Counterpoint: It's OK To Mourn The NBN

After the election last weekend, Luke wrote a short piece suggesting that with the change in government, we shouldn't mourn the NBN. I think we should.

The change in government over the weekend didn't happen over a single issue, but a range of them, but for the purposes of discussion, I'm going to stick to that single issue, namely the NBN. Lest I be (once more) accused of being a communist, I'm also going to point out that one of the good things about living where we do is that people get a free vote; Australia has voted for the Coalition, and so they will assume government. I could bore you with my own pet theories about why words like "mandate" shouldn't be thrown around too heavily -- but I won't.

Instead, what I'd like to mourn is the key thing that's always interested me with the NBN, and that's the technology. Luke's piece talks about the cost, but to me the thing to mourn isn't the cost per se, and not because of the way that the FTTP NBN (and the coalition FTTN/FTTP hybrid NBN) was to be costed. It's the difference that will be lost switching from a mostly-fibre to a mostly-copper NBN entails.

A hybrid system is one that has an inequality built in, and it is one that has effects on what you can do with the network. The Coalition government plan does call for fibre in business parks, but not residential areas, and I think that's a missed opportunity to change the way we both live and work.

Yes, there are occupations that can't be virtualised (yet), but at the same time, the positive effects of, for example, even shaving five per cent of the workforce away from an always commuting lifestyle are significant. That's tens of thousands -- maybe hundreds -- of cars not on the roads, making transport more efficient for those still travelling. That's bringing all sorts of businesses into reality for those workers, from home delivery -- again assisted by smoother transport links -- through to provision of business services, both those that can be done now, and those that could be developed.

There's opportunity for new businesses to set up wherever they might want to be, rather than in the more expensive capital cities, and that too is an opportunity that a FTTN network won't offer, thanks to the lower upload speed potential. Both parties jumped last week on a report that talked about a proposed $3800 in savings per household due to net efficiencies, but even if you do debate the actual figures, the less you can do with a network, the less those savings are likely to be. But I'm veering once again into costs issues, which I don't entirely want to do.

There's been a tendency in the NBN debate to declare that an individual is "alright" because their net connection meets their needs, but I do think that's petty, self centred thinking.

I could easily go down that route myself -- maybe. Where I live is on the FTTP three year plan, and Malcolm Turnbull has said that he'll honour signed contracts. I don't know whether or not the contract for my area is signed or not -- and I'm also in an HFC area, just to confuse things -- but the real strength of the network is in the sum of the whole, not the individual parts.

One of those numbers hovers directly over my house, but that's not nation building thinking.

FTTN can do many things, and for many it will be an upgrade in real speed terms from the ADSL (and in some cases dialup) that they've had to endure to date. But from a technology standpoint, it's not the same network, and cannot be. Given the stated policy of the Coalition to perform reviews on the existing NBN rollout, it's always slightly feasible that they'll adopt an FTTP model anyway -- Simon Hackett's simplified Fibre On a Copper Budget is usually the cited way around the costs issues -- but I wouldn't bet on it.

Meanwhile, real world bandwidth uses and needs continue to escalate at a very rapid rate; 25Mbps is fine for what we're doing now (at least in download terms), but by 2016 (and I do think that's being optimistic, but then big projects, government or private, have a tendency to run late; that's certainly true of NBN Co right now) it'll start to be slow.

By 2019, it won't be enough for truly competitive business approaches. That's being lost across the wider Australia, even if business parks and the like get fibre, because all that'll do is create islands of fibre. Existing towns that have FTTP -- like Armidale -- get an advantage there, but Federal Government policy shouldn't be about islands, unless it's the entire Island nation of Australia.

That's an opportunity that's missed, and I think that's something that's worthy of mourning.

Mourning shouldn't last forever; it's appropriate to move on after a time of reflection, and as I noted above, government policy is predicated on what the people vote for at an election -- at least in theory. Australia voted for the Coalition, and FTTN is part of its policy, so that's what we'll have to look forward to in the future. Right now, I reckon it's fine to mourn, at least a bit.



    I think it's a little bit direr than that -- the only promises we have are that they'll honor signed contracts, and won't roll out to areas with existing infrastructure.

    That concerns me. A big strength of the Labour NBNco was a national platform that all ISP's could leverage, finally breaking free of the last-mile network wholly owned by Telstra. Whilst that is currently being remedied, there will still be area's where NBNco will now skip because they already get ADSL2+ to some level.

    I really hope this fear I have of Australia ending up like America (Comcast in one area, Verizion in another) is just a mad delusion. I really, really hope so.

      I have started a petition to strongly urge the coalition government to reconsider their FTTN NBN proposal in favour of a superior FTTH NBN. Please show your support for this issue by signing the petition and leaving any comments/thoughts at the following link:

      Please spread the word, and refer as many of your friends and family as possible. Additionally, feel free to raise further concerns to Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and the coalition government by sending them an email or written letter to the addresses below.

      Tony Abbott:
      phone: (02) 6277 4022
      fax: (02) 6277 8562
      address: Parliament House
      Canberra ACT 2600

      Malcolm Turnbull:
      phone: 02 6277 4144
      fax: 02 6277 8445
      address: PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
      Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

      Liberal Party Federal Secretariat:
      phone: 02 6273 2564
      fax: 02 6273 1534
      email: [email protected]
      address: PO Box 6004,
      Kingston ACT 2604

      Thank you for your support.

      I have the same feeling of dread, and I'm as avid a Labor NBN supporter as you can get - but just to settle your worries a little - the current ADSL2+ has a maximum 24Mbps speed and minimum 1.5Mbps speed depending on all those factors you already know about. The Liberal NBN won't skip ADSL2+ areas completely, it will upgrade them a bit to VDSL with a minimum 25Mbps (and maximum of who-knows, but probably 100Mbps) by 2016, and 50Mbps by 2019.

      So, there'll be an upgrade in ADSL2+ areas, but in my opinion it's a pittance and still wrought with all the shortcomings of the ADSL2+ mish-mash we have right now

        Yes but morning the NBN is like mourning Santa. He was cool when mum and dad told you he was real, but when you grow up you don't care. I support fast internet but it was promised to be finished by now. It was going to be 40 Billion tops they have blown that. Not to mention the shambles.

