Communications Minister Mitch Fifield appears to have this afternoon inadvertently misled the Senate regarding the history of the Labor Party's National Broadband Network policy, falsely alleging that the party had not considered re-using existing network infrastructure during the development of the policy.
Over the past 24 hours we've seen an extraordinary set of revelations about the standard of the HFC cable network which Optus has sold to the NBN company for the princely sum of $800 million. If you believe what you read, the situation is quite black and white. But from an insider's point of view, the situation is not that that clear. In fact, it is murky indeed.
The NBN company has described revelations that vast chunks of the Optus HFC cable network it bought for $800 million are not fit for upgrade as evidence of "good governance", adding that articles about the subject published yesterday are merely a "beat up" of one possible network deployment scenario.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has avoided directly answering the question of whether he still stands behind the NBN company's existing cost estimates with respect to its use of HFC cable and copper technologies, instead claiming that the Coalition Government was cleaning up the NBN "mess" which he said Labor had created.
Former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has accused the board of the NBN company of being "incompetent political hacks" who abrogated their responsibility in allowing the purchase of unfit networks such as Optus' HFC cable infrastructure in an ill-fated attempt to ensure the Coalition's Multi-Technology Mix model could be delivered.
Leaked internal documents have revealed that the NBN company is considering overbuilding the HFC cable network it purchased from Optus at a cost of $800 million, in a move which dramatically validates long-standing criticism that the HFC cable technology could not meet Australia's future broadband needs.
Telstra has reportedly confirmed it has stopped actively negotiating with the NBN company to sell off its fibre network in the South Brisbane exchange area, as a lack of action by both companies on the issue continues to leave customers in the area paying exorbitant prices for poorer services compared with NBN regions.
The chief executive of the NBN company, Bill Morrow, has stated in several comments over the past month that the 50Mbps base speeds which the company is aiming for across much of its network will be good enough "for the forseeable future" -- ten years after the NBN is initially built.
Canadian telco Bell Canada has revealed it is planning to extend its Fibre to the Premises network to some 2.2 million premises by the end of 2015, hyping the technology as being far easier to maintain than Fibre to the Node and also being capable of delivering 10Gbps speeds to customers by 2017.
Australian telco giant TPG Telecom Ltd announced yesterday it plans to raise $300 million through a placement of shares to "sophisticated and institutional" investors in Australia and certain overseas jurisdictions.
Vocus Communications has confirmed that it has signed a non-binding agreement with Nextgen Networks to construct a high-speed Australia-Singapore submarine cable (ASC) and and is currently "engaged in due diligence on the opportunity".
The chief executive of the NBN company has flatly refused to comment on contentious situations with relation to the company's rollout in the South Brisbane and Canberra areas, where it appears to be overbuilding existing open access high-speed broadband infrastructure.
Mobile provider Telstra claims to have achieved a "world first" following "successful" tests of 1Gbps speed capability on its commercial mobile network.
NBN chief executive Bill Morrow this morning broadly confirmed analysis by his predecessor Mike Quigley showing that the up to $15 billion blowout in the NBN company's costs was due to the Multi-Technology Mix imposed by Malcolm Turnbull, in a move that appears set to increase the pressure on the Government over the issue.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a draft decision proposing regulation via a Superfast Broadband Access Service (SBAS) in order to prevent local monopolies by service providers.
How will G.Fast actually be implemented in the NBN company's network in a practical sense? How will it be installed? Who will benefit? When will it be installed? How will the whole process work? What can Australia's broadband users expect from G.Fast? It's these questions with respect to G.Fast that we'll try to answer in this issue of The Inside Track: Not the debate or the hype, but the granular details about this controversial standard which will affect people's lives.
The former chief executive of the NBN company has released an extraordinarily detailed and highly referenced document analysing the company's costs, to back his claim that the up-to-$15 billion blowout in the cost of the NBN was due to the Multi-Technology Mix imposed by Malcolm Turnbull.
Australia’s second-largest telecommunications company, Optus, has announced a new 50GB 4G wireless broadband plan it says is perfect for renters or students who need to quickly set up a reliable Internet connection or those living in areas with no access to cable broadband.
On balance, I like to think that I have a good relationship with the NBN company. The worst times are when it becomes my role to point out something that the NBN company has done wrong: Something that goes against its principles and may even harm its efforts to deliver a great National Broadband Network to all Australians. This kind of argument can create a schism which lasts for some time and causes hurt feelings. This is one of those times.
The chief technology officer of the NBN company yesterday said new modems launched by the company's equipment supplier ARRIS will allow theoretical top speeds of 5Gbps down and 2Gbps up, in comments which appear to run contrary to ongoing claims by the company that Australians are not interested in gigabit NBN speeds.
The NBN company's chief spokesperson has rejected criticism of the company's controversial Multi-Technology Mix by its former chief executive Mike Quigley, saying today that "former CEOs should remain just that" as they were no longer close to the detail of the companies they had formerly led.
Former NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley has stated that the up to $15 billion blowout in the cost of the National Broadband Network was due to the Multi-Technology Mix imposed by Malcolm Turnbull, using previous comprehensive audits of the company as evidence.
On October 27th, Telstra informed the Communication Workers Union (CWU) about its proposed operational changes that will result in making 480 positions redundant. The majority of the affected positions are held by Telstra employees, while the rest include agency staff.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has registered a new regulation which will force Australia's broadband industry to develop its own industry code dealing with the thorny issue of cross-talk interference in the new generation of Fibre to the Node and Basement technologies.
Last week Telstra raised eyebrows by publicly revealing that it had signed an extensive contract with US telco equipment supplier ARRIS to upgrade its HFC cable network ... the same network that Telstra has contracted to sell to the NBN company. In this article we'll go behind the scenes and examine just what Telstra is up to here and how it affects other players, such as its incumbent supplier Cisco Systems, other telcos, and even Telstra's customers.
Your writer can't imagine that it's easy working at Telstra. Although Australia's biggest telco has an extensive workforce with many career opportunities, it also conducts regularly redundancy rounds as part of its ongoing drive to become more efficient and cut costs.
Veteran telecommunications analyst has described the G.Fast technology which the NBN company plans to deploy into its network from 2017 as "more hype than reality", questioning whether it will actually be able to deliver on its close to a gigabit speed promises.
It's hyped as the fast-track technology that can 'save' the National Broadband Network, but the truth is that Australia's ISPs are currently struggling to deploy, install, support, price or even market Malcolm Turnbull's preferred Fibre to the Node model. In this issue of The Inside Track, Delimiter portrays a technology with potential but one that is proving trickier to implement than planned.
When it comes to broadband, it's safe to say that New Zealand is beating Australia hands down.
The nation's largest telco Telstra has revealed it will invest a significant amount of capital upgrading the HFC cable network it has contracted to sell to the NBN company, in a move which raises questions about the long-term future of the network.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has praised the controversial Fibre to the Node technology which the NBN company is launching at the moment as part of the Coalition's Multi-Technology Mix vision, describing FTTN as "superfast", despite the fact that some residents may only get speeds of 50Mbps.
The NBN company has proposed setting a series of caps on usage of its two satellites, with entry-level plans featuring a cap of 75GB per month and higher level plans offering between 100GB and 150GB per month.
Negotiations appear to have broken down over the planned sale of Telstra’s Fibre to the Premises network in South Brisbane to the NBN company, with the Government stating that Telstra has been “unable” to reach an agreement for the infrastructure to become part of the National Broadband Network.
Conservative commentator Andrew Bolt has opened fire on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over his handling of the National Broadband Network, stating Turnbull has “fumbled” the catch on the NBN and let the project blow out to twice the cost and four years behind the delivery that Turnbull promised.
TPG and its subsidiary iiNet have quietly shut down the dedicated call centre supporting ACT and Victoria-based ISP TransACT, making all of its staff redundant and shifting call volumes to other call centres around Australia.
The NBN company is secretly overbuilding portions of the Fibre to the Premises network which the nation’s biggest telco Telstra built in the several years up to 2013, in a move that calls into question whether the Telstra FTTP infrastructure will ever become part of the National Broadband Network.
While your writer was whiling away his time in the Senate Environment and Communications Committee last night listening to NBN company chief executive Bill Morrow field a variety of questions from Senator Stephen Conroy, the NBN company’s media relations team was busy briefing other journalists on the company’s initial trial of the G.Fast standard which allows much higher speeds than previously thought possible to be delivered through extending Fibre to the Node closer to customers’ premises.
Some of you may recall that then-Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was fond of using the word "heroic" with reference to the NBN company's rollout targets and revenue assumptions under the previous Labor Government, indicating that he did not believe they were realistic. With this in mind, we were surprised this week to read in the pages of the Financial Review that the NBN company's chair Ziggy Switkowski has chosen the same word to apply to the NBN's rollout plans for the next five years.
