Why Simon Hackett Is A Good Deal For NBN Co And NBN Fans Alike

Simon Hackett has joined the board of NBN Co. If you're a fan of the fibre-to-the-home NBN or your name is on that little petition floating about, that probably excites you for no other reason than the fact that you've heard his name before. Simon is actually very sensible. Here's why his joining NBN Co really is quite a good thing.

The best thing about Simon Hackett joining NBN Co is the fact that he's a pragmatist. He believes in a national broadband network, but knows that right now, it's too expensive for wholesalers.

That was the crux of his talk at this year's CommsDay Summit: "Building a Fibre NBN on a Copper Budget". The slides from his talk are above.

He says that the NBN should be like Lotus: a company whose motto went "simplify, then add lightness".

By doing so, Hackett says, you're left with a car with no creature comforts that goes damn fast, and that's what the NBN should be: a place where the telco providers add value for the customer, rather than NBN Co trying to. NBN Co's job is to make it fast and cheap.

The talk focusses on what Simon Hackett thinks would be a good idea to pull out of the network to make it cheaper (or "lighter" as the analogy goes). He doesn't think we need extra-cost Quality Of Service controls on the network or PSTN Voice ports.

This talk is great, and it adds a huge amount of context as to what Simon Hackett will bring to the NBN Co board. He wants a simpler and cheaper NBN, like the Coalition, but still believes it should be fast.

If you can spare 20 minutes, it's well worth watching. [Simon Hackett]



    He wants a simpler and cheaper NBN, like the Coalition, but still believes it should be fast.

    More Coalition propaganda from Luke, first of all that isn't what the Coalition want, they just don't want to upset Murdoch and they also didn't want to admit that Labors plan was good. Plus, information being able to be accessed easily and fast is always bad news for conservative governments, why do you think they are cutting science funding.

    Last edited 12/11/13 2:47 pm

      Plus, information being able to be accessed easily and fast is always bad news for conservative governments

      That ship sailed a long, long time ago. The NBN will make things better for serious coverage, but in terms of damage done to an evil conservative overlord low bandwidth ADSL does just as much.

      coalition propaganda from Luke? Most of his articles on the NBN are anti-Coalition.

      Labor's plan was only good if we had the money and Labor's not the one handling it. Are you seriously so blind you cannot see all the money Labor has wasted and all the deadline that were missed DESPITE the fact that the milestones were continuously being revised down.

        So much Liberal propaganda in this post its disgusting, if you even had a single brain cell you would of realized that the "budget emergency" was just made up shit. Go see what economists were saying about Labors economic management not just what your biased new papers were told to say. But on the NBN, it is something that is designed to be paid for by the users, it could of cost 200 billion and it wouldn't of mattered. No private company would do it because the returns were way too low but for a government trying to improve its country a return of 2-3% is fine.

        Hahaha hilarious, you really don't know much except what you read in Murdoch papers, do you?

      I agree that Luke has very "liberal" views on these sort of things, but he is right on this, Simon Hackett is the first ray of light in this scenario. I have been following his talks for a long time, and he is the best chance we have of getting fiber to the home under a coalition government. Watch the presentation before you spew out slander like this.

        The original post insinuated a Liberal view, not a liberal view. Notice the capitalisation of the 'l'.

      What part of the quote you used is wrong or propaganda. The coalition wants a simpler and cheaper NBN. However the key difference is Simon Hackett wants it to also be fast.

      Most tech people want FTTP over FTTN. We also all know Labor can have good ideas but really sucks at implementing them. Hopefully with Simon's help we can have more of the Labor NBN dream but delivered properly.

      Labors plan was so good that after 2 years it was 1 year behind schedule
      pull your head from your ass please

      Calls of propaganda from a conspiracy theorist... great

        Where did I mention a conspiracy theory? it's true that conservative governments typically don't see the need in educating their people, conservatives rely on fear ie. Asylum Seekers, Gays, Budget Emergencies and Muslims.. you sound like an idiot.

        Last edited 13/11/13 5:15 pm

    Thank goodness! Someone who has built a network and can see the problems with having one supplier and QoS on a massive pipe.

    Well about time got someone like him in.

      Its amazing how knowing one person being voted to a board can bring a smile to your face.... lets just hope its not a token gesture and even though he is there his voice wont be heard or acknowledged.

    Really happy with the result, hope to see a lot of good things under the new NBN Co administration.

    I don't agree, removing things like QOS and the other value add solutions the NBN was to offer will leave large gaps in what was a very well thought out solution.
    If QOS is removed we then have a network that cannot deliver realtime solutions correctly, the multi access points and PSTN all had multi use.

    So the NBN does change the NTU and the idea of removing the copper cable, where does that leave the house hold that needs PSTN bridge or will that then come out at a extra cost to the home?

      The multiple access points should be optional. No reason to give it to everyone because most users will not use them.

      Last edited 12/11/13 4:11 pm

        What an amazingly short sighted view. Bravo!

          It's not short sighted at all. It's cost cutting of non-essential features.

    Not entirely sure Hackett saying his ideal NBN would be like Lotus is a good idea, given the company's history of forced firesales, bankruptcy and mismanagement.

