FoD can even be provided?

    If not installed the business should sue to recover their $300. NBNCo investigated for offering a service they can’t provide. Time for people to be held account, politicians exempting themselves in legislation.

    Why would a business in the CBD be approaching a residential monopoly provider anyway?

    “I’ll just point out that the capex argument does not matter, as under all modelling the various NBN models would have all made a return on their investment — the amount you spend does not matter when you’re going to make a profit on that spend.”

    As long as the model shows a positive return the spend doesn’t matter. The business use needs the appropriate model, actuals not important.

    Costs to supply one premises important, an entire nation not important (despite revenue).

    • Can anyone else follow what Richard’s point here is? It reads like a stream of consciousness…

      • No Mitch I think it’s the first time Richard has called out the bad policy we have now with out but the other mob did this rant.

        But he has a go at Renai

        • Yeah I thought he was having a go at Renai at the end of his post. Seemed like a bit of a straw man argument to me.

        • The problem I have noticed with Richards posts, he often leaves sentences half finished, or starts halfway through.

          He understands what he means, but to someone else reading it, it doesn’t make sense. My grandfather used to do the same thing, starting halfway through a thought without having vocalised the beginning leaving everyone in the room with a puzzled look.

          It also ends up created a jarred and jumping message, jumping from one half-sentence to another.

          • They call them Scatter Brains, with scatter brains you could say RUBARB, next thing you know they are arguing with you, they are always on the defensive, life is very freighting to them it’s because conservatives have an enlarged amygdala. They eventually go mad or in later life suffer from dementia (alzheimers).

          • +1.

            Although to be fair to Richard, I do that myself. Not so much with the written word but with the spoken ones. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve started a conversation with a co-worker in my head and then a few words in started speaking. Usually I’m told to start again from the beginning :)

          • Their is one other alternative
            * if they don’t go mad and get locked up
            * suffer from dementia in later life
            they end up in an elevated position with a high powered rifle with journos in their cross-hairs +

      • last part I think he’s poorly trying to make Renai eat his own words (reads like pouting to me at least) to little effect (from another comment section I think from Yesterday).

        Otherwise its NBN+Labor+Quigley suck and are incompetent. MTM is bestest and Cu rocks because CAPEX is low(er?) but better than ADSL which is more than anyone needs.

      • “Can anyone else follow what Richard’s point here is? It reads like a stream of consciousness…”
        It reads like he’s just gone back on everything he’s said over the past x years and is wholeheartedly agreeing with the technology/responsibility superiorists…

      • @renai

        1) ACCC has significant powers over “false and misleading” claims by business. FoD hardware not installed in nodes (parts provided by CW and myself), nor I suspect on the fibres available for upgrades. If such infrastructure is not available it would appear misleading to offer such a product (or charge for a quote for its provision).

        2) Premises in CBDs have many fibre alternative suppliers, offering actual business products. CBDs very well serviced already (many techs).

        3) Your quote reflecting on our discussion yesterday. I was surprised to read capex increases important today when dismissed yesterday. Emphasis on financial models (7%) over actuals (-).

        • ACCC has significant powers over “false and misleading” claims by business.

          Are you suggesting the ACCC take Malcolm to court? He was the one that made the suggestion FoD would be far cheaper than what nbn™ is offering it at.

          I, for one, would love to see that, but alas, I don’t think it’s possible.

          • @tm I too don’t think that’s a possibility, politicians exempt from much legislation they burden on others. However I don’t believe such exemptions exist for GBEs.

        • If Richard isn’t mad already he’s driving us mad, I think Richard needs a rest Renai before his brain implodes.

        • But then you’d have no one to dog pile on and bitch about…

          These boards are a big enough circle jerk of self congratulatory backpatting already.

          • Then why do you come here? If it’s such a terrible site, with such terrible amounts of, as you put it, circle jerking and self congratulatory backpatting, why would you willingly put yourself through that?

          • Allow me to translate R0ninX3ph. Basically what his comment amounts to is an admission that he knows his position on this topic is ill-informed and wrong, he’s desperate trying to convince himself that it is right but he is torn between that and having to agree with the “circle jerk”. I’m sure there is a correct psychological term for it but it eludes me.

