NBN – FttH – Broadband

In Australia the national broadband network attracts a great deal of attention. Many of the insights shared here are picked up by the media. This section also covers all types of broadband infrastructure: Fibre to the Premise (FttP), Fibre to the Home (FttH), Fibre to the Node (FttN), Fibre to the Curb (FttC), Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC), the various DSL services, and wireless.

Enough is enough ACCC will become involved in the NBN monopoly.

NBN Co has released its plans for the 2021 pricing review consultation process. It is seeking retail service provider (RSP) and broader industry feedback on current and future matters of NBN wholesale pricing. However, in its outline of what will be reviewed, it became clear that the key issues are not on the discussion list. …

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$100 billion national broadband plan for America.

The new Biden Administration in the USA laid out a $100 billion proposal for broadband investment as part of its $2 trillion+  infrastructure plan. Under the proposal, the plan is to provide national broadband coverage. The Administration will use better competition measures, such a price transparency, the use of public utility infrastructure and subsidies for …

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Broadband users are going to pay for failed NBN policies.

For more than a decade – dating back to the original NBN plan from the Labor Government – the retail service providers (RSPs) have argued against the unpredictable variable elements in its wholesale charges (the so-called connectivity virtual charges or CVCs). We have covered this at length in previous articles going back at least to …

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Are the LEOs going to disrupt the telco market?

We are getting closer to using alternative broadband solutions, offered by international companies. Local telecommunication entities will in this respect be relegated to resellers. The reality of accessing low Earth orbiting satellite (LEO) services is now clearly on the horizon. Most of the telcos as well as governments are not prepared for the potential shock …

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Australian fixed broadband in the international context.

During the past two decade, there have been considerable efforts undertaken by governments and national telecom regulators to ensure that their countries’ economic growth is underpinned by capable broadband infrastructure. The success of national policies has been variable, but the scale of investment and the way the development of fibre infrastructure has been encouraged has …

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NBN wants us to pay more for their broadband service.

Over the last few weeks, we have seen several new announcements from NBN Co. The key announcements include: A payment of $3 billion to the Government as a repayment of their $19.5 billion investment; An extra 100,000 fibre-to-the-node (FttN) premises will be upgraded to fibre-to-the-premise (FttP) infrastructure; and A complex review of their already complex …

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What will 2021 have install for the ICT industry?

While 2021 will remain a year with lots of uncertainties, at the same we can say that the pandemic has not affected the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in any significant way. Yes, there has been a slowdown, for example, in the sale of smartphones. Shortages in both materials and expertise are slowing the …

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Government backed NBN monopoly is flexing its muscles

Over the last year, we have discussed the unsustainably high wholesale charges that NBN Co is raking in. They need this just to recoup the blowout of the investments in their second-rate multi-technology mix (MtM) infrastructure. The Government, following its election win in 2013, handpicked a new NBN team. They were favourable to their policies, …

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Agriculture ICT and travelling in Outback Queensland

In October 2020, I went on a two-week tour into Queensland’s Outback, travelling through various landscapes from pastoral and agricultural lands to savanna and the desert. Leaving Brisbane, past Toowoomba you enter the Darling Downs. This is one of the richest agricultural areas in Australia. It was first explored by British Botanist Alan Cunningham in …

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Are we building a mediocre NBN for the ‘average user’?

Are we building a mediocre NBN for the average user? Interesting new research conducted by the Bureau of Communications and Arts Research predicts that average Australian data consumption is set to quadruple by 2028, based on figures from 2018. But they also predict that peak bandwidth will grow less rapidly. In their words: ‘Bandwidth requirements …

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Digital economy essential for regional Australia

Back in the early 1990s, I was a founding board member of Service Providers Action Network (SPAN), which later became part of Communications Alliance. The key aim of this organisation was the promotion of new value-added services that could be provided over the telecommunications network. At this time there was no public internet and we …

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Building independent Gig Cities: this happens when you have a 2nd rate NBN

Adelaide was one of the first cities to build a gigabit fibre optic network but soon others followed. Newcastle, Wollongong, Launceston and the NSW Central Coast Council are now all developing their own gigabit infrastructure. Now, the NSW Government is putting $100 million dollars aside for the provision of “innovative systems” to improve the price, …

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Encouraging online lessons from the corona crisis

The players in the telecommunications industry have decisively reacted to the COVID-19 crisis. The NBN is holding up and the company is effectively implementing a range of measures for those who rely on it. Equally, the support from the major telcos and the digital players has been first-class and, where needed, the industry is working …

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NBN Co is giving in to pressure to stop competing with its own retail customers.

