Truth: South Australia’s “Gig City” plan is hyped-up nonsense


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  1. Are we comparing Weatherill’s SA Labor plan for 1Gbps with Federal Labor’s NBN Plan which aims to have less than 1% of connections at 1Gbps speed in 2026?

    Professor Rod Tucker, University of Melbourne prepared an Infographic: How fast is the NBN? article on the Conversation. When Labor are aiming to deliver 1Gbps to 1%, Singapore is aiming for 7Gbps average!

    • 7Gbps per second average? Wow. Wait, maybe they can afford it due to high population density reducing the cost of fibre runs to residences…

      Population Density of the Singapore: 7,697 people per sq. km.

      Population Density of Urban Sydney: 400 people per sq. km
      Population Density of Urban Melbourne: 453 people per sq. km
      Population Density of Urban Brisbane: 145 people per sq. km
      Population Density of Urban Perth: 310 people per sq. km
      Population Density of Urban Adelaide: 396 people per sq. km

      Nah that’s got nothing to do with it at all!

      • Also helps they already have fibre installed too so its merely upgrading end points rather than rolling out cabling and the like. Those upgrades to high speeds become considerably more affordable as such … its an awesome thing having a future proof network!

    • what Labor thought the take up would be doesn’t matter (as if they were anything beyond conservative they’d be grilled for it) but the capacity for 1Gbps was going to be there years before 2026 (capacity for lots of subscribers) and plans were to be available for the odd user who wanted it before the end of 2013

      that graphic is not useful at all sorry mate

        • That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the current government switching technology to FTTN and providing technology that is not physically capable of providing reliable service over the 50Mbps tier…

          Also, could you please take a course on how use graphs to convey useful information? Right now your graphs look like a child’s finger painting.

          Pro tip: rather than using screenshots of the corporate plan, you might want to instead extract the useful data and create your own graphs from said data.

          • The graph is from 2012 and is Labor’s expectation of the result of a full FTTP roll out. Sadly adding FTTN doesn’t really change it significantly, especially when you consider the scale is exponential.

          • I know what the graph is from, I too have a copy of the August 2012 corporate plans. However your annotations make the graph almost impossible to read.

          • you might want to instead extract the useful data and create your own graphs from said data

            Funny story NightKhaos I did exactly that a few years ago and not only did they prove the MM didn’t know how to read graphs very well but they “proved” the NBN (the proper one) would generate more than enough money to pay for the build with just 70% uptake by 2028. Without those higher speed tiers available on FttN this is problematic since they would have been generating most of the revenue. Actually 40% on speeds higher than 100/40mbps would be generating 56% of the revenue in 2021 with that rising over the next seven years to 80% in 2028 with 58% on speeds 100/40mbps and higher. FttN and the MTM overall is a fucking disaster on so many levels.

          • Exactly HC.

            The key to Mathew is his constant use of “Labor”.

            He isn’t actually interested in his expressed points, he just uses those points to bash “Labor” and disappears after an election (obviously he doesn’t have an issue with the LPA following the Labor plan in that regard.)

          • @HC I’m wondering how it would be to limit the uptake of a FttP build to 70%. Given an exchange should be 100% FttP, users would have no other option but to use it.

            Or to put it another way, where FttP is an option, its going to be the only option.

            I dont believe those forecasts take into account commercial users either, who would be in the same position, so would also be adding to the bottom line revenue.

            FttN cant guarantee that.

          • @HC I’m wondering how it would be to limit the uptake of a FttP build to 70%. Given an exchange should be 100% FttP, users would have no other option but to use it.

            I just assumed they were being conservative (sensible) and taking other things into consideration like vacant properties, laggards and mobile only customers. Actually I dropped it down to 55% uptake and still it pays for the build. 100% uptake would pay for it twice lol :-)

          • Yeah, I expect its a conservative estimate as well, just more wondering how it could be mistaken.

            FttP will be the only option, where it is an option, so unless people are going for phone only services, or solely mobile broadband, its a lock that their ISP connects to NBN.

            Phone only services will be logical in some areas, such as retirees that dont want/need internet, while mobile broadband only is another issue alltogether.

            For me its a fools option, given the cost per gig, but others are happy with it, go figure.

            Mostly the thinking from me is that FttP guarantees it pays for itself, becuase it IS the only option. So while 70% comfortably covers costs and OPEX, 90% plus covers it even gooder :)

            FttN cant do the same because it leaves the door open to be built around with better technology, whether thats FTTdp or FttP. The ISP that has the balls to build either of those can just ignore NBN and their wholesale costs, at least until they change the laws to make them share.