          I support fast internet but it was promised to be finished by now.

          No, no it wasn't. Not the NBN as we knew it, anyway, what with Labor and their FTTP plans. That was for previous plans by the last Liberal government that, take note, did diddly.

          40 billion is not yet blown, and that also includes billions of private companies buying in.

          mightyjosh, You are so wrong,

          The coalitions NBN will be finished in 2019 and you will be able to connect at an alleged 25Mbps, (if you are within 400 metres) remember Tel$tra will be doing the last section to your home or business and if they can get away with using the existing copper they will (it will only be replaced if there is an unacceptable issue arise).

          Labours NBN would have been finished in 2021 with no involvement of Tel$tra.

          You have saved 2 years in roll out but you have lost a generation and cost the nation an absolute fortune (you know why we voted labour out).

          Anybody with a decent ADSL2+ or cable connection would not sign up, who is going to pay for a service that offers no advantage (either speed or cost) to what they already have.?!?!

          Now our second class citizens in the bush are even worse off, the satellite that was going to be launched this year will have to wait even longer as Mr Turnbull decides what the new specifications will be.

          This is going to be a complete cluster F*@!.
          I'm lucky I already have the NBN and use VOIP, no Tel$tra, no Optu$ and no issues like we used to suffer when the grandkids or kids come over and I need to telecommute.


        "it will upgrade them a bit to VDSL with a minimum 25Mbps (and maximum of who-knows, but probably 100Mbps) by 2016, and 50Mbps by 2019."

        Yeah they still haven't told us HOW they're going to do this... the current infrastructure is lesser then that of those quoted by mad mal (UK, NZ, France, Alcatel) thinner wire = more attenuation = less speed over higher frequencies.

        Mal says: "ahhhh but vectoring"

        Vectoring only works over the first 400m after that the signal still decays. This being the case your quoted figures of 50 000 nodes for the whole of Australia.

        Is a ridiculous assumption that cannot possibly fill the requirement of getting a node within 400m of every premises.

        So which one is it? Either you cant deliver on the speed promised, or the cost (because of the unaccounted nodes) is going to be more... which one are they lying about?

          Why is a node every 400m so inconceivable?
          The Labor FTTH design requires an FDH cabinet* every 172 premises. The Liberal FTTN design has hinted at having node cabinets* every 100 houses or so. It sounds to me like 400m is achievable.

          (*worth pointing out that an FDH cabinet is about the size of an 8-year-old child, while the FTTN cabinets are about the size of 4 Clive Palmers)

            First off FTTH by design is not required to have a node centralized to all 172 premises (as fibre doesnt suffer the same attenuation issues) while it is advantageous obviously to do so it does allow more flexibility with design. Secondly it's not having them is inconceivable it's having them with the quoted figures is IMPOSSIBLE.

            Turnbull quotes 50,000 node figure

            Bare minimum area of coverage would be about 160,000km squared (true this is a guesstimate but an extremely logical one taking into account most populated areas) divide by a node every 800m = 200,000 nodes.

            Even more evidence to support this is the fact that deutchcom (frequently quoted by turnbull) REQUIRED 300,000 nodes to cover roughly 18 million fixed lines, we only have 12 million fixed lines, 2/3rds the lines 2/3rds the nodes = 200,000 nodes.

            Now if this is the case he's either lied about his costings or if this is false and he really only intends to use 50,000 nodes he's lied about the speeds that can be delivered... which is it?

    Question: with the NLP likely to miss out on a senate majority, what's the chances that the NBN v0.5 (ALP was NBN v1.0) will be voted out of the upper house?

    I started mourning it as soon as it became clear Abbott would win. I have been stuck on wireless broadband ever since we upgraded from dial-up, and it is terrible. I'm a gamer, and I would like to be able to play online properly and buy through steam, but with speeds that regularly drop below one megabit per second, and a cap of 15GB, that's pretty much impossible, especially given that modern PC games can get up to 20GB. The problem is, Telstra says that we should be getting ADSL, even though we definitely can't, and due to this I don't think we'll be getting the new NBN.

      Dude, regardless who won on the weekend, it won't effect your chances of getting internet that's more than capable of gaming/downloading. If you were getting wired broadband from NLP, you'll still get it from the Liberals.

        If you were getting wired broadband from NLP, you'll still get it from the Liberals.

        So no one's getting broadband from the Liberals?

      I'm sorry to hear your speeds are not acceptable, Jack, but I really don't think Australia needs to fork out billions of dollars so you can game. Nevertheless, if you were going to be connected to the NBN under labor, it's more than likely that you'll be getting a fibre connected node close by which will give you at least enough to play away until the wee hours.

        It's not just my gaming that will be affected. As I posted below, everything is moving to digital distribution, and if Australia just sticks to what the government thinks is "good enough" and "cheaper", we will either end up holding the world back, or just get left behind, the way we already are in some aspects (not only are services like Netflix unavailable in Australia, but a large portion of the country lacks the speed and bandwidth to use it).

        Last edited 09/09/13 5:39 pm

          What about our highways, our ports our water? Can I move produce or product over the NBN digitally? Will it lessen traffic jams, prevent floods? I support it, it's a great piece of infrastructure, but every school, hospital, uni, bank, military base will get fibre. You will just have to pay to have it to your house, not the tax payer.

        Australia under the Coalition is planning to fork out billions of dollars to dig up Parramatta Road so I can drive faster to Olympic park. When I get there I plan to have a pie at the kiosk and a swim in the massive Olympic pool complex that Australia shelled out billions of dollars for so that we could all watch sport on telly for free, and then later have a bit of a swim. We pay our taxes, we get nice things.

          Yes but that was a State built park not a federal funded project

        South Korea has actually made billions of dollars for their economy from online gaming. Why did they make it and not others? They had a fast fibre network that allowed developers to build new applications that they could not have imagined otherwise. Gaming is big business - bigger than hollywood (if the "old wives tales" can be believed!).

