Saturday, December 21, 2013

Copper condition curtails cut-price NBN's great leap forward | ZDNet

Copper condition curtails cut-price NBN's great leap forward | ZDNet: "China may have landed a robot rabbit on the moon — well done, by the way — but here in Australia, it seems we've already gone way beyond that. Our entire telecommunications executive demographic has gone completely post-lunar, rocketing itself deep, deep into the derposphere.

If only we had the technology to fire them all the way into the sun, because after the glorious comedy that was the public hearing (PDF) conducted by the Senate NBN Select Committee in Sydney on Tuesday — all it needed was a laugh track — there was ample proof that they'd qualify for passage on the B-Ark. Most of them, anyway.
We had previously learned that NBN Co reckoned it would be impossible to deliver the broadband coverage and schedule promised by the Coalition government. In the very first hour of the hearing, we learned that it wouldn't guarantee the promised speeds, either. The discussion was "robust", as they say. There was blood in the water, and committee chair and former Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy was circling.
During the course of the day, we learned that NBN Co had downgraded its estimate of how many premises would be passed in its fibre rollout this quarter because of Christmas. Well, Christmas just sneaks up, doesn't it? There's no way they could have predicted that."

'via Blog this'

Friday, December 20, 2013

NBN alternatives: fibre to the node or HFC cable?

NBN alternatives: fibre to the node or HFC cable?: "A third of Australian homes will connect to the internet via pay TV cables under the latest national broadband network proposal.
After scrapping the plan to run fibre to 93 per cent of premises, the government initially proposed switching many homes to fibre to the node – using the copper phone lines to cover the last few hundred metres. Now it supports a multi-technology mix with roughly an even split between fibre to the premises, fibre to the node and the existing hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) pay TV cable.
Fibre to the node will struggle to offer more than 50 megabits-per-second (Mbps) in the near future but could eventually reach 100 Mbps, depending on the condition of your copper line. Cable already offers the 100 Mbps speeds promised by fibre to the premises. Unfortunately cable is highly susceptible to congestion and regularly grinds to a halt for some users.
The multi-technology mix model increases the number of homes on the cable networks, but proposes upgrades to boost speeds and reduce congestion. Even then, cable might still be more prone to neighbourhood congestion than fibre to the premises."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

NBN Co to bring fibre-like uplink speeds to copper - Telco/ISP - Technology - News -

Might bring it, but will copper deliver?

NBN Co to bring fibre-like uplink speeds to copper - Telco/ISP - Technology - News - "NBN Co intends to seek upload speeds on the fibre-to-the-node network that mirror those achievable on a fibre-to-the-home connection.

Head of strategy and transformation, JB Rousselot, told a Senate Select Committee yesterday that "expert advice" received from the Boston Consulting Group as part of the strategic review suggested that uplink speeds on FTTH could be matched on FTTN.

"The assumptions that we've put in [are that] all sizes of the FTTN products will deliver the same type of uplink speed that are currently offered on the FTTH products," he said."

'via Blog this'

No guarantees on NBN download speeds: Switkowski | ZDNet

The digital divide worsens

No guarantees on NBN download speeds: Switkowski | ZDNet: "Although Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull went to the 2013 federal election promising minimum download speeds of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) for all Australians by 2016, NBN Co executive chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski said that the company will not be making any such guarantees.

In the press release accompanying NBN Co's strategic review released last week, NBN Co said it would be designing a "new-look NBN" to provide the guaranteed speeds to NBN Co's wholesale customers, while end-user speeds will depend on factors outside of NBN Co's control, including end-user equipment quality, software, broadband plans, and the ISPs.

The result means that although NBN Co would offer the retail service providers a minimum speed, it would not guarantee that the speeds achieved at the end user's premises might be substantially lower than that."

'via Blog this'

NBN Co sneaks out gigabit speeds | ZDNet

Found out today that I have that speed to my wall. -Tom

NBN Co sneaks out gigabit speeds | ZDNet: "NBN Co delivered on its promise of making 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) download speed services available on the National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre network before the end of 2013, but the company did not announce the availability of the service until questioned about it by a Senate Select committee.

The 1Gbps down, 400Mbps up service sells at a wholesale price of AU$150 per month, excluding the connectivity virtual circuit capacity charge. NBN Co executive chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski revealed that NBN Co had met its April promise to have the plans in the market by the end of 2013. He said the services were made available to retail service providers this week, but that he had not made any announcement to the public.

