Tag: nbn


As you are aware, from May 23 2014 the NBN will replace most existing landline phone links, ADSL internet and Telstra cable internet services* in the first 15 Fibre Serving Area Modules (FSAMs). The existing telecommunications network will be disconnected in areas within Armidale, Kiama, Willunga, Townsville, Brunswick, South Morang, Deloraine, George Town, Kingston and Sorrell.

jxeeno blog:

In a presentation to institutional investors yesterday, Chrous, the leading telecommunications company in New Zealand projected that at least 75% of premises will be connected using FTTP/B by the end of 2020 — in sharp comparison with the 26% planned for the Coalition’s Multi-Technology Mix National Broadband Network (MTM NBN).

Everyone is moving towards FTTP because it makes sense and will handle future growth. Our pathetic government does the opposite because it thinks it knows better. Australia will be held back economically because of this disadvantage versus other developed countries.

Luke Hopewell at Gizmodo:

Malcolm Turnbull is meant to be the man. He’s the minister ultimately responsible for the National Broadband Network. So why did he jump on Twitter and bash someone for not being fortuitous enough to live in an area with decent broadband? It’s smug, and wrong.

Here’s are the tweets that lead to the exchange…

…followed up by this classic aggressive manoeuvre (which wasn’t true, she did answer the question)…

…and finally ended in a worn-out political slogan.

This made me super angry, because as I said on Twitter yesterday night, it’s almost impossible to know the true state of your broadband connection until you’re already locked into a lease or own the property.

The myBroadband website is inaccurate at best and completely misleading at worst. Real estate agents (& agency websites) have no idea. You can’t really check with any certainty about ADSL until you’ve got a phone line hooked up (which requires you to be the lease holder, and to spend a bunch of money).

I can’t think of any other way to know for sure unless you go door-knocking and ask neighbours. Even then, that’s no guarantee that your home or apartment will be the same as theirs.

A few examples

I’m fortunate to currently rent in a place that has serviceable ADSL2 on Brisbane’s southside, but the internet dies every time there’s rain. I had no idea. How could I possibly know this before I sign up to a lease?

This is why I live here: I saw a nice apartment in a decent location, with a queue of people inspecting & submitting applications, and I went “shit, let’s get the application in, and we’ll figure that bit out later.” If I spent even a day trying to figure out what kind of broadband options, speed and quality were available, I would have missed out. That’s how renting works in a city of any decent population. You snooze, you lose.

Another data point: Marc Edwards of app development studio Bjango had to spend $3000 to have a line installed to his place, after being quoted over $6000 by Telstra, and it took over 4 months to complete. Do you think this is something that came up during the process of buying the property?

One of our own writers Ben Johnston is a homeowner, and has had to rig up a few large aerials and a repeater station and share connections with a neighbour, because his estate developer split all their phone lines to save money. Again, how would you possibly know that until you’ve already bought the house?

Yet another: our illustrious podcast host Peter Wells lived in an apartment for 6 months without internet. I remember he had to record podcasts at work, because he couldn’t do it at home. Why would a technologically-inclined person possibly choose to do this? Why would anyone choose this?

The reality is, we don’t. We can’t. It’s crazy.

For the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, to suggest that the fault is with this person is incredibly out of touch with the realities of housing and broadband in Australia. This is the kind of problem a national broadband network is supposed to eliminate, and instead we’re reduced being belittled by our pollies for our living choices.

David Ramli at the AFR:

Vodafone Hutchison Australia has brought in Vodafone Romania’s chief executive, Iñaki Berroeta, to be its new chief executive officer.

It is understood the Spanish-born executive Mr Berroeta will take over from current CEO Bill Morrow, who quit his post in December to head up the company building the national broadband network, NBN Co.

Interesting choice. Iñaki Berroeta will be an unknown quantity in the Australian telecommunications scene. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of him, but according to Vodafone’s press release, he lead Vodafone to become the first mobile carrier in Romania to offer LTE.

Population-wise, Romania is in the same ballpark as Australia (21.3 million vs. 23.2 million), but a clear difference in markets will be our huge land mass; Romania has only around 238,391 square km total area, while Australia has closer to 7,687,000 square km.

A few other basic comparisons: Romania’s GDP per capita is much lower than Australia ($9000 vs. $67,500). It’s difficult to get up-to-date figures (both countries are pretty small-fry in the grand scheme of Vodafone worldwide) but the FY11/12 summary for each country seems to indicate that Romania’s customer base is a larger percentage of their overall population than here in Australia.

Another interesting wrinkle; Mr Berroeta will also be moving from a wholly-owned Vodafone property in Romania to an Australian Vodafone-Hutchinson joint-venture arrangement.

All that aside, Bill Morrow will remain with Vodafone until the end of March, then he’ll be off to head up NBN Co. I guess that guy loves a challenge.

Josh Taylor at ZDNet:

The strategic review (PDF), released to the public by NBN Co and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today, paints a dire picture of the state of the existing rollout. According to the review, the network would have cost AU$73 billion, and would not be completed until mid-2024. In direct contrast to the final NBN Co corporate plan put together by the previous NBN board that indicated the network would be completed at the end of 2021, and would not cost more than the already estimated peak funding requirement of AU$44.1 billion.

It’s a long, dense document, and everyone’s still digging through it, but Josh has some good early analysis. Tentative outlook: more money, less internets.

Australian Financial Review:

Vodafone chief executive officer Bill Morrow will be crowned the new CEO of the NBN on Thursday as the government releases a strategic review of the NBN.

Ziggy Switkowski was an interm CEO, taking the reigns after Mike Quigley resigned. I expected Ziggy to stick around, but nope. Despite the common opinion of Vodafone’s performance the past two years, Bill Morrow (who was called in to fix up Vodafone Australia) has done a pretty good job reforming the company. All the interviews I’ve read with Morrow have depicted him as a very straight shooter and none of the usual weaselling you expect from executives.

What happens at NBN Co is far too politicised to really determine if someone like Morrow can make a difference, but let’s see what’s in that strategic review shall we?