FTTN makes sense for NBN, AAPT says

AAPT CEO says that while there may be some public support for employing FTTP in the National Broadband Network rolling out FTTN is more economical.

It makes more sense to roll out fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) for the National Broadband Network (NBN) than the government's current fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) approach, according to the CEO of internet service provider AAPT.

David Yuile told Computerworld Australia that while consumers may prefer FTTP, rolling out FTTN is more economical.

“Our view has always been that you build networks progressively from the centre out as and when the economics make sense,” Yuile said.

“Normally what you do is you build closer and closer to your customers with fibre, and fibre-to-the-node is normally the first step.”

The NBN is utilising FTTP technology, which rolls out fibre for the entire network to the doorstep of premises, while FTTN rolls out fibre to nodes or cabinets on the street and copper is used for the last mile from nodes to the doorstep of premises.

Yuile said FTTP is justified in greenfield estates, as the economics are better than building FTTP in brownfield sites, but by using FTTN as a starting point, further fibre links could be rolled out in the future.

However, Yuile, who was appointed CEO in June 2011 and is a former network and technology manager at Telecom New Zealand, said ultimately it is the government’s decision on how the network is rolled out and has had conversations with both the Federal Government and the opposition to “understand what their views are”.

The federal opposition's, shadow minister for communications and broadband, Malcolm Turnbull, maintains that a FTTN network would be cheaper and quicker to roll out. However, Turnbull is yet to reveal exactly how much the Coalition’s NBN would cost and how long it would take.

James Spenceley, CEO at Vocus Communications, has also stated that FTTN technology should make up part of the NBN. The correct technology for the NBN is dependent on location, he has said, with FTTP suitable in densely populated areas, whereas FTTN would work better in other locations.

However, FTTP has strong support. Graeme Samuel, former chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Competition (ACCC), recently said FTTN uses obsolete technology and equipment, stating that Coalition claims about the cost of a FTTN NBN are incorrect because compensation would still need to be paid to Telstra for buying its copper network.

Yuile said that while he understands why there is some support among the Australian public for FTTP, the financial return of the network versus the cost to roll it out needs to be factored into the equation.

“I think it’s just a matter of matching the cost to the returns and it’s more progressive by going to the node and then to the home, versus going straight to the home. So it’s timing your capital investment versus the certainty that you’re going to get your payback,” he said.

Yuile also said websites like Whirlpool, a popular Australian broadband forum, are not indicative of the opinion of the wider public.

“It’s almost like a specialist forum, Whirlpool, so I think it’s a long stretch to say it’s representative of the general population. I think the general population has a keen interest in broadband, especially where people don’t have it, but the subtleties around the technologies, I would imagine, are lost on most people,” he said.

“I don’t think they generally know or care. They’re probably more interested in, many cases, does it work and how much disruption does it give me and how much are they paying for it.”

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Tags FTTNwhirlpoolfttpDavid YuilleAAPT CEO




TELSTRA costed and modelled FTTN 15 years ago when I worked there as an engineer in the group responsible for planning the national digital data network, which was all on optical fibre and developing quickly. At the time it was a bit too expensive to roll out for Telstra alone. It would of course be much more economical today. FTTP was also modeled but the costs were extreme then. I dont think FTTP can really be justified for anything but high density environments such as appartments and businesses, but someone needs to do the costing and show the facts - it is not difficult to do this analysis, Telstra no doubt would have up to date modelling on this - maybe someone needs to do an FOI request to get this interesting information?



I worked at Telstra at the same time. Internetwork Engineer for the Managed Networks. NBN and the government are trying to give the impression that they are building the digital backbone when in fact it was built long ago by Telstra, OPTUS and others. Like you, I saw the maps (the same ones NBN trotted out last year) of the existing OFT national network, and a progression from there to FTTN was on the cards. One step further, Telstra identified some 130 "Black spots") in Australia and was going to give priority to those who did not have adequate connectivity. The NBN (lack of) plan is just foolish. I have FTTH. Telstra just finished my suburb and surrounding suburbs. It makes NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER to the speed of the internet experience. My University courses still stream at 1 Mbps out. The newspapers still have the same border switches. There are no new submarine cables between here and Asia nor the states.



So we go full circle again. In a FTTN world Telstra still owns all the copper & controls the pricing. The regulatory nightmare that was with ADSL remains whilst we still pump billions into the new FTTN network. Then in the long haul we still have to upgrade to FTTP as the available bandwith over copper pairs (FTTN) is limited.