The original plans for the NBN were to build a high-speed residential broadband network that would be made available to the other telcos on a wholesale basis.  Corporate infrastructure was basically left out of the plan as these organisations were in general well serviced by competing networks. But wait there was a loophole. What exactly …

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Broadband driven Smart Energy Developments

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of an energy revolution. Not only is the nature of energy changing from fossil-generated energy to renewable – there is a total change in the distribution structure occurring with less focus on centralisation and more on distributed energy. Concerns about issues such as energy security, …

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Australia’s NBN makes slow progress

While fixed-line telephony traffic and revenue are declining, the mobile broadband market is growing steadily. Fixed-line broadband on the copper network is also declining as fibre and fixed-wireless broadband services become more widely available, through the NBN’s multi-technology architecture, with its emphasis on VDSL with Fibre-to-the Node (FttN). In time, much of the voice traffic …

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Fibre to the farm provides opportunities for rural Australia

Over the last decade, Australia has spent $5.5 billion on satellite and fixed wireless broadband services and another $650 million on mobile blackspots. After last year’s Regional Telecommunications Review, the Government earlier this year indicated another $220 million for mobile blackspots, money for digital inclusions projects and $60 million for a regional connectivity program. It …

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Changing the goalposts and voila here is the new NBN corporate plan

Since the Coalition Government has taken over the NBN back in 2013, we have seen the goalposts being changed nearly on an annual basis. It started soon after Malcolm Turnbull’s infamous announcement: “we will bring you the NBN for around $25 billion and deliver it in 2016”. The reality, of course, is that now in …

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Not Netflix but Government killed the NBN

In a recent ABC interview, Sam Dimarco, Head of Stakeholder Relations at NBN Co, asserted that Netflix has been a catalyst for change. It has been blamed as the principal reason why the NBN is unable to deliver the quality that was promised by the Government. The article also mentioned Bill Morrow’s comment on this, admitting that …

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Broadcasting – Submission to Productivity Commission from 1999 (20 years ago)

The wonders of electronics. I suddenly received a notification about this submission I made in 1999. It is interesting to look back on predictions I made 20 years ago 🙂 From: Paul Budde Sent: Monday, May 03, 1999 4:34 PM To: ’broadcasting@pc.gov.au’ Subject: Broadcasting – Submission to Productivity Commission   Broadcasting – Submission to Productivity …

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Happy New Year – The NBN and the Australian Telecoms Year ahead.

I hope that those of you who celebrated Christmas enjoyed being together with families and friends, and that everyone took the opportunity for a break from the everyday world. Happily the holiday season continues so most of us will have a bit more relaxing time ahead. And of course the new year is upon us. …

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NBN and the common good – write offs and Telstra’s interest in buying it.

Looking back over the last 30 years less emphasis is now placed on the ‘common good’ than was the case before the 1980s. I will link this to the NBN a bit further in this analysis. Over the last few decades, often for very good reasons, we began to privatise what had been government businesses …

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What is the future for our mobile network operators?

‘Wireless is just one wire less’ or ‘Wireless is just spectrum wrapped around a  fibre core” The Australian mobile telecommunication industry is continuing to resist structural changes, but the reality is that if they don’t transform, technology will do it for them. We have seen the fixed telecom operators slowly being pushed back into the …

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The NBN in the broader context of global telecom developments

Just back from my trip to Europe where I followed some of the key international telecoms developments. Because of the highly politicised situation around the NBN in Australia it is important to look beyond the sometimes parochially-focussed NBN discussion in our country. At the joint forum of the Long-Term Infrastructure Investments Association (LTIIA) and the …

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The future NBN might look rather different

