Why The NBN Isn't Selling Gigabit Internet Yet

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This op-ed from NBN's chief executive Bill Morrow is being posted to the National Broadband Network company's blog today, and is being republished here in full by Gizmodo. Do you agree with his explanation? Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments.


Bio: Mr Morrow was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a Director of nbn effective 2 April 2014. He joined nbn with a remit to ensure all homes, businesses and communities across Australia can access fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices and at least cost. Prior to his present role Mr Morrow served as CEO of Vodafone Australia.

On NBN's blog — Gigabit Broadband: The Facts

There has been a lot of discussion in recent days around the need for Gigabit broadband in Australia – let’s set some things straight…

The nbn™ network is here to bring fast broadband to all of Australia by 2020 – more than 4 million premises already have access to fast broadband via the nbn™ network today.

In just a few months we will be at the halfway point of the rollout. Next year we will be three quarters built. By 2020 we will be complete. What once seemed impossible is now a reality.

I was asked last week by the media about the need for Gigabit (Gbps) speeds in Australia. These are lines that are 40 times faster than plans based on our most popular 25Mbps wholesale service.

The fact is nbn™ already offers a wholesale 1Gbps product to retail service providers – which RSPs can make available to more than 1.5 million homes, and has been on sale for around four years.

Currently, there are no retail 1Gbps speed plans on offer from the retailers. This is, in our opinion, because there is still minimal consumer demand for these ultra-fast speeds – especially at the prices retailers would have to charge for them.

Our own data shows that 83 per cent of people on services powered by the nbn™ network today are ordering retail services based on the two lowest wholesale speed tiers 25/5Mbps and 12/1Mbps.

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There is currently around a $20-$30 monthly difference between what retailers charge for plans based on our 25/5Mbps wholesale service and our 100/40Mbps wholesale service – but only 13 percent of end-users are willing to pay that relatively small premium for access to that faster tier.

We have to be realistic about what the market is actually telling us about demand for ultra-fast services.

Of course, the demand for Gigabit speeds could, and probably will, change – current plans for FTTP and DOCSIS 3.1 HFC suggest they will be able to deliver such speeds to around 5 million premises on the nbn™ network by 2020 and the other parts of our network, with the exception of satellite, have upgrade paths to offer the same ultra-fast speeds when demand comes around.

Rather than build for a demand that may materialise in ten years, we are constructing a national network capable of continuous upgrading to meet market needs as and when they arise. There is little point in adding to the already high $49 billion cost of the nbn™ network to provide a capability that end users do not yet require and RSPs are not selling.

Gigabit demand

We spend a lot of time researching overseas markets about Gigabit speeds, and the trends are not what you might think.

We have met with global operators offering 1Gbps services and they willingly concede that their end-users are simply not using speeds anywhere near 1Gbps – in fact they would be lucky to actually ever use a fraction of that speed – so, at present, the Gigabit game is really about marketing, not actual utility.

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Even in a heavy usage household right now it’s likely you’d struggle to generate the need for anything close to a 1Gbps –if you had five 4K TVs streaming 4K movies simultaneously then that’s only around 100Mbps being consumed – leaving 900Mbps idle.

Given that the vast majority of current online video viewing is in SD or HD – requiring only 2Mbps-5Mbps then a 1Gbps pipe would be enough to stream 200 HD streams simultaneously – way, way beyond the requirements of a normal household.

Cost is the key

Of course, if we were in a position to deliver 1Gbps for $49/month, as they do in Singapore, then we would do it – but we are simply not in that position from an economic point of view.

The fact is that Singapore is a city state, comprising of high density apartment buildings – and Australia is over 10,000 times larger than Singapore. The Singaporean Next Generation National Broadband Network [NGNBN] cost only a fraction of what it will cost to build the nbn™ network.

