Coalition copper will fill Telstra’s coffers

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Alan, you are forgetting one small thing.

It's called legislation, lets not be too sure that a backlash against a monopoly, will not occur. It is absurd (in my opinion) that business will tolerate a monopolistic culture than destroys competition.

So, what could happen? Lets say a company decides to offer an 8 Gig download speed (as is available in Korea). Lets assume that they offer, to fit fiber from the node to the premises, based on a long term contract with the client.

8 gigs, there are a lot of businesses that would love an 8 Gig download speed (or an 8 gig upload). If this company pays for the connection of fiber, to the premises, then legislation will need to evolve to accommodate the new paradigm.

No one thought the Commonwealth bank would be sold off, but remember the next government, might encourage competition.

Technology will advance (in the next decade), to make all we understand, look primitive. Legislation will have difficulty keeping up, with customer demand.

Our fiscal model is broken, it cannot be repaired. We are in a new era, more profound than, the industrial revolution.

The example is US tech stock, it is struggling to survive. So, what will happen - new technology. You and I can remember the creation of the silicon chip, it WILL be replace by quantum computers. Job creation will be our biggest problem

>"It's called legislation, lets not be too sure that a backlash against a monopoly, will not occur. It is absurd (in my opinion) that business will tolerate a monopolistic culture than destroys competition"

When will people get it through there thick skulls that national communications infrastructure is not a private plaything? It's communication for God's sake!

Why the heck do we need two or more 'competing' ways to communicate!

Any more than I would need two power lines to my home, or two water mains, to gas pipes, or two poop shoots.

It's just nonsense.

Variety? Sure. Competition? No.

I'll say it once more: 'communications infrastructure'.

Make sense now?

Cheers

One further point:

If you really want to believe in competition and the US, youtube 'Google fibre pole' and get back to me.
They are driving people out in the snow to communicate in the 21st Century because it's too expensive for them to have in the home!

It's just ridiculous and no rational mind would want to replicate that.

Maybe you should contact the power companies about the competition thing in the power supply industry. I only have one power connection but can get a connection from any number of providers!

Businesses are free to order business grade high capacity links from any provider, P2P business services are not blocked, just generally extremely expensive, however Corporations may still prefer that option for security and reliability reasons and are free to pursue that option.

I agree with your comments to a certain degree. I think you will see many domestic properties join together as a collective unit to continue fibre from nod to premises, thus seeking a greater bargaining tool. That would be open to all providers. Commercial entities will undoubtedly receive tax credits and or increase the cost of their goods and services to compensate. Telstra will need to be competitive, although with the ownership of copper, would be seen to have the inside running. Even rental properties, landlords could see fibre to premises as an investment. Some are already negotiating solar panels, obviously with a view to increased rental.

Negotiating on Solar Panels to Bulk Buy or whatever sounds a valid enough example. Until you factor in the Government intervention that made it all possible.

There are many issues with 'private companies' or 'community groups' taking over the 'last mile' from the node. A very large one being that you would need to have Government regulated 'design rules' as to how it all went about.

Otherwise you would end up with one estate/street/apartment block with 100mbps and redundancy with a good quality fibre and equipment, and the next estate/street/apartment block with 1000mbps or more, but with no redundancy and inferiour quality fibre and devices. All dependant on the whim of the group and their negotiating power.

It would help no one if these design rules were not in place. And we would end up replicating the issues we had with state rail infrastructure at the turn of the last century. Only worse! With communications!

And if the government were to implement said 'design rules' (much like they do for cars etc), then it quickly limits the way that any private entitiy can make profits. They will end up trying to screw down their labour supplier, or screw down their parts supplier just to make a buck. And I'm sure the last 100 years have enough case studies of what happens to the quality of build when that happens.

Private enterprise and ilk doing the build on 'National Communications' is not the fairy tale that some people have lead themselves to believe.

Cheers

I am not sure what you are getting at with solar panels. I referred to some landlords negotiating with their tenants to install solar panels. It's an investment and it's possible fibre could go the same way. I am not saying it will, it's possible. Government rebates certainly helped.

By design rules, I assume you mean an Australian standard. These are already in place for communication purposes. You used the analogy of the motor car. Car manufactures must meet certain guideline, doesn't restrict the design of the vehicle.

Rail is a state issue. The problem is that each state has it's own gauge which make it impossible to travel by single train from Brisbane to Melbourne. Communications is a federal issue.

The commonwealth will establish fibre to node. Than our communication suppliers will compete to establish fibre to premises. The advantage is that this final connection belongs to you, not the government. I honestly can't see what your issues are, you want it or you don't. Many business already have fibre, implemented under Australian standards.

You mentioned redundancy, which I assume is selling up and moving. You connect fibre to your premises, it's yours and the cost can be redeemed when you sell. Everyone will have the option to negotiate by themselves, or as a group to connect fibre, so again I don't see what your problem is.

>"Rail is a state issue"

That it is. And because 1 or 2 states wouldn't agree to a 'standard' guage post Federation, it created a problem that was costly and took over 100 years to fix.

So you would either need all the states to 'co-operate' and agree on a 'standard', or you would need Federal intervention to mandate 'design rules'.

Ditto for comms. That was my point.

>"The commonwealth will establish fibre to node"

And all well and good. However unless it is mandated that the end provider must provide say; a minimum speed; a certain amount of redundancy; and a quality of design, it would be left to the final party to decide the outcome. Which would mean that every section of the country would have it's own way of doing things, and create issues similar to the that of rail post 1900 (albeit, on a smaller scale. However having a direct effect on the reliability of communicaiton in the 21st Century).