It hardly comes as a surprise that the head of M2 Group, Geoff Horth, is calling for a bit of bipartisanship on the NBN from here on in.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has described the previous Labor Government’s near-universal Fibre to the Premises approach to the National Broadband Network as a “fantasy model” and “unachievable”, despite the fact that almost all of the progress on the NBN thus far has been based on that model.
The NBN company’s new three-year rollout plan has revealed the company plans to overbuild TransACT’s long-established Fibre to the Node and HFC cable networks in Canberra, Mildura and Geelong with more Fibre to the Node cables, in a decision which appears to make no technical or commercial sense.
The NBN company has revealed it will conduct a pilot trial of HFC cable technology on the National Broadband Network starting in November this year and lasting until March 2016, in a move which appears set to finally provide some hard data around the performance of the HFC networks the company is buying from Telstra and Optus.
You may recall that several weeks ago, mid-tier telcos M2 and Vocus announced they would merge into a large company with a market capitalisation in excess of $3 billion, in a move that will further cement M2’s place as Australia’s fourth-largest broadband player and further consolidate the already minimalist Australian telecommunications industry. But what was not widely reported at the time was that the merged pair of telcos are also considering pursuing a Fibre to the Basement rollout to compete with the NBN company and TPG, which are already deploying this kind of infrastructure.
The NBN company has recently been putting out conflicting messages about what it will do when faced with sections of Telstra’s copper network which are too degraded to use for Fibre to the Node. But when you did a bit deeper, the truth is that the company appears to have a preference towards remediation or even replacement of the copper rather than upgrading it with fibre.
From this day on, whenever Australian engineers are facing a tough task, they should look up into the skies and remind themselves of the power of the Australian mind. If Australian ingenuity can put such a hunk of incredibly complex communications infrastructure into orbit to serve our broadband needs, purely on the strength of some clear thinking and a lot of hard work, then we truly can do anything. And we will.
As speculation increases about a possible merger, Vodafone and TPG this morning announced a $1 billion deal which will see the pair increasingly link their operations together, with TPG to shift its mobile customers to Vodafone’s mobile network and construct an extensive dark fibre network to support its partner’s mobile towers.
Mid-tier telcos M2 and Vocus this morning announced they would merge into a large company with a market capitalisation in excess of $3 billion, in a move that will further cement M2’s place as Australia’s fourth-largest broadband player and further consolidate the already minimalist Australian telecommunications industry.
news The nation’s largest telco Telstra this week revealed it would shortly launch 4G Voice over LTE calling over its mobile network, in a...
University of Melbourne academic Rod Tucker attracted strident criticism this week for his claim that Malcolm Turnbull’s Multi-Technology Mix approach to the National Broadband Network will result in Australia remaining an “Internet backwater”. However, the unfortunate reality is that Tucker’s comments are all too accurate.
The full resources of the Federal Parliament and other Government accountability mechanisms must be deployed to determine how a cost blowout of between $5 billion and $15 billion was allowed to occur in the National Broadband Network, and how to stop a similar situation from occurring again in future.
The Opposition has blamed the up to $15 billion National Broadband Network funding blow-out revealed this morning on “poor decisions” and “wrong assumptions” made by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull during his stewardship of the project, as the war of words between the major parties on the issue ramps up.
The National Broadband Network Company this afternoon revealed up to 550,000 less Australian premises would receive the full Fibre to the Premises rollout than had been previously been planned under the Coalition’s Multi-Technology Mix, with the project’s funding requirement also blowing out by between $5 billion and $15 billion.
The NBN company has doubled the amount of premises it serves and the number of end user customers actually connected to its network over the past year, the company announced this morning, as the deployment of its broadband network around Australia continues to proceed.
The National Broadband Network company has acknowledged it is significantly delaying its rollout of Fibre to the Node technology in order to better test its own systems involved in the deployment, as debate continues to swirl around the controversial broadband rollout style.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has accused the Australian Labor Party of underestimating how much demand the National Broadband Network would see for its satellite service, without mentioning that he personally had stated in Opposition that sufficient capacity already existed, alleging there was no need to build more.
news SkyMesh has launched a set of broadband plans with symmetric speeds of 100/100Mbps over the National Broadband Network’s Fibre to the Premises infrastructure,...
Like the fictional Frank Underwood’s ‘America Works’ program, the massive nbn hiring spree unveiled by Malcolm Turnbull in the wee hours of this morning is pure election fodder — a beguiling program designed to demonstrate to the electorate that the reigning Government is instantly responsible for thousands of new jobs.
nbn this morning unveiled plans to train a further 4,500 workers to join the ranks of its construction partners and the company itself, in a move which Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has hailed as a victory for a project he dubbed “The Coalition’s NBN”.
Parliamentary Secretary Paul Fletcher has taken the extraordinary step of publicly advocating for Australian technology firms to sell products and services into the booming Chinese market, while the Federal Government that he is part of is seeking to pass legislation which may block Chinese companies from selling to Australia’s public sector.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull this morning travelled to Geelong to spruik the benefits of its looming Fibre to the Node deployment, braving the ire of local residents and Labor politicians, who are increasingly demanding local Liberal MP Sarah Henderson support the technically superior Fibre to the Premises version of the NBN instead.
Major telcos Optus and TPG have joined the rest of Australia’s broadband sector and sharply warned Malcolm Turnbull’s Department to stop interfering in the competition regulator’s decision to cut Telstra’s wholesale pricing by 9.6 percent.
A group of major Australian telcos have issued a fiery statement damning Malcolm Turnbull’s Department of Communications for its “extraordinary” attempt to support Telstra’s profitability and keep telecommunications prices from dropping.
Huawei appears to have become increasingly successful at collaborating with senior figures in the Coalition, as the party gradually warms up to the Chinese manufacturer’s advances.
A war of words has erupted between the ACCC and Malcolm Turnbull’s Department of Communications, with the department claiming a pricing decision by the regulator has the potential to delay Australians migrating to next-generational National Broadband Network infrastructure.
Treasurer Joe Hockey has stated that the Government is spending about $70 billion building its version of the National Broadband Network, in comments which appear to run contrary to existing estimates about the Government’s investment in the project.
There is absolutely no doubt that the Australian Labor Party will abandon its Fibre to the Premises National Broadband Network plan and adopt the Coalition’s alternative Multi-Technology Model as official policy before the next Federal Election.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today confirmed nbn would meet its rollout targets for the start of the 2015/2016 financial year, although the success appeared to be based almost entirely upon the continual deployment of Labor’s previous Fibre to the Premises model, and not the Coalition’s technically inferior multi-technology alternative.
Those of you who have been in the industry for some time may recall that the national competition regulator played a substantial role in the previous Labor Government deciding to restructure the telecommunications sector through implementing an all-fibre model for its National Broadband Network project. This week, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull made a few somewhat controversial comments about the ACCC's historical role in the situation.
Remember how in early June, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed that Telstra was working on a wide-scale trial of the Coalition’s preferred Fibre to the Node network rollout style that would encompass about a thousand nodes? Well, it looks like the pedal is about to hit the metal with the trial, with the Financial Review quoting Turnbull this week as stating that the two telcos had signed a deal which would see the trial go ahead.
It is a quarter-century since Australia first connected to the internet, but this technological breakthrough had a long gestation. What is now a global phenomenon was once the property of an exclusive community.
The National Broadband Network Company's Strategic Review found conclusively that under almost every model, the company's network rollout would make a long-term return on investment, ultimately costing the Federal Government nothing due to the cost being reimbursed by subscriber fees paid by millions of Australians. Despite this, Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer this week referred to the cost of the NBN and how it could be brought down further.
I don't want to get too deep into commenting on the merits of the various arguments coming from each side, but I wanted to make readers aware of a somewhat extraordinary debate which has been happening at, and on the sidelines of, the IEEE's International Conference on Communications, being held in Sydney last week.
It’s only a very limited rollout so far, but Melbourne residents might be interested to know that local telco Spirit Telecom has deployed what appears to be a Fibre to the Basement broadband rollout in the Triptych apartment facility in the Southbank area. It appears that Spirit has been able to achieve speeds of up to 200Mbps by using Fibre to the Basement and then deploying its own in-building network to extend broadband to each apartment — skipping the existing in-building copper infrastructure.
As the saying goes, when you are in a hole, stop digging. The NBN is looking like a large pit, and at present, everyone is digging in deeper.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has cancelled four scheduled appearances on various ABC television and radio shows over the past month, it emerged yesterday, as last night yet another ABC flagship cut short a discussion of Australia's largest ever infrastructure project, the NBN, with the portfolio minister responsible for it.
The National Broadband Network Company is working with Telstra on a trial of the Fibre to the Node rollout style which could see a thousand nodes connected to fibre, in a move which would deliver real-life results of the rollout style's performance across a series of diverse use cases.
The National Broadband Network Company yesterday revealed it had added a new category of construction into its dynamically updated network rollout map, with the company now providing additional transparency around areas where "build preparation" activities are being undertaken ahead of the actual physical construction of its network.