-“Our view has always been that you build networks progressively from the centre out as and when the economics make sense,” Yuile said.

That is why the governmernment decided to build the NBN. Before the NBN, only a small number of areas had cable where it was most profitable.

-However, Yuile, who was appointed CEO in June 2011 and is a former network and technology manager at Telecom New Zealand

NZ dropped FTTN and is now using FTTP.

Francis Young


Vested interests from corporate telcos have blighted the telecomunications landscape since at least 1999. FTTN a decade ago would have made sense, but no longer, as we watch NZ and the UK trying to extricate themselves from recent FTTN debacles.

We now have some facts. As of last week, 44% of Kiama premises now use NBN fibre, and 44% of these have bought 100/40 Mbps services, with 84% having bought faster services than the magical 24/1 Mbps theoretical maximum of ADSL/FTTN, which no-one ever gets.

The reason FTTN is no longer cost effective in Australia is twofold - Telstra's private ownership of the copper tails, and the degraded state of much of the copper. Both these facts make the cost of FTTN higher than the $12 billion cost of laying NBN fibre to 93% of premises. FTTN also requires an electricity supply to chest freezer sized airconditioned cabinets on every residential block, which will have at most a five year useful life. No council is going to approve these. FTTN will not happen, except in a few cases where fibre is not currently economic to build.



But AAPT are no longer a DSL provider. They provide fibre & ISDN since selling their non-corporate customer base to iiNet.
So while, yes they are an Internet service provider, they are essentially just selling high bandwidth services to corporate customers and so are pretty irrelevant to a discussion on providing access to consumers.
Unless of course they are afraid of the competition in the sub 100mbs but > DSL market?

The Lizard of Oz


If anyone cares or is enthusiastic enough about the future of Australia's broadband, then chances are they are already on Whirlpool or similar communities (if they exist) or at least lurk it. That is to say those of us who don't just care about the "NBN" for political purposes, but ACTUALLY care about the technological benefits it will provide.

Whirlpool may not reflect the Australian public's opinion as a whole, but it does reflect the opinions of those who use the net the most and will benefit the most from it's upgrade. Saying or implying that our opinions don't matter is like refusing to upgrade a hospital because the healthy people who've never had to stay there say it looks fine from the outside.

No offense to the Australian public, most of them are not power users and don't know the differences of technology, because they don't, and probably never will, use the internet in the advanced ways that a typical power user does.

FYI, the term "power user" here refers to a user of the internet who is knowledgeable of how it works and everything it can do.

The majority of Australia tends to think of the internet as a repositry of information, social networking and file downloads. The majority of Australia doesn't realize it's a LOT more then that.

I hate to sound overly critical, but I'm just so damn sick of seeing and hearing opposition to the NBN, and pushes for alternative technology, from people who know nothing about how it works or exactly what benefits it will bring to not only us "power users", but also Australia as a whole.



Surely Spenceley has it backwards. FTTN saves money by using existing copper, but never more than 1 km of it otherwise the speeds are too low. So the savings are proportionately LOWER in lower density areas where the copper lines are longer and proportionately more of it needs replacement by fibre.



FTTN may be cheaper to rollout, but it will fail to provide high speeds to those who want it and are willing to pay for it. Instead it will provide high speed only to those lucky enough to be withing a hundred metres or so from the node, the location of which will be determined not by need or the market, but by where the PMG chose to lay their copper cable bundles 50 years ago. Although tens of thousands of nodes will need to be installed, most people will be many hundreds of metres if not a km or more away and only get speeds at a fraction of what MT claims.



One of those cases where the comments are more informative than the article. Appreciative of the experienced bods on here.