Redundany: As I understand it, Telecom/PMG laid around 25% extra redundant pairs when it laid the cable in the latter half of last century. This means that when a line dies, Telstra can now just switch to a 'spare' pair until all redundancy is used up. NBNco is doing the same, allowing approximately 2 spare fibres per premises to allow for 'unaddressable locations' and 'redundancy'.

This is to save the man power of re-laying individual fibre lines if one dies in the same way that Telecom/PMG did last Century.

The point I was trying to make was, that to make sure that there was an acceptable level of redundancy in the last mile, the Federal government would have to interfere and 'mandate' 'design rules' so this would happen. Otherwise the Telco would be free to lay no redundancy, and then charge the end user an exorbidant amount to run a new line, should they be unlucky enough to get a dud fibre....

If the government was to leave it up to private enterprise and communities to do, it would have to regulate what they do, greatly reducing the opportunity for profit (and then likely leaving us with a repeat of the HFC mess that Telstra and Optus created in the 90s given that they would be the only companies large enough to get the economies of scale right to make a profit, therefore squeezing out the smaller guys).

>"The advantage is that this final connection belongs to you"

This would be nice in theory, but the coalition have indicated no such thing. And given the distance of the copper, and the likelyhood that it would be part of a 'bundle', this is highly unlikely to be the case.

>"I am not sure what you are getting at with solar panels"

I was purely touching on the point that for it to get under way, it involved serious federal intervention.

Cheers

I accept most of what you say. However you keep bringing in the states with the NBN. This is not a state issue, it commonwealth. I am sure there are Australian standards for regulating communication lines, why would fibre be different. I would assume this redundancy issue of yours is being addressed as contractors lay the fibre lines. I also believe the existing copper wire will carry the service from node to premises, for which I understand there are 3 wires. Will there be a need to replace the copper, I say not because that is why the Coalitions plan is at least $17 billion cheaper. You would need to ask the NBN company about redundancy issues.

So ok you wish to have fibre connection to the premises, will your service provider lay additional cable just in case, I don't know. As far as a dud cable goes, I would assume that the cable must be in working order at completion of the job, otherwise I would guess, as in other cases, it would be their responsibility as the service provider to replace it, at their cost. I am sure all this will be in a contract.

I will rephrase the ownership, it will be owned by private enterprise and we rent it off them, not the government, I prefer it that way.

Also "serious intervention by the government", I had solar panels now for more than 3 years. Apart from federal government concessions, which saved me about 30% of the cost, they didn't influence my decision much at all. I was prepared to go into debt. It was purely an investment to cut my power bill. Well worth it I might add as costs of power continues to climb. The carbon tax followed 2 years later.

"it will be owned by private enterprise and we rent it off them, not the government, I prefer it that way."

So purely ideological rather than practical.

I suggest read this article and follow the links and read them.The Corning study is extremely limited, but read anyhow.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-27/u-s-internet-users-pay-more-for...

Note the operational methods of the Private Sector "competitive companies"

You may wish to ascertain the plans and pricing in the US relative to our living costs and wages, they are dearer in the land of free enterprise and competition

>"I accept most of what you say. However you keep bringing in the states with the NBN. This is not a state issue, it commonwealth."

Sorry, I might not have been clear with my premise. I was only refering to state rail and the issues it causes becaue of lack of co-operation and 'standardisation'. And then saying that lack of 'standardisation' on an NBNco build could also be fraught with peril.

>"I am sure "
>"I would assume "
>"I also believe "

This is the problem. We have no certainty on the detail for the Coalition policy and that is the problem.

There is no one in the telecommunications industry who seriously believes the Libs can rollout FTTN to a large slice of the country, unless they throw a serious amount of money Telstra's way. It really comes down to vested interests.

Telstra said in 2003/4 that FTTN was unsuitable for Australia. It then said it could be done in 2008, low and behold because the government were offering significant money to do so. When the government would not accept Telstra's demand that it hold it's monopoly status, the government approached the technicians and the technicians stated that we would be stupid to do FTTN given the engineering and financial requirements. Opportunity cost suggested FTTH instead.

Labor's FTTH policy is a technical one.
Liberal's policy is a political one.

Who do you believe, the technicians who state it's unfeasible to replace vast lengths of copper in the 21st century, or the Liberal party who's policy and media appearances are full of 'mights', 'possiblys', and 'hope tos'.....?

>"$17 billion cheaper"

It's cheaper in the same way that a unit is cheaper to build than a 5 bedroom home.
However the unit is useless if you need 5 bedrooms for your brood....

>"I would assume that the cable must be in working order at completion of the job, otherwise I would guess, as in other cases, it would be their responsibility as the service provider to replace it, at their cost. I am sure all this will be in a contract."

Another assumption. And this is the problem. If you look at the current private fibre builds, they vary greatly in what they deliver. And that's my point.

You can very easily pay a fortune for a 'fibre' connection, and get very little in way of a future capable network. While your friend or family member could pay a lot less and 'luck' a network that will meet their needs for the next 20 years. That is the reality of what is happening now.

I personally don't think that national communications should be subject to such variation. Do you?

As they say, the devil is in the detail. And the coalition's BB policy is lacking quite alot of detail.

