WA FTTN launch marred as NBN leaves ‘node’ open to the elements


news The official launch of the Coalition’s preferred Fibre to the Node technology in Western Australia last week appears to have suffered a minor setback, with one of the NBN company’s neighbourhood ‘nodes’ appearing to have been left with its door open, endangering the provision of broadband in its area.

Labor’s original vision for the National Broadband Network called for the network to feature a near-universal Fibre to the Premises rollout. However, since taking office in September 2013, the Coalition has heavily modified the approach, instead focusing on integrating the legacy copper and HFC cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus.

Last week, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, flanked by WA MPs Ken Wyatt and Steve Irons, officially launched the Fibre to the Node version of the NBN in the state. FTTN sees fibre run from telephone exchanges to local neighbourhood ‘nodes’, before re-using Telstra’s copper network for the remaining distance to customers’ premises.

“It is a pleasure to be here today to celebrate this significant milestone for the nbn rollout in Western Australia,” Minister Fifield said last week.

“The use of FTTN to deliver superfast broadband is an integral part of the Government’s multi-technology mix approach to the nbn, which uses the most appropriate technology to deliver the nbn sooner and at less cost.”

Fifield said the NBN company’s FTTN network uses the existing copper infrastructure already running into homes, enabling nbn to dramatically speed up the network rollout, save on construction costs and reduce the time residents must wait for upgrades.

“From Friday, the nbn’s superfast broadband will be available to around 7,000 homes and businesses in parts of Cannington, Wilson, Langford and Beckenham. Residents can now contact their preferred service provider to discuss options or place an order for a service,” Irons said.

“Around 19,000 more services will also be available shortly in Queens Park, East Cannington and additional areas of Beckenham.”

“The FTTN rollout is building momentum across Western Australia with further construction underway in Mindarie, Rockingham, Doubleview, and further south in Busselton and Bunbury,” Mr Wyatt said.

The trio said today more than 161,000 homes and businesses could access the nbn across WA, and there are 76,000 homes and businesses already connected. They added that the NBN was on track to meet this year’s rollout forecasts and have the network completed in 2020.

However, the launch of the FTTN network may not have gone precisely as the trio had planned.

Late last week Delimiter was sent photos of a FTTN ‘node’ on the corner of Spencer Road and Southdown Place, in Thornlie in Western Australia. The node appears to be connected to the Cannington telephone exchange.

The photos appear to show that the node was left open by either the NBN company or one of its contractors, with its door swinging and the inside circuitry, battery backup and other features left completely open to the elements.

The individual who sent in the photos to Delimiter stated that the node had been left that way for at least an hour, as they had been monitoring it.

Leaving a node’s door open to the air has the potential to create a number of significant issues for both the NBN company, as well as NBN customers in the area.

It appears that it would be trivial for the electronic equipment inside the node to be stolen or vandalized, or for it to be modified without the NBN company’s knowledge. This could lead to hundreds of premises in the immediate vicinity being unable to access their normal high-speed broadband services.

It is also possible that this kind of situation could create a risk for local residents, due to the powered nature of the node, as well as the batteries (the red units) featured at the bottom of the node.

It is not known how common this situation is with respect to the NBN company’s FTTN rollout.


    • Given the location, the only reason they didn’t is because of the relative technical ineptitude of local criminals!

    • Yep I think I’ll start collecting them and go off the grid.

      This is what happens when local, experienced technicians like myself get overlooked to do the installation work in favour of 457 visa imports who accept lower rates from contracting companies and do shit work.

      • This is what happens when local, experienced technicians like myself get overlooked to do the installation work in favour of 457 visa imports who accept lower rates from contracting companies and do shit work.