Abel Adamski


Hi Mark Addinall
You mentioned Telstra has fibred your suburb, I assume you are in the South Brisbane area, I note with the Telstra infrastucture plans generally, very low upload speeds, 1Mb seems common upload Telstra upload speed - your claimed upload , need better pay thru the nose with Telstra wholesale - good little earner. So what plan are you on.?
You demonstrate the point that until high quality internet is ubiquitous, the infrastructure and sites will be designed and equipped for the lowest common denominator.
P.S remind me, I understand that the Telstra FTTN proposal was for $4Billion taxpayer donation, they would provide FTTN for the easiest 40% of premises (cherry picked metro ) on condition of NO ACCC oversight and were planning to charge $85/month wholesale. - Brilliant deal.
Remind me why we have a need for top hat upgrades, RIM Hells etc. ?
I understand Telstra's position, they are a major Listed Corporation and shareholder interest and Dividend is their first priority, not providing the best communications platform for the entire Nation at minimum cost to the taxpayer over many decades.
P.S So I spent many years in the PMG and Big Yellow T in Transmission and Networks, Knew the National trunking networks backwards and had dealings with AAPT in their early days when they were constantly trying to blame Telecom for their own stuff ups and fault prone equipment back then. They were always primarily servicing the corporate , especially multinational sector - basically CBD centric, gone full circle

Abel Adamski


Competition in the sub 100Mb ?, the business plans including "corporate ethernet" and the up to 1Gb are coming and are only possible on FTTH.
Of course they would prefer FFTN - fear of competition. Let us not forget they already have thousands of Km of fibre (Most Metro areas ) installed most of which will have been substantially depreciated by now, so they should be able to be more than competitive especially if they can provide the services their customers need at a reasonable price



Hi Abel (and others). I enjoyed working for Telstra for a short time. I'm a contractor. It was and is fashionable to heap scorn on the organisation, however, given the geography of Australia and the population size and demographics, we have a pretty good network already.
If you worked in National trunking then you know just how much OFT is already in the ground, and how much of it is still dark. Yes I am in the South Brisbane area. A speed test today (one of the reporters of this publication contacted me) at 0900 was 35/1.5 Mbs. ping to the ISP (big deal) 18ms. ping to my server in the USA, 280-380ms. Exactly the same as it was a few weeks ago when I ran ADSL2+ at about 16/1 Mbps. So my internet connection speed on the local loop has doubled, but my internet experience has not changed one iota. I write software for a living mostly, and have used the net to shuffle my work around since
1989. WHAT are people going to use a 100/20 Mbps link FOR apart from entertainment. Entertainment is a pleasant enough pursuit, but is it worth a massive infrastructure spend? I sight I wrote to play with is here


It took me about 3-4 weeks to code in my spare time. The entire site, graphics and all, zipps up to 3 MB. I can download the site in its entirety in under 8 seconds. Uploading the entire site takes (just doing it now) 15 seconds. Exactly the same as it was under ADSL2+. I
use my computers to generate an income, so the net is rather important to me. Given that I have now worked on these pages on and off for a few years, waiting some seconds to send them half way around the world
really is not inconvenient.

The King James Bible is 4 MB long. How many of them can you write in a day?

And I have written code nearly every day for the last 31 years, so with deference to an earlier poster here, I think I am a "power user" and I can't think of ANY reason why I would want a faster net access than the one I already have. Just not interested. I don't watch a lot of telly.
I do subscribe and enroll in a lot of University courses, the latest from the University of Michigan. They stream out lectures and examinations. They do this at 1 Mbps. So I recieve the stream at 500 kbps - 1 Mbps, and that does not change with the speed of my download capabilities on the Australian local loop. It can't.



My point one is,supplying every one in a built up area with the ability to connect to the net at 100/40 Mbps is a 'nice' idea, but seems to have little real worth outside of more television, and a handful of people that "I am a
graphic artist and my files are 20 GB in size and I would like to work from my bedroom in Mt Nebo". Fine, buy Microwave Ethernet and go for it. So if everyone is expecting the whole net to be SOOPER-DOOPER fast
if and when the NBN is implemented, then I have some bad news. The speed of a network connection is rated at the LOWEST point of a network hop. We all understand how store and forward packet switching networks work right? Where is this site hosted? If ALL of South Brisbane,
South Bank, Highgate Hill decided to log on here and start downloading white papers, will the border gateway router magically find away of dealing with the increase in bandwidth requirements, or will we all get queued by a load balancing switch? My contract is with TPG. If TPG
decided to go into content supply, AND they can talk me into an entertainment account, THEN and only THEN will I see the benefit of my FTTH network.

