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back to article Turnbull says NBN Co could offer FTTN with optional fibre-for-cash

Australia's shadow Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he sees no reason NBN Co could not offer a “fibre-on-demand” (FoD) service that would see those offered xDSL connections under a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) scheme offered the chance to pay for a fibre optic cable to be connected to their premises. Turnbull's …

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Coalition NBN + Telstra negotiations =/= quicker.

My understanding was that the nodes would have to be upgraded to move from a FTTN to a FTTH setup? Is Turnbull saying that isn't the case anymore?

And the other issue is cost - what are they expecting the consumer to have to pay in order to have their home "upgraded" to be equal with what the NBN is now?

Either -

a) people will have to cop the full cost of the node to home fibre, which will be prohibitively expensive for the majority of australians, and thus they'll feel better off under the current NBN

b) The cost will be subsidised, presumably through taxpayer dollars, and *all* Australians will be paying for a fibre-to-the-home connection that many might not even have.

I don't see how anyone is better off under this plan; the only advantage it has is that it's going to be "quicker" - but if they have to negotiate with Telsra for the use of their copper (which they will) and they'll have to keep replacing copper as it degrades (which they will) then I hardly see how it's going to be that much quicker - particularly when Telstra knows the coalition needs to use it's copper in order to keep their election promise.

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prohibitively expensive for most australians? We're spending c 38bn on it - that's $1500/pop. BT offer 76mpbs down/19up for 35quid a month. http://business.bt.com/broadband-and-internet/fibre-optic-broadband/pricing-and-plans/

I'm paying Telstra the equivalent of 70 quid a month for 30 down/1 up. Even if you halve the 'up to' bt numbers, that's still good enough for almost any usage. The quicker you can get a reasonably priced FTTN network up and running, the better for competition, and the sooner the NBN will get a return on investment.

If you are one of the 15 people in australia who need a 1GBps connection, why not pay to have it run from the local pit?

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The 38bn is being subsidised by subscription fees - once you sign up for it, you're not just getting high speed internet for a competitive price, you're also covering the cost of the NBN - the idea that it's costing us with no benefit is a load of bull. Not to mention I'm yet to see the coalition's claims regarding their plan's ROI.

FTTN Won't be "up an running" quick - it may be quicker to build (obviously, since you're not laying fibre to the home) but the contract negotiations with all contractors, plus the negotiations to use Telstra's copper will be anything but quick.

How is using Telstra's copper better for competition when a private ISP will own all the copper needed to provide services? Under the current FTTH NBN, a government owned wholesaler will provide the services to all ISP's, at equal pricing. In terms of competition, the current FTTH NBN provides a better competitive scenario.

The current NBN 100Mb/s plan is 114.95AUD per month with iiNet with a 250GB/month usage limit - that works out to about 76 quid per month. If you're not a big user, then you can drop down to 50GB/month for the equivalent of 64 quid - you'd actually be better off than you are with Telstra at the moment on your 30Mbps plan. If, as you state, you don't need 100Mbps, then you can get their 25Mbps plan @ 50GB/month for the equivalent of 53 quid per month. But, as the statistics show, uptake of 100Mbps plans are at 40%, so people are obviously crying out for more speed. (and that's not "up to" 100Mbps - it's guaranteed).

The "up to" speeds quoted for the coalition's FTTN vary massively - the coalition has said they'd provide speeds "up to 80Mbps" - but if you live a km away from the Node, or your copper is not new (entirely likely) then you won't be seeing even half that. So you'll have forked out for a cheap and nasty NBN, and gotten no improvement on service. Not only that - but you're stuck with it, since you're unlikely to see any investment in the infrastructure for a long time afterwards (that is, after all, what the coalition is promising). And at the end of all that, they then want people to fork out even more to get the same service that is currently being built!

You don't have to be "1 of 15 people in Australia who need a 1GBps connection", you just have to be someone who doesn't want to be stuck on current speeds for the next 20 years to see the sense in investing in a full fibre network.

