Opinion: Mr Turnbull, you need to do the numbers

he former Opposition leader needs a lesson in Internet history and the

Malcolm Turnbull’s recent claim that Australians will not want a 100Mbps connection, as offered under Labor's National Broadband Network, ignores the entire history of our access to the Internet and is recklessly misleading.

And for a man who prides himself on his business acumen and record he should be ashamed. Opposing the Federal Government’s National Broadband Network (NBN) plan is one thing, but misleading the public – intentionally or not – on the infrastructure that is supposed to support our economy for close to the next 50 years is unforgivable.

Why do I say this is misleading? In the past few days the former Coalition and Liberal leader told a Sydney audience that there was no demand among households and small businesses for 100Mbps connection speeds.

“The reality is, there simply isn’t demand at the household and every small business level for Internet at that speed, at a price which would make it even remotely financially viable,” Turnbull told a forum he convened in Sydney today (Monday August 9) to discuss Labor’s mandatory ISP-level Internet filter policy.

He continued to say the market for universal 100Mbps fibre Internet was not there – but there was explosive demand for wireless broadband – at which point he held up his Apple iPad device, on which he had been Twittering during the forum proceedings.

(Notably, Joe Hockey also pulled out an iPad to make a point recently too - is this a deliberate tactic?)

“This requires a very different sort of architecture,” Turnbull said of wireless broadband, while also claiming the market would provide the services consumers wanted.

Don’t seem like very controversial statements do they?

Yet, regardless of the debate over whether you think the government should invest in telecommunications infrastructure or if the “market” should be left to its own devices, Turnbull’s comments on speed and wireless are short-sighted and don’t stack up when you look at the empirical evidence. They also ignore the fact the NBN is not just for consumers, as Computerworld Australia has pointed out previously.

Domestically, the best source of empirical evidence for Internet usage is the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and since the agency started its Internet Activity Survey in 2000, Australians have increasingly demanded faster and faster speeds.

The following – which Computerworld has outlined previously - paints the real picture:

The December quarter, 2000, ABS Internet Activity Survey included the following findings:

  • We had 3.9 million Internet subscribers in total (3.4 million were households, the rest business and government)
  • We downloaded an average of 286MB per month overall (1050 million megabytes in total). Households averaged 171MB while business and government subscribers managed an average of 912MB per month.
  • 3.7 million Internet users, or 97 per cent of the total, had a 56Kbps dial up connection. The ABS did not have statistics for those using DSL at the time, but noted there were less than 40 ISPs (out of more than 600) providing the technology.

Going forward three years to the survey for the September quarter in 2003, the ABS found:

  • A total of 5.2 million subscribers (with household subscribers accounting for 4.5 million of those).
  • We downloaded and average of 901MB per month overall (for a total of 4665 million megabytes). Households averaged 739MB per month while business and government subscribers averaged 1963MB.
  • The number of subscribers by download speed of access connection was collected for the first time. Using its broadband definition to include any connection of equal to or greater speed than 256Kbps, the ABS found there were 657,000 subscribers fitting this description at the end of September 2003.
  • In the September quarter the number of dial up subscribers fell by two per cent to take the proportion of subscribers using this technology below 90 per cent for the first time to 4,522,000.
  • In the same quarter, DSL subscribers grew by 78 per cent to 372,000; just over four per cent of total subscribers.
  • Over three quarters of business and government subscribers (total of 696,000) received less than 256kbps. Only one per cent had a connection faster than 2Mbps.

The ABS Internet Activity Survey for the September 2006 quarter published the following results:

  • There were 6.65 million Internet subscribers (5.83 million were households).
  • We downloaded an average 5435.79MB per month (for a total of 36,148 million megabytes). Households averaged 5045.45MB per month while business and government subscribers averaged 8210.96MB.
  • Non-dial up subscribers accounted for 33,931 million megabytes of the total downloaded amount of data.
  • Dial-up subscribers totalled 2.75 million, while non-dial up rose to 3.91 million.
  • DSL was the dominant access technology with 2.99 million subscribers.
  • Wireless began showing growth with 186,000 subscribers.
  • 19 per cent of the total 820,000 business and government subscribers had a connection speed of 1.5Mbps or greater,
  • 17 per cent of household subscribers (978,000) had a connection speed of 1.5Mbps or greater.

The most recent survey results were for the December quarter in 2009. They showed:

  • We had 9.1 million Internet subscribers (households accounted for 7,459,000).
  • The average amount of data downloaded per month was roughly 14,909MB (for a rough total of 135,674 million megabytes or 135,674 terabytes). The ABS did not differentiate between households and business or government subscribers in this survey.
  • Nearly 90 per cent of connections were non-dial up.
  • DSL accounted for 51 per cent of connections; decreasing from 57 per cent in June 2009 when it was at 57 per cent, due to a sharp increase in mobile wireless via data card, dongle or USB modem (mobile phone data was not counted). This kind of connection increased to 2.8 million subscribers. Note, however, that the ABS does not collect data on whether these subscribers have both a DSL and wireless connection.
  • There were 935,000 cable or fibre subscribers.
  • For business and government subscribers the most common connection speed was 1.5Mbps to 8Mbps (913,000) with 42,000 getting 24Mbps or greater.
  • For households, the most common connection was 1.5Mbps to 8Mbps (2,281,000), followed by 8Mbps to 24Mbps (1,766,000) and 512Kbps to 1.5Mbps (1,201,000). There were 469,000 connections with an advertised speed of 24Mbps or greater.

The ABS statistics clearly show Australian households and businesses / government agencies have continued to adopt faster speeds and download more data at a consistent rate.

The following graphs illustrate this point:

NBN arguments 101: The Need for Speed

NBN arguments 101: The Need for Speed

NBN arguments 101: The Need for Speed

NBN arguments 101: The Need for Speed

Add to this the fact there is already demand across Japan, Singapore, South Korea and several places in the US and Europe for even greater speeds than 100Mbps – in many cases up to 1Gbps for consumers – and it is patently clear Turnbull’s statements do not represent reality and if we were to follow his prescription we would be left far behind the rest of the world. They are also contradicted by pretty much every big IT and telecommunications company in the world and a vast body of research on ICT trends.

But what of the wireless demand trend you ask? Again, the statements from the former Opposition leader are not entirely accurate and here is an extract from something Computerworld has already published:

“While it has been well-established that we are enamoured by mobile devices and are likely to continue buying them in the next few years – added to the marginal decline in desktop sales - it doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t want a fixed line Internet connection. Drawing a definitive conclusion that because we like mobile devices we only want mobile broadband connections is unwise.

“The first reason for this is none of the relevant statistics – which have already outlined - tell us how many people own more than one kind of device (both mobile and desk-based). It is very common for consumers and commercial workers alike to own a smartphone, a laptop and then also work on a desktop PC either at the office or at home. Then there's the emerging tablet market – anecdotally, almost all the iPad owners we have encountered in past months are using it as a fourth device, rather than a replacement.

“Certainly there will be many variations on ownership and usage trends – the potential combinations are numerous – but the data still indicates a significant need for desktop PCs, which to date have only connected via fixed line services. The ability to use mobile broadband connections through these devices has increased, whether through tethering a mobile phone, using a dongle or acquiring a fixed wireless broadband service like vividwireless. However, there are few statistics to prove this has become prevalent, particularly in Australia; in fact, the demise of Unwired proves otherwise for the urban-based majority of the population.

“The second reason you should be sceptical when people use the mobile device popularity argument is that there is no evidence to support the view that mobile devices only connect via mobile broadband connections. On the contrary, it is reasonable to suppose many mobile devices still connect to the Internet and download data via fixed-line services, whether it be:

  • Via a cable plugged directly into the device;
  • Through a docking station on a desk;
  • Across a wireless LAN or Wi-Fi connection enabled by a fixed line connection;
  • Or via connecting a device such as a smartphone or tablet PC to another device such as a notebook or desktop PC to download files and update software; also known as tethering.

“In short, yes we do love the mobility trend and the exciting new devices hitting the market but the data shows device preferences are not a killer argument that can be used by those against a fibre optic network.”

There is also a strong technological argument as to why wireless as a technology is not as attractive for a high-speed national network as fibre because of the consistency of service and upgrade path that the latter provides. In any case, the existing copper network will need to be replaced in the not too distant future and wireless networks still need a significant fibre investment - something the Opposition seem intent on avoiding discussing.

We’ve said time and time again that the general idea of having a ubiquitous, scalable FTTP network as the backbone of the digital economy for the next 50 years is something that really shouldn’t be in question and that there is no reason the Opposition can’t take the good elements of the NBN and turn it into a better plan – as the vast majority of the industry are demanding.

To not do so and instead play politics through the low-level of public knowledge about ICT and the value it brings to an economy is reckless and risky.

(See all of the OECD stats and graphs on broadband in our slideshow)

Additional reporting by Renai LeMay from Delimiter

Tags Malcolm TurnbullwirelessCoalitionNBN

More about ABS AustraliaAppleAustralian Bureau of StatisticsetworkFederal GovernmentLANOECDSpeedUnwired Australia


George Fisher


Whilst i agree totally with the desirability of high speed let's not lose sight of a couple of important items. The cost of installation is higher in Australia simply because our population density is very low compared with the likes of Japan and we already are paying too much for broadband compared to other countries for a variety of reasons. Turnbull should not be ashamed of questioning the viability of a system that hasn't been costed and just how much this high speed will cost consumers. I do know that Tasmanians are not rushhing to take it up and now the Government is reminding citizens there that if you dont take it now you will be forced to later and pay heaps for the connection and the new hardware required. Yes we do use and adopt new technology but always do so after considering the cost. Your article would benefit from addressing costs and charges



It would be great if rural Australia could get faster speeds than 1mbps. I only live 20 mins from Geelong and the maximum spleen avaliable here through bigpond is 1mbps wireless my only other option is dial-up. Surely the citys have faster enough speed. Rural Australia also gets ripped of 6th plan at a cost of $80. It's not good enough..



I agree that this is setting up a network for the future but I believe most normal Australians are happy with ADSL2 speeds and would rather cheaper prices than more speed.



An excellent article



I am reposting something I typed the other night - getting tired of repeating the argument....

We MUST have an NBN. If we don't dig holes, and modernize our telecommunications infrastructure for ALL Australians, only the rich, the govt and major corporations who will all demand fast broadband will have it, and the middle class, and lower class, the outer urban and rural citizens will be left behind for another decade (we could have done this futuristic sounding scheme 10 years ago, but now we have to pay more to catch up!).

Only the NBN will connect Darwin, and FNQ, Coober Pedy and Broken Hill. Telstra, Optus, iiNet, TPG & Primus all want it but have all said they would never build it alone. Labor and the Greens want it. The Nationals wanted it before the election, now they hate it. And the Libs will KILL IT.


Most of the money is spent digging holes and laying the fibre-optic cables. What most people don't realise is once the cable is in the ground, we don't need to do it again for at least 40 years! Maybe more. We will only need to lay more cable to new houses.

