Coalition Broadband Policy Coming Today, Here's A Sneak Peek

Today is the day. The long-awaited Coalition alternative to the incumbent Labor government's National Broadband Network will be detailed today in a new policy from Shadow Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. Here's a sneak peek of what you'll see in the plan.

We already know that Turnbull and the Coaltion want a cheaper alternative to the NBN, especially seeing as how their maths seem to conclude that the NBN will blow out to $90 billion to deliver and arrive years behind schedule.

For that reason, the Coalition supports a fibre-to-the-node model, something that the party has long backed. Fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) sees fibre run to boxes or nodes around a neighbourhood so that customers can start hooking their copper lines to the service, increasing the down and uplink speeds. It differs to the government's NBN strategy which instead opts for fibre-to-the-home (FTTH). That's a more expensive option and requires fibre-optic cable to pass every home and business in Australia, of which the government predicts is about 12.1 million premises.

As of June, the National Broadband Network Company plans to have 190,000 to 220,000 homes passed by the fibre network — a target that was arrived at >after being revised down due to construction delays and contractor dramas.

The government plans on passing those 12.1 million total premises by 2021 at a capital cost of $37.4 billion. The Coalition plans to roll out its alternative, which will use a mix of technologies including fibre, wireless and satellite services to deliver a network that costs only $29 billion to build and aims to be completed by 2019.

Turnbull tells the Telegraph — his publication of choice this week — that the Coalition's high-speed broadband network would deliver speeds of between 25Mbps and 50Mbps by 2016, increasing to 50Mbps and 100Mbps by the completion date in 2019.

The Coalition also promises that Australians will pay less for their broadband. It's predicting that we'll pay $66 per month by 2021, rather than the $90 predicted by the government.

The catch with the Coalition's strategy is in what's known as the last mile: the cable that connects the node to the home. Labor's NBN strategy sees fibre delivered directly to your house, so speeds of 100Mbps are no big thing. In fact, Mike Quigley, head of NBN Co, has said that the network will be capable of 1000Mbps in due course thanks to the ongoing upgradability of the fibre relays.

The Coalition's plan is predicated on the fact that the last mile will be delivered using the nation's existing copper network, rather than a shiny fibre alternative currently being installed by the government.

On the one hand, that is much cheaper. On the other hand, the copper network is old and almost everyone you meet has had or does have a problem with their internet because of a cabling issue. But there are four words that govern the Coalition's thinking behind the copper last mile you need to understand: "let the market decide". You can have fibre run through to your home direct from the local node if you want to, but you better believe you'll be paying for it under the Coalition's plan.

The Telegraph quotes Turnbull, who says that the party doesn't want "pensioners to subsidise the internet services of the rich", adding that those who want a fibre links can pay for it under a "fibre on demand" option. Quoth Turnbull:

The idea that a government-owned monopoly investing in a gold-plated network will lead to lower prices is fanciful and could only have been thought up by Stephen Conroy.

The document release today will represent the outing of the Coalition's first election policy in the lead-up to poll day in September.


Comments

    29 billion for a network that is at capacity before its even rolled out. The extra 8 billion seems life a good deal to support network growth for the next 100 years.

    I wonder if you'll get a bulk discount if enough people opt for fibre at the same time as you? Besides the fibre cost issue, this will create another environment of haves and have nots. I'll be doing it, im sure stating Fibre connection in rental/property ads will provide a sufficient premium to cover the initial outlay cost.

      It's the liberal government. Once fibre is connected the additional price will remain on your bill. I bet you.

        Its like all taxes, once it's there - the tax never goes away

      No matter which network goes ahead, it will still create haves and have nots. Have you looked at the estimated prices of the NBN. I am on a 1TB 100mps plan with Optus cable now for $69. If i want the same speed with only 500GB on the NBN with Optus it will cost me $140 a month. Tell me what kind of person can afford $140 month comfortably. Like Turnbull said a government owned monopoly will not lead to lower prices.