Google:
Many unanswered questions in Coalition's NBN plan: Macquarie Telecom - April 16, 2013
NBN: Correcting the Record on the Coalition NBN Plan - 2013/04/15
The hidden cost of the NBN street cabinets - 12 Apr
First reaction to the Opposition’s NBN plan - Budde
Nats turn on Malcolm Turnbull to demand one price for all - April 11, 2013

>"Also "serious intervention by the government", I had solar panels now for more than 3 years. Apart from federal government concessions, which saved me about 30% of the cost, they didn't influence my decision much at all. "

Well that is your personal situation.
However a 30% discount is nothing to sneeze at I would assume.
The truth of the matter is that after the Federal government offered rebates, sales of solar panels went through the roof to such a point that Peter Garrett had end the program early as it went massively overbudget while the party was disctracted with other issues.

>"Well worth it I might add as costs of power continues to climb."
I personally just turned my hot water off every 2nd night.
However I wouldn't expect others to do the same.....

At the end of the day, to get a national unified, and reliable COMMUNICATIONS network that will meet our needs for the next 50 years, it is going to need significant government intervention.
And to do this in a cost effective manner, you have to go with the technology that will meet those needs for that time.

So:
$30billion for <25-100mbps dependant on LUCK that will last ~10 years and utilises tempermental and ageing copper (with little detail on how it's technically able to be done).
or
$44billion for <25-1000mbps (thats and extra zero) dependant on CHOICE that will last ~30 years and utilises 'ubquitous' and 'new' fibre (with the detail broken down amongst two corporate plans and several other documents).

Which one do you believe is better value for your friends and family?

Cheers

Why would I see "investing" in FTH for my four rental properties when none of my current tenants have bothered connecting a landline?

As to solar panels, that's an entirely different matter. I have recently installed a 3 kW system at one of my rental properties which will save my tenants around $1,000 in electricity costs. And no, I have not asked for a rent increase.

Trudi, I am not saying it will happen, and I can agree with what you say. However the internet currently uses the phone line and your tenants may well have the internet, just not a landline.

Your installation of solar panels are based purely on investment, resale value. A happy tenant leads to a happy partnership. The point being is that fibre connection may go in the same direction, one day. I am not advocating it will, it may. But that's your decision.

another expensive legacy for the consumer as a consequence of an inept labor negotiation with private enterprise. congratulations Conroy!

Did you forget about Howard ignoring Keating's recommendation to structurally separate Telstra on sale, that caused the mess that forced the government to go down the GBE path?

If anyone was "inept" Fred, it was the Liberal government for selling the copper network off in the first place. Now the Liberals are going to have to buy it back at a massively inflated price, guaranteed if Macquarie bank is involved.

Both Abbott and Turnbull were part of the Liberal government that made that decision.

It gets to negotiate with a politician who is on the hook with an election promise

Malcolm Turnbull is not going to be easy.

It is the only company capable of servicing the copper customer access network that the Coalition is promising to maintain;

Telstra does not service them now. Its outsourced.

It will keep more retail customers.
Telstra will have more costs. It would have retained retail customers in any case as it owns the best wireless network.

And it will get to be an infrastructure competitor against the NBN with its own cable.

Microcell wireless will slaughter FTTH. It will provide a better service, at a lower cost, with mobility and no wires in the home.

>"Microcell wireless will slaughter FTTH"

Ummm. You do know that Microcells need a power connection at each cell, and use fibre back haul don't you?

Who do you think is going to be supplying said fibre backhaul?
How many fibres did NBNco lay for 'unaddressable locations' again??

If you want to see a proper 'mesh' network, youtube 'Chattanooga US ignite'.
All delivered by a 'municipally owned' fibre network.

Cheers

If you have a cell every 30m you do not need a wire to the home or a cell tower. The cell goes back to the node and can be connected with a copper line. The node is connected to the fibre. A home will get the full cell bandwidth. Large business will still need FTTP.

I think Steve has covered much of the point with wireless. There is no one in the telecommunication industry who seriously believes that wireless alone can carry the bulk of residential traffic into the future.

Having a cell every ~30m sounds well in theory, and I too have debated that very issue. However add in a power connection and consumption to every 2nd lampost, and then the cherry picker to install it, and the fibre running down the same streets, you get much the same cost to build as Fibre to the Home. You then can add to that the interference you get from Weather, Trees, and Walls and then passing through traffic sucking up your bandwidth, and your home network would quickly become unreliable and intermittant. And considering the fibre has to still run down every residential street anyway to the cells, there really isn't much of a benefit. Even more so considering that every advancement to wireless technology, can be directly applied to fibre...

The only person who still thinks wireless is the future, is Alan Jones...

Cheers

The biggest cost is the fibre connection to the home. Wireless avoids all that. The power consumption is very low per aerial. I think Alan Jones is talking about wireless from a tower. I am talking about wireless from the curb. It will work for various wavelengths. Its not going to need a cherry picker to install. Wireless also works quite well with future discoveries in regard to quantum mechanics. Entanglement will make the aerial redundant.

Sorry Geoff
Wireless transmission networks use many times more power than fibre, even copper. There are so many losses, every piece of metal in its area, even losses to earth and organic materials. even microcells are included, check your WiFi routers energy consumption against the non WiFi model

A recent report on just that subject, towers are real energy wasters

What does the NTD do Abel? Looks like it has a battery. Must use power for something?

Yes Geoff, both fibre and copper solutions use active equipment at the customers end, and guess what that connection to the microcell does too. The difference is losses and efficiency.

The other point of course is the actual number of microcells required, rf interference and cost of future upgrades of each microcell with cherry pickers required in each case. The current NTU and FTTH hardware is 1Gb capable

Evidently you didn't watch the youtube video 'Chattanooga US Ignite'.

