FTTN still causing massive outages in Newcastle, says Labor


news The Coalition’s Fibre to the Node technology is still causing substantial problems for the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Labor said today, with issues such as speeds slower than ADSL and substantial outages, even for residents who are not yet connected to 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.

The Coalition’s controversial Multi-Technology Mix instituted by Malcolm Turnbull as Communications Minister has seen the company switch to a technically inferior model re-using and upgrading the legacy copper (Fibre to the Node) and HFC cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus.

The FTTN technology is theoretically capable of providing speeds approaching 100Mbps, which is significantly higher than the up to 24Mbps speeds currently available under the ADSL2+ broadband standard, which most Australians currently use to access broadband.

However, residents in early stage rollout areas in locations such as Newcastle have previously reported substantial problems with the technology.

This morning Shadow Regional Communications Minister Stephen Jones told the Broadband in the Bush Forum in Queensland that the problems were continuing. Click here to download the full speech in Word Doc format.

Jones said a resident of the Newcastle suburb of Belmont had recently revealed that the FTTN connection she had received was slower than the ADSL connection it replaced.

“She, like others, has been switching off her wi fi and relying on personal 4G mobile internet,” Jones said.

In another examples, Jones said he had recently visited a four wheel drive accessories business in Newcastle. The business is a franchise under the Opposite Lock brand.

“They’ve suffered through 50 days of outages in 16 months. Even though they aren’t even connected to the NBN they are still hurting from the roll-out,” said Jones.

“They have had to send staff home when outages occur because the workshop simply doesn’t have enough work on. Over one outage period [proprietors] Gordon and Mel reckon that they lost between $50,000 and $100,000.”

Jones said the issue was the fact that under the FTTN model, the local copper network was partially disconnected to make way for replacement fibre for part of its length.

“It all comes down to disconnections caused by the local NBN roll-out,” he said. “A roll-out that relies on last century’s copper wire under the Liberals’ model.”

Jones said it was clear that there would be more of these kinds of problems around Australia as FTTN was rolled out.

“There will be plenty more of this to come because rotten copper exists in communities right across the country,” he said. ” Under the Liberals, it is a lottery pure and simple and one that will unfairly disadvantage many businesses operating in tight margins in communities across Australia.”

In comparison, Jones said, Labor’s previous FTTP model was delivering “superior service” to Australians.

A similar situation was occurring under the NBN’s satellite model, Jones said. Labor had originally planned to use the infrastructure to serve the needs of about 200,000 premises.

” Presumably to cut costs, the Liberals have doubled this footprint – now more than 400,000 homes and businesses will be served with the satellite,” he said. “The satellites are a limited resource. More users means congestion and a lower quality of service.”

The Shadow Minister said Labor had not yet confirmed what NBN model it would take to the Federal Election, although Labor has previously said it would use a “hybrid” policy that would still deliver more fibre than the Coalition’s model.

” A key part of the challenge will be dealing with those communities like the ones I mentioned in the Hunter where Fibre-To-The-Node NBN has been rolled out using old, tired copper wire,” said Jones.

“You won’t be surprised to learn it is in these locations where the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has received the most complaints.”

The NBN company has stated that some of the problems it has been experiencing with respect to FTTN are a result of retail ISPs such as Telstra, Optus and TPG underprovisioning capacity to the NBN’s nodes.

Image credit: Office of Stephen Jones


  1. If your business is losing $50k-$100k from an outage you need a real business grade Service with a SLA and redundancy. Kind of hard to feel sorry for a business that doesn’t bother to invest in tools they appear to need.

      • you won’t get an SLA on consumer grade DSL either. and yes, you can get enhanced restoration SLAs for MTM services.

      • He has a point, investing in a number of prepaid 4g (or 3g in a pinch) devices are a tiny outlay if your making those sorts of losses.

      • NBN FTTP isn’t a business grade service they have options but those options cost money.

