NBN issues

 
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
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Thread split from:

Marion Station Underpass
http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1856401.htm#1856401


The post by  SAR526 Train Controller, Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:14 pm triggered this NBN thread.


Dthead,Mod.
[/edit]





Complains about going OT then ends rant with something about broadband in a rail topic Rolling Eyes

A better more targeted response from me will come when I can summons the time, energy and effort.

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  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Let's get off topic!

An expensive copper terminating broad band is better than NO broad band at all which is what many now (don't) have.

The fibre NBN is proving hideously expensive and will take years to service the whole of the country; and for what/ Down loading movies at or pay as you go sports coverage all at  exorbitant cost.

Much more cost effective to take fibre to community nodes and then run copper, works OK for me I am using it now. Later if warranted fibre can be taken down every street. All of this can be done at a rate the community can afford.

This brings me back to rail. It is all about what the community can afford.

SAR526 you would be of an age when you would have heard the phrase "we can't afford it" and the response was that you went without or made do. You probably even used the phrase yourself. Further more you were probably proud of how you made do, and so you should be.

We could have afforded electrifying Gawler, Outer Harbour, Grange and Belair lines if we had not spent squillions on the Adelaide Oval and/or rebuilt the RAH on its present site. Somebody somewhere made a choice. That choice was based on the Commonwealth bank rolling the state and BHP haemorrhaging money in to state coffers and businesses. BHP got wise; I saw the mark-ups people were hoping to make. The C'wealth got caught out in Queensland when Gillard looked like a dunce beside Anna Bligh so the fix, as always, was to throw money at it.

Abbott's ploy on roads is that is what people know and care about. It is a problem that is obvious to any road user and just about all of us are. Jo Public doesn't know about rail traffic saturation, it doesn't effect him (not directly).

Regards as always
Ian

PS have a little more fibre it good for the more mature.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Let's get off topic!

An expensive copper terminating broad band is better than NO broad band at all which is what many now (don't) have.

The fibre NBN is proving hideously expensive and will take years to service the whole of the country; and for what/ Down loading movies at or pay as you go sports coverage all at  exorbitant cost.
steam4ian
Yeah sure, lets spend $30+ billion on a plan that 100% relies on copper cables that maybe as much as 60 years old (some date from the 1950's and are paper insulated). Worse still NONE of the Liberal plan is properly costed, much less independently verified.

The put is bluntly the Liberal plan is a white elephant, there are serious doubts about it paying itself off, staying within budget and for actually functioning correctly in the real world and not just labs. Its not going to be that fast, its certainly not going to be reliable, and it come saddled with a massive ongoing repair bill for all that old copper, not to mention drawing double the electricity to power all those nodes.

Both plans are expensive, and yes the Labour plan is slightly more. However later upgrading FTTN to full FTTH requires throwing away huge cabinets full of now redundant batteries and electronics, making the total cost far higher.
At the end of the day I expect good government to make long term investments, flushing money down the toilet on patching up a redundant (and in some areas an almost dead) copper network with very expensive electronics is an insult.

5 areas the full FTTH NBN seeks to improve:
Download speeds -
Upload speeds - best available on copper is 3mb/s and that is in very limited areas using 3rd party equipment
                      FTTH is up to 400mb/s
Availability - Fibre can do 20km without any sort of signal booster or node
Reliability - Fibre cable doesn't have issues with water ingress, outside noise, shared frequencies, or metal reacting with things.
Open Access - No more Telstra sabotaging competitors with unfair pricing and innate excuses (*lost* the keys to the exchange was one I heard).

Much more cost effective to take fibre to community nodes and then run copper, works OK for me I am using it now. Later if warranted fibre can be taken down every street. All of this can be done at a rate the community can afford.
steam4ian


Sorry Ian, there is no "if warranted" old rotten cables just like old rotten timber sleepers need to be ripped out and replaced.
Just because your phone and internet works "OK" doesn't mean it's reliable, fast or suitable for others. Telstra current repairs are from 2 weeks to who knows it still doesn't work properly, and this is for dead/very faulty lines (even some small business).
As for the community affording it ? Depends what you mean, the extra day to day costs for running FTTN get passed onto consumers in higher charges. Is it so slow it's faster to take a flash drive to the post office and physically mail it ?