        How many 457 visa holders do you think are working for them? I’ve heard this before, but I’ve never seen an article anywhere about it…

        • I used to be an HSE advisor for one of the contracting companies with the initials SS. When I was first there I inducted over 100 trainees into NBN work. I was made redundant last year and none of the boys (and girls) I inducted are there anymore. They have all been replaced by either 457 workers and a company with the initials LS does all the new construction work and nearly all of their workers are 457 visa holders.

      • having been a telephone tech since 1973 i totally agree with Colin a lot of my work on NBN installations as an independent techis fixing problems created by 457 visa workers many who cant even speak english .
        there are many experienced telephone techs and linesman nwho could do a equivalent and better job to high standards for a fair price we want work not 457 visa workers.

  1. Contractors having issues with powering the nodes in Osborne Park, WA.
    Might have something to do with the power phases for the industrial area.
    Trying to squeeze more out of the contractors working on them, but also don’t want to get them in trouble :)

    • Not surprising, my calculation indicate the average node will be drawing 3kW continuously, if you need 30,000 nodes that’s a lot of extra strain on the power distribution network!

      • Not bad! At 33 cents per kWh only around $8000 in annual power bills per node, resulting in $240 million per year for all nodes.

          • yeah the fact that its likely mostly a constant draw helps too as its a wholly predictable usage, so won’t add to the peak and troughs of consumer usage patterns.

          • So it’s only $100 million per year or $1 billion over 10 years, it’s an extravagant waste of money either way.

  2. They didnt leave it open, they were field testing its resilience to natural events, and cultural temptations.

    Yes, thats it. Cultural temptations testing…

  3. Not a lot of room inside there for the supposed magical G.Fast Hardware to be used for the premises within 500M of the node to get “superduperfast” broadband.

  4. As a master thief with over 40 years’ of experience in every kind of crime, I am delighted with this development! This is super! I will use my superfast skills at burgs to take your batteries and node equipment.

    But don’t tell anyone. Let’s keep it a secret between us. There is still honour amongst us thieves, surely.

    Your nodes. My hands. Your node boxes are MINE! And I don’t even have to open them myself. But hey if you want to DONATE stuff to an over the hill career thief like me, then I won’t say no.

    Thanks very much!

    p.s already found 2 more open node boxes and grabbed your gear! It feels GOOOD! Gonna make a mint on the black market for this stuff. Oh baby.

  5. Typical Monday (to Sunday) occurrence, MTM incompetence somewhere.

    Obviously the mere formality of a node, pales into insignificance with all the backslapping for being able to halt our progress to suit the big donators, a lavish spread more than likely awaiting… and of course the distinct possibility of a full liquor cabinet, rather than a node/cabinet (and rightly so).

    But this new gem gives my description of this shitty retrograde network… “NODAFAIL™” a whole new feel…

    Wonder if they all flew in, in choppers too?

  6. My gosh that cabinet is ugly and unsightly, and to think we will have 30,000 of them littered across the country..

    Just another reason to go with FTTP or FTTdp.

      • Fsam Fibre Service area Modules are about half the size of fttn node and there were only going to be about 4000 for the entire 93% ftth rollout, compared to 30-60 thousand fttn nodes

        • There are more cabinets with FTTP than just the FSAMs – an NBN fibre area is easily identified by the boxes all along the side of the road. They’re even nicely labelled as such (e.g. 9FAK-01-03 is the 3rd cabinet in the fictional 9FAK-01 FSAM).

          They’re probably even more numerous than the nodes would/will be. The key difference of course is that these cabinets are very small. Probably only a quarter of what the node in this photo looks like…

          • The number of nodes in FTTP matters little though, as they are all passive electronics and use far less power than the active electronics in the FTTN cabinets.

      • I have seen FTTN and FTTP cabinets, and FTTP nodes are about half the size, and use considerably LESS power.

        • FDH’s dont use ANY power at all, all they are is a housing for passive Optical splitters and Optical cable management.

  7. Hopeless. Especially when it can flood and of course the batteries start exploding. Or vandalised , quite easily from the looks of it. Obsolete rubbish that Labor will have to tear down. But unfortunately they won’t. The dummies who failed to protest the install will be stuck with this for the next 50 years.

