back to article Aussies get gov-backed uber-broadband

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has created a public private partnership to sort out the country's shonky broadband network. Rudd promises to link 90 per cent of Aussie homes, schools and businesses with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. The remaining ten per cent of premises will get wireless or satellite links …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. John B

    Right! Now that they've sorted that

    Can we then have a high-speed rail network running up the east coast as well please? It's Victorian era as well :C

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Mmm lets see...

    ...Aus gov wants to block everything NOT made by Disney / Gov

    Gov builds backbone....

    All interweb under control of Gov....

    Will sell to highest bidder ( /

    And we thought the UK was shit for spying on it's own people.

    now where my Gunpowder and map of Westminster....

  3. Osiris
    Thumb Down

    All that speed....

    ...and nowhere to go.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    By the time they get this lot working the rest of the wired world will be on gigabit connections. We only got 1.5 Mb/s down/256kb/s up ADSL in my area two years ago and nothing better in the foreseeable future. The rural folk will be so happy with satellite giving 12 MB/s down and dialup speeds for uploads.

    As for "new builds" required to have fibre laid is almost beyond belief. Out here in the sticks where I live there is no requirement to have water and power laid to your property. If you've just paid AUD45k to get power and water to your front door I don't think fast net connections are going to high on the shopping list.

    As usual, it'll be perfect for the city dwellers while the bush is left to rot.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's a new one on me. Did it spill over from the other article about sci-fi words?

  6. Oz


    "Quite how this fits in with Australian attempts to trial firewall technology that would effectively censor the internet remains to be seen."

    If the government is the majority shareholder of this company, then I'd have thought it makes it a lot easier. You piggyback introduction of the filtered service with the BB rollout. Of course, if the government sells their shares, then the next majority shareholder could then opt to rip it out again

  7. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: "shonky"?

    It is a common word down our way.

  8. Tony


    Surely if this is going to take 8 years to complete they should be shooting at something a little higher than 100Mb?

  9. Frank

    more re. 'shonky'

    A combination of 'shoddy' and 'wonky' ??

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Whaaa.... "Shonky"

    @Sarah, what no reference to "the bige buke of wurds"

  11. the spectacularly refined chap

    Never going to happen...

    ..given that there was an official denial that the project was going to be cancelled less than a month ago.

  12. Andrew Fraser

    Devil is in the details

    Well I am a vocal critic of the net filter plan by our idiot Comms minister, but if you look at the details, this is not a way to sneak filtering it.

    What this is about, is breaking the back of our incumbent monolopy (Telstra), and updating our infrastructure to something close to the 21st century.

    Telstra owns all the last mile copper, and has been abusing thay monolopy something awful. Now what the government has done, is sidelined them completely, while laying new fibre which we badly need. Every other ISP and provider is cheering at the announcement.

    The plan is to provide a wholesale fibre backbone to all comers. It's still up to individual ISP's as to what filtering, (if any) they want to implement.

    Conroy's Great barrier firewall is dead in the water, or so we hope. If he has to do a deal with Senator Fielding, The Senator for Religious wankers, to get the thing through the senate, then things may change, but I doubt that.

    Rudd has the support of the greens, and the one lone independant they need, won't be hard to win over.

  13. Someone

    Re: Re: "shonky"?

    I apologise for the remarks made by my fellow daggy commentards. We must all brush up on our Antipodean lingo. Strangely, no-one’s had a problem with the word chunder.

    Mine’s the one with the billabong in the pocket.

  14. John Angelico
    Thumb Down

    $43Bn to reward monopoly behaviour of Telstra

    Telstra the monopolist and bad boy of the Broadband Network bidding process is to be rewarded for its bad behaviour in lodging a non-compliant bid (which was correctly rejected).

    Now it will be able to participate in the Public-Private-Partnership (reminds me of Yes, Prime Minister "A Real Partnership" episode).

    AND as it happens to be a large player, no doubt it will have bucket-loads of money to put into it

    Oh, yes, along with all that, it will happily offer a wonderful resource - all that underground conduit for the fibre to run in - all the way to the premises.

    My, my, who'd have thunk it, eh?

    It's a great scheme for cementing the monopolist as the largest player in the Australian telco field.

    And we the mugs will be paying for it!

  15. Michael Fletcher

    glowing and chundering

    Beers flows, men chunder


    Women glow, men plunder.

    You crossed the streams, Oates.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Fast broadband and censorship

    With a little lateral thinking the OZ government could achieve both aims for almost no cost. If they block enough sites, the broadband response times will improve in inverse proportion to a rise in the suicide rates.