Point two. The current NBNCo network plan is geared at
supplying people in built up areas with high speed internet and ignoring the people who need an upgrade the most, the folk in rural and remote
Australia. One the one hand, the spin is "shortly ALL applications are going to NEED 100 Mbps" (which is garbage) but on the other hand we have "All you hicks will be just fine on a theoretical maximum of 12 Mbps for
the next 20 years". Does anyone else spot the inconsistency in this argument? And if you can get a reliable 12 Mbps down from a Ka Band bird into a 2m dish I'll eat it. Higher the frequency, the more subject
to attenuation and db loss. So we are supplying the folk in the country exactly what they have now, which is poor internet connectivity. Point three. The "KILLER APP". It is being suggested that the next "KILLER APP" has not been thought of yet, but whatever it is, it is going to require HUGE bandwidth.... Hmmmm, myself, and people like me
who develop software for the net are currently implementing systems that use CSS3, HTML5, JSON stateless transactions, etc. One of the reasons for this paradigm shift in development methods is to DECREASE the amount
of bandwidth an application requires. This has been the case for a long time. When CERN first gave us the WWW, we discovered that using HTML2, we could tart up pages with pictures, and people started slinging BMP
and animated GIF files around the net. HUGE files. So over the years we have designed compression algorithms to DECREASE the size of images.



Here is a simple plot.

And to render this plot on a web page, the size for a few formats is as follows:

* GIF 5 kB 27 colours
* PNG 7 kB 27 colours
* TIF 10 kB 27 colours
* BMP 400 kB 9 colours

So as the net has become more and more popular for a variety of purposes never in the design documents, technology has progressed to ADDRESS NEEDS. The NBNCo philosophy is backwards. It wants to build an
architecture ASSUMING it will be required at some time in the future. See?



Point four. Lifetime of Technology. "Do it once, do it right, do it with fibre....". Well, we did that a number of years ago. Not many, a decade and a half ago. Optical fibre technology topology was invented called FDDI (Fibre Distrubuted Data Interface) and produced a BLINDING
100 Mbps on a fibre token BUS. GOVERNMENT LOVED it for LANs and MANs. We were told to "Do it once, do it right, do it with FDDI fibre....", so we did. Many thousands of km of pipe laid for hundreds of millions of $, possible billions, who knows, then all of a sudden, FDDI was effectively obsolesced by fast Ethernet which offered the same 100
Mbit/s speeds, but at a much lower cost and, since 1998, by Gigabit Ethernet due to its speed, and even lower cost, and ubiquity. And people turned off the FDDI pipe in the ground and fired up the copper again. Is OFT a great idea? Of course it is. It provides the high speed backbone for nearly all of the planet. Is digging up a country the size of Australia to implement technology which is almost certainly
going to be obsolete in two decades a good idea? No it is not a good idea at all. Point five (or possibly 4.1) Governments are poor guessers when it comes to picking technology. WHO remembers GOSIP? Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile. The governments LOVED
it! "The way of the future", "Give up TCP/IP Addinall, it is dead". We spent BILLIONS and BILLIONS implementing studies, plans, white papers, committees, working groups for nearly a decade on this government sweetheart of a technology. Any of you using an X.24 communication
stack in your PC? I thought not.

* 1990 - The US specification requiring OSI protocols was first published as FIPS 146-1. The requirement for US Government vendors to demonstrate their support for this profile led them to join the formal interoperability and conformance testing for networking products, which
had been done by industry professionals at the annual InterOp show since 1980.

* 1993 - Australia and New Zealand GOSIP Version 3 - 1993 Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile.

*1995 - OSI protocols are no longer mandated in the newly published FIPS 146-2, instead any of ISO, ITU-T or IETF standards could be used. In practice, and as expected, the IETF TCP/IP stack predominated, interest in OSI implementations declined, and worldwide the deployment of
standards-based networking services since have been predominantly based on the Internet protocol suite.

* 2012. No one can remember what the fuss was about. Half the people on the planet now connected using the "obsolete" TCP/IP communications suite. BILLIONS $ down the drain on GOSIP "consultants".



Since the idea that "Everyone NEEDs 100 Mbps OFT" has already been chucked in the bin with the adoption of fixed wireless and space missions for RaR Australia, a sensible extention to this is just to dump the idea that everyone in built up areas needs it. Design a TRULY ubiquitous FTTN topology that WILL allow FTTH from the cabinet as
required, but will also serve ADSL2+, VDSL and small cell LTE, WiFi and WiMax. Identify the current "black" areas in Australia and using the existing trunk (with extensions) bring the people who have NO or POOR connectivity into the net at around 20-40 Mbps. Then upgrade the last mile as part of the on-going evolution of networks in a timely fashion
AS REQUIRED. Anyone heard of "Just in time" purchasing? Same principal.