In all reality it looks like the multi-technology mix (MTM) as it is currently being rolled out by the nbn company is as good as it will get. Some Australians will have an excellent service, especially those on fibre-to-the-home (FttH) and fibre-to-the-curb (FttC) technologies. Others won’t see any difference from the current ADSL services they …

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The importance of high-speed broadband in regional Australia

It is still a battle to extend the perception of the importance of high-speed broadband beyond fast access to the internet or to Netflix. But the social and economic benefits are equally important, especially looking towards medium- and long-term future development of the region. The healthcare, government services and education sectors are undergoing massive transformations, …

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Upgrading the NBN with G.fast has its limitations

Quite coincidentally, at the same time that G.fast is being discussed in Australia a similar discussion is taking place in the USA; and there is doubt there too about the contribution that G.fast can make to improve the performance of the faltering broadband systems in both countries. G.fast is a band-aid solution that can be …

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Australian National Broadband Network rollout finally gains momentum

Within the market there is a dynamic shift among customers to fibre networks, as this infrastructure is being built out by nbn (NBN Co), the company responsible for the national broadband deployment. Australia’s broadband sector is making improved progress in its migration to a multi-technology the NBN. Growth in the overall number of broadband subscribers …

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Australia’s NBN preps for G.fast and DOCSIS3.1 services in 2017

Growth in the Australian fixed broadband market has slowed in line with higher penetration rates. Within the market there is a dynamic shift among customers to fibre networks, as this infrastructure is being built out by nbn (NBN Co), the company responsible for the national broadband deployment. While fibre has become by far the fastest …

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Telecoms infrastructure and digital technologies lead the way

  There are a number of industries leading the current changes brought about by the digital evolution – but none more so than the ICT industry. This sector alone has been transformational in developing the appropriate infrastructure, services and equipment required to underpin our societies of the future. The enormous shift towards digital technologies continues …

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Mobile infrastructure will ultimately rely on fibre broadband

In 2017 mobile broadband subscriptions are growing rapidly and LTE infrastructure now carries over 65% of all global mobile traffic. While mobile and fixed will always exist in parallel, there is no doubt that with a faltering fixed network and an excellent mobile network, mobile will give fixed a run for its money. With competitively …

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Will Telstra be able to create a more affordable alternative to the NBN

If we go back to the early days of the NBN, now more than a decade ago, some of you might recall that from the very first day we have maintained that affordability was more important than the latest technology. I actually said that affordability was THE most important element of an NBN. Subsequent governments …

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From DSL to FttN, G.FAST, Fttdp, XG-FAST – building the NBN the tortuous way

In September 2016, NBN Co indicated its interest in a technology known as XG.Fast, it is a next level up from the G.Fast technology they started to trial in 2015 and it also needs to be seen in the yet still bigger picture of Fttdp (fibre to the distribution point). The development and deployment of …

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Flawed NBN structure undermines competition

Bevan Slattery’s scathing attack on ACCC boss Rod Sims in CommsDay might be a reflection of the attacker’s towering personality but he most certainly has a point. When the government changed the NBN policy from full fibre to mixed technology they fundamentally changed the nature of the project, including the underlying fundamentals. That being the case, …

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High-speed infrastructure takes hold – paving the way for revenue streams

Recently there was an important development for the broadband sector when the market share of fibre infrastructure lines finally overtook DSL technologies as the largest on a global level. The fixed broadband network is the infrastructure needed to meet the needs, both economic and societal, of the developed markets. In fact in many of these …

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The next development in wireless broadband

In the USA the FCC has started the discussion on the next level of telecoms in the wireless market, aimed at making spectrum in bands above 24GHz available for flexible-use of wireless services,  including next-generation, or 5G networks and technologies. New technologies such as massive-MIMO are going to make it possible to deliver ‘fibre-like’ speeds …

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China Continues to Evolve as a World Leader in the Digital Media Sector

The Chinese telecom market is the largest in the world in terms of subscribers and is undergoing transition. Mobile subscriptions outnumber fixed voice connections and voice is giving way to data as the primary revenue generator. China’s telecom market is served by three operators; China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile. All three are integrated …

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