          • (But then you’d have no one to dog pile on and bitch about…)
            WE HAVE YOU
            org’asmo is the new Richard, lets all piss in his pocket.

          • You guys just dont get it, we read Renai incredible articles realise MTM is a shit sandwich then take out our frustrations on Richard,
            it’s perfect.

        • Can we ban him already?

          What would that achieve exactly?

          Like I’ve said previously we need a record so we can in the future look back and laugh at the amount of failed arguments from them. Doesn’t matter what direction GimpCo goes this is inevitable.

          • I agree, banning is too good for them. Besides, they would take banning as a sign they’re “right” anyway. Tinfoil hats do that to people.

          • Indeed HC,

            “Like I’ve said previously we need a record so we can in the future look back and laugh at the amount of failed arguments from them.”

            And then wait for the inevitable WTF moment where they will either bluntly deny (even when their own comment is copy/pasted) and then call us ignorant *sigh*. Or just do as our other dear friend does, disappear, only to reappear at another thread repeating the same BS or worse, a complete contradiction of their previous comments from pre MTM.

  7. “…to customers who were promised by Turnbull that they would get FTTP for free…”

    Now, Renai, fibre was never ‘free’. Fibre is a better service that makes a better return without wasting money. Saying it’s free is like saying fttn is free or fixed wireless is free. Just remove the “for free” and the sentence makes sense as a broken promise from Turnbull rather than not getting something undeserved.

    • Technically, if they are now required to pay for a FTTP service when they were promised business districts were going to be FTTP, it was “free”. They now have to pay for a product they were promised they wouldn’t have to pay for.

      The statement is not about whether rolling out the network is free for the Government or not, it was functionally free for the businesses getting it, it is not now.

      • To be clear about what is meant by free’, they are now being charged for the actual rollout of the technology + ongoing service costs. Under Labor’s NBN plan the rollout costs were never charged by NBN Co to houses that signed up during the initial rollout, only the ongoing service costs. Therefore, the cost of the installation was ‘free’ but now it ‘costs up to $10,000 dollars’

        • It wasn’t just under Labor’s NBN plan though, Turnbull also promised that business districts would receive FTTP.

  8. And whats the average distances for residential houses to fttn nodes?

    Thats pretty much rules out any residential extensions. I guess for businesses it would be classed as a business expense.

    • Pretty sure MTM cannot run fibre from a Node to a Premises with the cabinets they use currently so its how close does one live to an exchange POI/FSAM etc.

      Someone’s been quoted $150k+ to run fibre 800m after last node in an outer metro suburb already (they are stuck on sat etc).

    • Average of 350m+ based on the average distance from nodes to pillars being 350m.

      Of course any fibre from a node wouldn’t necessarily run the same way as the copper from the node to the pillar to the premises, but it’s as good an average to base it on than anything else.

  9. This is probably the only way that MTM will ever turn a profit, screwed by our own government. And that business will pass the costs on to consumers which means more upward pressure on INFLATION the scourge of free market economies.

  10. “surely this wouldn’t take a couple of technicians more than a couple of hours to get done”

    I wouldn’t be so sure. Telstra’s pits and pipes are in much worse condition than NBN Co and the Government would like to admit. So within that 300 m stretch the technicians can expect to find multiple crushed and blocked pipes, as well as pits full of mud and crudd.

    I recently had a pit installed at a new residential address. To get my copper phone line connected the technician had to run an uninterrupted cable from the Telstra box on the side of my house out to the new pit (outside my house) and then up the Telstra pipe to an existing pit that was equipped with a connection hub that my new cable could be patched into (my brand new pit didn’t have a connection hub. The underground cable simply passed in one side and then out the other).

    Initially the technician tried to run my cable up the Telstra pipe in the direction of the exchange toward the next pit, as that will minimise the length of cable between my house and the exchange. However the pipe turned out to be completely blocked and the technician was unable to feed the cable through. As such, he had to run my cable down the Telstra pipe away from the exchange in order to reach a pit further down the street. That also proved problematic, again due to blockages, and also the fact that the pit was completely full of dirt/mud. Eventually he succeeded, but at the end of the process the technician was completely covered in mud.