          • He isn’t actually interested in his expressed points, he just uses those points to bash “Labor” and disappears after an election (obviously he doesn’t have an issue with the LPA following the Labor plan in that regard

            Well Tinman I too noticed on his “finger painting” Twitter that it’s all about Labor this and Labor that. Funny that the coalition clowns have been running the show (making a mess) for the last three years and yet they kept the speed tiers so they must see this as a way to generate revenue too, they and GimpCo could have removed the speed tiers by now but they still exist and yet he still whines about Labor. It’s even more damming for them though, so while they both see speed tiers as a way to get more money only one plan can virtually guarantee those speeds and higher, coalition clowns and GimpCo are screwing Australia twice with their patchwork plan.

            Keep in mind like you I don’t necessarily agree with having speed tiers either but at least I understand the logic behind them. I’ve always said the 12/1mbps plan should not even exist in the fibre footprint at the very least. The problem with MM like this one is that they think rolling out FttN instead of FttP somehow gets us a network that is capable of the higher speeds people are willing to pay for today and in the future. 0% in his copper bubble is more than 1%. It defies logic. Cutting off your nose to spite your face is what it amounts to. If I cant have it then no one can mentality etc. In a word childish.

            To add to this in a hypothetical example, NBNco could have offered one speed tier and only one speed tier, say 1gbps symmetrical for all in the fibre footprint for $80 a month wholesale. So ISP A then comes along and says “hey I got some customers with money to burn they are willing to pay more for 2gbps” and NBNco says “hmmm, yeah, that seems a possibility, how does $160 sound?” ISP offer it and customers say “yeah no problem” so initially in this example only a small percentage take up the 2gbps plan but that grows over time and more so as prices inevitably drop but going by MM logic “high speed broadband is only for the rich” so NBNco should not offer it to those willing to pay more initially. The problem of course is that this is simply money lost simply by not offering a higher speed tier for those willing to pay more.

    • Hey, who’s been in charge for the last 2+ years ? Can you stop pinning everything on Labor. Not to say I’m a fan of either sides, but that’s just ridiculous. Why not ask why the coalition are only aiming for up to 25Mbps to 70% by end of 2016? Why not symmetrical 1gbps upstream/downstream ?

      • > Can you stop pinning everything on Labor. Not to say I’m a fan of either sides, but that’s just ridiculous.

        Labor had the clean slate to work with and developed a plan that has lead to a digital divide and Australia falling further behind. I see no evidence that Labor have changed their policy on this. This image from the NBNCo Corporate Plan shows how far Labor are planning for us to fall behind.

        As for criticism of the Liberal Plan, first it has to be agreed what the desired outcome is. I would argue that the Labor Plan does not deliver the desired outcome and that since the Liberal Plan has only tinkered with the Labor Plan from the perspective of the 84% on 25Mbps or slower it also doesn’t deliver the desired outcome. However I rarely base my time on that as plenty of other critique the Liberal plan.

        • Interesting that you focus all your attention on the “soft” decisions like pricing model (which can be changed by the right government) rather than the “hard” decisions like what the network is built with.

          The bike shed is blue mate. Do you want to focus your attention on the nuclear reactor for a moment?

          • Considering the length of time to agree on the current wholesale pricing model, I doubt that changing it will be easy without significant pressure on politicians. I see very little evidence that others think the pricing model has issues.

          • And yet about a week or two ago when you suggested changing the pricing model to remove speed tiers altogether you had wide scale support from the community here.

            Rather than taking their advice and starting a partition or engaging with your member, you wholesale ignored them and continued to sprout the same rhetoric.

          • And you even do it on articles where it is not actually materially relevant, like this one.

            Sorry Renai for contributing to the off topic comments here, I just saw your warning.

          • engaging with your member

            I think you hit the target right there, he’s actually too busy engaging with his member ;o)

        • Matthew please take your rhetoric elsewhere. The people here are way too smart to follow the crap you post.

          • Or they could be way to selfish and hoping to be in the 1% with 1Gbps or maybe just happy to settle for 100Mbps (13% and falling).

            13% is unlikely to win you an election. It might be good enough for a Senate seat.

          • The reason the takeup of 100Mbps is falling is because the technology the Coalition MTM plan are deploying is not capable of 100Mbps (FTTN), thus bringing down the average. Nothing to do with pricing or speed tiers.

        • And what is the current government planning Mathew…?

