back to article Sure, we could replace FTNN, says nbn™, if you let the unwired wait even longer for broadband

nbn™, the organisation that builds and operates Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), appear to be escalating its efforts to rebut those who call for it to abandon its fibre to the network build. Last week the company's CEO Bill Morrow used a Senate Estimates appearance to make the point that that matters beyond nbn™'s …

  1. KegRaider
    Thumb Down

    And here we go again.

    The brainiacs already dropped FTTP/FTTH in favor of the cheaper FTTN. My suburb was enabled last week, and they have already managed to botch my request's to waiting another 2 or so weeks to have it botched again.

    The morons driving this project should be shot. I read on whirlpool and even the Telstra crowdsource wiki pages, about the complaints about FTTN's speed, or lack thereof. Many FTTN connections are in fact, slower than their previous ADSL connections.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And here we go again.

      FTTN is rubbish but it cannot be "slower than their previous ADSL connections" simply because it's FTTN. The minimum spec for a FTTN line - 25Mbps down and 5Mbps up - is well above what any ADSL can provide.

      The limiting factor for most end-users isn't the connection speed but the willingness of their own ISP to pay for enough capacity in peak time. What your modem stats show, what you get at 4am on a Tuesday, that's what NBN is providing to your house. If that speed slows to a crawl at 8pm on a Sunday, no amount of fibre will fix it. This issue has existed since the day the NBN began.

      1. Jasonk

        Re: And here we go again.

        Well that min is for only 1 sec on a day and it's still 25Mbps even if your paying for 59 or 100Mbps.

        Cvc congestion hasn't hit the node congestion yet but as Cvc is 1Mbps and node is 5-10Mbps fttp is 80Mbp. From reports hfc congestion is going to be 1Mbps with 600 - 900 on one cable

      2. Colin Tree

        Re: And here we go again.

        And it's what I was saying from day one.

        They needed to build up the backbone of the network with redundancy and spare fibres all the way to the exchanges before worrying about connecting customers.

        Technologies change quickly. Use the best at the time, but it will be constantly upgraded.

        Then build out fibres to all premises.

        The basis is fibres. The technologies, protocols and topologies that run on the fibres are always changing.

        It has been run by bloody accountants who have to show a return on investment in a short time frame... so wrong.

        Get the fundamentals correct and the rest will fall into place. It's a fluid system, not fixed.

      3. Phil Kingston Silver badge

        Re: And here we go again.

        "The minimum spec for a FTTN line - 25Mbps down and 5Mbps up - is well above what any ADSL can provide."

        The RSPs would disagree. Most (especially the big ones like Telstra) are offering the 12Mbps down/1Mbps up as their standard nbn offering. Sure, they'll sell you a "Speed Boost" to the next tier (25/5) but they'll also not mention/commit to any particular speed. Because they know they can't deliver due to backhaul congestion.

        And that's why people going from decent speed, relatively uncontended ADSL2 connections are finding that their FTTN connection is actually a downgrade.

  2. DougS Silver badge

    Why do think they think the copper will be need to be replaced in 10-15 years?

    If they did FTTC there is still copper to the house. If the copper from the node to the house needs to be replaced in 10-15 years, why is that last 50-100 feet of copper exempt?

    Now I don't know the details, and if the nodes are not very dense you don't get speeds any better with than you did with VDSL (about 100 Mb unbonded at 500 meters over an unimpaired line) but that's fixable by adding nodes. Get them to 100 meters and you can do 500 Mb, which is enough for any conceivable purpose unless every member of a large family simultaneously streaming 8Kp120 video becomes commonplace.

    1. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Why do think they think the copper will be need to be replaced in 10-15 years?

      I asked IA this and was told I just wanted to fight, was being difficult and should just accept what its board says.

      1. jamesb2147

        Re: Why do think they think the copper will be need to be replaced in 10-15 years?

        It does decrease the length of copper to be maintained significantly, and being closer in, can support higher speeds at lower power.

        I would imagine the concern would be degradation of an analog nature; it doesn't suddenly stop working, but at distance X, speeds slowly drop below the provisioned Y. Bringing the fiber closer to the premises significantly decreases that problem... for a period of time, at least.

        As to why IA could not just say that, I do not know.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why do think they think the copper will be need to be replaced in 10-15 years?

      FTTP, the fiber actually connects inside your house - if you choose to connect that to old copper inside your house that's on you and your problem.... most people will opt to upgrade that old and dusty DSL modem and corded Telstra Touchphone T400 to something from the last decade.

      Wait until you watch a Telstra technician use old plastic shopping bags to try and keep water out of a Telstra Pit-of-Copper and you will have your answer.

    3. Internet Australia CEO

      Re: Why do think they think the copper will be need to be replaced in 10-15 years?