I think the idea of an NBN is GREAT! Just not this one.

Mark Addinall.



The purpose of the NBN is not to maximise profits of service providers but to support the Australian economy.

FTTN may give better returns for service providers but FTTP much better serves the economy whilst still allowing the service providers to remain adequately profitable.



OK. I have asked this a hundred times. HOW is it going to support, lift, turn left, or do whatever to the economy. I fail to understand how having access to a slightly faster local loop is going to change anything at all, apart from probably having some new players enter the entertainment content supply. People keep trotting this out as an excuse to spend $50 BILLION. I want to know HOW. No use waving arms in the air and invoking "stuff not dreamed of yet". That is a cop out for poor product planning. So I'll be kind. Name three ways a faster internet connection is going to aid the economy in a POSITIVE way.

1. ........................................................................
2. .........................................................................
3. .........................................................................

After you.



Addinall is absolutely spot on. And the Lizard of Oz and other NBN fan boys are wrong. FTTN with wifi or similar seems ideal for Australia's geography. Note recent advances in wifi technology have produced significantly greater speeds.

Lizard of Oz, you said:
"Whirlpool may not reflect the Australian public's opinion as a whole, but it does reflect the opinions of those who use the net the most and will benefit the most from it's upgrade.
No offense to the Australian public, most of them are not power users and don't know the differences of technology, because they don't, and probably never will, use the internet in the advanced ways that a typical power user does."

That is precisely why you should NOT decide what's best for the rest of us, and ask us long suffering taxpayers to stump up $40M-$80M so that you power users can download your p*rn faster. If you are a power user and use it in your job/profession and will benefit the most, why don't YOU pay for it? The free market - what a revolutionary concept! If you want it badly enough, if you value it, you will pay for it.

The average hardworking plumber in western Sydney could use 1 to 10 Mbps perhaps, but I suspect they would think their taxes could be put to better uses than a FTTP NBN. You just want a free ride on the back of that plumber.



Good grief! Typo: that's $40B-80B (billions)!



That's OK Stan, and thanks for the support. I am indeed a "power" user. My machines are NEVER turned off, they are connected to the net 24/7. If I travel to a place where it is not EASY or CHEAP to get on the net, shrug, I stump up the money to make it happen. It is a HUGE part of my business model, and therefore a valid deduction. Has been for decades. A BILLION is the new MILLION. Looking at my industry of late, a QLD Health Payroll that HARDLY works cost one BILLION. A national eHealth system that doesn't work at ALL costs one BILLION. The ADF HR System costs two BILLION. Money is just being burned on a government funded bonfire. I KNOW I could write the QLD Health payroll for %5 MILLION and come out with enough change to retire early. The current NBNCo model is not only an obscene waste of money, it FAILS to address the nation's internetworking shortfalls. We currently have TWO HFC networks that go past two MILLION people, and we are paying another few BILLION just to turn them off!!! Absolute madness. All the code I have written in a career spanning three decades will fit onto one DVD, so the "power" users must want to use the net for something other than IT work. I don't understand at all. And I am yet to hear one concrete synopsis describing HOW it will 'help' the economy. Education is a Furphy. I managed a Master of Science degree with distinctions with a library card. The men and women who INVENTED the internet did likewise. I learned the Guitar by practicing scales, over and over and over again. And listening to music. I finished a University course just last week, I used the internet. The University streams OUT at 1 Mbps, so that is the fastest I can POSSIBLY receive it regardless of my local technology. eHealth? I know a little bit about that subject, and it is easily done at current network speeds. So again, WHAT is the requirement other than watching more crap movies??? I LIKE movies, from time to time. I don't like them enough to allocate $50 BILLION from general revenue to pay to watch them. I pick one up from a vending machine on the way back from the railway station. Costs $2 a pop. Less than a coffee or a sanger.

Mark Addinall.



@Mark, for brevity (which I commend to you) I'll only detail your last error above.

It may sound highly dramatic to say '$50 BILLION from general revenue', but it's nothing of the sort. The cost of NBN will be recouped from user charges, so the funding which is way under $50 billion (or BILLION) is not on Budget and not therefore drawn from general revenue.