      • I live in a fairly similar sized regional town and the local council I used to work for owned/deployed or leased significant dark fibre and PTP wireless assets for things like WAN sites and DR/backup. Since 2004 which well predated either party getting fancy ideas about nation wide high speed access…

        50 days of business = 50-100k of revenue lost = big enough to pay for a commercial solution and bypassing the crappy copper and the disconnects required to lay in fibre to the distribution nodes.

        eg. http://www.vocus.com.au/our-story

        “Our customers wanted more from our network, so that’s what we’ve given them. We now have over 11,000 km of fibre optic cable laid and operational throughout Australia, 3000 on-net buildings connected to our network and a further 20,000 buildings classed as near-net.”

        And that’s just one company.

        This narrative that before the ALP fumbled their own FTTN attempt and decided to double down on FTTP that the nation ran on messages tied to possums is complete bunk, and you all know it.

        Sure, the LNP’s solution is ass, but if I owned a business with that sort of turnover, I would not be leaving my operations in the hands of a mob that couldn’t even offer me a SLA guaranteeing a certain level of uptime. There’s a reason why business services command a premium over cheapshit residential…

        • Sure, but that argument has long been lost. They are building something now. Whether it would have been better not to or not.
          FTTP is the better long term solution from that point of view.

      • All important businesses and Fire Stations, Banks etc use EFM if fibre isn’t available.

        EFM is delivered over up to 8 copper phone lines from the exchange. So even if 5 phone lines go down, you are still online. EFM won’t be switched off when ADSL2+ is switched off until something comparable can be found.

        This is what an EFM modem looks like http://www.statuslights.com/hatteras/images/hatteras-hn408cp.gif

    • Agreed. If they are losing that type of money ($1-2k per day – $50-100K/50 days outage) then they really should be investing in a higher quality of service. Nothing to stop them approaching one of the business Telco arms and having dedicated fibre run to their premises.

      One of the short-sighted things about MTM is it is harder for nbn to cover a true ‘business grade’ (with appropriate restoration SLAs) service. I’d see missing out on that market share as hurting them in the long term – it providers an opportunity for other players (i.e. TPG) to get there first and lock the market up.

      • I agree but given the issues they already had with Telstra could you imagine the sulking to the media if they started chasing that market too.

  2. No proper biz grade NBN services or sla’s are possible on FTTN, what a surprise… Not!

  3. My service area’s FTTN went live on the 6th of May, so far I’ve had two of my small business clients make the decision to postpone their switch to the NBN after hearing “horror stories” from their employees that have switched.

  4. That is because FTTN == ADSL == dialup technology == faulty noisy copper that falls over at the pit and needs patching. It’s a marketing scam reselling ADSL.

    It’s is unproductive and bad for business. If businesses have had to wait 3 months for Telstra to fix telephone lines even on a business SLA how is this any different ? It is unreliable and bad for the economy.

    • Once again you are peddling this falsehood.

      FTTN is not ADSL, stop resorting to spreading misinformation, there are plenty of legitimate complaints about FTTN that you don’t need to continue saying it is ADSL.

      • Once again you are peddling this falsehood.

        Common forms of asymmetric DSL include:
        ADSL (and G.Lite)

        Asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), umbrella term for xDSL where the bitrate is greater in one direction than the other.
        Asymmetric digital subscriber line 2 (ADSL2), ITU-T G.992.3, up to 12 Mbit/s and 3.5 Mbit/s
        Asymmetric digital subscriber line 2 plus (ADSL2+), ITU-T G.992.5, up to 24 Mbit/s and 3.5 Mbit/s
        Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL), ITU-T G.993.1, up to 52 Mbit/s and 16 Mbit/s
        Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line 2 (VDSL2), ITU-T G.993.2, an improved version of VDSL

        Types of DSL
        ADSL The variation called ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
        VDSL (Very high data rate DSL)

        FTTN is VDSL, VDSL and ADSL are both asymmetric forms of Digital Subscriber Line. They are both based on the same principle, rely on the same materials and both suffer from the same issues and disadvantages.

