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back to article NBN Co must wait until mid-2015 for fast cable modems

The word “Gigasphere” just entered the lexicon of those who watch progress of Australia's National Broadband Network, after Cable Labs, the US-based outfit that oversees development of data-over-TV-cable standards picked the word to describe the technology formerly known as DOCSIS 3.1. No less an internet luminary than Simon …

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FAIL

These words don't belong in the same sentence

Progress

NBN

Speed

Liberal National Party

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Unhappy

Re: These words don't belong in the same sentence

I beg to differ; the Liberal National Party has made good progress at wrecking the speed of the NBN whilst still spending 3/4 of the amount.

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HFC is the way to go eh?

The last time I looked, all that stuff was strung between power poles above ground. Maybe they didn't get the ITU's report on protecting ITC assets against climate change, that advised - "Place telecommunication cables underground where technically and economically feasible, ensuring that they are appropriately protected against water ingress." - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/04/30/itu_says_it_industry_must_become_resilient_in_face_of_climate_change/

Still 'economically feasible' kills it, can't go spending money on future assets.

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The claimed speeds may be impressive, but what will the contention rates be when everyone has to use cable?

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Why would you want the NBN Company to be the sole supplier of networking infrastructure in Australia. Look how well Telstra worked out for everyone, even after they privatised it.

Having one supplier for network infrastructure is insanity

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FAIL

Vertical Integration

The problem with Telstra is that they were vertically integrated providing back-haul, connections to the premise as well as the retail side. This is an inherent conflict of interest making it more difficult for retail competitors to negotiate access to the connections.

Electricity market is a better example, where you have a single company responsible for "wires and polls" that purchases energy from a set of "generator companies" which is retailed by a set of retailers. You get benefit of competition at the generation and retail ends without cost of duplication at the wires and polls side. That the grid overspends on wires and polls putting multiple times the impact of the carbon tax on prices over the past few years relates to a silly lack of foresight by the government who make it in the companies financial interest to "gold plate" (unnecessarily upgrade or replace) the polls and wires. By illustrating that they are investing in the infrastructure, they are permitted to charge more at wholesale which means the retailers pass this on; but that is a problem for another day.

The NBN is still much better value for money under this sort of model because you don't need to pay for TPG fibre running side by side with Telstra, Optus, iiNet and customers can move from provider to provider without being told there is no room at the exchange.

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I don't think they are the sole networking supplier, they're just the sole supplier for this project.

On a wider point though, this stuff is hard to make any kind of return on. If you introduce competition, you reduce the number of customers you hook in per mile of cable laid. That usually destroys the business case and you end up with no network being provided or the 'other' provider becoming the monopoly.

Worst case is new supplier 'B' hoovering up all the city customers who are cheap to serve. Old supplier 'A' was using those cheap customers to subsidise the expensive rural ones. With that subsidy gone, prices rise which means even more city customers move to supplier 'B'. Supplier 'A' is left with only expensive to serve rural customers who have to pay ever increasing prices.

Your two options, essentially, are to put prices up so that a competitive market can exist, or create a regulated monopoly.

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Giganaire

NBN probably only used 'Gigasphere' as Giganaire was already taken:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6dr6vW3YXQ

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