The nbn™ network is costing around $49 billion to build – and we need to recoup that cost –given that our business model is split between driving revenues from access and consumption charges, we simply cannot match the kind of 1Gbps pricing on offer in markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong you can deliver FTTP for as low as $150 per premises – in comparison, thanks to Australia’s unique geographical and population density situation, it is costing us an average of $4,400 to connect every FTTP premises and can cost significantly beyond that in many situations – these are the stone cold facts of the matter and there is no getting away from them.

Many roads to gigabit speeds

If you want evidence that we are taking the right approach, you need only look at what is happening in the US with Google Fiber. Last October, the internet giant announced that it would be putting its much publicised FTTP deployment on hold and would look at new ways to deliver ultra-fast broadband.

Google Fiber found that viable economics for Gigabit broadband simply did not exist once the initial hype of the project had faded and the product hit the streets.

Indeed, respected writer Farhad Majoo pointed this out in an article published through Slate in 2013.

[Google Fiber] felt a little underwhelming. After all, who needs to play five HD videos at the same time? If that’s Google’s best demo of its superfast service, what does it suggest about what regular people will do with it?

What’s more, the demo didn’t even begin to approach the limits of Google Fiber — with five HD videos playing simultaneously there were still hundreds of megabits left on the pipe. When I got back home a few days later, I replicated the same test on my home broadband line and experienced only a few hiccups.

Ultimately even a company with a huge amount of capital available such as Google Fiber found that digging up driveways and gardens to connect every single premise to FTTP was too expensive and time consuming.

Google ultimately concluded that they could not make it work commercially offering Gigabit FTTP broadband at just $70/month.

We are still waiting to see what Google Fiber will do next – reports suggest that it will move towards a Fixed-Wireless solution – but quite clearly their conclusion was that the economics of delivering gigabit speeds via FTTP simply did not add up.

That’s not to say that Google Fiber didn’t have an impact in the market – their presence forced the incumbents to raise their game with the likes of AT&T now marketing FTTP access to 4 million premises across 46 metros, but this still represents only 3 per cent of the near 130 million premises in the US – we are talking about a niche market.

Markets like Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan started their deployment of high-speed broadband in the late 1990s and having fully recouped their investments in delivering FTTB with VDSL – typically offering up to 100Mbps – are now delivering 1Gbps and even 10Gbps via FTTP.

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For a variety of reasons, our broadband upgrade in Australia started much later, so we cannot judge ourselves against markets like these; they are much further along on their journey and you just can’t compare Australia to Singapore or Hong Kong for obvious reasons including those stated above.

This is why operators around the world are so excited about technologies like DOCSIS 3.1 and G.fast, which allow Gigabit broadband to be deployed at substantially lower price points and in far less time than it takes to deploy Gigabit services over FTTP – and we will see both of these technologies emerge much more fully in the next few years globally as well as here in Australia.

In conclusion

We know that people in Australia want access to fast internet – that is precisely what we are aiming to deliver with the nbn™ network.

We also know that 1Gbps speeds are simply way beyond what even the most advanced end-user needs today, let alone what is needed by regular families across Australia.

There is literally not a single mass market consumer application – or even a combination of applications – that requires 1Gbps capability right now.

This will change in the future, especially as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, 8K technology and virtual reality penetrate our daily lives.

In fact, we hope that by delivering a fully connected continent we can help create a market for Gigabit applications – and when Australians need those kinds of speeds we will have the solutions in place to provide it.

Bill Morrow is CEO of nbn.

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Comments

    Ctl+F "CVC", nope, no mention of the real issue here. The fact nbn (tm) is absolutely reaming ISP for the CVC pricing, which makes any upgraded speeds beyond current ADSL offerings completely uneconomical.

    Interesting the capital cost for installation is mentioned here, as an excuse not to provide higher speed services. The capital cost for a 1Gbs service is the same as that of a 12Mbs service, with the current FttP technology used. There is a higher operation cost, of course, but no mention of that.

    It's bizarre the justifications here, contradictory at every turn. Complaining about higher capital costs, yet only building short term network needs, why don't you build a network that will last 30-40 years, instead of one that will last 3, then you won't need to recoup the capital cost over such a short space? Hell, even the eventual sale of the company will be much better, if it's set up to provide a suitable service for 40 years, instead of one that's already obsolete.