        I'm genuinely interested in what plan this is and how I can get a slice. I'm currently on Optus cable 100mbps plan paying $85/month for 500GB

          I want to know where both of you got your plans, my $85 Optus cable gives me 300GB
          https://www.optus.com.au/shop/broadband/naked

            Realistically though, none of us reach 100mbs on our optus cable lol

            and we wont reach 25mbs on our coalition network, with fibre, we're much more likely to reach big speeds!

              really I get about 112 max on my optus cable through speed test, you only get that from one source if its an australian server, but I get a lot of headroom to be running multiple devices. I can have torrents running at 5mbps, watch youtube and my partner can still shop for shoes without any lag. I think the point of the 100mbs is not that you will necessarily get those speeds from one source but it means that you're not saturating the connection with one device. Unlike my old ADSL connection if someone was torrenting it slowed everyone else down unless you limited the speeds

                That's the thing you see, there aren't enough users on the NBN (about 25K) at the moment to see how it handles congestion.

                  You know what congestion is? That's really surprising considering you were advocating 4G over fiber before.

        I have TPG which is running on (currently) Telstra owned and laid fibre (non-NBN), $59 a month for 500GB. What will be interesting is what happens to the wholesale prive, and therefore consumer price when Telstra sells the fibre back to the NBN as required.

          NBN is not there so you can download. Don't be silly. Think care in the home, remote diagnosis, business 2 business activity, reliable remote workers and accompanying policy. Not "I can download more from PirateBay" Please!!

          I was under the impression that you could only get Telstra Cable direct from Telstra, I can't find this plan on TPGs site at all, can you post a link?

            http://www.tpg.com.au/products_services/south_brisbane.php?/pricing/homephone

            Not sure why the 500GB plan isn't there. We were on 500GB ADSL2 before the switchover so maybe that's why we still have that limit.

              ah South Brisbane, makes sense now, thats a one off case, you live in a very lucky area, they upgraded that outside of what the NBN was doing due to a hospital being built where the exchange was. Unfortunately this isn't available on telstra's fibre network anywhere else in the country. I think because there's no copper there at all the consumer watchdog told telstra they had to let others play on their network.

              EDIT just noticed too the plans you linked too are maxing at 30Mbps

              Last edited 09/04/13 11:35 am

                Yep agreed. What I think will be interesting is when the fibre is sold to NBN co as required. The price change in this area should give a pretty good comparison of Telstra wholesale pricing model and NBN Co wholesale model.

                Being limited to 30Mbps was a downer at first but, one thing I will say about it is despite my initial doubts its always 30Mbps. Its not like ADSL2 being 12Mbps and what you actually get depending on time of days is closer to 6-8Mbps.

        I'd be very happy to pay $140 a month for 1000Mbps.

        My $150 phone/data plan with Telstra is a 100/40 connection with 500G and it unlimited includes local calls, STD, calls and calls to all mobiles (Telstra and non-Telstra). Okay, it is not 1T download, but overall it meets my needs.

      Lets not understate the the status of super high speed residential broadband as a luxury item. As someone that will pay for the highest speed and FttP connection under either system due to my desire for such a speeds. But to say EVERYONE needs it, and not having 100+Mbps would make the have nots less advantaged in the Australian economy is BS. Either way I will have the connection, a few hundred dollars to have the fibre connection installed for the life of the house really is a pittance. If you rent, you might be able to arrange a deal with the landlord for a split in costs. For the people who are so disadvantaged that they can't afford the fibre cost, blindingly fast net probably isn't their number one priority.

      Those that want the fastest FttP connection will still get it, they will just have to pay for the installation. Those that don't want the fastest connection therefore aren't subsidising those fraction that demand the fastest. It's obvious those commenting on Giz are the ones wanting the FttP connection, at the end of the day, we all get what we want.

      The biggest concern is the longterm cost of maintenace, this needs a CBA.

        Yep so I think currently in 2013 you could consider fast broadband a luxury item as most likely it will me downloading of large files significantly faster. But the same argument was given to "electricity" when it was first publicly available. With only for the well to do and the idea that you would use electricity for any but lighting was decadent.