When we want to go to 1Gigabit, we just change your modem, and change the other end at the exchange, and BOOM! 10 times faster. And as tech gets faster and better, we go up and up and up. Fibre optic is the ultimate transmitter because the fastest thing in the universe is light, and that's what fibre does, transmits light - nothing gets even close.

Wireless towers that only work in the main street of a rural town where no one lives, only the store, and the pub is no good! You need fiber to everyone's home and work, hospital and school, the motel the resort etc.....then you stick wi-fi routers on the end and bang! Wireless for your little laptop everywhere.

When you vote, think of ALL Australians. Think of options for your future. Are you always going to want to live in the big city? Will the idea of a sea change come, and the one thing holding you back is rural dial up internet? ..... the reason we became an independent country in 1901 - egalitarian Australia - a fair go for ALL.



If the price of getting the internet filter scrapped is to also scrap the NBN, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I'm also not pursuaded by the country folk on this forum desperate for an NBN. While I acknowledge how you feel about having slow internet, you have to also accept that it's more expensive per head to roll out high speed connections in low density areas than high ones. And let's face it, once again, you're asking the city to subsidise another part of your lifestyle.



All that would be very nice if "A Fair Go For All" actually meant what it says, at this time Telstra does not even deem our exchange worthy of an upgrade to ADSL+2 even though possible. What realistic chance is there that they will come and lay fiber in the foreseeable future, precisely zero. Just as its been said by others many times before NBN is great if you are part of the 90% if you are not then its totally meaningless.



Fine Jason, maybe we should just let all our natural resources dig themselves up, even better, next time you want some spuds to go with your eight ounce sirloin you can come and dig them up yourself.



The problem with the Labor party is their attitude towards the Internet. Conroy is unlikely to disappear. He still ignores the evidence and is hell bent on introducing the filter. If Labor can't get it through the Senate then they're likely going to try to bring it in under the radar through regulation or slipping it into some treaty (compare anti counterfeiting treaty). They haven't gotten the filter across the line and the attorney generals are already nudging towards mandatory recording of Internet activity without a warrant. Again, it is the Labor mind set which is the problem. So Labor cannot be trusted with the NBN given their attitude. In adddition to that Labor has in the last term demonstrated that they are masters of waste and mismanagement. Scrapping the NBN does not mean that there will not be 100Mbps Internet. We cannot be certain how quickly market demand will spur investment in infrastructure without the NBN, but what we can be certain about is that a NBN built by Labor will arrive late and will have cost blowouts. Just look at the failed myki ticketing system in Victoria as an example of what could happen in Federal Labor. Labor might deliver a NBN, but with the time and money they are likely to waste would mean that Australia gets a raw deal. We can't trust Labor with the NBN if they can't even get the insulation program and school halls program right. Labor has a demonstrated history of fail.

Ben Cole


Prediction: Get ready for a OPEL mark 2 launch in the final week of the election. Not enough time for scrutiny, just enough time to waive the policy about and claim it as a viable, more cost effective alternative to a fibre to the premises roll-out. Not long enough for the ignorant masses to figure out that they're about to be sold a dud.

D Newman


Just one key point, Labour isnt building the NBN, NBN.co is and labour have nothing to do with the engineering planning or construction, just a small point there.
The man in charge of the NBN.co did a fantastic job overseas, and has had a long and good history in telco engineering planning and application.
The wireless B/S is sadly propaganda stunt for the Telstra/Optus wireless network, that is being planned should the liberals win.
The irony here is we are digging a hole for ourselves if we dont dig holes for the NBN, and we will be digging ourselves out of debt if we do.

This is the apex of the white elephant unbelievable sell to masses B/S, in which they claim optic will be a redundent tech within a few years......This would be the same few years I was promised a flying car by now when I watched science/tech shows as a kid, 30 years ago..

So to round that off, with a "Optic will be redundent tech once I fly a Holden to work"



Country folk? There's a difference between 'country' and 'not in the CBD of Sydney'. Is Newcastle 'country'? I know several people around here who can't get ADSL2+ because they live too far from the exchange/their exchange's ports are full/etc.

Wireless is a huge step backwards too. Sure, it's great for Twitter, but try playing a few videos and you'll soon see that it's woefully inadequate for any high-data or high-bandwidth applications. Coverage is spotty in regional areas and when it isn't it's 10-20x more expensive by data volume than fixed line alternatives. Just get a Wi-Fi router and use that while you're at home.



Jason: I am not in the country (quite the opposite) - I just think it is the right thing to do for everyone. I pay taxes for other peoples water, power lines etc...why is telecoms any different?

Austin: Patisan drivel at best - you are right about one thing tho - 100MB internet will come from the market driven demand....to rich people, and big companies who want your server in their data centre - forget grass roots inovation, forget disruptive tech from Australia - the big wigs will have control over all the information.

As a job I have to deal with our rotten infrastructure everyday, I say - rip it up and re-do the whole lot - new MDF's in buildings, new backbones for the whole country - it is currently crap, and no company will invest for 15yrs for a 7% return (slightly better than the bond rate). They want a 5 yr investment for 30% return....cant blame them, this is exactly what govt is for!



Jason, what a strange comment. I work in the CBD in melbourne, i live less than 25km from the heart of the CBD. Yet i am unable to get access to high speed internet (ADSL2 or Cable).

Now 1.5mbs is still faster than a LOT of country people, but there are a number of areas near the CBD which are serviced by Telstra RIMS, who are unable to get ADSL fixed line internet, instead relying on expensive and unreliable wireless services.

As has been mentioned before, the NBN not only delivers 100mbs, but also removes Telstra from a monopoly position, offers a very future proof upgrade plan, creates a lot of jobs and will MAKE money going forward.

Spending $43bn on hospitals etc is a good idea in theory, but once that money is spent, its gone. A NBN is going to be around for 50+ years, a bunch of nurses/doctors/teachers etc are only there while they money is. Sure, there will be some hospitals and schools etc, but still its an ongoing cost rather than an investment.

I think you forgot how painful 56kb models really are. How about you cap your internet for a month, then get back to us.

D Newman


@Jason even if labour wins and the NBN goes ahead, which at the moment is 50/50 give or take a yawn, sorry poll, the filter is dead, there is no way in heck it will get through the numbers againest it are just to overwhelming.
Someone else's point of a back door policy insertion via the governor generals, is more worrying because there is a suggestion there of policy push from sources OTHER than this countries government, and this tin foil hat suggestion has some credence in the global trend of paranoid desire to collect all internet data, this is occurring in the EU and the USA.

The liberals will not be privy to that information if true untill they get into power and get the briefs, then of course there could be a back flip.

Be intriguing to know ASIO,s opinion of all this filter cover for data collection.

Colin W


The real issue is lead time to deliver the NBN. Wireless could be rolled out really quickly to the poor country folks, take the heat from the debate, the cable could follow on a demand driven basis.

D Newman


That is perfectly true @Colin W, but using the same yard stick to measure response to demand for ADSL2, then that "to Follow" statement is akin to my "I will be flying to work in my Holden Flying car" before that happens.



If you want 100mbps fibre, then please pay for it yourself! Enough with wasting taxpayers dollars!

John C


What do you think Telstra, Optus and others have been doing for last 20 years, installing, maintaining and upgrading the networks already in place. The NBN is a con and is a waste of money, upgrade the networks in place.

As to Mr Turnbulls credentials to make comment on the best model for Australia, he is very well versed and has been working with industry for many years.

D Newman


We are paying for it ourselves 'Comrade", its just that you are to, you poor thing you.
In fact so far you have paid for Tasmania to have fibre, so everyone cheer for tasmania getting all our cash.....

Lots and Lots of money has already been spent, its paid for lots of people to do jobs in Australia, who in turn paid taxes to from their wages, they been busy planning and digging and building a service, which in turn will also generate income and tax revenue....
.So please spare me the over simplistic sound byte rubbish that is one diminsional clap trap.....Taxpayers money isnt being wasted its being sunk into something expensive with a 7% return rate.
The ONLY point of contention is can we afford it up front now, or can we afford not to do it or wait for a possiblty of private sector input..
.Not the glib one liners with no substance or meaning or actual sense, that you spew here and on other sites

Wish I could come up with a pithy sound byte like Comrade, but I dont appear to have a script to cut and paste from..

If its left alone, Tasmania is going to be laughing its proverbials off for the next 40 years at the mainland, which is so ironic.



Bottled water, whilst convenient to pick up whilst you're out and about, is quite expensive on a per-litre basis compared to mains-based household water supplies. You certainly wouldn't use bottled water to supply your shower, flush your toilet or wash your clothes in. But when you're on the go, it's great to be able to grab a bottle to quench your thirst.

If broadband were water, the Liberals would be focused on improving (probably by subsidising) the shipping of bottled water to rural and regional areas, rather than upgrading and extending existing inadequate water mains and supply infrastructure to 93% of the country, so that it will last the next 50 years.

Broadband, like water, isn't a zero sum game... just because people buy bottled water, does not mean that they don't want mains supplied water at home.



D Newman, I'm in Tas and unfortunately, if the Libs win, most of Tasmania won't be laughing. The initial stage 1 rollout towns will end up being sold off to some commercial FTTP operation, and the ISPs providing services are going to be left high and dry - the NBN can only operate at the projected prices they are using if it's a National network and economy of scale applies. Supporting 4,000 homes in 3 far flung towns (relative to one another) is simply not commercially viable.

Stages 2 and 3 will remain on the drawing board if the project is cancelled.




Yes they have.

The analogy could be that they (particularly Telstra) have been bogging up the old FJ.

Where as the NBN is a Bugatti Veyron.


So Taxpayer $'s eh?

What would you suggest the government do with them? Build nationwide, forward thinking infrastructure, creating (refer above to DN's outline)?

Or put the money under the mattress, whilst critical infrastructure falls apart and then say, but look at all the money we have, like the previous government did?



Let me know when you can drive a truck or train down the NBN to actually deliver the products that it is going to sell! Then I'll vote for it! By all means, fast track it into hospitals and schools where it will do the most good but come on, if we don't have the road or rail infrustructure, how can we deliver the goods? Star Trek "matter-energy transport" maybe?



@24. don't believe NBN supporters are saying to hell with road and rail, as all 3, as you rightly pointed out, can work together nicely!

So moot point really!



@ColinW, good point about lead time, though perhaps not for the reason you mention. It will take several years to roll out the cable, so we should be looking at the capacity needed from then for several decades. A wireless stopgap would be a mistake because it would probably never be replaced.

It's easy for people to say "we don't need more bandwidth for email and YouTube", but future needs will be a lot more than that. High capacity will allow many medical and business, etc, uses to be developed.

Someone like Malcolm Turnbull, who made a lot of money out of early Net development, should have a better understanding of these issues.



The author has made a logical leap based on an assumption, that people have taken up faster speeds regardless of price, whereas we know that prices have continually adjusted down over time such that a reasonable mid level connection is about the same price as it was back in 1997...