          Sans FTTP, I’d suggest not much…

          But keep that one eye glued shut and keep honing in on one small aspect, al`a the 50/12 you repeated ad nauseum/ad infinitum previously..

          BTW – I’ll ask again… since you repeatedly ignore the question… how’s that spiel going for you?

          You’re welcome

    • Beat it Mathew and take your NBNBenefits Twitter account that you use for trolling with you!

      • If anyone hasn’t muted that account by now it’s their own brain cells they’re killing :)

  2. On the contrary.

    Jay Weatherill does know what he is talking about. He visited Chattanooga Gig City to see for himself and to gather information back in January 2012

    However those who attempt to build a SmartCity on HFC networks is living in a dreamworld as it doesn’t meet security requirements nor does it have sufficient capacity to deal with data from 1000s of IoT sensors.

    HFC is subject to DOS attacks and there are other security issues. Its miles too slow for realtime applications as Australians will eventually [re]discover.

    Chattanooga City is now named as one of the 15 cities in United States in US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities

    Smart Cities are more than just residential broadband

      • I disagree mate

        Perhaps you may not understand Weatherils intentions seeing he is trying to duplicate Chattanooga City including their SmartGrid technology and other municipal applications.

        I might like to point out that one of my company’s specialties is smart grid technology software development which is becoming the mainstream app in Smart City communities.

        But like I said….. Jay Weatheral visited Chattanooga in 2012. Perhaps you missed the point because it’s contrary your article ;-)

        • Snowy, I think the crux of Renai’s argument is the the committed funds of 4.7 million aren’t enough to do anything meaningful.

          Unless there’s more to this? Is the gig city initiative intending to use the 4.7 mil as seed money to get systems etc in place to provide commercialised services outside of the existing customer base with existing revenues doing the rest?

          • Snowy, I think the crux of Renai’s argument is the the committed funds of 4.7 million aren’t enough to do anything meaningful.

            Optus are spending $5m to do a brand new fibre network in Adelaide, $4.7m seems reasonable for an already existing one to expand on.

          • Here are some cold hard facts.

            Cisco has partnered with Adelaide to help the building

            In Adelaide, there are already municipal applications in place and more to come. It’s already happening:

            The Smart Lighting Trail is a replication of the same technology deployed in Chattanooga.

            The Australian National Broadband Network is perfectly capable of delivering 1Gbps (currently) to provide bandwidth required for these types of applications across and between all Australian cities once deployment is completed in major cities.

            Why would Adelaide spend $4.7 million to deploy a completely separate broadband network? Perhaps the information has been misconstrued and in reality the $4.7 million is the cost of the SmartCity applications which are currently being piloted.

            Chattanooga EPB now delivers 10Gbps on its network as they recently upgraded using Alcatel-Lucent’s TWDM-PON technology.

            Applications designed for gigabit connectivity registered on US Ignite’s website.

            Dunedin in New Zealand has been dubbed “Gig City” on the international stage

            The Future Cities Collaborative

        • Yup I mean if you purely spent 4.7 million on the CBD there wouldn’t be enough to connect every building premises to the network imho. (and its not like fibre connections are common/affordable/easy to come by either despite there being heaps of the stuff in and around the CBD).

          I work in a building in the city which has multiple fibre cables from different companies servicing mobile phone tower on roof yet do you think we can get any sort of cost effective connection?

          Its still a good thing that several distinct business area’s are being guaranteed good network connectivity to try and diversify the economy base here. Its just not going to be 10Gb for all sadly (and as a local they’ve been talking it up pretty big here FYI). I do hope like DO suggests its a good start to seed the process which can expand to other area’s though!

          As to Renai’s point about not supporting innovation it could be worse imho like the fed LPA and be supporting innovation but doing so with no real substance behind it. That to me is a bigger waste of time and money.

          • Each of the fibre connections in my work were has quite (relatively) affordably.

            Over the last ten years we’ve installed fibre from Telstra, uecomm and pipe (pre tpg) and each of the installs were approx 10k, with approx 3k/month three year spends.

            (These numbers are all at least 3 years old mind)

            Melbourne CBD.

            I don’t know what you consider affordable, but 4 million dollars could pretty easily cover the install fee for many of the buildings in a CBD, as long as the monthly fees are high enough to recoup the cost. (I’m guessing that is how our links were so affordable at the time).

            For context TPG will install fibre links to our buildings now for a fraction of the prices listed above.