        Fast forward almost a century later and there a thousands of devices that use electricity including my MacBook that I'm typing on, that nobody could have predicted then. Yet if we only created an electricity network with the idea that it be limited to lighting we would be well and truly stuffed now.

        The point I'm trying to make is when your making infrastructure wether it be a road, rail, electricity network you don't make it for now, or 10 years time or 20 years time, you should be aiming for minium of 50 years.

        The simple fact remains FTTH is the only way forward for a sustainable network. Now I've heard that the liberal party believes that new wireless technology is the future and the optic fibres are costly and of the past. I don't necessarily believe this but they raise an interesting point maybe there way will be as effective and cheaper in the long run.

          I get where you are coming from, but with a road, trucks aren't all of a sudden going to get wider. In 20 years who knows what we will need, and the NBN will need to be upgraded anyway. There is nothing wrong with people paying for the extra speed themselves if they need it.

            In 20 years time the science for creating the optics that separate signals travelling down a fibre optic cable will have dramatically improved - allowing for greater bandwidth down the same cables. That is, the NBN is future-proof for the foreseeable future.

            Our copper network is degrading and will fail in the foreseeable future.

            Yeah this is a great point you bring up. how upgradable is the current NBN? I've heard no verified reports. According to the NBN website we should see speeds up to 1 gigabit per second over time. But there are other people and companies using similar (if not identical technology) and getting much higher rates.

            There was a pensioner in Sweden that broke speed records with regular optic fibre http://www.techradar.com/news/home-cinema/high-definition/75-year-old-pensioner-has-fastest-broadband-131117 I wonder is that a possibility with the network we are installing in Australia. Also I've read that in New Mexico they are getting 10 gigabits per second off current optic fibre.
            http://www.popsci.com.au/technology/world-s-largest-fiber-optic-network-speeds-nuclear-research

            My feeling is that Gizmodo should use there network of reporters and bloggers to find out what is the most likely senario for an upgrade under both policies, Labour and Libs. What is a theoretical maximum of optic fibre? what is it of copper? and is there anywhere in the world using fast speed wireless as part of there network or is it a pipe dream?

              Well there already is an intention to upgrade it, to 1Gbps Undies man already confirmed it. This from Google Australia Tech Director Alan Noble;

              “Restricting the NBN to 100Mbps speeds is purely a commercial decision, not a technical one. There is no technical reason the NBN could not run at Gbps speeds."

              You have to ask, why isn't it 1Gbps right now? The hardware they are currently installing is either capable of it right now and they are just holding it for no good reason whatsoever, or switches and other hardware need to added for the increased capacity. There fore extra cost, the ALP would want to hide this cost in the initial forecasts. As far as I can find there is no timeframe or estimate for the 1Gbps upgrade.

              Last edited 09/04/13 1:05 pm

                Sorry Akria_22 who is "Undies man", that Abbott in speedos?

                Yep it would seem your right looking at the Google Fibre website they are offering 1Gigabit per second. Which according to Toms hardware would be 125 MB/s which isn't too far off what the government is offering at 100 MB/s. To be honest with you i find this really confusing and hope that some body can jump in an clarify it for me.

                http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gigabit-ethernet-bandwidth,2321-3.html

                  NBN is 100 mega BITS per second or about 12.5 mega BYTES per second.

                  Undies man is Conroy.... He is an embarrassment.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIRVekNANfM

                  Last edited 09/04/13 6:50 pm

            But on the internet, all of a sudden bandwidth jumps.

            See: Stream services (audio/video) going up in quality/usage
            See: Internet backups of production data, instead of shipping tape drives everywhere...
            See: Clicking 'run' on office/an OS and having it download in the background AS you use it.

            Just because you don't see a use doesn't mean their isn't one. Just beause their isn't a use *today* doesn't mean that their won't be in a year, 5 years, 10 years, etc.

        You need to remember we are moving to a world where physical media will be a thing of the past. If we do not have the capacity to handle this we will be left behind.