        To claim VDSL and ADSL are not the same (in the context used here) is like claiming a Ford and a Ferrari are not the same (when the context used is, this is a boat and this is a car).

        • If you understood my point you wouldnt need to post this, I am not saying that ADSL and VDSL are not both forms of DSL.

          My point is, that FTTN has plenty of other things to complain about, and all the MTM supporters will do, is take the nugget mentioning “ADSL” and spin it and twist the narrative.

          We do not need to give them ammunition. That is my point.

      • it’s cr*p service on the same faulty copper. There fixed it for you, what technology is actually used is irrelevant when it’s failing due to the same physical reasons.
        Feel free to generate a research paper on the fundamental differences in the archaic technologies. There’s just one valid question… does it work, and does it work reliably? As a bonus, does it let you upload something larger than a text file in a reasonable time?

  5. I’ve been on FTTN now for a little over seven months. Service stability is great and throughput is very good.

    So far pretty much no issues – the main ones that stand out were all Telstra caused (not nbn).

      • My 100/40 syncs at 91/37 and effectively runs at 80/35 for most of the day, dipping to ~65/30 from about 6-8 which is ISP contention (Internode, and far better than I hear customers from other ISP’s are getting).

        Taking the phone out of the equation, I’m paying ~100 bucks a month for those speeds & 500G of data. My old plan + phone line = 140 a month for 8/1.5 & 250 gig of data.

        Is it perfect? Of course not. Is it a substantial upgrade and saving me cash? Yes it is. Can I game with a great ping while my wife watches Netflix and torrents? Yup.

        /shrug I just can’t get myself worked up over the thing, and based on that poll the other day that rated NBN as last on suggested list of things that might sway a persons vote in the coming election (with 6% of people nominating it), most of the rest of the country sits in the same boat.

        • Good to hear your satisfactory experience on FTTN. Can you give some context about your actual connection, ie, how many copper metres are you from the node, how old are your copper pairs, are the pits disposed to filling with standing water, etc?

          (These are all problems for me, and our FTTN should be declared ready for service in July or August, so I want to know what the benchmark expectation should be.)

          • Bout 150m length, 13 years old suburb, high area with almost no flooding.

            I am not discounting anyone’s bad experience, of course, and it’s very much YMMV depending on location and ISP, but all things considered, it marks a considerable upgrade for me for less money.

            And let’s face it, you’re not likely to get much of an alternative any time soon.

            Not a supporter, but also not a detractor.

          • You’ve had a pretty big chance of personality here Org’asmo. Previous posts from you are all argumentative bollocks filled rants against the ALP and their NBN plan.

        • Again good to hear. I’d really like to see a lot more of this info around like this. Comparisons of older areas to newer, ISPs in similar areas etc, peak vs nonpeak etc.

          My argument against FTTN has always been around the “Do it once, do it right”, in that if we are building a network we should build the best long term value, not the best short term value.

          I am in an optus hfc area, so kfi when I will ever get nbn.

    • How many area connected in your area (how far has it ‘rolled out’)?

      What kind of Cu length are you looking at do you get enough that means you can be on the ideal plan etc? (genuinely its hard to hear from folk with it as its only the ones complaining that surface).

      • I’m getting a sync speed of around 46 / 16 & am on a Telstra 50/20 plan. Based on my understanding of the copper run I’m about 550-600M from the node. The area I’m in was built over the last 10 years, so I’d imagine the copper is in reasonable quality.

        Average performance sits around 42/14 (testing throughput using the speedtest.net site). During peak times this will drop down to about 30/14. No idea how many people are live in the area – but the area is 8 months into the 18 month window, so would imagine it is a few.

        While ideally I would like FTTP (at some point in the future I’d like that 100/40 plan – won’t have a need for it for a few years though) FTTN for me is doing the job beautifully. I get that won’t always be the case – but thought I’d put this forward as an example of where MTM has worked.

