back to article Get your numbers right, NBN Co tells Economist

The Economist Intelligence Unit, which The Register had reason to criticize back in February, is still on the attack regarding Australia’s planned National Broadband Network. Touting the latest edition of its nearly-$AU3,000 international broadband study, the EIU pulled out the “screaming red” headline stop, labeling Australia …


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  1. Paul 25
    Thumb Up

    Thumbs up for Scott Ludlam

    You've got to love Aussie politicians. I'm sure they are just as bad as everyone else's for being venal and corrupt lying bastards, but they do like to speak their minds.

    We could do with at bit more of that straight talking here, rather than all the passive and indirect speech crap we get.

    1. mathew42

      Unfortunately the straight talkers in Australian politics also tend to have some daft policies - Katter, Joyce and Ludlam are three that come to mind. The rest probably have daft policies but just keep quiet.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But aren't the quote 13m homes to be passed going to involve a somewhat higher cost than the quoted AU$27b? If you're going to correct one you should at least pull the other into line.

  3. JibberJabberBadger

    Miles and miles of bugger all

    Australia maybe a tad on the large size, but in terms of where the population actually lives, well a huge proportion live in and around 10 or so cities - so the argument that it costs so much as it's a bloody big place does not stack up. I'll have to dig out the stats from wherever I found them, but Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world (in terms of where its population lives) after the usual suspect city states. Mind you, if I get a better service than I currently get from the incumbent telco, (AUS$120 a month for sometimes 8mb/s speeds and limited downloads), then woo hoo!

    I also have a feeling that the $27bn is to the home... but I'll have to read the relevant docs again.

  4. Phil S


    "The authors … claim the NBN will cover 7.45 million Australian households; in fact, it will cover 13 million premises by the time it is complete"

    Households aren't the same as premises, so I wonder how many non-household premises (commercial and public sector) there are as part of the scheme?

    if there's 5.55 million, it all adds up. Though I will confess to having no godly idea whether there are that many - still seems high, but you never know.

    1. Richard Chirgwin (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Homes/premises

      That's worth noting. Even ignoring non-home premises, the EIU is wrong in the lifetime of the project; the Australian Bureau of Statistics projects around 10 million by 2020, for example.

      1. Neoc

        Differences: Households denote a family unit. So in other words, an apartment building contains many households but is a single premise.

        The NBN will lay fibre to the *premises* (i.e., the buildings), not the the households (the individual dwellings within the premises). This is in the same way that Telstra (for example) is responsible for the phone lines *up to the premises*, but not once they've reached the building - problems between the outer walls and the actual phones is at the expense of the households.

        1. Richard Chirgwin (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: MDUs

          I don't usually interject into the comments so much, but another explanation is required. Regarding apartments, the NBN Co preference is to go all the way to individual apartments, as is outlined in this document.

          If an installation goes according to the design requirements, then the network boundary is at the individual apartments' network termination units (NTUs).

          However, as I understand things right now, NBN Co can't force its way past the entry point to the building, so cooperation is required.

          Richard Chirgwin

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