I for one am looking forward to when I can make a VOIP call at the same time as my son is watching you tube, daughter is watching iview, and my wife is looking at the latest Nigella Lawson recipie.

Addinall should also know about the extensive and successfull ehealth programs in use in a hospital next door to him.



@magus, he probably does, or at least he should.

But it might have spoiled that (verrry long) narrative of his. :)



@gnome. Of course the money is coming from general revenue. It is not being dropped off in a paper bag by the Internet fairy every month to cover salaries and initial payments for contract obligations, data centre builds, MILLIONS of dollars in propaganda and the general waste that has been going on. It is NOT covered by subscriber fees unless everyone connected is paying about $600,000 pm for net access. That would explain the lousy take up rate in Tasmania I suppose. To pretend that the money is arriving from a mystical place called "future revenue" at best is an accounting trick, if done in a public company it would be rightfully be called fraud. If the NBNCo had SLAs or KPIs in place for performance, it would have failed every one by any government ITIL standard. It seems procedures are VERY important, unless the project is just a "darling" spend on a woolly idea cooked up by two blokes on the back of a beer coaster. The money bankrolling this mess is coming out of general revenue. No private investment has been sought, and none has been volunteered. Small wonder. You could not get a bank loan for an MX5 with the flimsy project planning to date.

Brevity is fine, if you are going to upgrade a laptop from 2GB DRAM to 8GB DRAM, but for a spend of TENS of BILLIONS of dollars one would expect just a tad more operational awareness, a cost-benefit analysis perhaps? The total lack of planning has emerged in the last few months when people dared to ask "How are you going to connect MRUs?". "Errrr, we haven't given that any thought". Gee. And we have only spent $2 BILLION so far on administration. NBNCo and the government are just making stuff up as they go along, a blank cheque for a poor project doomed to failure. I am very sorry if your attention span lasts as long as a 30 second sound bite, but some of us take planning and fiscal responsibility with some seriousness. I wouldn't mind the spend so much if anyone could reasonably describe a positive outcome. None documented so far. I have been in a position as a manager in private enterprize where I have just stated in a meeting "Look it is a good idea, we are doing it my way". But the difference is and was, that was MY money I was playing with. Having been an IT manager in the public service, Federal and State, the controls over project spends are regulated for a very good reason. It is supposed to give assurance that the public is getting value for money when using public money. This is being disregarded and hidden on this project with bogus "Commercial in Confidence" excuses. The project WILL fail, because it is so poorly planned. It is just a slow and expensive train wreck. So, my bent on the technical architecture still stands, the NBNCo model is poor. Even if it could get finished, it would not address any of the internetworking shortfalls of the nation. Just lock in poor delivery for another few decades.

Abel Adamski


A couple of links that may well be relevant. Well worth reading



I actually have a great respect for Telstra and the skill and expertise within it, however the reality is that it's priorities as a listed Corporation are of necessity counter to the best interest of the Nation. PMG-Telstra was good to me and I got to know many brilliant and competent dedicated individuals.
I also respect your undoubted expertise, however your own personal needs do not necessarily relate to all.
Most residential will provide for several concurrent users plus I for one will have online video security, HD Video Security will become the norm rather than those grainy low res images linking back to monitored facilities for example.

Remember much of the Worlds economy comes back to entertainment and feel good.

Yes linking to the US is not a great example, as you intimated the networks are configured for the lowest common denominator and the US is getting further behind Europe and the Asian countries. They may have the technology or had but they are also dependent on the private sector for their communications infrastructure which is why the US is handing out such a massive amount to subsidise an upgrade which is failing, because of the private sector. - Research it.

Conroy may not have been stupid in his comments about the need for more cheap international capacity. You use TPG who have their cable to Guam, it is the bit to the US and Asia that are the factors.

It is the ubiquity and the availability of high capacity to 93% of premises that will drive improvements right through Australia's Communications and in so many other areas.