Bill Morrow has maintained he acted in good faith during his time leading Pacific Gas & Electricity, in a fraught Senate Estimates session in which the Opposition pursued the NBN Co chief executive and another NBN Co staffer, Brad Whitcomb, over a series of tragic accidents at the US utility.
The head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this morning said NBN Co would be "misleading" consumers on its planned Fibre to the Node or Basement (FTTN/B) infrastructure if it went through with its decision to allow them to order speeds between 50Mbps and 100Mbps which their connections could not actually deliver.
The National Broadband Network Company has appointed a new chief technology and security officer who has extensive experience running a HFC cable network but little with other forms of network deployment, in a move which mirrors the Coalition's changed focus for the company's network rollout.
The National Broadband Network has taken the extraordinary step of hiring one of the most senior executives of media organisation News Corp Australia to be its new chief financial officer, in a move which appears destined to bolster theories about the Coalition's close connections with the Murdoch publishing empire.
The nations number two telco Optus has revamped its mobile phone plans, allowing customers to pay only a once-off setup fee of $5 to share data between devices with different SIM cards, launching SIM-only plans, bolstering voice and data value and setting excess data fees at $10 per gigabyte per month.
Over the past month, the evidence has become overwhelming that the ABC is actively censoring coverage of the National Broadband Network issue in a way that runs counter to the public interest. The broadcaster must now face the issue squarely and deal with it head-on, or run the risk of losing credibility with its highly informed and vocal audience.
Well, we knew it was coming. The extensive delays suffered by NBN Co during its rollout under the previous Labor administration are starting to hit the project under the Coalition as well. Last week it was revealed that NBN Co's new deal with Telstra may not be inked until the end of 2014. And later on in the week ZDNet confirmed that NBN Co's trials of the Coalition's preferred Fibre to the Node technology have also been delayed. Surprise!
National broadband provider iiNet today revealed that it had been selected by the nation’s capital to build Australia’s largest free Wi-Fi network, blanketing 12 business districts across Canberra during the coming year.
It’s extremely hard to see this as a surprise, given the fact that NBN Co’s previous delay with Telstra was extensively delayed, and given that as late as mid-January the pair had not even begun talking, but the Financial Review reported today that NBN Co’s negotiations with the nation’s largest telco Telstra over access to its copper and HFC cable networks could run up to six months late. Yup.
Mark Scott appears to have unintentionally misled the Federal Senate about the degree to which the broadcaster's Q&A program covers the National Broadband Network issue, with the ABC managing director yesterday erroneously claiming that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull had faced "many questions" about the issue on the show.
Malcolm Turnbull has taken the extraordinary step of accusing his opposite Jason Clare of not having the "courage" to question him about the National Broadband Network project in Parliament, in response to building allegations that the Communications Minister and other Coalition figures are openly lying about the project in public.
Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland has accused Malcolm Turnbull of being a "liar" and failing to "tell the truth", with respect to the Communications Minister's ongoing false statements about the cost of Labor's National Broadband Network policy.
The nation's incumbent telco and industry-described 800 pound gorilla Telstra is still abusing its quasi-monopoly powers and not treating its wholesale broadband customers the same as its retail customers, the national competition regulator has warned, as debate continues to swirl about the telco's role in the future National Broadband Network rollout.
What we're seeing here with Telstra during the negotiation process over access to the telco's networks is Telstra leveraging its position of strength over the Government to get the best possible result from the negotiations. Under Labor, the Government had Telstra up against a wall, because it fundamentally did not need Telstra's assistance to build its NBN fibre infrastructure. It had the advantage. Under the Coalition, Telstra has the advantage -- because the MTM mix approach cannot be delivered without Telstra's active assistance. And Telstra is leveraging that situation to the hilt.
Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis has moved a motion in the House of Representatives which appears to contain demonstrably false information about Labor's National Broadband Network policy, in a controversial move which caused instant uproar on the part of Labor figures focused on the NBN policy.
Labor MP Ed Husic this morning told the Federal Parliament that he was "surprised" by the ABC's coverage of the National Broadband Network issue, following news that several of the broadcaster’s flagship current affairs shows have largely ignored the issue recently and that it delayed a pro-NBN article by Lateline host Emma Alberici until after the Federal Election.
The ABC has issued a statement insisting its coverage of the National Broadband Network debate has been "adequate and appropriate", despite several of the broadcaster's flagship current affairs shows largely ignoring the issue and revelations that it delayed a pro-NBN article by Lateline host Emma Alberici until after the Federal Election.
Those opposed to the Coalition's rival broadband policy must not step over the line into offensiveness in their pursuit of NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow over past failures at US utility Pacific Gas & Electric. The better path of valor would be to treat Morrow with the same level of respect and dignity that his predecessor Mike Quigley deserved, but never got.
Independent telco interconnection company Megaport appears to have emerged as the victor in a landmark legal decision about whether telcos such as TPG are compelled to allow independent operators to connect infrastructure to serve customers located in their datacentres.
The ABC delayed publishing an article by Lateline co-host Emma Alberici starkly critical of the Coalition's rival National Broadband Network policy until after the election, it has emerged, as questions continue to be raised about the public broadcaster's coverage of Australia's largest ever infrastructure project.
If you've been in Australia's telecommunications industry for a long time, you may recall the name Alan Kellock. There's not a lot of information about him online, but Peter Kellock, who appears to be his son, published an obituary of Kellock the senior through The Age newspaper recently. I don't want to go too far into Kellock's history, but suffice it to say that he was instrumental in setting up Telecom (now Telstra), as well as the international telephone system that we all enjoy today.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has issued a statement insisting that the Coalition's new "Multi-Technology Mix" approach to its Coalition's Broadband Network (CBN) project is "NOT" "old technology", despite that several of its constituent parts -- the existing copper and HFC cable networks -- 15 years to many decades old.
Several of the ABC's flagship current affairs programs are largely ignoring the Coalition's radical reshaping of Labor's popular National Broadband Network project, analysis has revealed, as debate continues to swirl about the public broadcaster's coverage of an initiative which constitutes Australia's largest ever infrastructure project.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Parliamentary Secretary Paul Fletcher have, in the space of less than three months, given directly contradictory statements on whether the Federal Government may sell off NBN Co's nascent satellite infrastructure in the near future.
The nation's largest telco Telstra has flagged plans to utilise its own and customers' infrastructure to create a giant national Wi-Fi network around Australia, in a move that comes just two years after the company shut down its existing Wi-Fi network with about 1,000 hotspots and goes against the clear Australian preference for 3G/4G mobile broadband access.
National construction firm Service Stream this morning revealed the National Broadband Network Company had renewed its contract to design and deploy NBN Co's fibre network to greenfield developments (usually housing estates), in a deal which could eventually be worth some $140 million.
Australia’s largest telco Telstra this week said it had achieved live network speeds of 450Mbps on its Next G mobile broadband network, using the LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation standard across a combination of the 1800MHz and 2600Mhz spectrum bands.
NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow now faces some difficult decisions in deciding how best to allocate resources to meet the objective of providing high-speed broadband across Australia. Since the Coalition’s election in September last year the NBN has been subject to a number of reviews and a wholesale clean out of management. With many reviews, such as the cost-benefit analysis, yet to report, the strategic direction for NBN Co is uncertain making it difficult to comment on future developments with accuracy.
The nation's number two telco Optus today reported a 15 percent jump in net profits for the year ended 31 March as cost-cutting initiatives take fat out of its operations, but the company is still facing a troubled future due to the fact that its overall revenues and customer numbers are still slumping.
Stephen Conroy has accused the Coalition of perpetuating an "absolute fraud" on the Australian public through its drastic reworking of Labor's NBN project, with the former Communications Minister pointing out that the Coalition could not guarantee speeds on its planned infrastructure, and that no other country globally was buying back its incumbent telco's copper network.
A Queensland Liberal MP who has been described as a “Malcolm Turnbull lieutenant” and a long-time critic of Labor’s popular National Broadband Network has made a number of inaccurate statements in Federal Parliament about the project, claiming it could be matched by 4G and 5G mobile networks without spending "some $90 billion of taxpayers' money".
Malcolm Turnbull late yesterday used the Federal Budget announcements process to again erroneously claim that the Coalition's technically inferior version of Labor's National Broadband Network project would be $32 billion cheaper, despite the fact that the Communications Minister is aware this claim is not true.
NBN Co misled the Australian public about its treatment of Peter Ferris, it has emerged, with the company having made the highly experienced and respected network engineer who was responsible for the design of the company’s previous Fibre to the Premises network redundant rather than merely having demoted him, as it stated in April.
The nation's largest telco Telstra has built new mobile towers covering the airplane route between Sydney and Melbourne and tested mobile broadband speeds up to 15Mbps to planes in the air, in a pilot program which could one day see the telco finally solve the long-running problem of in-flight Internet access in Australia.