The ABS also doesn't distinguish between the maximum speed a person can get and what they choose. For all we know, the 1-8 Mbps range might all be able to get ADSL2+ (indicating they choose the slower speed) or none of them can (indicating they are locked by the lack of available service).

So it's hard to draw concrete conclusions from the ABS stats. Upgrading infrastructure is typically a good thing and planning for future capacity is as well, but as usual the price rides shotgun over the whole thing.

If only Labor would release a detailed and verifiable cost/benefit analysis that would actually put the debate to bed once and for all... Instead we continue on with this pointless speculation on an issue that, quite frankly, doesn't seem to be swaying the election much...



Colin, don't forget Malcolm has made his tens of milins in the internet space, remember ozemail? and hostworks? Malcolm is a power user of computing, more so than other polies even the ones supposedly running the Technology portfolio.
Key to Malcolm's comments are "architecture and current costs", and he is probably right on those fronts. NBN hasn't had enough business case, andI fearit's motivatin is anti Telstra, not the benefit of the Aussie public. Your points on growth are totally correct, but listen to abusinessman that has been there and done it, and made $ from it.. consider objectively.



Your attack on Turnbull's misses the point completely, which is that there is a lack of demand "at a price which would make it even remotely financially viable".



By your argument, as Australians are driving faster cars than they were in the past, the Government should buy us all Ferraris - and let us ignore the costs, and the fact that it's our money they're spending...



By your argument, if the government said, here, here's a Ferrari, you'd say, no?




Unfortunately it would appear that like the Libs Paul Fletcher (who under any other cicumstances, I believe would be an NBN advocate) Turnbull is clearly towing the party line, just prior to an election.

Sad that such forward thinkers in the Liberal party are being, imho, gagged.

Next Turnbull will tell us, he's a Monarchist after all, too?



<<By your argument, if the government said, here, here's a Ferrari, you'd say, no?>>

Yes, I'd say no because I know that that when the gov't gives you something, they buy it with money taken from my pocket - at greatly inflated prices - so do I want to be forced to pay $500,000 for a $100,000 car with performance that I don't want or need - No!



What even Prince Tony, no never?

Yes, the glass is half empty isn't it...



The attitude shown by Libs towards NBN is appaling. It is a very short sighted approach, without any vsion of what is feasible with a high speed braodband , especially for a vast country like Oz. The whole idea of wireless is ridiculus, they just dont get the physical limitations of the wirelsess capacity as well as the fact that to support a wireless network still required a fast network backbone!

It would be a shame if people get sucked into the argument of wireless or an alternative plan will fulfil the demands of the future!

Keep the NBN alive!



Nice use of ABS statistics. I suggest you read the repoerts a little more closely, and you wil find that Mr. Turnbull is essentially correct.

"According to the 2006 Census, rates of household Internet access and
Broadband connection decreased with increasing remoteness, with Major
Cities having higher rates of Internet access (66%) and Broadband
connection (45%), and Very Remote areas lower rates (42% and 24%). To
some extent the lower rates of access in remote areas are associated
with socioeconomic factors including lower levels of educational
attainment and income. 2 "

"Higher levels of income were also associated with higher rates of
household Internet access. The highest rate of household access was
for people in the highest income quintile (89%), while people in
households in the lowest income quintile were least likely to have
Internet access (47%)."

Does that come as a surprise to anyone? How will a FTTH NBN affect
this observation? The disparity of internet (and broadband) takeup in
Australia is vastly more complicated in analysis than counting up how
many kms of light pipe have been buried.

Here is a little analysis available for FREE from the ABS (what great
people :-)

This bit of the ABS reports are crucial to understanding the requirements of Australians.

"According to the 2005-06 Household Use of Information Technology
survey, 40% of Australian households did not have access to the
Internet. The main reasons Australian households did not have Internet
access at home were that the people within the household had no use
for the Internet at home (24%), or had a lack of interest in the
Internet (23%)."

"Around one-fifth (22%) of households in the bottom two equivalised
(that is, adjusted to take account of differing household size and
composition) income quintiles stated high cost as the main reason for
not having Internet access."


"The people who haven't got internet access, DON'T WANT IT!".
So the business model is that we spend the same amount of
money that would easily provide health care, education, accommodation,
dental care, mental health care, transportation so that we can provide
really quick internet to the 40% of Australians that "DON'T WANT
ONE!........OR CAN'T AFFORD THE $19.90 IT COSTS NOW.....!"

That is a big number. 40% don't want it, or can't afford it.

2 Curtin, J 2001, A Digital Divide in Rural and Regional Australia?,
Current Issues Brief 1 2001-02, Australian Parliamentary Library,

Now, why is this project a rool good idea again?

Mark Addinall.

D Newman


@Addinall thats great and accurate only in so far if ..

A..population remains static growth wise.
B..New world wide trends in online culture.
C..Those that dont have it, surround by people that cant have it, suddenly have access.

So both our points are rather true only by the fact the future is a fuzzy unknown, and seeing as we have a tough time getting next weeks weather down pat due to unforseen viables.

Polls are only accurate if then, at the moment they were taken.



hahahaha 14GB per month, I use more than that in one day, thank you TPG, See turnbull does have a valid point, because if we get 100Mbps fiber it will not have any affect on how we use the internet because on fiber you pay lots and only get a max of 300Gb usage. On ADSL2+ with TPG I pay $70 and can download 700GB (200gb plan with 2mbps throttle) .
Give me unlimited NBN with 50 or 100Mbps upload speeds and I will be happy, but the NBN in it;s current state is good infrastructure but all the ISP's have destroyed it.



the NBN is costed for one.

since i was enabled in tassie more and more people are signing up.

wireless technology does not cut it for lots of people connecting without a massive backbone. (which usually there never is)

Fibre is for the future so it is a great economic nation building tool.

the opposition hate it as they didn't think of it.

for a population of 1000 or more people it is actually economic to put in fibre due the amount of time fibre will be around vs copper. (copper + electricity + water) = corrosion.

buisness wan's it so thats a good sign its a good investment.

I think the most important thing of all is that regional centres get done first before city. however to be fair i think for every 10000 regional connection, 1 place with 10000-20000 people should get done to spread the economics around.



I know this is late to the game, but Jason your argument is specious. The regional and rural population also supplement some of the services that you get in the city, such as some public transport; Queensland Rail's CityTrain network for instance. What benefit does CityTrain have to people outside south east Queensland? None.

I understand that's a state matter, but the principal still applies.

As for those that think ADSL2+ is good enough, well say that when your copper degrades so much that it becomes unusable. There are people on ADSL2+ that live even 1km from the exchange that don't even get 4mbit.



To all the opponents of the fibre optic to the home system. The same was said about the copper PSTN before it was built. All your ancestor fools wondered why on earth every house needs a copper cable going into their house.............................................
The primary infrastructure must be based on having a bounded scalable physical medium, and wireless is only ever good enough as a secondary intrastructure IMHO.



And let us not forget that to have a wireless infrastructure and be able to sustain such fast speeds in an unbounded, shared and open medium for each end user there needs to be a fibre back bone.



For the average metropolitan home how much speed and volume of information does one need? How much information can people process?
While I hate both companies, Optus and Telstra haven't been running more cables for a few years because the government threatens the business model with the filtered NBN. Also no new players have entered the market. We are going backwards because of this.
The market should work like this -as fixed line/cable/mobile internet gets cheaper and better in metro areas and profit margins are squeezed by more competition there's an incentive to provide better services (at a better profit margin) to properties further from the exchanges or in more and more remote regions.
And remember wireless and mobile calls are expensive because government licenses spectrum -invisible stuff the government sells for billions to phone companies and that you pay for in higher costs and diminished competition (barriers to entry for the small players) -disgusting.



Turnball is correct most people won't be fussed about a 100Mbps connection.

Posts on Whirlpool will confirm that viewpoint.

The amount of people who could get a cable connection but rather get a DSL connection is much higher, could be plans could be quota I don't know, but if people were really fussed about speed then most people will be on cable but that isn't the case is it.

Wireless is going to be the big winner here, NBN or no NBN, because companies can set up a network and will get plenty of customers where as you have to wait for the NBN and then your relying on 1 government run network / company to give you super cheap NBN connections, lol.

Wireless has the benefit of being, owned by 1 company that has the end user actually connected directly, that will mean more money for a company than a NBN, the prices could alter heaps when ever the Gov wants more cash for a time.

Look at the extra tax of plane tickets that was only meant to last for a year then got kept for a 1/half and probably is still on plackets these days, to save the airlines.

Overall though, while 1000Mbps connections sound great if they are going to cost you $6,000+ to get connected then people aren't going to fuss about it, are they.

D Newman


Zag your missing the whole point because your being blinded by the speed, the speed should never have been used to sell the NBN, its about bandwidth and a stable connection for all Australians who desire it their homes, and for it to form the backbone of bandwidth to business and government.

The speed in effect is a bonus, most people will pay and connect at entry levels of around 20 to 30 mps.

For that you get all your phones(landline style) not mobile/international but international is very cheap, no line rental, so what you now pay for say a Telstra line and phone calls, you now get phone,internet and services to numerous to mention.

THAT is the big picture, your focusing on the small picture Zag.



I am unhappy with ADSL 1 in my area and wireless costs far more than ADSL when you consider we pay not only for the amount of traffic we can have coming and going but each car passing metaphorically speaking.
The internet represents to a society more than just it's business returns, it builds the body for social discussion, social cohesion by it's unifying nature, knowledge and access.
What a faster access to the internet means is that for people who aren't going and most likely can't afford to pay unexpected $10000 bills because a child got hold of an internet capable phone, they are not treated as second class citizens like under the american system of government but as people who have the right to engage in the marketplace.
Yes most household connections will be used for gaming, gaming is a large freakin industry.
It will also be used for video and what's a growing segment at the moment that's right video on demand.
increased levels of access as a government initiative retained on behalf of the people is not just about a direct cost to service relationship but will aid our economy by increasing business opportunities and hence gross domestic product.
The argument that we can't afford is bullocks when we consider how much the government has run down services to stockpile a surplus, it's time it's properly invested back into infrastructure like communications & transport rather than frittered away on direct cash backs to the public for short term sales.



I have all the broadband I need via mobile right now. (I stream video and TV shows.) I have not plugged into copper or cable at home since about 1999. I move around too much and need internet all the time, not just when I'm plugged in at home. Generally, this has cost me about $50 per month since 1999, so in real terms the price has been dropping. So I won't be subscribing to NBN - too much $$$/month, and no benefits for me. Given people like me are the growth market, NBN looks risky...and thats why no business is prepared to invest in similar.

The fundamental problem with NBN is the falsehood that it all depends on fibre. Fibre is just the new copper. So what? The fact is that multiple integrated technologies make up broadband. The future is heterogeneous networks of mixed technology used on a horses-for-courses basis, not one size fits all, and the proof is evident everywhere today - it already exists and will continue to exist forever, despite centralised government efforts. Anyone who says this is a fibre versus wireless argument is plain wrong and missing the point - it is a homogeneous versus heterogeneous network argument.