Yes we could have rebuilt the Adelaide rail network using some new timber sleepers, then replace the whole lot later on in a piecemeal fashion with concrete sleepers. But in the process we find out the old sleepers are worse then first thought, oh well budget blowout.

So why do we now have concrete sleepers everywhere ? Because the government got fed up with constant repairs and spent the cash on getting something more modern that doesn't eat up money (and the patience of the travelling public).

ps: I'm on a basic version of one of these FTTN type cabinets, it cost Telstra ~$12,000 to install, they then billed the government's broadband blackspot program $24,000. Yeah call me cynical but I have good reason not to trust Telstra with government money.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Fabricator, I am sorry, I must misunderstand. The NBN is fully costed? I bet you it's not, and if it is, I bet you it's not even correct to an order of magnitude.

Also, the 3mb/s might be close to the theoretical up limit on an ADSL 2+ link but it is fundamentally misleading for you to state that this is the best available speed on copper. Plainly untrue.

I'll give the benefit of the doubt to you and suggest you actually managed to type 3.5Mbit/s which is something quite different to 3MB/s. You actually need to get these rates right, else you'll make my counter argument too easy because you're over stating the speed by a factor of nine-ish.

But that does not matter, because the peak speed available on copper (up and down) is actually more like 400+MBit/s (50+MB/s) on a T5 link.

While I am at it, it won't be long and the NBN's fancy glass will be redundant, I just happen to have on my desk a 802.16m-2011 link that will do 1Gbit/s over nothing more than fresh air.

As for repair times, wait until some clown puts a backhoe through a fibre trunk and wait and see how long it will take to rebond them all back together again... Can't just have a dude and a pair of pliers like you can on a piece of the copper network.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Before I have my daily fibre.

Fabricator, not ALL copper cables are old rotten paper lead type. Even if paper lead they are still serviceable and more likely to be in CBD areas where fibre is already established. If they are trunk cables, these are the very networks which would be replaced by fibre.

Aaron makes the point about NBN not being fully costed. Considering the blow outs it certainly is not.

The concrete sleeper debate has two sides.

Wholesale track replacement became necessary on the Adelaide metro because nobody maintained it once the SAR was dissolved.

Sure, wooden sleepers need more maintenance, their life is finite and their performance unpredictable, some only last a few years, others 30. What is the real killer is drainage and it was the cesses that were not looked after around Adelaide. The track became the local drain and water was allowed to pond against the track. When the 1980s signalling went in cesses were graded over with no thought of drainage.

The track bed became so bad the only solution was to rebuild it.

The sleepers of choice are now concrete for a number of good reasons including more predictable life and better maintenance of track geometry.

They DO NOT spell the end of maintenance. Ballast still packs down, track geometry changes due to traffic loads and heat, weeds still grow in ballast and most importantly cesses still get choked by weeds and debris. The track will STILL NEED regular maintenance otherwise it will need a bottom up rebuild again.

Unfortunately "the build and forget" mantra has been promoted by the ignorant.

Ian
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
On the matter of copper and fibre:  I have 2 telecommunications connections: one in Aberfoyle Park and one in Kingscote.

Now the one in Aberfoyle Park is copper all the 3km or so back to the exchange and internet speeds are around the 3.8 Mb/s mark while in Kingscote it is copper all the way to the exchange and internet speeds are 19 Mbs/s but falling.

In Aberfoyle Park I could pay 50% more and access a Telstra DSLAM in a local cabinet with a copper run of 1km or so rather than the Agile equipment in the exchange.

In Kingscote I pay more than in Adelaide for a service delivered over Telstra equipment rather than Agile equipment and for a much smaller quota.

Now the Kingscote line is subject to corrosion because it is close to the sea (across the road in fact), and has been replaced several times in the nearly 40 years I have been here.    The present connection is a "temporary" cable laid on the surface a couple of years ago.

If the Kingscote line needs replacing again then I would suggest fibre is the only way to fix it; copper is only at best a temporary fix.    This assumes fibre back to the exchange of course.

FTTN would be a perfectly adequate solution in Aberfoyle Park, though; not as good as fibre but adequate.