    FTTN offers lower cost and faster deployment,
    it gets the core infrastructure done without the need to completely replace the cabling to someones home,
    the speeds initially are comparable to what FTTH would provide
    those of us who have recently paid thousands of dollars to have our copper lines installed into our new homes we would get a return on our investment. (for me this was around $3k to have a line run from my house to the closet distribution box, I enjoy adsl 2+ at around 18Mbps so I have no issue with the state of my copper)

    it also would actually get installed where I live, which is something that no-one seems to touch on but FTTH deployment schedule is a joke skipping smaller communities because its not cost effective (apparently its only cost effective to run it in towns with high unemployment rates because those people like swing vote),

    but MY taxes are paying for everyone else to have FTTH and I am expected to have wimax or satellite? Conroy's a joke, I wish Turnbull had defected to Labor when he was knifed

      1) Your taxes are not paying for the NBN. The government's portion of funding has been raised through the issue of bonds, and the outlay will be recovered through the ordinary charges paid by customers using the network.

      2) FTTN is like that stupid one-way freeway in Adelaide. It cost 76.5 million to build the first half ten years ago, now they've realised that they need to duplicate it, it's costing another 445 million. Actually no, that's a bad analogy, because at least when they're duplicating the freeway they can still retain and use the original half. If we roll out FTTN, when the inevitable upgrade to FTTP becomes necessary, all of the FTTN-specific infrastructure will have to be discarded, and the whole thing will be ludicrously expensive.

        my apologies in relation to the tax remark your correct they are borrowing the money for the government portion my mistake I thought there was actually a contribution

        as for your analogy that FTTN is like a one way highway I must disagree you can simply upgrade FTTN to be a FTTP network by simply turning the FTTN distribution boxes into FTTP distribution boxes the upgrade path is simple and would allow either government to deliver better services to communities without the need to run fibre to every house

        you do realise that FTTP does not mean you run a single fibre from your house to the exchange.

          You would be wrong, the single fibre in most cases goes straight from the exchange and will service more than just one suburb. It does not stick to the copper topology because it is a completely different technology.

            I cannot stipulate how much more it would cost to "convert" FTTN to FTTP. You are talking an insanely MASSIVE cost increase.

            Know this, copper use 1 line per customer minimum, fibre uses one line and services multiple customers.

              You are wrong about fiber as it uses 1 fiber strand per customer. You cant run fiber as a bus style network.

              You might be thinking of cable from testra ect which used coax not fiber for last mile (which is why you get a coax cable). Coax is copper and thus one can add additional signals.

              Fttn to Fttp conversion wouldn't be that costly, the equipment that is converting fiber to xdsl likely vdsl2+ would need to be replaced. Though likely it could just have a fiber module installed.

              It could actually make it cheaper as the fiber would only need to be run to the node not all the way back to the exchange.

              (Network engineer working for an isp here)

                Unpowered optical splitters are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple premises.

                The NBN cable network does not follow the typical exchange to node to house. They are distributing using the most efficient calculated route.

                Which ISP? Just so I know never to use your services.

        All government debt is raised via bonds or treasury notes, which are backed by the gov, aka the taxpayer.

        Government is paying all equity based funding. The money does not magically appear.

        Also, I am to see any real benefits of the NBN that would not be provided via market competition.

          really, really? (I did a pun!)

          What market competition? There's a reason that for a first world country our internet infrastructure is as bad as it is - the federal government (under the previous liberal regime) sold off Telstra, who at the time were an effective monopoly on the infrastructure. It's been years and we're still relying largely on their infrastructure for the majority of our services.

          And it's not getting better as fast as it would if 'market competition' were to actually deliver on the promise of better services/costs.

          So tell me, by EITHER plan (liberal/labour) for our internet, where's the market competition matching that? They've had time. The world has largely moved on AWAY from FTTN to FTTP, yet we should be grateful to get FTTN?

          Really?

        Bonds are debt, and incur an interest rate. If uptake and NBN revenue isn't matching the interest rate... we pay.