A host on pay TV channel Sky News last week defended the new Coalition Government's unpopular radical overhaul of Labor's NBN project and subsequently shut down discussion of it during a live interview with Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare, as controversy continues to swirl about the extent to which mainstream media is censoring coverage of the project.
Controversial commentator Van Badham has not been dismayed by having her NBN questions shut down live on Q&A last week by host Tony Jones and has penned a fiery piece slamming Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's 'Multi-Technology Mix' vision and the poor media coverage of it.
The Coalition has produced a controversial political pamphlet slamming, among other issues associated with "Labor's mess", the previous Government's move to go ahead with its National Broadband Network project without a cost/benefit analysis, just weeks after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the Coalition would do the same.
NBN Co has published an extensive report of the satellite and wireless aspects of its infrastructure rollout, finding that it will need to slightly delay its planned late 2015 satellite launch until early 2016 and that its current provisions for wireless broadband in outer metropolitan and regional areas is not quite adequate to serve its planned user base.
The list of US telcos and cities which are expressing a strong desire to deploy gigabit broadband speeds just keeps on growing. First it was Google, which is currently looking to take its Fiber offering to a further 34 US cities. Only a few weeks ago it was AT&T, which is also looking to deploy gigabit fibre, in its case to some 100 cities. And of course, the City of Los Angeles also has a gigabit project it is seeking partners for. The latest news comes from the Tech Times, which reports that US cable giant Cox Communications is now getting on the gigabit bus.
The argument made by respected competition expert, academic and executive Fred Hilmer several weeks ago that the National Broadband Network is not a "natural monopoly" is somewhat convincing, but ultimately falls short by failing to acknowledge specific factors relevant to competition in the telecommunications sector.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive, 33 page Coalition rebuttal of specific allegations raised by the Opposition in late March claiming that evidence shows NBN Co’s Strategic Review published last year is based on “flawed and unreliable” premises and was in fact designed by Turnbull to constitute a “pre-ordained political outcome”.
The National Broadband Network Company has issued a product specification document in which it openly considers the possibility of allowing customers on its planned Fibre to the Node or Basement (FTTN/B) infrastructure to order speeds between 50Mbps and 100Mbps which their connections could not actually deliver.
If all you know about Ireland is sourced from St Patrick's Day festivities, then you might be surprised to learn that internationally the country is considered a centre for technology innovation, largely because its Government has continually invested in the industry through favourable taxation laws and investment. In the newest move to come from this island nation, broadband is the focus.
Malcolm Turnbull earlier this week made several statements on Alan Jones' breakfast show on 2GB radio which the Communications Minister is aware are false, repeating incorrect information he had previously broadcast on the ABC's Triple J several weeks ago and failing to correct incorrect information broadcast by Jones himself.
The nation's number two telco Optus today confirmed the size of a redundancy round first revealed yesterday, with the company now planning to offload around 350 staff over the next few weeks instead of the expected 200 which was reported earlier.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has denied it censored the National Broadband Network issue from being discussed on its flagship panel discussion program Q&A this week due to any arrangement with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, stating that it merely ran out of time to air a question on the topic.
The nation's number two telco Optus has confirmed it has kicked off its third major redundancy round in just two years, with around 200 jobs reportedly at risk.
The ABC's flagship panel discussion program Q&A last night appeared to actively censor the National Broadband Network issue from being discussed on an episode featuring Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull; ignoring a flood of questions from viewers prior to its filming, leaving the issue out of pre-show briefing documents and shutting down discussion on air.
Tasmania's peak industry body of the information, communications and technology sector, TasICT, has published a strongly worded submission to the Federal Government slamming both sides of politics for the "shambolic" and "farcical" progress of NBN Co's network rollout in the state, stating that the project has become a "political tool".
I thought I would do a quick post noting that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be appearing on the ABC's Q&A program tonight. If you have questions that you would like to see the Earl of Wentworth respond to, on any issue, but especially the hot button topic of broadband policy, then I recommend you submit those questions as soon as possible online here.
Over-the-top plays have not always gone well for Australia's telcos and Internet service providers. While the sector's big players -- Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet and Vodafone -- have proved themselves able at selling telecommunications services, in most cases they have also found it hard to make money from content or services sold over the top of their telco packages. But this doesn't appear to daunt iiNet, which tells the Financial Review this week that it has a war chest for just this purpose.
The local debate over AT&T's plans to deploy gigabit fibre to 100 US cities starkly demonstrates that neither giant telcos nor the politicians regulating them can be trusted to give Australians 100 percent of the truth about how next-generation broadband infrastructure rollouts are being or should be deployed.
US telco giant AT&T overnight revealed it would deploy Fibre to the Premises infrastructure in 100 major US cities in the United States, delivering gigabit broadband speeds in a model which directly contradicts statements by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull that the telco is focusing on the Coalition's preferred Fibre to the Node model.
NBN Co has removed network planning responsibilities from Peter Ferris, the highly experienced and respected network engineer who was responsible for the design of the company's previous Fibre to the Premises network, allocating the role to an executive who is qualified for the role but has not directly worked in the telecommunications sector since 2007.
A community project dubbed '#MyBroadbandvReality' which aims to deliver a real-world examination of Australian broadband speeds through crowdsourced submissions has launched a massively expanded broadband survey and is taking submissions from Australians until the end of April.
NBN Co is reportedly considering launching a third satellite in an effort to provide better broadband access to the small percentage of Australians in remote areas.
Malcolm Turnbull yesterday made several statements on the ABC's Triple J radio station regarding financial projections for Labor's National Broadband Network project which the Communications Minister is aware are false, with the former investment banker inaccurately conflating investment capital and government expenses for the project as well as exaggerating financial figures.
The National Broadband Network Company today revealed it had successfully conducted early trials of the Fibre to the Node (FTTN) rollout model mandated by the Coalition Federal Government, with the trials delivering "raw" download speeds of 105Mbps over a distance of 100m from a local test 'node'.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has denied there is any hypocrisy in the Coalition Government not waiting for the same kind of cost/benefit analysis to be conducted into its broadband policy that it demanded from the previous Labor administration, accusing his critics of being 'stuck in a Labor mindset'.
Wow. Are we still writing about One.Tel? Apparently so. One.Tel, of course, was a hugely hyped Australian telco which eventually went bust in spectacular fashion, and become the subject of many lawsuits. The final one is about to be concluded, according to The Australian newspaper.
Ever received one of those giant telephone bills from Telstra with a massive amount of extra fees which you never expected? Spare a thought for the National Broadband Network Company. Industry newsletter Communications Day has gotten its hands on a report compiled by investment bank Goldman Sachs which, for the first time, fully projects the amount NBN Co could be paying Telstra over the next half-decade for access to infrastructure such as pits and pipes.
The National Broadband Network Company has decided to take action into its own hands to deal with TPG's plans to deploy competitive broadband infrastructure in Australia's cities, revealing plans this morning to accelerate its own rollout to compete with TPG ahead of any expected decision on the issue by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Shadow Assistant Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has published an opinionated article arguing strongly that upload speeds represent one of the key aspects of Australia's current and future broadband needs and that this issue has been almost completely overlooked under the Coalition's "dog's breakfast" Multi-Technology Mix model for NBN Co's rollout.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has direct responsibility for setting and administering telecommunications law and regulation in Australia, has again refused to clarify whether national broadband company TPG is breaking the law by deploying its own Fibre to the Basement infrastructure in competition with NBN Co, seven months after the move was first revealed.
Yesterday the National Broadband Network Company revealed it had made its long-time and respected chief technology officer Gary McLaren and several other senior executives redundant. This email was sent by McLaren to staff at NBN Co.
Incoming National Broadband Network Company chief executive Bill Morrow has turfed at least three key executives at the company after just one week on the job, with long-time and respected NBN Co head of corporate and commercial Kevin Brown, chief financial officer Robin Payne and chief technology officer Gary McLaren (pictured in order above) to leave NBN Co pronto.
Australia's National Broadband Network project is now in uncharted territory. Beyond a joke, beyond a politicised mess, and even beyond farce, the incredibly inconsistent handling of the project by Liberal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has led it far outside the bounds of rational discourse or intelligent consideration.
This article by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull first appeared on Delimiter in October 2010, shortly after Turnbull was appointed Shadow Communications Minister. Delimiter re-prints this article today for the edification of readers, in light of the news that Turnbull has approved NBN Co to go ahead with the controversial ‘Multi-Technology Mix’ option for its broadband rollout, despite the fact that the cost/benefit analysis being conducted into the project will not be completed until the middle of 2014.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered the National Broadband Network Company to go ahead with the controversial 'Multi-Technology Mix' option for its broadband rollout, despite the fact that the cost/benefit analysis being conducted into the project will not be completed until the middle of 2014.