        • Fascinating data, missing from the original story. Customer sync speed important as it narrows down cause, naming RSPs and exposing provisioned backhaul and CVC essential to the discussion.

          NBNCo areas going RFS are neither a surprise nor rapid. Yet the number of “upstream provider” upgrade notices across RSPs is hilarious as are their status updates acknowledge under provisioned backhaul.

          Pillar pair compaction disconnections a growing concern though.

          In their 8th year NBNCo GBE continues to underperform, unbelievably still no business product offering (any tech). $20+b “investment”; remarkable, unprecedented, unimaginable waste.

        • You are saying that you pay for a 50/20 connection but are happy to receive 30/14? Sounds like a blatant rip off to me.
          You are overcharged……..

          That was one of the points raised…..on FTTP you get what you order….now and in the future….reliable!

          It seems because it is better than what you had you are happy with this travesty ……and this is exactly what Turnbull is counting on!!!

          • Actually no – this is one of the BS items people should stop repeating.

            Yes – fibre has massively better attenuation than copper. As a result the actual speed of your AVC on fibre will match the subscribed speed. On copper your AVC speed will be the lesser of either your sync speed or AVC subscribed speed. It depends where you live & quality of the copper – a major drawback for MTM.

            The actual throughput though depends on a combination of your AVC speed, subscribed CVC bandwidth, backhaul from the POI, local transit used by your ISP, international transit used by your ISP (and a few other things thrown in).

            Having fibre to your house does not guarantee maximum throughput the entire time – hence calling BS.

          • True,

            But as you say the AVC is the local part of the equation. If the CVC/local/international Transit are being affected by the ISP, then that is a competition issue. As in, if for example Optus don’t provide enough CVC in an area, but Telstra and IInet do, then it becomes an issue of choice, people show their displeasure by changing their provider.

            If it is a Backhaul issue, then it needs to be identified and fixed.

            However there is no competition at the line. The only option you have is to take what is provided FTTP/FTTN/etc.

            FTTN is providing a solution that is variable, but doesn’t allow for competition. FTTP also doesn’t allow for competition. But it provides a stable solution that is the same for everyone. Until it reaches the point where competition comes into play.

        • The fact that at this early stage you’re already seeing a 30% performance drop due to contention during peak periods suggests that, if this is an example of MTM that ‘has worked’, then MTM is in a pretty sorry state. Your experience is only going to get worse from here. Come back in a year and let us know how your FTTN is getting on – I think I see 5mbps performance in your future :-/

          • Again – as above calling BS.

            The network is built on a contention based model (i.e. you share things like backhaul with other users). If more users use the network – the overall bandwidth available to you goes down. Same thing happens across all technology types (including fibre).

            Fibre has a lot going for it (and I think reducing the deployment is a wasted opportunity). ‘Magically’ removing network contention is not one of them – hence calling BS.

            The thing I find amusing is the original FTTP model has a lot of factual good things going for. Given that I’m not certain why people need to keep drawing out the BS & recycling the same old tired arguments?

          • Michael, contention on FTTN is higher because ratios are higher. It is that way by design because of the design of the network – FTTP junctions are tiny and cheap, FTTN cabinets are expensive and bulky, and difficult and expensive to deploy because they need approval and power and £#@&ing new copper runs to junction points, so the designers want to connect as many premises as possible to get the greatest value out of every node, hence why they’re designing 1,200m lines instead of limiting to 800m which would actually guarantee a good service.

            You want to talk about contention across all technology types? Unfortunately the two aren’t the same, they’re not designed the same, they’re not being provisioned the same. There are some numbers floating around that demonstrate the physical network contention, but I think from memory FTTN has about three times the number of endpoints per fibre (I’m on my phone and it’s 2:20am so I’m not going to go find that right now).

            And BTW if you want to make a point you expect others to consider in good faith, try not swearing at them – I didn’t notice any hostility or rudeness in my comment, so frankly you can back the £#@& up with your attitude.