        Last edited 09/04/13 11:19 am

      If I'm not mistaken doesn't the price for the Liberal's plan not include renegotiating the contract with Telstra et al? Telstra has said that they will not renegotiate the prices and will not cancel the contract with the government.

      Also:
      FTTN is affected by distance drop off. The further you are from the node, the more the speed would drop off. Only people living very close to the node would get FTTH comparable speeds. Most would get a minor boost.
      Upgrading from FTTN to FTTP would necessitate replacing all of the relay cabinets and ripping up all the existing copper and accessing and upgrading the existing fibre lines. All of which would cost even more.
      In the end FTTN will cost more especially now because of a need to upgrade in the future and because the Liberals will need to deal with Telstra et al.

        I think the idea is to have a node every 1km, which with vdsl2+ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very-high-bit-rate_digital_subscriber_line_2) would mean 50mbits with people being 0.5km from the node getting up to 200mbit/s

        It doesnt require pulling up all the copper, copper run is specific trenches or powerlines. Basically every 1km, terminate all the copper that is at that spot there and run a fiber bundle back to the exchange.

        Also just a big FYI, fiber is drastically more expensive to run and terminate then copper and is far far far easier to break and once broken much more difficult to fix.

        Hope this is informative.

    Malcolm, you're the best Liberal politic I know. But if you make cuts for the sake of making cuts on this you're losing my vote.

      This echoes my sentiments as well - although if there is a one-off fee to upgrade from FTTN to FTTP then I would gladly choose this option (depending on how much it is of course).

      Last edited 09/04/13 9:58 am

      Yeah, I think they really gave him the wrong portfolio

    So what's going to happen to all the people all ready on the NBN? According to the NBN rollout my area is to get it from May. Will they just shut down the NBN and force us back on the copper network?

    FTTN may be acceptable in residential areas but for those who live in the tens of thousands of multi storey units it will be a nightmare. How will you get NBN if your Strata board does not elect to install from the node to the unit complex. It is often impossible to get permission to install a bloody dish on the roof now! Luckily I live in free standing dwelling.

      "How will you get NBN if your Strata board does not elect to install from the node to the unit complex."

      You don't. You suck it up or you move. Living in a strata means you live with the decisions of the majority

      Valid point, though under the current FTTP NBN plan, you still need to get the permission of the strata to bring it in. It's just that under the Coalition plan, you'll have to pay a premium on your strata fees to cover the cost to get it to the complex, and then pay again for the cost of getting it installed in your home.

    I've been a staunch Fibre to the home advocate but this fibre to the node system, as explained on ABC news this morning seems to have merit. Is there some reason this can't be as good as FTTH as far as compromise is concerned? As explained on the news it would give equivalent speed with the tech improving over time, is tha bull? Someone explain it to me please, FTTN or FTTH... :)

      Most on giz will say FTTH because of where we are and what we want from tech.

      But I have Telstra cable that goes 45Mbps at the moment, so the jump to NBN is not a huge one for me at all. (I can always get ultimate and jump to 100Mbps as well) Lucky I am yes, so I don't see the need for FTTH, however if are stuck on a node with ADSL at 1Mbps or there abouts, then yes you would want it for sure!

      I asked this last time it was raised, but what benefits does it provide to businesses, in real world situations.

      What are the actual benefits of the faster internet/NBN? examples please

        Take a look at http://delimiter.com.au/2013/02/12/google-fiber-shows-what-the-nbn-is-capable-of/ for some info on the google fibre trial, has some info on effects on business

        also http://www.beabetterbusiness.com/uncategorized/the-value-of-super-fast-fibre-broadband-for-smes/

        Uploading an o/s image to AWS/Azure and deploying it within 30 minutes instead of two-days for rolling out demo's/testing deployment toolchains?

        Backing up production data to different rackserver's in different cities for uptime requirements?

        These are things I actually deal with daily and wish for faster business internet.

