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back to article Cherry-pick undermines NBN business case: Switkowski

NBN Co chief Ziggy Switkowski has told a Senate committee that “cherry-picking” network rollouts planned by TPG and mooted by Telstra do, indeed, pose a threat to its own business model. TPG Internet stated last year that it wanted to extent its metro fibre networks to residential apartment basements, using existing copper to …

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Bronze badge

Obviously

We wouldn't have a problem if we had stuck with FTTH Fibre To The Home, since people don't usually live in the basement.

As it is, this FTTP is simply FTTN with a basement fibre-to-copper node.

Too bad if people in apartments in the city get what people in homes out in the suburbs are having foisted on them.

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Silver badge

Re: Obviously

Yes and no.

The technology is the same, being fiber to a node and then VDSL(1/2) to the actual home/apartment. In this regard, there is no difference in the network between a home and an apartment - both get fiber to some remote point and then VDSL(1/2) over copper from there to the lounge room.

With FTTN, the most important thing is how close the node is. With a suburban house, you might be an average over 1km away, and FTTN will be far inferior (in speed) to FTTH. Added bonus is that the copper running from the node to your home will likely as not be old and less than ideal in terms of line noise.

In an the 'high-value' apartment buildings they are talking about, the node is going to be around 100-200m (copper length) away, and that copper is going to be newer and likely of higher quality. The result is that these 'high value' customers will indeed get good speeds that are noticeably faster.

FTTH is preferable for many reasons but on speed alone, FTTN is 'good enough for now' if that node is in the basement.

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Pirate

Re: Obviously

The problem isn't home, versus node. The problem is that these competitors are going to take high value customers away from the NBN. By getting there much faster than the NBN can, they will have locked down their userbase so tightly that it won't be worth while for the NBN team to deploy to these premises at all.

This is a big problem for the NBN because it will take away a large part of the revenue it needs. It isn't a problem for the users, though, because they will get their connections much faster and cheaper than if they wait for the NBN mob.

If anybody remembers Telecom Australia (now Telstra) in the bad old days before the market was opened up to competition, they will understand why competition is a good thing. One rule they had was that if a communications wire crossed a road, Telecom had to provide it. At Telecom's price. Waiting for Telecom to get around to it. That is the sort of regulatory control Australia doesn't need.

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Silver badge
FAIL

LNP - fail train

All aboaaaard!

FTTP is already looking like a non starter.

Rupert WILL be happy.

There was a good reason to go with FTTH.

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Silver badge

Re: LNP - fail train

"There was a good reason to go with FTTH."

There are many good reasons.

  • Longevity of physical infrastructure
  • Future-proofing*
  • Lower maintenance and running costs - 'nodes' require all manner of active equipment
  • Replaces old, noisy copper that is a bottleneck
  • And, of course, bandwidth

Sure, it costs more in the short term to do it properly the first time and yes, it would almost certainly have taken longer, but that's the case with most investments - even with the worst estimates of roll-out times, the infrastructure laid down in the FTTH plan would remain viable for decades after that.

* - VDSL(2) may well have a road-map for increased performance with all this talk of 'vectoring' but there are many assumptions there - we KNOW that fibre of the type installed can already support MUCH higher bandwidths. It also means that upgrades take place in fewer locations - the exchanges - rather than having to upgrade all the nodes, saving money and accelerating deployment.

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Re: LNP - fail train

Why will Rupert be happy? 25Mbps still provides adequate bandwidth for 2 HDTV streams.

Under Labor's NBN plan 50% of fibre connections are 12Mbps and predicted to remain that way well into the foreseeable future. I would have to suggest a higher percentage of the population on slower populations would make Rupert happier.

Telstra limiting ADSL to 1.5Mbps is the prime example of a company deliberately protecting FoxTel from streaming media competition.

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Pirate

Re: LNP - fail train

And of course the most important one. It is the most expensive option. If there had been a more expensive and stupid way to do it, Labour would have gone with that.

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Of course cherry-picking hurts...

If NBN had been allowed to go full-tilt instead of enduring FIVE inquiries with unqualified people asking dumb questions to mess up their days, maybe they would be further along, and the "high value" sites would be in the bag.

Nice to see Switkowski's old company is doing the cherry-picking too. Did they have insider help?

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The ACCC provided a neat solution to the overbuild problem by determining that 121 PoIs would exist, they effectively created 121 networks. The government should respond by setting minimum service standards and calling for tenders to install the network in each of the 121 locations to provide wholesale network access at agreed (or cheaper) prices. Infrastructure companies would then bid for the concessions either requesting a government subsidy or paying a fee.

With appropriate KPIs companies could be rewarded for providing a faster network or penalised for failing to meet deadlines. Instead of a bureaucratic monolith we would have at least 4 companies competing to provide innovative services.

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kpis etc

Yr humble correspondent has some experience with the service model of " get bonus if exceed KPI, pay penalty if not meet KPI". Is not that how {a large southern metropolis} allegedly makes sure that itsits railway franchise is encentivated to drop services, omit intermediate stops, run direct to flinders st rather than go thru loop, and generally game the system.

go you pillock.

PS I seem to remember also that having two operators was thort to be a Good Thing. Right up to the point where one operator threw in the towel at a moment's notice. Just before chrissie,just to add to the sense of chaos,ifirc. Can't see why 121 operators would make more sense than 2 under the local monopoly scenario.

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I live in a Carlton apartment and an NBN Co box has appeared on the wall of our basement, I wonder if we're one of the trial buildings!

I'm disappointed I was hoping we'd just sneak into the FTTH roll out!

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Where are you?

Could El Reg please start putting a dateline or some other idea of which country the articles apply to?

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