            Just had the NBN design guy out for FTTB in one of our buildings, I’m very interested in that for a third backup link at 1/10th or 1/100th the cost.

          • Just had the NBN design guy out for FTTB in one of our buildings, I’m very interested in that for a third backup link at 1/10th or 1/100th the cost.

            I’d be interested to hear your feedback on how that goes Peter.

          • Adelaide’s Wireless Mesh Network (CWMN) has been provided by Cisco. CWMN provides a wireless “blanket” over a city to connect IoT sensors and communication back to the control room and to the States emergency services vehicles – police, fire, ambulance etc.

            Do not confuse CWMN networks with mobile or fixed wireless because they are chalk & cheese and have different applications. Municipal applications manage energy consumption, carbon emissions and public safety. They can also provide WLAN (WiFi) connectivity across the city and citizens can be guided where to go to in the event of an emergency on their mobile phones.

            Adelaide is trialing Environmental Monitoring, Smart Lighting and Smart Parking technologies. A network of IoT sensors is currently being deployed around the CBD to support these projects.

            These real time technologies require gigabit capable FTTH networks delivered on Layer 2 which provide a level of security (DDos attacks & hacks) and to provide backhaul/fronthaul to the Wireless Mesh Network.

            In 2010, Chattanooga’s CWMN alone cost $10 million. But those were pioneering days and its now 2016 and the price tag would have fallen.

            These applications are killer gigabit broadband apps. Your average residential Joe Blow wouldn’t know what to do with a gigabit.

            It is not logical to suggest the $4.7 million State Government expenditure is for some sort of replacement for the National Broadband Network.

  3. I don’t think the $4.7m is unreasonable, Optus are spending $5m on a brand new Fibre Optic rollout in Adelaide (

    They also didn’t say it would be limited to Adelaide, but used in “selected locations” for “SA businesses” (not “Adelaide residents”). Having a look at the infrastructure SA doc above, they are aware of where there is already decent fibre access, so I’d expect this is something to fill in the gaps.

    I can see where they are coming from with it, the NBN is a huge let down in Malcolm’s NBN, I think it’s actually a good thing that the SA government are doing something to invest in business infrastructure.

    The devil will be in the details though, an announcement does not a rollout make ;o)

    • Even in Chattanooga, gigabit connections are not taken up by residential subscribers but by businesses such as Volkwagen, incubator hubs such as Lamp Post and hundred of others who have flocked to the city to build innovative 21st century business. A venture capitalists dream.

      The take up figures speak for themselves

      Population (2015): 167,674
      1Gbps/1Gbps Subscribers: 7,000
      10Gbps Subscribers: 10

      The remainder of the population are on 100/100Mbps bundled plans (TV & Phone). Every house is connected!!

      • The remainder of the population are on 100/100Mbps bundled plans (TV & Phone). Every house is connected!!

        One day in the far, far future, maybe Australian houses will be able to get 100/100 too!

        • ….although there are some residential connections included in the 7000 gigabit count. eg: large families with kids doing their homework & gaming and developers who often work from home ;-)

        • One of the main reasons why every house is connected is that a SmartGrid is deployed citywide. Every premises has a smart meter.

          There is much more to Smart Grid technology than just a smart meter.

    • “I don’t think the $4.7m is unreasonable, Optus are spending $5m on a brand new Fibre Optic rollout in Adelaide…. ”

      The PDF document linked was created 1/4/2005 and last modified 4/4/2005. i.e. SA’s ICT policy initiatives before NBN became a “thing”

      • Ah, my bad, I didn’t download it. Still, that doesn’t change my original point too much.

        • Very true and it doesn’t change mine either.

          Those networks where for some very specific applications which will be superceded once the NBN is deployed in Adelaide.

      • From the information I have, the Optus HFC rollout in Adelaide was abandoned before even any service was activated. Apparently, you can still see abandoned strand wire and coax in many Adelaide suburbs. LoL

        • I believe Mawson lakes stage 1 is the only active Optus HFC in Adelaide.

          But you’re right, I used to live in Edwardstown before moving to Victoria and its chock full of empty Optus HFC guide wires.

  4. For the uneducated. Gig city has nothing to do with the NBN. It’s primary purpose is to connect business districts via a private network to enable collaboration and incubation, provide infrastructure resources such as cloud services and data analytics to companies that cannot afford those kinds of hardware investments. Check your facts and don’t believe the media spin on this. This will become a big economic enabler and facilitate the smart city initiative linking all of SA via a private network. This is not about commercial carrier Internet services. This is the basis for this project.

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