        FTTH does remove the cost of maintaining copper lines, and lowers the need of training people with the equipment needed to maintain it. It also means that the fibre that is set up can be sold uniformly to ISP so Telstra wouldn't have total control like they currently do with most areas that are connected through copper. Costs would drop.

        Of course the fibre network will be great for the health and education systems but having a faster network means content like TV and movies can be broadcasted over the iinternet more easily in better quality with greater ease. Cord cutting is starting to rise in Australia.

        Future upgrades to the network would be centralised around the exchanges rather than your home, which cuts costs down and cuts a lot of red tape that hangs around going onto peoples properties and commercial businesses.

        There's also the inclusion of the 4G wireless and satellite services, so the coverage of internet get markedly bigger.
        Not sure if 4G would benefit from the fibre, but it might lessen congestion on towers? Does anyone know about that?

          so you're completely ignoring the cost to maintain the fibre? and the fact that yeah Telstra won't have a monopoly, but the NBN will have a monopoly aka a change in name only since bureaucrats will still be in charge in the end.

            Except the NBN is a wholesale only provider, whereas Telstra is a wholesale AND a retail provider.

            There is a difference, and I don't think you grasp it. When you use Telstra directly, they get money. When you use another ISP that uses Telstra's network, Telstra get money. Either case, they're not using that money to make anything better.

            I'm not ignoring the fibre maintenance cost, but there's more money spent in maintaining both coper and fibre lines. If there's less copper to maintain, then then there's less spent in general maintenance.
            Telstra don't need to push out this fibre, it owns most of the copper. There is less red tape in the government laying out copper than there is if Telstra were to do it. They won't single handedly roll out fibre if it costs more for them.to do it.
            Ffth easier to maintain because the process to make fibre is silicon and gass infusion. Copper is getting more and more expensive. It shouldn't be relies upon because "its cheap to leave it"

        Small business will benefit from higher upload speeds. If you're in architecture, engineering, graphic design, media production, or any kind of business that needs to move large files around (delivery to customers, transfer between offices) the NBN will save you time and money, either because you'll be able to do it for the first time (rather than sending physical copies around by courier) or because you'll be able to do it cheaply (on a garden variety NBN connection, not an exorbitantly expensive 'business grade' cable or other exotic connection).

        Because the NBN will be everywhere, small businesses won't be compelled to restrict themselves to premises where fast connections are currently available, if that's necessary for their business. It will become cheaper to operate a home office.

        And once consumers are on the NBN, business will suddenly have a market for all kinds of high-bandwidth services. The NBN guarantees at least 12 mbps for everyone in the country, guaranteeing the size of the market. No other option can do that.

      http://nbnmyths.wordpress.com/why-not-fttn/

        Thanks for that, Helps a lot. I just hope they get the fibre to my home before the election.
        iPrimus already told me once that it was ready to go for my home, then they realised that just because the pipes were in didn't mean the fibre was in and last week they did the same thing again!

      Pretty much the main advantage to FTTH over FTTN is that you have a full fibre path, everywhere, and as such have speed capabilities that fibre offer
      as a comparison FTTN will provide fibre to a node, which would then connect each home in a designated area (much like the existing RIM system, with the exception that a lot of RIMs use cable connections) through copper, most of which is about 25ish years old (some is a lot older)

      As an Immediate deployment there is not a lot of difference between the two on speeds, until other infrastructure is upgraded (by my calculations the throughput inside Australia will be ~500x what all international links can currently handle), but it will allow some vast improvements in internet services like video on demand (and open opportunities like the UKs IPTV only enviroment), with the potential to free up more wireless spectrum for use with mobile phones / other on-the-go devices.

      In the long run however FTTN falls down, while it is upgradeable it is still held back by the nodes, which at best will introduce some extra latency (every switch does), and at worst will become oversubscribed with extra connections being put in due to subdivisions and apartment construction.