  17. James


    The call to proposals to build this network which was scrapped to give us 100Mb/s fibre to the home was only asking for fibre to the node at a minimum of 12 Mb/s. At least we're now going to bypass the aging copper altogether. Given how copper went from dialup to ADSL2+ I'm guessing once the fibre's in the ground and plumbed into people's houses the clever boffins can figure out how to push data through it faster in the future.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John Angelico

    The plan is for the FTTP network to be a separate wholesale provider, which if anything sidelines Telstra completely. It will undercut the value of their copper network, and break their monopoly hold on the Australian fixed line network - although it has 8 years to come up with a competing strategy. Remember Telstra does not build networks, it only project manages others who do (with the actual expertise provided by Ericcson, Lucent et al). This leaves Telstra in a very weak position.

    On top of this the Oz government is also promising a complete review of the telco industry regulation - which is a further threat to Telstra (as it allows the possibility that Telstra could be forced to divest it's HFC network, and/or undergo structural separation).

    The reaction of the Telstra's competitors (whose bids were dubbed "not viable" by the government) is perhaps the most telling with all of them saying this is a better result than they could have hoped for.

  19. Michael Hitchins

    whingers about outdated systems

    although it depends on factors like quality of fibre and distance its pretty clear fibre has a better life span than copper. assuming OM4 it should be ok up to 10gbit, they obviously aim for lower because nothing in the national backbone could currently handle a neighbourhood hooked up at 100mbit let alone faster. upgrading the core and the links out will be a big issue wouldnt you think?

    i just hope they abandon this stupid usage billing system and bill flat rates for speed instead. let people buy in at mbit chunks so if they dont want it all they dont need to pay for it, whereas those that want it all can pay a flat rate for however mbits they want. could you imagine one of telstra's 300MB plans on a 100mbit connection? you'd blink and it'd be gone, where then they'd start billing you $16 a gig over... usage billing surely is only a byproduct of over-contention by stacking on too many customers onto your dslams and shouldnt be the same issue with this network, down with usage billing

  20. Stephen


    The fibre is not the speed limit on the network, that's the switching. That gets cheaper and faster every year and fibre infrastructure just requires the switches to be upgraded to increase the speed. Fibre is the way to go.

    Many here is Australia are saying that wireless would be a better choice but they're really just demonstrating a lack of understanding of physics. Oh, in a former life/occupation I was a Network Engineer designer specialising in achitecting wireless networks, which funnily enough always use fibre as the backbone...

    Now they just have to not screw the implemenation up.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Bring it on

    Let's see the government listens to experts advice regarding NBN but doesn't listen to experts advice regarding internet filter, hmmm.

    Filter aside I couldn't be more happier about this announcement, I said all along FTTH was the way to go, the groups that actually put in valid bids were all over the place and I found the idea of Telstra building the network to be quite repulsive. However the best part about it is that it totally spits in the face of the hypocrites & ISP apologists that frequent idiotic places like Whirlpool "I only need 1.5mbit therefore you only need 1.5mbit and a 1gb download limit, you must be a pirate to want anything more!!!" LOL

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Our Ruddy network.

    Could this actually be a win? This government is only good for printing money and giving it away, to 1/2 of the people ~$900 each this time. There calling it the "Cash splash", or gotta spend my "Ruddy money". So far all of their legislation has broken or backfired.

    They've virtually killed off the solar sector. Put in a carbon trading scheme that's broken from the start and works in the favour of coal. Reconciled with the Aboriginals, but not improved anything for them. Just put the job seeking network into a few months of turmoil at a dammed fine time. Oh and of course changed the legislation regarding employment conditions, the initial version was essentially to change the name of the old one that EVERYONE was worried about, and the new version is guaranteed to keep the high court busy for a few years. Lotta good that will do when people aren't to scared, of the financial crisis, to hire again.

    These Idiots are loved?!?

    This thing is gonna fly like the Challenger. Just hope it hangs together long enough to get fibre.

    The cool thing is that interests in Tasmania have wanted to do stuff like this, but couldn't source the suckers... err funding to make it happen.

    Fingers crossed and living in Tasmania

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Better than anyone expected

    This is REALLY good news.

    It completely leap-frogs past the previous (slow) Fibre-to-the-Node proposals, which simply left Telstra in charge of everything (they own the copper from the node to the premises).

    Fibre to the premises is much faster, and sidelines Telstra completely. Yay!

    Wholesale only, and government control until its complete ,prevents anyone becoming the next Telstra. Yay again!

    I just don't want to wait 8 years for it to get to my place.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Two sides of the same coin

    Monopoly and government. They go hand in hand don't they?