Sure, replace copper, over time. In the meantime there are options available right now - not just wireless, but certainly a greater mix of wireless than currently out there.

For me, I want the internet no matter where I am - not just at home, but when I'm at the pub, coffee shop, restaurant, customer site, driving down the highway, waiting for a bus/train/airplane. Problem is FTTH won't give it to me, and the way the NBN is structured it is creating a massive monopoly that will separate stationary from mobile network access for 50 years, and stifle innovation that would otherwise lead us to the 'ubiquitous' network we all really want, with internet available wherever we are. Not just now, but for the next 50 years this option will be stifled in Australia - but not elsewhere. We will become the dinosaur we fear becoming while other countries continually evolve to the 'internet wherever you are' vision.

NBN is another example of grandiose government overspend that leads to the unpredicted - but predictable - consequences of poor outcomes for the citizenry. The NBN is heading us straight into a dead-end.



I have all the broadband I need via mobile right now. (I stream video and TV shows.) I have not plugged into copper or cable at home since about 1999. I move around too much (multiple cities) and need internet all the time, not just when I'm plugged in at home. Generally, this has cost me about $50 per month since 1999, so in real terms the price has been dropping. So I won't be subscribing to NBN - too much $$$/month, and no benefits for me. Given people like me are the growth market, NBN looks risky...and thats why no business is prepared to invest in similar.
The fundamental problem with NBN is the falsehood that it all depends on fibre. Fibre is just the new copper. So what? Sure, replace copper, over time. In the meantime there are options available right now. Should not be all wireless either, but certainly a substantially greater mix of wireless than currently out there. The fact is that multiple integrated technologies make up broadband. The future is heterogeneous networks of mixed technology used on a horses-for-courses basis, not one size fits all, and the proof is evident everywhere today - it already exists and will continue to exist forever, despite centralised government efforts. Anyone who says this is a fibre versus wireless argument is plain wrong and missing the point - it is a homogeneous versus heterogeneous network argument. yes, there will be fibre, but the need for it is not as urgent nor near-universal as touted.

For me, I want the internet no matter where I am - not just at home, but when I'm at the pub, coffee shop, restaurant, customer site, driving down the highway, waiting for a bus/train/airplane. Problem is FTTH won't give it to me, and the way the NBN is structured it is creating a massive monopoly that will separate stationary from mobile network access for 50 years, and stifle innovation that would otherwise lead us to the 'ubiquitous' network we all really want, with internet available wherever we are. Not just now, but for the next 50 years this option will be stifled in Australia - but not elsewhere. We will become the dinosaur we fear becoming while other countries continually evolve to the 'internet wherever you are' vision.

NBN is another example of grandiose government overspend that leads to the unpredicted - but predictable - consequences of poor outcomes for the citizenry. The policies driving the NBN is heading us straight into a dead-end. I call it the Conroy Anchor.



@ D Newman
> @me thats great and accurate only in so far if ..
A..population remains static growth wise.
Sorry. Try as I might, I can't find the sense in that.
>B..New world wide trends in online culture.
And those trends are clearly showing us that the increase in mobile devices is far outstripping that of fixed line internet connection. Clearly.
>C..Those that dont have it, surround by people that cant have >it, suddenly have access.
Again, that makes little sense. The majority of households that have NO INTERNET ACCESS AT ALL, don't wan't it, at any speed. A significant number of low income earners feel that the currrent entry level of xDSL is too expensive. These are the people being offered $9.90 - $19.90 pm month broadband.
>So both our points are rather true only by the fact the future is a >fuzzy unknown, and seeing as we have a tough time getting >next weeks weather down pat due to unforseen viables.
So,we should spend $43 BILLION dollars on a system that may or not be usefull.....? Sounds like a poor business plan to me.
> Polls are only accurate if then, at the moment they were taken
My numbers are straight from the ABS. As are the numbers quoted in the article. When I worked for the ABS we called the use of statistics (as in the published article) 'selective reporting'. A bit of a statistical 'tsssskk'.
There are a few points:
1. Mr Turnbull is quite right stating that most Australian do not want 100 mbps internet access. Ask Australians if they would have it for free, and you get a different answer.
2. Government, Education, Health and business already have high-speed internet supplied by private enterprise.
3. Very high speed internet to the home is already available for those that want it. Those that don't have it (myself included), don't want it.
4. I have used the internet almost every day of my life since 1988. Mostly for business (software engineering of various forms). Current speeds are just fine. I share a 4 mbps link split between 16 apartments and I downloaded (just now) a WAMP 2 development system on this Windows server in 11 seconds. My static line internet charge is about $7 per month, paid in my rent. That sets up this development server in less than 2 minutes total, virtually for free. How is faster net access going to improve my business model?
5. I pay more for my wireless connection. I do so as I can carry a work environment around with me. I will not pay for an expensive mobile network AND an expensive static network. That make no sense to my business. One or the other, and like most IT workers, mobile is more usefull.
6. FTTN and roaming wireless makes sense. It caters for a homogenous architecture for the bush and for the city, bringing in economies of scale, and greater flexibility.
7. Japan and South Korea are touted as being ahead of us. Penetration in Japan has stabilized at 41% of households, Korea has very fast internet in Seol. No-where else.



Ask yourself this - do you want 43 brand shiny new teaching hospitals, or 100mbps broadband that will be used mostly for entertainmnet, but will be used at most, by NBN Co's extremely courageous estimates, maybe 50% of households?

Puts the $43B cost into perspective - could you possibly "need" faster broadband so much more than new hospitals, or better aged care, better schools and universities, better roads, better/cleaner power stations ?




100% correct. In fact, 110% correct.
For those that have missed it, the backbone in Australia has been OFT for a very long time. The last mile is still copper or wireless for home users. I want my internet on the train, on the beach or in a Hotel. Or at a client site. This is the future that needs to be built. Gradually, with a SHARP eye on supply and demand.

A tax break of %125 on the build of 4G 'next gen' networks, combining a better mix of FTTN and wireless will get broadband out to people in rural and remote areas a hell of a lot quicker, and more cheaply than this nonsense.

5G is currently in RFC and IEEE definition, and that is where the rest of the world is heading. FTTH is most certainly the 'new copper' (I might use that if I may). And a dead end, at VAST cost.



ADSL 2 might be fine now for people who have it but in 10 yrs time it will be slow. This will make us uncompetitive on the world stage as many other contries now already have 100 MB deployed. We are already 5 yrs behind IMO of other contries.

If we do not do this we will slide into becoming a 3rd world country in time.

Also the investment in this has already begun with Tasmania getting this. It should be allowed to be finished as it will be a bigger waste of money to only have done this project partly.

Won't it be funny if Tasmania has faster internet then the rest of Australia.

And as I already work in a large global business here in Australia with in the IT department I have seen first hand how backwards our Internet is already to places like China. The Lib's are taking us back to the dark ages if they can this and making us un-competitive in the business world.

This has more impact then a stuiped Mining Tax that is only flared up by the Mining companies not wanting to pay. They need Australia more then we need them as we have the resources. Slow internet in time will cost more jobs then a mining tax is what I am saying.




How, will super speed access to the home ncrease business? That is all I ask, how?
All I have heard is that 'streaming' telly will be improved, games might be improved, and some fuzzy idea now called eHealth. No-one can define eHealth, so if it doesn't have a specification, it doesn't exist. I have broadband now, so does my doctor. I still walk down to his office every month so he can tell me to eat better, work less, quit smoking and ease up on salt. I can't see this changing with a doubling of access speed.
How are the current speeds likely to make us uncompetative? I can't see it. How many times a week do you download an operating system? I make a bank payment over the net in less than 10 seconds. I can mail an invoice in less than a second (takes me 15 minutes to write and proof it). Heeadhunters and universities STILL call me on the phone....

'Law of diminishing returns' springs to mind.

A couple of business cases would be helpful in selling me the Elephant Blanko.



I wonder what the cost would be to rollout the NBN in 10 years time. Anyone have any idea how this could be compiled?

You can bet your arse that it would certainly be a few billion dollars higher in a decade or two. It wouldn't surprise me if the cost to build a NBN in 10-20 years time would be at least an additional "$6billion", which is what the libs are trying to propose now - Yeah, let's spend $6billion and still be substantially behind the rest of the world in 10-20 years time.

I say spend now and reap the rewards. We've been behind the 8-ball for far too long - It's about time we had a goverment that started using the money they have to enhance the country.



The number one point the article does not explain very well is that wireless technology NEEDS fibre to exist. The vast majority of wireless communication is performed by fibre optic cables running around the world, wireless just does the bugger all except to connect the last fraction to a wireless device. Like having a car at home with a driveay but no roads or freeways do get somewhere....



Thing is a lot want it and a lot don't.
Here in Tasmania the ALP want Fiber Optics internet. But I heard they want it to go to every house hold and every house owner will have to pay. I live in a small country town with a lot of old people and they don't even need it as they don't have computers most of them.



Yes, well in that case, NBN for no one, done...

Seriously now, I can sympathise... but we need to look to the future. Tell these people that this is (and it is in their cases) for their grandkids and they will understand.

However if our esteemed elders, still dont want it cest la vie', they can opt out!



Unfortunately I wrote a long comment (8884 or so characters instead of 3000), I'll just post it across three comments, the moderation should be able to remove it if they don't want it.

Hello, I don't often comment on articles on the internet like these, but I've been following the NBN in my spare time, and it definitely seems to be a good deal for all involved. I live in a somewhat "country" location, and have access to 1.5mbps, this is the highest speed available to people in my area, and I know that it's far better than a lot of people can get, I'd be happy if they enabled ADSL2+ access for me, at 24mbps, that'd be fine - for now.

I'm a student at the high school in my area and 1MB/s allows a user to download updates for a computer or a program that I require for schoolwork, but, because of the fact that there's a ~3MB/s line at school, it's far faster than most student's home connections, consequentially, they use it to download big files which may not be essential to their schoolwork - sometimes files that they could download at home if they had the connections (almost everyone uses the fastest connection available to them), this, unfortunately, ends in a slower speed for other users of the network. I think giving these users the ability to make the downloads which they need to - at home - would greatly reduce the demand on the school network.

Often, giving a group of people access to a technology will increase that group's productivity, without even instructing the group on the "best" way to use the technology (as sometimes this is not the most productive, it is only a suggestion), I don't know about the rest of the students at my school, but I personally have increased my ability to be productive in the 1to1 laptop program, as I'm able to take out a laptop and work on whatever I had to work on, or, perhaps an unintended side effect of the system is that most work is handed out before it is expected to be started, such as worksheets and textbook exercises, consequentially, a student can continue working onwards, and check with a teacher if they are stuck on a concept, while still at the same time keeping with the current stream of teaching.

