back to article Internode's Simon Hackett offers re-engineered NBN plan

Self-described “wise old bird of the industry, or at least, a bird that doesn't have much hair left”, Simon Hackett, has suggested to a Sydney conference that the fibre NBN could be delivered for close to a copper budget, if the design is revisited and reviewed. Speaking to the Wholesale and Data Centre Summit staged by …

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Anonymous Coward

Evil thought

Given Simon Hackett's political leanings, it would be hilarious (albeit arguably a good idea) if the opposition were to adopt his proposals. Probably too close to the election to make major policy changes, though. (Unless they changed leader, of course.)

Rudd, being "new", could get away with a radical change, but he is not noted for making sound, well considered policy decisions - just ones that look good in the moment, or cement his hold on power.

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Silver badge

A Camel is a Horse Designed by a Committee

The problem is the NBN was designed by a committee too.

I've got the NBN. First thing they do is install a battery backup system to run everything in case of a blackout.

This is a total waste. Firstly a lot of homes now no longer run a home phone. Secondly of those who do, most have a cordless phone that doesn't work without power anyway. Most people don't care because there is at least one mobile in the house.

The only person who needs a battery backup land line is an old technophobic person so you could get rid of 95% of the battery backups and nobody would care.

Yes I know about alarms and monitoring systems. Alarms these days often hook up via mobile and even so, they already have a battery backup system in them. There is also no reason why someone who wants a battery backup to not go and buy a UPS.

The NBN should supply just the fibre. The supplier should provide the hardware based on the customer's needs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A Camel is a Horse Designed by a Committee

Yeah. I think the decision to go with the current NTU + battery backup was largely a political one. Currently the newspapers are running headlines about the NBN running behind schedule, etc.; if there were no battery backup they'd be having a field day with stories of old ladies not being able to dial 000, too. So, I think it was largely driven from politics and a desire to ensure the baseline for *everybody* is quite high.

It's obvious the rollout would be much cheaper if they did away with it, though. It's ironic that the NBN is supposed to be about "future-proofing" our communications network and yet (presumably) some hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars are going on these boxes which for 99% of people are ensuring a smooth transition from obsolete technologies rather than future ones.

The current setup does have its place and it should be noted Simon Hackett very much has a vested interest (all ISPs would prefer to have the "line" to themselves) but on balance he's right about the boxes. Question is, is it already too late to change?

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Simon Hackett knows what hes talking about. Hes built internode (now owned by iinet) and the agile wholesale network and speaks from what hes learnt. Is there any chance we can get him in to a top job at the NBN co. I dont doubt that hes right on all accounts and his advise would be beneficial if followed.

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Anonymous Coward

"his own simple model suggests wholesale prices need to rise pretty much forever"

With snippets like that I think leaving him out the loop is for the best

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Alert

NBN ARPU is forecast to rise from $20/month to over $100/month

> With snippets like that I think leaving him out the loop is for the best

I guess you haven't read the NBNCo Corporate plan then. For NBNCo to provide the desired return on investment wholesale average revenu per user (ARPU) has to rise from the current figure of just over $20/month to in excess of $100/month. ISPs have to add their costs and profit margin on top of that.

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Pirate

Simon for NBNCo CEO

Should we organise a petition to have Simon installed as CEO of NBNCo?

I have no doubt based on watching Simon run Internode that he would deliver a top quality and innovative network. We might even have a few more internet enabled toasters.

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pdf

I bring a message from the Internet!

Erm, was the title not meant to be "INTERNODE's Simon Hackett"?

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No, he belongs to us all.

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Lock in Desired

Currently with 4 ports 4 discrete services can be provided from different providers. NBN is suggesting/offering unmetered product on port 4 for Government and Community Services such as education / health etc - no rsp provided / paid for service required - think health monitoring for seniors who have no need for broadband services or possibly even a POT's service.

Think multicast Video on port 3 with a different metering option, maybe video/security services.