    Let's not forget history: Telstra is a government-created monopoly (last mile cable), it started as a government organisation after all. The problems of Telstra today were caused by the government of yesterday. Now the government of today wants to rectify the problem by creating a new monopoly (nation-wide cable). See a pattern evolving here?

    Let's also not forget what a government is: a monopoly, of several things. It's the only organisation that can use a social contract, it controls the majority of education and health care facilities, it makes the law (codified whims of bureaucrats, political parties, and corporate allies), and it is the only bunch of people that can morally initiate violence.

    Then there is the whole censorship con, which when coupled with this new monopoly will make it so much easier for government to monitor and control the flow of information in and out of the country (at least on the Internet anyway). Don't take my word for it, just look at history. Every time government controls something, you can expect less freedom.

  25. Geoff Lamb

    Re: city dwellers while the bush is left to rot

    You decided to live in the bush knowing the consequences (like people buying a house under a flight path and then complain about the noise.)

    It has been the appeasement of the bush that has held broadband speed back for the rest of us. For a country with one of the highest proportions of the population living in cities we have one of the the slowest networks.

    The other issue is the pipes to the rest of the world - local speeds are almost irrelevant if the speeds to the rest of the internet is the bottleneck!

  26. Michael Nielsen
    Thumb Up


    Note, even if the governement is only aiming at 100Mbit/sec connections does not mean it is limited to such, it is possible, to run 10Gbit/sec on fiber atm, which means that the infrastructure, once the fiber is laid down can be expanded.

    The 100Mbit limit I can understand, because the backbone is where the transfer limits come in, and the backbone requires a lot of work to support.

    Basically by having fiber to the house, then the speed between the house, and the concentrator can be in the 10Gbit range, however if you want to carry 10Gbit on, then you need a huge backbone to handle the traffic, so initially limiting the avg speed to 100Mbit, means the infrastructure is easy to build, and later the backbones can be upgraded, to have large capacities, allowing easy upgrade to much higer speeds.

    I suspect the cost of upgrading the concentrators, and the backbones will exceed the cost of putting in fiber, so it seems to me that to aim for 100Mbit is a good start, the speed is suitable for running live full screen Video On Demand, and most current technologies, thus for the next few years (which is the horizon for this 8 years), 100Mbit symmetric should be adequate, however, when the time comes, and 100Mbit is no longer sufficient then it is possible to upgrade the infrastructure, and boost the speed with up to 100x. Seems to be a very nice visionary approach to me.

    Note Only in the last 6 or so years, has gigabit internal networks in offices become the norm, 10GBit is comming but slowly, thus 100Mbit on the WAN (Wide Area Network), will be quite appropriate as an initial target.

    For those talking about the Bush, the simple facts of life is that reaching 90% of the population costs 10%, but to reach the last 10% costs 90% of the total bill, thus those in the country side, a long way from a town, will miss out - initially, until the very last, but at least, a 12Mbit down stream connection to people outside towns is a pretty reasonable start. However, I know that the electricity industry has already laid out fiber for monitoring their substations via their power lines, it could be interesting for them to open those lines for public usage.

    But the advantage for Australians is huge, the monopoly on connections will be broken, IP telephony can be used to replace the dependence on copper, which will force prices down. Additionally as current ADSL providers are pressured, by competition then prices will fall, and likely you will find that generally even the people in the bush will receive a good service.

    In Denmark, we used to pay up to 5x the price for internet connections compared to our neighbouring countries, and that for a lower speeds, such that the avg connection in Denmark was 512kb/sec, while most neighbouring countries were running 1+ Mbit, for less than the Danes were paying. The power companies then started rolling out fibre, to compete with the established infrastructure monopoly, as well as competitors with FWA started up, and now prices have fallen drastically, such that pricers for 40/40Mbit can be bought for around $AU 80-100, or around 30-40 pounds, with no download limits.

  27. Grant

    @AC @@John Angelico 080012ZAPR09

    One consequence (presumably unintended) of this approach by OzGov is to kill (what remains) of the share price of Telstra. This, in and of itself, is a minor thing - except that the government Future Fund which is supposed to fund all sorts of whizzo stuff, like techno upgrades, consists mainly of Telstra shares. Thus, it seems, that they are killing the very source of the funding for the FTTP network.

  28. Anonymous Coward


    Can we have either "über" or "ueber", please?

    Otherwise you're left with "uber" which rhymes somewhat appropriately with "nubber".

  29. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Uber?

    There's a recession on and we can't afford such typographical fripperies as umlauts. Off with you.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Geoff Lamb

    What a spiffy idea. Let's depopulate the bush and save some money on a decent network. I can't wait to see your suggestion about what city dwellers will eat with no one left to grow the food nor mine the minerals for export.

    Where's the clueless urban arse icon when you need one?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like