back to article 'Mixed tech' NBN needs a super-sized HFC net

Even to miss its original cost targets and 2016 deadline, the federal government's “mixed technology” National Broadband Network is going to require a significant expansion of the subscriber capacity of the country's HFC networks, the NBN strategic review has found. The report (PDF) shows that the new government's forecasting …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Winkypop Silver badge

    In other words

    Same clusterfuck, different colour.

  2. andro


    So, I get 5mbit ADSL now and HFC passes my house and has been there for 10 years. So because of this I will get no upgrade at all, and even if I did the best that would happen is to get connected to 10 year old HFC. And that HFC is shared bandwidth so if the majority of subscribers move on to it, the usable bandwidth will not live up to expectations. So getting connected to 10 year old tech that the private sector built is part of a plan which will now cost the taxpayer $92 billion AUD. How the hell can you call that an NBN or value for money or building infrastructure for the future?

    1. -tim

      Re: sucks

      The old NBN plan was shared bandwidth too.

      1. dan1980

        Re: sucks


        True, but would you rather share newly-installed, pulbicly-owned, underground fibre or decade-old, privately-owned (and therfore rented) above-ground coax?

        The allure of the LNP plan is that, should it all go exactly as they claimed, more Australians would see the benefits sooner and with less expenditure. That relies strongly on two premises - that the roll-out will actually proceed at a faster pace, and that the costs will actually be significantly reduced.

        Most technical commentators spoke of grave concerns and doubts that there was any liklihood of either outcome occuring with each report that is more and more certain.

        As was said before the election (and since) - the choice is largely between a fast, future-proof network blowing out in budget and time or a lesser, slower network blowing out in budget and time.

      2. Urh

        Re: shared bandwidth

        Yes, it was shared bandwidth but:

        1) The share ratios were far, FAR better (32 users for FTTP vs. 600 or more for HFC)

        2) Improving said ratios would be far easier and cheaper for a FTTP network.

      3. BlackKnight(markb)

        Re: sucks

        Yes but 32 100mbps connections where sharing a 1.5gbps connection from the node, which was upgradeable.

        if every singly one hammered the link they would get about 70mbps each. out of the 32 connections 4 were put aside to connect things nearby that dont yet exist (future traffic lights for example). and each block of land was given 2 connections, 1 was spare in case of subdivision.

        slightly a better deal then 30 houses sharing a single 100mbps link wouldnt you say?

        1. dan1980

          Re: sucks

          Ever so slightly . . .

    2. Goat Jam

      Re: sucks

      "So, I get 5mbit ADSL now"

      You lucky, lucky bastard. I'd give anything to be spat at in the face like that.

      Try being stuck on 150Kbit (yes kilobit) with no chance of an upgrade in the forseable future.

      That is the real disaster of the NBN. As soon as that pie-in-the-sky NBN nonsense was dreamed up on the back of an airline napkin all alternative technology upgrades immediately ceased because the NBN would render them obsolete.

      Or so that Conroy idiot said anyway. It hasn't quite turned out that way, but then the grand schemes of socialists rarely do.

      1. Rattus Rattus

        Re: sucks

        If you think Conroy (spit) is a socialist, you have a very skewed view of the world.

  3. cracked

    In Other Other Words?

    Realistic? (And I am not being sarcky)

    What is pleasing ... oh, sorry, personal bias declared ... is the acknowledgement that Fixed Wireless and Sat connections need help soon [very, very, soon, Malc].

    But I'm sad to say that - so far - I've yet to find anything that "solves" the problem, other than a hint that NBN might look to see if FTTN can shift a few subscribers off sat/wireless (which would be great for those shifted).

    If that is that ... well, to be honest, that is that.

    A (separate) question to speed readers: Does Malc solve the $10+ billon hole in funding, without government debt; or not?

    (No point me reading any more if he doesn't, is there?)

    Back home in England, we tell a joke about breaking bad news gently; I don't know if the same joke gets used over here? But just in case it does ... I would say that we buried your mother-in-law two weeks ago.

  4. Denarius Silver badge

    yeah right, test every cabinet

    with whom may I ask? How many qualified technicians are left ? How many cabinets to be checked ? And where are these cabinets ? Local Telstra guys have been downsized for years and contractors used on a "oh crap this needs to be fixed a bit" case by case basis. I am informed by mumble mumble that Telstra knows its plans are incomplete or out of date in my area at least. No reason, but realistic pessimism suggest this is not unusual. And the contractors who laid that cable/wire 20+ years ago did not necessarily put it where they said or at the required depth.

