100Mbps NBN uptake surprising: Hackett

Summary:The take-up of 100 megabits per second services on the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Tasmania was much higher than originally expected, according to Internode managing director Simon Hackett.

The take-up of 100 megabits per second services on the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Tasmania was much higher than originally expected, according to Internode managing director Simon Hackett.

Simon Hackett

Simon Hackett (Credit: Internode)

Internode began offering service to customers on the NBN in Tasmania in July last year and although the telco's chief wouldn't reveal how many had adopted connections in Tasmania in an interview with ZDNet Australia, he said take-up had been good, in contrast with rival Exetel.

"The uptake of NBN services has been in line with Internode's expectations, although more customers opted for 100Mbps services that we originally forecast," he said. He said the company has intentions on extending NBN services to customers in the mainland sites, when NBN Co gives the go ahead.

However, the building of the network has again been challenged by the Coalition, which says that it should be scrapped or delayed to pay for the recovery from the Queensland floods. Hackett said that the impact of such an action wouldn't be immediate but the long-term effects would be bad for the industry as a whole.

"The objective of the NBN is to build a future-proof network, so it wouldn't have a direct impact on the industry," he said. "However, deferring the NBN deployment would significantly increase the likelihood of the project being sidelined or cancelled, which would be to Australia's detriment over the long term."

For 2011, Hackett said the company's work with NBN Co would speed up its provision of fibre-based internet services in 2011, and the company would also be offering fibre services at greenfield developments through its partnership with Opticomm. Voice over IP services, the advancement of IPTV with FetchTV and the launch of the company's Fritz!Box ADSL2+ router were all on the cards for the company in 2011, Hackett said.

He said it was likely that industry consolidation and takeovers would continue in 2011 but said Internode wouldn't be the target of a takeover bid any time soon.

"With some 200,000 customers, Internode is large enough to succeed independently in this environment," he said.

The iCode

The iCode, also known as the Zombie Code, was introduced at the beginning of December last year by the Internet Industry Association and is a voluntary code that aims to help internet service providers (ISPs) inform and assist users whose computers are infected with malware.

To date 26 ISPs have signed up to the code; however, Internode was a late signatory to the code, joining 14 days after its introduction.

Hackett said the code had to match the company's own policy.

"As a supporter of the iCode initiative, Internode chose to audit its compliance with the Internet Industry Association's voluntary code of practice before signing it."

Hackett said that implementing the code had no effect on the company so far, and he disagreed with calls from both the Kokoda Foundation and a parliamentary review to make the code mandatory for all ISPs.

"We don't need mandatory codes in order to deeply respect our customers."

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Telcos

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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