Abbott: 25Mbps broadband 'more than enough' for Australia

Abbott: 25Mbps broadband 'more than enough' for Australia

Summary: Australian households would get internet connections fast enough to download all their entertainment needs under the Coalition's national broadband network (NBN) plan, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said.

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The Coalition is offering minimum download speeds of 25 megabits-per-second (Mbps) by the end of its first term in 2016 if it wins government from Labor this year.

While this is slower than the minimum 100Mbps being offered under Labor's NBN project, Abbott argued that the Coalition's plan would be better and cheaper to deliver.

It wants to use technology — which Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has labelled "second rate" — that runs fibre optic cable to the node, or boxes on street corners.

This means that the final connection to a home would be through Telstra's existing copper network, rather than through a fibre optic cable all the way to the premise, as the government is doing.

"We will build fibre to the node, and that eliminates two thirds of the cost," Abbott told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

But Minister of Infrastructure Anthony Albanese said that this would be a disaster because, unlike the government's fibre-to-the-premise technology, it couldn't be easily upgraded.

"This policy ... for most cases, won't result in any higher speeds being delivered," he told reporters in Canberra.

Federal independent MP Tony Windsor agreed.

"The 'full-strength' NBN will better enable technologies and services that haven't even been thought of to be delivered," he said in a statement.

The Coalition puts the capital cost of its plan at AU$20.4 billion against Labor's AU$37.4 billion.

Including funding, the cost rises to AU$29.5 billion against AU$44.1 billion under the project being overseen by the government-owned NBN Co.

Queried about the 25Mbps minimum speed for households, Opposition Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that broadband utility flattened out in a residential environment.

Abbott said 25Mbps would be enough for home usage, adding that at this speed, a family of four could simultaneously download four different sport or movie programs.

"We are absolutely confident 25 megs is going to be enough — more than enough — for the average household," he said.

While the Coalition is offering only fibre-to-the-node services for most households, high-end users like hospitals, educational centres, and new housing estates would get connections to premises.

"It's very flexible," Turnbull said of the policy.

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said that the concept of installing tens of thousands of boxes on street corners meant most households would be "stranded" on a decaying copper network while new housing estates would get modern fibre technology.

"It's a farce," she said in Hobart.

If the Coalition won a second term, the minimum speed would increase to 50Mbps for the vast majority of households.

"I am confident that it gives Australians what they need," Abbott said.

Under the Coalition's plan, the NBN rollout would be completed by the end of 2019 instead of the current deadline of 2021, with priority given to areas that are most underserviced.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Government, Government AU

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141 comments
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  • No it's not enough

    I already have 28Mbps with cable and when that's split between a household with their PCs, tablets and phones it's only adequate. Relying on a copper infrastructure to the house will also reduce that minimum speed, to say nothing of the expense of trying to maintain that ageing copper.

    Malcolm Turnbull knows better than to push this "plan".
    Tony_McS
    • lies

      I don't mind reading articles or the political bias but I'm sure the Coalition 25Mbps was a minimum and the Labor plan was 100Mbps maximum (not minimum) as you have stated in the article.
      I wouldn't be quoting that mental giant Milne as an authority either.
      geoff_kay
      • not quite true

        The minimum for Labors plan is 12 Mbps, with a maximum of 100 Mbps. The thing is the speeds under labor can be achieved. Under the coalition a bit of rain can affect the speeds.
        Also for some places to guarantee a minimum of 25 Mbps they may need to have nodes even closer than planned depending on the copper, which will push costs up.

        Finally under the coalition plan, they are making assumptions that have made many people look foolish. There was a time i didin't need the 4-6 Mbps i get now. I used to use a 33.6 K modem. But new services and application have been developed. The fibre that labor is putting into the ground can run 10 Gbps right now with upgrades to the terminating equipment. Under liberals plan we'd have to dig everything up and it will end up costing alot more money but rather than costing now, it will cost more in 10-20 years perhaps.

        so they are not saving money but putting off the inevitable. Kind of like a car with a few issues, You do some dodgy/cheaper fixes on the car to keep it running because you don't want to spend money now, but in the long run it costs you more, because you could have fixed the problem now rather than waste money keeping it going longer.
        Justin Watson
        • The 12mbps minimum

          was under the original 2007 plan, which is closer to what the Coalition is proposing:

          http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/coalitions-broadband-plan-reopens-door-to-competition/story-e6frgd0x-1226616216511
          hmmm,
        • A little bit of rain?

          Really. I have yet to face a network outage and I live in one of the catchment areas in Melbourne. What has rain got to do with the internet access?

          "The fibre that labor is putting into the ground can run 10 Gbps right now with upgrades to the terminating equipment. Under liberals plan we'd have to dig everything up and it will end up costing alot more money but rather than costing now, it will cost more in 10-20 years perhaps."

          The fibre optic cable that is going to be put by Labor or Coalition is going to be the same, I am sure.

          The coalition plan has always been for the end user to pay for faster broadband via FTTH from the node to the premises. I think that's fair enough. I am doing it now, so I expect everyone else to do it as well. Otherwise stick with copper.
          Kunal Nanda
      • No,

        after a quick query to the magical imps in the land of the interwebs it turns out that the minimum speed under the Labor plan is 100Mbps, not the maximum (and if we are to unquestionably accept the Coalition's plan as gospel, it is only fair to do the same for Labor). Furthermore, the NBN will reportedly be capable of up to 1Gbps, but that isn't promised as the minimum because that would be as misleading as suggesting reporters are lying and showing political bias by reporting the 100Mbps as a minimum (of course in your case a failure to do basic research cannot be characterised as a "lie"). FYI, a 100Mbps minimum falls soundly within that reported 1Gbps maximum even if we allow for an exaggeration rate of, say, 100%.