I think that perhaps a faster internet connection could cut down waiting time, which takes up a very large time period, a required resource is unusable until downloaded, and if this resource happens to be 500MB, it may take 2 and a half hours on 1.5mbps, on 25mbps however it would theoretically take 2 minutes and 40 seconds, at this point in time, I think 100mbps isn't required, but it definitely seems it will be in the near future. At the current point in time, our internet connection is held back by existing hardware, and if the plan is the same in my area as currently in Tasmania, it's quite a lot cheaper to go by the NBN ($10/mo on the plan itself - I'm unsure about the other costs to do with the phone line), and ADSL2+, is the same price (as the current plan), but for far more bandwidth.



I see the time itself as irrelevant as any reason (originally I thought 8 years seemed like too long), because if the same thing had taken 8 years - 8 years ago, it would be here right now, and my impression of this network is that it'll return all it borrowed in a fairly short period. I think this could've been differently represented, if it was said that it would cost <x> amount a year on average (~$5.375bn) for 8 years of production, and return <y> amount a year based on current data (this part is a little questionable though, but estimates could take place) after made, it could seem like much smaller numbers and less of a "woah, that's a big number" kind of thing, kind of like if I said I would give each person on earth $1, it doesn't seem like much, but if I rephrased it as I'll give the world $6.831bn, this example isn't likely to happen, but it illustrates the point, giving both numbers would likely give people a better overview of the situation, paying $6bn to roll out a network that's worth it for maybe a year, certainly doesn't sound as good as paying ~$5.375bn a year (for 8 years) on average for a network that's going to last for 40 years, without even bringing speed into the statement, it's likely that a lot of people would be more sold on the figure $0.625bn lower figure that works for a longer time and better for that whole time. If you divided the money up by the expected life of the network, you'd get an even lower figure per year (~$1.075bn a year), I don't want someone to tell me that this network is going to cost $1.075bn a year when it's likely going to cost far more, but if someone put it in perspective, I think that it would probably be much more accepted.

A lot of the issue with Wireless and even ADSL2+ is, you don't get the speed it is advertised, I think when choosing between a network that would cost $43bn to rollout and a perhaps $100 million rollout (I have no idea how much it costs to rollout ADSL2+ to exchanges), for less than 1mbps more (for most connections, of course with fibre, a lot of people would still love to have 100mbps), I think that most people would pick the cheap rollout, but - it's not the case, when you get a 25mbps or 50mbps or 100mbps connection on fibre, you get what you pay for, a 25mbps+ connection (still dependent on the other party of course), gives you that same connection, with ADSL2+ or Wireless (I've heard), you don't get that connection, perhaps 8mbps, so what looks like 1mbps on paper is actually worth 17mbps, which is a bit more than twice more than what you get on ADSL2+, and wireless, is very unreliable at the current point in time, at least was when I last heard someone talk about it, local wireless is somewhat fine, not too hard to get a decent connection, but wide wireless doesn't really work very well over a long distance, I'd say it'd get better with better technology, but I think it'd still be far from perfect.



Perhaps my views aren't accurate completely because I don't have to pay for the building of the network network for another year or two, but in the same way, it is possible that my views are less biased. I don't know about all the other observers but every single argument I've seen against the NBN has seemed to carry no weight.

I think the main issue with the NBN is how to tell someone how much it costs, if I said "I'm building a network, it's going to cost $43bn", they'd probably think it a waste of money, but if I said "..it's going to cost $43bn or-- on average ~$767 million per state per year of production, which equates to a build cost of ~$154 million per state per year of production over the expected life of the network", giving all these conversions, ~$154 million (($43bn / 7)/40, I excluded ACT because it's very small and would most likely dilute the value and give a false impression) seems far less extreme for a national infrastructure that will give the ability to access extremely fast internet than $43 billion, if you then proceeded to let them know that this network would also be making profits, then this ~$154m value would alone be enough to convince them that it wasn't too bad for a network to be built.

It may possibly be that I just want to get everything that _has_ to take a certain amount of time (like a download), to go faster, so something that I can do more quickly can be done with more care. It may also possible that no-one is able to present an unbiased opinion on this issue, because everyone either has fast or slow internet, and the people with fast internet would prefer not to spend money on a new network that offers them more speed than they need at the current point, and the people with slow internet would love faster internet, regardless of the cost, there are perhaps two options for where it could go to get a somewhat unbiased opinion, one would be to make everything the same, and faster, or the same and in the middle (no use making everything the same and slower, as that can already be done and would have people complaining), I think I would definitely prefer the make everything the same and faster option.



My opinion on the Internet Filter is that it simply cannot work, the only way to ensure that it wont be misused is to give everyone access to the list of everything that they can't get to, consequentially, the people who would deliberately look for this content would just be handed the list for everything that they want in that area, I think in a situation like this, not publishing the list would be just as bad, as then you could block anything at all you wanted, because you are the authority on the matter, you could check the content and give whatever response you wanted, if this were mandatory, it would be problematic and give a way to censor anything that they don't like, if you make it non-mandatory, you essentially have the exact same system that already exists today, and, in a lot of situations, it is applicable to use such functions.

That's my opinion, and I think I may have written a longer comment than expected.

- Grady

I think I'm much more used to forum format, where the limit is in the region of 65534 characters instead of 3000, as comments are.

D Newman


@Grady, you have obviously spent a long time on that and have thought long and hard about it, i,m sure you will excel in your studies, and kudos to you.
I also noted how you broke each subject down, and looked at its parts, before reassembling and offering an opinion, an admirable skill to have.

Now you just need to learn how to condense a report (laugh) joke.
You keep writing what you want to write, most people on forums expended 0.1% of the thinking and effort you applied here, so hold your head high (laugh)



It must be nice to be a politician and pull out the latest toys (paid for by the taxpayer) with unlimited data allowances (paid for by the taxpayer) and tell the rest of us mere mortals that we do not need fast internet.

D Newman


The sudden mass pulling out of ipads by the liberals hasnt escape all of our attentions, so yeah TuffGuy you are quite correct lol.



@addinall @ Stevo.

Read #21 from warren, it answers you most succinctly...

Kudos Warren, love the analogy...LOL!



@ GRady
"I think I would definitely prefer the make everything the same and faster option."

Good. Then you don't want a FTTH OFT NBN.
FTTN and increased use of wireless technology is the only option that makes sense.

NBNCo needs to be shut down now. Today. It is a toy for some Labor mates to spend OUR money messing around.

802.16m if you want to see what the rest of the world is doing.



@66 - addinall
If I were living permanently in the short term, I would like an FTTN network, but ultimately, as hardware grows in the are of the size of source data and output data, I would prefer a FTTH network, as it is kind of an end point for a network - the goal, FTTN is a separate path, it would go down the road of ADSL2+, in a way, though this network would still be much more reliable than ADSL2+, eventually bandwidth would become limited to each connection, and FTTN is not a stepping stone to FTTH (according to one article on this site), though, I'd say, I would be happy with an FTTN network in the short term, it would definitely be money better spent than on wireless in my opinion.

I don't think that FTTH is a waste of money, and would be happy to have acquired funds derived partially from me to be spent on it, especially in a manor that it is currently being managed. Plenty of input has gone into this, I think that those implementing the networks would've liked more input for uses than they got, but I think that the biggest benefit from a super high speed network will come from the unseen applications.

Wireless is okay, but I wouldn't use it as a solution. I think it's a similar situation to purchasing a motherboard of a computer (this analogy may apply to FTTN too, but to a lesser extent) that can handle future demand rather than just what you have now, if you plan to put in extra RAM in a short while, you would have to purchase a brand new motherboard to support this new demand, though in the short term, a less capable motherboard is cheaper, though getting a more capable one will eliminate the cost of the first completely. The cheaper board is not a stepping stone to the more expensive one, but if you only needed the first one forever, then you would probably be content by just having that one. The analogy isn't perfect, but it does illustrate my opinion - I'd rather they put in a FTTH solution, because the hardware is easily upgraded at the split points (perhaps a Point-to-Point network would be better, but I do think that those people who were told that it would cost $43bn would be more annoyed at the cost of ~$47.3bn) and it does seem like the system could be upgraded at each splitter (though I'm not sure of the specifics) later, and 40gbps split to 32 people is still more than 1gbps, though I expect this will eventually be inadequate; however, if my suspicion about the hardware being upgradable at the split point, these splits could be reinforced by running extra cables to the next split (unless I've made a mistake and it splits it to 32 rather than just two or at least less than 32) in areas where 32 users could not simultaneously achieve the advertised speed (users in these locations would likely be paying for expensive connections such as >1000mbps with as much data as they can get, so would expect to justify the cost).

- Grady

Colin W


Yes Yes I confess, I would vote Liberal, if I had a vote, which I don't. So build the NBN I say spend the $42B+, I will get the high speed/bandwidth and before my Alzheimer's kicks in, then i wont care and you mugs can fund my ehealth. The pleasant thought I can as I near my dotage is that all you mugs will pay for the NBN as you too will grow old and grey, well that is if the neighbours let you!! :)



Odd, it wouldn't let me comment for a while there.

@68 - addinall
At my house we have a fixed line internet connection (1536 kbps down, 256 kbps up), which is connected to a switch and a wireless router, this enables laptops (and other devices) to be connected and disconnected as required by wireless, while running fixed LAN to the rest of the connected computers, it is not uncommon to have 7 computers simultaneously using the internet, when using only one connection, a 1.5mbps downstream connection would do, but depending on how much spare time you have, it may not be enough (waiting an hour to get a requirement for something stops you from starting that work until an hour later, which is not always an hour you have to spare). I think in a household that has no members undertaking either education, assistance or even high bandwidth recreation (games, etc.), you would most likely do with 1.5mbps, I'd say in these situations, you'd probably even do with dial-up (if it weren't for phone line tie up).

In my opinion, FTTN is not sufficient for the future, reading more into it, if it does use copper (I'm not sure if the FTTN you're proposing uses copper to get from the node to the house or not), it would reach a user 500m away at 50mbps (according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_High_Speed_Digital_Subscriber_Line_2), I do think that I'd be happy with 50mbps for now, even with 10 users, there would be 5mbps each, and with a 50mbps upload I'd be able to transfer the 250MB or so notes for my friend for school in 40 seconds. But, FTTN still relies on copper, which, as we see by the current network deteriorates in quality as time goes by (I'm fairly sure this doesn't happen with fibre).

The issue for me with an FTTN network is that it's only a little more than 2x the speed of ADSL2+ (advertised speeds at least). Also that: "...the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) advised the department that FTTN was "not a stepping stone towards FTTP" (fibre-to-the-premises)." (http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/335122/expert_panel_member_defends_nbn_tender_process/).

I unfortunately couldn't find the article detailing the suggested implementation of the network in terms of hardware, in particular the article that mentioned how the network could reach 40gbps already, this is the main factor in my uncertainty about the capacity for upgrade in this network (I can't verify my own claims until I see it).