Also see: 'Professor Rod Tucker on Fibre to the Home energy savings'

>"The biggest cost is the fibre connection to the home. Wireless avoids all that"

Are you speaking from engineering experience?
If this is true, and it does have some validity, why is it that every company that has attempted to roll it out gone broke?

And then if the fibre is at the lamp pole (etc) anyway, what incentive does someone have to use it for their baseline data use, when they can get a fibre extension for say $1000 that offers 10times the thoughput and gives a more consistant, non-intermittant service?

Mesh networks are built 'on top' of fibre networks (sans third world countries that have very little data need by comparison).

>"I am talking about wireless from the curb. It will work for various wavelengths."

You are talking about having a wireless antenna on a node somewhrere in the street then rather than lamposts then?

I guess you aren't familiar with the issues and delays that has faced Victoria's smart meter rollout from all the planning objections then?

>"Wireless also works quite well with future discoveries in regard to quantum mechanics. Entanglement will make the aerial redundant"

Really? With all this engineering talent you have, why haven't you opened up a dialogue with Quigley and his team of engineers? Or is it because of the 10 year delay that takes place from the prototype to the marketable product that is holding you back?

Every advancement that can be applied to wireless technologies, can be applied to fibre.
And a single fibre has 30,000 times more usable spectrum that the whole EMS usable for wireless.

And then, should your technology somehow become marketable in the next 10 years, and somehow all the NIMBYs are happy for a tower on their street corner, how do you get around the fact that at the high frequencies etc that these devices work at, they have issues getting the signal through walls, trees, trucks, and weather? Or will these customers be more than happy for frequent drop outs or signal degredation that this will cause?

Cheers

Wireless is a good adjunct to end-points, but does NOT work for the whole network.

Richochet tried wireless only networks in the USA, starting in Silicon Valley in 1997 and shutdown in 2001. Assets were acquired and Denver kept running until 2008.

Same deal for iBurst here in Australia: 2003-2005, then asset ran until 2009.

Philadelphia made much ado about its Municipal WiFi in 2004. Earthlink built it and went broke in 2008.

WiMAX was chosen as part of the OPEL solution by the Howard Govt: never deployed.

3G/4G *works* and scales moderately. It isn't cheap, but gets development funds and standards get upgraded. All Telcos know that the towers are only part of the problem: transit/backhaul network (uplinks to central point) are necessary. These get complex and expensive is you want good bandwidth and reliable operation.

Like all "Cable" systems, wireless is a (shared) broadcast medium. There can only be a single transmitter per channel at any one time... This works very, very well with low-density senders, but fails badly with even a moderate number of senders: congestion and contention are its undoing.

This was learnt with the ALOHA network's "Collision Detection & Avoidance" protocol, a precursor to Ethernet. ALOHA experienced sudden collapse when the load exceeded a thresh-hold.

In English: it works very well for one sender, tolerably for a few, but breaks completely when you add just *one* too many. It doesn't recover by itself, either, because everyone with data keeps trying to get through and corrupting each others' messages.

I expect the negotiations between the govt and Telstra will go rather smoothly. Conroy's attitude was draconian and full of threats ("give us your ducts and shut down any competing technology or I'll smash you with legislation and ban you from getting mobile spectrum"). Hardly conducive to speedy and amicable negotiations. Sure, both the govt and Telstra will try to get the best deal, but I expect Telstra will recognize that the govt isn't their enemy like Conroy was and try to negotiate a deal that results in a good strategic partnership going forward rather than risking it for a short term cash windfall.

Have you forgotten the ~2 years that Conroy had to deal with Sol Trujillo that forced him to go for the big guns? Have you forgotten the failed attempt to build FTTN in the first place because Telstra wanted to keep their private monopoly status?
Conroy may or may not be peaches and cream, however he took on the big T, and has made large inroads into a 'ubquitous', 'reliable', and 'modern' communications network that is open to retail competition. In a way that Coonan, Turnbull and ilk could only dream about....

I would rather Conroy, than a communications minister suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

Cheers

Well done Kohler

I was starting to think you'd been bought out of any rational thinking.
Rational thinking is always appreciated.

Sorry Anthony, that you did not understand what I was saying.

Download speed is an option available right now, there are a lot of people out there that cant understand that.

So, what we are looking at (NBN) is a political paradigm, nothing more. Am I going to fast for you?

If people want to have NBN from the node, they can pay for it, there are people, who could not give damn about it.

Thats all.

"If people want to have NBN from the node, they can pay for it, there are people, who could not give damn about it."

Of course. Except that pool of people is shrinking by the day.

Telstra's copper is only capable of (and mandated to) supply 'phone' communications.
Phone communications that less and less people are using.

However that same copper is quickly loosing it's ablility to handle ADSL, VDSL etc. And hence why Telstra said in 2003 that it was intending on replacing the network.

Some people might not 'give a damn' about internet today. And that is fine.
However that is not the trend.
One of the highest growing sectors for internet use are aged 50+.

So more and more people ARE giving a damn about internet use.
And given that it's at least a 7 year build either way, suffice to say (somewhat crassly) there will be a large section of the people who don't give a damn about internet, dead and buried by then.

A wise person once said to me 'the trend is your friend'.

Well I'm sorry Ken, but ~25 years of upward growth (approx 50% PA) is enough evidence to suggest that the people who 'dont give a damn' as you suggest, will very much give a damn come 2020 as the copper begins to die, and their need for bandwidth continues to grow (the latest ABS data only supports this).