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WTF?

same old BS

I live in an outer suburban residential area of Melbourne and due to the low population density.. Irrelevant to the relative affluence(liberal dominated)... We have been stuck in pre-2005 adsl 2 speeds. Max250k - Due to the fact that the node is so far away "ADSL is well... The problem". I for one am sick of the second class treatment that we and many others get. Also I am sick of people like Turnbull the cheap, short changing the many people like us that end up getting the short straw... Cause, why would you bother, right? I for one am keen and willing to wait to get the kind of broadband speeds that everyone else takes for granted. It is not about getting gigabit internet. It is about getting a reliable 25mb/s which will never happen with FTTN. So please... Wake up Australia. And be patient. A good network, takes time. Stop trying to rush it. ffs. And just deal with your paltry 8-25mbps. *cue eye rolling*

PS. As a content creator, I look forward to the day when we can distribute (reliably) to the masses content at about 25-50mb/s. That day is coming very soon.

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Re: same old BS

I live out there too and currently get 8mbps ADSL2+ because we are a long way from the exchange. But what you are missing is that the nodes will not be at the exchanges but distributed around the suburbs. That is, there will be multiple nodes in an exchange footprint. This would mean that ADSL (xDSL?) to a node would be over only a km or so and easily sustain the 25 mbps you want. This is what those lucky people close to exchanges already get.

Oh, and BTW, ADSL technology has already been shown to go over 750 mbps on copper back in 2010 so I think FTTN is a very good balance of a very fast backbone with one or two orders of magnitude improvement in broadband speeds for us folk far from exchanges.

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Re: same old BS

> PS. As a content creator, I look forward to the day when we can distribute (reliably) to the masses content at about 25-50mb/s. That day is coming very soon.

Except you won't because NBNCo are predicting that 50% connected to fibre will be connected at 12/1Mbps.

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WTF?

<Bangs head against desk repeatedly>

Yes Mr Turnbull, by all means. Let's set up the same mess that existed back when ADSL first came out.

The long waits for your exchange to be upgraded because "there's not enough interest in your area".

The scramble to be one of a handful who gets access to the DSLAM once a (limited) number of them became available.

The constant arguing with Telstra about not being able to get ADSL because "there's not enough copper in your area".

The fact your phone number was likely to be swapped with someone else in the area (twice!) because the people they sent to the exchange had minimal-to-no training as to what they were supposed to do.

Yes, I had to go through all of that *just* to get "full copper" between my house and the local exchange. And *NO*, I don't feel like having to go through it all again with NBN just because the Liberals suffer from NIH (aka - Labour thought of it) Syndrome.

If you're going to do it, do it once, do it properly.

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What do you mean 'back when'...

that is 'right now' for a significant portion of Australians!

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Anonymous Coward

Is this the same...

...Mr M Turnbull who was going to scrap the NBN as a waste of taxpayers dollars and replace it with some kind of Pie In The Sky Wi Fi?

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The whole idea of the NBN is to spur economic growth in the cloud. The planners of the NBN have rightfully agreed that bandwidth is the cornerstone of this growth (duh!). Turnbull's "example" of someone doing CAD having "unusual" bandwidth needs demonstrates just how short sighted and out of touch with reality he really is. He probably gauges the internet speed we all need by the speed his email downloads. I would throw out examples of HD videoconferencing, digital TV over fibre etc., but I'd be insulting the very creativity that will bring along ideas we haven't imagined yet.

FTTN introduces bandwidth scalability into the forseable future like no other option. A digital economy requires a decent foundation, not one developed at a whim designed to do no more than win an argument. Nobody can deny that the global digital economy is growing exponentially and we want to be producers within this economy, not just consumers just like the path our manufacturing has taken. NBN done right has the ability to turn anyone into a digital economy entrepreneur and at minimum allow consumers to be part of world wide communication and broadcasting advances over the web.

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Anonymous Coward

Turnbull and Abbott

Philistines Incorporated.

Sadly, destined to form Government.

Here in Western Australia, even within the largest (and only) city, we still suffer from infrequent access.

Speed is only one aspect. Some just want a basic ADSL1 connection.

I'm lucky, I got in early, but my exchange is 'full' and we have no cable and no NBN prospects.

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FAIL

Turnbull demonstrates once again that he knows nothing about providing a broadband solution. Just because he was lucky enough to invest in ozemail 15 years ago does not make him qualified to provide communications or IT advice to anyone.