          • Worse performance degradation has been well documented by many on FTTP during peak periods.

        • If you ask me, it is just evidence that their arguments for FTTN is BS.

          You get 46/16 while paying for 50/20, if you were to be paying for 100/40, you would get 46/16.

          Is it any wonder why we are seeing 100Mbit not being ordered on FTTN?

          • You’re correct, if everyone off a single GPON pillar is ordering 100/40, they won’t all get 100/40 at the same time.

            However, it isn’t going to be less than 75% of their maximum possible throughput, if he orders 100/40 on his FTTN, he will not get even 50% of his maximum throughput on a good day.

            Are numbers really that difficult for you Reality?

            Note: I am discussing the maximum sync speed they will get, not anything related to ISP contention ratios which is out of the control of NBN Co. Thus I do not blame NBN Co for ISPs who do not order enough bandwidth.

          • The fact is all speed plans on any infrastructure always quote ‘up to’ , many have tried 100/40 on FTTP didn’t get it and correctly deduced that why pay for it and dropped down to a slower tier plan that costs them less per month.

          • Yes, you’re correct. Even with FTTP the way the network is designed, is “up to” 100Mbit. Congratulations.

            However, people WILL get 100Mbit at some point with that service, sans ISPs skimping on backhaul. The network is designed to give ~75Mbit down if all users on a GPON pillar are using 100Mbit all at the same time. However, we have seen that not all users will be using 100Mbit at the same time, so in the majority of cases, people ordering 100Mbit, will get 100Mbit.

            Someone getting 40Mbit on FTTN will never get 100Mbit, no matter how hard they try.

        • Any chance of putting your modem stats, speedtest(s) up, and may be a traceroute (or a few) during off peak and peak?
          Or if not here on Whirlpool which has a thread tracking FTTx speeds.

        • Nice. At least the newer copper is providing a reasonable solution. It’d be interesting to see numbers around population on it etc. Also would be interesting to see a comparison of Telstra V Optus services etc. See how much of a variation is being caused by the ISP rather than the last mile infrastructure.

  6. In comparison, Jones said, Labor’s previous FTTP model was delivering “superior service” to Australians.

    So the major thrust of your NBN 2016 policy is restarting FTTP instead of FTTN?

    A similar situation was occurring under the NBN’s satellite model, Jones said. Labor had originally planned to use the infrastructure to serve the needs of about 200,000 premise

    So to take the so called load off the satellites what is Labor going to do, roll out FTTP to rural Australia?

    “There will be plenty more of this to come because rotten copper exists in communities right across the country,” he said.

    No not again, really pathetic, the old recycled copper scare campaign again, just keep mentioning copper over and over and over and over, just like Labor did as part of their negative 2013 scare campaign, jeez that worked well then didn’t it Shadow Regional Communications Minister Stephen Jones?

    Are Labor just going to negative head kick the Coalition MtM all the way until July 2nd as a substitute for producing their own NBN policy or offering any solutions and hope the electorate don’t notice?


  7. Two points. Firstly Newcastle isn’t the Hunter f’n Valley. Secondly we *still* don’t know what Labor plans todo other than hearsay and wishful thinking. But to be fair it isn’t like there’s an election just around the corner.

      • But where is that policy announcement? Where are the details? It’s just hearsay and hope that Labor can’t possibly be as stupid as the Liberals.

  8. Just to point out a few obvious flaws in some of the statements made in the article:

    (1) FTTN users are *not* experiencing problems with the technology at all. The issues they are having with slow throughput are wholely and solely related to their ISP’s failure to purchase adequate CVC capacity to support their services. That’s a business decision on the part of the ISPs.

    (2) There haven’t been any significant outages with the FTTN network. Possibly there may have been some disruption to Telstra delivered DSL, I have no visibility of that. If so, Telstra and their reseller ISPs should be managing that with their end users, including advance notification etc.

