NBN Co prepares for 2TB monthly quotas

Two terabytes a likelihood under the NBN, Quigley tells AIIA lunch

NBN Co compares ADSL, mobile broadband and satellite speeds and downloads with NBN technologies

NBN Co compares ADSL, mobile broadband and satellite speeds and downloads with NBN technologies

Monthly quotas under the National Broadband Network (NBN) could average two terabytes per month in the foreseeable future, according to the company charged with rolling out the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

NBN Co chief executive, Mike Quigley, told a lunch held by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) that the company had engineered the network to handle an environment where such monthly quotas were the norm in areas served by FTTH technology.

Those served by fixed wireless broadband under the NBN could see download quotas averaging 100 gigabytes (GB) per month, while the remaining three per cent of 200,000 premises under satellite could potentially download an average 60GB per month.

Quigley compared the data quotas and speeds of NBN technologies to current Internet access methods such as ADSL2+, 3G mobile broadband and Australian Broadband Guarantee satellite services. His graph (pictured above), showed average ADSL download quotas are currently a tenth of those possible under the NBN, while satellite users would effectively see an improvement of 20 times their usual quota.

However, Quigley affirmed that NBN Co would not support mobile devices over the wireless portion of the network, eliminating direct comparisons between fixed wireless and future mobile broadband technologies.

Residential ADSL2+ monthly data quotas cap out at 500GB on plans from TPG, currently exceeding the highest 300GB plan offered by iPrimus in the first Tasmanian NBN trial sites, albeit at a slower speed.

Though Quigley is usually reluctant to talk much about end-user plans and offers, he told the AIIA conference that company had changed its tack on talking about the network.

“We realised we needed to be talking in the language people understand,” he said. “What they think of is speeds at megabits per second and downloads in gigabytes per month.”

NBN Co also announced this week that it would be providing 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) peak downstream speeds on top of the 100 megabits per second (Mbps) already promised by the Government for the NBN over fibre. The new commitment will also see upstream speeds increased to a potential 400Mbps.

However, the new speeds are a peak rather than commitment. They also require users to be on a relatively undersaturated network due to the technical aspects of the Alcatel-Lucent gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology, which share 2.5Gbps down and 1.25Gbps up speeds to a maximum 32 houses in a given area.

Quigley told media at the lunch that it would be a few years before NBN Co upgrades the GPON technology to the superior 10Gbps or WDM GPON splitters.

Fixed wireless and satellite users will still receive committed speeds of 12Mbps, though wireless users get slightly higher upload speeds at 4Mbps compared to satellite’s average of 1Mbps.

Tags nbn coAustralian Information Industry Association (AIIA)Mike Quigley


Canberra Watcher


What we need to see from NBN is rollout traction. Promising to serve another 300000 users, or to deliver gigabit speeds just doesn't cut it when you are currently serving next to no customers.

When they have 100000 customers we'll all have a better idea how they are going.

So far they have just burnt a heap of cash.



On the subject of the timely announcement of 1 gig speeds by Mr Quigley . How Timely!!!!. When you are staring down the possibility of having to find another cushy executive number because the Libs threaten to can the NBN you pull the proverbial " rabbit out of the hat"

You may be able to snow the bulk of the population with these little things but some of us clearly see it as nothing more than a vote grabber for Labour and a guarantee for your job Mr Quigley. Why else would you allow Gillard and Conroy to bask in the glory by announcing it to the nation, surely you (NBN) would have known prior to the launch that these speeds were attainable.

The day I see anything faster than my supposed ADSL operating at Dial Up speeds I will be convinced, but I don't see that happening either here in rural Australia.



Like the Libs not playing all their cards and then going wham... relating to the filter, touche` with this one too...!

Also Quigley is donating his entire first years salary (almost $2m) to charity, so I'm sure he's not worried about his "cushy executive number"!

Dreamer, I have ADSL2+ and I argue with others, who like me have decent comms, when they say I don't want an NBN because I'm ok.

I do this, on behalf of "people like you" who are stuck with no better than dial up. I tell these others, the NBN is not just for you and I, it's for those without...those like you Dreamer.

But even though you admit you don't have anything better than dial up, you diss the party and the only real possibility of you ever getting decent comms, the NBN?

As such, all I can say is, enjoy your dial up... you deserve it!



Think about it
We now have the possabilty to have real Internet in our homes.
Burning cash ? How much do you think starting a telco from scratch would cost.
Diverse education to the most remote school in the country.
Medical advice and diagnosis to the most remote outpost instantly from top medical professionals anywhere on earth.
Ability to watch anything you like, when you like with no ads. Or stick with Telstra's slow, limited or no coverage.
Which is it going to be ?

Richard Ure



I try to refrain from mere me too comments, but I could not have said it better. It's strange how often those with the adequate speeds (i.e comparatively fast speeds) on ADSL2+ with Optus and Telstra cables going past the door, are the most passionate advocates for better broadband for all.



Indeed, thanks Richard...

I certainly have enjoyed reading your most knowledgable comments too!




I don't think it's that strange to be honest, the people who've already got it good do benefit from an improvement, that's true.

But they've experienced the benefits decent communications infrastructure provides! There's nothing wrong with wanting those who've previously missed out to have a crack at it too :P

John from the USA


I have the good fortune to have switched from as-advertised 1.5MB ADSL at my home to 15MB FiOS for about $5 more (US). I only got DSL - as soon as it was available - in 2003. The cost to aquire (deploy to my residence) is approx $7000 (US) per subscriber for Verizon. At $65 a month for my phone and Internet, how long will it take for them to break even?



2 TB a month? If such generous limits are truly feasible, then why not simply offer unlimited plans? Granted, services like video on demand and IPTV are immense bandwidth hogs, but by my calculations 2 TB is still easily enough for at least one full HD movie per day for the whole month, with plenty of room to spare.



One problem,
On TPG, people with unlimited and have line speeds around 20Mbps already download 6TB per month, just give us unlimited FFS.

If I could get unlimited 1Gbps up and down, I could run servers from home, which would save lots of money compared to running them in the data center, where I currently have unlimited 100mbps up and 100mbps down. Save lots of money and help my business.

Colin W


yes lorro, but i guess if the power goes bad at your house or temperature gets too high it is possible the servers could fail?



they are just back up servers that will be at home, so if power goes out UPS will shut them down. Unlikely that it will get too hot where they are going to go and they are not high powered, just have lots of hard drives.

I think that this article need to understand that TPG has TRUE UNLIMITED internet which is NOT CAPPED!!
the NBN should learn from this.



@Dreamer ... Quigley has said that NBNCo didn't want to announce it until it was tested and confirmed to be practical. As for him needing to find another job ... how about searching on how he has donated his entire salary to charity! He's in it for way more than just a pay cheque.

D Newman


Love or hate the NBN I have alot of respect for Quigley, his resume makes for very interesting read, even before he took the NBN co role, read that and you can see why he can afford to donate his entire first year salary to charity.

Samuel Cochran


Where is iiNet? I'm a 1TB iiNet customer, and quite happy for it. I'll be jumping on their 1TB/100MBit NBN plan as soon as it's available. http://www.iinet.net.au/nbn/

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