Google 'Nielson's Law of Bandwidth' if you like. It should illustrate it in nice pictorial form for you.

Further, the political 'paradigm' that you speak of, was the result of built up demand that the private sector was failing to meet (as in, people were giving a damn, but couldn't get what they needed). The Labor party capitalised on that.
No one can blame them for spotting a need and filling it, while others sat on their laurels.

Cheers

Ken
"Download speed is an option available right now"

This is the media and oppositions obsession, the needs of the near and long term are UPLOAD and download and Reliability and stability for starters.

But who cares about Australia and its people and economy, all that matters is ideology and that the partisan team wins and destroys it's opposition regardless of consequences

The Howard govt made a great mistake when it privatized Telstra to also include the last mile copper wire infrastructure. The Gillard govt. made a bigger mistake thinking it can undo the damage by spending billions of tax payer money on a new infrastructure to break the Telstra monopoly. I think our politicians need to take urgent lessons from the US where the AT&T monopoly was broken through legislation and regulation rather than spending tax payer money

"I think our politicians need to take urgent lessons from the US where the AT&T monopoly was broken through legislation and regulation rather than spending tax payer money"

And have you ever used a telephone in the US? It's an absolute nightmare!

Currently Taxpayer money is not and will not be spent, all LOANS will be repaid with interest and a dividend to the Taxpayer.
However you are correct in relation to the LNP's GIMPCo, that will be the result with their ideological inappropriate lunacy

I can't find the Telstra payments anywhere in the Coalition NBN Plan, either as CapEx or OpEx. Am I missing something?

For 8.9M lines at $1500 (MT's PSAA figure) there's $13.5 billion + $8.1 billion for the nodes, which is the *whole* $20.5 billion in CapEx there, regardless of all the other costs.
Friday, NBN Co put out numbers suggesting Telstra payment is $11.3 billion, which isn't much better.

If Telstra charges same as ULL ($16/mth/line) that's $1.7 billion in OpEx, without ownership or control.

I can't make their figures add up.

Nor can Joe Hockey! And he's going to be Finance Minister.

Anthony, I respect your opinion and understand the information, that you are evaluating. I know about line speed and have understood what XC = 1 over the square root of 2pi FC means, for a very long time.

That is not the problem, the problem is that if this government, only has one policy that I like, its not worth my vote.

Science is specific, but business is more flexible, so Telstra creates its own explanation of survival, thats its right. Dont discount the understanding of others, they my understand more variables than Telstra.

>"That is not the problem, the problem is that if this government, only has one policy that I like, its not worth my vote."

Well that is a personal decision, not a technological one.
So if that be the case, I would be writing a letter to your local Liberal member (or whoever) and point out that their BB policy leaves alot to be desired (even though it has come a long way in 3 years), and that you support a GBE to deliver FTTH.

On a side note, I have been over many Liberal policies (what there is of them), and I still can't see any evidence that they can fulfil what they are promising.

However that's just my personal obsrevation and has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Cheers

"It currently costs Telstra between $800 million and $1 billion a year to maintain that ageing copper."

So to what extent do Telstra presently "maintain" copper by replacing it with fibre? If not significant, you would expect that Telstra will do so in the future. As time passes I am confident that copper will substituted with fibre in any case.

In the meantime if Telstra negotiations are too hard, by a quick reversal MT can maintain or threaten the NBN in its present form.

Telstra only 'maintain' the copper to a degree that ensures profits and secures customers.
They are also mandated to ensure every residence has a 'phone'. Beyond that, Telstra will charge you directly if your copper line will support a phone, but will not support ADSL for example.

Meaning that they will replace copper with copper at your expense.

Telstra contractors have alledged that to provide this 'phone' service, Telstra has been using the redundant pairs laid by Telecom/PMG at the latter half of last century. Leaving many to wonder how much redundancy is actually left in the current network.

This is hardly ideal in the 21st century and hence why the government had to intervene.

Cheers

Thanks Anthony. But okay for example - say today I want a new phone and internet service - so based on what you are saying, Telstra currently installs new copper from the pit to the premises wall box for a set charge $299 or whatever it is.

But to me its seems logical that at some stage (1) assuming fibre and copper supply and install is the same or a similar price, OR (2) if fibre demonstrates the better return, then you would think that Telstra will begin to favour fibre. In addition they could be eventually mandated (and or subsidised) to do so.

I accept that some speculation here depends on what exact scenario is being discussed – i.e. the node to the pit, the pit to the premises, Greenfield and Brownfield and if Brownfield - the state of existing copper in the area.

Failing that the above speculation is anyway near future reality, fibre will be an option on a user pay basis and if business and premises customers can justify the investment they will pay. Amortise the investment and doesn’t look that bad particularly if lower on-going Internet charges apply as promised.

I know - fibre proponents want more certainty and I don’t disagree entirely on that view point. On the other hand a FTTN solution is far from fatal and possibilities will open up.

>"Telstra currently installs new copper from the pit to the premises wall box for a set charge $299 or whatever it is. "

Telstra only has to provide a phone service. So have a set price for that.
They will charge you whatever they can get away with to replace your line to provide ADSL as it is not mandated. This is the issue.

>"But to me its seems logical that at some stage "

It does seem logical to any rational human being. But not to a profit driven vertically intergrated private monopoly.

Historically Telstra continued to install what are known as RIMs in new estates, when ADSL was well known about. However RIMs only offered a very limited number of ports confining these new estates to the dark ages or mobile hell.

A rational person would have seen the need to make ADSL more available to new estates.
A profit driven vertically intergrated private monopoly who wanted to increase profits through it's mobile networks, would not.