    Hang on, if one lives more than 5 NM from GPO, you don't count, problem solved, especially if the freemarket obsessives complete their sell off and opening of country to wholesale looting

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was under the impression that once NBN is rolled out in an area, Telstra had to stop offering HFC services to that area (Bigpond Cable marketing currently indicates that Telstra will manage the transition for you). For those unlucky enough not to be in the FTTH footprint, does that mean a forced migration from (in my case) a full 100Mbps back to lower speeds? Or have things changed again?

    1. Goat Jam

      " does that mean a forced migration from (in my case) a full 100Mbps back to lower speeds?"

      Well, as some people in Tasmania recently discovered, they are being forced to migrate to <nothing> because their copper network has been decommissioned before the NBN was actually rolled out.

  6. cracked

    BYO ... Ideas

    Icon Choice: It is Friday ;-)

    I did the full big read last night (not just the sat and fixed wireless bits).

    What a very strange document!

    If I had to give it a descriptive title, I would call it, "Who knows? We don't!"

    What Malc seems to have done is to say to the NBN; "Oh I don't know, lads. You think this is best, I think that is best and everyone else thinks something else is the way to go. So tell you what. You look at each area case by case and figure out what will work best economically and technically. I reckon you've got $50-billion or so ... give or take.

    But note, some of the stuff might be too expensive to do ... Getting rid of HFC - or indeed keeping HFC - that could go either way. But yeah, could be cheaper than FTTP, or might not. Suck it and see. I'll have a guess, let's say we keep it and use it to fulfil 30% of the requirements. Oh, but not if Telstra start wanting more cash for it than we thought (and no, I'm not telling you how much they said they wanted, just for that bit).

    And, all these people moaning that NBN is doing nothing for them. Send them a link to this PDF, that will set out how they can pay to - have one of the network technologies - extend to their place.

    Anything else anyone wants? Yes, they can probably have that too. Just send me an email when we get to $50-billion, or so, and I'll see where we go from there.


    Never have I read a document with so many pages that says so very little. Quite incredible, really.

    So who knows what the country will end up getting? Actually, we all know ... We'll end up with a bit of everything, everywhere.

    The "Drivers" for bandwidth requirements:

    I found quite "funny". Cat Videos, Game-Streaming (NOT online gaming!!) and Video Conferencing. With only the latter - apparently - requiring more than 5MB Up-speed.

    Blimey, Malc. If we are all going to be doing stuff that advanced it's no wonder you're willing to spend $50-billion!! That's the future right there, Malc!


    Sat Users: What appears to be said is that things will progress as planned, up to and including 25mbps, on the "original" target dates. While all that happens, NBN will try to shift (some) people off Sat and onto FFTN (or something else!) to reduce contention for the 6% who - if they refuse to, or cannot, pay for their own "extensions" - will be left on Sat.

    And note: Fixed Wireless is seen as cheaper and "as good, if not better" as FTTN and so some premises may shift from FTTN to FW ... while some might go the other way!

    But note: Both Sat and FW are now "Under Full Review" and that could mean almost anything (apart from abandoning costs already confirmed, like the 2 new NBN birds, it seems ...)


    Crazy-Mal's Build Your Own Network Kit.

    I quite like it, if I'm honest. If the Sat and FW does what it is supposed to, a minimum of 25mbps to ALL Aussies is not so bad (with many, many getting far better than that). I wish it wasn't me on the minimum promise, but then I guess everyone would.

    And yes - It is a very political document ... But then what did people expect from a politican?

  7. Rattus Rattus

    What a mess

    Leave it to the Libs to completely fuck up an infrastructure project as per usual. Not that Labor do particularly well with infrastructure either, mind you, they are just slightly less catastrophically bad.

    I am so glad I am already on FTTP, I don't think I will ever move house again.

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: What a mess

      indeed, I miss my old residences' 1MB/sec cable. Currently getting email and text internet using 3G at 4kb/sec that can briefly hit 800Kb/sec for a day before reverting to crawl unworthy of 14Kb modem.. To get even a reliable copper line that can support a 56K modem would be great. And no, I do not expect anything to change. Country seems to vote in selloff obsessed governments which appoint old telco suits fixated on making sure that CBDs have more bandwidth that required for decades.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019