2Mbps uplink speeds fast enough: Trujillo

2Mbps uplink speeds fast enough: Trujillo

Summary: Telstra's outgoing CEO Sol Trujillo today said that uplink speeds for the telco's upgraded HFC cable in Melbourne would only reach an average of 2Mbps, well below average downlink speeds of 70 to 100Mbps, because customers didn't want higher uplink speeds.


Telstra's outgoing CEO Sol Trujillo today said that uplink speeds for the telco's upgraded HFC cable in Melbourne would only reach an average of 2Mbps, well below average downlink speeds of 70 to 100Mbps, because customers didn't want higher uplink speeds.

Sol Trujillo (Credit: Telstra)

"We're not intending to be a secondary ISP. We're not intending to be a broadcaster of things or enabling broadcast of content and other things which would require big amounts of speed here," Trujillo told the press this morning after Telstra announced plans to upgrade its HFC cable in Melbourne.

"What we're trying to do is tailor this to what our customers are telling us they'd like to do as services," he added.

Trujillo agreed that some customers might have specialised needs which would warrant high upload speeds, but said Telstra wasn't deluged by requests for upstream speeds to increase.

"In terms of our platforms we have today, we're not getting much demand from customers saying 'gee I need 20Mbps or I need 100Mbps upstream' at this stage," Trujillo said. "What most people are doing in today's environment is mostly in the other direction in terms of downloads. People want instant access, they want real-time delivery, they want an enhanced experience and that's really what we've focused on."

He said functions such as high-resolution video conferencing were possible with the 2Mbps uplink speeds.

The upgrade isn't just about speed, with the installed equipment ready to enable services, which Trujillo and Telstra CFO John Stanhope believed would drive take-up.

"What we're doing is adding a return path and what we're calling next-generation fixed capability," Stanhope said.

Trujillo said the service would play a role in stemming the losses from the PSTN decline. Stanhope added that he expected in excess of 25 per cent return on investment on the $300 million upgrade costs.

Melbourne is only stage one of the HFC upgrade, but the company won't be making announcements on where the next step is and how much it will cost until it has finished the Victorian city. "We need to get to market to find out the execution side of it," Trujillo said.

Melbourne was a logical choice because of its one million homes footprint and because the necessary teams and equipment were already in the city, according to Trujillo.

He said that it was possible Telstra would extend the cable beyond the one million homes in Melbourne who were currently able to access the service, but only if take-up and average revenue per user on the original footprint was high.

Trujillo also said that the move to upgrade Telstra's cable wasn't a tacit admission that it had given up on getting any piece of the National Broadband Network pie, saying that it had been considering this step for a long time. The announcement just before Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is set to announce the network builder also wasn't timed to stymie the network in utero, according to Trujillo.

Topics: Telcos, Enterprise Software, Telstra

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Reverse Statement

    The announcement just before Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is set to announce the network builder also WAS TIMED to stymie the network in utero, according to Trujillo.
  • Love it ... ZDNot pushes their own story

    Let’s forget about the fact that millions of people will soon have access to 100Mbps speeds they are making it sound like it's a bad thing.

    Korea which is seen as a world benchmark has 30,000 homes with access to 100Mbps and has no plans to extend it further.

    This is a wonderful thing and even though we will soon start seeing people making comments about how "excess usage will be too high", "Telstra is a rip off" and "it is not available at my house" to distract from the positive aspects of this.

    Well done Telstra and I look forward to having this available to the entire HFC network soon.

    Before you start I am not Sydney L or a Telstra employee, I just hate the bias reporting practices of this web site.
  • Telstra employee...

    Generally i have found Telstra employees are the last people to wave the Telstra flag.

    I will admit, it is nice to see speeds increasing. But as you hint to, Telstra may be able to provide these fast speeds, you will just have to give up your first born to receive any decent size in bandwidth.
  • Where?

    Where does it say this is a bad thing? About the only "bad" thing mentioned is the 2Mbps uplink.

    Also, I'm not sure where you got your "30,000" figure for South Korean homes. According to [1], for example, Japan, has 8.8 million homes with access to fibre and speeds up to 100Mbps. I couldn't find a figure for South Korea, but it's well-known that SK is number one in this department.

    It's probably worth noting that it's mainly a function of the extremely high density housing in Korea and Japan that allows them such fast internet speeds. A small amount of fibre provides a lot of bang-for-buck for the ISPs over there.

    [1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/28/AR2007082801990_2.html
  • Thanks for your OPINION sol.

    2Mbps uplink... well at least it's faster than the 1Mbps from ADSL2+ providers today. It's such a shame that in Japan, a basic service is 30Mbps downstream / 10Mbps upstream standard.

    Again, why does Sol insist on pushing his own opinion of what customers want.

    Strange, that's Melbourne first again... hang on, why has Perth or Adelaide not got even 30Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream on cable... that was "Step -1" not "Step 1"..... let's go back further and finish the entire network to today's standard before starting yet another "one side of Australia" project.

    Oh and you'd better battey back your network also - one power company glitch and many go offline!! Maybe NextG will save us then in that case.

    The deal has to be looked at in detail to appreciate - oh and what will the cost be Sol? If the Australian Broadband Survey 2009 is of any consequence, it means Telstra will blatently rip everyone off for the 100Mbps privledge.

    I think I'll wait and see what hit's the street first!
  • How does this work

    So people want 100Mbps download and instant access. How is this going to be accomplished with only 2Mbps upload ??