Aaron, a question: your WiFi gear may perform as you suggest but how many users are on it and over what distances are you connecting?     I thought the point of fibre is the bandwidth is just so much greater than any other means so more (many more) connections are possible without degrading the service.

Just a note on backhaul from Kingscote:  it is fibre from the city to Cape Jervis then a digital microwave link to Kingscote.

I'm with you on track maintenance, Ian.    It is a real worry when DPTI observe that they will do something now while the line is closed rather than close the line down later to do that maintenance work.    

The Minister seems well house-trained.   Sir Humphrey would be delighted.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Aaron, a question: your WiFi gear may perform as you suggest but how many users are on it and over what distances are you connecting?     I thought the point of fibre is the bandwidth is just so much greater than any other means so more (many more) connections are possible without degrading the service.
"kipioneer"
Fibre had a higher bandwidth than copper and (for the moment at least wireless too - but that is not strictly true either). The current broadcast range is about 15' but there are several practical reasons for this:

Like the NBN I have no budget for this project, the difference is by no budget I mean no money, the NBN's no budget means 'do it and Joe Public will pay the tab later'. So far I have spent about $80, pretty hard to buy a decent 802.11n router for that...

I have to limit the energy with which I broadcast, not only to be a good neighbor but also to comply with some fairly substantial laws.

I have an office not a suburb, my available airspace is somewhat limited by my ceiling and not by CASA as it might otherwise commercially be.

Hence, my antennas are about 8" tall, not 80'.

The current broadcast power is something in the order of single digit Watts (less than 9 of them currently), not multidigit kW or even MW.

Even if I could pull that kind of energy from the wall and irradiate it from my office I could no longer inhabit the space for any decent length of time.

As for range, some friends and I have had a test with a quick and dirty antenna that had no serious design to it and 'a bit more' input power at an outdoor location. The effort required to set up a static link ought not be underestimated.

The point is, as more is advanced with wireless comms speed, reliability and broadcast range will all increase. My example is a purely amateur set up but if we spent some money on it... Even today I noticed that I could do better than the 1Gbit/s, at that speed I was saturating my wired input, I don't think it was limited by the wireless.
  dvdplaza Chief Train Controller

Wireless by its entire nature and laws of physics is shared spectrum - you can only have so many people taking in a room at once before it becomes hard to have a conversation and wireless is no different.

The more devices you plump on your network the slower it will get.  The more competing networks I put around your office the more yours will struggle.

Yes yes 3G will be the savour, until it gets so heavily used it barely works.  4G was then the boasted saviour, but its already dreading during peak times with the number of people on it.  WiMAX was insanely great, but wait that barely works at all anymore with the number of people on it.

More and more and more frequencies, channels, and towers are the bandaid for wireless, ultimately creating an even noiser spectrum...

There will always be an even faster wireless on the way, that will eventually perform at a fraction of the promised speed... It has its conveniences but is not a fit for all solution.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

Now the Kingscote line is subject to corrosion because it is close to the sea (across the road in fact), and has been replaced several times in the nearly 40 years I have been here.    The present connection is a "temporary" cable laid on the surface a couple of years ago.
kipioneer
When you say "line" do you mean:

* traditional non-insulated wires on telegraph post; or
* insulated cable in underground conduit; or
* insulated cables on telegraph posts?

In my case, a suburban situation,
* the old telephone goes through insulated cables in buried conduits about 1000m to the exchange.
* the TV and Internet connect to Optus's overhead cable along telegraph poles along the street.
* there is also a similar unused (by me) Foxtel cable in the street
* what advantage would there be to me to get any NBN?
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
When you say "line" do you mean:

* traditional non-insulated wires on telegraph post; or
* insulated cable in underground conduit; or
* insulated cables on telegraph posts?