    • And to have the local artist’s queueing for us all to enjoy their impressions and interpretations of various intermingled genitalia, mixed with a few magic words.

      I for one can’t wait, it’ll save a trip to the gallery.

  8. Another clear case of fanboy fibre zealotry! Never any stories on the thousands of Labor fibre nodes across the country being left open to the elements. No doubt Mike Quigley was probably responsible for exposing this fibre to the nude node.
    Just remember… Before nodes there were no nodes.

  9. Thank goodness Renai is very consistent at putting quotes around quoted text. I save so much time and frustration skipping the repulsive things Fife(tm) and Malcolm “Dr Doo-little” Turnbull says.

  10. I know its an amusing anecdote or two about getting these wet but there’s significant amounts of electricity running into these and who knows how well that’s shielded. If someone’s attached to the other end of said ‘hose’ it might not end so well.

  11. Looking at how close the node is to the road it would only take just one out of control car to knock out the Internet for everyone.

      • Yeah except power/phone poles are usually pretty sturdy and go down relatively deep into the ground that when a car hits them… The car has more damage than the pole ;)

        • It only remains to be seen if nodes exhibit the same tendencies as power poles when it comes to love making.

          As we all know, power poles come into season at night, and scream their call into the dark. Their natural partners (r33, commodore, and wrx), attempt to mount the pole in an electrifying demonstration of courtship. Usually the power poles submit, and lay down, throwing out a protective nest of cables to prevent interference with the act of impregnation.

          If nodes do the same, I fear for our bogan population, who may not be able to keep up with the demand for suitable breeders.

        • Fine just phone pillars there’s enough of those (well more than the node cabinets) around!

  12. Lol and the 18k of copper for $14M for 6 months has now blown out to $44M with unknown how much copper is used.

  13. Yawn, a real story if anyone knew anything of the components shown in the pic. But alas uninformed ranting the preferred modus operandi ( see power usage, nodes required, more dimensions claims above).

    Next presumably stories of an opened Telstra pillar;-)

    Since the BT 25m premises story got a (uncredited) run, what about the goings on in other copper markets. Deutsche Telekom perfecting their FTTH avoidance strategy:

    “Deutsche Telekom claims to have recorded connection speeds of 550 Mbit/s during recent demonstrations of a next-generation hybrid router”

    As in Britain infrastructure reuse paying dividends:

    “Broadband connections supplied by German fixed line providers have increased by about 260,000 contracts in the fourth quarter of 2015 to approximately 27.86 million at year-end, according to the latest DSLWEB Broadband Report. Cable internet remains the key growth driver, but the increasing availability of VDSL and the success of new combined tariffs also drives growth in the traditional fixed line market. ”

    Thanks Conroy (7+ years, $20+b sunk, 2m RFS). Perhaps compare with France or Spain’s FTTH projects (later has just announced they’ve made it to half the number of DSL customers).

    Infrastructure reuse, delivering demanded speeds cheaper and faster. Good plan. 1st qtr results should be soon (won’t be understood), how’s our GBE performing?

    • “Theoretically you would get 200 Mbit/s or 250 Mbit/s in the middle of the night,” said Jan van Damme when discussing the existing product at MWC. During the day, when many other customers are using broadband services, speeds are likely to be much lower.”

      Lol Richard 3 years and only 30k premises in February blistering fast

        • Wonder how the rhetoric will change when both parties are pushing a similar FttDP rollout.

          • Was more thinking about here, but yeah, the adults currently in charge will still somehow make the Labor plan bad.