"I'm not aware that we've made an announcement. We're not expecting to be bowled over," Switkowski said."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

NBN trounced by regional offering from locals with an eye for enterprise | Technology |

NBN trounced by regional offering from locals with an eye for enterprise | Technology | "As arguments on the national broadband network continue, some people have taken matters into their own hands

More than 15 years ago, an optic-fibre cable was laid from Sydney to Melbourne. It went through public and private land, up hill and down dale at a time when ordinary users and businesses were only starting to understand the potential of the great, rambling beast known as the internet.
When it came to our area, a community-minded farming family refused to let the cable be laid through their farm land unless a connection was made to our local town.
For years, the cable lay idle and its ownership changed as local business, council and community groups tried to figure out a way to use it without pouring in great chunks of capital not available to a country town."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, December 14, 2013

HFC in the National Broadband Network | Simon Hackett

HFC in the National Broadband Network | Simon Hackett: "HFC, the NBN, and the meaning of life

With the release of the NBNCo Strategic Review earlier this week, I’ve seen some very significant misunderstandings (and consequent angst) expressed about the inclusion of HFC into the mix of technologies intended for the NBN rollout.

This post is intended to be a counterpoint to those misunderstandings.

I haven’t written this post to tell you that this is the best, or the only, way to change the shape of the future version of this network.

I haven’t written this because I’ve stopped believing that the best ultimate answer wherever possible is Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) – because it still is."

'via Blog this'

Friday, December 13, 2013

Here's The Full NBN Co Strategic Report | Gizmodo Australia

Here's The Full NBN Co Strategic Report | Gizmodo Australia: "ancy a bit of lunchtime reading? Malcolm Turnbull dropped 134-pages of NBN report on us today. Get into it right here.

The full report is being hosted on NBN Co’s website (PDF).

Here are a few headline points to come out of the report:

• The Fibre-To-The-Node rollout has been canned for existing Hybrid-Fibre Coaxial cable networks in the Telstra and Optus footprint, with optimisation to take place on these networks to improve existing speeds

• Bill Morrow, former CEO of Vodafone, is the new CEO of NBN Co.

NBN Co will miss its national 25Mbps roll-out target of 2016, instead pushing the roll-out date back to 2019.

The new NBN roll-out plan will cost $41 billion."

'via Blog this'

NBN strategic review: By the numbers | ZDNet

NBN strategic review: By the numbers | ZDNet: "The release of NBN Co's strategic review puts the company on the path for a massive change in the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), but the justification for the proposed changes have relied on a re-estimation of the current project. ZDNet has compared the new figures with those NBN Co prepared prior to the election.

Prior to the election, NBN Co was preparing a new corporate plan detailing the current state of the network rollout, and an indication of the expected cost for the network.

The table below contains the information contained in the leaked draft compared to the information NBN Co released today of the revised forecast and the new proposed NBN plan."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Turnbull to release NBN review Thursday

Turnbull to release NBN review Thursday: "Nearly two weeks after receiving it, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will release a censored (‘redacted’) version of the NBN Strategic Review tomorrow (Thursday)
In a dramatic twist, the document will be released to selected journalists in a lockup similar to that used on budget day, giving them access to the documents under embargo two hours before they are publicly released, at around 1pm.

Turnbull has long called for greater transparency around NBN information, and has accused the former Government of not releasing all NBN documents. The ALP has accused Turnbull of sitting on the document too long and of tailoring it to suit the Government’s agenda.

Meanwhile the Labor dominated Senate Committee on the NBN called NBN executives back before it to appear today, a move Malcolm Turnbull described as ‘disruptive’."

'via Blog this'

In-home FttN wiring testing needed, costly: NBN Co | ZDNet

In-home FttN wiring testing needed, costly: NBN Co | ZDNet: "Connecting customers to a fibre-to-the-node (FttN) National Broadband Network (NBN) will require testing of in-home wiring and a network termination device (NTD) that costs more than the equivalent NTD in the current fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) rollout, NBN Co warned the incoming government in an assessment of the three possible scenarios for NTD deployment.