        BTW, if Labor said the earth revolves around the sun and that was reported, would that be political bias? I'm afraid that sometimes data IS data, and that your colours are showing, hmmmkay?
        hmmm,
      • And

        ...if it is all a big Labor conspiracy, one wonders why some members of the Coalition have invested money in NBN schemes in other countries. Have they no sense of shame?
        hmmm,
  • LOL, so just over double what I currently get on ADSL2+ is "more than enough"... makes you wonder why they even bother making 1gbps network adapters... surely they should really be selling 25mbps adapters...

    It was quite hilarious watching Abbott flounder around today with the 'big' words but I remember a time when he rejected the NBN calling it "video entertainment system" then today goes on to describes how 25mbps is enough for four HD video streams... that's very curious, I wonder what those opposed to the proper NBN plan and have expressed support for the coalitions alternative (aka GimpCo) think of this...
    Hubert Cumberdale
  • Malcolm, what are you doing, I had some respect for you!

    At home, I am already on a 20Mbit ADSL plan, but because its on copper and because I am 4km from the exchange, it is actually performing at 2Mbit per sec. It is good for email and basic browsing but practically unusable for real-time and media sites such as Youtube.

    Distance has no bearing on the performance when fibre is used, so you get the full speed no matter whats the distance.

    Yet, Tony Abbott is telling us that his copper based service if more efficient, and then today I also heard someone say it will be faster.

    Does Tony Abbott know anything about this topic? or is he hoping to fool everyone, because under his plan I can expect more of the same of what I have today until 2016, while Telstra gets to enjoy 60 billion large ones.
    epaslv
    • Does Julia Gillard

      Know anything and everything about anything and everything? Of course, you don't expect Abbott to know the technicalities. He is the leader. It is Turnbull's job to know the details of his portfolio. This mindless accusations are annoying.

      If you want Fibre to the Home - GO PAY FOR IT YOURSELF.
      Kunal Nanda
      • Wow

        So it's ok to expect the government to supply FttN but not FttP?

        More warped logic from the ideologically impaired!
        RS-ef540
  • Yesterdays technology - Today!

    The Coalition today announced its long awaited 'Roads Roads Roads' transport policy, offering driving speeds of 25 kilometers per-hour (Kph) by the end of its first term in 2016 if it wins government from Labor this year.

    Abbott said 25 Kph would be enough for home usage, adding that at this speed, a family of four could simultaneously drive to four different sports games or movie theaters.

    "We are absolutely confident 25 Kph is going to be enough — more than enough — for the average household," he said.

    While the Coalition is offering only tarmac-to-the-town (TTTT) services for most households, high-end users like hospitals, educational centres, and new housing estates would get connections to premises.

    "It's very flexible," Turnbull said of the policy.

    =====

    Joking aside, it's easy to say it'll be delivered 'faster' when you cut the rollout size by 20-30%. It's easier to say it's 'cheaper' when you roll out obsolete technology and it's easy to say it's 'better' when you use an undefined, subjective term and dodge the hard questions.
    I think this stillborn, polished turd of a policy (at best) is a regressive joke that'd be hilarious if we, the public, weren't the butt of it.

    (PS- bonus Schadenfreude points for the Coalition apologists doing a valiant job of defending the indefensible today- good work lads!)
    RealismBias
    • You make one wrong point

      'If'

      Bye bye labor, you're history.
      Sultanabran
      • Yes more than likely

        Thanks for your typical nothing input and once again demonstrating subservience rather than common sense...
        RS-ef540
        • Good to see you agree +

          It gives me great comfort knowing that you won't get your free ride.

          You want fibre to your door? Then reach into your piggy bank and you pay for it.

          No logical reason at all that your neighbours should be forced to subsidise your desires if they don't want it.

          The new government ( forget Turnbull he won't be wasted on such a trivial portfolio) shows that an NBN needs to be a balanced offering.

          As it should be, no technical arguments just common sense and robust financial management of public money.
          Sultanabran
          • Err we aren't interested in your foolish input...

            LOL....

            Waste $30B on obsolescence = robust management of public money.

            I see you are unable to defend this moronic proposal in any way and simply agree with it, because you must... GOLD
            RS-ef540
          • hypocritical thinking yet again!

            How is a free ride by giving everyone a useful tool like the FTTP NBN any worse than the baby bonus or first home owners grant that the coalition bought in? IMO if you wants kids, you make sure you can afford to have them, or make cuts to spending on luxuries etc. Not wait for the government to hand out some money.
            Justin Watson
          • What are you all saying...

            You are all ignorant idiots. Why would you make grandma and grandpa be FORCED to pay for fibre connections to their PREMISE. 99% of people will not use anywhere near the maximum bandwidths. It is only people who use the internet HEAVILY, ie a bunch of communist labor supporters all watching gay tv shows together. The labors idea will cost an absolute fortune WE ARE IN DEBT FFS this is not the time to start wasting money on a ludacris network which benefits pretty much no one. You expand infrastructure when you need it, you don't build a 10 lane highway because you think it will need it in 40 years time, you build a highway with 4 lanes with room either side IF you need it in the future. Whats the points at having it rot away for 40 years and by the time its needed its fallen to bits? So many idiots.
            ingramator
          • wtf?

            Please, please, please, you and sultanabrain just need to run away and play with your carrier pigeons and leave the discusion to the grown ups who can read, ok?
            btone-c5d11
          • Justin

            A new fast laptop is also a useful tool. Should you get one of them for free too?
            Sultanabran