    Extending fibre through the existing pits and pipes is going to be an absolute nightmare, especially in residential areas such as mine, where the pits and pipes are more likely to be crushed, cracked and clogged by tree roots and mud.

      • $10,000 per replacement pole to handle the extra load… that was for HFC in one particular state of course, but I wouldn’t underestimate the excuses for astronomical quotes that can be made by companies looking to make a buck or ten thousand.

    • FoD won’t be from a node though unless they change the cabinets as there’s no room so how close are you to a POI or FSAM?

  11. I think it’s important here to point out that the criticism is not necessarily the cost of the extension itself, but more that the current PM has so casually deflected and denied these costs in the past. It shows that he was making statements either in ignorance or with deliberate deceit. Neither is good enough from the minister for communications. No doubt there are many factors involved in costing this kind of work but everyone should have been quite upfront about that because it’s a big deal in terms of people assessing just how good/bad the MTM really is. Had Turnbull mentioned that a CBD extension like this could cost $10,000 before the NBN revised their approach I think he would have got a lot more bite-back from business groups and a lot more advocacy for FTTP.

    • “Had Turnbull mentioned that a CBD extension like this could cost $10,000 before the NBN revised their approach I think he would have got a lot more bite-back from business groups and a lot more advocacy for FTTP.”

      Exactly why he brushed it off with passing quips like “BT charges X so I would expect something like that here”

  12. 10K for 300M is just an F*off number designed to scare people away, the reality is the gov/nbn do not want to do it, because they haven’t built the infrastructure/backhall etc to actually do it.

    You would think that business districts would be first on the rollout list, given the economic benefits it would bring,but here I am in Phillip (Canberra) and it’s not even on the rollout plan yet!

    • I’ll admit I’m suprised the cbd isnt fibre already. But then given the clusterfuck nothing should suprise me.

      • CBD is actually worse (for piecemeal stuff), getting permissions and access to needed pipes and conduits, planning permissions, building access/permission, road and pedestrian safety.

        $10k for a 300m run between a building or two would be a good price sadly. I’ve seen $40k quotes before for shortish runs.

  13. Sounds like price gouging to me


    Cant believe i’m defending Gimp Co but here goes:

    1/ this wont be GPON, it’ll be an Active product requiring at least 1 extra line card in the node to support it
    2/ add to that active electronics (managed switch) at the customers premises
    3/ I’ve seen “friendly” contractors charge $40k for a 150m extension including in building fibre in a CBD
    4/ you got no economies of scale here, it’s likely several days of work for several tech’s plus their very expensively kitted out fibre splicing truck.

    • I agree, it likely isn’t price gouging from NBN Co, but I don’t think that is the true issue, it is the fact that any questions regarding FOD pre-election were fobbed off with remarks about the price BT charge for it being low, so it will be low in Australia too.

      It is still on Malcolm Turnbull’s website, despite multiple instances on Whirlpool showing the numbers to be incredibly far off the actual costs for FOD, now we have an article on Delimiter highlighting the same thing happening, I can’t wait for the LibTrolls to have an excuse for this one. The response to talking about users on Whirlpool is essentially “Of course people on Whirlpool would say that!” so… I assume something similar will happen here.

      • For sure, I’ve been calling BS on the $5k FoD propaganda from day 1 – anyone with even the tiniest skerrick of Telco experience knew it was pure Mushroom food and would never be delivered!

        • yeah I also don’t think they can fit FoD into a Node so that fibre is likely coming from further a field.

          If you changed Newcastle to Sydney or any other cap CBD I reckon it would cost far more too!

        • If the provider does full cost recovery $5k or low only happens when working at scale. Once-off jobs won’t (or will be very unlikely to) get near that.

          Nothing to say the provider can’t ‘cap’ cost recovery at $5k and pickup the rest of the bill themselves. Given each install can involve dropping extra kit (i.e. more fibre pairs, splice enclosures, splitters) it sets follow-up jobs to be cheaper.