          • I think Alain went out on a limb there and went on record recently conflating FttP with FttDP, so he’s screwed, he’ll have cognitive dissonance headaches till the end of the year at least :o)

    • @Alain – “Deutsche Telekom perfecting their FTTH avoidance strategy”

      I see…you meant FTTN avoidance strategy, didn’t you?
      “take-up of the hybrid router has been relatively modest. In its annual report for 2015, Deutsche Telekom claimed to have signed up just 155,000 customers — mainly in rural areas — by December, when it had 12.6 million broadband customers in total”

      And you have your dates all screwed up again…Conroy had just over 1.5 years of commercial rollout, and then the Coalition destroyed it as they had promised. At least now you know where the money went…the new NBN destruction fund.

      “delivering demanded speeds cheaper and faster”
      You’re talking about the rest of the world, right? Like Singapore with 10G/10G unlimited for $189 or less per month, or the more modest (and currently the accepted international “broadband” rate) of 1Gbps/1Gbps unlimited for $59.90…?
      That truly is the level we need to compete with in the global economy.

      • “I see…you meant FTTN avoidance strategy, didn’t you?”
        Presumably. He did himself quote a paragraph that almost entirely praised the HFC connection figures alone.

        • Actually, it’s a fact (the FttN avoidance that is). The Deutsche Telekom hybrid modem only gets it’s speed by sending half the bandwidth out via wireless.

          Good thing Deutsche Telekom is also one of the country’s leading mobile provider…

    • “Deutsche Telekom claims to have recorded connection speeds of 550 Mbit/s during recent demonstrations of a next-generation hybrid router”

      Your source seems a little lacking on information… like…. how long was the copper in the test? What type of copper was used in the test?

      Lab tests are all well and good, and yes they show there is life in copper still, yet, 550Mbps? Fibre can already transfer terabits…..

        • Hey now… A Petabit is technically 1000 Terabits ;-) I’m not ~technically~ wrong :P

          • For me, the speed comparisons is pointless – theres no relevance. We wont NEED 1 Gbps for a decade or more, so how long before 1 Pbps becomes part of the real conversation?

            Like the 550 Mpbs on copper. No relevance. You either have the FttN length copper loops which simply cant deliver anywhere near those speeds, or FttDP length copper loops which can already deliver faster.

          • @GG – “We wont NEED 1 Gbps for a decade or more”

            That doesn’t seem to be the opinion of the rest of the world, nor any of my customers.

          • Need and want are two different things. Plus I’m talking from a residential opinion, business is a totally different discussion.

            For the standard resident, 100 Mbps is more than the needs of today. It wont remain that way for long, but right NOW its plenty, and should be for a few years.

            I follow the general rule of speeds doubling every two years, which puts 100 Mbps square on the radar in about 6 or 7 years. I dont think thats going to shift much.

            Doubling from there puts it at 800 Mbps or so 6 or 7 years from there, hence the 15 year window. It was broad statement though, not specific.

            Could be 10, could be 20, its kinda hard to be exact here, and the basic doubling means we will get to speeds rather quickly (relatively speaking) that right now seem unfathomable to need.

            But it will happen, we constantly fill the capability every time it increases, so I wouldnt be surprised to be wrong.

            My point was more that when we’re talking about the speed potentials being shown in the lab, they kinda mean little right now.

            There just isnt any point or relevance to talking about the 500 Mbps g.fast might deliver, same as theres little point or relevance talking about 1 Pbps when they are either decades away from needed, or not possible with the rollouts discussed.

            *edit* and fair point about other countries too. Again though, wasnt REALLY the point.

          • @Gav

            Keep in mind the “known unknowns” (and even more disruptive stuff like “unknown unknowns” which we wont know about until they are here).

            For example, IoT/automated homes/smart devices may not seem like a “thing” just yet, but even nbn™ is watching that space and acknowledging they’ll need bandwidth too:


            And that’s not even going into stuff like 4K/HDR etc.

          • @Gav – “fair point about other countries too. Again though, wasnt REALLY the point.”