In my case, a suburban situation,
* the old telephone goes through insulated cables in buried conduits about 1000m to the exchange.
* the TV and Internet connect to Optus's overhead cable along telegraph poles along the street.
* there is also a similar unused (by me) Foxtel cable in the street
* what advantage would there be to me to get any NBN?
awsgc24

At least once a year I get a call to sign me up to ADSL 2. When I ask if we can now get ADSL they go away, come back and apologise because we can't Rolling Eyes Something to do with twisted copper pair(?) and there are no plans to replace it so we need to wait for the NBN. This in a populous metro area!!!
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
I live in an inner suburb, but a long way from the telephone exchange.  As a consequence, I have a relatively slow speed ADSL2 connection.  In the last three years I have had two faults in the copper wire in the street in front of my house.  Of course my (stupid) internet service provider did not believe that the fault was in their domain and made threats of high charges for the call out if the problem was caused by me.   I now wonder how long the last (spare) cable pair to my house will last (as the other pair is now dead).  Fibre has been laid in my street and I hope to sign on for NBN in the next month.  If we had taken the approach of fibre to the node, the whole street would have had to be relaid with copper anyway.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Pity NBN is now a political football, clearly split along party lines.

Australia's 21st century version of 'break of gauge' mentality Evil or Very Mad
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
At least once a year I get a call to sign me up to ADSL 2. When I ask if we can now get ADSL they go away, come back and apologise because we can't Rolling Eyes Something to do with twisted copper pair(?) and there are no plans to replace it so we need to wait for the NBN. This in a populous metro area!!!
"cootanee"
It can't be because of the twisted pair, you must be due to the rim you are attached to.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
 In the last three years I have had two faults in the copper wire in the street in front of my house.  Of course my (stupid) internet service provider did not believe that the fault was in their domain and made threats of high charges for the call out if the problem was caused by me.  
"Edith"

Would have been Telstra would it?  A few years ago my Internet would drop out momentarily and my phone would often have very noisy lines.
I got the same thing from Telstra when complaining, they said I'd be charged a fee (think it was over $100.00 ) if they found no fault.
So it bite the bullet and said get your tech out here ASAP....... and guess what ... Yep, he found a bad connection in their network termination to the house, fixed in 5 minutes for free, and no problems since.

Incidently, yes off topic, I had a similar experience with ANZ bank, an out of state transaction for $750 appeared on my statement. Now I knew nothing of this and made a complaint, during the 10 minute call, the ANZ person I was talking to kept telling me there would be a $40.00 charge if they found the transaction to be legitimate. She told me at least 15 times during that 10 minute call.
With every follow up call, the same fee was mentioned again and again!!
Three months later, I receive a letter telling me that the banks invesitagion is still ongoing, but (Yes the famous But) they had refunded the $750.00 to me as a mark of "good faith"
I wrote back and asked for a refund of the transaction fees and the interest they charged me. They replied with a "We will deal with that matter once the investigation is completed"
In the ten years since then ......... I've heard nothing from them!!!!!!!
  pandem Locomotive Driver

Location: Perth
Pity NBN is now a political football, clearly split along party lines.

Australia's 21st century version of 'break of gauge' mentality Evil or Very Mad
Groundrelay
I like the analogy but I would suggest that it is more like using a steam engine to power the High Speed Train.
It can be done with copper but after a while the wheels fall off and then it runs out of steam or capacity.
If it was done in copper the same maintenance issues occur every time the cable gets flooded.
RF works but there is a limit to the 'space' or bandwidth.
Fibre has the advantage of being superior to copper when wet.
Sure it can dug up but I think I would rather join a fibre cable than a 100pair copper.
Around 1990 when fibre was used for communication it was running at about 10Mb or so but now with advances in Laser switching and detecting, copper cannot compete for performance and cost.
The bandwidth could be described as DC to Daylight.
Lastly when it comes to security then fibre would be the best of both RF and copper. It is very easy to eavesdrop on RF and copper, just ask the CIA.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Hmmm, see Labor, sometimes people that know what they are talking about, know what they are talking about.

My bolding of some text within the article.

MALCOLM Turnbull's fibre-copper hybrid internet solution has achieved 100 megabits per second download speeds in an enormous inner-Sydney apartment block, in what he sees as a vindication of Coalition policy.

Sydney Park Village is a massive complex of 810 apartments across 18 buildings in the city's inner-western suburbs, mainly full of young families and professional types: a demographic tuned in to the virtues of fast internet.

It's a good-news story for the Coalition's communications spokesman, who from opposition today is due to launch the network at the complex, situated about 1km from the electorate of Broadband Minister Anthony Albanese.