    • All of these things may be true, but you ignore the reality of Malcolm Turnbull’s comments that it was going to cost around $3000 for 500 metres.

      Either he’s deluded and doesn’t know anything about his own plan, or he deliberately lied to the Australian public. Either of these should be enough for people to understand that FoD was never a serious offer on the table as an upgrade path for residents who missed out in the NBN lottery.

      • Either of these should be enough for people to understand that FoD was never a serious offer on the table.

        We’ll, he said FoD, but actually meant FUD…it was just a misunderstanding as his glasses were dirty when he read Tony’s orders.

    • (Cant believe i’m defending Gimp Co but here goes:0
      See Derek O this is what happens when you talk to Richard, insanity by association.

  14. Comments like “a couple of technicians more than a couple of hours to get done” just highlights the lack of knowledge that some self proclaimed commenters really have. Let’s try multiple dozens of hours for design including scoping, field walkout and physical inspection, correlation with Telstra documentation, optical budgeting, and engineering.

    Then there’s a review process with Telstra, who may request changes to the design and pit/duct usage planning, which means that phase has to be done again.

    Then a contractual request has to be made to the installation contractor, who will need to organise materials, shipping, site access, site safety and access controls such as footpath diversions and traffic control (both of which need to be coordinated with the council and road authorities), plus the staff themselves, their vehicles and tooling etc.

    Once the work is done, it then needs to go through an acceptance and testing regimen to make sure it’s been done properly and works, and is documented in records.

    Then there’s a bunch of IT updates that need to be done to allow the systems to record the presence of a bespoke connection in what would otherwise be a copper delivery area, and allow the eventual RSP to actually place an order for the service to be connected once the physical delivery infrastructure is in place.

    So personally, I think the number quoted is not inappropriate at all.

    • “So personally, I think the number quoted is not inappropriate at all.”

      Except business districts were promised pre-election to the FTTP. So… it is pretty inappropriate to even have to request FOD for a business district.

  15. I had a similar experience with my parents premises, their street got NBN but stopped 1 house short. I paid the $330 to NBNCo and got an estimate back of $10,000 to get to the front of their house (was told 500m from the fibre node) and then $5,000 to go up their 100m diveway for a grand total of $15,000. Needless to say we ended up doing a $300 private point to point wireless link to a helpful neighbour within the coverage area.

    • I think there is a lot of merit in communities setting up their own mesh networks or something similar in situations like this. Might as well just by-pass NBN (TM) altogether.

    • @Rob the actual cost of the fibre cable is a very minimal expense overall. Its the labour costs that will fill the majority of these quotes.

      Its not insignificant like say ye olde cat5/6/e etc but its far from causing the large values quoted.

      • I know. But it’s interesting to see how far these people are willing to go to to prove whatever their point is.

        • No one said the fibre is insanely expensive, it does of course depend on how many pairs are in the fibre bundle and the length. Most of the cost is in the labor of the trained techs, the Telstra and council paperwork, and the cost of the van containing the specialist splicing and test equipment.

          If you are buying in bulk (and mean kms, not metres), a 72 pair fibre cable can be under $5 per metre.

        • But it’s interesting to see how far these people are willing to go to to prove whatever their point is.

          Says the guy that used a sizable chunk of the comments to do exactly that…

  16. More lies from the Silver (tongued) Fox…

    There really needs to be a LOT more transparency at nbn™. If Verizion can hook up folks in the US at an average of $1161USD (around $1600 AUD…$23b for 19.8m premises), something is really rotten in the state of nbn™…

    • As above you miss the point. Comparing a once off job quote to a per premises average is not accurate (or appropriate). Larger rollouts allow for you to achieve efficiency of scale (so a much lower per premises cost). Trying to compare the two shows a direct misunderstanding of how things work.

      In saying that the government has missed the opportunity to achieve this efficiency through changing to the current MTM proportions. This is something they should be held to account for.

  17. I’ve got a fibre line in my house in what I guess you would call a developing nation. Took about thirty minutes to install, including dropping in the line and termination etc.