    Of course we don't get any of that here, nbn (tm) has lost it's way. Bending over to political whims, instead of delivering infrastructure for the future of this nation. If Bill Morrow had one iota of guts, he'd stand up against the political bullshit and deliver what we really need here.

      Are you sure about that? RSPs will always claim their supplier costs are too high to disclaim away any undesired subscriber activity or pricing.

      It happened (still happens) now with Telstra's wholesale (copper) product pricing being blamed as 'too expensive' by all the resellers... Why would they come out and say ... 'oh yeah - our own internal costs are too high which is why '.

      It's a convenient way to direct attention away from the excessive cost inefficiencies incurred but RSPs call centers, poor processes and the cost of marketing.

      If you really want to bring up driving cost control within NBN, focus on their contract labour supplier overhead costs instead and not get hung up on technology access types.

        There's enough competition in the market to show that there is serious constraint on what ISPs can resell from nbn at certain prices.

        "not get hung up on technology access types"

        When did they get hung up on technology access types? Please don't use the term "technology agnostic" if you reply.

        Last edited 15/02/17 4:03 pm

        CVC currently costs RSPs over $15 per Mbps per month.

        A real 100Mbit uncontested connection is $1500 before hardware costs and overheads.

          My understanding is that the first 150 Mbps is either free or heavily subsidised, which is part of the problem. Its cheap to service a 200 Mbps capacity pipe across the 32 properties, its not cheap to service 2 Gbps capacity (if they were to offer 1 Gbps), or even 400 Mbps if they decided to offer a 200/80 service.

          Thats one of the main dramas as I understand it anyway - the cost of servicing the higher capacity cant be easily offset to enough users.

          To use your $15, that means around $28k/month in RSP costs, needing to be recouped before they even start on their own internal costs and turn a profit. A cost they pass on to the consumer and what residence would be happy paying $1000/month for internet?

          It will need addressing in the very near future if NBN is ever serious about the slightest chance of 1 Gbps. So yes, its the RSP's that are holding off from offering the option, but its NBN costs that are causing them to hold off. Its simply not viable costwise to either them or the consumer.

      Nice try Morrow, what you actually meant to say is there is no residential demand for a $300/mo internet connection.

      Make gigabit $30/mo and see the demand then!

      I want nbn to charge retailers the max possible. The taxpayer should not be subsidising faster internet for those who want higher speeds at lower cost. Any reduction of nbn wholesale prices just shifts more costs of the program onto us. After that clueless Conroy first stuffed up with the grand gesture of fttp it has already wasted enough

        Yes Conroy the man who had to explain to the coalition spokesman that when we find something faster than light then maybe it will be used for data transfer. The Technological dark ages are still upon us with the multi technology mix NBN would have cost bugger all more for FTTP with Fixed wireless and Satellite filling the small gaps not as it is now with a huge number of FTTN, Fixed wireless and a much higher usage of satellite. My property on Tasmania's west coast was going to be either FTTP or Fixed wireless, now satellite and un usable as I do remote IT support for a living so looks like I have to stay put. Its Luddite right wing me , me, me arses that are the ruination of this country!

    because there is still minimal consumer demand for these ultra-fast speeds – especially at the prices retailers would have to charge for them.

    That is the problem right there, you make something too expensive and then say 'people don't want it'.
    1Gbps speeds are simply way beyond what even the most advanced end-user needs today, let alone what is needed by regular families across Australia.
    Any family with multiple, multiple hundreds of gigabytes of photos and videos and music that would like to backup to cloud services would welcome decent upload speed.
    Gigabit speeds are as much about being able to use cloud services as backups and transfers as anything else. This old argument that lots of people can watch netflix and game at the same time without needing gigabit is wearing thin.

    People aren't using gigabit as it is too expensive, if they did have it, the usage would increase heavily as things become possible that are not feasible on slower connections.

    Last edited 15/02/17 10:38 am

      But hang on, a 100/40 connection at full steam can upload about 432GB a day by extremely rough maths. These things dont need to be uploaded instantaneously, they can trickle.