The NTU looks at currently 2.5GB, the roadmap provides for 10 and 40 Gb

Simon is aware of these factors, obviously would prefer any possible services consumed data provided at a price by them with no possibility of choosing appropriate providers for appropriate product.

The exact same issue the FTTB and FTTN/FTTC confront and why they will always be a second rate poverty communications product

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FAIL

Re: Lock in Desired

What is the difference of having just one service delivered via port 4 vs just one serviced delivered via port 1? Nothing other than 2.3 billion dollars over 10 million installs. Nearly every single one those users who can use both are still going to want everything on the same network and that can be done at a different layer or by having the NBN light up a second bit of glass.

The road map shows something faster than shared 5/2.3 gb but that requires re-splicing and fewer connector in the network.

Most of us that have been using IP over fibre for more than a decade consider Simon one of the top two people in the country to design the NBN and I think he has more practical knowledge of markets and real world issues than Geoff does.

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FAIL

Re: Lock in Desired

> Currently with 4 ports 4 discrete services can be provided from different providers.

That means 4 x AVC charge (minimum $24 wholesale, ex GST, $45 retail). Consider how much data that would provide you.

> NBN is suggesting/offering unmetered product on port 4 for Government and Community Services such as education / health etc - no rsp provided / paid for service required - think health monitoring for seniors who have no need for broadband services or possibly even a POT's service.

If it is basic health monitoring, then 3G modem is cheaper and simpler. The technicality of NBNCo's idea is that to offer a service like this the government entity would need to become a registered telecommunications provider. The sad part is that Labor's decision to impose speed tiers on the NBN means that NBNCo have predicted 50% of fibre connections will be 12Mbps. End result is many of those who could benefit from services will miss out because their connections are slower than HFC, FTTN, 4G and almost half of ADSL2+ connections.

> Simon is aware of these factors, obviously would prefer any possible services consumed data provided at a price by them with no possibility of choosing appropriate providers for appropriate product.

Yes, and if you listened to the presentation, Simon suggested NBNCo could provide the 4 port NTU upon request (e.g. office with a couple of small businesses co-located).

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Simon knows!!

Would someone stop Simon making sense?

I mean ... where does common sense fit into the NBN ? It's a political football and normal economics, common sense and rationality have no place in this debate.

Please! Think of the children before they get the notion things should be done simply and properly.

/sarcasm

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What problems?

I see no problem with having a standard NTD, it means that all homes with fibre have the same. Otherwise there would be a complete hotch potch of different NTD's out there and who knows, you buy a house and when you move in you find the old owners have taken 'their' NTD with them and you have to get an RSP to replace it, sometime.

Some RSP's charge a setup fee of, I understand, up to $100 dollars to supply the NBN service, others I know of charge nothing. So looking at my home moving scenario above, you move in to a home with standard NTD, you phone an RSP ask for a service and a short time later, you are online. Some Whirlpool posters report that they have had a connection in minutes. this against moving in, no NTD, contacting an RSP, paying them good money for an NTD and install, wait at least two days and get online.

Really, when you are having some 12 million of these units made, what is the real difference in cost between 1 port and 4. As for the cost, well in the end, the consumer is paying NBN for the unit or they pay the RSP. I just think it more efficient from the users point to have a standard unit installed at the same time as the fibre.

Battery backup, I have to say I have some doubts about that one. It will certainly allow some people to feel more secure knowing they can make a call in a blackout and remember, some people will only have a phone and not take the internet, they will just want the phone to work like it always has. But, the cost to provide to all is silly, it is going to be an option to opt in or out soon and not before time.

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Re: What problems?

Did you see the original presentation?http://goo.gl/G9mN1. The additional cost of the NTD was only a minor part of the costs savings argued for. The NTD can be left behind by the vendor by negotiation, much as stoves and curtains are.

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Facepalm

Re: What problems?

The NTD basically is a box with fibre input and 4 ethernet ports and 2 ATAs (PSTN). You will still need a router. Under Simon's plan ADSL modems will be replaced with "Fibre" modems, so instead of plugging in the phone line, you plug in the fibre.

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