If you’ve been following Australia’s national broadband debate for some time, you’re probably familiar with most of the “fibre to the” terms. Fibre to the Premises is what Labor wanted to do with its National Broadband Network policy, Fibre to the Node is the watered down Coalition alternative and Fibre to the Basement is what most of the telcos want to build to apartment buildings. But what about Fibre to the Drop Point (FTTdp)? The concept, which would see fibre extended to the lead-in pit in front of Australian premises but the existing copper reused from that point on, has been explored in an extensive article published by the journal of the Telecommunications Society of Australia.
The Victorian Government this morning announced it would spend some $40 million setting up free Wi-Fi services and fixing mobile broadband blackspots on the Seymour line servicing Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Seymour and Traralgon.
Wondering how NBN Co’s Fibre to the Basement trials in the Melbourne suburbs of Carlton, Parkville and Brunswick are going? Well, we already know that they’re likely to garner some pretty high speeds. Similar commercial deployments in Sydney have delivered speeds of up to 100Mbps, after all, and NBN Co’s own testing in laboratory conditions in late 2013 showed similar results. The first actual speed tests have been disclosed by Telstra at the CommsDay Summit in Sydney this morning.
Australia is in a prime position to address the challenges and develop world-leading applications for ubiquitous wireless connectivity. The pedigree of our wireless laboratories and researchers in all parts of the country is second to none.
The Australian Labor Party has published what it claims is further evidence that the MyBroadband broadband availability site launched by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in February is significantly inaccurate, with average broadband speeds in the Federal electorate of Perth universally below the data produced by the site.
Vox Media in the US has recently published a fascinating interview with Susan Crawford, former Special Assistant to President Obama on Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy. In it, Crawford expresses a view very similar to that taken by the Australian Labor Party — that the development of broadband is too important to be left to the profit-focused private sector.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reinstituted a direct consumer subsidy scheme very similar to the Australian Broadband Guarantee program initiated under the Howard administration, in a move which will directly fund some 9,000 premises to access satellite services from commercial providers that are not NBN Co.
TPG has launched a new plan on the National Broadband Network fibre infrastructure which appears to match the existing best option on the market from rival Exetel, with the national broadband provider also now offering an unlimited option at speeds of 100Mbps for just $89.99 per month.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and NBN Co have declined to formally respond to specific and ongoing allegations raised by the Opposition and other commentators that evidence shows NBN Co’s Strategic Review published last year is based on “flawed and unreliable” premises that undercut the Coalition's case for radically overhauling Labor's NBN project.
The demand this week by academic Michael de Percy for Australia's politicians to cease their chaotic struggle over the nation's telecommunications sector and let it get on with its own business shouldn't be seen as controversial. The best regulation in any sector takes a 'light touch' approach and this troubled industry is no exception to that rule.
The exit of Michael Malone from the company he founded 20 years ago has re-opened long-running speculation that top-tier broadband player iiNet could be acquired, and it's a valid idea. But the telco most suited to buying the powerhouse from Perth is not hostile rival TPG; it's ailing mobile telco Vodafone, which still has plenty of cash up its sleeves.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed plans to implement the same underlying broadband infrastructure platform in Australia which has already been used for some time in the UK, with the two nations' incumbent telcos Telstra and BT to collaborate on the exchange over the next several years.
A long-term industry has been shackled to three-year political terms for far too long. The only way to unshackle NBN from politics is to get government out of the marketplace where it exists. Of course, the legacy of sunk costs will make this difficult. But by the time we stop bickering about the latest lot of reports, it will be time to deal with the next communications technology problem.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and NBN Co have been invited to formally respond to specific allegations raised by the Opposition yesterday that evidence shows NBN Co's Strategic Review published last year is based on "flawed and unreliable” premises and was in fact designed by Turnbull to constitute a “pre-ordained political outcome”.
Senior figures in the Federal Labor Party have teamed up to deliver a broad swathe of evidence that they believe shows NBN Co's Strategic Review is based on "flawed and unreliable" premises and was in fact designed by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to constitute a "pre-ordained political outcome".
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday announced the National Broadband Network Company had instituted a "fair use" policy and deployed additional capacity to allow its interim satellite service to function more effectively, amid reports users were seeing the broadband service on the platform slow to a crawl.
"Destructive forces" at work in a "highly polarised political environment" are starting to "unravel" Labor's National Broadband Network project, veteran analyst Paul Budde said yesterday, with the new Coalition Government having boxed itself into a corner on the issue and end users set to suffer from a nightmarish situation akin to a "Pandora's Box" of problems.
National broadband company TPG today revealed it had started deploying its planned Fibre to the Basement rollout in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, in a move which directly challenges a statement by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull that the legality of such deployments would be examined by a panel within the next six months.
The new Coalition Government appears dead set on drastically winding back, modifying, selling off or otherwise destroying Labor's comprehensive National Broadband Network vision. But the party which started the project in the first place appears to have already given up fighting this demolition job, with the exception of dogmatic former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.
Malcolm Turnbull has accused users of social networking site Twitter of misrepresenting his position on the Coalition's broadband policy during a stoush with a small business operator unable to get broadband in a rural area, with the Communications Minister claiming the episode could be a case study "of the volatile and sometimes distorting character of social media".
A flippant response by Malcolm Turnbull to broadband problems being suffered by a high-flying small business owner and executive has backfired on the Communications Minister, with a plethora of responses being published on the social networking site slamming the new Coalition Government's controversial revision of Labor's popular National Broadband Network policy.
Vodafone has switched on its 4G (LTE) network in Tasmania, following successful live trials in recent weeks in West Moonah, Cambridge, New Norfolk, Warrane and Hobart Airport, and has confirmed plans to expand its coverage across the state in the coming months.
The long-time chief executive of top-tier national broadband provider iiNet, Michael Malone, this morning revealed plans to completely resign from the company he founded twenty years ago in his garage, in a move that will signal the end of an era for Australia's broadband industry.
Call me cynical, call me a jaded old journalist who’s seen too much in his short life, call me suspicious, but I have to say I wasn’t precisely surprised to see the news that US-based networking equipment giant Cisco Systems is spruiking the benefits of a National Broadband Network project based on HFC cable technology. After all, Cisco does have a sizable business selling HFC cable equipment, especially in the US, the global home of HFC cable.
Pure play satellite company NewSat has made an offer to the buy the National Broadband Network Company's two satellites before they are even launched, as speculation continues to swirl around the potential privatisation of chunks of NBN Co's infrastructure under the new Coalition Federal Government.
National broadband companies TPG and iiNet, as well as the competition regulator, have published extensive submissions to the Federal Government supporting the right for commercial telcos to deploy their own Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) infrastructure throughout Australia in competition with the Coalition's Broadband Network (CBN) project, rejecting the idea that such planned investments should be blocked or otherwise regulated to support NBN Co's finances.
NBN Co, we hardly knew ye. Make no mistake: Tony Abbott's new Coalition Government does not want to own a national broadband monopoly. The process of selling NBN Co to the private sector has already begun, and will be accelerated over the next several years.
The National Broadband Network Company has updated its dynamic rollout map with details of thousands of new premises where construction contracts have been signed, giving Australians a great deal more certainty about whether their premise will be included in the company's next round of Fibre to the Premises broadband deployment.
NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski appears to have radically changed his views on the different merits of fibre and copper broadband technologies over the past few years, it has emerged, with a video interview having surfaced over the past few days showing the executive praising Labor's all-fibre NBN strategy and adding that it would make copper infrastructure "obsolescent".
NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski has been forced to retract a statement he made earlier this month regarding the company's network rollout contracts in Tasmania, admitting yesterday that the contracts did specify Labor's preferred Fibre to the Premises network model was to be used in the state.
NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski has declared that the specific technology chosen by the company in its network rollout "does not matter", as long as that technology can deliver the "speeds" that Australians need today and that it can be upgraded as demand required, in a controversial statement which appears to fly against conventional wisdom in the telecommunications sector.
In Australia, poking fun at our New Zealand cousins has become more than just a hobby over the years; these days it enjoys the status of a national sport. However, when it becomes to broadband, the situation has been turned on its head: New Zealand is doing everything right that we are doing wrong. Here's five ways the Kiwis are smarter than us in this critical area.
The Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne today announced plans to source a provider from the private sector to provide free Wi-Fi access in the city's central business district, despite the fact that Australia's existing mobile broadband networks are already providing reliable wireless access, and despite the fact that similar projects have failed in other states.
If the Coalition had stuck with Labor's largely Fibre to the Premises NBN policy, of course, all this wouldn't be an issue. Talk about unintended consequences. Setting regulatory frameworks can often be like this; you need to think through several steps ahead, especially when it comes to a long-term project such as building a national broadband network.
The National Broadband Network Company has signed up four of Australia's major Internet service providers for its trial of Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) technology in its rollout, with ordinary consumers to be given a chance to test the technology and provide feedback on their experiences.
The New Zealand Government has reportedly explicitly rejected a proposal by Vodafone NZ which would have seen the country take a similar approach to the re-use of existing HFC cable assets in its own national broadband network rollout as the new Coalition Government is proposing to take in Australia.