            I do understand…that said, I think you are vastly underestimating what we need. I suppose much of it depends on what call a “need”…

            For me, need is what allows the country to grow itself naturally rather than succumb to limitations that the rest of the world don’t have. The biggest business sector going forward (if we’re very lucky) will be small business SOHOs. The only way to encourage development there is to give folks the tools to expand and thrive…JMHO

          • @Tinny, not dismissing IoT/smart stuff/etc, just thinking that NOW, the 100 Mbps capability can comfortably cover all that. Comparing speeds in the lab is a pointless exercise to me, all it does is show what MIGHT happen a decade or more from now. In perfect conditions. Downhill. With a tail wind.

            Throwing petabit connections around today doesnt have meaning, same as copper being capable of 550 Mbps. Best they can do is show where money can be spent for the best return, and then we’re back where we started with ideaologys.

            Which we’re all pretty clear on :)

            @Chas, fair enough, I think we’re differing here on semantics more than anything. From a retail level, what service requires those speeds? From a development level, there are plenty of justifications, fully, 100% agree.

            I’m in Wollongong, who’s Uni is amongst the best tech Uni’s in the world. We have real reason to have that sort of speed, but that doesnt necessarily translate to retail yet, which is the view I’m looking at.

      • He also missed this bit “Of this total, super-vectoring and LTE carrier aggregation each contributed a maximum speed of around 275 Mbps.”

        LTE is also known as 4G (so, yes, they use wireless). And ‘Super Vectoring’ is basically g.fast, so it has the usual issues and is only workable on short loop copper.

        • I assumed it meant they were using the same techniques used in LTE carrier aggregation on the VDSL lines?

          As in, they took the tech and applied it to the physical medium instead of wireless?

    • @ Richard,

      “Since the BT 25m premises story got a (uncredited) run, what about the goings on in other copper markets…”

      It got the credit it deserved IMO.

      They ***passed*** 25m premises (not 60m as a desperado once tried to exaggerate) throughout the UK, which is an area a little larger than Vic and it has taken 7 years, even with existing infrastructure to simply tap into, FFS.


    • “Thanks Conroy (7+ years, $20+b sunk, 2m RFS).”

      Conroy was it? At the time of changeover there was only $7B sunk, and that included the transit network.
      Since then the number of FTTH premises have doubled due to the remaining contracts for FTTH being completed and we have a piddling 30K people who can get FTTN, and somehow they have blown through an additional $13B in in 2.5years while achieving less.

        • Derek O
          Ture coming form Richard saying we don’t need those speeds that showing fast speeds we don’t need lol

        • Truly impressive hypocrisy from the LibTrolls isnt it?

          Indeed. I often picture Richard and Reality laughing maniacally while stroking a cat as they post. It would explain a lot (of their unforced errors).

  14. Is this really news? One cabinet unlocked? This is something that could happen to any cabinet anywhere in the world for any type of service that requires a bloody cabinet to be on the street.

    • It’s one crucial cabinet Rob, and a key reason why the FTTN should be stopped immediately and replaced with FTTP or FTTP jnr, FTTdp.

      I think the Labor NBN campaign should be revamped around that incident.

      ‘We are the party of fibre, and we will get rid of the doors’.


      • This is what happens when you leave the node door open, the node lunatics escape.

        You’re welcome.

    • If this were a story about FTTP back during the ALP plan, there would be even more shrill screaming and shrieking about waste and ALP incompetence. So… people in glass houses and all that.

        • Hahahahaha, oh the coffee makers… I forgot about that.

          I wish we still got that level of transparency out of NBN Co….

  15. Technically Fibre to the basement is also FTTP as the fibre runs into private property. It should be up to the body corporate whether they rewire apartments to fibre. I don’t think they needed to negotiate with Telstra to do this as I said the copper was on private property.
    If they just did fttdp they probably would have only required minimal negotiation with telstra and certainly not power companies because the only power required is sourced from the residence. It is almost a reverse node.
    FTTN still remains a terrible option and HFC has yet to be rolled out. So labor could still dump huge parts of the coalition plan, provide a better network and if they claimed fttdp and fttb as really fttp claim the higher moral ground.