        Yeah everyone looks at the gamers and the downloaders and say "we don't need to fork out billions of dollars to satisfy your needs" but take it from a business standpoint....The client I work for have a lot of video conferencing rooms and moving to Fibre will help tremendously. Also consider that one of the latest crazes in the IT world is putting everything in the want superfast speeds in order to access data that is stored

      You might find you get FTTN a sooner than you would have otherwise. It should be more than fine for your purposes.

        It really isn't. When I visit my family in Sydney, I regularly download large game files, which takes ages on a 25 megabit per second line. The fact is, everything is moving to digital distribution, and Australia is either going to hold the world back, or get left behind.

    Under Liberal's NBN plan, if i still want Fibre to my house, i can still get it. Just means i have to pay for the install upfront (which would only add equity to my house anyway). Under NLP's plan, i would have paid for the fibre to my house one way or another regardless... which is GREAT for the people who love fast internet, as everyone who doesn't has just helped them pay for it.

    Last edited 09/09/13 1:34 pm

      But what about me? I'm a Renter.

        With the money the Government will save, they could spend it on other things like helping people like you get in a better position to buy their own property.

        I don't own a car, does that mean the Gov should tax the people privileged enough to own one more money to pay for better public transport for me to get to where i want to go faster?

        Last edited 09/09/13 2:32 pm

          //I don't own a car, does that mean the Gov should tax the people privileged enough to own one more money to pay for better public transport for me to get to where i want to go faster?//
          Not sure if sarcasm or unaware of mass public transport...
          Or for that matter public roads...

          Last edited 09/09/13 2:49 pm

          That's a ridiculous over simplification.

          Broadband is now see as necessity next to water and electricity. As more services are delivered via the web it becomes even more so.

          What you're proposing is to further split the country between the haves and have nots. The Liberal agenda feeds big business. While I'm not naive and understand that big business is a driving force for our economy and necessary. In this case they're only going to fragment the industry with their own little monopolies/duopolies while Aussie pay the price. I for one would rather contribute up front to a full NBN and reap the rewards when the business is profitable across the board - for all Australians.

            (High Speed) Broadband as a necessity is also an over simplification. 25mb would satisfy the necessity argument. More is of great benefit. But definitely not a necessity.

              25 mbps is barely satisfactory today let alone by 2019. By the time it is actually finished it will be practically as worthless; in fact, Telstra already had plans to dig up thier copper lines (the same copper lines FTTN will be using) by 2018!

              Australia is already ranked 90 something in upload speeds in a list of countries; just a little behind Kenya and Nigeria. New Zealand by contrast is about 5 times faster already...

              The Liberals plan for FTTN has no options for the future. It can't be upgraded. It's a worthless development and realistically we'd all be better off if they just scrapped the NBN entirely instead of doing their half arsed FTTN plan; that way at least, when we finally get a govt that isn't completely insane, they will do FTTH properly and not just pour money down the drain on a worthless policy.

              The only thing you ever seem to see from Liberal supporters about the internet seems to be pure ignorance; no understanding of economics, the technology involved, and absolutely no foresight beyond the current day, as you yourself implied in your comment.

                You could run fibre top to bottom of NZ 5 times before you ran in up the east coast think of that

                Omg thank you, every single liberal voter i have ever heard has been 100% wrong, no ifs or buts.

                They either think the NBN comes out of tax payer money ( it doesn't you $%$^ morons) and that by not building it we get better hospitals, FUCKING WRONG if we don't build it we get nothing that simple, the money is OUTSIDE THE GOD DAMN BUDGET.

                OR they seem to think we dont need it, despite 10 years ago WE ALL HAD DIAL UP that is 100x slower than what we have now, in 10 years we are going to be needing what FTTP was offering upto 1gb speeds. 25mb to Aussies in 2019 is basically having every Australian switching off broadband (right now) and all going over to dial up plus.

                OR again they dont seem to understand what the FTTN plan involves. That it lets big business cherry pick profitable areas. Which means the NBN wont pay for itself like currently with FTTP. This means that money WILL COME from hospitals, but only under FTTN. It also means that people don't live in profitable areas, the very people this entire en devour was supposed to help will now be forced to pay a premium to recoup losses from those profitable areas that abbott is giving to telstra and its ilk.

                Then the final bit is this piece of shit FTTN plan isn't upgradeable like FTTP. This means the very same second it is finished, the government will be paying out of its own pockets to REDO the entire network all over again to get the original FTTP. This 2nd go at a proper network will either not happen leaving australia in the literal dark ages or will have to use tax payer money to fund it because FTTN wouldn't have even paid a drop back of its initial cost (for reasons stated above).

                All of these points are facts already know and acknowledged by everyone in the current debate with half a neuron firing and yet Murdoch has used his BS monopoly to flat out lie and deceive the entire nation into thinking they are getting a better deal with FTTN, people like mighty josh here.

                Last edited 15/09/13 6:59 pm

            Relating broadband to water is ridiculous. We need water to survive. We do not need one service the internet offers that isn't provided physically to survive.

              Fine then. Electricity. You don't need that to survive but I bet you consider it a necessity,

                You need to sort out your priorities when it comes to needs, and wants.

          You mean like car registration? Or the outrageous government taxes on petrol?

          Your attitude is very "me", when it should really be "we".

          We all need a roof over our heads - we do not all need a car. Apples vs. oranges.

          And to think the government (either persuasion) is going to do anything that benefits renters ever is a denial of history.
          Mortgages go down during the GFC - rents go up.
          When interest rates go down - those of us saving for a home lose % on our savings and those that have their mortgage gain savings on their monthly repayments - it is so out of whack that if you aren't prepared to look at the whole issue then you're really just paying lip-service to whatever preconceived ideas you have regarding renting/fairness/equity in home ownership.

          Negative Gearing has ruined this countries rental-market BUT real estate is the true back-bone of the Oz economy and no one's prepared to risk the political hit to deal with it.