      One thing that is normally glazed over (probably because it may change) is that the rest of the Coalition's plan also falls down, as they have been leaning towards a mixed environment, which is never a good idea.
      Where Labor are supplying FTTH to the majority, the Coalition seemed to plan a smaller FTTN rollout with gaps filled in by wireless, which starts to congest the wireless spectrum.
      which is a problem

      The "last mile" copper will always have a lower capacity for speed than an equivalent fibre tail. With VDSL2+ and other DSL enhancements they can theoretically get 100Mbps on copper, but that's assuming the copper itself is in good condition and you're right next to the node (improvements in transmission tech can't remove the tyranny of distance - at about 1km from the node VDSL2 drops to ADSL2+ speeds).

      FTTN is a halfway technology. Yes, the initial rollout may be cheaper but it still involves installing mini-exchanges every few blocks (all of which chew electricity BTW, unlike passive fibre pits, has he taken that into account?) and will only ever max out at 100/200Mbps at most. When that becomes too slow, we'll have to dig up the nodes and run fibre for the last mile anyway, duplicating labour costs anyway. Why not just do it right the first time?

    We need Conroy to protect us from those scams and spams

      We need to start a facebook page and #redundiesforall
      Conroy's red undies brigade!

    Very good description of the two plans Luke. Thanks
    Living in Malcom Turbull's electorate, I'm not getting fibre any time soon.

    Let's not forget that the *only* reason that this costs so much is because, unlike large swaths of the first world, we don't already have FTTN. Because a little government party believed that a market run by a monopoly (^ Get the irony from the article) would roll out better services without incentive.

    Hah Turnbull, you should have been a comedian!

    In case my question gets lost, from last time:

    But you say
    It's to enable small businesses to cost-effectively compete in the next-generation marketplace which we know will be utterly dominated by the Internet.

    What does that mean though apart from sounding good?

    Does it mean they can load ebay faster? Can they run servers from the shop to host their online store? what will NBN provide to a cafe or a restaurant or even a retail store?

    What can the NBN actually do?

    Last edited 09/04/13 8:52 am

      That statement (to me) seems pointed at tech start-ups. Then yes, you can host whatever you like. That's kind of the point.

      What can the NBN actually do?

      As a database developer I have a lot of small business clients (most not in the IT sector) and they pretty much fall into two categories.

      A) They have a hosted database so they don't need to have a server and expensive server software
      B) They have a local server which I access remotely for support and development.

      Both of these cases will benefit from a better broadband network. Two way database communication is going to be greatly improved by the higher upload speeds the NBN provides.

      A small business doesn't need to be in the IT sector to use the internet.

      deleted

      Last edited 18/06/15 9:36 am

        Good examples everyone, thanks

        - Any old schmoe with an idea can start up a small business from a laptop while on the couch

        can they not do that now already?

        To me so far is video conference rather than travel to meetings and hosting your own servers, things like that.

        The satellite workers are a thing already on 3G or 4G sims in laptops, not sure how NBN would help that?

        The Fed Gov was talking about having their staff working form home a few months ago. Not sure if it would ever happen to the extent they said, but it would be good for sure.

      Lots of things become easier and less hassle with faster networks. If you need to sync any information between your stores then that will be much faster. If you are currently using citrix you may not need to in the future as our networks will be fast enough that the VPN will suffice without driving the user crazy (unless citrix is there for security). Backing up all your data to the cloud becomes possible. I could list 20+ reasons just for retail but when you get to construction for instance I could easy think of over 200 ideas as this is my industry..

        Seems data uploading is a huge thing it would help, cheers!

        I can't think of anything for retail, apart from connecting quicker to servers or head office, hosting websites in store, small things like that.

      Offsite backups for critical business data is a HUUGE one. So many offices have their entire backup history on a *shudder* external hard drive. A decent connection means your data can be remotely backed up (and even fully redundantly replicated) to keep businesses going when disasters hit.

    When told about the crippling speeds some people have this schmuck Malcolm Turnbull on Q and A answered that he had 40 k so the current system is fine.

    Since that point I've nothing but contempt for this self serving piece of shit.

    I think the key is going to be the volume of nodes.

    If two people in the same block or street can't get the same maximum speed then I think the plan is a failure.