    (3) If any business is reliant on a consumer grade DSL connection for $50-100k worth of business, they are either wildly overexaggerating or complete fools. If the latter, why don’t they have a router that supports 3G failover and a prepaid wireless stick available? Their service could go down anytime for any reason.

    I’m very much in favour of FTTP but this is just a sensationalist bash looking for a culprit to blame. FTTN isn’t at fault here.

    • It must be election time…

      “FTTN users are *not* experiencing problems with the technology at all”
      That’s a pretty definitive statement there, Scott. Do you have evidence to back that up? Like a comprehensive document showing performance figures and engineering reports for every single FTTN customer in the country? No? Well, WTH are you doing making unequivocal statements like that, then?

      Yes, RSP’s may be underprovisioning services to save money. However, if that’s the case, why aren’t FTTP customers relating similar experiences? Why are we suddenly seeing a spate of complaints from FTTN customers where we haven’t seen thousands of FTTP customers complaining for years?

      Contention on FTTN is also *not* the same as it is on FTTP by design – something like three times the number of premises are shared over a single fibre line on FTTN compared with FTTP. FTTN node cabinets are substantially more difficult, complicated, costly and time consuming to deploy than the equivalent FTTP junctions, therefore NBN Co want to limit the number of required nodes as much as possible, so they’re sticking as many customers on a single node as they can get away with.

      Trying to claim the FTTN network is as robust and well provisioned as the FTTP network is simply fraudulent – corners have been cut all over the place to try to reduce costs. It’s not as robust, reliable nor can it perform as well; that’s just fact.

    • “FTTN users are *not* experiencing problems with the technology at all. ”

      Except the guy above who gets 46/16 on his 50/20 plan, and would get 46/16 on any plan above 50Mbit. He cannot get faster than that. That is his limit.

      I personally call that a problem with the technology. Now 46/16 looks amazing when you compare it to what most people have on ADSL. In 10 years time, 46/16 will be what ADSL looks like now. What will people like the above poster “Michael R” do then? His copper run isn’t going to magically get better/shorter in those years, not without some kind of build out to something like FTTdp or even replacing it to FTTP entirely. He is on 46/16 until such time as they replace the nodes. He is at 550-600m copper length, meaning G.Fast will do nothing for him.

      Yeah, not a problem at all, say the copper knuckle draggers.

        • Maybe he doesn’t want fast… now… That was my point. God damn you’re dense.

          The point is, if at any point he wants faster than that, he is SOL. Try comprehending what people write instead of just acting like a doucheknuckle argumentative dick all the time.

        • Well he obviously wanted faster than 25/5 so who’s to say he won’t want faster than 50/20 in the future? You?

          • Yes maybe in a few years time he might, in the meantime he has joined the majority of users of 80% on 25/5 plans or lower, only 15% want 100/40 in the latest NBN quarterly reports a decrease from 19% in the previous period.

          • And if he wants faster than that in a few years, he can’t get it.

            Thanks for playing.

          • @ alain…

            Wow they want those speeds now?

            So your claim that people would be happy with ADSL then and now, was wrong a few years back?

            Fancy that.

            And what about HFC only being good for the possums to run along and birds to perch upon?

            You objecting to being forced onto FTTP… but not MTM?

            You seem to say lots, but say SFA?

            Apology for you being so wrong so often, accepted.

            You’re welcome.

          • God damn you’re hilarious Reality.

            Show me even one case where technology choice has been used and has been affordable for the user? Just one. Please.

          • “Yes he can, he doesn’t even have to wait that long”

            True…just a quick second mortgage and 1 years wait and he can get what the rest of the world is getting now (though the rest of the world get to keep their homes intact).

          • @Reality

            Yes he can, he doesn’t even have to wait that long.

            No, he can’t.

            From your very own link:

            Currently applications are only accepted from applicants who are originally planned to receive fixed wireless or satellite technologies and wish to switch to fibre technology.