      It's the philosophy not the business model that he is referring to.

    Finally someone with real experience and knowledge in the industry! He brings up a very good and logical argument about the in-home hardware setup. I never understood why all that hardware was necessary. The user and/or ISP should be able to choose how they distribute that bandwidth. It also makes it simpler, cheaper and easier to change software when an upgrade is possible.

    I like Simon, but I disagree with his idea of abandoning voice and IPTV services over fibre.

      If your referring to the above presentation I'm not sure where he was suggesting abandoning VOIP or IPTV. He is suggesting dropping PSTN support and providing a similar service via VOIP or mobile networks.

    A competent man surrounded by vultures. Much like Malcolm Turnbull used to be, before politics got in the way of common sense.

    I think he has done a great job of identifying some of the issues with the current roll out. There seems to have been a lot of backward thinking that lead to far more expensive hardware and a more complex roll out. I can only hope that NBNco heads his advice, I suspect that being a government endeavour (doesn't matter which government really) the best most cost effective choice may not be the one they end up with.

    While it is all good and well to praise this idea, does it mean that rural Australia will no longer be left behind? I thought the idea was to bring the WHOLE nation up to speed not just the cities. Normal liberal gig, claim to be for the little man then ignore them because they don't make up the majority of their votes.

    It's good to have a FTTH proponent on the NBN board, but how do we know he's not going to just end up being a lone voice in a very loud FTTN crowd?

    I get the feeling that there has been a lot of smoke and mirrors, sorry for stating the obvious.

    Very interesting points, and a lot of it makes sense. Why is NBNCo building QoS structure when ISPs can do it? I know NBNCo is seeking to charge more on those VoIP streams for QoS to recover cost, but does the cost need to be there in the first place?

    All in all, Simon is a refreshing voice in the doom and gloom of FTTH, I think he makes a lot of good points. No doubt he is looking at a very simplified structure that gives greater control of features to the ISP and I believe that's the way to go.

    Like some above posters has said, well...let's see if the vultures let him.

    This seems like a good outcome for the as yet unreleased Liberal plan - Get Simon onboard prior to the plan so he can have input into it's development.

    I am a little concerned now that he must have signed confidentiality clauses in his appointment and wonder if he now is restricted in making public statements that aren't sanctioned by NBN.

    As a neutral critical voice he has assisted in honing the debate to a fine point of pragmatism - I hope this continues and has significant influence on the new plan.

    PS: our company has shed close to 50% of our workforce in the last 3 months - this industry needs a good boost after the enema we were forced to accept - sure, we cleaned out some garbage but also some fantastic engineers and designers.

    Everybody seems to think he is there to push a revised and cheaper FTTH version.

    Call me a pessimist but isn't it more likely that he is there to help deliver the cheapest version of FTTN possible?

    "Simon, you came up with a cheap way to do FTTH, now find a really cheap way to do FTTN. Here is some money."

    According to the liberals they have a mandate to deliver FTTN.

      I think it's presently impossible to predict - once the review is released in early december it's still months from a revised plan.
      The review will criticise the Labor implementation, say it cost private companies dollars in wages and design and construct issues (our company received a letter from Malcolm asking to describe how they spent money on wages, firing people, over-employing with low-expertise etc.) which will be blamed on NBN's over-engineered plan.
      It'll still be a month or three before a revised plan comes out - only then will it become apparent why Simon has been onboarded at NBN.

      I'm trying to remain optimistic but I'm planning for the pessimistic outcome ie: closed my wallet and paying down all the debt I can prior to unemployment!

      Somehow i dont think so... Simon's been a very pro FTTP supporter for a very long time, it's unlikely that he'd just up and change his principles for a few $$$ considering that he's a founder of one of the major ISP's in this country and doesnt need the money...

      [quote]I'm certainly not there to be a passenger.[/quote]

      "Simon, you came up with a cheap way to do FTTH, now find a really cheap way to do FTTN. Here is some money."

      He's on the board, not the engineering team.

    I agree with Mr Hackett in what he says in part, PSTN and IPTV can go straight down the gurgler providing such services is a waste of time.

    PSTN: has been on the way out for the last 5 years or so, the big businesses already have reaped the benefits using SIP and its now starting to trickle through to the commercial sector through consumer voice apps it will only take the right enterprising shark to take advantage and PSTN is history.

    IPTV: whats the point of providing dedicated channels when people can VPN straight to the US and get content straight off HBO or whatever (this being the reason why Murdoch is scared shitless of an all fibre network).

    Dont get me wrong, a government news channel and a few Aussie news streams should still be maintained but the rest considering it'll be content on demand and prices will be cheaper not having a middle man (murdoch) in the way can bite the dust.

    However i dont agree with what he says about only having a singular port on the NTU, consumers will not benefit from wanting to change providers but due to cutover fees have to pay an additional unnecessary fee of $X to cancel the existing contract and make the churn process go smoothly. It's that or go without internet for an unspecified period of time.

    Having said that, if cross WDM were implemented if could make for a radical change in the design and architecture of this here network.

    Last edited 13/11/13 10:58 am

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