          Ummmm Car Rego? that is a tax on owning a car, if you own a bigger car it is more expensive as is if you own multiple cars

          I would love to own a house, but im 21 years old and still working towards that in my own profession, which doesn't earn me lots of money but i love doing. Why should I have to miss out for another possible 5 - 15 years?


          We already do it's called registration, stamp duty, in NSW 4cents extra per litre.

        you could find a rental property that has a batter internet connection, one that is located closer to the exchange or in a suburb that has or will have NBN.

        It would cost more but that is how rentals work. You would pay extra for the house with the air con and dishwasher or the double garage or the 4 bed rooms instead or two, so you would pay more to have the better internet connection or the house in the better suburb.

          I once joked with my Current ISP that provides me with 700kbps internet (line quality and distance issues, thanks telstra) that in order to get better speeds, I would need to break a 2 year lease with my current real estate and move somewhere else.....We both laughed. The point of ALP's NBN was to get a consistency where by, If some body was looking to rent, they should not have to worry about the Internet speeds at all, just which competitively prices ISP you want to go with.

          How often do you see rental advertisments with the internet speeds listed? Approximately never if you don't have the chance to read any. And the agents are just as clueless, no one really gives a crap because if the property's in a good area then they'll be swamped with so many applications that they don't need to fork out 5 grand, and if it's in a bad area FTTP won't make a difference.

            Well based on the fact it's such a necessity as all the other pro-FTTP people are trying to tell you, then it will make a difference. Of course it will.

              Does advertising the fact that a house has good drinking water drive the price up? I've lived in plenty that had terrible tapwater, undrinkable in some, did absolutely nothing to how much rent I paid. Your argument is invalid.

                Renting a house with undrinkable water doesn't make anyone a fool other than YOU. Get a clue buddy.

                  Do you test the water of every house that you're renting? Particularly when >95% of your rental applications won't be accepted anyway?
                  Get a clue buddy, don't be condescending to others just because you didn't face the same problems. Own up that you have no idea what it's like, acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them and move on.

                  @voidus Landlords and estate agents have an obligation to keep their properties in good repair, which also includes providing safe (eg; DRINKABLE) water supply.

                  So I suggest if you're renting a property with undrinkable water, then you should do something about it and exercise your rights for safe, clean water supply.

                  They do not have the same obligation to provide internet service of any kind. If you don't like the fact, don't blame me -- go get yourself a clue and lobby to someone who cares.

                  Good luck.

                  Last edited 10/09/13 2:08 pm

                  There's a difference between safe and drinkable, and way to completely miss the point of this whole argument...

      any idea how much that costs?

        It would depend on how far the fibre has to run. I would think the labor would be about the same as a cable install. I'd estimate anywhere between $2k and $6k.

          It's just ridiculous if you live in an apartment building. You'd need to pay thousands to get it, and once it's in the building, are they going to charge people only a few hundred to connect to their unit? No. Because it's on a per request basis, NBNCo would have to revisit you another day, your neighbour on another etc, they'll need to cover those costs. Doing it all at once was the smartest option.

            Well actually, what you're saying also the case for Labor's NBN plan. People that own certain apartments, and high rises would be relying on the body corporate to have the additional infrastructure installed for FTTP. So either way, you'll be paying for it directly. everyone who doesn't has just forced them to pay for it.

      It’s absurd to grab what you want without considering the cost and even if you were to, then it’s still abhorrent to force people to make people pay for something cheaper for a quality that won’t suit them.

      We should be asking ourselves, "If we think the NBN is such a no brainer and will achieve profit, then why aren’t the entrepreneurs doing it?"

      I do not support neither party in there NBN plans. The government should be looking into how their own regulations are locking people out of the market to build the right network for the right areas.

        NBN is out side of the budget, it pays for itself that is the whole point.

        And if it wasn't spectacularly clear the unfront cost is OVER 40 billion dollars. I don't think a single private enterprise in Australia could afford the up front cost of the NBN and then interest over x amount of years until it gets them back in the black, Jesus Christ not even Microsoft could afford that.

        SO YES the government must step in and guarantee the money so that the entire nation can move forward. Broadband is an essential part of the modern world, it is quite literally the ROAD of out time. Do you think private enterprises paid for roads, hell no the government built them and then taxed people to use them. Just like the government will own the NBN and use the money people spend on internet to pay for it.

        People like you who have no clue what they are talking about constantly spewing thier mis informed opinons is the reason we are in this fucking mess, where the people in the know are fighting against a broken crippled leper bastard child of FTTP, abbots FTTN. The sheer stupidity of people who's opinion is summised as" lol internet we dont need better speed so people can pirate or play games faster" deserve to lose their ability to vote, for life.

      Unless of course you rent. My family and I could afford the investment for a fiber connection however we are renting and it would be a silly decision, so we are stuck on an ADSL1 connection.

      However that isn't even the best argument against it. The Coalition's NBN is still a big cost project of a fraction of the quality. Please understand that they are spending 2/3rds of the cost on a 1/10th of the quality infrastructure that is a lot more costly to run and maintain and will have to inevitably be scrapped when the network is eventually upgraded.

      Copper does not have have an upgrade path past VDSL which already does not meet a majority of Australian needs now, let alone 40-50 years in to the future. That is copper's limit, it's old and outdated technology.

      If your argument is based around money then you should be arguing for absolutely no NBN, definitely not the Coalition's NBN.

        It's based around money and the over hype of what Labor's is going to provide.

        Oh, and you should maybe do some research re: VDSL & other technologies that utilise copper. There is technologies available that offer 100Mbps on copper over 1KM distance. 75Mbps 3KMs.

          And Gigabit over 2cm?

            Gigabit over fibre, which the FTTN plan still provides, though people tend to forget that.

          And you do realise that FTTP currently allows up to 1Gbps. So you're spruiking technologies that are already behind what is available if we stay the course. 10 times the max speed you're selling - at day 1 and loads of head room for expansion. At a third more cost - it makes simple sense to me.