Greens Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam has described the Coalition's new front bench as "technically illiterate", in a wide-ranging speech in the Senate last week kicking off his campaign to be re-elected in the upcoming Senate by-election in Western Australia and attacking Prime Minister Tony Abbott over various tech-related issues, from Internet piracy to the National Broadband Network.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's new Ministerial Advisory Council last week features representatives from virtually every major Australian telecommunications company of any note. But the group most important to the future of the Australian telco sector -- consumers -- appear not to have been invited.
Malcolm Turnbull has appointed seasoned executive and public figure Bill Scales to conduct what the Communications Minister today described as an "independent audit" of the policy development process which led to the previous Government's National Broadband Network project, in an effort which is already being described as a "witch hunt" against Labor.
Is the National Broadband Network sustainable? I do not mean this in a technical sense. While I am wary of the government using taxpayers' money to ‘pick winners’ in technology, there are many people better placed than I am to crystal ball gaze into the best technology for the internet. Rather is the NBN economically sustainable?
The ongoing stoush over how the Coalition's Broadband Network should be deployed in Tasmania shows Australia's broadband tangle at its worst: Construction contractors who don't deliver, overly optimistic promises and estimates, and politicians playing petty power games with a highly important national infrastructure project. No matter which way you look at it, it's a shocking mess.
The only way for Labor's all-fibre National Broadband Network to sensibly function was for it to be a legislated infrastructure monopoly. But the Coalition's watered-down, multi-technology alternative is a very different kettle of fish, and consumers will clearly benefit if rival telcos such as Telstra, Optus and TPG are allowed to overbuild portions of the network.
In the wake of the news that the Federal Government will try to weaken some areas of Qantas' foreign ownership rules in an effort to provide the airline with a level playing field with Virgin, Telstra chief executive David Thodey has called for the same debate to be held with respect to Telstra.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has taken a pick axe to an article published by electrical and computer engineering academic Mark Gregory, claiming that the RMIT senior lecturer's criticism of the Government's new MyBroadband broadband tracker site constitutes a "confused and illogical" attack, and that Gregory had misunderstood the site's rating scale.
Optus last week announced it had achieved what it described as "a massive world first", generating a total of 2.3 gigabits per second (Gbps) site throughput on one of its custom-built mobile phone towers.
Senior Victorian IT professional George Fong encourages fellow technologists to get involved in commenting on the National Broadband Network, after the success of a segment he was involved with on 3AW last week.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered all 550 staff at his Department of Communications to re-apply for their jobs, according to the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), as part of a sizable cull that could see up to 125 jobs cut from the department.
The final analysis of a crowdsourced comparison of real-world broadband speeds has shown that the MyBroadband broadband availability site launched by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull last month is significantly inaccurate, with most Australians receiving speeds more than 25 percent slower than those listed.
The nation's largest telco Telstra has become the latest private sector player to threaten to deploy its own Fibre to the Basement solution in apartment blocks around Australia, in a move designed to both head off rivals and capitalise on delays suffered in Labor's National Broadband Network project.
A senior IT professional specialising in regional telecommunications in Victoria yesterday afternoon delivered an extraordinarily erudite and pointed education to a 3AW radio host who had gone on an extended and inaccurate rant live on air, rebutting claims that the National Broadband Network project would cost $233 billion but deliver speeds no different to ADSL broadband.
As the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union argues today in an extremely valid point, there's no real need for more overhead FTTP trials in Tasmania -- those have already been done. I'd like to hear an answer from the Minister as to why we need more trials of overhead FTTP infrastructure in the Apple isle, when so much work along these lines has already been done.
A crowdsourced comparison of real-world broadband speeds has appeared to show that the MyBroadband broadband availability site launched by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week is significantly inaccurate, with speeds being almost universally below the data produced by the site.
Labor's communications spokespeople have labelled Prime Minister Tony Abbott's failure to directly answer repeated questions about the rollout of the Coalition's Broadband Network in Tasmania an "embarassing spectacle", as the issue continues to be a major issue for the upcoming state election in March.
If you've been following the technology portfolio in politics for a while now, you'll know that we're pretty much spoilt for choice when it comes to the physical attractiveness of our representatives. Certain women of your writer's acquaintance have been heard to refer to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull as "the Silver Fox", for instance, while Senator Kate Lundy has always been a favourite amongst the gentlemen. But now there's a new entrant onto the scene: Greens Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam.
Impressed by the 4G speeds offered by your provider, whether it's Telstra, Optus or Vodafone? You should be. According to a new study of 4G/LTE mobile speeds around the world, Australia has the fastest average speeds in the world.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repeatedly declined to directly address questions about whether the Coalition deceived Tasmanian voters with respect to its support for an all-fibre broadband rollout in the state, in a tense press conference over the weekend in which journalists couldn't stop asking about the topic.
Under siege from all sides of politics over the Federal Coalition's reluctance to pursue a full Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband rollout in Tasmania, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has spoken to NBN Co about the possibility of conducting FTTP trials in the state that would test Labor's plan to deploy fibre on aerial electricity poles.
The National Broadband Network Company today confirmed it would shortly kick off real-world trials in several locations in major Australian cities of the Fibre to the Node and Fibre to the Basement technologies which the Coalition plans to use as key parts of its own Broadband Network project, which is seeing Labor's all-fibre NBN vision heavily modified.
The nation's largest telco Telstra has launched two new ranges of mobile phone plans, in addition to offering customers the option to pay $10 a month extra for the ability to trade in their smartphone once a year for a new model.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has hit out at critics of the Coalition's broadband policy, describing them as "ignorant" and insisting that the project still constitutes a "National" Broadband Network, despite the fact that the new Government is taking a multi-technology approach to the broadband rollout described by one senior analyst as a "dog's breakfast".
There you have it, folks -- in black and white. A court has decided that Telstra's network covers a geographic area nearly two and a half times greater in land mass than that of Optus. That's a figure we'll be pulling up regularly in future as Optus makes claims about its coverage.
Telstra's advertising and directories business Sensis has revealed plans to cut about 800 jobs Australia-wide, in a move that one of the telco's main unions has immediately stated will "irreparably harm local economies and erode the nation’s skills base".
US technology giant Google has announced that it will work with a further 34 cities in the US on deploying its high-speed Fibre to the Premises broadband infrastructure, in a move that further solidifies the long-term case for the FTTP deployment model globally.
Tasmanian Labor Premier Lara Giddings has offered the National Broadband Network Company free access to the overhead power poles of state-owned energy utility Aurora to incentivise a full rollout of Fibre to the Premises broadband in the state, as part of a package of technology policy promises associated with the State Election.
Well, it didn’t take long. Just one month (one month!) after Telstra agreed to sell 70 percent of its ailing directories and advertising business Sensis to US-based private equity firm Platinum Equity, up to 400 jobs are reportedly set to be cut at the division.
Tasmanian Liberal Leader Will Hodgman has made the extraordinary admission that the Federal Coalition's unpopular broadband policy could cost the party the upcoming Tasmanian State Election, in the latest in a series of ongoing signs that the policy is not going down well in the island state.
Search giant Google has revealed it is planning to upgrade its residential-grade Google Fiber broadband network in the United States to 10Gbps; news that comes as Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stated that it is "difficult, if not impossible" to find uses for a broadband service with speeds up to 1Gbps -- ten times less.
One of Telstra's main unions has heavily criticised the company for a reported plan to send as many as 1,000 jobs offshore in yet another round of offshoring at the telco, stating that Telstra isn't treating its Australian workforce fairly in the context of its ongoing profit growth.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has explicitly blamed construction contractor Visionstream for the Federal Government's decision not to fully deploy the Fibre to the Premises model for the Coalition's Broadband Network in Tasmania, claiming the company was not able to deliver the infrastructure at the cost it agreed to.
Tasmanian Liberal Leader Will Hodgman has reportedly spoken directly to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull arguing "strongly" that Tasmania needs a full rollout of Fibre to the Premises broadband technology, as opposed to the partial FTTP and partial Fibre to the Node rollout outlined by NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski this week.
Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare yesterday presented to Federal Parliament the signatures of 272,000 Australians who want the new Coalition Government to build Labor’s all-fibre version of the National Broadband Network instead of the technically inferior version which is currently being proposed.
The nation's largest telco Telstra has continued its incredibly strong drive to take back a huge slice of Australia's mobile market, adding 739,000 customers in a period in which both Optus and Vodafone appeared to go slightly backwards.
National broadband provider Exetel has unveiled a raft of new ADSL and Fibre-based broadband packages that appear to be extremely competitive compared with rival options on the market, including a headline option which offers early customers on the National Broadband Network unlimited downloads and 100Mbps speeds for $89.99 a month.
Thought Telstra was finished with its wide-ranging outsourcing and offshoring initiatives? Not by half, if a report in the Financial Review newspaper this morning is to be believed.