    Got me a bit confused
  • confused

    Telstra lead by Ziggy and Sol have shown the way to maximise profit at the expense of riding our prized national network into a 2nd rate patchwork network.
  • Customers dont want more than 2Mb upload?

    Really??? Is this like that interview years ago when Telstra also said that no customers wanted broadband speeds faster than 1.5Mb so there was no point going ADSL2+?

    Thank goodness iiNet said 'you can jam it!' and started rolling out DSLAMs and guess what? People actually signed up for speeds faster than 1.5Mb . . . must've been a bit of a surprise for Telstra since their focus group was obviously a bunch of ppl who thought dialup was blazingly quick . . .
  • I would be nice...

    but how much land mass does Japan need to cover to get 20 million people on these speeds compared to getting 2 million in Australia?People have talked about Japan, South Korea but the simple reality facing every company here is the diastance between services.

    Think about the simple fact that 18 million people in Australia live in about 500,000SqKM of land mass compared with Japan's total land mass of 375,000SqKM for 127 million people and South Korea at under 100,000SqKM for 49 million people.

    Find a comparable country to Australia before you all try and make comparisons.

    Yes we pay a lot for Telstra services and I like many people out there are not to happy about it but until they are permitted to charge rates based on profitability for each area instead of charing the same rate to someone in the bush that has 20km of cable run for a single phone line and 50,000 people hanging off a single exchange then we may see Telstra city rates compete with other companies.

    Now people are saying but they have the USO ... this has been proven to cost Telstra much more to maintain then they get from the government. Even the DBCDE's own documents ask the question "Is there a rural deficit?" with no answer. To me this proves that due to political influences they do not wish to provide an answer.
  • upload speed..

    "because customers didn't want higher uplink speeds."

    Completely incorrect, whats the point asking for more upstream bandwidth when uploads are counted towards your download limit.

    its rather pointless in the end, telstra never learn. WE WANT MORE QUOTA not speed dammit!
  • Adam

    I seem to recall it was Adam Internet that were the first ones to say "you can jam it!" with their own DSLAMs.
  • ROFL ...

    You guys bang on about 100Mbps like it's achievable with 2Mbps uplink ...

    You do all realise a HTTP transfer requires ~ 5% of "backchatter" or "acknowledgement" packets to be sent to the source right?!?

    So 2Mbps limits download speed to 40Mbps intrinsically ....

    It's a clever marketing ploy, bang on about 100Mbps, but disable the backchat bandwidth so it won't be much more demanding than the 30Mbps speed of today ...

    Well done Telstra, once again Innovating via the marketing and publicity departments, as opposed to actually consulting anybody in your Technical departments!!!

  • Visionary

    Now there's a man with vision.
    Reminds me of :

    "640Kb ought to be enough for anybody".

    And, in any event, as one of the anons here pointed out, the 100Mbs is a fiction with choked upstream.

    Bottom line is - make it available and people will find media rich applications to utilise the bandwidth (this is not breaking news).
  • Uploading chokes downloads

    Also remember that uploading at full speed on cable internet generally kills your download speed completely.
  • 2Mbps uplink speeds fast enough: Trujillo

    Right - of course....and with the massive shift to Web2 , upload bandwidth won't be under any pressure. ....
    With more and more client side applications coming, and social networks pushing more and more content ONTO the web this statement parallels Big Bill's 'clanger' of many years ago when he said " 64k memory should be enough for most anyone"

    According to Cisco, US Web sites currently transmit more data (per month) than the entire amount of traffic sent over the internet in 2000. Web 2 will make it profoundly easier for companies and their stakeholders to engage with each other - Videoconferencing is but one example of a "new" W2 application. There are of course, many others.

    I can't help wondering how Trujillo manages to justify his leadership position when he clearly has such an obvious lack of strategic vision?
  • Check your facts

    a TCP ACK is at worst 50B (400b), when you are browsing then your download packets will be low anyway meaning you would lucky to need more the 10Mbps, if you are streaming then the packet size will be up to 8KB (64Kb). If you have a maximum of 5,000 ACK's in a 2Mbps stream then you could stream 160Mbps of traffic (much more then the 100Mbps on offer).

    Lets not forget that most hosting companies across the globe provide shared 10Mbps or 100Mbps links meaning in most occations the other party (plus a little thing called latency) will be the cause of throughput limitations.
  • 640k RAM should be enough for anyone?

    Does this seem 2Mb should be enough seem eerily reminiscent?
  • can see the forest for the trees

    what you're saying is like if hitler gave out candy, and zdnet wrote an article saying "look at the big picture folks, hitler is a evil man, supporting him for his candy is bad for the country" you'd be there defending him "oh, everyone is being so negative, but hitler's giving out candy and I cant wait to get some! yay hitler!"
  • Telstra doesn't know its customers.

    I have been a customer for years on cable, I have never been surveyed, asked or anything what I want or willing to pay for or what I can afford.

    A company that doesn't know what its customers really want and why is just lucky to be in the right place at the right time. All its innovation is unlikely to address the customers need so it will be wasted effort.
  • Fine..

    Ok.. fine.. 2Mbit upload.. if users don't need more than that magical figure and don't upload much, WHY IS UPLOAD METERED ON BIGPOND?!?!?!
    Obviously Sol is talking through his hat again.. clearly people do need greater upload bandwidth and they simply aren't using it because Bigpuddle count it towards the data allowance.

    It amazes me how Telstra continue to attempt to justify their blatant greed for money when the actual facts are commonly known.