Eighteen months ago, the complex set about seeking a faster internet solution, and with the National Broadband Network not due locally until some time between 2015 and 2017, decided on working with a private carrier to install fast internet before the NBN. Eventually, network provider OPENetworks answered the call, making use of an Optus Wholesale fibre corridor running along the street outside.

The fibre has been linked to the complex's internal copper phone network. Last week, the first users came on board and reported download speeds of 93Mbps and upload speeds of 40Mbps.

The VDSL2 being used is not the souped-up vectoring protocol advocated by Mr Turnbull. Nevertheless, its speed is the current benchmark for the NBN although it's well short of the one gigabit or 1000Mbps download speed the NBN Co eventually wants internet service providers to deliver.

Plans offered by internet retailer Internode to Sydney Park Village residents start at $49.95 a month for 30GB at 12Mbps download speeds and 1Mbps upload speeds. For $94.95, residents can get 300GB and speeds of 100Mbps and 40Mbps. There is no installation fee on the 24-month contracts.

OPENetworks managing director Michael Sparksman said installing a VDSL2 internet service to an apartment using copper cost about $200 - half for equipment and half in labour. In contrast, retro-fitting a fibre connection into a building could cost more than $5000 for each apartment.

Peter Hanley, telecoms' technician of Optical Terminations, the contractor that installed the system, said many private fibre rollouts occurred along public thoroughfares in the heady days of the dot-com boom.

He said private last-mile providers, which connect homes and apartments to existing fibre installations, were put out of work after the NBN Co engaged large contractors to perform the work. Small contractors had now received a new lease of life due to people wanting to circumvent the long lead times and delays of the NBN rollout.

If Labor is re-elected, the NBN Co will return to the complex to install fibre in all apartments in the future. The Coalition sees a future in the private sector complementing the NBN's work.

Mr Turnbull said the Coalition was open to co-funding arrangements for the fibre rollout and would look at flexible models. That included wholesalers being able to sell their networks to the NBN Co, provided they met network standards.

He described the Sydney Park Village rollout as "a good illustration in Australia that fibre-to-the-node can deliver those very high speeds".

Mr Albanese's office did not comment, but a US-based broadband publication, Broadband Communities, said competing operators in Australia could build networks that undermined the NBN if it gave customers inferior technology.

"In countries around the world, these so-called competitive overbuilders are always ready to pounce.

"They profit from an incumbent's second-rate performance," said the publication.

Chris Griffith lives in Sydney Park Village and is paying for a broadband connection.
The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/telecommunications/malcolm-turnbull-model-installed-with-nbn-speeds/story-fn4iyzsr-1226709390846

So why does it cost $200 for the whole complex to use the copper network when the FTTH is going to to cost $5000 per home? Simple, no holes being drilled in walls, no gardens being dug up to lay fibre, no crawling around in roof spaces to install fibre, using the pre existing copper has no capital outlay. Now be sensible here, 810 residences were connected for $200 TOTAL parts and labour, who would sensibly advocate on spending $4,000,000+ for the same result? Only the ALP, but they wouldn't be doing it sensibly would they...

That is why, despite what Fabricator will try telling us, the NBN is not costed, because the government and NBN Co have no idea how to estimate the cost and difficulty of that labour, so they simply left it off the books.

And pandem, I can assure you, communications are stolen over glass everyday of the week.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
At present I hang on a 250Kb/s wireless network run by a local company, who I like to support. I am in view of one of the largest communication towers in Gippsland, and their feed is off the side of a subsidiary tower.

I cannot get ADSL, too far from the exchange, even though it is only 1Km away. When I ask providers about wireless ADSL I get fobbed off.

The NBN has been laid in a new estate just down the road, but if it arrives here, it is 350m of trenching to get it up to my house, and I am not likely to foot the bill for that.

But a mixed fibre/copper solution would work well for me, as per the Libs plan.