      Not to mention that this upload wouldnt affect the other people in the house watching netflix, as that is download speed.

      We have 100/40 at home and even with 4k streaming services on all the time, a few game and movie downloads a month we are struggling to crack 500GB.

      Honestly I dont think I'd notice much if we reduced our speed to 25mbps.

      99.9% of household users are going to get almost zero benefit out of 1gbps. Business users, thats another story, but fast connections are available for $$$.

        Honestly I dont think I'd notice much if we reduced our speed to 25mbps.
        and you'd get 5Mbps upload, yay!

        25Mbps aint terrible, but with multiple users it's fairly 'meh'
        I had 35Mbps Cable with 2 users, and we'd both notice it at times. But, our upload was 1Mbps too...

        Currently I'm on 50Mbps (ish) down, 3.5Mbps up. Generally don't notice anything with 3 of us streaming videos, etc. even while downloading. It's fairly aids for cloud storage though. :(

        Ping sucks dong too.

        Still, you know, don't build for the future or anything, coz you only need 64KB!

        k streaming services on all the time, a few game and movie downloads a month we are struggling to crack 500GB

        I think 500GB is enough for most house holds these days, as long as certain content (ie netflix/youtube) is either unmetered, or used reasonably. For a while we had a third guy use our cable connection (35Mbps), and alone he managed to smash around 75% of our 500GB cap in 10 days, only using Netflix (only at 1080p too) - to be fair, he's an extreme case.

          yeah I agree with the comments here, the download speeds aren't the problem.

          I'm on 100Mbps cable and it's fine for gaming, downloads etc BUT I'm on a max of 2.4Mbps upload so I can't use cloud services very well, I can't stream to twitch or youtube gaming so that as an option for a potential part time job is out of the question until the upload speeds are improved.

          For the record my area is set to be acquired by the NBN late 2018 where they'll just buy the Telstra cable, so I'll be on the same service for the foreseeable future :(

          A lot of people would love 1Gbps and feel the difference too. I am part of the statistics that "opt" for 25Mbps/5Mbps...Except I'm not opting for it that's all I can get. As for most of the population in WA so it seems. Like just give me 1Gbps FTTP for Christ's sake.

          I don't personally use my upload bandwidth much so not really an issue, could still use RDP and grab files when necessary on ADSL2 with 1mbps upload.

          Don't forget most cloud services unless they're paid will never actually let you get near your rated bandwidth, Dropbox etc will give you 5-10mbps upload if you're lucky.

          Probs more if you pay monthly fees I guess.

        You're forgetting that the NBN DOESN'T just service home users. It services business as well. Any small-medium sized business must have at least 1GB connection to maintain any productivity with multiple users. Each user at minimum would have an email connection and depending on the business will more than likely be dealing with large files so cloud services galore. (Office 362, derp box, azure etc) On top of each employee watching cat videos on youtube.

        Then their are the medical centers (GP's), pathology labs and other medical services that all have very very large benefits of being able to transfer their very large files with urgency.

        Last edited 17/02/17 9:33 am

    What a god damn crackpot. There's no uptake on 1Gb NBN because the only areas that would have access to it (FTTP) dont need it and the areas that would use it/need it have FTTN so the service isnt capable of it. But seeing as this moron used to work for vodafone he probably doesnt know his elbow from his arse anyway.

    Had some moron NBN spokes person come speak to all the businesses on the commercial strip where I work tooting on about how NBN is going to change how we run our businesses in the coming year. Our rollout isnt scheduled till at least 2018 and is going to be WAY to slow for our needs by then. It'll change our business alright, we are going to be forced to move to remain competitive! Trying to run a computer repair shop on a flakey 4-5Mbit connection is hard enough as it is.

    Markets like Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan started their deployment of high-speed broadband in the late 1990s and having fully recouped their investments in delivering FTTB with VDSL – typically offering up to 100Mbps – are now delivering 1Gbps and even 10Gbps via FTTP.