      It's simple really. G.Fast, and later on XG.Fast will provide very high speeds over short copper runs, but not over the very long sections of copper wire involved in FTTN. Therefore FTTdp, which only uses copper from the footpath to the premises, can deliver speeds that will suit most people for some time to come, whereas FTTN speeds are already being found insufficient for many nbn customers. But the clincher is that once you've run the fibre through the ducts under our footpaths you have a simple upgrade path to full fibre by replacing short copper runs with fibre. FTTN will not go the distance and all those expensive nodes and their bespoke power supplies will be redundant.

  3. BlackKnight(markb)

    “If we were to do this, to put it quite simply, we would have to tell residents in several million premises that were scheduled to get nbn services over the next 18 months via FTTN that they would not now be getting connected for another two to three years as we’d have to re-start the entire design, planning and construction process.”

    This also applied to the decision to drop FTTP for FTTN when the libs took over, and guess what, everything got pushed back 12-18months. so really his talking from experience. apparently going back to the drawing board means faster cheaper deployment.

    RE: copper replacement

    "VDSL (about 100 Mb unbonded at 500 meters over an unimpaired line)" thats the paper standard, thats not what im getting and im 515m from the node, Sync speed down between 40-45 and 20-25 up. Im also on a small node servicing around 100 premise, many other nodes seem to be doing 300 + premise.

    1. kesawi

      oh the hypocrisy

      The media should be all over the hypocrisy expressed by NBN in this statement and absolutely givien it to the LNP. I would have thought that The Register would have jumped on this, or at least commented on it. None of the media outlets seem to have jumped on it either.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Your line is probably impaired, 98% of the time it is due to bridge taps. When I was helping a friend who owned an ISP test DSL on dry pairs back in 1997, he brought an oscilloscope to my house and plugged it in at my NID. He saw evidence of a bridge tap, climbed the pole behind my house, snipped it and the impairment was gone. Good luck getting a telco employee to do that though, they probably can't even spell oscilloscope.

  4. Paul J Turner
    1. Internet Australia CEO

      Re: It is NOT FTTC in Australia

      The fibre runs through ducts under the footpath not under the kerb anyway!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



  6. Rattus Rattus

    "$2,800 to make an FTTC connection"

    OF COURSE it's more expensive. It's always more expensive initially to do a job right in the first place. Maintenance costs over time are what makes FTTN the costlier option in the long term.

    So, in areas that are already supposedly "adequately served" (hohoho) when are the suppliers going to be forced to match NBN's pricing and packages? I'm getting pretty damn tired of paying roughly double the price all the surrounding suburbs pay for internet while getting worse service. Yes, worse than the NBN if you can credit it. "Adequately served", what bullshit.

    1. aberglas

      Re: "$2,800 to make an FTTC connection"

      They should just give the FTTH to everyone that is will to pay, say half the cost, $1,400, up front. That should be easy to do and shut up the Fraudbanders. Then the other 99% of households will be happy with FTTN, plus not having to pay in taxes for services they do not want.

      Personally, I would be happy to pay $1,400 for a decent ADSL service. But it will be a long, long time before the NBN gets near my place.

  7. mikesheen

    "rebut those who call for it to abandon its fibre to the network build"

    I think you mean fibre to the node build.

  8. Carl D

    I'm one of the fortunate ones who has fibre all the way to the home - right to the Telstra modem/router next to my computer desk actually (Rivervale, Perth, Western Australia).

    I'm told the reason for this is that it was already contracted to be done under the previous Federal Labor government before the current Liberal government was elected in 2013 and made a mess of the NBN.

    If they weren't going to continue to do the job properly (with fibre all the way to the premises) then they shouldn't have bothered at all. I've seen many stories of people who had better speeds with ADSL than they're now getting with fibre to the node. Especially during peak times during the evening when everyone's streaming Netflix, etc.

  9. JJKing Bronze badge

    Fibre That They Neutered (What FTTN really is)

    Why do we get so many Muricans screwing up our communication network? First Ziggy, then the 3 Amigos and now morrow. When is it going to stop and we have someone who is local, knows what this country and it's people need and want rolled out, instead of these liberal party yes men. I mean ziggy really is. Just look how he spruiked nuclear power for little johnnie and now think FTTN is the bees knees. Remember when in charge of Telstra he said the copper was on it's last legs but as soon as he is their NBN lackey it suddenly becomes robust. As for jelly fish spine morrow................

  10. Internet Australia CEO

    Thanks for the wrap Simon. It's been an honour to fight for something as important as a decent nationwide broadband service. As the Internet Society says, "the Internet is for everyone".

  11. Jim_E


    As one who has not yet gained a firm foothold on the nbn plan I'm hoping that by the time they get round to us they will have come to their senses. The bean counters can be consoled that FTTK is cheaper and that if they want to perpetrate #fraudband on us they will have to replace the street cable.

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