Sorry about the verbose rant

Abel Adamski


The money is from borrowings, not consolidated revenue.
I have friends that live out of Ballarat, they now have wireless NBN available which they want to take up, just evaluating the providers. Their issue is their business needs, especially mobile and the only mobile service available is Telstra, they only have wireless Telstra internet available and are forced to pay for a landline they don't use or need as useless for ADSL. That package however gives cheap phone calls . Regardless they will still need the mobile phone and cheap rates.
So delaying until their contract expires.
Telstra did a major campaign in Tassie and Rural areas, since the NBN they have madly implemented top hats and ramped up broadband availability on 2 year contracts.
The NBN is already stimulating competition and improvement of services

Abel Adamski





The interest on the borrowings are paid from general revenue. SOMEONE will have to pay the BILLIONs committed to in contracts. Buying two space missions is an idiocy of idiocies. This is just a ruse to purchase a bird for the ADF and keep it off budget. Telstra have never stopped improving it's network in increments. I built satellite Earth stations in remote Arnhem Land 12 years ago. Telstra have just rolled fibre into the place.
"YIKAKI MAYMURU, INTERPRETER: That probably the first government organisation - or private, should I say, private, yeah, they are, actually - private organisation that's actually done a better consultation work than any other government or private organisation.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: The fibre optic cable will connect 8,000 people in Arnhem Land to high speed broadband by the end in this year. Another 2,000 will get access by the end of next year's dry season.

Most use of the new service will be made by schools and health centres.

Like many Top End communities, Oenpelli in west Arnhem Land is cut off every wet season.

JOAN TUPPOCK, OENPELLI CLINIC MANAGER: Well we get completely isolated by water, and when we had the flood on a few years ago, we didn't - and the cyclone the year before that - we didn't have any telecommunication at all.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Till now, the health centre at Oenpelli has relied on satellite communications and they drop out whenever there's a bad storm. The new cable will make services much more reliable and more accessible. In the new age of tele-medicine, staff at the clinic expect that X-rays will be able to be interpreted anywhere in Australia, and that the frequent patient flights to Darwin hospital will decrease.

HUGH HEGGIE, KAKADU HEALTH SERVICE: Some of our monitoring equipment, our ECGs can be viewed in Darwin by a heart surgeon. Some of the acute care - when we have somebody in septic shock, we have to monitor a variety of biometric measurements. That can be done live with a consultant in Darwin.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: The whole job has cost $34 million. Telstra says that in spite of the relatively low number of potential customers, the project will be economically viable because the Northern Territory Government and a large mining company have made capital contributions."



So a decade and a bit ago I built satellite broadband across Arnhem land, two years ago Telstra got OFT out to the place and the NBNCo wants to go back to a satellite service? Bizarre backwards step.



"The Groote Eylandt Fibre Project involved Telstra teams planning, designing, land access consultations and agreements , surveying, procuring and building infrastructure in this remote region.

Telstra installed 3.5km of terrestrial optic fibre and 95km of submarine cable between Numbulwar in Arnhem Land and Alyangula on Groote Eylandt, which is located in the top north-east portion of the Northern Territory coastline. This augmented the existing fibre 377km cable from Mataranka to Numbulwar.

Terrestrial works included the installation of beach-head manholes, laying the terrestrial cable from the beach-head sites to the terminating exchanges at Numbulwar and Alyangula, building and commissioning the 2.5Gbps Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) system to Katherine and infrastructure at the GEMCO mine.

The result of all this work has been an upgrade of the existing radio network to optical fibre transmission. Put simply, this means an increase in network robustness to the island, particularly during the tropical cyclone season.

In addition, the new optical fibre-based transmission system allows access to high-speed broadband services, improved Next G™ network backhaul, providing many benefits to the island’s remote communities of Numbulwar and Ngukurr.

The Eylandt has a population of approximately 2500 people and has medical facilities, police, and local government facilities and is a base for four schools in the area."

Abel Adamski


Mark, Mark.
Congratulations on doing so much for our remote indiginous communities and miners, a job well done.
Who paid the Bill?
Yes Telstra was paid and subsidised to service these remote communities and has done a very good job of it.
However that does nothing for the rest of rural Aust, yes I know Telstra was paid by the WA Govt to build a remote wireless/mobile network.
The Diamantina shire could do with some benefactors, will cost $22Mill to run fibre for them.
The common factor is the taxpayer and/or private companies paid or subsidised the construction.

You mentioned all the dark fibre, would you care to elucidate for the readers as to why that dark fibre is available. ?

We have a choice build for current needs, then have to do it all again as we outgrow those needs, do we really want a never ending install just constantly upgrading to current needs a section at a time.?
Or do we install for reasonably anticipated needs for the next 20+ years and as the income allows extend the fibre footprint, possibly with community, government and private sector involvement.
But first get it in

Comments are now closed

Windows Server 2003 end of life guide