And is the very reason why today, there are still countless new estates that can't access ADSL.

>"Failing that the above speculation is anyway near future reality, fibre will be an option on a user pay basis and if business and premises customers can justify the investment they will pay. Amortise the investment and doesn’t look that bad particularly if lower on-going Internet charges apply as promised"

And it all sounds rosy in theory until you realise it's a 'national' 'communications' network we are talking about. And that by doing it piece meal, you have to send the trucks back to an area countless times to deliver what everyone will inevitably need.

By doing it piecemeal, you have easy just driven the cost up 4 fold.
I don't know of any contractors that would take on a job for less than a grand. So everytime they have to go to an area, they have to ensure they can cover staff and equipment (trucks etc) costs.

And you have just bottled necked the economy in the process.

>"I know - fibre proponents want more certainty and I don’t disagree entirely on that view point. On the other hand a FTTN solution is far from fatal and possibilities will open up."

This is all on the assumption that the Opportunity Cost of going to fibre in the first place doesn't stack up. And this all depends on the real condition of the copper. A real condition that the Coalition don't know, and the real condition that Telstra are keeping quite silent on.

Google 'Telstra Network Five Minutes to Midnight'

Telstra knows the network will need replacing.
The only reason they don't evidence it with reports is that the Libs are offering them money to use it should they get elected.

If I was a profit driven company and 'a greater fool' was offering something that I no longer wanted, I would be keeping quiet too.....

Next time you are driving around and you see a network contractor working, pull over and ask them the condition of the copper. And then follow by asking them what they think is in worse condition in general, the truck lines or the last mile.....

Cheers

It would appear that a further benefit to Telstra would come about from the protection provided to Foxtel. From what I understand a 100Mbps+ FTTH network would have provided the infrastructure to allow media players to stream directly to the home.

Spectrum availability Vs cell miniaturisation ! Experimental technologies for a national infrastructure ? Now we have monomode fibre BW that on ONE fibre can carry the entire Australian traffic !!! THATS also experimental ...but on the same infrastructure.
MY COPPER needs replacing ...so does much of the copper over Australia....IT WONT be replaced by MORE copper....I WANT NBN FTTH and even if you need to say "do it once do it properly".....AND its worth MY VOTE irrespective of all the rest of the "programming" of the population done by the press and other self serving media such as belonging to FOX and Murdoch.
Lets just decide to do this on an ENGINEERING basis ..whats the best solution ? Whats the cheapest ongoing maintenance ? Whats the best for sustaining EMP, the best for "security" of data theft ? The best for "privacy" ....
The huge benefit to Telstra as Kohler relates is on top of the share value they benefitted from my silly LNP inspired investment. The retention of Telstra as wholesaler and retailer demonstrates the same dimwitted financial grasp as giving everybody $14K to buy a new house ...and then being surprised the median price for houses rises by $14K...and this was to relieve first home buyers ? Hello ...?
I sing my song .....DO IT ONCE AND DO IT PROPERLY

but that's david marr's song

Anyone interested in a node premises fibre work bee this Saturday?

One would say we're likely to have been presented with an inferior substitute- as with other infrastructures coalition took to the old tactic of producing surpluses from raiding public infrastructures.

It appears the public will pay similar to Telstra and got back a lot less, and savings achieved by having the public pay for it by stealth.

When it was justifying private school funding it was mentioned that people should have freedom of choice- it'd be nicer to have such principles apply to public infrastructure.

The speeds touted may be adequate today- except that with computing power doubling every few years and hence data requirements these speeds are almost certainly inadequate even by the time of completion. One shudder at the thought of a world where data (and knowledge) belong to those that can pay to entrench an elite class.

However a valid point would be that by implementing a part way solution, we'll have flexibility to respond and adapt newer technologies that are becoming more viable- wireless technology may well be in a position to deliver greater impact and more cost effectively.

Though it'd be misleading to think of the Liberal policy as money saving (simply deliver a different and not equivalent product), the approach of gradually phasing in an intermediate, part-way solution prior to committing to the best technology today may remain a worthy contribution to the debate at hand.

The approach of having intermediate stages to this critical infrastructure may be correct and value adding, however the user-pay mindset of attacking the underclass (however well disguised and subtle), and claims of savings does not appear to help in this debate.

"However a valid point would be that by implementing a part way solution, we'll have flexibility to respond and adapt newer technologies that are becoming more viable- wireless technology may well be in a position to deliver greater impact and more cost effectively."

Two things about this. Firstly, wireless will always be an adjunct to wireline. There simply isn't enough spectrum for a wireless only system. This is very well known and accepted by all the telecommunications industry. It's only the brain-dead radio shock-jocks and their rabid supporters that suggest otherwise! And - the current 'real' NBN (as opposed to the faux Coalition proposal) does use wireless as the last leg where it is more cost effective.

Secondly, it has been shown many, many times that the network build for FTTN does NOT provide an easy, cost effective eventual path to FTTH. The architecture is quite different. You can, of course, put 'lipstick on the pig', and make it work - but it is NOT optimal and certainly not cheap. When figures such as $90 billion are thrown around, it is far more likely that this is what the Coalition proposal will eventually end up costing when the absolutely accepted and inevitable changeover from copper to fibre takes place! And what will have been the lost opportunity cost to the Australian economy?

Reading most of these comments, it's not about what's best, but what's best for me. So they say it will cost between $2k and $7k to fund the final connection ourselves, yet there are those that believe why should I pay for it, let the government should pay for it. We can't continue to live this way, we can't afford it. We live in a user pays society, and we are not he only country.