His readiness to twist in the wind every time T.Abbott wants to appease some interest group is shameful. He should hang his head. The only result will be a disruption to a well thought out communications policy that is actually being implemented. The NBN is expensive partly because of the great balls-up of policy conducted during the Howard years. Abbott and Turnbull want to repeat this, thus ensuring that Australia's broadband offerings fall further behind the rest of the world.

So when the Liberals get in at the next election the NBN will be sacrificed just because the Labor Party thought of it first.

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RE: FlatEarther

Obviously you aren't one of the people who got effed over by the NBN rollout.

I recently discovered that telstra was mere months away from upgrading my local exchange to allow for more ADSL connections before the NBN rollout began. Of course, as soon as the NBN rollout started, Telstra said, "well, why bother?" Thus, we have no ADSL, and my area is not even on NBNco's 10 year rollout plan, which means we now wait more than 10 years for something that was only a few months away before the beginning of the rollout. So, for the next 10 years myself and everyone in my area will suffer under the yoke of paying for satellite and 3G broadband, both of which are insanely expensive.

My main reason for liking Liberal's plan for the NBN is that they'll be shifting the focus from metropolitan areas, where 95% have access to decent broadband, to country areas like mine where no one has access to decent broadband.

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I was at my mother in laws place last week. a housing estate where there is not enough copper to go around, thus to this day she has adsl only on pair gain and speeds are dismal, telstra are the only wholesaler and the service is expensive. So, its either lay more copper, or lay more fibre. I know which one is the best long term plan and its the one which would benefit everyone in such a situation - FTTH.

If the fibre option is expensive to the end user, and its quicker to make because you dont actually have to make it because most people cant/wont shell out the cash, then the market for high quality streaming services that can be delivered via FTTH will be smaller, perhaps too small to exist at all. That is a massive loose for Australia. We have the technology, the skills, so please feed the industry what it needs to grow for us to be leaders in the field.

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I am using the NBN interim satellite solution. I shall never get fibre and I doubt very much if I will ever get wireless. The schema behind NBN is that we all end up with pretty good broadband supplied by the govt. and NBN at no cost.

How can this be so?

It's pretty easy and it's very good. The government borrows funds on behalf of NBN. NBN use those funds to supply internet connections to the population, fibre, wireless and satellite.

NBN will wholesale internet access to ISP/RSP's, NBN will profit from this, except for the satellite service.

NBN will repay the loans that the government borrowed and give the government a return of 7%.

The satellite service will be cross subsidised by the other wholesale services that NBN offer.

The end result being that the cost to governement (the people) is zero dollars, indeed the end result will be a return to the governement.

Enter Turbull et al. Destroy the NBN concept, let Telstra supply FTN to much of the populace. NBN owes the government lots of cash but have had their financial legs kicked out from under. They then cannot service the debt let alone give a return, neither can they cross subsidise satellite.

NBN folds, the government has to pay the debt for the loans, satellite becomes government subsidised and somehow, we all win?

Please, I am just an old age pensioner out here, is there something about the Turbull scheme that I have missed that makes it so much better for me and all other Australians?

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> I am using the NBN interim satellite solution. I shall never get fibre and I doubt very much if I will ever get wireless. The schema behind NBN is that we all end up with pretty good broadband supplied by the govt. and NBN at no cost.

I would have thought you were paying a nominal fee (<$50/month) for 6/1Mbps soon to be 12/1Mbps?

> The satellite service will be cross subsidised by the other wholesale services that NBN offer.

>

> The end result being that the cost to governement (the people) is zero dollars, indeed the end result will be a return to the governement.

I don't dispute your right to a basic internet service, however it is not clear that an opaque subsidy at the NBNCo level is the right answer. Satellite services are an ideal example of where multiple companies could have competed for supply and the government offered a subsidy directly.

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Hype, facts or just political comments?

The Liberal policy at the last election involved two things that I expect will also be included in the next policy. First is that all ISPs that rent space in exchanges get their own dark fibre to nearby exchanges where they also rent. That will end the Telstra monopoly and drop most ADLS costs for about half the population. The second item was that if an ISP updated a node (aka RIMS), they owned it. That means if a remote node was updated to ADSL2+ by Internode, then Telstra would have to pay them the same way Internode now has to pay Telstra for DSLAM access for customers where they don't have backhaul or their own DSLAMs.