However, I wonder what the fuss is really all about with regard to line speeds. Sure, it can take an hour or two for a multi-gigabyte file transfer, but how often do you actually download enormous files like that, and why the impatience?
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
If it was done in copper the same maintenance issues occur every time the cable gets flooded.
Fibre has the advantage of being superior to copper when wet.
pandem

The pit down at the front of my property has been under water for as long as I have lived here, due to a spring in my bottom paddock. It has no effect on my telephone services.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
So why does it cost $200 for the whole complex to use the copper network when the FTTH is going to to cost $5000 per home? Simple, no holes being drilled in walls, no gardens being dug up to lay fibre, no crawling around in roof spaces to install fibre, using the pre existing copper has no capital outlay. Now be sensible here, 810 residences were connected for $200 TOTAL parts and labour, who would sensibly advocate on spending $4,000,000+ for the same result? Only the ALP, but they wouldn't be doing it sensibly would they...
Aaron
Your reading it wrong, it says "installing a VDSL2 internet service to an apartment using copper cost about $200 - half for equipment and half in labour." So the total cost is $162,000 for the retrofit, funny it doesn't mention what the existing phone/internet service was. Plus if the customer is required to pay for the VDSL2 modem, that should be added to the cost as they are expensive items due to not being used much.

The other real issue is it is a relatively new apartment complex wired with cat5 cabling that already has easy fibre connection (you can add hundreds or millions to the cost if no fibre backhaul available).

A real cost comparison would be with an old apartment building, or an actual street that 95% of us live in. The huge difference being the need to replace part or all of the existing copper, which is rated to around 24mb or less, 1gigabit rated cable much thicker and in many locations will not fit into pipes. Yes that means drilling holes in walls, digging up gardens, and crawling around in roof spaces.

That is why, despite what Fabricator will try telling us, the NBN is not costed, because the government and NBN Co have no idea how to estimate the cost and difficulty of that labour, so they simply left it off the books.
Aaron
Oh please are you seriously trying to tell us a government backed project that is actually under construction doesn't have a budget at all ? This isn't Area51, there is no secret budget or black helicopters involved.
http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/BudgetReview201314/NBN
^ looks pretty official to me
Notice how the amount the government inject per year goes down from 2015-2016, this is due to NBN paying for it's own expansion directly.

And for the sake of completeness, here is the contracts awarded to wire up MDUs (appartments, units, businesses).
http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/462179/nbn_co_connects_largest_high-rise_apartment_nbn/
http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/456064/nbn_co_signs_third_mdu_contract/

Aaron just wants everyone to have a second rate communication network built by a second rate government, all in the vain hope he can pay a pathetically smaller amount of tax next year. Never mind it would be far more reliable, long lasting, cheaper to run and pay for itself.

There is no real upgrade path for FTTN to FTTH, as the cabinets and electronics can't be reused. Even the fibre itself has the issue it can't be cut over while it's still being used for existing services, so have to install more fibre as well. I short very little can be reused, made worse as most of the money is spend on those cabinets.

As the timeframe for FTTN to need replacement with FTTH is about the time it takes to finish installing all those cabinets (about 10 years) there is limited time to get a return on the $29 billion FTTN costs, is it even going to pay itself off ???
Seriously I hope they costed the price of the garbage dump to put all the FTTN cabinets, dead SLA batteries and VDSL2 modems in, their is going to be a lot of it to dispose of.

Only difference is the total cost to get to FTTH, under ALP its $37.4B, LNP its $29B + $37.4B.
It's a massive insult to flush $29 billion down the toilet on a technology that has a limited lifespan, when the superior hardware is available right now for a small additional cost (23%). Oh and if you pay us $5000 or some such sum we only have vague costs for, you can get the good stuff today, an admission that people might actually need FTTH enough to pay those sort of sums for it.

For all their harping on about NBN needing a cost benefit analysis, the Liberal party have not produced one for their own plan. It would fail I would suspect, but how hypocritical to demand something then fail to do it yourself. If you only need one reason to not vote for the Liberal party (or anyone giving them preferences) this is it, a monumental waste of government money.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
However, I wonder what the fuss is really all about with regard to line speeds. Sure, it can take an hour or two for a multi-gigabyte file transfer, but how often do you actually download enormous files like that, and why the impatience?
"TheBlacksmith"


As time goes on I'm sure people's reasonable requirements will grow (and there's a bit of a chicken and egg aspect), but I think you have a good point.  Some of the purported uses for the higher speeds (most of which come back to some sort of real-time video streaming) don't exactly strike me as offering compelling national benefit.

