back to article Optus HFC network gobbled by NBN Co for AU$800m

SingTel Optus will hand over its 400,000 HFC network customers to NBN Co and decommission parts of the network following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s final approval of the AU$800 million HFC asset deal. The original agreement was announced last June, subject to a raft of conditions including authorisation …

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Anonymous Coward

buying your customers

Is there really that little confidence in the NBN from those behind it that it is necessary to close off old competing infrastructure and to to buy off customers and contracts in order to ensure its success?

Would have been nice to let the market decide first before going to such extremes, might also have ensured that the NBN was the BEST service available in order to succeed.

It is now looking like the NBN will end up being a success simply because it will be the ONLY service available.

I really hope the folks behind the NBN are not too cocky when they celebrate the success of their self fulfilling prophecy, but then again it is politicians we're talking about and they (both Lib and Labour) seem more concerned with HOW THEY LOOK than HOW GOOD their actual proposals end up working.

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Re: buying your customers

Anonymous

First, lets get some facts straight for yourself and the readers.

1) Australia has had communications competition for 20 years, Telstra the incumbent was never separated as a political decision by John Howard when he reversed the processes in hand to do so by the previous Keating Government . As a result there has never been any real infrastructure competition, apart from corporate and business parks and Greenfields estates where the developer pays for it. Much of the Nation including Major Metropolitan areas have limited if any access to Broadband. The Regional and rural sectors have been heavily subsidised by the Taxpayer and yet most have NO or limited and EXPENSIVE access to B/B. The Optus HFC was designed and implemented as a Cable TV with Telephony capability Network and was overbuilt. by Telstra HFC , as competition meant split customer availability, it was not economic The actual rollout was halted and was a financial disaster for both.

Elsewhere in the World, infrastructure competition in communications apart from wireless has actually been counter productive. That is why the US is having to spend over $300Bill as a partial patchwork fix.

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Re: buying your customers

2) Australias NBN is A WHOLESALE ONLY NATIONAL UBIQUITOUS STANDARDISED BUSINESS CAPABLE NETWORK THAT BEING 93% FTTH is readily and economically upgraded,1Gb is planned to be available within a year. Also wireless to some (currently 12/1 but installed to be capable for 25/5 in the future ) - Backhaul and Transit networks to provide the capacity are also being installed. 12/1 Purpose Built latest technology Satellite is also being built, leased 6/1 as interim.

Unfortunately the disaster Howard and Costello left the Nation means truly major work has to be done in infrastructure in so many areas.

The private sector failed to deliver, competition was as usual a disaster in basic core National infrastructure, we don't have multiple retail Power, Water Sewage etc infrastructure competition for good reason.

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Re: buying your customers

3) There are and will remain Corporate and CBD and Business and Industrial Park Fibre Networks.

There are existing wireless networks being upgraded to 4G, wireless needs load shedding to remain viable.

The NBN being a wholesale only network, there are NO retail customers, only retailers such as Optus, who actually prefer to be rid of their HFC with the associated management and maintenance costs, moving their customers onto a standardised platform that can be integrated with their wireless network NATION WIDE.

Neither Optus or Telstra are interested in upgrading or extending their HFC Networks, it could only happen with pressure from Government and Massive taxpayer subsidies. But then that is the lifeblood of so much "competition" in infrastructure

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Anonymous Coward

taxpayer money well spent?

So did the Australian taxpayer just hand over $800 million to buy a list of customers?

I say 'list' because I wonder if those Optus customers are now eligible to challenge their contracts considering the conditions and company that they originally signed under have changed?

I assume the ACCC approval/HFC asset deal means those customers are now legally bound to the new entity under their old contract........if so, nice work from a commission tasked with looking out for COMPETITION and CONSUMERS

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Re: taxpayer money well spent?

No

They remain Optus customers,But they now have a choice they did not have before.

The Government subsidies (incentive) required to upgrade would have cost not much less and for what actual benefit. It will be inadequate within another 10-15 years, still expensive to maintain and still not truly business capable.

The ONLY beneficiary would be Skytels and Foxtels proprietors

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Anonymous Coward

That's $2000 per customer!!

Sure I know it's shutting down infrastructure as well but man all I can think about is what sort of depravity i'd be willing to do for a quick $2000, absolutely awful sorts of stuff really, maybe even voting to re-elect them so I can download porn faster!!!

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Coat

Effing winjas

If you don't like it, move to the UK. You don't know how lucky you are.

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Re: "Effing winjas" spoken like a right winja yourself..

I don't see any 'winjas', just some mostly valid and mostly unanswered questions to ask regarding the NBN and the costs involved, which many people are either sceptical of / don't understand and would like some simple answers to.

I think you're confusing any query / questioning of the NBN as an assumption that anyone questioning it somehow doesn't want it or is a 'winja'. It doesn't have to be such a black and white "if you're not with us, you're against us' discussion though, we're not politicians.

I personally like the idea of us having the NBN, I'm just concerned by the massive costs involved and other factors such as the closure of old infrastructure and apparent buyouts of competitors, which just don't sit well with me and are hard queries to find proper answers to outside of politically motivated positive/negative PR spin.

Instead of winging yourself and suggesting anyone questioning the NBN move to the UK and just 'count themselves lucky', maybe you could actually discuss and provide some answers to the questions raised, maybe you could tell us all why we are 'so lucky' (please have a better answer than simply 'faster internet')

It's not hard, there's a poster below who has already attempted to explain things.

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Anonymous

That HFC Network was designed and implemented as a Multicast TV with Telephony capability Cable Network. not built for B/B and struggling to adequately provide it. Foxtel (partly owned by News Ltd.) and Sky Channel - (Wholly News Ltd.). Never business capable, just a pain in the butt for everyone except Murdoch.

As Howard had reversed the legislation and processes that Keating was implementing to structurally separate Telecom. Why? (Ah there is a dirty little story, lets just say returning favours), as a result Telecom followed and overbuilt Optus HFC. So infrastructure never upgraded, now 15 plus years old. Sure latest Docsis implementation but hugely congested especially peak periods. Lots of unhappy customers.

Due to Howards actions the Government owed Optus even though of a different flavour.

Best and cleanest solution. Win/Win

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