The quality of in-building copper can significantly impact FttN performance: NBN Co.
(Image: CC BY-SA 3.0 Adamantios)
The assessment — contained in a confidential report prepared by NBN Co for the incoming government's "blue book" at the request of the now Department of Communications — warns that "FttN-based services will require in-house remediation as well as incur a modem cost that exceeds the cost of equivalent fibre-based end-user equipment".

A one-off credit for new installations "may be warranted" to ensure that the cost of end-user connections isn't too high, the report suggests."

'via Blog this'

NBN Co execs to be hauled before Senate committee | ZDNet

NBN Co execs to be hauled before Senate committee | ZDNet: "Several key NBN Co executives have been ordered to appear before the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network (NBN) tomorrow, after they once again declined to appear before the committee.

In a press release this afternoon, acting NBN Co chair and former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that NBN Co's head of strategy JB Rousselot, chief operating officer Greg Adcock, chief technology officer Gary McLaren, and chief financial officer Robin Payne were invited a week ago to appear before the committee.

Although the committee had changed the date to avoid a conflict with an NBN Co board meeting, Conroy said that NBN Co informed the committee that the executives had declined to appear tomorrow."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, December 8, 2013

FttN NBN needs customers more than coverage: NBN Co report | ZDNet

FttN NBN needs customers more than coverage: NBN Co report | ZDNet: "Fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology might be faster to deliver in its early days than fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) technology, a confidential NBN Co report has advised, warning that lower revenues from the Coalition's national broadband network (NBN) strategy mean "it will be important to prioritise activations over...any coverage objective."

Viability of the Coalition's FttN model depends on maximising customer density, not its speed: NBN Co. Image: CC BY-SA 3.0, David B King
“While FTTN architectures typically have a reduced construction period compared to the rollout of FTTP architectures, ramping up to a volume rollout of FTTN architecture will take time,” the report – prepared by NBN Co during the caretaker period to form part of the incoming government brief given to incoming communications minister Malcolm Turnbull – warns."

'via Blog this'

Coalition’s NBN already in trouble, says leaked report

Coalition’s NBN already in trouble, says leaked report: "An internal NBN Co document says the Coalition’s fibre to the node (FTTN) policy is inadequate and unlikely to be completed on time.
NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski is unlikely to have an easy time of it when he fronts the Labor-dominated Senate Committee today (story follows).
Fairfax Media has published details of an internal NBN Co analysis which says the Coalition’s FTTN strategy, which Switkowski strongly supports, is poorly planned and is unlikely to be completed on time or on budget. The report also says that its revenue will be much less than predicted, mainly for those reasons.
The paper was prepared as part of the so-called ‘blue book’, which departments typically prepare as a briefing document for incoming governments.
“There are a number of conditions that will impact on NBN Co’s ability to undertake a volume network rollout,” Fairfax quotes the report as saying. “Given the complexity of these conditions, it is unlikely that NBN Co will meet the 2016 deadline to upgrade the fixed network to enable Australians to have minimum download speeds of 25 Mbps.”."

'via Blog this'

Friday, December 6, 2013

One gigabit available on NBN this month

One gigabit available on NBN this month: "NBN Co will start selling a one gigabit per second (1Gbps) broadband service before the end of the year, but availability will depend on the number of people willing to pay for the super fast speeds.

The commercial-grade broadband service will travel at download speeds of up to 1000 megabits per second [Mbps], also known as a gigabit, and upload speeds of 400 Mbps. This was about 100 times faster than the average speeds available to most households on the copper network today.

An NBN Co spokesman confirmed on Friday the service "will be made available to retail service providers by the end of the year", but that it was up to retail service providers to decide whether they would sell it to customers.

There were currently about 250,000 households and businesses within NBN Co’s fibre footprint that could potentially request the service. "

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Junior telcos tie knot in NBN Co copper plan • The Register

Junior telcos tie knot in NBN Co copper plan • The Register: "Another day, another stick in the spokes: the Competitive Carriers Coalition (CCC) has taken exception to reports that NBN Co isn't interested in owning Telstra's copper network under the government's fibre-to-the-node network rollout.

The CCC's announcement will further complicate what's looking like a Gordian knot made of copper cables that almost nobody wants. Telstra is quite fond of the contract it signed with the former government and NBN Co to retire the copper for a fee; the minister believes that should mean Telstra would be willing to renegotiate its contract, even though there's no public evidence that's the case.