    So we start more than a decade later, and then offer the speeds they were offering last century?

    You can't ever compare Australia to Hong Kong or Singapore.

    You can, however, compare Sydney Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide to Hong Kong and Singapore. And it would be much more justified to place the country into 2 or even 3 tiers of broadband infrastructure. 1Gigabit for FTTP for major cities and a mixed technology package for the smaller cities and outback...

      As someone who lives outside the major areas but has business dealings that require a fast internet I think your idea is a bad one. The further we move away from this antiquated idea that cities are the repositories of the elite and elite services the better.

        I agree, this kind of thinking only drives up cost's of living in inner cities and makes the outer suburbs/regional areas less desirable.

          Anyone on FTTP, FTTN, or Fixed wireless is already paying to launch those 2 satellites.

        It's less the antiquated idea that cities are the repositories of the elite and that elite services the better, it's more that it's cheaper to service a higher density. An FTTB line in HK supplies close to a thousand people compared to maybe 50-100 in Australia...

        you could of course bite the bullet and leverage the fact that we have double the tax rate of Hong Kong to pay for services in the country (which I'm actually all for) but apparently Canberra doesn't like to do that...

      That turns into an argument between capitalism and socialism.

      Capitalist: Regional citizens pay hundreds more to access the infrastructure because that's how much it costs to service them.

      Socialist: The "city elite" pay above the odds for access to the infrastructure to spread the cost of servicing the regional areas at level prices.

      I lean towards to Socialist reasoning in this case, as the prices that regional people would pay under "the market / capitalist" ideology would pretty much price them out of the market which, I think, would have significantly detrimental effects on regional areas - a lot of them are dying quickly enough as it is without cutting off their Internet access as well.

    People don't need electric lights when they have kerosene lamps! People don't need sewerage when septic tanks work fine!

    Last edited 15/02/17 5:06 pm

      Septic tanks?! That's a bit fancy. Surely it's an outhouse and bucket that gets emptied every few days by a bloke that comes down the back lane with a horse drawn cart!

      "Sceptic tanks" are just what we need!

    Well, that's given me a good laugh this morning.

    When the client wants a backup I load the content onto a HD and courier it to them. Trying to upload to the cloud means waiting a week.

    I love the argument against gigabit that people generally don't need it that fast. When I drive (around the city) I generally can't go faster than 40Kmh so that would be an argument for restricting cars to 40Kmh???

      Actually a lower speedlimit in the city can/(may-in some cases) result in shorter transit time, less congestion etc provided the speed enforced is reasonably close to the "resonant" speed of the system (we needs(sic) autonomous cars because humans are to emotional and stupid for their own good), old adage: "less haste more speed".

      possibly analogous to data transfer. poorly matched waveguides can wreak havoc.

    This is quite a circular argument, we don't need fast Internet because the Internet we're used to is built for a slow connection. Look at the 4K streaming example. A 4K video stream only needs 20Mbps, with extreme compression. A "true" Ultra HD Blu Ray puts out at up to 128Mbps. Video games now come in sizes around 50GB a piece, wouldn't it be great to live stream the files for a game instead of downloading it first? Wouldn't it be great to have the cars be the limit of speed, not the road?

      It's the same every time someone wants to hide what's really going on.

      "If you build it, they will come"
      vs.
      "If you don't build it, there's no demand, so why build it?"

      A place I worked always ran out of a particular product. This was never fixed because they would look at their monthly reports and see that X were purchased during the month, so they make sure that X can be purchased for the forthcoming months. Missing the fact that there was demand for X+Y.

      Context. If the context is missing, someone's lying to you.

    I will be moving to Switzerland shortly, which I may add is horrendously expensive to live. I have done some research on ISP's etc. I can get 500mbit/s connections, 180 TV channels with HD recorder and replay stuff and free calls throughout Switzerland for only CHF 129 a month. Unlimited downloads etc. Plus I can add a mobile plan for another CHF 29 a month.