Most RIMs have 2 pair all the way to homes which could be used for much faster connections that most people who are close to exchanges get today.

The reality is the home wired internet connection is going the way of the landline and I don't think NBNCo's numbers properly account for that. Many of my friends feel if they are already paying for their mobile devices to have fast wireless anywhere, why pay extra for slightly faster connection at home.

I see our options are Tolerable (ADSL2+), Good (Let ISPs put DSLAMs in RIMS), Better (An optical cable TV network aka NBN) or Best (Google Fiber like with 1G+ bidirectional point to point to the box in the house). There is a reason Google isn't using GPON on their network so why is the NBN so insistent on that technology for the rest of time?

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WTF?

Re: Hype, facts or just political comments?

> The reality is the home wired internet connection is going the way of the landline and I don't think NBNCo's numbers properly account for that. Many of my friends feel if they are already paying for their mobile devices to have fast wireless anywhere, why pay extra for slightly faster connection at home.

The fact is NBNCo's basic 12/1Mbps which they are predicting 50% of premises connected by fibre will select is slower than 4G. Unless you need to download large amounts of data it may well be cheaper to add a data pack rather than add a cheap but slow 12/1Mbps NBN fibre connection.

> I see our options are Tolerable (ADSL2+), Good (Let ISPs put DSLAMs in RIMS), Better (An optical cable TV network aka NBN) or Best (Google Fiber like with 1G+ bidirectional point to point to the box in the house). There is a reason Google isn't using GPON on their network so why is the NBN so insistent on that technology for the rest of time?

GPON is likely to be adequate and upgrade paths to GPON10 and beyond already exist. However, I do share you concerns about the NBN when compared to Google Fibre. Estimates last year suggested $120 billion to for Google to roll out 1Gbps direct fibre across the entire USA. This means that Google should be able to build a better network than NBNCo are planning cheaper. If I was Turnbull, I would be negotiating with Google to build the network. All Google want is a fast network to sell services on.

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Mushroom

@-tim

That's not even a good troll. You'd either have a head full of rock, or believe we are stupid enough to believe any Liberal party BS. Once they get in the gov, they'd like everyone to go back to dial-up age.

Liberal thinks wireless connection from our so call "3G" is great enough for everyone. Everyone who is not Liberal troll knows how bad our over sold, over capacity mobile network works in real life. Not forget how expensive mobile connection will cost once you made any decent use.

wireless is never going to beat wired connection for speed and reliability.

Myself is so glad my street is NBN ready, and I can finally get some real decent service. For the past nearly 20 years, I've been getting sh*t connection because of Telstra (back then it was called Telcom). Now the biggest compliant is NBN Co doesn't have enough people to connect home to fibre and they keep f*ck up their booking system (I've been told that I may have to wait a week just my ISP could book with NBN Co to get the some guy to check when he can come to my house to connect the fibre. And I'm not alone in this situation).

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Re: @-tim

> That's not even a good troll. You'd either have a head full of rock, or believe we are stupid enough to believe any Liberal party BS. Once they get in the gov, they'd like everyone to go back to dial-up age.

Whereas the Labor party who held a big press conference in Tassie after Google Fibre was announced to mention that NBNCo was 1Gbps capable. Except unlike Google Fibre which is 1Gpbs (unless you take the free option), 5% might connect to the NBN at 1Gbps in 2028. Meanwhile 50% will be connected at 12/1Mbps. Of course it is also worth noting that Stage 2 maps published around the same time prior the 2010 Federal Election have been shown to be a vast exaggeration, and only a tiny fraction of premises in those maps will be connected by the election. Some areas aren't even in the current 3 year roll-out.

> wireless is never going to beat wired connection for speed and reliability.

From a technical specification yes. However Labor in their brilliance have taken an abundant resource (fibre speeds) and applied speed limits. For 50% of people their 4G connection is likely to be faster than they 12/1Mbps NBNCo connection, especially for upload. Only those people on 100Mbps or faster will actually receive the benefits that Labor are promoting will come from the NBN.

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