NBN Co doesn't want the copper, partly because it doesn't want to forever carry the can for every result that gets posted on the Internet to complain about poor performance, and partly because it doesn't want the cost of maintenance to suck a billion-dollar hole in its budget.

Trying to work its way through the puzzle set by the government, the Australian Financial Review reported that NBN Co told the incoming government it would be better to rent the copper than to take ownership of it."

'via Blog this'

Quigley says NBN has no time to spare

Quigley says NBN has no time to spare: "Former NBN chief Mike Quigley has made a spirited defence of NBN Co’s achievements under his leadership. The hard work has been done, he says.
But he also says that the new management has no time to spare, even with its less ambitious program.

Quigley was head of NBN Co from its inception in 2009 until he saw the writing on the wall and resigned in July 2013. He handed over to Dr Ziggy Switkowski two months ago.

Now, in his first major address since leaving the job, he has strongly defended NBN Co’s achievements under Labor, and delivered some sideswipes on what has replaced it. Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition Government would do well to listen to what he has to say."

'via Blog this'

NBN Co can't guarantee Libs' 50Mbps speed promise: report | ZDNet

NBN Co can't guarantee Libs' 50Mbps speed promise: report | ZDNet: "NBN Co would be unable to offer a guaranteed 50Mbps broadband service under the Coalition's alternative model for the national broadband network, NBN Co has warned in confidential briefing papers prepared for incoming communications minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The limitation is due to the unknown performance characteristics of the VDSL2 technology upon which the Coalition's broadband policy is based. VDSL2's real-world performance is based on the still-unknown condition of Telstra's copper network and the distance of any particular subscriber from the closest network node.

Rather than guaranteeing 50Mbps, internal report warns, NBN Co's 'best effort' service would be the only way to guarantee high speeds under FttN. Image: CC BY-SA 3.0, Secondarywaltz
These performance characteristics, the report warns, mean customers using the Coalition's NBN model could only realistically be offered two guaranteed speeds: 12Mbps (with 1Mbps uploads) and 25Mbps (with 5Mbps uploads)."

'via Blog this'

Senate to force Turnbull to publish NBN Review - Delimiter

Senate to force Turnbull to publish NBN Review - Delimiter: "news Labor and the Greens are likely to team up in the Senate today to force Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to publish next Monday the full Strategic Review which will guide the future of the National Broadband Network project.
The Strategic Review is being led by NBN Co’s Board and executive management. Its primary objective is to evaluate both the current NBN operational and financial performance as well as the timing, financials and product offers under alternative models of delivering very fast broadband to homes and businesses across Australia. Its recommendations will help shape the Government’s decisions regarding the future of the project.
Last week, NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski told the NBN Senate Select Committee that the company would deliver the Strategic Review to the Federal Government yesterday. This timeframe is in keeping with a pledge by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull that the review would be developed within 60 days of NBN Co having a new management team.
A spokesperson for Turnbull this morning confirmed the report had not yet been delivered. When it was, they said, it was likely to be in draft form. After the Government had time to consider the draft, a final version would be produced.."

'via Blog this'

Former NBN Co boss Mike Quigley warns Government review not to rewrite history - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Former NBN Co boss Mike Quigley warns Government review not to rewrite history - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "The former head of the National Broadband Network has warned the new management team not to rewrite history in its review of the NBN.

Mike Quigley was chief executive of NBN Co, the company rolling out the network, between 2009 and his retirement in October this year.

His replacement, former Telstra chief executive Ziggy Switkowski, is in the middle of a strategic review of the entire company.

It is investigating the viability of the former Labor government's fibre to the premise (FttP) approach.

The Coalition's fibre to the node (FttN) alternative takes the fibre to street cabinets and then uses the legacy copper network for the last link to the home.

FttP provides ultimately faster speeds, although an FttN network would be cheaper and completed faster."

'via Blog this'

NBN Co advised against buying Telstra’s copper

NBN Co advised against buying Telstra’s copper: "Former NBN Co executives urged the incoming Coalition government to rent, rather than buy, Telstra’s copper network as part of a plan to change the national broadband network rollout.

An analysis of the Coalition’s broadband policy by the company, and obtained by Fairfax Media, warned it could be saddled with more than $1 billion in annual maintenance costs and face millions more in technology upgrades if it took control of the existing copper network.