    Yes Switzerland is a tiny country with high density living, but Australia should not use that as an excuse not to deliver a future proof product that will ultimately pay itself off. Focus on the main cities which have a large population and where the majority of people live. Once that is up and running and a steady revenue is in place focus on providing the best connections possible for the outlining country towns etc.

    Thanks to all Gods of Internet, I have 40-70 Mbps on HFC, and it is radically different to mediocre 10 Mbps of last 10 years.
    Do I need more? Not on average day, but occasionally I do.
    Why gigabit? Could they sell 200/400/500/750 Mbps?

      I like that idea, sell 100/200/etc.

    I bet if they offered 1gbps for 49 dollars, everyone would get it. In fact, that should be the only speed you should be getting but have different charges for download limits

      Its strange. We used to have one speed, with different charges for download limits, while America had unlimited downloads, and paid for different speeds. Thats what everyone here wanted.

      Fast forward to today, and its the reverse. We have unlimited downloads, and different speeds, while the US has largely moved to a download charge, and now people want to move back to that.

      If we had just the one tech, it works, but in a world of different technologies though, I cant see it working. Not easily anyway. We already have 5 technologies (plus mobile broadband and legacy stuff all the way back to dialup) and another probably on the way. Need to unwind all of that, which aint gonna happen.

    He does have a point and many will scream at me for this but having a 1Gigabit connection, doesn't mean the person paying for it will ever use a full Gigabit of download. They may use 25 or 50 of it at one time. Unless you are torrent everything, which would be great in all honesty. Of course there is no mention of NBN or ISPs having to continuly supply the speed you pay for. I remember reading some where that they only need to do that once a day so if you pay for 25Mbits download, then you could have 10Mbits and once a day for an hour you might have 25Mbits. That's painful and if that's true and I remember correctly, if you pay for 1Gigabit connection you might only get 25 and once a day get 1Gigabit. With places like apartment buildings they have one pipe that might be a gigabit and that might be shared between 50 connections in the building so if you pay for a Gigabit connection and everyone in that building is on the internet, you wouldn't get the speed you pay for anyway

      I was going to say similar. Thing is, at every point we've gotten improved technology, you can argue the very same thing. There was no need for the speeds of ADSL2, ADSL, 256k cable, or even 56k dialup back in the day.

      In every situation, social, business, or entertainment needs came in to fill the capacity provided to the point theres no way you would rewind to an earlier tier now.

      Build it, and reasons to use it will arise. Not necessarily over night, but before you realise it, it'll be needed, and by that point it'll be too late. I remember when I got ADSL2 at my place, broadly 10 years ago (had it elsewhere, this was a place I bought), and had one product use that connection. The 6 Mbps I was able to get was enough.

      Several years later, I realised I had a half dozen items all connecting at the same time. Today its around a dozen. Day to day usage has grown, and my capacity was no longer enough. Thankfully I have FttP now so it is, but it was indicative of how usage grew to fill (and then some) capacity.

    Should the title read: "Why RSP's are not selling Gigabit NBN yet?"

    Gigabit internet? Hahahahahahaha don’t make me laugh.

    I get 7-10Mbps down on my NBN FTTN connection. It’s actually slower than my ADSL2 connection, somehow.

    Maybe nobody is paying for more than 25Mbps down because they can’t get even that, let alone more.

    I am getting pretty fed up with this fact not being reported. NBN can’t even meet its promise of providing 20th century internet, despite spending at least A$46b. And they want to talk about gigabit?

    Bill Morrow is a joke and should resign immediately.

