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NBN: a long time coming « Previous | |Next »
June 22, 2011

It's been a long time coming, but it does now look as if the $11 billion infrastructure-sharing agreement between the Gillard Government and Telstra is to be signed and announced very soon(probably this week). A Coalition government under Abbott would strongly consider throwing the NBN contracts out. They say no to a very significant economic reform.


Under the agreement, Telstra expects to receive $11 billion from taxpayers in return for gradually shutting down its copper wire network and sharing its underground ducts with NBN Co. Telstra expects to receive about $4.5 billion for transferring customers and about $4.5 billion for a long-term infrastructure leasing contract. By shutting down its copper and cable networks Telstra will effectively end its monopoly over the fixed communications network in Australia. NBN Co can now start speeding up its plans to roll out the NBN.

Creating a national high-speed broadband network and ending Telstra’s domination of fixed line telecommunications means that Telstra then runs a retail service only. Its management strategy is--and this has been so for a year or more -- to push better services, pricing and marketing to its contested retail customers. Its immediate strategy is to grab as many subscribers as possible in previously uneconomic areas by upgrading its copper wire street cabinets---remote integrated multiplexers (RIMs). It will then keep them as NBN customers as they are migrated to fibre.

This 'Top Hat ' project---the equipment upgrade sits atop the existing street cabinets--will enable Telstra to treble the number of available ADSL ports in the cabinets and so increase speeds from ADSL levels to ADSL2+ levels. The NBN will take ten years to be completed and the industry will still have to rely for a long time on these Telstra wholesale services.

Telstra's aim is to ensure that it is well placed in a digital future where Telstra, Internode, Optus, iiNet and others are all forced to buy their wholesale product at a uniform price, and to compete on customer service and the user experience.

As Paul Buddle highlights what we will see happen is a shift in the national economy towards a digital economy that will result in the development of e-health, digital media, e-education and so on. The NBN will create a new economic platform for a range of new businesses and indeed industries who can harness the enormous information processing power of the NBN.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:15 PM | | Comments (5)


the dreaded RIMS!


We sit behind a RIM in Victor Harbor as we are 5-7 kilometres from the exchange. Despite the new NBN backhaul to Adelaide that allows Internode to now offer ADSL2+ our household cannot access ADSL 2+ because we sit behind a RIM.

Let us hope that this RIM is one earmarked for an equipment upgrade under project Top-Hat. More importantly:

(1) willT elstra's expanded cabinets be built with 'no spare space' in them as well so as to deliberately block access to a competitor--eg., Internode.
(2) will Telstra improve the backhaul from RIM to the Exchange?

Of course they could have done this years ago.

The deal with Telstra and Optus makes the issue of NBN take-up — one of the many confected issues raised by opponents at the NBN — moot. People will be shifted from the decaying, increasingly costly copper network (to fibre; or they can choose to go mobile.

is the Coalition going to finally start talking about adjusting to life with a fibre network, rather than Abbott's destroying or ripping up or terminating?

Isn't Abbott's programm one of stopping or rolling back everything Labor has done? Isn't the NBN a backward step for Abbott?

Turnbull was given the communications portfolio with the remit to “demolish the NBN" by Abbott, who saw it as a White Elephant.

Turnbull is now saying the Coalition would seek to change the mix of fibre, wireless and satellite technologies the NBN Co uses.

So that means the Coalition will leave those parts of the NBN already existing intact (Fibre to the Premises) but that the remainder of the network would be a hodgepodge of Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and wireless.