The Coalition government is planning to connect nodes on street corners with fibre optic cabling and use the ageing phone lines to roll out faster broadband to homes and businesses the rest of the way.

It is currently attempting to renegotiate the $11.2 billion agreement with Telstra to gain access to the network, with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull indicating a preference for buying the assets. But NBN Co said Telstra should maintain control of the copper network, and continue to repair it, while leasing it to NBN Co."

'via Blog this'

Coalition to release NBN review by year end

Coalition to release NBN review by year end: "The government will refuse to comply with an order from the Senate to make public the strategic review handed to it by NBN Co before parliament rises next week, and has pledged instead it will be released by the end of the year.

Labor is expected to support a motion moved in the upper house by Greens senator Scott Ludlam later on Tuesday to compel the government to table the report by Monday December 7.

The 60-day review, carried out by NBN Co and its new chairman Ziggy Switkowski, is expected to test the feasibility and projected costs of communications minister Malcolm Turnbull’s plans to have 25 megabits per second broadband for every house by 2016.

But a spokesman for Mr Turnbull said the government was not likely to comply with the order and will publish selected parts of the review in its own time."

'via Blog this'

Monday, December 2, 2013

NBN debate in urgent dose of rollout reality

NBN debate in urgent dose of rollout reality: "OPINION

None of the NBN rollout targets - on either side of politics - look achievable, says analyst Tony Brown.

NBN Co Executive Chairman Ziggy Switkowski admitted last week that it would be a “very, very demanding” task for the company to meet Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s aim of delivering 25 megabits per second via fibre-to-the-node national broadband network to all Australian homes by end-2016 – you can almost hear Turnbull’s Labor predecessor Stephen Conroy still chortling from here.

But Conroy should not laugh too hard after all, at the end of his six-year tenure as Communications Minister in June, it had become abundantly apparent that he was simply never going to be able to deliver on his promise of delivering a nationwide fibre-to-the-premise network to 12.2 million premises by 2012 either.

The bottom line – as Dr Switkowski told the Senate Select Committee on the NBN last week – is that the entire NBN project has been bedevilled by the imposition of “heroic targets” – none of which have even come close to being met."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, December 1, 2013

NBN strategic review won't be made public today | ZDNet

NBN strategic review won't be made public today | ZDNet: "The Coalition government is expecting to receive a draft of NBN Co's strategic review today, but the document will not be made public until it has been finalised with commercial in confidence information censored, the office of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed.

Today marks 60 days since Turnbull tasked NBN Co under executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski to commence a strategic review into the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), and a potential way forward for the company responsible for the rollout.

Although Turnbull has pledged a new level of transparency for the NBN, a spokesperson for Turnbull told ZDNet that the government would receive an advanced draft of the report from NBN Co today, but that this document would not yet be made public."

'via Blog this'

NBN faces "high risk" from FttN-related IT development: NBN Co | ZDNet

NBN faces "high risk" from FttN-related IT development: NBN Co | ZDNet: "NBN Co will need to undertake a “high-risk” IT systems redevelopment project so extensive and complex that it threatens the ability of the Abbott government to meet its fibre-to-the-node (FttN) rollout targets, the company has warned in official advice to new communications minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Significant expenditure on supporting IT systems has already accompanied the rollout of Labor's fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) model, with contracts such as a $200m deal with IBM, a $38m splash on Cisco Systems routers and firewalls and $9.5m spent on Cisco data-centre equipment supporting the extensive operational support systems and business support systems (OSS/BSS) necessary to keep the $37.4 billion network running."

'via Blog this'

NBN not as cheap, not as soon – but it will be slow

NBN not as cheap, not as soon – but it will be slow: "NBN chief Ziggy Switkowski is already casting doubts on the Malcolm’s Turnbull’s promise to finish the network sooner and at a lower cost.
On Friday the Senate Committee on the NBN questioned a reluctant Ziggy Switkowski on the second day of its first hearing. Even before the first NBN review, due later today, is published, Switkowski has cast doubts on whether costs can be contained or the implementation schedule met. Both were key issues in the election campaign, with the Coalition continually criticising Labor over cost overruns and the time it was all taking.

Switkowski now says it will be hard to meet Malcolm Turnbull’s 2016 deadline for connecting all premises in Australia to the largely FTTN network, confirming what he said at the recent Senate Estimate Committee hearings"

'via Blog this'