          Oh and you're forgetting that the copper network is estimated to cost $1 Billion a year to maintain - and it needs an upgrade before your technology even works. We're going to get boxes at the end of every street with batteries in them and space for both FTTP and FTTN in them. More maintenance that the Labor plan does not have or need.

          Every time the economists, the IT specialists and the futurists look at the 2 plans the FTTP comes out a winner.Hell even Turnbull isn't dumb enough to invest in FTTN - he's invested in a FTTP company in France -


            The Liberal's NBN plan is capable of 1Gbps as well. What is it that you don't understand about that?

            Liberal's NBN is capable of everything NLP's is. The difference is, FTTN isn't connected to the millions of people that DON'T need it. Those who DO need it, 1Gbps is still available, & 10Gbps in the future.

            Last edited 09/09/13 3:57 pm

              No it isn't.

                Yes it is. Do you people even read these policies?

                  I suggest you listen to your own advice, given you are completely wrong. The only people capable of receiving a 1gbps service will be the 22% lucky enough to live in FTTP areas, and the home owners on FTTN who opt for the $3-$5000 upgrade fee from FTTN to FTTP.

                  And given there will be far less people on FTTP under the coalition's network, its logical we will see consumer 1gbps plans offered much later by ISPs, than they would have been under Labor's ubiquitous 1gbps network,

                  So it is capable of it then isn't it? I don't remember saying EVERYONE will have it, but it is CAPABLE of it. Idiot.

                  you are so fucking wrong, 1gbps speed is IMPOSSIBLE without fibre.

                  Considering the average house hod wages are near 50-60k, these people can NOT AFFORD NOT MATTER WHAT a 5grand shell out for FTTP. This means it is IMPOSSIBLE for "everyone" to get 1gps even suing your ass backwards stupid logic.

                  FTTN can not do a single fucking thing that FTTP can, NOT A SINGLE ONE, stop talking such pure bullshit.

                  It can not achieve speeds comparable for all aussies, it is not available for all aussies, it will not be priced teh same for all aussies and its not upgradeable. It a trash policy made by a twit.

                  Not sure if retarded or just didn't read my comment. If you actually read the comment, you'd see that I did not say everyone could have it, but were capable of it. Never go full retard.

              That's completely incorrect. Their VDSL2-based FTTN service will max out at around 50 Mbps, rising to 100 Mbps with VDSL vectoring a few years down the line (or so they predict, but we should really wait and see what the actual numbers are).

              Please tell me you don't think 50mbps, 100mbps or whatever you are saying this copper will allow for will still be enough in 15-20+ years time... You need to remember this plan isn't all about the present. Just think... 15 years ago people were using internet with speeds of 1Mbit or less, now many people are using 20Mbits through ADSL2+ or other technologies... Would it not be safe to assume that in these ever expanding digital lives that we live that we would need to have at least the same factor of speed increase that we have had in the past?

              LOL no it isn't. No it isn't at all. My god I get you're a liberal supporter. You can BE a liberal supporter and I'll respect you for that because everyone should be respected for their political leanings equally. But when you start talking out your ass saying 'the liberal nbn is capable of everything labors is', you lose every single bit... because you're speaking shit Timmy. Pure unadulterated shit.

              Last edited 09/09/13 6:33 pm

                Potentially they're both capable of the same thing.

                Try reading what I said again, and don't make assumptions or over complicate it with your lack of knowledge.

                Last edited 09/09/13 8:30 pm

                  Once or twice out of ten times, possibly.

              Technically, 1gbps is capable on copper in FTTN. However, that has to be brand new 0.5mm thick copper, and two pairs at that (and that's all spelled out in the exact same document Turnbull got the idea of 1gbps FTTN being capable on copper from). Most of Australia has only a single copper pair to their house, and even then it's only 0.32-0.4mm thick. Short of it is, Australia's copper network will not do 1gbps without replacing the copper (and copper costing 10x more per metre than fibre, why bother putting copper back in?)

          We have VDSL in Canberra via TransACT and it is the deadest worst POS I've ever experienced. I was over the moon when I managed to get Telstra to move us to another exchange so we could get 1.8mbps ADSL2 as it was a more consistent connection than our 8mbps VDSL. Not to mention VDSL still runs over copper, so Telco's are free to force you into landline contracts like the current setup. Why the hell would I want a land line?

            You wouldn't, and the Liberal party knows that. So does Telstra. Unfortunately it's awfully inconvenient for Rupert Murdoch if people have access to any passable internet, so it's a no go. Can't defy our lords & masters after all.
            The only people who actually think Liberal's internet policy is even remotely sane are those completely and utterly brainwashed by Liberal tripe, like this fool timmyo-toole.

          What do you mean over hype? We know fiber is capable of gigabit speeds, we've already seen greenfield sites receive working fiber services.

          Oh, and you should maybe do some research re: VDSL & other technologies that utilise copper. There is technologies available that offer 100Mbps on copper over 1KM distance. 75Mbps 3KMs

          Are you referring to the below:

          "French telecommunications company Alcatel Lucent this week announced it had recorded speeds of up to 100Mpbs over 1km of copper wires in lab tests."

          Prof Tucker said the technology could offer speeds up to three times higher than current DSL, but would require two conventional telephone lines to be connected to the premises.
          "That’s a bit like having two separate internet connections in your house," he said.
          "If you wanted to use this technology universally, you would have to dig up the ground and install new copper pairs to many users. It would end up costing a lot and we would end up with a bigger ageing copper network."

          Please note that it was conducted in lab tests (clean controlled environment) which does not take into account real world factors such as the degrading nature of copper and it's susceptibility to the environment (water damage).

            Can I just say mattm...that was an awesome counter argument. If they want to talk about Lab Controlled results, then we can easily say the fibre has 1PB actually does I guess.

              Yup it does. Just get the end hardware to carry that and it can potentially...

          Unless the pit outside your house where the connection is fills with water every second days and screws your connection for the next few months.