Text data isn't very high bandwidth, but when you get into what a lot/most of sites use, flash, pictures, pdf files, applications, collaborative spaces, etc., that 1.5mbps no longer seems quite so adequate, if you are the only user, and only have to load a few pages, then I'd say there would be no issue with speed, but when you have to load lots of pages, and/or with lots users trying to do a similar thing to you, it quickly multiplies.
- Grady

D Newman


Grady (laugh) I like you, when you serve someone, its done with an tidal wave of heavy research and well thought counter arguement.
Your post was a pleasure to read....



Just be quiet. You don't have the tools for an argument of wit.
Nice work again, lacking in substance. And again, lacking research. 'In your opinion' the concept of NTTN is 'unworkable' in the future. On what experience drives that opinion?

Swapping 450MB of information must be good fun! What information exactly?

School notes? You must be the most prolific publisher in the history of Australia, perhaps the world. per day? Amazing!
In my entire life I have published 10 papers and a few hundred computer programs and the lot barely works up to 110Mb!

So, what is it you want to swap at very high speed?




"Just be quiet you don't have the tools for an argument of wit" you say to Mr. Newman..LOL...

That's just your opinion.

From my perspective (and go on say it, you haven't got the tools either...wow) I personally quite enjoy Mr. Newman's sometimes facetious, sometimes forthright take on comms... as he is one on the coal face.

Conversely, I see your contrived waffle as forced, boring and rehearsed... not natural at all. Your comments are also overly verbose for the sake of being pompously condescending and without foundation.

This is a forum where opinions are welcomed. If you and your non-negotiable, always correct [sic] opinions don't like it...well you know what you can do...!

But that's just MY opinion...

D Newman


@Addinall you also very clearly lack the wit to see beyond your own closeted experience, I quote "In my entire life I have published 10 papers and a few hundred computer programs and the lot barely works up to 110Mb!"

So your entire experience equates to that and you have the nerve to preach to someone...You experience appears to have started and ended in 80's.

I have this week downloaded school stuff for my youngest daughter that is more than you claiming in your entire life, so with all due respect take your opinion and ram it back into the 1980,s retro Computerworld forum...

Because quite frankly that young Grady has 100% more of an idea than you do, so time for the wicker chair and big hat, i,m in my 40,s and my download for apps in the last month is greater than 110mb, besides I didnt know they still support Win98 that quite clearly your downloading apps for.

D Newman


@Addinall as for uploading all of the above also applies, I uplink via shared data apps, and remote access to perform remote upgrades and fixs, from home.

Because I work 2 days from home as part of a drive by my company to cut its footprint, I have a bonded connection that I allows me to do this, but upstream can still be an issue with multi conference, the future is in that direction, and thankfully not your outdated and quaint notion of a view.



@72 - addinall
I use terms like "In my opinion" and "I think" because we're looking at the future, 8 years is a while, 7 years ago, my hard drive was 2.1% of the size it is now, and my downloads about less than 1% of the size now at that time (it's hard to measure this though).

The information I was swapping was notes on Advanced Maths, I'm assisting my friend to improve his Maths skills by sending him the first semester of work.

Also, most programs I've written equate to perhaps 5MB each, and I have about 100MB of programs that I've made across a time period of about a couple of weeks, so maybe this is a sign that to transfer what used to take a second is going to take twice as long on the same connection, in similarity of content. Or maybe it's just that you use a different language than I do and so the files created are much smaller.

It took two hours to transfer the first subject (1/5) document for my friend, because I get home at about 4pm, and my friend arrives home at about 4:30pm, after he downloaded a sharing medium, it was about 5pm, two hours after that, it was 7pm, which leaves perhaps 2 hours to do the work, as opposed to 4 and a half, if I had uploaded these notes on a file sharing site, it would have taken even longer.

Observing from the current point in time, an FTTN network would be fine, more than doubling the current ADSL2+ advertised speed, but, with the objective of rolling out across 8 years (perhaps this would be cut down to a much shorter time if it were only FTTN, but I'm not entirely sure that that would be the case), I think it's inadequate for future demand, though, it's not a certainty that this is the case, based purely on my own experience extrapolated, in 7-8 years time, I'll be downloading 100x as much, consequentially likely requiring ≥ 100MB/s, having access to half that would be better than a quarter or an eighth or even a sixteenth, but I think I would prefer to be able to access what I need.

Watching videos is a good way to learn, mainly when you are able to apply this yourself, I've watched ~1020 videos detailing various machines and mechanics on a single video site alone, these videos often need to be at least a certain resolution for you to be able to understand how it works by looking at it, consequentially, these videos are about 7MB a minute and average about 10 minutes, each of these videos introduced interesting new concepts to me, and I think I've gained a lot of knowledge from watching them, these videos could probably be watched easily on a 1.5mbps by one person, but if you have a second person using ~0.5mbps, it's not so easy, and some videos have a much higher bit-rate so can't be streamed seamlessly even on 1.5mbps.

When you have about 6 hours to do work, being able to speed everything up that you otherwise have no control over really helps, at least in my experience.

I would like to swap notes at high speeds.



I think that a lot of younger users of the internet will see the benefits of a much faster internet connection than those who have never needed a faster connection. Honestly, once you get a faster connection, you wonder how you tolerated the slower connection, at least in my experience (going from 56kbps to 512kbps and also 512kbps to ~1500kbps).

If you can prove that an FTTN network would be sufficient for now, 8 years from now and perhaps even 40 years from now, I'd be happy to know, but extrapolating data doesn't necessarily equate to the actual end result.

I think if FTTH is the potentially best technology (regardless of price), and at current can be shown to run the fastest (40gbps), I think I'd rather choose a technology that shows itself as the best going into an uncertain future (I don't know how fast we'll need the internet or how much we're going to download, so I'd prefer a network that best meets the demands for a very heavy use scenario). Though this wireless technology you've been talking about does sound interesting, with a suggested 4G technology (100mbps), perhaps it would be better to go with the 802.16m technology (100mbps - 1000mbps), they're not up to the wireless leg of the roll-out so perhaps before setting that up they should take a look at the technologies available to them then, also considering that the standard is still "In Progress" (according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/802.16m unless I've looked at the wrong standard), I think it may not be quite set for roll-out yet, though I do think having similar access to the internet as the Fibre leg would be beneficial, similarly, giving access to a 1gbps satellite would also be beneficial, but, still in the same stage, still being tested and evaluated.

I think basically, the FTTH network is very good - optimal, and the only parts that need later review are the wireless and satellite parts, though the technologies are still being planned, tested and evaluated.

- Grady

Colin W


@Grady, the point you raised about high speed and the lack of of tolerance for lower speed once high speed has been experienced is correct. It is like finding love and losing it. But high speed broadband is not to be had at any price. The country has finite resources and the government must balance the needs to provide a comfortable retirement for older people before building a new network.

D Newman


@addinall has actualy reminded me of something, his attitude mainly.
There was a heated debate at work about the Attorney Generals and censorship, so someone pulled up the usage stats that had been compiled across ISP,s for various reasons, my stance was againest an 18 classification as I at the time didnt realise the scope of the issue, the data was used to slap me into submission (laugh).

They were shocking to me, as I had no idea of the scope of some of the usage, which is why I had posted here saying that the liberals had underestimated the situation demographicaly wise.

Most weekends, 4.4 million Australians will log into an online game of some type.

Of which 2.2 million pay roughly $15 dollars a month to do so, which is at present 33 million dollars leaving the country a month, as no Australian based subscription system exsists.

This just represents online gaming, not normal gaming and patching and downloading, and I confess I was shocked at the scale of it, and I didnt think I was that in the dark.

It also caught alot of ISP,s out on its take up rate, requiring some changes to be forced apon them by demand, upload speed was an issue early on, and of course the curse of latency, now some issues even with the Guam solution are still with us and will be, but less if the NBN comes online nationwide.
However the Guam extra pipes, are going to be opened up more in the near future purely because of the natural data increase creep thats occuring now.

More people are now going online for some sort of activity in Australia than go fishing,watch the footy combined at the weekend, and its a trend thats continuing, the data from 7 months ago and last month once compared on a yearly basis show that clearly.

Data usage both up and down is increasing exponentially
taking aside gaming, that is accounting for a fair amount, then we have the launching of IPTV and various other types of TV/Films over the net, which has Foxtel worried enough to try legal shanninigans and blocking at source tactics......

Where I work they are forecasting and planning for a doubling of present usage (data amounts) within 5 years, and on that principle alone I would have to oppose the coalition NBN, as it is missing some key goalposts, in data usage and how the vast amount of it will be used.

I call it the King Cunute syndrome, there is a tide coming in and no amount of wishfull thinking is going to stop it.



@D Newman
Perhaps the 'stuff' you download for your daughter contains pretty pictures and animations.

These are rarely seen in C programs. Nor Perl, nor PHP, nor Ruby.

As for supporting Win98, perhaps you are thinking of someone else. I was the founder and first chair of the QLD AUUG in 1991, and still support Open Solaris systems, Fedora and Suse.

As for time frames, my experience started in 1984 (in IT, spent a bit of time prior to that being a soldier) with Sybiz Software. Made an entire accounting system that worked on two floppy disks. Much later in life 1995 from memory, I wrote an RDBMS for the Australian Army that came in at 113 KB. Just wrote a 'heartbeat' failover for Energex that also came in at less than 100 KB. Fast too!

Currently working on version 4 of my CMS Chameleon, that also hits well under 2 MB of code, including the PHP, CSS and Javascript.

So, still pretty current, and my programs are still rather small in size.

What have you written over 1GB? And why?

And how often do you share these tomes of wisdom with the general population?

Can we see a publication list? Some abstrats perhaps?

If you want to flame, take it to USENET sonny, aus.flame is still alive after NNTP replaced UUCP.

D Newman


@Colin W your missing one huge point and one that is screamed about with good reason, market demand and market usage, both dictate there is at present a problem, and the new coalition plan doesnt go far enough to resolve the issue.

As I said we are forecasting double the data usage within 5 years,with hard data to prove the trend. and at the present coalition plan doesnt go far enough, it is a bigger white elephant than the other big white elephant which in the near term over addresses the issue.

There had to be a middle ground compromise and the colition plan fails on an epic scale to be that, I had said that the older HFC standard would suffice as an option, but then the amounts of money involved came closer and your left thinking, whats the point, the 26 billion over 10 years, or 16 billion for the HFC over 8 years, pointless excersise in accounting.

D Newman


Thats all very impressive if true, but that leads to ponder why your ignoring the data trend predications, by which my industry are using as a roadmap, the data allowences increases in the last year alone have more than doubled.

Are you confussing pure business data for home/business data usage combined, and why?

I cant understand the putting down of the personnel usage, by policticians and posters here, one is driving the other to some extent, plus its been poor nationwide situations that have held back the data rates as compared to other nations.

But then again, that would mean an industry using its wits, a matter to which you have a questionable subjective opinion on.



King Canute (Kanute) was a Dane that would rule the north of England. His attempt with the tides, was to show lesser minded people that the shape of nature could not be controlled by decree. A lesson well aimed at idiots.