And I do multi-gigabyte downloads for work related purposes from home regularly, so I'm hardly a luddite.

I think it is reasonable to establish a new minimum standard (such as the use of fibre, the style of termination, etc) or standards that new telecommunications construction work to end users should meet.  I think it is reasonable that where the existing infrastructure has reached its end of economic life or is not capable of delivering some sort of reasonable minimum service level it should be replaced by stuff that meets the new standard, and there should be a bit of cross subsidy or whatever to help that along.  But I don't see much value in trying to rewire the entire country to a vastly higher standard in just one decade.  Blind obsession with FTTH or FTTN is silly.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
At present I hang on a 250Kb/s wireless network run by a local company, who I like to support. I am in view of one of the largest communication towers in Gippsland, and their feed is off the side of a subsidiary tower.

I cannot get ADSL, too far from the exchange, even though it is only 1Km away. When I ask providers about wireless ADSL I get fobbed off.

The NBN has been laid in a new estate just down the road, but if it arrives here, it is 350m of trenching to get it up to my house, and I am not likely to foot the bill for that.

But a mixed fibre/copper solution would work well for me, as per the Libs plan.

However, I wonder what the fuss is really all about with regard to line speeds. Sure, it can take an hour or two for a multi-gigabyte file transfer, but how often do you actually download enormous files like that, and why the impatience?
TheBlacksmith
350m is nothing to fibre no technical barrier there, NBN co will reuse any existing Telstra conduits including fixing damaged ones. If the copper cable is direct buried then issues arise, not sure what their plan is to solve that.

The problem is 350m of copper is unusable for the technology Turnbull has selected, where anything over 100m will either not work faster than ADSL2, or not work at all. That includes the cabling inside your house as well. In some areas I can see nodes for just 4 houses or no service at all. Running fibre to within 100m of every house is almost as much work as running it into the houses themselves.

The problems with line speeds isn't just download, its also upload. 2 hours, 47 minutes it would take for me to upload 1 gigabyte, but only 1/8th of that time to download the same. When its a 4 gig video of a friends wedding your trying to send them, then it just gets stupid. Not to mention you can't do anything else as its used up 100% of your bandwidth. If your sharing a house with someone expect to get yelled at at this point.

The only serious bandwidth hogs at the moment are either servers (game servers, business stuff like email, webhosting etc) or the new 4K TVs which can eat 20 to 30Mbps if you want to watch video online. Though most video games are either distributed or updated online, 4Gig is all too common for a single download. I expect more applications in the future to use more bandwidth, as has always happened in the past.

Anyway you could just make friends with someone in that new estate, the NBN box can support 4 separate networks with 4 separate ISPs, just point some wireless stuff at his house instead and get access that way.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
350m is nothing to fibre no technical barrier there, NBN co will reuse any existing Telstra conduits including fixing damaged ones. If the copper cable is direct buried then issues arise, not sure what their plan is to solve that.

The problem is 350m of copper is unusable for the technology Turnbull has selected, where anything over 100m will either not work faster than ADSL2, or not work at all. That includes the cabling inside your house as well. In some areas I can see nodes for just 4 houses or no service at all. Running fibre to within 100m of every house is almost as much work as running it into the houses themselves.

The problems with line speeds isn't just download, its also upload. 2 hours, 47 minutes it would take for me to upload 1 gigabyte, but only 1/8th of that time to download the same. When its a 4 gig video of a friends wedding your trying to send them, then it just gets stupid. Not to mention you can't do anything else as its used up 100% of your bandwidth. If your sharing a house with someone expect to get yelled at at this point.

The only serious bandwidth hogs at the moment are either servers (game servers, business stuff like email, webhosting etc) or the new 4K TVs which can eat 20 to 30Mbps if you want to watch video online. Though most video games are either distributed or updated online, 4Gig is all too common for a single download. I expect more applications in the future to use more bandwidth, as has always happened in the past.

Anyway you could just make friends with someone in that new estate, the NBN box can support 4 separate networks with 4 separate ISPs, just point some wireless stuff at his house instead and get access that way.
fabricator
No, it is buried copper, no conduits on my property. And while it goes past my front door, the estimated cost of laying it 350m through the property to the house is outrageously expensive.