      Totally this!
      FTTN is too congested already-It is bad tech and I keep getting told it can be upgraded via some technology in the future that has a "d and a 3.1" in it, but as of right now it's rubbish and in la la land. I am on a 100/40 plan after being connected 3 weeks ago in Ashburton/Victoria and during peak times 5pm-10pm I struggle to get 30Mbits/s down and 20Mbits/s up. I have spent far too long on the phone to hacks at Telstra telling me to reboot my modem (if I get told to do this again I'll scream or cry), to finally get them to admit it's a traffic issue because of FTTN. Therefore, why would I stay on the 100/40 package paying top $???????? I would however if I was getting what I pay4.
      If this is happening everywhere OF COURSE everyone is on the lower packages because the NBN paid for a system that can only achieve those low speeds!
      The future is indeed going to include cloud storage (the only way to truely back your info up because what is the point of having a second box in your house that gets destroyed by a fire?) and Augmented/Virtual Reality (Vive is amazing and exists now) and Higher Def/3D/interactive movies/experiences/virtual travel-try Google Earth VR-wow! etc. Of course faster speeds are needed - there is published research that says the faster your access to digital information (read: education), the smarter your country becomes.
      Sheesh, proper problem identification is needed before comment is made. Please government move our country ahead of the pack instead of being the weak member at the back of the herd that gets taken out by smarter nations.
      I and many other implore you to listen because we are in fact quite smart!

    It seems like Bill Morrow is conveniently ignoring users like yourself. I wonder how many other people are having such low speeds with FTTN.

    Last edited 15/02/17 1:17 pm

    Currently, there are no retail 1Gbps speed plans on offer from the retailers. This is, in our opinion, because there is still minimal consumer demand for these ultra-fast speeds – especially at the prices retailers would have to charge for them.

    No kidding, because just the CVC to provide 1Gbps for even 25% of the time would cost ISPs $4000 a month.

    There is currently around a $20-$30 monthly difference between what retailers charge for plans based on our 25/5Mbps wholesale service and our 100/40Mbps wholesale service – but only 13 percent of end-users are willing to pay that relatively small premium for access to that faster tier.

    That’s because a whole lot of people on FTTN physically can’t reach 100/40, even if congestion was a non-issue. Why would they pay for something they can’t get?

    In Hong Kong you can deliver FTTP for as low as $150 per premises – in comparison, thanks to Australia’s unique geographical and population density situation, it is costing us an average of $4,400 to connect every FTTP premises and can cost significantly beyond that in many situations – these are the stone cold facts of the matter and there is no getting away from them.

    That’s because you’re lumping both opex and capex into the $4400 CPP for FTTP – and conveniently leaving opex out of the calculation for FTTN, where it’s by far the single greatest expense – because you’re paying Telstra to put in new copper and then renting it back off them.

    This is why operators around the world are so excited about technologies like DOCSIS 3.1 and G.fast, which allow Gigabit broadband to be deployed at substantially lower price points and in far less time than it takes to deploy Gigabit services over FTTP – and we will see both of these technologies emerge much more fully in the next few years globally as well as here in Australia.

    Gee, it sure is a good thing that nbn co aren’t even deploying their FTTdp with G.fast – which has never been tested outside of 3m copper in a lab anyway.

    "What once seemed impossible is now a reality"

    In regards to FTTH for 96% of Australia's population:
    "What once was promised is now a fantasy"

    Thanks Bill, thanks Malcolm. Hopefully we can thank a more visionary government in the future to "do it once, do it right, do it with fiber".

    Does he not realise the impact that $30 every month could make to a larger family who could use that extra speed for multiple users?
    The pure & simple reason that the majority of users are on 12 or 25Mbps plans is because they can barely justify the price gouging that occurs already, let alone adding another $30 to it!

      Before the NBN didn't larger families have a landline, ADSL2, and a number of mobile phones. Surely getting an NBN plan that costs $30 more would be offset by the "free" calls you would now make to those phones for which you used to pay for?

    Our own data shows that 83 per cent of people on services powered by the nbn™ network today are ordering retail services based on the two lowest wholesale speed tiers 25/5Mbps and 12/1Mbps.