Thats all very impressive if true, but that leads to ponder why your ignoring the data trend predications, by which my industry are using as a roadmap, the data allowences increases in the last year alone have more than doubled.

Show me the analysis. I'll look at it. Don't just tell me it exists 'somewhere'.

Are you confussing pure business data for home/business data usage combined, and why?

I never confuss a damn thing.

I cant understand the putting down of the personnel usage, by policticians and posters here, one is driving the other to some extent, plus its been poor nationwide situations that have held back the data rates as compared to other nations.

But then again, that would mean an industry using its wits, a matter to which you have a questionable subjective opinion on.

Try again using English. That mish-mash meant nothing.



@ 84 - addinall
>Show me the analysis. I'll look at it. Don't just tell me it exists

I don't know where to find them either but, for for speed older statistics are available for personal usage (and published in this very article), they show 30% had 1.5mbps - 8mbps, up on 17% in the previous survey, and usage increased to more than 2x (about 250%) of it's usage the previous survey.

I found an interesting bit of information (abs):
In 2008-09, 72% of households had home access to the internet, though 86% of households with children under 15 had access to the internet. (http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/9B44779BD8AF6A9CCA25768D0021EEC3/$File/81460_2008-09.pdf), this may just be that those with children under 15 comprise a smaller percentage, but I think it's likely that a child undergoing education in this kind of society is greatly assisted by the internet.

- Grady

Also, I think it would be more readable if in future you made some indication of which lines you were quoting rather than pasting in the lines there and just writing the reply underneath.



It's known as ILS (Internet Liar Syndrome) Grady...

Our friend addinal, is a chest beating hero (like someone else who has disappeared and another has appeared, eh DN, lol) whilst sitting anonymously behind his PC monitor...

This is your life in 110 MB...LOL!!!

Then he has the audacity to call others names (like idiot) and question their wit, but complain about flaming...

Maybe you should check your English too addinal, as you also seem most confus(s)ed...OMG.



You know how to use broadband lorro @38. Please help those less informed than yourself. They need to know what they can do now and in the future.

Better still, why not form an e-consultancy with PN @43, stevo@47, addinall @51+? You'd probably save people a motza on their broadband and your fee of 50% saved would be reasonable, a good return to you and give Grady an internship to boot.

We don't really want this sort of stuff do we?


I know, they talk about the "last mile" thing but you get the idea. And that's without The Filter that we are facing here in Oz.

Please lay off D Newman; respectfully suggest your strategic abilities may need some development. Wy iz yore spelin soooo pore? Chill a bit and let the mind flow to the keyboard.

Bugger! I just got that NBN connector cable for my new iPhone4 so it will go really fast but I just can't seem to find the wall socket to plug it into.



"Maybe you should check your English too addinal, as you also seem most confus(s)ed"

I gather irony is lost on you?
I don't hide behind a nom-de-net, never have done. Never will do. Using my real name over the net for some 22 years has its drawbacks from a SPAM POV, but people generally know who they are talking to (sic).

Good to see you are using the ABS as resource material! I spent a lot of time and effort writing some of that demographic software (ORACLE PL/SQL) and peers making it accessable throgh Java. I was one of those that championed the 'free stats' movement, so that people could look at the state of Australia from several interest points, the use of IT being one of them.
The internet is a good tool for students. Avoiding Wikipedia that is. I use the internet everyday, for business, pleasure, general knowledge and education. I do not use the internet to watch movies or steal music. I walk down to JB's and spend a few dollars on a DVD or two. It is a nice excuse for a break from the keyboard. I assume that you have a similar shoppe in your town. I see no need to run fiber into my house(s). 1.5 mbps is plenty. Unless you publish at some amazing rate, I suggest this is probably adequate for your educational requirements.
The proposed NBN is going to offer nothing that is not already available. Everyone in Australia already has access to broadband. Many don't want to pay for it. Shrug. That is 'supply and demand'. My mobile account costs $29 pm. My internet (through sharing a line) costs $7 pm. That is the total of my telecommunications requirement. No more, no less.
You have yet to tell me WHY 100 mbps is going to improve your lot in life.

D Newman


@addinall easy to explain, its not about you, and its not about the now, it cable for the next 50 years, to replace the copper thats done its duty for the last 100, in places.
Your arguement is focused on the now, and the demands of the present are entirely different from the demands in 5 years, that in its essence is the entire point....Foresight.



@ D Newman
It IS about me. I am being asked to fund a project that I consider is ill advised, poorly planned and doest NOTHING for the overall internetworking of Australians.
Statistically, the idea fails the null hypothesis.
People who DO NOT have broadband, or any network access, do not want it, at any price.
Foresight demands imagination. Replacing copper with a light pipe has none of that quality. Broadband usage worldwide has outdone Moore's law by a factor of 8. Foresight requires analysis so we don't get things wrong. Statistically fixed line broadband has peaked an fallen over the last 5 years, whilst mobile devices have increased. What does that tell you?

Fiber is not exactly 'new'. I remember in 1988 laying 14 mbps FDDI around MANs. Then came gbps copper. Whoo hoo! And now comes gbps wireless in the form of 802.16m.

I am quite happy to see what the world of 'SUPPLY AND DEMAND' will bring us. It has worked rather well so far, why spend $50 BILLION on a problem that clearly does not exist.


D Newman


@Addinall, and thats your opinion, and mine is at the other polar end.
The industry is pretty much polarised as well, I do not believe supply and demand can ever do a nationwide infrastruture upgrade that is future proof for at the very least 20 years, and sadly history tells me this, repeatedly, and that is my opinion.

Mobile device increase is to some extent on the back of the restrictive nature of broadband fixed tech, prices and supply.
And this is where i,m going to throw "Supply and Demand" right back at you.

If the issue of supply and pricing had been opened up 10 years ago, as it should of been the figures would be different, a restrictice practise market place is not a sound basis for accurate comparisons.

Now couple this with the fact that the market force drivers, Joe Public in several polls resoundly rejected the Coalition plan in favour of the NBN, 70% in favour SMH poll out of 51,000 and some change voters if memory serves me correctly, and 67% in WA....

THAT driving force says your wrong, that driving force will dictate terms to YOU, and that driving force has spoken quite loudly.

Next I quote you, 'I am quite happy to see what the world of 'SUPPLY AND DEMAND' will bring us. It has worked rather well so far, why spend $50 BILLION on a problem that clearly does not exist'.

Worked rather well in the past?, hmmm opinion amongest the major heads of this industry is rather stacked againest that opinion, and evidence of denial of service, and lacklustre service even in major cities also says your opinion is at best delusional, at worst bias for some reason.

I see little evidence to support your claim because "supply and demand" has been stifled,conned and misrepresented for over 10 years, by all major politic parties and the major supplier and monopoly holder.

A fact thats even acknowledged by the coalition plan to restore the broadband network to a 2007 point, the the problem clearly exists, because of people like you.



@D Newnman
That little rant made no sense. I'll see if I can pick bits that resemble working English shall I?
Blah blah blah... You have an opinion. Jolly good. So does my pet lamb. I don't put it in charge of projects.
Blah blah blah .... "the reason wireless broadband is increasing at 20% per annum, is that, errrr, maybe everyone wants, errrr, NBNCo!". Wipe that drivel from your face, stupid child.
Blah blah blah... You quote statistics from seemingly self-polling resource, and yet you don't provide the data sets. You can flush this down the toilet with your 'opinion'.
My statistics are gathered from the ABS. Easily seen.
Blah blah blah... "Private enterprize isn't working". Well, in today's newspaper (the electronic on delivered to me over a network soooooo slow) I see that iiNet has increased it's profit by 23% this year! Good on MM! What a smart man. And it didn't come about by borrowing every last cent on the planet and building something that people MIGHT want. It was done by hard work, diligence and responding to market SUPPLY AND DEMAND.
Blah blah blah... "because of people like me". Hmmm, interesting. I have been building networks in Australia for about three decades. Quite often on the cheap for people who have little budget. I think that out of the two of us, I am the only one to grace the front page of this August newspaper.

That's about it. If English is your second lanuage, I apologize for not understanding most of your missive. Try and get a grown-up to help. One that has been educated from a library rather than the internet would be a great help.




"I see little evidence to support your claim because "supply and demand" has been stifled,conned and misrepresented for over 10 years, by all major politic parties and the major supplier and monopoly holder."

And as for this tripe, in debating it is called a 'strawman' argument. If and when you do get a job, you will see it used. Rather infrequently, as the hand waving is always brought down by logical discourse.


D Newman


@Addinall "because of people like me". Hmmm, interesting. I have been building networks in Australia for about three decades.

Gotcha,now that you have confirmed who you are, I would like to point to the above and state, that explains so much about the pathetic state of Australias networks.



@D. Newman, seems talk of private enterprise not being interested in the NBN, was totally incorrect? Raymond apparently now has a new 50/50 partner, addinall, in “HIS” (well their, now) multi-billion dollar, NBN, LOL…

@88. Ironic maybe addinal(l)…

Oddly however, I don’t believe the word/name addinall, is currently taught in schools? But it’s obviously a word “you” modestly feel should be mandatory! Perhaps if Tony gets in, you can have a word in his ear about placing “addinall”, into the English curriculum, under chest beating, self proclaimed IT legend… of course!

Anyway addinall… the actual irony is; that it was you, not I, whom was claiming himself, to be righteously perfect in all aspects (including spelling) and it was you, not I, being a lowly troll, in relation to other posters wit (and again you call someone an idiot). All simply because others disagree with your views, LOL! Funny, for one who believes he is superior to the rest of us (sound familiar DN?) to get so easily lured into an argument, over P’s, Q’s and wit, LOL!

As for, “most people know who they are referring to”. I too know of you, due to your previous, me, me, comments. So what? Because you may have had your 15 mins, 20-30 years ago, doesn’t hold much water in 2010…imho! So if you expect special treatment because of past glories, sorry, you are in the wrong place!

Of special note was the pic of some guy receiving a trophy, which you posted to iTWire, wasn’t it? Although you claim it was you receiving an IT award (and it may well have been), it could also have been the coach of the 1974, u10c, girl’s hockey team, receiving his runners-up trophy… because, that’s what it looked like!

But if you were indeed one to have gained acclaim for IT foresight, back when, what happened? Sad to think you have lost your vision and/or sold out, in relation to the endless possibilities of the NBN!

Sincerely, by all means, please come here to enlighten us with your IT expertise (as I have said many times I am not in IT, I’m just an enthusiast)… But conversely, understand that others also have opinions. So if you want to be a smart **se, because you live on past glories, believe you are inevitably always correct about absolutely everything and criticise others who disagree with you, please don’t cry when it’s dished back!

Cya soon, I’m sure!



@ Dork Newman

"Gotcha,now that you have confirmed who you are, I would like to point to the above and state, that explains so much about the pathetic state of Australias networks."

Shoot, that have musta taken some research?
Didya use a high speed network?


