* Posts by MartyvH

4 posts • joined 1 May 2016

New Zealand carrier says Cu later, copper: we're giving customers a glassing instead


"Why do Australians insist on making proper home broadband a political issue?"

One party wants to throw the public an interim bone (FTTN, HFC) and then sell it all off, whereas the other wanted it to be FTTP and then sell it off. So I don't see the political difference.

I saw the PM saying recently "Optus could upgrade its HFC for a modest cost". Apart from the fact that NBN clearly deemed it too expensive to upgrade the Optus HFC, meaning that the PM lied, he also revealed his party's real intentions: for private companies to build and operate the networks. The Labor party also has a stated agenda to sell it off. Bizarre.


"In Australia, nbnTM maintains that the Telstra copper it's taking on for FTTN is up to scratch all the way to gigabit G.fast services"

Except that G.fast only delivers 1Gbps over less than 100 metres of copper. The FTTN lines are several hundreds of metres in Australia. With FTTN already built, there will need to be many more nodes (mini-nodes) going into many (not yet built) small pits. At what cost? How long will this take? We can envisage a similar cost and time to build to the current rollout.

All to avoid FTTP, which is more than viable for most suburbs within cities and towns, as other countries are demonstrating on the ground right now. Where it's not viable in the boondocks, *then* there are several technologies to use.

No, the current Government in Australia wants to leave all of the above for the buyer/s of NBN. Expect a sell-off before G.fast, which means G.fast will likely not go ahead with the global transition to full fibre underway.

Sure, let's build the NBN with technology that's not proven at scale


"The point of my inquiry was that if real world download experiences in two nations widely considered key competitors for Australia are making do with those speeds,"

Average speeds and real world download experience are two completely different things. Anyone with a basic understanding of statistics knows that averages are an unreliable indicator of the experience of a significant percentage of subscribers. It is the nature of an average.

Yes, Akamai et al's speed surveys are not the most reliable and methodology needs to improve.

"why should we complain about an NBN capable of delivering 100Mbps?"

All indications are that it is not capable of that for a large percentage of subscribers and reality is also that around 80% are settling on 25Mbps plans or lower, which is highly likely to be because of the prohibitively high cost of higher speeds alone. A glance at plan pricing shows that they are unaffordable for most Australians.

"There's a bundle of contradiction right there, because in one paragraph Internet Australia argues both for a rebuild of the last 20m of copper and against any network configuration that requires rebuild."

What a misinterpretation that was. There is no rebuild of the last 20m of copper being argued for. Laurie Patton was simply referring to the greatly enhanced ability for FTTDP to provide for Fibre On Demand, unlike FTTN which makes FOD a major undertaking and prohibitively costly in practice.

The simple fact is that FTTN, after completion, will necessitate rebuild from the node closer to the premises to provide any speed improvement at all.

"I've previously argued that in the best possible world, Australia would build its NBN with fibre-to-the-premises. I retain that position.

"But I also despair that debate in the field is making that objective harder to reach."

Current debate is not making any objective harder to reach within the NBN company and is certainly not changing the position of this government so far. In any case, there is not much debate about the need to be rolling out something better than what we are getting. Thank you for reading to the end :)


"But the organisation appears now to be advocating that we pause again and figure out how to do widespread FTTDP."

Because we must. FTTN is a dead end. After completion of FTTN, there is no upgrade available or on the horizon, not even laboratory technologies. G.fast and XG.fast both require FTTDP to get any improvement for more than around 50% of subscribers due to the line lengths that will simply be too long in Australia with FTTN.

So we're facing another new NBN with a similar cost and similar time to build as the current one. That is such poor value for money. When you are still taking years to put something in the ground, make it worthwhile, worth the considerable time and expense that is incurred whatever the technology.

Upgrades beyond FTTDP are easy, so much easier and less costly than with FTTN. There is credible speculation that Fibre On Demand would cost as little as $1000-2000 for most suburbs.


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