            It only requires the moisture in the air not even rainfall

      Finally someone sees some sense
      If you want FTTP then you can have just have to pay for it
      If people are that passionate about the sheer need to have it then the 2-3K fee shouldn't raise an eyebrow, ill be getting it installed as soon as its available in my area

      As for renters well the government has long since provided handouts and grants to people that want to buy/build homes so why not get onto cant have it all

        "You can't afford to buy but others can? Obviously that's your fault!"

          "You can't afford to buy that? That's everyone else fault!"

          It's all relevant. Just like some rental properties have a dish washer and gas stove, while others have no dish washer and an electric stove.

          If the demand for rental properties require FTTP, then you can rest assured that it'll be in the property owner's best interest to get fibre connected.

          Lets face it, people don't rent because they "want" too, they rent because their situation (typically lack of money) dictates it.. having super fast internet is probably not going to be their main goal in life right now... wouldn't you rather the Government spend money on other aspects that may help you buy your property faster, than worrying about if your rental property has super fast internet.

          Last edited 09/09/13 2:46 pm

            I'd rather have 100mb/s speeds than .05% of a house...

            Last edited 09/09/13 3:01 pm

              No one's stopping you from renting a house with FTTP.

                Just the fact that no one who's renting a house will ever fork out 5 grand for a service that won't be advertised, raise the rental price or appreciably give them any return whatsoever.

                Dude honestly, just take a step back and think about that for a sec.....There is a whole list of things stopping someone from renting with FTTP.

                Real estates dont list internet speeds, people are already on a long term lease, budget restrictions, proximity to work, pets, work contracts, interstate travel etc etc. Clearly you own your own place and thats great, good for you, but theres a huge amount of people that dont.

                  You know why Real Estate agents don't list internet speeds?


                  If it was such a necessity, then OF COURSE Real Estate Agents would take that little bit extra time to tell you. The fact they don't only suggests that it's not such a big deal to the rental market... and like i said, IF IT WAS, then it'd be in the property owner's best interest to invest in FTTP - adds equity to the property and allows them to charge more rent. Win win for everyone.

                  Last edited 09/09/13 8:38 pm

                  1. Water also isn't generally referenced by realtors, nor is food supply, your argument is invalid.
                  2. We live in the information age, don't you think it's kinda important to have access to, you know, information?

                "If it was such a necessity, then OF COURSE Real Estate Agents would take that little bit extra time to tell you. The fact they don't only suggests that it's not such a big deal to the rental market... and like i said, IF IT WAS, then it'd be in the property owner's best interest to invest in FTTP - adds equity to the property and allows them to charge more rent. Win win for everyone."

                How are increased rental prices a Win for me?

            I recently looked for a new rental property. Out of the 50 we looked at not a single real estate agent could tell us whether the property was hooked up to NBN, TransACT or even capable of ADSL2. They don't know and don't care, and the majority of people don't realise their mistake until a month after they move in when their new connection is terrible. Tough luck on a 1-2 year lease.

              So the real estate agent can't tell you what sort of telecommunications options you have, maybe a telecommunications provider could? Try calling TPG/Telstra/anyone else with an incentive to help you.

            Timmy - when you realise you may be renting your entire life then a quality internet connection can help soothe those blues...this is a reality for many of this generation - the first aussies to accept early in life (20's) that they will never be home-owners.

            And if you think I'm exaggerating, you don't know any low-skilled renters.

              Resign yourself to a lifetime of renting or do something about it. They are your two options. Feel free to pick whichever you desire, and accept that it's your choice to make. Both choices come with positives and negatives. Just don't whinge about it.

          It's not your fault...but it's also not my problem
          I'm 28 and I have worked and saved very hard in my junior workforce years to enable the purchase of a house and I now have an investment and will be building my new one next year
          While you might not be able to afford to buy the house you are renting you can always afford to buy a house, it just takes a little sacrafice on your part, whether it be spending less and saving more or looking at living in a more affordable area

          Like I said...cant have it all

          but hey dont let common sense get in the way of a good internet bitch session

          Last edited 09/09/13 4:30 pm

            "you can always afford to buy a house, it just takes a little sacrafice on your part"
            No, no you can't. When you live with no luxury items and every time you get a bill you have to borrow money there is literally no possible way for you to save money, the only things left to stop spending on are essentials. This is the problem with people, they assume just because they can afford it everyone must be able to, they're just too lazy or something. Sorry that's not how the world works, some people are just screwed.

              further your education to enable greater earning capacity
              we live in a country where YOU ALWAYS have options

                I'm getting a phd right now. Your argument is invalid, students have the lowest income of anyone, not everyone can get a better education, and plenty of people with an education are still jobless. Your argument fails at just about every turn.

                  I don't think empathy is within the bounds of a liberals intellectual capacity.

        So mr1jz you want to everyone to pay twice for a decent connection.

        And for our friends in the country who is going to install this FTTH when most of them can't even get an electrician to change a powerpoint.??

        But why? I'm an Australian who thinks everything is a free, because the last 6 years the previous government has led me to believe that life is a free ride with handouts.

        You want something buy it, don't expect others to pay for it for you.

        Last edited 14/09/13 8:37 pm

      So would you pay to install the NBN to investment properties you own? I seriously doubt it. As a renter there is no chance in hell I'd pay to install it unless I had some way of writing it off on tax.

        If there is a demand for it, it can be written off tax wise.
        I would see myself doing it...But money, if it brings a greater return then yes.

      MY thoughts almost exactly.
      I see it as a matter of usage and speed on offer now from other Telcos.

      Sure I can get Velocity cable internet for a $20 extra a month have super fast speeds and extra 300GB data usage - but no I don't need it.
      I don't want to afford it, if I wanted it then yes I would pay for it.

      If I had a need for it, I would make a budget and balance my books to make sure I could afford it, maybe take out a loan to buy it if it were an investment...hmmmm see how I am thinking? I have other needs I need to budget for, I can't afford it right now, I need to pay for rego and insurance and my mortgage (more like the interest on the loan really) first.

      To make another example.
      Solar power on the roof. $4000 - great investment! It would pay off in 5 years or so with my usage right now. But I can't afford it, do I extend my mortgage or do I save up and buy it in 2 years. I can't afford it now because I need to pay other bills and my income is only so much!
      Put it on credit card? I dunno...