    • technically it isn’t fibre doesn’t get to the premises it gets to the distribution area (which is a common area at best). Thats like saying because the nodes outside my house on teh verge I’ve got FttP if I laid a run of fibre out.

      Also its actively powered so again not a PON (Passive Optical Network), One of the reason why upgrading FttN to FttP isn’t just a run fibre that last bit of distance it requires a much larger overhaul of the network such that its not really a simple upgrade.

  16. Hey, look! A cabinet left open with an inconspicuous wooden pole laying beneath it! It couldn’t possibly have been done by vandals with nefarious intentions. Clearly this is sign of NBNCo’s incompetency. Let’s all ignore the wooden pole. This is pure partisan hackery and why technology cannot be objectively discussed any further in this country.

    • Good point, maybe you’re right?

      A sign of what’s to come many 10’s of 1000’s of times over, when the hairy arsed lads decide to have a bit of node fun.

    • Let’s be honest then… IF it was broken into by vandals, why is it a single piece of wood like that is all that is needed to break into a Node cabinet?

      If that is all it takes, don’t expect the batteries in the nodes to stay in them for long….

  17. /lol because every person here has never made a mistake at a workplace, like leaving something unlocked…

    Seriously Renai? This is news? Or just cheap clickbait to keep the pitchfork bearers focused?

    • Even if its just cheap clickbait… It worked didn’t it? You’re here, he got your click, and you commented.

      You got baited boy, baited real good.

      Renai, gr8 b8 m8 I r8 8/8.

          • Yeah, the couple of cents every few days from my odd comment is nothing compared to the rivers of cash from you morons. ~126 more comments (x2 for page refreshes). Almost like Renai has a profit motive to feed the swine their slop of choice… X D

            But (as usual), none of you addressed the point. The whole story was a trite piece about some worker making a mistake and leaving a door open (or, someone using the conveniently placed piece of wood to jimmy it open).

            Nothing to do with politics or party, nothing to do with choice of technology (because FSAM’s can’t possibly be left open… right??). Nothing to do with the usual axes you’ve all ground down to non-existence.

            Eh, enjoy jerking each other off some more, don’t h8, masterb8…

          • I didn’t address the meat of what you said, because I didn’t disagree with it. So…. eh, whatever.

            I just thought it amusing that you claim its just clickbait, and clicked it anyway. So, good job.

          • Seriously org’?

            Here you were on the 15th complaining about “others” verbally molesting at Delimiter?

            “Welcome to the club. Nothing new there, verbally molesting anyone not implicitly in favor of the favourite of the month has been going on since ALP/Telstra bellyflopped NBN Mk I.”

            Nice goading comment with the typical political undertones, BTW dude…

            Then you return yesterday, make another badgering comment and with minimal return fire… today, the real org’ comes oozing out. Much like lancing a pus filled carbuncle.

            Morons, jerking? Seriously?

            Casuist is a most apt description of such a person, IMO.

            You’re welcome

          • “the couple of cents every few days from my odd comment is nothing compared to the rivers of cash from you morons.”

            I’m sure Renai thanks you for your contribution, 4 times now. Alone, we are silent. Together, we can change worlds.

  18. Friend in area trumpeted as new NBN area. She can’t get NBN and can’t even get a phone as the copper wire is used up.

    • It’s not atypical to hear of customers that have experienced a problem with installation, nbn backend or other and be left with no internet or phone connection for over 4 months.

      I would advise her to get onto the TIO, if it’s not illegal for nbn to leave people stranded without a phone line for so long it bloody well should be.

    • Love their come back, “@lukedudney Hey Luke, Could you DM us the location of this node please. Thanks Bianca”…they don’t even know where their nodes are…

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