Yeah, don't forget the new estate 'down the road' is a country measurement, about 6 kilometres down the road to be exact.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
I think it is reasonable that where the existing infrastructure has reached its end of economic life or is not capable of delivering some sort of reasonable minimum service level it should be replaced by stuff that meets the new standard, and there should be a bit of cross subsidy or whatever to help that along.  But I don't see much value in trying to rewire the entire country to a vastly higher standard in just one decade.  Blind obsession with FTTH or FTTN is silly.
donttellmywife
The problem is the entire network either has has reached its end of economic life, or is about to during the next 10 years.
There are three problems:
1. Functional, what is on offer isn't going to make much of an income, bog basement speeds and reliability = bog basement prices paid by customers.
2. Financial, when other ISPs can pay Telstra $9 a month for a ULL (copper line from exchange to a house), then it doesn't take much for any repair work to blow the budget. Blame the ACCC for the price determination btw.
3. Repairs, it's costing $1 billion a year to maintain, not to mention customers ill will at having to wait for repairs. Telstra haven't actually been repairing it properly even with those sums of money, the plan was to scrap things when NBN arrive.

A FTTH network could cost $200m a year to maintain, ability to change more for the higher speeds (1gb for example), and be generally a more stable platform for customers and the technicians who work on it.

Both sides of government have tried to improve things with things like "Blackspot" type broadband funds, which did little more than funnel money into Telstra for some new node cabinets, and the odd regional wireless tower by some other ISP. I consider it to be a bit of a waste of money, it could have been done cheaper if Telstra had not charged so much.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The pit down at the front of my property has been under water for as long as I have lived here, due to a spring in my bottom paddock. It has no effect on my telephone services.
"TheBlacksmith"
And let's face it, IP68 is nothing new...
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The problem is the entire network either has has reached its end of economic life, or is about to during the next 10 years.
There are three problems:
1. Functional, what is on offer isn't going to make much of an income, bog basement speeds and reliability = bog basement prices paid by customers.
2. Financial, when other ISPs can pay Telstra $9 a month for a ULL (copper line from exchange to a house), then it doesn't take much for any repair work to blow the budget. Blame the ACCC for the price determination btw.
3. Repairs, it's costing $1 billion a year to maintain, not to mention customers ill will at having to wait for repairs. Telstra haven't actually been repairing it properly even with those sums of money, the plan was to scrap things when NBN arrive.

A FTTH network could cost $200m a year to maintain, ability to change more for the higher speeds (1gb for example), and be generally a more stable platform for customers and the technicians who work on it.
fabricator

Your opening sentence is a clear exaggeration.  The entire network cannot in that precarious position across the entire country - large amounts of it (say 50%) have been built in the last three decades if you use something like population as an indicator.  The economic life of the in-ground part of that sort of cabling is probably double that.

There's the implicit assumption behind 1 that there's large amounts of incipient demand for faster speeds, beyond what can be accomplished by the existing network(s) where it has appropriate capability and is in reasonable condition (significant areas definitely exist where one or both of those is not the case, but it is nowhere near the majority of the network).  I personally don't think that's the case - hence I agreed with TheBlacksmith.

I don't see the relevance of 2.  Telstra fixed line revenues might be in decline, but it is still regarded as a high margin part of their business.

For 3, $1 billion a year in maintenance (or $800 million in maintenance savings) isn't really all that impressive up against $30 odd billion of capital spend (that doesn't even make long term bond rate!) - you need additional revenue (presumably due to additional function - which you obviously can get!) to make it worthwhile.  But again - see my response to your point 1.  There's also the issue that the really expensive bits of the network to maintain (dollar spent per user serviced or similar measure) are not being replaced by the current work (at this stage).

As a counter example - spend say $10 billion relatively quickly (perhaps in the next five years) performing targetted upgrades of high maintenance or low capability parts of the network, then carry on with the remainder of the $20 billion spend over the decade or two after that, as infrastructure condition and capability dictates.

(I have a contrary experience to the impact of water on telephony - I lose one of my landlines after heavy rain (but not the ADSL over that same line, which I find a bit bizarre).  The line infrastructure is clearly old and in poor condition, but I am not in a fibre roll-out area due to population density, which is understandable (satellite for me, I think).

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