    • Sure, and what is the average rate of pay for labour? What are the safety standards? Is there a corporate entity that owns the pits etc that you want to reuse?

      Your comment is meaningless.
      If I was legally allowed, I’d get my mate with the equipment to dig a trench from my place to the Fibre Node, grab some doco and connect it myself. But what a surprise we aren’t allowed. They probably aren’t allowed where you are either, but because no one checks, or corruption is rife or any number of other reasons, it doesn’t get stopped.

          • However, in terms of FTTP it’s basically ubiquitous here – the 2 semi state owned utilities provide it. You don’t have to bribe anyone to get it. Obviously it isn’t as “pretty” as an AU FTTP install. But it works.

        • Safety standards for the people laying the cable, you know preventing workplace accidents etc.

          • I understand what you are getting at. In another life I was in a union I wont name here. Obviously safety standards and regulations are more advanced in Australia, however that doesn’t mean people aren’t seriously injured or killed in workplaces. And of course labour costs are higher too. But over complicating the network by using MTM means NBN can pull the”too hard” line whenever they don’t feel like doing something. As we’ve seen, the asbestos in Telstra’s ducts was a massive problem. As is the state of Telstra’s infrastructure in general. Telstra also effectively fired all their field techs and hired them back as private contractors – you can guess who benefited more from that arrangement. If NBN are going to keep dropping in Nodes that’s going to have to increase costs – maybe it’s cheaper than a straight fibre roll in the short term, maybe not.
            I’m not going to say what country I am in because it isn’t really relevant. The population is larger than Australia, but geographically it poses probably more difficult engineering solutions outside of large cities. If I were to do a like for like comparison a 25/5 FTTH is the minimum anyone has here not the 12/1 NBN sells as its base product. Almost all the FTTH is actually synchronous – ie. 20/20, 30/30 up to about 100/100. Installers are actually unionised and covered by state health services by law.

      • I suppose on a more general level though it does illustrate that not even dirt poor countries are bothering to invest in more copper, I see a lot of fibre spindles getting rolled out though. Even the 3G is pretty decent way out in the sticks too.

  18. Looks like the coalition clowns did end up taking bit of my advice after all (from 05/07/2013):

    Coalition are the ones who say “if you want fibre you should pay for it” so really if anyone is making up numbers it should be of little consequence to them. Really they should embrace the big numbers even triple it and say FoD will cost 15k to make their obsolete FttN plan look better.

  19. NBNco really want your business.. So pay up $10,000 so we can obtain your business..
    Does this scenario work in any other business?

  20. Fascist small business and economy killers. Their faulty obsolete copper is inadequate for business so instead of supplying fibre they want to condemn them.

  21. It’s a business quote for a business grade connection, what usually happens if you get a quote that you think is too high you get other quotes.

      • The point is the NBN Co is not the only supplier of business grade connections in CBD’s, many suppliers offer CBD fibre loops even in large regional cities, I would still get another quote.

        I just got a increase on my car insurance and I think it is too high, I am getting other quotes.

        • I said it above already, pre-election promise was for business districts to have FTTP via the NBN.

          Along with disingenuous thought-bubble comments regarding possible FOD prices from FTTN by referencing BT in the UK which had absolutely no relation to the situation in Australia.

          People are not claiming it is an unreasonable price for a fibre line in a business setting, the point is not the price itself, but the fact of the lies spun before the election regarding the policy. Though, you will find another way to spin it, so go for it.

          • Jason, don’t give him ammo to use against you, at least use the correct figures :P

          • Thanks R0 for I was looking at the 2013 figures they have double in price since then.

  22. My FoD quote was $150,000 for around 2.5Km of fibre extension.

    I told them where to go quick fast.



      • oh dear, another quote is definitely required in this Newcastle case don’t you think?


        • Just because you have troubles understanding the underlying issue, is not my problem.