    I personally prefer a plan where the only speed variable is what you are willing to pay.

    deleted

    Last edited 18/06/15 9:36 am

      Will they buy the copper off Telstra (at $11billion I think) still?

        They will have to, given that FTTN necessarily involves removing all but the last portion of the copper network. The value for Telstra is owning the entirety of the copper network, and FTTN will remove that value. There's no reason why Telstra would accept anything less than $11bn either, given that they would be worse off with FTTN as opposed to the NBN - since they would still be stuck with the costs of maintaining the remnants of copper.

    Here is how I look at the NBN. Wow really fast that's pretty good. How much? Nah I'll stick to my 15mbps.

    99% of people that "NEED" such fast internet just "NEED" their terabytes of torrents downloaded faster.

      What about IPTV services such as Fetch TV? Improved video conferencing? Not to mention that most homes have at least 5+ internet enabled devices these days (computers, mobiles, tablets, TVs etc). There are many legal legitimate uses for FTTH.

      Your 15mbps is more than three times faster than the average speed nationwide. There are millions of Australians who simply cannot obtain those speeds.

      You forget that a decade ago people like you were happy with 28K dialup.

      Just because you have no vision of the future does not mean the future won't arrive.

    Is this the first line in the sand/concrete between the two parties for the upcoming election?

    I really hope people don't vote based on 'tradition' - I hope people base it on what they think is best for them, their family, or, better yet, the country as a whole.

    Remember, tradition explains why something begins, it doesn't explain why it continues.

    The idiots will lose my vote.

    Last edited 09/04/13 9:44 am

    This marks the day that Liberals will be labelled as the single reason why we have below third world communications standards in Australia over the next 10 years. As our copper network degrades beyond practical serviceability, the public will want answers and the Labour part will be sure to point it out.

      Not to mention 'over the last 10 years' as well.

    The incompetent Labor government is getting my vote, as FTTH is all I really care about, as far as this election is concerned.

    Since moving into my current residence about 18months ago the copper network has physically failed due to corrosion 3 times. All the copper wire between me and the exchange was fully replaced about 30 years ago, I am about 300meters from the exchange. As far as I can tell the Liberal FTTN plan does not factor in the most likely need to replace all the copper in the country before their installation is finished.
    Regardless of which plan ends up being fully implemented a future Liberal government will sell it off to their business mates to make it more "efficient".

    How does anyone actually get reasonable speeds on the copper network? I live a 5 mins walk from LaTrobe Uni with an exchange right next to it, and yet we're so far from the exchange that a supposable 2Mbit connection drops to 300Kbit, at best.

      LaTrobe Uni isn't connected to the same network like you are, they are most likely running there private fibre lines though the the Australian Academic Network.

        No I know that sorry, I meant to use it more as a geographical location. My point was that we're not far from an exchange in the middle of suburbia, and yet we can't get a reasonable speed.

    Well.. I hope you all like the sound of this because come September this is what we'll be getting. FTTP sure was nice while it lasted.

    The NBN is the only reason I'm voting labor in the next election. Ive never thought I would vote for them but my love of science and tech outweighs my usual voting habits..it seems.

    I would rather have fibre to the home then fibre to the node.

    What's the cost to upgrade later?
    What's the on going maintenance costs for the decaying copper network?

    Lets not cut costs on the important things so we can pump it into other failing government projects.

    How about Turnbull lights a fire under NBN Co to actually deliver what they promise, stimulate the economy by creating employment opportunities by offering training for people to build the NBN.

    I won't deny that Turnbull is a much better comms minister then Conroy. But this policy announcement is backwards.

      That'll never happen - they need to make swathing cuts in funding across the board so they can say they're better for saving money than labour.

    The opposition's broadband policy is about confusing the public enough so they'll choose the option that is promoted as better - even though it isn't. The government should educate the public about how a full fibre optic network is clearly superior. That is, they should be presenting the facts in a way they can be easily understood so that the opposition's policy can be seen for what it is (nothing more than an attempt to fool the public).

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