Colin W


Hi all, much as I enjoy the exchange of insults I am wondering if we are all becoming a bit emotional and personal.
I for one remain concerned that the Labor NBN solution came from a failed RFP process, was developed by persons unknown and remains without a published business case.



As I said, cya soon and looky here... old faithful comes running...LOL!

Speaking of idiots!



Sorry Colin, that wasn't aimed at you...




Mine was. You are an unemployed idiot




Now roll over idiot... dat a boy!

Cya soon...fido! LOL...



@ 88 - addinall
Yes, the ABS is good, though often hard to navigate. I think Wikipedia is often a good portal, often looking at a particular concept or theme will give plenty of citations which often lead to interesting information, very handy on a slow connection.

The ABS exhibited an example of why we may need a fast internet connection - I had two documents, one of which was a map, and the other a document relating to the map, these totaled around 60MB, which took quite a while to download, after both documents had finished loading, I was able to check the content, the main document ended up not having the information I was looking for, that's roughly 5 minutes, 20 seconds for download, that's not too bad, but it does mean that I can't do anything else for that 5 minutes, 20 seconds, if the information I'm looking for isn't in the loaded part (because it can potentially be in the unloaded part, I would have to wait for the full download).

The nearest JB Hi-Fi (I'm assuming that's what you mean) is about 50 minutes away, nonetheless, I still go to it every once in a while, though I usually buy about 4 DVDs, I'm still the kind of person who would rather buy movies, music and games over the counter, so I wouldn't be getting movies off the internet unless they were free and I really wanted it (I'm not really a movie person).

1.5mbps is enough, but I could do with more, I think it would certainly help, perhaps it would be a lot better if the 1.5mbps were just synchronous as opposed to asynchronous, I know I'm not going to be doing 250MB file transfers every day, but it would be nice if when I did have to do them, that they'd arrive quickly, depending on the platform, some users are only just able to complete a 250MB (2000mb) download at 128kbps - 256kbps (16000 - 8000 seconds = 4 hours, 26 minutes, 40 seconds - 2 hours, 13 minutes, 20 seconds).

My internet costs $50/mo (though the same plan is now $60/mo), and the connection is not uncommonly shared between 7 or more devices, a 25/2 connection from Internode is $50/mo for 60GB/mo, and $40/mo for 30GB/mo (http://www.internode.on.net/residential/broadband/fibre_to_the_home/nbn_plans/). Though a 25/2 connection is still not ideal, I think that it's much better than a 1.5/0.3 connection, these plans are still preliminary, so I suppose they'll still be working it all out, for me, a key point of a very fast network is a synchronous connection, in terms of education, a faster upload rate is often very beneficial (I saw on the diagram I have misplaced that there was a 2.4gbps down link and 1.4gbps up link or something similar, so it seems sensible that they could give a user a ratio of 2:1 for down and up).



I try to avoid the subject of gaming in these discussions, but the truth is, a lot of benefits of a 100mbps internet connection come into play when looking at gaming, being able to get into a game faster improves the ability for someone to make the most of the time they get for recreation, and compared with 1.5mbps, it may facilitate the ability to actually update and play some games (situations in which the whole download is restarted every time the client re-opens not fully updated with the next update). The truth is, a lot of people play games online, and often online games have very large updates, most of the time, these updates must be performed by the in-built downloader of the program, sometimes a manual update is offered, but often when this is offered, the combined download of all the patches required exceeds the size of the update.

Perhaps 100mbps isn't going to help you out much, but often content a user has to download is only offered in a larger form rather than a compressed form.

A lot of high bandwidth activities obviously don't apply to you, but most users tend to go towards higher bandwidth activities than text with a few pictures every now and again. I think a lot of the people that FTTH would benefit most to don't have the option of sharing a fast line with a group of people to lessen the cost to each individual.

Most of the friends I've talked to would definitely prefer to have the NBN in form of FTTH (though this may not reflect the actual situation at all).

@90 - Addinall
> People who DO NOT have broadband, or any network
> access, do not want it, at any price.
I think that this is incorrect, I know a fair few people who can't get broadband or any network access, and DO want it, though I suppose not at literally "any price" (otherwise they'd have it at the moment of course). I think a lot of the key people who will benefit from an FTTH network are younger users, which don't make much input on this (at least that I've seen), they pay for the network too, though, they aren't able to pick which party they'd prefer, but surely they should have some input on it.



>Statistically fixed line broadband has peaked an fallen over
>the last 5 years, whilst mobile devices have increased.
How? Fixed line broadband still continues to grow (though perhaps at a much slower rate - http://abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/8153.0Main+Features1Dec%202009?OpenDocument). By "Mobile Devices", do you intend to mean "Wireless internet connection", in which case, as reported by this article, is that both can continue to grow, and an increase in one may be purely because previously the service was too poor to be worth it (in most cases), similar to a computer and an internet connection, a lot may not use the internet if it took one hour to load a page and constantly dropped out, but if the internet connection were improved, more people would subscribe to connections, if this happened, it would look like less people want to have the computer, and would like to have the internet connection instead, it is possible that they would prefer the connection to a computer, but likely they would want both, the internet when they want to go online, and a computer when they want to stay local. This translates quite easily to fixed and wireless, as the service when mobile becomes better, you would like to have it more and more, but that does not mean you don't want the fixed service.

I think supply and demand only works in a competitive marketplace, if there is only one supplier, that supplier can charge whatever they want for their service, and it doesn't even have to be a good source, however, if two suppliers both want to get the biggest slice of demand, they'll likely make their product better and/or cheaper, as opposed to the best place to make the most money (which works for those in those locations, but not for others, such as those who live in "country" type areas).

- Grady



OK. I usually ignore gaming. However, since we are there: Gaming (for all the noise) is actually very light on bandwith requirements, both speed and volume. Since the game engine is usually transmitting x,y,z co-ordinates in text, the byte flow is quite small. Latency between the user hitting send, and the server coming back is the big killer. Installing an OFT FTTH NBN in this country is NOT going to improve your gaming experience.

As for business use, from home. I downloaded a WAMP 2 collection that included Apache2.x, PHP5 and mySQL 5.x in 11 seconds. From a slow old copper network. Not even as fast as yours. Can my business model afford such long delays? I am sure it can. I then downloaded gVim7.2 for Windows, 9.97 MB and that took a little over 2 minutes. I guess the Vim network has less capacity that the WAMP network. Yesterday I had a nice meeting with a TAFE teacher that is due to go to China in a few days to teach IT and business. We spent 3 hours talking about a future business model to teach in China. I then emailed him part of a software suite, but an important part, objects.php, where ALL of my classes, objects and methods are defined, along with documentation. This was 66KB and took about a second. SO my $7 pm fixed line is doing just fine.

Fixed line broadband uptake is decreasing. In numbers of connections, it may be increasing very gradually as the last of the dial-up people migrate, but as a percentage of ALL broadband users and a percentage of the population as a whole, it is falling and has been for some time.

Not just here, worldwide.

Now, the emotive part of your argument is that the 'young' are going to benifit. I ask how? Just a simple question, how is a 'young' person (can I suggest age 4-17?) going to out-perform all other peoples by having super fast internet access? Buggered if I know, and I have been intalling networks for three decades. All I hear is that 'it will be good, for movies, and stuff we have never dreamed of'. Like you, I'm not much of a TV fan. I like MASH, the News, Stateline and perhaps Parliment house on a bad day. So that lets me believe that an investment of $50 BILLION is somehow going to serve needs that have not been thought of yet. How bizarre does that sound?



@106 - addinall
> Gaming (for all the noise) is actually very light on bandwith
> requirements, both speed and volume. Since the game engine
> is usually transmitting x,y,z co-ordinates in text, the byte flow is
> quite small.
It adds up as more users connect, using the online First Person Shooter Combat Arms, my friend and I ran about two tests, my friend ran a test of just 2 people (him and myself) in a game with no voice chat, and he downloaded 9MB over 4 minutes, and used most of his downstream connection at a few points in the game (180KB/s out of a 1.5mbps connection), using this data, it equates to about 2.109GB/day, the theoretical maximum bandwidth used per 16 hour day is 10.546875GB ((1.5/8) * 60 * 60 * 16), 5 users could at any point - if continuing at the average - use all of the available bandwidth, if these users use ~100% available bandwidth, other users would consequentially be limited to a very low amount of bandwidth, on top of this, when a sixth user wants to use the same service, or a different service, all the other connections will slow down. Often updates for games (this was one of my key things about gaming, updates, not pure connection, though pure connection does contribute a fair amount once multiplied) are very large, and often range from 100MB - sometimes even 600MB, which equates to ~53 minutes (and 20 seconds), assuming you get maximum connection speed.

> Fixed line broadband uptake is decreasing. In numbers of
> connections, it may be increasing very gradually as the last of
> the dial-up people migrate, but as a percentage of ALL
> broadband users and a percentage of the population as a
> whole, it is falling and has been for some time.
Do you have the actual statistics that suggest this, I'd be interested to see, also, the users migrating and still on the fixed DSL obviously still would like a fixed internet connection.

The 'young' (by this I mean ~14 - < 18 or so in this case, but you seem to understand that) benefit by access to lectures (there are some wonderful lectures online - such as http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/video-lectures/ ), these lectures could be used to perhaps give a different explanation of a difficult concept, or to simply show the same thing again and allow you to understand it more clearly, each of these lectures uses up about 500-600kbps for me, which is about 1/3 of my connection speed, hypothetically, it is very possible that multiple users would like to watch lectures online, or other bandwidth using activities while the lecture is being watched, this very easily uses 1.5mbps very quickly.



The network is actually closer to $40 billion, and I would honestly say I'd rather have the $40 billion spent on a FTTH network than nothing at all, and have plenty of room to get a faster connection when it's needed rather than not being able to get a fast enough connection until 8 (or even 6) years after it's needed, a $50 billion network would most likely be a P2P network.

Though, looking at this very point in time, without looking far ahead at all, I can definitely see the benefit of FTTN and Fast Wireless (not a minimum of a maximum of 12mbps, the 802.16m), but looking at the future, basing on current data trends, it wont be enough, also, leaving the wireless and satellite serviced areas until last is smart, considering the improvement of these services as time goes on, simply rolling out a network with a minimum maximum of 12mbps would be quite lacking in foresight considering (I didn't read into it too much) a date of December 6 on the IEEE site (I may be looking at something completely wrong though, so who knows, you're welcome to correct me).

Also, I don't know if you've ever worked with someone collaboratively on an engineering project, but it is FAR more productive than working on your own, often a single person is able to do the job, but more than one person is able to do it better or at least put more different ways to do the same thing out. I think that being able to run a collaborative HD drawing surface (in the region of maybe 3k x 3k pixels) while simultaneously having a video chat with multiple people would be very useful (often services offering a drawing surface run out of depth and colours being merging, or the link is very choppy and low quality). Because of geographical location, it is not practical for me to go to the houses of the people I'm working with collaboratively.

- Grady

Alpha Boilers


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