NBN Co executive chairman has confirmed the Coalition's Broadband Network model will see a Fibre to the Node deployment through at least part of Tasmania, in a move that the Opposition has branded as yet another example of "Liberal lies".
Vodafone yesterday officially launched its high-speed 4G network in the ACT, as the first stage of what it described as its "comprehensive LTE rollout in Canberra".
The National Broadband Network Company has confirmed that it has lost its third head of construction in three years, with the company's executive general manager of construction Richard Thorpe having resigned and set to leave the company shortly.
A new comprehensive study of public attitudes towards Labor's National Broadband Network project has found the initiative still enjoys very high levels of widespread public support from ordinary Australians, despite what the study described as an "overwhelmingly negative" approach to the project by print media such as newspapers.
An attempt by technology media outlet Delimiter to retrieve the 'Blue Book' incoming ministerial briefing of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull under Freedom of Information laws has failed, with the Federal Government as a whole appearing to standardise around interpreting its rights as blocking such documents wholesale.
Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare yesterday said he believed Labor's National Broadband Network project was "dead" and that all that was left was "a bunch of different technologies rolling out in different parts of the country", despite the fact that most Australians still want the project to go ahead.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told radio listeners in Brisbane that he has never personally been guilty of deliberately misstating facts, despite the fact that a number of the Liberal MP's statements over the past several years with respect to national broadband policy have been highly contested by commentators.
A statement made yesterday by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull which appeared to have undercut the stability of Australia's telecommunications regulatory environment has had a dramatic impact on the share price of national broadband provider TPG, with the company's stock taking a steep dive yesterday.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made a public statement which appears to have significantly undercut the stability of Australia's telecommunications regulatory environment, winding back the potential for telcos such as TPG and Optus to invest in their own broadband infrastructure ahead of the rollout of the Coalition's Broadband Network.
New NBN Co board director Justin Milne has a second significant conflict of interest which he does not appear to have resolved, it has emerged, as questions continue to swirl around the appointment process for NBN Co's new board and executive team under the Coalition.
NBN Co announced over the weekend that it had signed a deal with Optus which will see the SingTel subsidiary provide tracking, telemetry and control services regarding NBN Co's two satellites planned to be launched in 2015.
UK wholesale telco BT Openreach has substantially increased the prices it is charging customers for extending fibre broadband from local neighbourhood 'nodes' all the way to premises, in a move which calls into question the Coalition Federal Government's plan to use the service in its Coalition Broadband Network plan.
Greens Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam has accused the Coalition Government of 'pulling the plug' on Labor's National Broadband Network project and leaving Australians "stranded" on legacy copper infrastructure. In comparison, Ludlam said, the Greens were focused on "maximising the amount of optic fiber laid directly to premises".
The nation's number two telco Optus this morning revealed it had kicked off trials of 4G mobile services using the 2600MHz frequency, as the nation's three major telcos continue to battle for mindshare in the next generation of mobile broadband services.
You might have noticed that there's a decidedly positive tenor to the announcements which ailing mobile telco Vodafone Australia has been making recently. The company's leadership in 4G mobile broadband speeds, its appointment of a qualified executive from Europe to replace outgoing leader Bill Morrow, and this morning, the news that it has a million customers on its 4G network.
Australia's third-largest broadband player iiNet has opened a broadside on the nation's political class over the "policy vacuum" the ISP says exists in telecommunications policy, agreeing with veteran analyst Paul Budde that further discussion is needed around the actual uses of upgraded broadband infrastructure and less discussion of entry level broadband speeds.
Internode founder Simon Hackett has exhorted Australians to think about their legacy and how they can "leave a good result behind", in a heartfelt speech given on the eve of his departure from the Internet service provider he founded and arrival as a board director at the National Broadband Network Company.
We've been hearing the same mantra from NBN Co for some years now with regards to its Fibre to the Premises network rollout. Initially moving, as Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull likes to describe it, "at the pace of an arthritic snail", NBN Co executives have long been fond of claiming that the company's rollout would speed up as time went on, in a "ramp-up" phenomenon. However, over at iTNews, journalist Ry Crozier has crunched the numbers and determined that the claim is just that -- a claim -- with no actual evidence of such a ramp-up in sight.
A new survey taken by respected analysis house Essential has shown that a total of 58 percent of Australians oppose privatising the National Broadband Network Company, around the same level as those opposing government-owned media groups the ABC and SBS.
Respected telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has called for a more constructive debate about Australia's future broadband needs, arguing that the current national conversation over the issue of the National Broadband Network is stuck using "yesterday's logic" as it fails to plan for the needs of a future only five to ten years away.
The nation's biggest telco Telstra late last week revealed it had started testing the use of the 700MHz spectrum in its 4G mobile network, using equipment from Ericsson and "an advanced smartphone from HTC that will launch later this year".
A new series of independent tests has shown the 4G network of ailing mobile telco Vodafone can easily beat the rival networks of Telstra and Optus, at least in capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, with the telco claiming the results show it is the best option for streaming content and general Internet surfing.
Ailing national mobile telco Vodafone today revealed it would bring in Inaki Berroeta, chief executive of Vodafone Romania to replace its outgoing local leader Bill Morrow, who is set to take the reins of the National Broadband Network Company from March.
Labor Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings has accused the Coalition Federal Government of having "conned the Tasmanian public" with respect to its plans for the Coalition's Broadband Network project in the state, having failed to commit to a full Fibre to the Premises rollout despite the State Government's willingness to work with Canberra on the issue.
British telco BT has temporarily drastically cut the price of accessing its Fibre to the Node-style network, delivering speeds and data quotes unheard of in Australia, in another demonstration of the national consequences of the failure of the Australian Government's telecommunications policies over the past decade.
British telco BT and French networking equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent have teamed up for a trial which has demonstrated speeds of up to 1.4Tbps over BT's core fibre network, in what is believed to be the fastest data speeds ever achieved using commercial-grade hardware in a real-world telco environment.
Those of you who’ve actually read the National Broadband Network Company’s Strategic Review document will be aware that, as I wrote in late December (Delimiter 2.0 link), it’s actually surprisingly favourable to use cases involving ubiquitous fibre broadband being deployed around Australia. Although it’s the Coalition’s preferred HFC/Fibre to the Node-focused ‘Multi-Technology Mix’ approach which has gotten all the airplay, in actual fact the document itself is quite positive to the use of Fibre itself. Telco commentator David Braue reminds us of this fact in a well-written piece for ZDNet.
A loose-knit collective of Australian technologists has formed what it has dubbed an online crowdsourced think tank focused around the National Broadband Network project and has started putting together a submission to the NBN Senate Select Committee which will argue for a network built on the best available 'fit for purpose' technology - not on political ideology.
If you didn’t laugh, you’d have to cry. Your writer has watched with great amusement over the past week as Megaport chief executive Bevan Slattery has been bitterly complaining about the fact that TPG Telecom has blocked certain types of third-party access to PIPE Networks’ datacentres. You can find Slattery’s problems outlined here on the blog of Megaport, which aims to build an interconnection fabric between various carriers and cloud computing providers.
Australian telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has penned an extensive blog post discussing the need for the Coalition's Broadband Network (CBN) to remain on a 'wholesale-only' basis, despite the fact that the network's architecture is set to radically change due to the 'Multi-Technology Mix' model proposed by NBN Co.
The National Broadband Network Company this morning revealed some 27 wholesale customers -- generally retail Internet service providers, including major market players Telstra and Optus -- had signed its permanent Wholesale Broadband Agreement that will shape the way they work with the company. However, at least one major ISP -- iiNet, has reportedly refused to sign.
An attempt by Malcolm Turnbull to leverage a visit to Facebook's headquarters in the US to communicate with Australians about the future of the digital economy via social media has backfired, with the Communications Minister's official Facebook filling up with hundreds of comments slamming the Coalition's inferior broadband policy.
Telstra yesterday confirmed it had not yet kicked off renewed negotiations with NBN Co over access to its HFC cable and copper networks, as concerns continue to grow that the Coalition's Broadband Network Project, which has several components highly dependent on the talks succeeding, is likely to be significantly delayed.
The nation's biggest telco Telstra this morning revealed it would sell 70 percent of its ailing directories and advertising business Sensis to US-based private equity firm Platinum Equity, with the sale to net the telco $454 million.
Respected telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has heavily criticised the Coalition's new preferred broadband deployment model, describing its "Multi-Technology Mix" approach as "a dog's breakfast" of different technologies, which could turn out to be a "logistical nightmare" to deliver in practice.
By all accounts, 2014 is shaping up as a pretty good year for the actual National Broadband Network rollout. As I write on Delimiter 2.0 today (paywalled), the project has a solid amount of Fibre to the Premises construction work set to deliver this year, and there are other reasons to be optimistic about how the next 12 months will pan out. But from 2015, it's all downhill.