We get what we want either way, just how it is paid for is the problem, or so it seems.

Colin, with respect.
The figures for the home FTTH drop are currently approx $1200 to $1400 from the FTTH PASSIVE GPON Node. However under the one off ad hoc dibre run it will be extremely expensive and will take some time, maybe many months or even years for the one off connection. It will depend on if the fibre can be squeezed into the pipes from the FTTC cabinet to the house, many pipes are absolutulety full. Part of the reason for delays is waiting for Testra to remediate these pipes which is being done on a bulk contract area at a time basis. Under the FTTN scenario this is no longer necessary saving Telstra possibly a $Billion or more. However someone , private or business that orders a fibre, better hope there is room to run the ONE Fibre cable, then someone in the next street orders one 6 Months or a year later.
Multiply costs by 3 for one offs - big dollars and who pays for what. It will cost Everyone, Telstra, NBN and the customer much more.
Sounds good to those without experience, glib sound bites for the gullible

Colin
"We get what we want either way, just how it is paid for is the problem, or so it seems."

True

Currently the USER not the taxpayer pays for it.
However under the Coalitions only very partially costed fantasy solution as cost and investment will be similar and the taxpayer will be subsidising competitors and Telstra with their resultant fat wallet will upgrade their HFC prior to replacing with their own fibre and aggressively compete with the Fraudband NBN, guaranteeing inability to fund itself or repay debt.
So yes under that option the Taxpayer WILL PAY FOR IT

Of course the LNP will try to flog it off, but who would buy a GIMPCo, guess they will do their float trick , who would be dumb enough to buy the shares, maybe yourself<

"So they say it will cost between $2k and $7k to fund the final connection ourselves, yet there are those that believe why should I pay for it, let the government should pay for it."

But you see, they are not. You - the subscriber - IS paying for it. The Government is using its low-cost funding to build a system for ALL Australians that will recover its costs many times over. I, as an individual, don't have access to that same funding - and the individual roll-out model is hugely wasteful of resources and highly inefficient from an engineering viewpoint, too (see my comment above). Apart from that, a network that consists of different technologies (FTTP; FTTN; HFC Cable) will never, ever achieve the economies of scale achievable with a single future-proof technology to a guaranteed 93% of the population.

Raising capital through government bonds is not exactly low cost funding Mike. However I can see your point about the advantages, but it comes down to cost. Australia can't afford it at the moment.

I will concede you were the first correspondent to point out that we will be paying it either way. But I get the impression that many don't realise this. But from my prospective I prefer the choice of retaining copper or introducing fibre. I believe all business, public, private and professional will use fibre, which ever way we go, with domestic premises divided. Australian governments can no longer afford to pay for everything, we must take responsibility, and this is one of those times.

Colin.
The Government is not paying for it.
Once the actual costs of the FTTN option are on the Table, without even looking at the long term it will be a matter of why retain the copper ?
Why the obsession with retaining an ageing degrading copper infrastructure.?
Domestic gets copper, translated to the lower socio economic groups get nothing and no opportunity to better themselves, work from home and limited in ability to run business from home in the future
Same attitude but not stated so in the face
"http://www.menzieshouse.com.au/2013/04/kill-the-poor.html"

"Raising capital through government bonds is not exactly low cost funding Mike. However I can see your point about the advantages, but it comes down to cost. Australia can't afford it at the moment."

I admit to being no economist, but I was under the impression that for a AAA rated Government , there was no cheaper source of funding than bonds? And, I would beg to argue that we can't NOT afford it! In fact, taking that argument one step further, it's not "Australia" paying for it - it is as you kindly agreed, the NBN subscribers in their fees and charges. Australia, as a 'corporate' entity is merely paying the cost of borrowing - a minuscule cost in our multi billion dollar budget.

In addition, although I personally believe the opposition plan is a furphy that will disappear with the wind if they gain power, if you truly believe we can't afford the Labor NBN, you would have to agree tenfold we CERTAINLY can't afford the opposition 'fraudband'? Or do your 'political-beer-googles' blind you to that fact?

In 1999 the Howard Govt passed the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection & Service Standards) Act 1999, thereby imposing on Telstra an obligation "designed to ensure that all people in Australia, no matter where they live or conduct business, have reasonable access, on an equitable basis, to standard telephone services and payphones." It was the legislation that gave birth to the Universal Service Obligation imposed on Telstra.

Fast forward to 2013 and you have a likely Government proposing to implement a grab bag of communications infrastructure that will result in anything but "Universal Service".

But, my main concern is the phrase "on an equitable basis". I fail to see the equity in Turnbull's plan. Those not in the early part of the FTTH NBN rollout will not get FTTH access without paying, and will have to put up with failing (in my case, when it rains) copper connections. Pay, or accept a lesser service.
On the other side of a major road near me, live people who will have FTTH for free, simply because they were earlier in the NBN rollout queue.
I fail to see anything "universal", "reasonable" or "equitable" about Turnbull's proposal, just to pick 3 words from what was imposed on Telstra when the last bunch of Coalition communications philistines ruled the roost, and tried to paper over their complete disdain for nation building, preferring instead to dish out cyclical public revenues as tax cuts and middle class welfare.
As for this "users must pay" nonsense, because "we can't afford it" as a nation, I have but 2 questions I'm having trouble getting answered. Firstly, why does Turnbull's plan not contain a total cost to the "nation" based on various take up rates for the private payment of FTTH connections from his nodes? It seems to me that without that information, "Total Cost" to the "nation" is singularly lacking.
Secondly, if Conroy's NBN is able to be accounted for off the Government's balance sheet, under national accounting rules implemented by Costello, because it covers its Cost of Capital, why are so many many bleating about the "Cost to Taxpayers"?
The truth is Abbott's grand plan involves governing by selecting his core tribes of interests and bugger the rest of us. Get ready for even more inequity.