      But If I needed it I would not have other luxury items and sacrifice and save up then buy it.

        You can get a cable service if you choose to because you're lucky enough to live in one of the 28% of households passed by the HFC network. One of the cherry-picked streets where Telstra and Optus anticipated that profitability would be high enough to enable them to connect it to their over-90%-overlapping networks.

        For those people living in the 72% of households that aren't passed by HFC - in the poorer and less densely populated suburbs, and in rural and regional areas - that's not an option. The whole point of the NBN is to eliminate where you happen to live as a factor in determining what services are available for you to buy. If the NBN is completed there will be millions of people who for the first time will have the choice that you have now, to purchase a more capable plan if they want to.

          What's your point exactly? Both Liberal & Labor NBN plans will provide them that.

            timmyo-toole, you just don't understand what is/was being offered.!!!

            The whole point of the NBN is to eliminate where you happen to live as a factor in determining what services are available for you to buy. With FTTH country people can have a video conference with there Dr saving them sometimes hours of travel, talk to their bank manager or business manger the same as businesses in the city can.


      And your plans will be more expensive because Telstra is going to make as much money as they can because of the last 400 metres of copper. Even if you pay for fibre to your house, Telstra can still dictate the price of any plan you might choose. Telstra now owns you because we voted the liberals in. Enjoy your over expensive internet.

        You realise Labor's NBN also uses the cable pits that Telstra owns. Do you think Telstra allow it for free???


          NBNCo had already negotiated a deal with Tel$tra


      NO YOU DON'T! That's a myth. An idea. A thought bubble. If you actually read in the Liberal's broadband policy, that option is NOT THERE. The only place something like that is mentioned is that you can be connected if it is economically viable for the supplier. One person .... or two or three willing to fork over a couple of grand is not going to make it laying fibre to your house economical viable.

      Sorry, but you have been sold a lie based on a false hope.

      Last edited 09/09/13 5:45 pm

      Actually, the only people paying for the network are the ones using it. Under ALP's original plan this is a loan, and the network will pay itself off (and then generate income) over it's lifetime. This is an investment, it is NOT being paid for by the tax payer. I wonder how many people I will have to explain this to?

    Considering this is a long term strategy if labor get voted in next election will they then start rolling out NBN again?

      Haha that would be awesome. Next election 3 years down, Labour back in, restarts proper NBN.

        We can only hope.
        Also since it will take time for the new Government to design the changes and work out how they will be integrated there will be a further delay until construction is altered so with any luck they will not even be able to start building the FTTN NBN before the next election and the group with the FTTP vision will be able to step in and restart FTTP NBN at the drop of a hat.

        nah...continues current NBN roll out as the Libs won't have finished their business plan, so FTTH would just continue haha

          I dunno if it's wise having much faith in Labor's plans -- after all, it was their plan that's responsible for the butchery of Telstra privitisation in the first place. Mostly, anyway.

          Last edited 09/09/13 8:50 pm

            Derp Timmy

            "Telstra was privatised in three different stages, informally known as "T1" ($3.30), "T2" ($7.40) and "T3" ($3.60) in 1997, 1999 and 2006 respectively"

            "Howard led the Liberal-National coalition to victory at the 1996 federal election"

            Now look how those two facts line up. Do you just spout dribble and hope that everyone is not as privileged as you, can afford to have their own internet to check up your assertions.

            Last edited 10/09/13 12:11 am

            Ok, now I'm finally convinced, after trying very hard to give you the benefit of the doubt. After your drivel trying to pin Telstra on Labor, I'm finally convinced you're a conservative nutjob.

        not gonna happen...

      Labor is unlikely to get back in next election. It's pretty rare for a Government to be single term so the Libs/Nats would have to do some fundamental stuff ups to even give labor a chance. It'll take at least 2 terms for the public to forget the labor leadership mess as the libs/nats will do their best to remind everyone. Unfortunately, could be 3 terms but that may be around the time my area is due to be upgrade to NBN so maybe it would be good timing!


      We'll the liberals said that if they can't get their policy to scrap the carbon tax they would call a double dissolution.

      So by Xmas 2014 we should be back to vote and then people might actually read what each party has to offer and not listen to the mainstream press.


    Because NBN is more than a company, this has much direr consequences. It's a utility and service provider.

    Note that half of the issue is that Telstra owns a lot of the core infrastructure in Australia, and part of the NBN strategy was to break the dominance of a single privately owned company.

    Part of the promises by the Coalition is to, effectively, neuter the NBN not just for now, but for the future, by only rolling out where 'required', which means it's status as a whole-sale service provider immediately drops.

    edit: meant to be a reply to @amack888

    Last edited 09/09/13 2:14 pm

      You shouldn't forget why Telstra has this dominance in the first place (government created monopoly) and why similar could be said about NBN in the future.

      Note that half of the issue is that Telstra owns a lot of the core infrastructure in Australia, and part of the NBN strategy was to break the dominance of a single privately owned company.

      Heh, that's amusing, considering the government did own Telstra once upon a time.

    Been spreading this around as far as I can reach, but need more help. It's a petition to change the liberals mind on the FTTN. So far there's over 25,000 signatures, so spread this out to all your friends and family. Maybe Gizmodo might like to do a story on the petition? :)

    The new government is going to spend billions of dollars to upgrade roads, because when those roads were first built people didn't plan out long term growth.

    The new government is going to make the same damn mistake with the NBN. Surely somebody has to be able to see the link there?

    Don't build for today.

      Oh god, thank you! Someone here with common sense! It will be amazing to have fast internet sure, but the optic-to-node system will work faster now, save money, and make room for expansion later. In my area I can't even get ADSL2 yet, and Telstra refuse to upgrade because 'oh you'll get NBN in two years.'
      Telstra have let go of there own service because the previous government tried to hold to much control. But yes our roads are a mess, they need more work than what the internet does. Can't ask for better schools, roads and education if you want Breaking Bad in under a minute.

        I have a feeling you missed the point of my post...