The new Coalition Government has failed to successfully deliver what it had promised before the election would be a key report on the overall status of broadband infrastructure in Australia, instead releasing just before Christmas an extremely brief report of only several pages which does little to illuminate the situation.
iiNet made its outgoing Adelaide-based chief technology officer John Lindsay redundant, it has emerged, as the company appears to be increasingly centralising the technical management of its infrastructure to its head office in Perth.
It is no longer appropriate in 2014 for Australians to refer to the Coalition's radically watered down version of Labor's pet telecommunications initiative as the "National" Broadband Network project, given the fact that it will leave the long-term future of up to a third of Australians' broadband services in doubt.
Long-time Internode chief technology officer John Lindsay has resigned from a similar position at the company's owner iiNet, just two years after iiNet bought the South Australian ISP.
If you believe NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the NBN Strategic Review released last week is all about re-using HFC cable, implementing Fibre to the Node and minimising the use of Fibre to the Premises. However, a close reading of the document shows that it also finds that Labor’s original FTTP vision can still be delivered very affordably and in a timely manner.
The Greens and the Australian Labor Party have taken a pick axe to the Coalition's plans for the NBN following Senate hearings on the project this week, variously describing the current state of the Coalition's vision as "a dog's breakfast", a "train wreck" and "broadband limbo".
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today confirmed the Federal Government would follow NBN Co's recommendation in adopting an "optimised" model for deploying the National Broadband Network "sooner, cheaper and more affordably", in a move that will see the company roll out the "maximum" amount of existing network infrastructure.
Australian telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has published a strongly worded blog post arguing that the HFC cable networks focused on by the Coalition in its rival NBN policy are akin to steam trains in the 1930's through the 1960's -- they'll still around for decades, but don't represent the future of their industry.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed Henry Ergas, an open Liberal supporter and one of the most strident critics of Labor's National Broadband Network policy, to a panel of experts which will conduct a cost/benefit analysis of broadband review regulation associated with the NBN.
Internode founder and NBN Co board director Simon Hackett has strongly defended the company's proposal to cancel the rollout of fibre broadband to around a third of Australian premises and re-use existing HFC cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus instead, stating that some of those criticising the plan have gotten it "simply wrong".
I think it's safe to say at this point that Turnbull has not gotten his first 100 days in power right; in fact, he's gotten them disastrously wrong, making little or even backwards progress on a range of fronts. It will be interesting to see if he can rectify his political and functioning mistakes in the next 100 days.
Delimiter has today published the full text of NBN Co's internal analysis casting doubt on the viability of the Coalition's Fibre to the Node-based National Broadband Network policy. The 46MB document can be downloaded in full online here in PDF format.
I am here today to formally apologise. I was wrong to have faith in Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition on this issue. You were all right. Turnbull does indeed appear to be attempting to "demolish" the NBN.
NBN Co's Strategic Review has found that it will not be possible to deliver the Coalition's stated policy goal of delivering broadband speeds of 25Mbps to all Australians by the end of 2016 or at the projected cost, and has recommended that up to a third of Australian premises theoretically already covered by HFC cable networks effectively receive no upgrade at all under a drastically revised deployment scheme.
Wondering who the new National Broadband Network chief executive will be? So are we, and reportedly we're going to find out very shortly.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has written to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten requesting the Labor leader release cabinet documents from the previous Labor administration relating to the National Broadband Network, despite the fact that Turnbull himself is holding back similar material from the Coalition's period in power.
The Opposition has forced senior executives from the National Broadband Network back to take questions from a Senate committee for the third time in a month, as debate grows about whether and to what extent such constant hearings represent obstruction of the company's work.
Just how fast can 4G mobile broadband go? Very fast, according to Telstra, which has been conducting trials of LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation technology.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has mocked the tenure of outgoing NBN Co chief Mike Quigley in leading the National Broadband Network Company, comparing the respected executive to the "Captain of the Titanic" in what Turnbull claimed was an inability to get the job done with respect to the NBN.
It’s now been three and a half years since then-Communications Minister Stephen Conroy promised Australians that NBN Co would eventually deliver 1Gbps broadband speeds through the Labor’s all-singing, all-dancing, all-fibre National Broadband Network, and eight months since NBN Co promised it would be here by the end of 2013. Well, the rollout of the NBN may have made very little progress in that time, but the 1Gbps speeds are still coming.
Delimiter has appealed a move by the Department of Communications to block the release of new Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘Blue Book’ incoming ministerial briefing under Freedom of Information laws.
In a move which will finally put paid to Telecom New Zealand's lengthy and frustrated failed adventure into Australia, second-tier telco TPG this morning revealed it would buy its ailing Australian division AAPT for $450 million.
A "devastating" leaked internal NBN analysis partially published over the past week "pulls apart" the Coalition's Fibre to the Node plan for the National Broadband, the Opposition said this week, as pressure grows on Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull over the issue.
Malcolm Turnbull has flatly ignored a request to retract a highly inaccurate claim the Communications Minister made on national television last week in an attempt to discredit an important internal NBN Co analysis casting doubt on viability of the Coalition's NBN policy.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has signalled he will defy a Senate order to publish by next Monday the full Strategic Review which will guide the future of the NBN project, stating instead that he expects the document to be released by the end of 2013.
Labor and the Greens are likely to team up in the Senate today to force Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to publish next Monday the full Strategic Review which will guide the future of the National Broadband Network project.
NBN Co founding chief executive Mike Quigley has advised the company's new management to get on with the job of fulfilling the Coalition's Fibre to the Node vision for the project and not to politicise it further, in his first public appearance since retiring several months ago.
As Stephen Conroy interrogated the incoming NBN Co chief Ziggy Switkowski in last week’s Senate hearing into the network’s rollout, it became increasingly clear that politics is getting in the way of good policy.
Pay TV giant Foxtel today announced it would launch broadband internet and fixed-line telephony services bundled with its television product, with a target date of "late 2014" and no pricing yet announced.
The Opposition has demanded the Federal Government release the Strategic Review report which NBN Co has conducted into its operations and possible future plans. However, the report has not yet been delivered to the Government, even in draft form.
The Sydney Morning Herald has published internal NBN Co information purporting to heavily criticise the Coalition's rival FTTN model for the National Broadband Network. However, the information may not reflect the current state of play with the network or the Coalition's plans.
The Senate's move to force senior executives from the National Broadband Network Company to appear before its new NBN committee starkly demonstrates the extreme degree of politicisation which the NBN project as a whole is subject to.
The Opposition has confirmed it will not consent to key Labor cabinet documents related to the National Broadband Network being publicly released, in comments which let Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull off the hook from doing the same.
Departing board director Simon Hackett and other iiNet senior figures have rubbished the idea that the temporary loss of long-time chief executive officer and other senior figures such as Hackett himself from the ISP could lead to innovation dying at the ISP.
Supporters of Labor's all-fibre vision for the National Broadband Network project have organised a national day of action for Tuesday 26 November, which will see thousands of Australians physically present Members of Parliament with copies of a 270,000-strong petition on the issue.
The Opposition today claimed it was being inundated by "countless" complaints by Australians alarmed after the new Coalition Government 'wiped them off the NBN rollout map' with "no apology and no real explanation".
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stated that he will seek to publicly release his 'Blue Book' incoming ministerial briefing if the Opposition will consent to release a number of NBN-related documents which were considered as part of the previous Labor administration's cabinet.
If you were seeking to hire independent experts to conduct a cost/benefit analysis on an important piece of national infrastructure, you would probably seek to hire, well, experts who were independent, right? Experts who hadn't previously formed a fixed view on what would be the best way to deploy that infrastructure? Wrong, at least if you're Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
You would think ... you would really think, that there would be no possible way that NBN Co, Telstra and retail ISPs like Eftel could so badly coordinate the changeover process from Telstra's copper network to NBN Co's fibre network that any resident could be left without telecommunications access. You would think.
iiNet chief executive Michael Malone has signalled plans to take a break of between three to six months from the business he founded in his garage some 20 years ago, with iiNet's chief financial officer David Buckingham to step in as acting chief executive in his absense.
New NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski has questioned the need for ordinary households in Australia to have access to 100Mbps broadband speeds, telling a Senate Estimates session this week that a "whole lot of assumptions" needed to be pushed to their limits to demonstrate how such speeds would be used.
The National Broadband Network Company has invited retail ISPs to participate in a trial of the Fibre to the Basement network infrastructure model, as the Coalition’s plan to reshape Labor’s previously Fibre to the Premises-based NBN vision kicks into gear.
National broadband provider iiNet has withdrawn its National Broadband Network satellite plans from sale, as the rapid up-take of customers on the service has resulted in a lack of available network capacity for new sign-ups.
Fact-checking website PolitiFact Australia has flatly rejected a claim by the Australian Labor Party that the Coalition has "cut" some 500,000 houses from the National Broadband Network project, finding that the Coalition had only changed the metrics by which the rollout was measured, not the rollout itself.