There is a lot of wishful thinking in some of the comments here in response to Alan's piece earlier today.

You have all seen The Castle, haven't you? Alan is simply reminding everybody including Malcolm Turnbull that the Telstra NBN impasse was broken by Conroy only after he had conclusive advice that if the Commonwealth wished to acquire Telstra's copper network, then Section 51 (xxxi) of the Australian Constitution applies to ensure that just compensation be paid.

There are no outs. There is no special legislation that gets round S51(xxxi). Its not going to be a PR exercise. Rather, its going to be a commercial negotiation with one party having something the other wants and wants desperately. The basic value of Telstra'a copper network has already been factored into the NBN and is established. Hence the reason Macquarie have turned up on the scene to open the batting for Telstra in negotiating the network's refurbishment and reuse. Its will be an exercise in extracting value and a premium if possible, not nation-building infrastructure as was the NBN.

As a long-suffering Telstra shareholder since 1996, I am truly delighted to be paid twice for the same network which is rapidly expiring in the trenches. As a rural broadband user, I'm totally pissed off that rural towns and villages are going to miss out badly under the Coalition broadband-lite policy.

Telstra CEO David Thodey is no Arthur Daley, but he has a duty to extract the best deal for his shareholders, not the fairest deal which could make Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull look like that haven't been flogged the Brooklyn Bridge.Telstra doesn't need Bud Tingwell on the case to make its point this time around but Malcolm Turnbull surely needs help from someone. Maybe he should ring Cardinal Pell and see if St Francis can help.

.

And if Thodey and the board fail to get absolutely best price for the shareholders assett, the shareholders will sue the pants off them

The Coalition may be stupid in the eyes of some but they are not that stupid that they don't realise they are going to be scrutinised like hell on any Telstra dealings.

The ultimate negotiating threshold for Coalition is - if the deal on the copper (that TLS were going throw away) costs more than FTTP - then the deals off and it's back to FTTP.

As far as any Telstra board agreements go, shareholders will have Buckley’s and no chance suing the board if the majority vote in favour of the proposal.

Lovely theory
Cannot happen, too much vitriol and they have media with their reputations on the line and the PayTV monopoly to look after.
However the LNP does not do infrastructure, they leave it up to the private sector and throw buckets of money at them to do it.

So whatever it takes to sell it off.
Question is would you buy shares in their Fraudband NBN with all the cherry pickers being subsidised by the taxpayer competing against it.

P.S
for those unaware, the term "Fraudband" was actually coined by the Nationals describing the identical Labor FTTN in 2007, so most apt to reuse a National term in it's original context

The golden solution, is to buy sufficient Telstra shares to offset the costliest plan with the proceed from fully franked Telstra dividends. That way you have free sterling broadband for life.

Good advice Vasso. But better might be to get into the fibre laying business!

I write from experience. My modus operandi withstood the passage of time, albeit a bumpy ride. Free access from inception.

The investment stabilised somewhat with blue sky ahead. The fiber business is Telstra business and has been that way for years, the deal with our Defense Department is a case in point.

That's it.
Stand on your soap box so all the punters come in underneith you and bump up the price...
Gotta love those greater fools....

Turnbull may be "on the hook with an election promise" but if Telstra become too "unreasonable" it actually gives him an out.

All he has to do is say "Telstra have refused to negotiate a reasonable price, therefore we are going to continue installing an FTTP network."

See above.
That will not happen, the Pay TV monopoly MUST be protected and expanded.
To do so would be ideologically impossible for them, they must sell it off and have it in heavily subsidised private hands, regardless of the long term damage to Australia or our economy in the future

Common the Coalition is not like NSW labor!

As a Vassal Government obligated to and controlled by the cult of Murdoch, I would suggest far worse long term for us all

Try rational analysis, it is a wonderfull experience.
Regardles the genius Tone has indicated they will buy the copper, that will be realistically a no go, but they can hide the cost and take it off CAPEX by leasing the copper and paying a maintenance and servoce contract, maybe some Taxpayer gifts to hide the cost to GIMPCo. Telstra has been bitten where the sun don't shine by the cost of the remediation of their pits/pipes etc, so that new deal will place the remediation burden on GIMPCo as an OPEX, hidden from the headline cost, but along with the leasing costs still paid for by the users, even though their obsession with "competition", even having the taxpayer subsidise that competition will absolutely guarantee GIMPCo is not economically viable or sellable, so all expenses and cost onto the budget and do a Telstra Privatisation.
Who would actually buy shares in GIMPCo, You?
Remember current USO is only for voice capability, not to be able to provide 50Mb as minimum which the coalition PROMISES for 2016 as the minimum or even ADSL

One other point Alan
"Most companies will be winners if the Coalition wins this year’s election"

I suggest that will be a short term win , the consequences long term with a Vassal Obligated Vichy Government will mean a phyrric win for many.

OK, we know that fiber is the way to go, its not new technology, its the right technology. Yet no one is talking about download speed (except me).

Hey man, Ive got the quickest car on the block. Yeah, you car dont run without fuel. Download and upload speeds need to be looked at, otherwise this discussion becomes absurd.