        I am saying that the NBN should be built properly the first time so we don't have to spend more at a later stage.

        "The reason the roads are being upgraded at a huge cost to taxpayers is because people have been suffering with congestion which is costing the economy a lot of lost time. That is bad. That congestion is happening because the roads weren't built big enough the first time."

        1) Take the quote above
        2) Wait 20 years
        3) Replace "roads" with "broadband infrastructure"
        4) Enjoy the clarity of hindsight

        The funding for schools and the funding from NBN come from two separate sources. One is a return-of-investment bond because it makes money once complete, and one comes directly from the coffers.

        Please, troll harder next time. The ROI bonds issued for NBN do not affect current school funding. And Liberals are cutting back on schools, so your argument is twice invalid.

          Why is it that SO MANY people don't understand this? So frustrating! The nbn is OFF BUDGET!

    The Coalitions NBN savings are a lie, both parties will be selling the NBN after it is built which will pay for the infrastructure.
    FTTP includes replacing all hardware at an easy to estimate cost.
    FTTN includes replacing half of the network in budget then struggling with an open ended bill to replace any copper that is not up to scratch.
    FTTN could easily end up costing more than FTTP after repairs and replacement of copper is included but will leave us with lower valued infrastructure to sell.

    Another thing to watch for that may have a detrimental effect on our NBN is the LNPs internet filter they accidentally released without an announcement a couple of days before the election and was defended on radio by Malcolm Turnbull.

    Why shouldn't the mourning last forever? In 20 years time when our internet sucks arse to the degree of impeding progress for our nation, and the regional centres have died off making the capitals more crowded and expensive I'll be looking back and thinking of all the dickheads who voted Liberal this election based on a scare campaign and portfolio of election promises that basically end up as "we're the opposite of those guys". We've potentially lost a national asset that would last 50-100 years for a rubbish network other first world countries are already replacing due to limitations and cost of maintenance. Liberal have totally and ridiculously undercosted the whole thing, just look at how much it has cost per household to connect in Germany, about 4x liberal's "costing" in a more densely populated country. In 10-15 years when they realise fibre to the premises was the way to go as you can never bypass the latency issues of wireless it will cost an astronomical amount more than it would of today.

    Liberal: Lining the pockets of our aging population at the expense of our future.

    Last edited 09/09/13 3:07 pm

      Sadly, I voted Liberal. 8 times.

      2nd last spot in House of Reps, 103-108 in Senate. I just had to put Family First, last.

      Last edited 09/09/13 3:16 pm

      Do you seriously think we're going to be using a physical cable of ANY kind for internet at home in 50 years time??? Are you for real??

        Really? Really?

        You're gonna use the "everything is gonna be wireless in 50 years" card?

        What's feeding that wireless connection in your house, hmm?

        Wired internet will always be a necessity - it forms the backbone of communications across the world. That's not gonna change any time soon.

        Sure we might come up with something that uses magical unicorn farts to transmit large quantities of data, but we still have that teeny little problem of spectrum. Easier just to set up a lot of smaller networks, about the size of a house, being fed by a fat tube than to use a wireless network covering thousands of people.

        Yes? Light travels faster than radio waves. I can't see wireless getting higher bandwidth than fiber and even if it does I cant see it beating a latency that is based on the speed of light.

          Umm... radio waves are light...

          Wifi uses a broadcast style of transmission, which wastes roughly 99% of the energy to the environment, and is also hugely impacted by proximity to source. Advantage - It allows for mobility. The bandwidth of radio waves is dependent on the signal frequency - and that is dependent on the spectrum allowances - which are not infinite.
          The "latency" for both are about the same - however if you are doing error checking on wifi, and you miss a frame or a bit here and there it takes more time to get the whole packet. Whereas on fiber there is generally less error checking required because signal to noise ratio on fiber is nearly zero.

        You do know the Wifi you run at home is just an endpoint, to a physical connection (via your copper telephone wires)?

    Mark my words. slower internet speeds = Hackers from overseas WILL target us. so don't use your credit card online just yet.

      is it just me or when someone says "mark my words" are you instantly sceptical?

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned is how will the change impact the wholesale side of things, and how will the change impact ISPs?

    Surely having such a mix of technologies is going to create higher administrative costs? Will the wholesale price of those areas already on fibre go up compared to those connected to the copper?

    If the copper breaks in an area and has to be replaced with fibre will those customers have to sign up with new services at a higher cost?

    There are a whole heap of new questions raised. I mourn the simplicity of the original NBN concept.

    The liberals logic is flawed in many instances, State or Federal. $8 billion for a 6km tunnel anyone.
    The state government could spent that money on connecting Victoria using FTTP and then spend the left over money on public transport

    Last edited 09/09/13 4:02 pm

    By 2019, it won’t be enough for truly competitive business approaches. That’s being lost across the wider Australia, even if business parks and the like get fibre, because all that’ll do is create islands of fibre. Existing towns that have FTTP — like Armidale — get an advantage there, but Federal Government policy shouldn’t be about islands, unless it’s the entire Island nation of Australia.

    This is the real issue. Right now it's not viable and it will continue to be not viable into the forseable future, which means businesses won't bother implementing anything much beyond what they have had for the last 5 or so years. So in 2019/20, we'll effectively be 15 years behind.. and as we are already at least 5 years behind most other countries (if not more, depending on the country).. that's 20 years behind.

    I think this is what a lot of the people who "don't get it" are failing at realising.. it's not about HD movies, higher fidelity gaming and so on. Those are great and all but the real cost is to the lifestyle choices that could have come about had we been given a network that can support, sustain and leverage 100 and 1000 mbps network speeds. People who already have these fibre connections (the lucky few) are experiencing the joys of being able to work from home, spend more time with their family, driving their cars less (to work and back), using less public transport (to work and back) and generally putting less demand on the community as a result.

      Whoever told you that you need FTTP to be able to work from home was having a lend of you! Even if you are one of the very very few who NEED it, your work should fork out a couple of grand to get you connected....not the tax payer!

      Last edited 09/09/13 4:20 pm