          • “Note that under our plan greenfield estates, business districts, schools, hospitals, universities and anywhere that fibre is commercially justifiable will be connected to fibre,”

            If you think this is a iron clad commitment to NBN FTTP the Newcastle CBD anytime soon then go for it, in the meantime any business in any CBD area of Australia should check out what alternatives are available beyond FoD.

            It’s just good business sense.

          • Reality as R0 points out and thankyou for the quote
            ““Note that under our plan greenfield estates, business districts, schools, hospitals, universities”
            Notice the Business districts would you class the Newcastle CBD as a business districts.

          • Jason, don’t bother. He doesn’t understand the issue with promising FTTP to business districts, then rolling out FTTN to a business district as breaking a promise.

          • I would suggest Alain looks up the meaning of the CBD acronym. It appears he hasn’t a clue.

            There ya go, fixed!

  23. I dont believe that NBN should be rolled out in CBD areas of big cities. Most have fibre from one or two providers

    I have fibre from Telstra, Optus and Amcom and PIPE in my building at work.

    • To not roll out the most profitable technology to the most profitable areas of Australia is to consign this GBE – which has been relocated from infrastructure to business – to failure.

  24. Hi Renai, it is clear that no one knows how an individual premise FoD service will actually be delivered in a FttN or HFC service area. The fact that NBN wont disclose any detail on the quotes, indicates their solution is so grossly inefficient they are embarrassed to disclose the detail, though they will no doubt just claim CiC. To that end, perhaps you could seek out the proposed architecture for a FoD service and write us an article to explain it?

    • Erl,

      Hi Renai, it is clear that no one knows how an individual premise FoD service will actually be delivered in a FttN or HFC service area.

      The intent is not to provide FoD in a HFC area yet, but when it comes to a FTTN the how is a known.

      Fibre on demand for individual premises will be delivered via a multiport spliced from the distribution fibre path at the same location of the node cabinet,


      • @R, I’ve seen this before and the minister clearly has no idea. The description doesn’t make sense in the context of either architecture. A multiport is never spliced to a distribution fibre. Where does the splitter go? It can’t go in the FAN, there aren’t enough DFN fibre to service more than a handful of EU’s. it can’t go in the node, there is no space for it and the associated fibre management/patch arrays. It could be integrated with the MPT, but as far as i know, they only come in 4 & 8 way splits you would have to cascade them to get the 32 way split standard for the NBN network. This is possible in theory, but I’ve seen no mention of it in any NBN architecture.

  25. Not surprising at all.

    Of course the cost to install fibre individually to each premises when request is always going to be way way way more expensive than simply doing all the properties at once.

    Its like dragging 1 cable each time, instead of simply dragging 100 at once and saving a lot of time.

    Liberal government has NFI, honestly…

  26. So the fibre would definitely be run to the node, and not to the exchange? Could it be that additional hardware needs to be installed at the node to accomodate FTTP?
    NBN Co should allow customers to get quotes from external companies and maybe charge a small fee for verification of work and administration.
    Seems like users are being discouraged from spending their own money on making the network better.

  27. That sounds reasonable to me . To get a standard 240v power connection from 50 – 120 metres costs $30k , And that’s 100% above ground to 30 meters within your front boundary only.

    I predict wireless 5G will surpass anything the NBN can provide for speed and and even download data costs given time .

    NBN ? , what’s that ? , is that like “dial up or something ? “

    • Really? 5G is going to surpass multiple terabits capable over fibre?

      Sure, it will likely surpass anything the MTM is doing, but not even close to being able to have more bandwidth than fibre can.

    • Phil, When 5g can manage 80 gbps over 40 kms (ngpon2) come back and let us know about it, until then stop posting crap about vaporware that hasn’t made it out of the lab to a standard’s committee yet!

      • Not even that, but even Telstra isn’t expecting their first 5G areas to be active until 2020 at the earliest. But you know, never let facts get in the way of a good story about how “wireless is the future!!!!!”

        • Going to be interesting to see if it live up to the hype in the real world. I believe Telstra will trial it on the Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games, so that should give it a decent trial at least.

  28. Renai

    Two things. How the hell did your advertising beat adblocker and secondly did you ask Turnbull or the minister for communications to comment? What was their reply?

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