    Yeah... you reckon that might have anything to do with the fact that most flyers I've received in the mail, and ads I've seen everywhere, don't actually advertise the speed?
    They just say "$59/month for unlimited data on NBN". It's not til you actually go to the ISP's website that you realize it's only 12 or 25.
    Most mum and dad customers would just call up and say "sign me up" without asking any questions about speed etc, cos I'd bet most of them don't even know that there's different tiers.
    i currently have my ADSL2 with TPG and pay $49 a month. I got a message from them once NBN was available in my street, saying I could get unlimited data for $59 a month. Upon investigation (which required actually going part way through the signup process to find) I discovered it's only 12mpbs. Like what?! You want me to pay $10 more a month for slower internet?! Get farked! I get 14mpbs on my ADSL!
    i have actually signed up for the switch though, but for a much better plan of unlimited data on a 100/40 connection for $59/mth.
    I'd say the 83% of people they refer to just don't have a clue. "It's NBN, it MUST be faster!"

    Here are some uses of fast (up to gigabit) connections:

    -Someone wants to send you a 2GB video they just took from their 4K drone - cool I got it in seconds.
    -Uploading all your photos, videos and music to a cloud service, and keeping your data synced.
    -Downloading that same data to a new machine
    -Daily backups to the cloud - eg full HDD image of a business critical machine, or your gaming rig, or whatever!
    -Storing all your files in the cloud - you wouldn't need a 4TB NAS anymore if you could upload and download all your data to the cloud at the same speed as on your LAN. You wouldn't even need a 500GB SSD in your new PC since you can just get it off dropbox or icloud or google drive or whatever almost instantly.
    -Small business VPN links between sites - instantly share data as if it were on your LAN, rather than waiting for 10 minutes for the autocad file you want to copy across..
    -Download new games (several GB?) in seconds or minutes, eg on Steam
    -Send your mum your latest holiday photos & videos in seconds
    -Download that 300MB HP printer driver in three seconds rather than 10 minutes
    -Download the new Win10 update (several GB), in less than a minute
    -Drive investment and business opportunities in regional and rural areas - some businesses only need fast internet and they can do business from anywhere
    -Anything you can think of, or haven't thought of yet!!

    FFS get over this 'most people don't need fast internet to stream video' garbage...

    You might not be able to send small amounts of data really quickly, but you can watch a movie... porn, wink wink... porn. You know, porn. That's all you really want it for isn't it?

    I keep adding telepresence and the nbn together and keep coming up with 'Robby the Robot'. What's up with that?

    Our own data shows that 83 per cent of people on services powered by the nbn™ network today are ordering retail services based on the two lowest wholesale speed tiers 25/5Mbps and 12/1Mbps.

    I hate reading that statement with so much passion. It's a cop out of epic proportion. I was on the 100/40 plan when I signed up, and I cant even get 12/1Mbps actual speed, so I changed plans after having 5 tech call outs who told me it's as good as its going to get because I am located more than 1050m from the pillar and the copper to my house is terrible and my line wont give a stable reading on their diagnostic tools. I got told to give up on 'fast' internet by the NBN.

    I have begged and pleaded for help, all I want is fast internet, I was so excited when I heard I was getting NBN, and then it was delayed 5 times over the next year. Finally I get it and its no better than ADSL was, upload is marginally better, download is consistently worse. Biggest letdown in recent history.

    But you read your data as I don't want better speed because I am connected to a low plan, and 83% of us are all saying the same thing so why bother with faster speeds?

    You sir, are an idiot.

    Maybe we are all stuck with inferior fttn technology and can't get anything faster so why pay extra for it?

    You should release a report on customer sync speeds. Let us all know how you are actually doing instead of twisting stats to blame us for your mistakes.

    Last edited 15/02/17 6:28 pm

    Blah blah blah. Really? People prefer the connections that are affordable. I'd settle for an NBN connection that delivers the same speed that I currently enjoy on cable. The NBN wants me to pay more for a slower connection over the same cable. Like private health insurance, I'm probably subsidising a babyboomer parasite's lifestyle choices and an FTTP connection.

      Ha ha, you have a slow internet connection and it's not the LNP's fault for neutering the NBN but some unnamed older person who happens to live near a fibre optic cable.

    The only reason i have the lower tier is price put the higher pricesat under 80 dollars a month then yeah would love the higher speeds. Means more than one person can watch hd netflix and off site work. Asit is atm, im on a budget

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