          • Tinman, I am having a vision.

            He is going to pick up on the word “currently” and then claim that sometime in the future when someone wants FTTP and is on FTTN, they will be able to use it.

            Playing semantics, he’d never do that….. Right? ;-)

          • Playing semantics, he’d never do that….. Right? ;-)

            No, he’d just “revise” what he said and it’d all be sweeeeeet :o)

        • At some point in the future when I have a use for it – I will likely want something faster. When that day comes I will want the opportunity to move up to something better / faster.

          I see the two sides of the argument as having a different focus. MTM/Coalition approach is about saying how to we make the nbn cash flow positive in the least amount of time and best leverage the available field workforce. The drawback is at some point (sooner rather than later) it will need upgrading.

          FTTP/Labour approach is about saying how do we provide the best long term solution for what the country needs in order to stay competitive. The drawback is the company becomes cash flow positive later in the piece & needs a field workforce that isn’t fully there yet (which creating that field workforce would be bonus in it’s own right)

          • You’re an astroturfer, aren’t you? I noticed you booked out of conversations above that weren’t going so well…

            But to address your propositions, the MTM approach is about saying what can we put in that isn’t fibre. FTTN is a technically inferior solution to FTTP. I don’t think there’s any argument about that. FTTN is about squeezing the maximum possible utility out of infrastructure for which the costs are already sunk, but the NBN didn’t have sunk costs in copper – they had to acquire Telstra’s copper. So that immediately doesn’t make any sense.

            The argument goes that NBN acquired the copper for no more than they were already paying to Telstra in the cutover agreement. But that’s not true either – under the original agreement Telstra had to maintain the copper network up until it was decommissioned, which was a $1bn annual cost. Now NBN Co have to maintain it, paying Telstra $1bn to perform that function for them. Telstra also had to provide access to and remediate their pits and pipe network, but under the new agreement that is now NBN Co’s responsibility and cost. NBN Co also have to maintain the HFC network for Foxtel. There have been other clauses worked in but it’s late and I can’t remember.

            The point being, acquiring the copper cost NBN Co in real terms. Those costs make them less profitable – the copper is now a weight around NBN Co’s neck instead of Telstra’s. How does that make sense?

            You argue that FTTP would take longer to return a profit, parroting LNP rhetoric to the letter. The reality is this:
            1) original NBN would have returned a 7% ROI
            2) FTTN introduces infrastructure competition (at least 500,000 cherry picked premises just going to TPG FTTB). That reduces NBN Co’s market share, and because those customers are cherry picked the loss has a disproportionately large impact on NBN Co’s profitability.
            3) The loss of FTTP eliminates the high value products because customers won’t be able to access the requisite speeds. Those high revenue plans are where NBN Co’s profitability came from.
            4) MTM is vastly more expensive to operate – the copper costs Telstra $1bn to maintain and that’s only fixing services that completely fail – how much is maintenance going to be if the copper has to meet new minimum service levels? How much will powered nodes cost to run? Somewhere in the hundreds of millions, apparently. How much does HFC cost to maintain and run? A hell of a lot more than passive fibre that doesn’t degrade, rot or oxidise…

            So MTM costs more to run and all the metrics that allowed the FTTP plan to be revenue positive have been wiped out. Precisely how will the MTM achieve positive cash flow sooner if it will never achieve positive cash flow? The LNP have even admitted they are running out of cash for construction and don’t even know how they will find further financing at this late stage. Where will they get private money, when they can’t show positive revenue potential?

            As for the field workforce argument, they’ve had to go back and retrain thousands of techs for MTM, while they retrenched thousands of fibre trained contractors and put many people out of business stopping the FTTP build. What a flagrantly incorrect statement.

          • “how to we make the nbn cash flow positive in the least amount of time and best leverage the available field workforce. ”

            Translated as, how do we make NBN Co attractive to sell back to Telstra as quickly as possible so we don’t have to deal with actually doing something that will push Australia into the future.

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